In October 2018, the Safe Drinking Water Act was amended to include “America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018.” This new legislation includes provisions designed to support an all-hazards approach to risk and resilience management in the water sector, including prevention of large-scale water crises, preparedness for natural disasters, and mitigation of cybersecurity risks.
Community water systems across the U.S. are now scrambling to understand and fulfill the requirements, which include completing a Risk and Resiliency Assessment (RRA) of their water infrastructure, followed by certification to the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the assessment is complete. Utilities also must prepare or update an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) and implement measures for the shortcomings identified under the RRA within six months of completing it.
AWIA Compliance Deadlines
Deadlines occur throughout 2020 and 2021, and are specific to the size of the utility’s service area.
|Population Served||Risk Assessment and
|Emergency Response Plan|
|≥100,000||March 31, 2020||Sept. 30, 2020|
|50,000-99,999||Dec. 31, 2020||June 30, 2021|
|3,301-49,999||June 30, 2021||Dec. 30, 2021|
AWIA Resource Guide
Whether you are just starting to gather information about RRA and ERP requirements, or you are further along in your compliance journey, it can be helpful to have quick access to critical AWIA resources and detailed EPA definitions. The materials below provide guidance and a detailed look at the vital next steps for AWIA compliance.
- Full text of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018:
- EPA RRA and ERP fact sheet:
- EPA guidance on developing an RRA:
- EPA guidance on developing an ERP:
- EPA’s Route to Resilience Tool:
- Water/Wastewater Utility All-Hazards Bootcamp Training:
- American Water Works Association's Utility Risk & Resilience Certificate Program:
An outside partner also can be a major asset in bringing your system into compliance before the deadline. Contact Dave Brady, senior analyst, Security & Safety Services Practice, for additional guidance on the AWIA requirements.