America’s Water Infrastructure Act Compliance

Assessing risk and resilience from threats and hazards of community water systems

America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) provides for water infrastructure improvements that relate to flood control, navigable waterways, water resources development, maintenance and repairs of dams and reservoirs, ecosystem restoration, public water systems, financing of improvements, hydropower development, and technical assistance to small communities. The law requires water utilities to complete three elements: a risk and resilience assessment, updates to emergency response plans, and submission of a self-certification, providing a baseline threat for water utilities.

Gannett Fleming is assisting utilities across the U.S. with technical, environmental, regulatory, and public safety expertise to ensure compliance with AWIA requirements. Through security and safety analysis, planning, design, certification, and oversight solutions, we protect the people and assets that are important to our clients. Our philosophy follows U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines, state water regulatory requirements, and the Risk Analysis and Management for Critical Asset Protection (RAMCAP™) methodology and its seven-step process.

What We Did

Our approach to meeting the AWIA requirements is to utilize the RAMCAP process as a solid foundation for risk management. It provides the ability to measure and manage “all-hazards” threats and their associated risks now and in the future. We perform an “all-hazards” assessment and place them into a common risk assessment approach tailored to client requirements. Risk analysis contributes to an environment of risk awareness, reliability, and management that applies to security, emergency response, and recovery measures. The key to our approach is facilitated workshops that include stakeholders for each water utility. We recognize that the water systems are responsible for certifying the completion of our work, and it is important that we include them throughout the process so that the results are understood and accepted, and they can confidently certify completion. We conduct work in phases to develop a risk profile that is understandable to management and staff and easily communicated to regulators. These phases include pre-site visit data collection, facility site assessments, data review and analysis, assessment reports, and emergency response plan and implementation.

We also provide additional support as needed, including grant applications; further justifications for individual security projects at each specific facility; development of design documents and bid packages for large projects; preparing technical specifications, installation, and startup requirements of smaller improvement projects; and installation or construction management and inspection.

Key Features

  • Pre-site visit data collection facilitates a thorough understanding of all assets.
  • Facility site assessments determine the reliability of systems in the face of threats.
  • Facilitated risk and resilience workshops characterize assets; determine threats and hazards; assess consequences, vulnerabilities, and threat probability; and provide a reasonable understanding of risks to the water system and its resilience.
  • Data review and analysis confirm data and provide baseline risk and resilience, and develop mitigations and improvements to countermeasures and procedures.
  • Assessment report provides and prioritizes recommendations to close security gaps.
  • Emergency response plan and implementation reduces risk and improves safety.
OUTCOMES

Compliance with federal requirements for water utilities.

Improved risk awareness, reliability, and management.

Enhanced asset protection and community safety.