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    ASTM E3136 - 18

    Standard Guide for Climate Resiliency in Water Resources

    Active Standard ASTM E3136 | Developed by Subcommittee: E50.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.05


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 This Guide addresses issues related solely to resiliency strategies and the development of a plan to address extreme weather and related physical and chemical changes to water resources. This guide does not include specific advice on risk assessment, however, references are provided in Appendix X1. Adaptation and resiliency design strategies and planning may consist of a wide variety of actions by individuals, communities, or organizations to prepare for, or respond to, the impacts of chronic and extreme natural and manmade events.

    4.2 Example Users: 

    4.2.1 Small business or enterprise owners;

    4.2.2 Service industry employees;

    4.2.3 Federal, tribal, state or municipal facility staff and regulators, including departments of health; water, sewer and fire departments;

    4.2.4 Financial and insurance institutions;

    4.2.5 Public works staff, including water systems, groundwater supplies, surface water supplies, stormwater systems, wastewater systems, publically owned treatment works, and agriculture water management agencies;

    4.2.6 Consultants, auditors, state, municipal and private inspectors and compliance assistance personnel;

    4.2.7 Educational facilities;

    4.2.8 Property, buildings and grounds management, including landscaping staff;

    4.2.9 Non-regulatory government agencies, such as the military;

    4.2.10 Wildlife management entities including government, tribal, and NGOs;

    4.2.11 Cities, towns and counties, especially in developing climate vulnerability strategies and plans;

    4.2.12 Commercial and residential real estate property developers, including redevelopers;

    4.2.13 Non-profits, community groups, and property owners.

    4.3 This Guide is a first step in crafting a simplified framework for managing and communicating risks. The framework describes a process by which the user may categorize current climate risks and a priority approach to manage those risks. The technique classifies common responses for both mitigation and resiliency.

    4.3.1 Resiliency strategies and planning may include actions by individuals and communities, for example, from reduced tree clearing for an individual lot, to a farmer planting more drought-resistant crops, or to a municipality protecting riparian and floodplain standards and buffers or ensuring that new coastal infrastructure can accommodate future sea level rise. However, building resiliency across communities will require action at all levels; individual, business, town, county, state, and federal.

    4.3.2 Some municipalities, states, tribes and corporate organizations have already begun taking action toward defining resiliency strategies and planning for extreme weather resiliency. Examples are located in Boston, Miami Beach, and Baltimore. More examples are included in the Appendices.

    4.3.3 Real estate development teams may use these techniques to identify future opportunities and liabilities.

    4.3.4 The user should consider the most effective scale of resiliency, for example, site, town, catchment, watershed, city, state, tribal area, or regional level. The scale will impact the relative direct and indirect costs and benefits of a solution. This guide may help users understand the most effective scale of resiliency and the appropriate level of action by providing ways to set time and budget priorities.

    4.4 This Guide does not address: the uncertainty of unpredictable and severe weather events; the connections between impacts of rising temperatures and extreme events or the probability of the rate of increase of these events. This guide, however, does discuss options to address vulnerabilities from the impacts of changing environmental conditions, extreme weather events, and natural catastrophes.

    1. Scope

    1.1 Overview—Water resources in North America and other areas are subject to various impacts from chronic weather patterns, as well as more frequent extreme weather events. These include drought, flooding, changes in stream patterns, increased or decreased run-off, and changes in water quality. Water resources include both man-made and natural reservoirs, rivers, streams, groundwater, and storage ponds. The infrastructure for water supply, wastewater treatment, fire-fighting and agricultural uses are also subject to chronic weather patterns and more frequent extreme weather related events. This guide will provide an explanation of techniques users may employ to build resiliency and a planning outline for municipalities, states and private industry in order to ensure safe, future, effective availability of water resources.

    1.2 Purpose—The purpose of this guide is to provide a series of options that organizations may implement to prepare for the environmental impacts and risks from changing environmental conditions, chronic weather patterns, natural or man-made disasters, and extreme weather events. This guide also encourages consistent management of risks from natural disasters to water resources. The guide presents practices and recommendations based on regions and planning horizons that provide institutional and engineering actions to reduce the physical and financial vulnerabilities attributable to changing environmental conditions. It presents available technologies, institutional controls, and engineering controls that can be implemented by individuals and organizations seeking to increase their adaptive and resiliency capacity.

    1.2.1 The guide also provides some high-level options for the planning, selection, implementation, and review of strategies in order to ensure that the approach continues to be environmentally responsible, in the best interest of the public, reasonable, and cost effective. This guide can be used to analyze the effectiveness of a community’s strategy.

    1.2.2 This guide ties into the ASTM E50 standards series related to environmental risk assessment and management.

    1.2.3 The guide does not provide risk assessment, per se, but may help set priorities for a climate resiliency program.

    1.3 Safety—This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Adaptation and resiliency measures, however, may be consistent with, and complementary to, safety measures.

    1.4 Objectives—The objectives of this guide are to determine the conditions of the community, facility, and property with regard to risks of natural disaster events to water resources and actions that can be taken to manage those risks.

    1.4.1 The guide presents information on planning and strategies to respond to extreme natural events such as drought, flood, storms and sea level rise upon water resources.

    1.4.2 The guide encourages users to set priorities based upon the relevant region in the United States. For each region, the guide identifies key climate vulnerabilities that would require planning and preparation based on that particular scenario. These could be extrapolated to other regions if there are similar conditions.

    1.4.3 The guide encourages the user to develop long term solutions for future risks.

    1.5 Limitations of this Guide—Given the different types of organizations that may wish to use this Guide, as well as variations in state and local regulations, it is not possible to address all the relevant circumstances that might apply to a particular facility. This guide uses generalized language and examples for the user. If it is not clear to the user how to apply standards to their specific circumstances, users should seek assistance from qualified professionals. Risks may vary depending on the entity evaluating the risk. This guide does not take a position on the causes or science of extreme weather, natural disasters, or changing environmental conditions.

    1.6 The guide uses references and information on the control, management and reduction of impacts from many cited sources.

    1.7 Several national and international agencies served as sources of information on existing and anticipated levels and management of climate risks including: the Australian Ministry of Environment; the Federal Emergency Management Agency; the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration; the Securities and Exchange Commission; the US Army Corps of Engineers; the US Department of Agriculture; the US Department of Energy; the US Environmental Protection Agency; and the US Department of Defense.

    1.8 This guide recommends reference to current regulatory information about risks culled from various state agencies, such as departments of environmental protection and water resources boards.

    1.9 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.10 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E2114 Terminology for Sustainability Relative to the Performance of Buildings

    E2432 Guide for General Principles of Sustainability Relative to Buildings

    E2635 Practice for Water Conservation in Buildings Through In-Situ Water Reclamation

    E2717 Practice for Estimating the Environmental Load of Residential Wastewater

    E2727 Practice for Assessment of Rainwater Quality

    E2728 Guide for Water Stewardship in the Design, Construction, and Operation of Buildings

    International Standards

    Australian Standard AS 5334 Climate change adaptation for settlements and infrastructure

    ISO 14001:1996

    ISO 31000:2009 Risk management Principles and guidelines

    ISO Draft Standard on Asset Management: Overview, Principles and Terminology (56/1358/DC)

    ISO Guide 73


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.020.30 (Environmental impact assessment); 13.060.10 (Water of natural resources); 93.025 (External water conveyance systems)

    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/E3136-18

    Citation Format

    ASTM E3136-18, Standard Guide for Climate Resiliency in Water Resources, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2018, www.astm.org

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