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Climate Change is Water Change: increasing water utility resiliency

October 25, 2016, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location Center for Environmental and Life Sciences - 120
Posted InCollege of Science and Mathematics

About Dr. Mark LeChevallier

Dr. Mark LeChevallier is a Vice President and Chief Environmental Office for American Water; a water utility operating in 35 states and Canada; serving over 15 million people.   He received his Bachelor of Science and Masters degrees in Microbiology from Oregon State University, and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Montana State University. Dr. LeChevallier leads the research and innovation program, and was the recipient of the George Warren Fuller award in 1997, the Able Wolman Award in 2012 and the A.P. Black award for research in 2015; all from the American Water Works Association.  He is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.  

About the Seminar

Climate change is already having an impact on weather patterns and the world’s ecosystem.  It poses potentially serious challenges, particularly to the world’s water supply and the communities that rely on the quality and safety of this vital resource. By some estimates, it will cost utilities between $448 billion and $944 billion to address climate-change issues through 2050.  The impact of climate change on America’s water supply includes: degradation of water quality, scarcity - intensified by drought and increased demand - and stress on infrastructure from extreme weather conditions.  Addressing the impact of climate change includes finding solutions to maintain adequate levels of water supply to communities; ensuring high standards of water quality in the face of the stresses brought about by droughts or increased flooding; and balancing the need for infrastructure improvements with the need to keep this vital resource as affordable as possible.  As stewards of one of the world’s most important resources, water utilities are on the front line to reduce their carbon footprint, promote conservation, reduce leakage, and develop alternatives water sources including reuse and desalination.