US responds to potential threats to water supply

The World Trade disaster last September 11, 2001 drastically changed the concept of "water utility security" in the USA.

The World Trade disaster last September 11, 2001 drastically changed the concept of "water utility security" in the USA. Water utilities focused on water quality, not the possibility of terrorist acts on water resources and infrastructure. Since then, more than 1,500 water industry professionals completed security training offered by Black & Veatch (BV) in association with the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

BV water system security experts conducted 16 seminars on "Counter Terrorism and Security in the Water Industry" that focused on vulnerability assessment and the development of emergency response plans to help utilities meet new federal directives. The EPA requires that all water utilities serving more than 100,000 citizens assess their vulnerability to a terrorist attack and submit the assessment to the EPA by 31 March 2003. BV is also working with Sandia National Laboratories to provide training designed to help utilities protect customers and its water supply.

The US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) hired the US consultancy Montgomery Watson to conduct threat and vulnerability assessments at 20 of its critical federal dam facilities located in the western states of California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington from July through December 2002.

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