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EPA Launches Climate Ready Water Utilities Initiative

by Natasha Umer Mar 13, 2011

EPA logoEPA has launched the Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative to assist water and wastewater utilities in implementing climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, with the goal of a more resilient water sector.

Several CRWU-related tools and resources are available, and others are under development, to help water and wastewater utilities assess climate change impacts and develop adaptation measures: 

CREAT Logo Climate Adaptation Toolkit

The Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT): This is an interactive tool designed to assess potential climate change impacts on water and wastewater utilities.

Climate Ready Water Toolbox

The Climate Ready Water Utilities ToolBox: The CRWU Toolbox is a searchable online database of climate-related resources for utilities at all stages of the planning and decision making process.

Table Top Tool

The Tabletop Exercise Tool for Water Systems: Emergency Preparedness, Response, & Climate Resiliency. The TTX tool helps users plan, customize, and conduct water sector-specific tabletop exercises on five climate change scenarios.



CRWU-Related Tools and Resources are also on ICLEI USA's Free Climate Adaptation Resources Page

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Inside the District of Columbia's Department of the Environment

by George Knowles, Policy and Communications Intern Mar 13, 2011

Tolou Blog Image

Chris Tulou, Director of the District of Columbia’s Department of the
Environment.    Photo Credit: Lydia DePillis via Washington City Paper

It’s not everyday you get to read an interview with a big-city director of a sustainability or environmental department. But last week Chris Tulou, Director of the District of Columbia’s Department of the Environment, gave the Washington City Paper an inside look at his department’s programmatic priorities and the challenges ahead. Tulou discusses solar rebates, being a “water hospitable city,” and the challenge of parking lots and green development. He also offers a frank assessment of how federal budget trimming and legislative inaction on climate change will affect the District and all local governments. Check out the interview here.

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Local Action Roundup

by Natasha Umer Mar 09, 2011


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Help Guide EPA Research for Sustainable and Healthy Communities

by Melissa McCullough, MEM, LEED AP, U.S. EPA Mar 08, 2011

Meadville, PA, street (credit: Lottery Monkey via Flickr)

Photo credit: Lottery Monkey via Flickr

Local government staff: You are invited to a participatory webinar to provide input for a new applied research program

Dates: March 17, 3-4 p.m. Eastern, or March 22 1-2:30 p.m. Eastern

EPA logoThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development is designing a new research program aimed at assisting local communities to become more sustainable, as well as assisting EPA or State programs that support such efforts.

The Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program seeks to conduct integrated, transdisciplinary projects in order to provide useful data, information, and approaches to communities.  Our goal is to help them identify, evaluate and implement options to ensure that people remain healthy and that ecosystems continue to provide valuable services and benefits, in a way that is economically sustainable and socially just.

EPA would like to solicit input from communities actively working on sustainability or related issues to help design a valuable applied research program that is locally and nationally relevant.

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Lessons in Climate Adaptation

by Adrienne DeAngelo Mar 07, 2011

CPA Bus Snowstorm Chicago (Public Domain)

An abandoned CTA bus in Chicago hampered emergency vehicles during the 2011 blizzard. How
will Midwest local governments prepare for more severe snowstorms predicted to impact
the region?



A new report from Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) Urban Leaders Adaptation Initiative has valuable information for local governments. The report, "Lessons Learned on Local Climate Adaptation," is straightforward but long, so we'll break it down into easy-to-read chunks. Here are some of the most salient points:



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India and ICLEI: Partners in Sustainability

by George Knowles, Policy & Communications Intern Mar 06, 2011


Martin Chávez, ICLEI USA Executive Director, addresses attendees at the New Delhi
International Conference on Cities and Climate Change in New Delhi India, from
Feb. 21-22, 2011.

Environmental concerns transcend national boundaries, and battling climate change is absolutely a cooperative international effort. Droughts, floods and erratic weather patterns are global issues and ICLEI USA continues to be on the forefront of empowering local governments throughout the world to address climate protection and sustainability efforts with proven tools, technical resources and expertise. Through a generous grant from the U.S. Department of State, ICLEI USA, in collaboration with ICLEI South Asia, is helping local governments in India address climate change through the Urban Climate Project (UCP): Building Clean and Efficient Cities. The UCP, which is part of the Asia Pacific Partnership (APP) program, is a three year project designed to help make infrastructure development in India cleaner and more efficient.

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Orange County, FL’s Energy Efficiency Program Wins EPA Award

by Natasha Umer Mar 06, 2011

Florida Solar Panels by "eastpole"

Photo credit: East Pole via Flickr

OCHEEP logo, orange county floridaThe Achievement

Congratulations to Orange County, FL, which will receive EPA’s Excellence in Energy Star Promotion Award at an April 11, 2011 ceremony in Washington D.C. The County won the award for reducing energy consumption thanks to the Orange County Homeowner Energy Efficiency Program (OCHEEP!), launched in February 2010.

The program provides residents with incentives to make their homes more energy efficient, since residential buildings are responsible for more than 20% of greenhouse gas emissions. Homeowners received up to $1,000 in rebates from OCHEEP! for the energy-efficient renovations—making the upgrades practically free while reducing monthly electricity bills and lowering GHG emissions.

What makes OCHEEP! unique is its social networking aspect. Homeowners form groups of 10 or more to join the program and receive group efficiency trainings as they work through the program steps.

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Survey: Share Your Experience on Multifamily Energy Efficiency

by Don Knapp Mar 06, 2011

East Bay Hills Oakland Berkeley view (credit: avrene via flickr)

View of the San Francisco East Bay. Credit: avrene via Flickr)

ICLEI is helping the California cities of Berkeley, Oakland, and Emeryville get the word out about a survey they're conducting on multifamily energy efficiency. Please consider taking five to 10 minutes to answer 10 questions.

small green arrow icon Take the Survey

(responses due Friday, March 18, 2011)


The three cities are working together on a project to identify barriers and opportunities for increased energy savings in multifamily buildings. Through this survey, they hope to glean best practices and identify common hurdles among communities across the country.

If you are a local government staff member, elected official, or consultant with knowledge of programs/policies designed for the multifamily building sector, please consider sharing your experience. The three cities will share their findings with ICLEI once completed.

The cities' energy efficiency research is funded by investor-owned utility ratepayer dollars through the PG&E Innovator Pilots Program. For more information, contact Timothy Burroughs, Climate Action Coordinator at the City of Berkeley.

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Make Earth Day a 'Global Day of Conversation'

by Kathleen Rogers, President, Earth Day Network Mar 01, 2011

Girls and Wind Turbine

Dear Local Leader:

Earth Day Network is proud to invite you to participate in its fourth annual Global Day of Conversation. This is an opportunity for local leaders to initiate effective conversations on growing a green economy with your community. Global Day of Conversation assists local leaders in building a green economy by providing a platform for them to engage their communities in conversations on the challenges and opportunities addressing sustainability in our economy

Earth Day Network logoEarth Day Can Promote the Green Economy

In April 2011, over a billion people around the world will commemorate Earth Day, which has led the way for over 40 years in teaching individuals how to make real improvements in our environment.  The first Earth Day in 1970 was instrumental in mobilizing public support in towns across the country for the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and other key environmental laws.  Today, Earth Day Network is at the forefront of promoting the green economy.

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How Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and Palo Alto Maximize Energy Savings

by Don Knapp and Katherine Brittain Feb 28, 2011

Philadelphia at night (credit: yapsnaps via flickr)

Philadelphia's City Hall at night. Credit: Yapsnaps via Flickr

AltaTerra case study green savingsThree forward-thinking cities are set to save an eye-popping amount of energy and money in 2011, while slashing greenhouse gas emissions. What puts Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and Palo Alta, CA, ahead of many other local governments? Their sophisticated use of new energy and emissions management tools.

A new case study, "Cities Govern for Green Savings," written by AltaTerra Research, details how each city has used Hara™ Environmental and Energy Management (EEM) to enable energy and resource savings with targeted cost savings ranging from $500,000 to more than $10,000,000 per year.

View It Now green large icon

These days most ICLEI member local governments recognize that cost savings are a major motivator for reducing energy use and GHG emissions. And everybody knows that you can't manage what you can't measure. But taking energy and financial savings to the next level requires sophisticated tools.

According to the case study, more advanced jurisdictions "working to operationalize their sustainability goals typically reach a point where they find a clear need for a straightforward, multiuser, enterprise-level system to capture, organize, manage, and report resource use and GHG emissions. Such a system also helps in the important tasks of identifying strategic reduction initiatives and tracking implementation progress."

Check out this report to learn more about how cities like Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and Palo Alto are empowering both resource and financial efficiency, specifically:

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