Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 29.7

GreenStep City Best Practices Resilient Economic and Community Development
Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience No. 29

Plan and prepare for extreme weather, adapt to changing climatic conditions, and foster stronger community connectedness and social and economic vitality.

Best Practice Action 7

Protect water supply and wastewater treatment facilities to reduce physical damage and sustain their function during extreme weather events.

  • EPA's Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative provides water utility managers with tools, training, and technical assistance needed to adapt to climate changes. Included is a link to CREAT - a risk-assessment tool which allows utility managers to do location-specific 2035 and 2060 projections of annual total precipitation, annual average temperature, precipitation intensity for the 100-year storm, and number of days per year with temperatures above 100ºF. 
  • The Infrastructure Stress Transparency Tool created by the Minnesota Office of the State Auditor consolidates a variety of state and local data sources about the age, value and condition of community civil infrastructure (sewer, wastewater treatment, and drinking water) into a set of interactive maps to assist with planning needed investments.
  • See the Adaptation Strategies Guide for Water Utilities which includes sustainability briefs, examples of utilities implementing adaptation options, and worksheets to help with the planning process. 
  • Flood Resilience - A Basic Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities lets you click on Mitigation Options for helpful checklists of low-cost to expensive mitigation options for specific assets/operations including lift stations, headworks, treatment plants, instrumentation and electrical controls, power stations, buildings (relevant for other city buildings too), and more.
  • Drought Response and Recovery: A Basic Guide for Water Utilities covers staffing, response plans and funding, water supply and demand management, communication and partnerships. 
1 star Use the CREAT risk assessment (or the like) to help understand and adapt to extreme weather; take into account infrastructure stressors (such as age), updated precipitation data (Atlas 14), and climate change trends or projections.
2 star Implement all applicable low-cost ($) mitigation options for a specific type of assets/operations (such as lift stations, headworks, water intake/distribution/storage, booster stations/pumps, or treatment plants), based on 1-percent annual exceedance probability (AEP) flood protection plus 3 feet.
3 star Implement 2 Star level plus either: (a) all applicable low-cost ($) mitigation options for additional asset type(s), OR (b) medium-cost ($$) or high-cost ($$$) mitigation options for any of the asset types, based on 1-percent AEP flood protection plus 3 feet.

Who's doing it

Pierz - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
We partner with Rich Prairie Sewer and Water for our City Sewer and Water. They have alarms for different areas and alerts. Alarms go off for pumps not working, high/low water levels, and other risk factors that could damage the equipment.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471
Partners: Rich Prairie Sewer and Water District
Maplewood - Pending
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In January 2016 Maplewood launched the Energize Maplewood! Team Energy Challenge. This is one of the City's energy actions outlined in the Energize Maplewood! Energy Action Plan. The plan was drafted as part of the Partners in Energy Program, which is sponsored by Xcel Energy. The Team Energy Challenge includes 100 households that have formed teams to reduce energy use through conservation, energy efficiency improvements and utility rebate programs. Another component of the challenge is education, outreach, and special events.

At Fish Creek, the City's newest neighborhood preserve, partners and contractors restored over 22 acres of grassland to native prairie vegetation, and volunteers planted trees and prairie plugs.

The City works with school groups on service learning projects. Students from Century College and public schools in the area volunteer to plant trees and plant native plants or improve raingardens throughout the City.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Number of people participating in the energy challenge, number of energy efficiency improvements made, reduction in energy use. Number of people participating in programs to improve community assets (community gardens, urban trees, stormwater green infrastructure). Number of trees planted, raingardens planted or improved, or food produced from community gardens.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shann Finwall (City staff) | shann.finwall@maplewoodmn.gov | 651-249-2304
Partners: Xcel Energy, Maplewood Nature Center