– Fires, Floods and Other Threats to Water: Resilient Drinking Water Treatment Approaches for Climate Change Adaptation


International consensus has suggested that severe, extreme events such as wildfires and floods have the potential to be catastrophic for the provision of safe drinking water because they can cause increasingly variable and/or deteriorated source quality, thereby challenging in-plant treatment technologies beyond their design and operational response capacities, to the point of decreased production capacity, boil water advisories, and even severe and costly service disruptions. Thus, it is commonly believed that severe wildfire threatens drinking water treatability because of insufficient treatment technology capacity or “resilience.” Based on experience in Canada and internationally, the major changes in source water quality that can be expected in drinking water supplies will be presented and the best available technology approaches for responding to associated drinking water treatability challenges will discussed.