Technical Resources

This Week in Washington


Search All WEF Access Water Knowledge Centers!

You can narrow your search by selecting one or more of the options below:


To find WEFTEC materials please visit WEFTEC.ORG!

Water Security
& Emergency Response

 Water Security Drinking water and wastewater utility (referred to by DHS as the Water and Wastewater Systems Sector) owners and operators have a long and distinguished history of protecting public health and the environment. Following the events of September 11, 2001 and subsequent natural disasters, all levels of government, as well as the private sector, are partnering with the Water and Wastewater Systems Sector to prevent, respond, and recover from natural disasters and man-made malevolent threats. Since increased resilience is a major objective of all critical infrastructures, understanding and appreciating Water and Wastewater Systems Sector interdependencies is essential. All sectors are vulnerable if water and wastewater service is compromised and the consequences are not just related to public health and economics, but to the nation’s psychological well-being and confidence in governance.

As a member of the Water Sector Coordinating Council (WSCC), WEF maintains representation for the Water and Wastewater Systems Sector that allows for collaboration and communication with federal agencies regarding security issues. The WSCC serves as a policy, strategy, and coordination mechanism and recommends actions to reduce and eliminate significant homeland security vulnerabilities to the Water Sector through interaction with the Federal government and other critical infrastructure sectors.

Working under a voluntary framework resulting from the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, the Water Sector has been proactive in advancing its security posture in collaboration with other critical infrastructure sectors. To that end, the WEF Safety and Security Committee develops, recommends, and conducts programs to promote a general understanding of safety and security issues.

For viewing the most recent news, see 

wefcom link 

For additional updates, join the WEF Safety and Security Committee 

Other Links of Interest


Find the latest Ebola information at 

National Protection Framework was posted to DHS on 30-JUL-2014 and can be found at 

Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool (VSAT) 6.0 - an ANSI/AWWA J100-10 compliant version (see,

Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community or C³ (pronounced "C Cubed") Voluntary Program Outreach and Messaging Kit (NIST, February 2014) 

Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (NIST, February 2014) 

Roadmap for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (NIST, February 2014) 

Process Control System Security Guidance for the Water Sector (PDF) and the supporting Use-Case Tool.  The guidance and tool are free of charge. (AWWA, February 2014) 

NIPP 2013 Partnering for Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience (December 2013)

  Free U.S. EPA Water Security Division Tools for Download:  

·    Climate Resilience Evaluation & Awareness Tool (CREAT) 

·    Community Based Water Resiliency (CBWR) 

·    Federal Disaster Funding for Utilities (Fed FUNDS) 

·    Tabletop Exercise Tool for Water Systems (TTX Tool) 

·    Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool (VSAT) 

·    Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) 

·    Water Health and Economic Analysis Tool (WHEAT) 

·    Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA) Training Center 

EPA, ASDWA State Drinking Water Program All-Hazard Preparedness, Mitigation, Response and Recovery Checklist (July 2013)

CDC Drinking Water Advisory Communication Toolbox (June 2013)

Water Security Initiative: Interim Guidance on Developing Risk Communication Plans for Drinking Water Utilities (April 2013)

Water Quality Event Detection System Challenge: Methodology and Findings (April 2013)

Water Security Initiative: Guidance for Building Laboratory Capabilities to Respond to Drinking Water Contamination (March 2013)

Bridging the Gap: Coordination between State Primacy Agencies and State Emergency Management Agencies (Feb. 2013)

Water Sector Interdependencies

Safe drinking water and wastewater treatment and service is essential to the public health and economic vitality of any society.  In the United States, drinking water and wastewater utilities, collectively known as the Water Sector, are charged with implementing programs to provide clean and safe water to their communities everyday regardless of external forces that may impede their efforts, including natural disasters or terrorist events.  To provide their essential services, water sector utilities do not operate independently.  In fact, the water sector is interdependent with every critical infrastructure.  Therefore, the denial of drinking water and wastewater utilities’ services—whether the result of a contamination incident, physical attack, or cyber attack—would have cascading effects.  Advanced preparation of how to continually provide drinking water and wastewater services during and following an incident will reduce human and economic hardships.  Towards that end, the Water Environment Federation (WEF), in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided a series of 18 general awareness trainings on water sector interdependencies throughout 2010-11.  See, Summary Report

How to Develop a Multi-Year Training & Exercise (T&E) Plan: A Tool for the Water Sector (May 2011)

Climate Ready Water Utilities (Feb. 2011)

Consumer Complaint Surveillance: Alarm Estimation Tool (Feb. 2011)

Integrating WARN and Other Mutual Aid Agreements (Jan. 2011)

Water & Healthcare Sector Interdependencies: Working Together Towards Resiliency (Dec. 2010)

Water and Emergency Services A Critical Community Interdependency (Dec. 2010)

Water security—National and global issues: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2010–3106 (Nov. 2010)

The Water Laboratory Alliance - Response Plan (Nov. 2010)

Vulnerability Self Assessment Tool (VSAT) (Sept. 2010) Fact Sheet 

Water Health and Economic Analysis Tool (WHEAT) (Sept. 2010) Fact Sheet 

Water Security Initiative Program Overview and Available Products (Sept. 2010)

Public Assistance for Water and Wastewater Utilities in Emergencies and Disasters (Aug. 2010)

Key Features of an Active and Effective Protective Program (June 2010)

Tabletop Exercise Tool for Water Systems: Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Climate Resiliency (June 2010)

State Primacy Agencies A Vital Component of WARN (Feb. 2010)   

Wastewater Systems A Vital Component of WARN (Feb. 2010)

Link to Water and Wastewater Agency Response Networks (WARN) -  

All-Hazard Consequence Management Planning for the Water Sector Report released by the Preparedness, Emergency Response, and Recovery CIPAC Workgroup (Nov. 2009) 

The "All-Hazard Consequence Management Planning for the Water Sector" (All-Hazard CMP) helps drinking water and wastewater utilities incorporate all-hazard consequence management planning into their emergency preparedness, response, and recovery plans and programs.  The All-Hazard CMP was produced by a Workgroup made up of drinking water and wastewater utilities, Water Sector associations, and representatives of state and Federal water programs.  It includes:

  • Customizable lists of preparedness, response, and recovery actions that will improve resiliency across all hazards.
  • Consequence-specific lists of actions for potential hazards that are most relevant to drinking water and wastewater utilities.
  • Example incident-specific flow charts and checklists developed by a utility with links to the downloadable and customizable versions online.
  • Information on how the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS) are used in preparedness and during response and recovery.

Resources on Pandemic Influenza



Opportunities for Involvement