Water Security and Emergency Response
Drinking water and wastewater utility owners and operators (referred to by DHS as the water and wastewater systems sector) 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.