Risk & Resilience

Prepare Your Utility Before a Critical Incident Occurs

The AWWA Utility Risk & Resilience Certificate Program is intended to help utilities and consultants working with utilities to apply sound risk and resilience management strategies that will facilitate compliance with AWIA.
It is based on several AWWA standards and associated resources (G430, G440, J100, and Cybersecurity Guidance) that facilitate compliance with provisions of America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018, which must be met as soon as March 2020. 



America's Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018

AWIA requires water utilities to conduct a risk assessment and create an emergency response plan.

Step 1: Assess

A Risks and Resilience Assessment should: 

  • Cover all critical assets: people, equipment, systems, materials and supplies, records
  • Prioritize threats, assets, and vulnerabilities

Step 2: Plan

An Emergency Response Plan (ERP) should answer:

  • How can you improve the resiliency of the system?
  • What processes, procedures and equipment will you use?
  • Are there ways to lessen the impact of an emergency?

Step 3: Submit

The certification letter to the EPA should include:

  1. Identity of the Community Water System
  2. Date certified
  3. Statement that the utility has conducted, reviewed, or revised their Risk and Resilience Assessment and/or their ERP.

Help Each Other

Partnerships and mutual aid agreements are a vital component of an ERP.


Watch the AWIA18 Webinar

America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018 including Risk Assessments & Cybersecurity Webinar reviews New Risk and Resilience requirements for utilities that must be met as soon as March 2020. Other provisions of the legislation will also impact reporting requirements for utilities.

This new legislation includes several provisions designed to support an all-hazards approach to risk and resilience management in the water sector. In addition, AWIA includes several provisions to enhance source water protection. Learn more about more about key elements of AWIA’s risk and resilience provisions, including approaches to support compliance and associated deadlines during this important webcast.

Priority Action on Risk and Resilience


Those who work in the water sector are acutely aware of the essential service and function they provide to every community served. One might even suggest that the water sector was the first to recognize the importance of an all‐hazards approach to risk management. This is apparent in Anselmo F. Dappert's 1942 Journal AWWA article detailing a mutual aid plan for New York water systems. He said that the “ultimate objectives of the plan may never be completely reached but a reasonable approach … should bring public water supply systems and local water authorities to such a state of preparedness that emergency situations of all kinds and of any degree will be handled with the maximum of speed and efficiency.” 

These principles are part of new statutory requirements for community water systems as part of America's Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018 (P.L. 115–270), which was signed into law Oct. 23, 2018.


Essential Resources

Certificate Program

AWWA Technical Resources

Free Resources

AWWA Water and Wastewater Mutual Aid & Assistance Resource Typing Manual
Utilities Helping Utilities: An Action Plan for Mutual Aid and Assistance Networks for Water and Wastewater Utilities
AWWA/WARN Hurricane Harvey and Irma After-Action Report (AAR)



M19 Emergency Planning for Water and Wastewater Utilities
AWWA/ANSI J100-10 (R13) Risk and Resilience Management of Water and Wastewater Systems
AWWA/ANSI G430-14 Security Practices for Operation and Management
AWWA/ANSI G440-17 Emergency Preparedness Practices


AWWA Cybersecurity Guidance and Tool

Based on recommendations in the 2008 Roadmap to Secure Industrial Control Systems in the Water Sector, AWWA’s Water Utility Council took action to develop a cybersecurity resource designed to provide actionable information for utility owner/operators based on their use of process control systems. 

That is the purpose and objective of the Process Control System Security Guidance for the Water Sector (PDF) and the supporting Use-Case Tool.

Learn More

AWWA Policy Statements

Get Involved

Related Resources