Water Supply and Climate Change - The Impact of Water Stress on Fire P

When:  Jan 31, 2023 from 14:00 to 15:00 (ET)
Many fire protection systems rely on having an adequate water supply to aid in control or suppression of fire. Furthermore, local fire departments also rely on the water supply as a part of their response. If water sources are somehow lost or the supply infrastructure is damaged, the protection system will not work as intended and thus the reliability of suppression systems heavily depends on adequate water supply. This project focuses on how fire protection system design and water supply system design must begin to include the concept of climate change, specifically water scarcity or stress, to the discussion of reliability of systems.

This project conducts a detailed literature review of current water supply practices, design of suppression systems that depend upon the use of water supplies, and the impacts of water stress or scarcity on water supply systems. A gap analysis was conducted to determine what areas need to be researched more from the lens of fire protection systems and climate change. Additionally, the presentation will include an understanding of water stress or scarcity based on four case studies: the 2021 Texas, USA Arctic Blast water crisis, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa ‘Day Zero’ water crisis, Spain’s freshwater resource loss, and Australia’s water crisis. By studying these scenarios, the project provides a vast look from rural to urban areas (including the wildland urban interface), as well as differing climates, and varying reasons leading to the water stress or scarcities in the regions. A final source of data is a stakeholder survey focused on plans for and experiences with water shortages.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recommending best practices for water usage and fire protection systems.
2. Identifying the central stakeholders that need to be involved when designing for fire protection and climate change.
3. Discussing the potential policy changes and education needs to best aid fire protection engineers in navigating climate change and water stress as a part of the design process.

Virginia R. Charter, PhD, PE, FSFPE

Professional Development Hours:
1.0 PDH



Questions? Please email us at education@sfpe.org.

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