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Vulnerable Water Infrastructure in Coastal Cities
 
A Community-Wide Public Health Risk Assessment of Vulnerable Water Infrastructure in Coastal Cities

PROJECT SUMMARY

coastal structures Coastal infrastructure is becoming increasingly vulnerable to hazards including extreme precipitation events, stronger storm surge, riverine flooding and rising seas. Knowing that there is an intimate connection between infrastructure and public health, it is important to engage local communities in assessing the susceptibility of their populations to health risks from infrastructure failure. This project, funded by NOAA’s Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications program, aims to bring together diverse groups of decision makers to better understand the cascading public health impacts from water infrastructure vulnerability due to flooding. A group of research partners from the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments, East Carolina University, North Carolina Sea Grant, Old Dominion University, and Saint Louis University, and Virginal Tech piloted this process in Charleston, SC and Morehead City, NC.

Focusing specifically on water and wastewater infrastructure and physical access to health care, we are assessing vulnerability through providing tools to understand and assess the threat. Using extensive engagement of municipal managers, health system managers, water utility specialists, health care experts, state agency managers and others in these two communities, we developed a two-stage Susceptibility Index. This Index is intended to be a straightforward, user-friendly tool that succinctly summarizes coastal threats and identifies gaps in mitigation for decision makers while providing guidance for reducing vulnerability. It has been tested and revised in multiple workshops and exercises in both locations. A manual to be used in table top exercises will allow the project to be replicated in other locations. Scientific publications will substantiate the methods used.

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storm drain   outbuildings

Last updated: 8/22/2018 4:10:45 PM
Vulnerable Water Infrastructure in Coastal Cities

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