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Climate Change and Sustainable Water Infrastructure: King County


Climate Change and Sustainable Water Infrastructure: King County David Monthie King County DNRP January 2008 2008 Symposium on Innovating for Sustainable Results ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Climate Change and Sustainable Water Infrastructure: King County

Climate Change and Sustainable Water
Infrastructure King County
  • David Monthie
  • King County DNRP
  • January 2008
  • 2008 Symposium on Innovating for Sustainable

Presentation Objectives
  • Adaptation Basics Guidebook, King County Climate
  • Recent successes in Water Supply, Flood
  • Developing Wastewater Strategy
  • Final thoughts and suggestions

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King County looks like this.
And this.
And this.
Some Facts about King County
  • 2,134 Square Miles
  • 1.8 Million residents (14th largest county in
  • 39 Cities
  • Farmland and the Cascade Mountains on the east
    side, Puget Sound and urban coastline on the west
  • Three listed fish species under ESA (chinook
    salmon, bull trout, steelhead)
  • County govt provides local services and regional
    services include regional transit, sewage
    treatment, solid waste disposal, flood control,
    regional parks, public health

Major Water Utilities
  • Water supplied by three major utilitiesSeattle
    (70), Tacoma, Everettall with surface supply
    sources from Cascades
  • Regional wastewater system operated by King
    County 30 local collection systems
  • Countywide flood management district operated by
    King County (as of 2007)
  • Stormwater utilities operated by local govts,
    incl King County in unincorporated

Insight from a Notable American Philosopher
  • The future ain't what it used to be.
  • -- Yogi Berra

Local Evidence of Climate Change on Water (UW CIG)
  • Declining snowpack
  • Shifts in timing of runoff
  • Declining trend on overall runoff volume

What We Forecast
  • Higher temps by 2100 PNW temp increases more
    than global avg now, up roughly 1.8 degrees F
    every 25 years
  • Total precip may go up more rain than snow
    storm intensity likely to increase
  • PNW snowpack will decline runoff earlier
  • Increased risk of floods and drought
  • Rises in sea level levels speculative
  • Unclear impacts to groundwater

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King County Actions
  • Creation of formal Global Warming Team w/in
    Executives office
  • Executive orders lower carbon emissions, greater
    use of advanced technology, new energy policies
    and the increased use of biodiesel
  • Comprehensive strategy addressing both mitgation
    and adaptation(2007 Climate Plan)
  • Take home leadership at the top makes a big

2007 King County Climate Plan
  • Includes both Mitigation and Adaptation
  • 170 ppacross all sectors of County activities
  • Includes goals, activities, milestones, measures
  • Includes KC work and collaborations
  • Annual report/update

Climate Change Guidebook
  • Preparing for Climate Change A Guidebook for
    Local, Regional and State Governments
  • Developed with UW and ICLEI
  • Builds on KC experiences

Climate Change Guidebook--Approach
  • ID relevant areas
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Risk Assessment
  • Adaptation Strategy
  • Implement
  • Measure

Relevant AreasWater (identified in 2007 Climate
  • Water supplies threats from declining snowpack,
    reduced flows, higher temps, increasing demands
  • Flooding threats from higher flows, more intense
    events, aging infrastructure, development
  • Wastewater threats from rising sea levels,
    intense storms, existing capacity issues

Water supplies Vulnerability and Risk Assessment
  • Convened regional water planning process in 2005
  • Includes major water utilities, local govts,
    enviros, tribes, others
  • Work revolving around 7 technical committees by
    substantive topic geographic scope varied
  • Climate Change Committee w/UW CIG as tech lead,
    three-county geographic scope

Climate Change Building Blocks
  • Peer-reviewed literature
  • What is known and widely accepted about climate

Downscaled Global Models
  • 3 GCMs w/2 GHG scenarios
  • Downscaled to apply to King County watersheds
  • Meteorology entered into hydro models
  • Streamflow forecasts to 2075

  • 2000 2026

2050 2075
  • 2000 2026

2050 2075
Projected Changes in Spring Flows 2000 to 2075
Projected Changes in Summer Flows 2000 to 2075
Projected Changes in Winter Flows 2000 to 2075
Water Utility Risk Assessment and Adaptation
  • Water utilities (Seattle, Tacoma, Everett) used
    streamflow data as input to system models (vs.
    historic meteorology/hydrology)
  • Key impacts are changes in timing of flows
  • Utility forecasted impacts on firm yield by 2075
    of -3 to -18 annually, possibly more
  • Allows for planning mitigation steps already
    being identified by utilities
  • Unaddressed issues, e.g.,multiyear drought,

Flood and Stormwater Management
  • KC has six major rivers, and more than 115 miles
    of riverbank
  • Floods are controlled to some extent by an aging
    system of 500 levees/revetments
  • FEMA-driven flood plain management is based on
    old maps (remember Yogi!)
  • New mapping underway in WAproposed floodplain
    boundaries creating concerns for residents

Vulnerability and Risk Assessment for Flood and
Stormwater Systems
  • Low-lying developed areas could be floodedcould
    include Boeing Renton plant, Southcenter major
    shopping area
  • Econ study one event could generate 42 million
  • Physical risk many levees built of soft
    sandsusceptible to repeat events
  • Scour in streambeds and stormwater channelsloss
    of functions and habitat, impact on ESA recovery
  • Warming could result in changes to vegetation
    that helps in managing high precipitation events
  • Management issues multiple flood districts,
    competing interests with water suppliers

Adaptation and Planning Response
  • New Countywide Flood Hazard Management Plan
  • 179 million in projects over 10 yearsincluding
    levee fixes, acquisition of flooding properties,
    expanded Warning Center, restrictions on
    development in floodplains
  • Creation of countywide flood control district
    (consolidate existing districts)
  • Approval of regional funding source (property
  • New stormwater manualemphasizes processes to
    mimic natural hydrology
  • Active efforts to preserve forest and natural
  • Low impact development emphasis in land use, esp
    critical and vulnerable areasnew Shoreline plan

King Countys Wastewater Service Area
  • 34 Local Agencies
  • Two Regional Treatment Plants
  • Serves 1.4 million
  • Service Area 414 square miles
  • Combined 70 square miles
  • King County Sewers 335 miles
  • Local Agency Separated Sewer 3,300 miles

Regional Wastewater System Basics
  • System designed and constructed based on historic
    data (including rainfall)capacity based on
    historic peak flows (remember Yogi!)
  • Effects on planning/operation related to both
    combined and separated sewers
  • Location of combined sewer outfalls (CSOs)
    determined by highest observed tides
  • II drives capital costs75 peak flows in
    separated system, 90 in combined
  • Recl water not built into planninguntil now

Wastewater System Vulnerability and Risks
  • Increased rainfall/intense events raise questions
    of cost to construct capacity, and whether the
    system will be overwhelmed
  • New high tides could back up CSOs, cause
    saltwater damage to system
  • Major investment decisions 2006 capital budget
    for combined system is 780 million through 2050
    400 million for separated budget is rising
    (adopted 2008 five-year capital budget is 1.938

Risk CSOs Influenced by Tide
Combined Sewer Outfalls (CSOs) Influenced By Tide
  • Elevation of CSO Outfalls Determined by Highest
    Observed Tide

King County 2007 Climate Plan
  • WTD Action Items
  • To promote regional water supply resilience, by
    maximizing development and use of reclaimed water
    from the wastewater treatment system and explore
    additional reuse approaches and applications
  • To support operational resilience of wastewater
    treatment in the most cost effective way possible

King County 2007 Climate Plan
  • To promote regional water resource resilience, by
    maximizing development and use of reclaimed water
    Inventory all non-potable uses in region
  • Develop reclaimed water feasibility
    studycompleted December 2007
  • Promote industrial and irrigation applications of
    reclaimed water to offset impacts to water supply
    and stream flows
  • Work with state, regional, local governments to
    expand use of reclaimed watertask forces

King County 2007 Climate Plan
  • 2. To support operational resilience of
    wastewater treatment facilities
  • Collaborate with climate science experts to
    develop reasonable regional assumptions for
    long-range planning purposes
  • Develop a reclaimed water comprehensive plan for
    regional production, distribution and application
    to support natural water systems
  • Develop strategies to manage wet weather impacts
    of climate change to the sewer system

Wastewater King County 2007 Climate Plan
  • Collaborate with climate science experts to
    develop reasonable regional assumptions for
    long-range planning purposes
  • Obtain more detailed local and regional climate
    information upon which to base planning
  • Provide consistency between multiple agencies and
  • Further understanding of future impacts and costs
    across agencies and departments

Wastewater Adaptation Identify Vulnerable
  • Goal - Identify WTD facilities impacted by storm
    surge/sea level rise (above extreme high water),
    and intense storm/urban flows, and the impact on
    each facility
  • GIS based analysis to be completed in 2008
  • Identify the impact threshold (consultant)
  • Identify the level of impact (consultant)

Wastewater Adaptation ID Potential Strategies
  • Develop response strategies
  • Identify adaptive strategies for each facility
    (i.e., berm, armoring, relocation, etc.)
  • Identify operational strategies (facility
    specific and system-wide)
  • Develop cost estimates and schedules

Wastewater Develop Adaptation Plan
  • Update and integrate capital and asset management
    plans accordingly
  • Select strategies
  • Revise capital and asset management plans (e.g.,
    capital investment thresholds asset replacement
  • Revise operational protocols
  • Complete asap2009 (?)

Wastewater Adaptation Strategy
  • Develop a reclaimed water comprehensive plan for
    regional production, distribution and application
    to support natural water systems
  • Utilize reclaimed water as a drought-resistant
    source of supply for multiple purposes
  • Model integration of wastewater planning and
    water resource planning, in collaboration with

Wastewater Adaptation Plan
  • Develop strategies to manage wet weather impacts
    of climate change to the sewer system
  • Combined Sewer Overflow strategies
  • Inflow and Infiltration strategies
  • Separated conveyance system strategies
  • --Could be similar to strategies for CSOs (e.g.,
    armoring, berms, etc)

Storm Intensity
  • Difficult to predict w/climate models
  • Significant issues for urban stormwater
  • November 2006 5 precip in 24 hours-gtone death,
    millions in claims in Seattle
  • November 2007 4 precip in 24 hours (second
    highest in 50 years)-gtdifferent areas of Seattle
  • I-5 shutdown 4 days below Olympia

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WTD System Performance and Vulnerability
  • System performed well given size of the storm and
    the amount of urban flooding
  • Treatment plants ran at or over capacity during
    the entire storm, did not have any major failures
    or damage
  • Problems w/pumps handling volume of treated water
  • Urban flooding/II overwhelmed some
    facilitiesflows to streams, beaches

Carkeek CSO Treatment Plant Grit Tank
Carkeek CSO Treatment Plant Sedimentation Tank
December 2007 storm Summary
  • Plants and whole system ran at or over its
  • Need to work with local jurisdictions on urban
    flooding impacting our system
  • Need to work on infiltration/inflow (I/I)
  • Need additional capacity (third treatment
  • Need long-term climate strategy

Water Resource and Management Challenges
  • Evolving science will require dynamic planning
    and decision making
  • Investment risks what are appropriate
    thresholds, who bears the risk
  • New approaches e.g., decentralization and
    flexibility in order to increase resilience
    integration (reclaimed water as resource)
  • Inadequate management structures and
    institutions competing interests (flood
    management vs. water supply), regional approaches
  • Costs will likely be high

Suggestions for national support
  • Encourage or require states to incorporate
    climate change into appropriate planning
  • Condition financial assistance funding (e.g.,
    SRF) on accounting for climate change in utility
    infrastructure planning
  • Provide direct technical assistance or financial
    support (e.g., downscaling)
  • Provide a one-stop clearinghouse for all
    categories of climate change information

More resources
  • Climate Change Tech Comm report (UW CIG)
  • KC global warming http//
  • KC flood hazard management plan
  • International Council for Local Environmental
    Initiatives (Guidebook) http//
    and UW CIG (see above)
  • KC regional water planning
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