Project #4482

Effects of Wildfire on Drinking Water Utilities and Best Practices for Wildfire Risk Reduction and Mitigation

Principal Investigator
Chi Ho
Research Manager
Kenan Ozekin, PhD
The Cadmus Group, Inc.
Emergency Response & Preparedness
Risk Assessment


This project conducted a Wildfire Readiness and Response Workshop held in Denver, Colo. April 4-5, 2013 that disseminated relevant information and facilitated the sharing of knowledge and experience among water utilities that have been affected by wildfire or are preparing to manage water resources in anticipation of wildfire. The following issues were discussed during the workshop and are highlighted in the report: evaluating the potential for wildfire in specific source water protection areas; understanding the impacts of wildfire on water quality; identifying and characterizing strategies that are effective for preventing, mitigating, or minimizing wildfire impacts; assessing implications of land disturbance on water quality and drinking water treatability; determining the mechanisms and timeframes for watersheds to recover from wildfires; understanding challenges faced by drinking water utilities after wildfires and solutions that have been effective; improving awareness of the impacts of fire-fighting techniques on drinking source water quality; assessing strategies for managing and protecting water quality with proven restoration and management practices; and providing case studies of inter-municipal cooperation and management strategies. Research partner: EPA. Published in 2013.