EPA’s Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT)
The Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) is not a tool exclusively developed for Louisiana coastal communities, but for any community interested in climate adaptation. The tool, developed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU), assists the water sector, including drinking water, wastewater and stormwater utilities, to identify climate change threats, assess potential consequences, and evaluate adaptation options based on traditional risk assessments and scenario-based decision making.
CREAT 2.0 builds on the capabilities of the first version of the tool by incorporating local-level information for a more robust assessment. It uses local historical climate data, as well as more comprehensive downscaled climate change projections. Users can consider climate change scenarios at a local scale to support the identification of threats that affect utilities. CREAT 2.0 also includes a standard list of drinking water and wastewater utility assets (e.g., water resources, treatment plants, pump stations) that can be modified to reflect a specific facility. After establishing a facility’s assets and threats, the current level of risk associated with a specific asset-threat combination over a specified time is determined. Once a baseline analysis is completed, potential adaptation measures for the facility are considered. These measures are generated from a predefined library of adaptation options, or they can be established by the user.
The tool guides the user in assessing and comparing different adaptive measures according to their costs and effectiveness in reducing risk to climate change impacts. The new version also uses a flexible framework, allowing utility operations, regardless of size or type, to consider multiple climate scenarios and impacts at various locations. The results of the different approaches are presented in reports. Data can be customized over time as more information becomes available, enabling the user to update the strategy.
Currently, the tool is available free of charge through the CRWU website.