AWWA has created a resource page to assist water utilities in addressing the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. As the scope of the outbreak becomes clearer, utilities should be assessing workforce and supply chain contingency plans. Many have likely been doing so already in preparation for compliance with Section 2013 of America’s Water Infrastructure Act, enacted in October 2018. That section calls for risk and resilience assessment and associated emergency response plans.
The first and best source of authoritative information on COVID-19 is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, where visitors can find information on the virus itself, situation updates, travel notices and tailored information for audiences including communities, schools and businesses and others. The World Health Organization issued its own technical guidance on COVID-19, which includes a March 3 technical brief on water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been taking part in interagency and industry coordination calls, and working with critical infrastructure partners to prepare for possible disruptions to critical infrastructure, should the virus take a stronger hold in the United States. CISA is expected to issue new guidance on pandemic planning within the next few days.