Adaptation Strategies for Algal Blooms

  • Develop models to understand potential water quality changes
    • In many areas, increased water temperatures will cause eutrophication and excess algal growth, which will reduce drinking water quality. The quality of drinking water sources may also be compromised by increased sediment or nutrient inputs due to extreme storm events. These impacts may be addressed with targeted watershed management plans.
  • Increase treatment capabilities
    • Existing water treatment systems may be inadequate to process water of significantly reduced quality. Significant improvement to existing treatment processes or implementation of additional treatment technologies may be necessary to ensure that quality of water supply (or effluent) continues to meet standards as climate change impacts source or receiving water quality.
  • Install effluent cooling systems
    • Higher surface temperatures may make meeting water quality standards and temperature criteria more difficult. Therefore, to reduce the temperature of treated wastewater discharges, additional effluent cooling systems may be needed.

  • Manage reservoir water quality
    • Changes in precipitation and runoff timing, coupled with higher temperatures due to climate change, may lead to diminished reservoir water quality. Reservoir water quality can be maintained or improved by a combination of watershed management, to reduce pollutant runoff and promote groundwater recharge and reservoir management methods, such as lake aeration.

  • Retrofit intakes to accommodate lower flow or water levels
    • In areas where streamflow declines due to climate change, water levels may fall below intakes for water treatment plants.

Source Documents

These strategies are adapted from existing federal sources, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others. Please view these strategies in the context provided by the primary source document: