Targeted Adaptation Strategies for Climate Impacts on Water Quality

Climate Impacts

Stormwater Runoff


Erosion and Sedimentation


Harmful 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.
  • 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.
  • Install effluent cooling systems
    Higher surface temperatures may contribute to making water quality standards or make temperature criteria more difficult to attain, as well as lead to greater outbreaks of harmful algal blooms. Therefore, efforts to reduce the temperature of treated wastewater discharges, such as additional effluent cooling systems, may be needed to help maintain water quality.
  • Visit the Water Utility Source Water Quality Page to view more Adaptation Strategies that can help support efforts to reduce water quality impacts from harmful algal blooms.

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 documents: