Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool Version 3.0 Methodology Guide

This guide is a supplement describing how to use the EPA’s Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) Version 3.0, a tool designed for local drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities to conduct climate change risk assessments. CREAT and this guide are part of the EPA’s Climate Water Ready Utilities suite of resources.

The guide walks users through the five modules within CREAT that allow users to generate an assessment. The five modules are:

  • Climate Awareness - in which a user enters basic data so that the tool can help the user identify climate risks.
  • Scenario Development - in which the user chooses climate scenarios for risk assessments.
  • Consequences and Assets - in which users define potential economic, environmental, and public health consequences that may ensue if critical assets are destroyed or damaged.
  • Adaptation Planning -  in which users define adaptive measures to address climate risks.
  • Risk Assessment - in which users calculate the anticipated financial impacts of climate threats.

For each of these modules, the guide provides information about the goal of the module, what inputs the user should be prepared to provide, and what options the user has for overriding data suggested by the CREAT tool.

The guide also defines the type of threats CREAT analyses (drought, flood, service demand, water quality, and ecosystem changes) and describes the climate data the tool relies on. Users can learn more about the various inputs, including historical climate conditions, historical data on extreme weather events, vertical land movement, and projected climate models that feed into the scenarios CREAT produces.

The guide also describes how CREAT assesses potential monetary loss and public health risks based on climate threats. It describes how users can interpret the consequence matrix CREAT produces to determine if a threat should be considered a low, medium, high, or very high threat. It also describes how the tool determines business impacts, potential equipment damage assessments, and environmental impacts.

The guide explains how to define and input critical assets, as well as current and potential adaptive measures for the purpose of generating adaptation plans. Users can use data already within CREAT or input their own values for relevant impacts to assets and costs of adaptive measures.

For the final Risk Assessment, the guide describes how overall impact on assets and monetized risk reduction from implementing adaptive measures are determined. Additionally, the guide instructs users on how to interpret the outputs of the Risk Assessment to determine which adaptive actions to implement.


Publication Date: May 2016

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