Climate Change and Adaptation

Topical Collection on Climate Change and Adaptation

Climate change will profoundly affect water systems and the long-term sustainability of local, regional, national, and global water resources. The purpose of this topical collection in AWWA Water Science is to capture the current state of research on how water systems can be affected by climate change—especially any critical vulnerabilities—and to present assessments of adaptation and mitigation strategies. Research in this special collection should guide water utilities on what they can do now and in the future to best serve their communities in a changing climate.


With this topical collection, we will provide a forum for improving the water industry’s understanding of climate change challenges and the solutions for drinking water systems to mitigate them. This collection aims to capture the state of the science and knowledge gaps in the water industry, and to chart a course for holistic research on climate change for all water professionals. Ultimately, we want to advance our understanding of how water systems can position themselves to best serve their communities in response to changes in their natural environments from climate change, which can include short-term events like flooding or freezes along with long-term events like drought or sea-level rise.

In addition to general research topics related to the state of the science of climate change and adaptation, specific topics of interest include:

  • Water resource monitoring and management; source water protection plans and strategies including the effects of ecosystem management
  • Effectiveness of novel technologies (sensors, machine learning/artificial intelligence/Internet of Things, point-of-use treatment) and approaches (including reuse)
  • Subsequent effects and utility mitigation strategies for natural disasters such as wildfire, drought, flooding, high winds, heat waves, unexpected freezes, and specifically water quality changes (source and distribution level) and their effects on water resource management and treatment
  • Water system asset resilience and adaptation (pipelines, pump stations, water treatment plants); engineering design and planning to address climate change uncertainty
  • Modeling and analytical tools to evaluate and implement adaptation options; decision support systems for managing climate risks to water systems
  • Regulatory requirements and compliance; associated cost estimates; greenhouse gas and energy management related to water systems
  • Socioeconomic aspects of climate change on water systems (changes to rates and fees, conservation/shortage pricing, borrowing and financial ratings, social justice/equity)
  • Public communication and stakeholder involvement; regional collaboration

The guest editors invite Original Research, Review Articles, and Technical Notes for peer review. Researchers with work more focused on preliminary data collection and modelling or initial studies of climate change responses should consider Technical Notes, which have a more limited literature review and conclusions but provide a basis for further studies, better practices, and more robust designs. If you have any questions about potential submissions, please send a message to

Guest Editors

Ali Alavi

ali alavi Ali has experience in consulting, academics, and management. He specializes in structural, mechanical engineering and infrastructure. His experience includes the analysis and design of complex structures, seismic analysis, real-world failure investigation, condition assessment, failure risk analysis, and repair of deteriorated infrastructure. Ali has assisted and supported condition assessment, performance evaluation, and rehabilitation design of infrastructure for numerous major US utility companies.

Ali earned his B.S. at Guilan University, his M.S. from Tarbiat Modares University, and his Ph.D. degrees from Tarbiat Modres University and Clarkson University. He is presently a conveyance subsector lead at Stantec.

Fred Bloetscher

Fred Bloetscher Fred has a diverse and extensive career in civil and environmental engineering, primarily focused on water, wastewater, and stormwater management. He has taught introductory and specialized courses in environmental engineering, and he has authored more than 100 articles and books. As the president and owner of Public Utility Management and Planning Services Inc., his contributions have ranged from financial planning to regulatory compliance, displaying a strong foundation in utility management. His career also encompassed pivotal roles in government, where he oversaw substantial capital improvement programs and played a vital role in utility oversight and planning.

Fred earned his B.S. at University of Cincinnati, his M.S. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his Ph.D. from University of Miami. He is presently the associate dean for undergraduate studies and community outreach at Florida Atlantic University.

Elisa Garvey

Elisa Garvey Elisa has more than 20 years of water resources experience. Her experience includes water resource management and planning, water quality assessments and regulatory and permitting support. She has authored publications on potable reuse, disinfection byproducts, system optimization, and more.

Elisa earned her B.S from John Hopkins University, and her MS and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is presently a vice president at Carollo Engineers.

Juneseok Lee

Juneseok Lee Juneseok has over two decades of experience in water infrastructure systems analytics. His core research is centered on the development of water distribution and building water systems that are reliable, sustainable, and resilient. He has edited five books and authored over 100 technical works, including articles in esteemed peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and conference proceedings. His contributions have been recognized with multiple Best Paper Awards from both AWWA and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Juneseok earned his B.S. from Korea University, and earned his M.S. and Ph.D from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is presently an associate professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering at Manhattan College.

Josh Weiss

John Weiss Josh is a water resources engineer with 25 years of experience in water supply planning, system and water quality modeling, watershed and source water evaluation, and decision support systems. Throughout his career he has helped utilities quantify and address vulnerabilities to climate change and other long-term sources of uncertainty. He has expertise in the application of long- and near-term forecasts for source water management and water supply planning, and he leads applied research projects that integrate novel data sets and analytical tools to enhance utility decision-making.

Josh earned his B.S. from the Georgia Institute of Technology and M.S.E. and Ph.D degrees from Johns Hopkins University. He is Hazen and Sawyer’s director of water resources innovations and serves as a lecturer in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.


Deadline for submissions to be included in the topical collection is August 1, 2024.

The submission window for inclusion in the topical collection is now open. Please identify the submission as part of the collection in the manuscript’s cover letter. For submission requirements and other journal policies, please refer to the Author Guidelines.

To submit a manuscript, please use the AWWA Water Science manuscript submission system.

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