The results of the report, titled “Water Sector Measures Analysis,” indicate the water sector is rising to meet security challenges. Drinking water and wastewater utilities are incorporating security into their budgets, training personnel on security, actively seeking validated threat information, putting chemical security protocols and safeguards in place, and reviewing their emergency response plans, Taylor declared.
The results as a whole indicated that drinking water and wastewater utilities are making significant progress in awareness, preparedness and resiliency. Ninety percent of responding utilities have incorporated security into their budgets and training; more than 90 percent regularly review their emergency response plans; and more than 90 percent are seeking validated security threat information.
The report also reveals gaps in security measures within the water industry. For example, only 42 percent of utilities had developed business continuity plans. Only 34 percent of wastewater utilities surveyed have a crisis communications plan.
“If we look at those specific areas of business continuity and crisis communications, you can see this is clearly an area where we need to improve,” Taylor stated. “But this should not fall onto the shoulders of utility owners and operators or their associations to pick up themselves. We must work as a group-the Water Security Division and the Department of Homeland Security [DHS]. We need to work together to find out how fast to deploy resources to utilities to help them strengthen these efforts.”
Read the full report: Water Sector Measures Analysis