MARISA RISA team partners with NYC Department of Environmental Protection on Climate-Resilient Planning for Urban Stormwater and Wastewater Utilities workshop

Members of the MARISA RISA team, in partnership with the New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, conducted a two-day workshop (July 16-17) on Climate-Resilient Planning for Urban Stormwater and Wastewater Utilities. Senior technical leaders from major utilities for New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Kansas City, Houston, Austin, San Francisco, Seattle, and Edmonton (among others) attended along with representatives of various umbrella organizations linking cities (large and small) to pragmatic responses to climate variability and change. The objective of the workshop was to advance the state-of-the-science and provide value for the utilities in three ways: 

  • identifying new methods and best practices for managing urban stormwater and wastewater while considering climate variability and change and future uncertainties, 
  • sharing ideas to inform more robust urban stormwater and wastewater infrastructure strategies to meet future needs, and
  • building capacity to adopt and implement new integrated planning methods. 

The workshop was held at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Recovery Facility in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, the largest such facility serving New York City. The photo above shows MARISA RISA Co-Investigator Jordan Fischbach, Program Manager Krista Romita Grocholski, and co-Lead Principal Investigator Debra Knopman – along with other workshop participants – in front of what have now become icons of the Brooklyn skyline: “digester eggs” at the Newtown Creek facility. Inside the “eggs,” organic waste is broken down into usable energy.




Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2017, the United States experienced a record-tying 16 climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 362 lives, and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted, costing more than $306 billion. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.


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