Droughts are expected to occur more frequently and at a greater intensity due to climate change, and their effects can adversely affect the ability of drinking water utilities to store and distribute safe drinking water to customers. While some utilities have formal plans and defined activities to manage drought, many others do not. Drought management practices can help utilities respond to and mitigate the impacts of drought, thereby achieving significant savings.
A cost-benefit analysis can help utilities evaluate and compare alternative drought management practices and select those that have the greatest net benefit for their systems. In this report for the Water Research Foundation, water experts from Cadmus and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln provide insight into key aspects of using cost-benefit analysis to assist drinking water utilities in planning for drought conditions. The report summarizes available information on the costs and benefits of drought management practices at drinking water utilities and provides guidance for utilities to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to evaluate and select appropriate drought management options.