WAWARN: Utilities Helping Utilities

WAWARN is a Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network that allows water and wastewater systems to receive rapid mutual aid and assistance from other systems in an emergency. Utilities sign the WARN standard agreement which then allows them to share resources with any other system in Washington that has also signed the agreement.

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Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce

Critical Infrastructure Training

2022 Critical Infrastructure Protection Series


EPA has developed a new video to increase water sector awareness of the Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) initiative and attract new members to existing WARNs. Entitled “WARNs in Action”, the video illustrates the types of events in which the mutual aid networks have been utilized and emphasizes the importance of water sector coordination during an emergency. Interviews with WARN representatives provide detail on particular benefits of WARN, explaining how the programs have reduced response time and saved utilities money during emergencies.

The video can be found on the WARN Home tab of the Office of Water's Mutual Aid and Assistance webpage.

How to Join WAWARN

If your utility hasn't filled out the membership application:

  1. Click on Membership Application to register your utility as a member and you will receive a confirming email.
  2. Download the Mutual Aid Agreement, have it signed in your utilities normal fashion for executing agreements. Send the signed Mutual Aid Agreement to the Statewide Chair either email or via paper copy. Submit paper copy to WAWARN, %Water/Irrigation, 2301 Fruitvale Blvd. Yakima, WA 98902
  3. After you are confirmed as a member, return to WAWARN, login and complete your full Utility Profile for your water and wastewater systems.
  4. Download the materials and attend local training provided by WAWARN on activation procedures.

For more information, please contact your regional or statewide chair (contact info on Committees page)

Mutual Aid Agreement - PDF

WAWARN Operational Plan

WAWARN Brochure


Based on other AWWA models, WAWARN is designed to provide a utility-to-utility response during an emergency.

The WAWARN Web site does this by providing its members with emergency planning, response, and recovery information before, during, and after an emergency. As the nationwide WARN system expands, it will become easier to provide mutual aid to other states as needed.

EPA Small Water System

EPA Small Water Systems are a vital component of WARN. This PDF resource describes the impact that small systems have on the strength of WARN.

National WARN

AWWA's website for Utilities Helping Utilities. Keep track of the progress on the national front. Website provides access to data and other resources associated with WARN.

WARNs in Action

WARNs in Action

How does a utility get assistance during an emergency?

The WAWARN member who needs help identifies the resources needed to respond. The WAWARN member can either directly contact a fellow WAWARN member who has the necessary resources or use a state specific process of requesting aid.

Through the WAWARN Web site, a member can request emergency equipment (pumps, generators, chlorinators, evacuators, etc.) and trained personnel (eg. treatment plant operators) that they may need in an emergency.

Are member utilities require to respond and send resources?

There is no obligation to respond. It is up to the lending utility to determine if resources are available.

What role does the Agreement play?

During an emergency, the process and procedures to give and receive assistance are governed by articles in the WAWARN agreement. The agreement covers issues such as requesting assistance, giving assistance, reimbursement, workers’ compensation, insurance, liability, and dispute resolution.

How is WARN different from an existing statewide mutual aid program managed by emergency management?

WAWARN agreements do not require a local declaration of emergency. Statewide programs do not include private utilities; WAWARN agreements do. Statewide agreements are managed by the state emergency management agency; WARN is managed by utilities.

The WAWARN program provides its member utilities with:

WAWARN Benefits

There are two sides to this Web site. The public side is open to anyone to view. This side gives you basic information about WAWARN and how to join.

The second side, the resource database, is only open to members who have signed the agreement, and it is free!