The highly publicized attack on the Oldsmar, Florida water system that took place in early February raised the alarm about the vulnerability of municipal water systems. Cyber security experts warn that this kind of attack is not only possible, but a “frightening near-miss” that cannot be ignored. ProPublica takes a deep dive into the issue in the article, “America’s Drinking Water is Surprisingly Easy to Poison.”
According to America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, water districts serving more than 3,300 people must perform risk assessments of “the risk to the system from malevolent acts and natural hazards” by June 30, 2021. In August 2019, the EPA issued guidance on the types of malevolent acts that included any disruption to a system’s ability to provide safe and potable water or threaten public health. This requirement takes the first step in addressing the risks, but may not go far enough to truly protect local water supply.
How is your district protecting itself?