Climate Action, Adaptation and Resilience

The Office of Sustainability, in partnership with the Air Pollution Control District any many other area entities, is committed to monitoring and reducing Louisville's contributions to climate change. While Louisville experiences the impacts of a changing climate, Louisville Metro Government is working to adapt and prepare for potential shocks and stresses.  

Climate Action
Climate Adaptation and Resilience
On June 17, 2013, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer was one of the inaugural Signatories of the Resilient Communities for America Agreement. In keeping with that agreement, Louisville is committed to resilience-building and is placing an emphasis on maintaining quality of life for our citizens following disasters or other impactful events. We are coordinating our traditional hazard mitigation program, which focuses on preparedness, response and physical mitigation initiatives such as sirens and levees, with programs that provide education and promote environmental stewardship, access to healthy food and active living.

Sustain Louisville, the city’s first comprehensive sustainability plan, was adopted by Mayor Fischer and published in March 2013. Sustain Louisville includes a focus on city adaptation and resilience. Sustain Louisville establishes the connection between sustainability and resilience and affirms that achieving our “triple bottom line” sustainability goals - focusing on people, prosperity and planet - equally supports the city’s resilience-building efforts.  

Louisville’s 2011 Multi-Hazards Mitigation Plan includes a comprehensive risk assessment that identifies our natural hazards as dam and levee failure, flooding, severe winter storms and tornados. This plan was prepared by the city’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA), the Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee (Committee) in coordination with the Center for Hazards Research and Policy Development (CHR) at the University of Louisville. The Committee has made significant progress through its multi-year effort and has strengthened our ability to withstand natural and caused events. 

Significant outcomes from the Committee include the Metropolitan Sewer District’s drainage and retention pond improvement initiatives and Louisville Gas & Electric’s web-based power outage restoration program. The Committee’s value was further realized during an 11 month period from September 2008 to August 2009 when Louisville experienced three ‘declared’ disasters (September 2008 hurricane winds, January 2009 ice storm, and August 2009 severe weather flash flood). The ability to respond effectively and recover from these incidents without loss of critical infrastructure services is a testament to the city’s hazard mitigation strategies and protocols. In addition, the county-wide coordinated communication capabilities of the city’s EMA/MetroSafe agency were a tremendous asset for incident command among emergency service responders during these large scale events.

As a general rule, the Louisville Water Company strives to repair distribution pipes within four to six hours. Louisville Water has a goal to reduce the number of breaks per 100 miles to 15 by 2017. Louisville Water is well on the way to meet that goal with investment in infrastructure and adoption of a very strategic approach to inspect, replace or repair water main pipes.