All communities need safe drinking water and properly treated wastewater. But with the inevitable effects of climate change plus the changing needs and demands of the citizenry today, water utilities infrastructure management must include water resiliency in the agenda in order to adapt to the impacts of these problems.
What is water utility resiliency?
According to the Global Water Forum, infrastructure resilience in general is the ability to reduce the magnitude and / or duration of disruptive events.
Thus, a water utilities infrastructure management professional defines water resiliency as the capacity to integrate water utility designs that will enable better anticipation and preparation of extreme events resulting to maximum subsistence.
Does America need it?
In the case of water utilities USA, history tells that the country’s policy rhetoric around infrastructure should highlight the importance of prioritizing resilience of water and wastewater systems.
America is not new to hurricanes, natural disasters that greatly affect our water systems and test the country’s water utility resiliency.
In addition, the American’s aging infrastructure is also one of the reasons why we need to try to turn things around in this particular field.
In the face of disasters, the survival of a collective depends on the stability of the critical infrastructure sustaining them. Global pressures from rising sea levels and growing urban centers demand resilient infrastructures to protect susceptible communities – that is why most experts suggest that infrastructure resiliency is the most ideal way to go in the future.
Infrastructure management experts would suggest that the best time to begin is to have an infrastructure asset management plan. Such plan will include infrastructure resiliency and other factors, specifically in the risk management portion.
The point is, the country is better off designing infrastructure management plan which is the dynamic way than be constantly frustrated with trying to preserve the customary static way of operating and maintaining infrastructure.
The reality is, USA is often faced with storms, flooding, and drought. And as if these natural calamities are not enough, man-made neglect or errors which sometimes result to unsanitary water coming out from our tap to the very glass we drink on are also raising red flags.
So does USA have water resiliency?
Analysts would say that the country is still at the recovery stage. Meaning, it still needs to conduct intensive rehabilitation of old infrastructure before anything else.
USA is still plagued with a lot of problems in its public utilities but it is safe to say that it has started to gear itself towards infrastructure improvement.
Can the country achieve water resiliency?
If the nation is serious about it, it certainly can. The time is ripe for America to finally shift towards infrastructure development as one of its main prospects with the election of a new president.
If authorities will also undertake infrastructure asset management planning, considering demands of the populace and analyzing risks and the current state of American infrastructure, then achieving water resiliency is very promising indeed.
One undeniable proof of politicians or lawmakers supporting this cause is for them to allot a budget solely for infrastructure management development.
With the current president declaring support to finance massive infrastructure projects in his four-year tenure, the future is looking great, especially for water utilities infrastructure management in America.
Adapting to changes and realigning national plans towards infrastructure resiliency will be the better road for USA infrastructure systems today