For those investing in water infrastructure and water solutions, there is a concept that must be grasped: water will always win against human control.
It is possible to think outside the box and not trying to stop or change the naturally occurring patterns in waterways or geographically wet areas, instead to build resiliency and go with the changing tides.
For design technology and infrastructure to work resiliently, rather than constantly be frustrated with failing systems that can’t keep up with the varying weather patterns – this is definitely a way to look to the future.
Fred Boltz at devex.com explores:
“So, what does a resilient future look like? In the future, the shocks and stresses that characterize life today — yet which are currently considered anomalies — must be integrated into thoughtful design as a new norm. This will enable us all to better anticipate, prepare for and thrive when faced with extreme events.
The reality of floods, droughts, and coastal storms must be built into design, planning and investment practice. We know too much today about how weather cycles and water flows work. We cannot continue to build for the past and expect a better future. But by acting with a resilience mindset, we will be prepared for whatever comes our way.”
Many organizations and companies have already started to plan this way, opening up discussion and thoughts about how this kind of resilient planning could be employed in different areas of the world where water infrastructure is in need of serious improvement – including the United States.
If planning could move from ‘recovery to resilience’, there would be a definite improvement in the way that water infrastructure is planned and managed.
In terms of your infrastructure management planning – future resilience planning and network adaptation is part of your future demand and risk analysis.
This analysis may, in turn, alter or change your levels of service.
This thinking that you undertake about adaptive resilience may also change your capital program/new asset design and build prioritization.
As our societies move to be more adaptive to changes in climate and the associated effects, infrastructure asset management planning has a strong role to play in providing a practical framework and analysis for the change implementation that will be required.
PHOTO CREDIT: Wally Gobetz via Flickr Creative Commons License.