It is well acknowledged among water infrastructure management teams that much of the water use in households across the United States and other countries is extremely inefficient.
Whether that is because bucket-loads of drinkable, treated water are being used to empty toilets with every flush or because too much energy is being consumed to get that water to private households in the first place.
Everyone in the field agrees that some big changes need to be made to how water infrastructure is managed to start now.
How can these changes be implemented without causing chaos or adding economic or social problems at the ground level?
New Security Beat reported in March 2019:
“Three big trends are coming, said Ken Conca, Professor at American University’s School for International Service at a recent Wilson Center event that explored the future of water. “We’ll be storing a lot more water,” he said. “We’ll be recycling a lot more water. And we’ll be thinking much more systematically and foundationally about flood risk.”
Water infrastructure managers are not ignorant to the fact that these changes in delivery will have a large impact on people and have the potential to create injustice and inequality if not implemented carefully.
Flexibility is the key to moving forward, and changes need to be considered well before they are put into effect – even though this time for consideration may seem long – it is ultimately better to know how things will affect a community before going ahead with them.
The unexpected consequences of big water projects often affect when it is already too late to change anything. This is why reflective water infrastructure planning is the key to long-term success.
This type of infrastructure management planning never stops and needs to be regularly reviewed to ensure assumptions are still valid and networks can still provide the services required.