“What happens when a municipality runs out of water?”
Around the world, increasing temperatures, population, and levels of consumption are putting a strain on municipal water supplies. In fact, many of these areas can now even predict the day that they run out of water. To avoid this Day Zero, municipalities need to consider resilience strategies in regards to their water supplies, and even take measures as drastic as Cape Town’s.
How Climate Change Will Lead to Water Crises
“How will there be more water crises because of Climate Change?”
With the advent of the changing climate, almost every environmental variable will be affected. In particular, areas which have dry climates will become dryer. This means less water will be produced, leading to shortages. Such shortages will cause haphazard issues for infrastructure systems designed for greater supplies of water, resulting in difficult tensions. An illustration of this can be found in Cape Town, South Africa, where a dry spell caused the municipality to enact draconian water supply restrictions. This is How Climate Change Will Lead to Water Crises.
Why We Can Learn From Cape Town in Solving Water Crises
“How did the city of Cape Town get itself out of a water crisis and how can other cities learn from it?”
At the beginning of 2018, the city of Cape Town was facing a devastating problem. Given the current supply of water and usage rates, the city was projected to run out of water within the year. Realizing the direness of the scenario, the city government issued a dire warning. If the water in the damns became too low, the municipality would shut off the taps on a day labeled “day zero”. To ensure citizens would cooperate, the city placed a 50 liter/day limit to water usage (for reference, the average daily per capita use in California was 321 liters), and anyone who went over would be heavily fined or even have their water shut down. Residents took heed, and began rationing water and using it as efficiently as possible. As a result, Cape Town was able to lower its water usage, achieve sustainability and avoid day zero. As droughts become a larger problem in the future with climate change, cities should learn from Cape Town in how to grapple with these problems.
Image credit https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/dc9d7d7eedd10162b4e756485bae9415d5da324f/0_120_4000_2400/master/4000.jpg?width=700&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=f5c18ca5f9d7c0f0d3ecb421f24d1136
Why Building Code Will Need to Adapt to an Increase in Rainwater
“Why will building codes need to consider an increase in future rainwater?”
With the advent of climate change, there will be an increase of rainwater. And since building codes have been designed for prior levels of rain, current standards will not suffice. This is Why Building Code Will Need to Adapt to an Increase in Rainwater.
Why You Should Stockpile Water in Case of a Power Outage
“Why should you keep spare water in case of a blackout?”
Because of interdependencies, when the electricity goes out, it also takes out other infrastructure with it. When this outage is large scale, water supplies can also be affected. If residents do not have any backups, then they could be without water for days. This is Why You Should Stockpile Water in Case of a Power Outage.
“How can we keep stormwater in an enclosed plant area to build flood resilience?”
Plants and soil are great for absorbing stormwater runoff. However, it can be hard to keep the water inside the necessary area. So how can we use our engineering mindsets to solve this? Well what if we were to create a curb that would encircle an green area with a small opening so water could enter? This is the idea behind a Stormwater Bumpout, a smart, easy, and sustainable way to manage incoming stormwater.
Image credit phillywatersheds.org
Stormwater Tree Trench
“How can we have a natural flood resilience system almost naked to the human eye?”
Urban stormwater resilience will be one of the biggest topics in the new climate. However, a lot of times solutions leave the surface exposed. So how can we use our engineering mindsets to solve this? Well, what if we were to just have a series of trees with an engineered system in the sidewalk that would siphon water to move underneath their roots? This is the idea behind a Stormwater Tree Trench, which are used in a variety of cities to manage their stormwater.
Image credit http://www.phillywatersheds.org