As a native Californian, I’m familiar with water shortages—Malibu mudslides aside, my state never seems to have enough water. In fact, in many parts of the country—from Arizona to Georgia—water resource management involves finding a way to match ever-increasing demand with ever-decreasing supply.
But what if the problem is too much water?
When your supply exceeds your demand—in fact, exceeds your management capabilities—conservation may not be your biggest concern, but efficiency is still you biggest asset. In this case, water efficiency applies to streamlined, operational infrastructure. When your collection, treatment, storage, and delivery systems are all working in concert, that’s when you can truly claim that you’ve achieved water efficiency.
So what happens when there are weak links in the chain? When your pipes are in need of repair, or your storage system hasn’t been updated in over a decade? Just as drought challenges traditional water usage and demands restraint, flooding requires you to cast a sharp and unapologetic eye on your infrastructure—because when the water is flowing unabated into city streets . . . well, that’s not the time to wonder about the efficiency of your conveyance systems.
What does water resource management look like during a deluge? A few examples from around the country:
• After dam failure, Iowa's nine-mile-long Lake Delhi is gone
• Flood: Adding up the damage
• Md. water restrictions after storm
• Storm damage hampers regional water system
So what do you think? Do you consider stormwater control an important part of water resource management? With so much focus on water shortages, are we doing enough to prepare for an unexpected inundation of water? And when it comes to water, is it ever possible to have too much of a good thing?