CoreLogic's Stuart Quinn reports on the financial data firm's Congressional briefing on the vulnerability of critical water infrastructure, which took place earlier this month. Natural events can adversely affect the nation's clean water supply and can cause intrusions of water volume that destroys infrastructure that treats and delivers water in the country. Heavy floods and storms can overbear the capacity of water treatment plants, which can result in damage to the environment or health of the area's residents.
So what's the solution? While the hearing offered many options, Quinn writes:
Wastewater treatment facilities have a tendency to be constructed on lower land elevations that would benefit from natural flows of gravity. Unfortunately, this predisposes facilities to greater flood-risk. [A study] indicates that over half of the wastewater treatment facilities in the U.S. are in areas assigned a level of high risk, very high risk or extreme ratings. One policy recommendation put forth by multiple panelists was to identify and create a national prioritization of high risk waste water treatment infrastructure in order to maximize the available funds. This ranking could include things such as the risk score, age or vulnerability levels of facilities, potential collateral damage of surrounding structures or business interruption.