What to Do With Too Much Water

By on April 30, 2018

From Burns & McDonnell’s BenchMark:  By any measure, 2017 was a catastrophic year for natural disasters. In the U.S., the damage done by hurricanes, wildfires, floods and other severe weather events totaled more than $300 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — the costliest year on record.

And more extreme weather is yet to come.

It’s not just the headline-making disasters that make an impact. What happened in Houston, Texas, is a magnification of a sweeping, universal issue. Development from rapidly growing populations has stressed watersheds and natural drainage patterns. And the methods typically deployed over the past century to manage the flow of water can’t keep up, especially in severe weather conditions.

“Communities and companies are seeing a greater need to anticipate the unforeseeable future,” says Leslie Duke, president and general manager of the Burns & McDonnell Houston office. “How can they guard against the damaging effects of too much water, protecting people and property from flooding and the potential contamination issues that follow? Currently in Houston, there’s a lot of conversation surrounding this question in terms of what to do and how to respond, and we, as a city, want to confront this head-on with innovative solutions.”

A watershed-based mindset, integrated approach, smart-tech tactics and forward-thinking planning can set the stage for those solutions.

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