The Future of America’s Infrastructure
Every four years the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) grades America’s infrastructures based on qualities such as physical condition, funding, safety and innovation. Out of the 17 different infrastructure categories wastewater received a D+, water a C- and its newest category, stormwater, received a D. The overall grade across the U.S. was C-.
Here’s what Celine Hyer, P.E., member of ASCE’s Committee on America’s Infrastructure and the Senior VP and Water Conveyance Leader for Arcadis, had to say about the report cards: “It’s important to note that this is the first time in 20 years that the overall grade has actually gone up, but there are still 11 categories that are in the D range, so we still have work to do.”
She noted that the wastewater infrastructure has seen some improvements in funding and innovations in health and safety over the years, but there is just not enough recent data available to be able to compare nationally.
Drinking water has also seen some improvements with water main replacements, the use of asset management programs and water conservation. She believes the American Water Infrastructure Act has played a huge part in these improvements as well. The act required all facilities to update their vulnerability assessments and emergency response plans.
The ASCE found it important not to lump stormwater in with other categories this year because it’s needs are significant, and their assets are so unique. “And as we see these severe weather events, it really leads to the case to have stormwater as a separate report card.”
So, what’s next? Hyer believes funding is key. It help improve our infrastructures and will create jobs and stimulate the economy. She also advocates for facilities to adopt an asset management program and to start preparing for a sustainable future. As she put it, “Every minute we wait adds extra pressure to our infrastructures.”
Is your infrastructure where it needs to be? We’re happy to come by and discuss this with you.
And Finally: Think About It…
When you feel the sudden urge to grab a piece of cake or candy, are you really feeling that sweet tooth, or is your body dehydrated and craving a glass of water? John Higgins, Professor of Medicine at Houston University, argues that this is your body giving you signs of dehydration. He argues that water is the true key factor, the true key solution that one must consume when hit with that craving feeling – your body isn’t craving sugar, chocolate or sweets, it is craving good ol’ H2O. “When you’re dehydrated, it’s difficult for your organs such as your liver, which uses water, to release glycogen and other components of your energy stores,” he states.
In the end, it seems that water truly is the key to fixing our craving issues.