Stormwater management is increasingly difficult as water utilities must deal with extreme weather, growing populations and aging infrastructure. Xylem’s new handbook, The Complete Guide to Stormwater Management, shows how to solve stormwater challenges with the right planning, technology and partners.
If the storms of 2017 and 2018 have taught us anything, it’s that water utilities can no longer rely on historical rainfall averages when planning for stormwater.
In the US, 2017 was the costliest hurricane season ever with $306.2 billion in damage caused by weather events, such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. In 2018, Hurricanes Michael and Florence led to extensive damage in Florida and North Carolina, monsoon floods devastated the Indian state of Kerala, and heavy downpours in Japan caused the deadliest flood in 35 years.
Rainfall has already increased five to ten percent
According to a new study in the journal Nature, climate change in recent years has intensified rainfall during hurricanes by as much as 10 percent. The study found that warming in the atmosphere and the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans increased rainfall by between 5 percent and 10 percent.
“Five or 10 percent more rain can make a big difference, the carrying capacity of stormwater systems in a town or city can be breached with that amount of extra rainfall,” James Elsner, an atmospheric scientist at Florida State university, told The Guardian.
A new handbook on stormwater management for uncertain times
Extreme storms not only threaten developing countries with less infrastructure but also cause major damage to densely populated urban areas. Most stormwater systems weren’t built to withstand the extreme rain that comes with climate change.
To help communities prepare for extreme storms, Xylem has created The Complete Guide to Stormwater Management. The free handbook covers everything water utilities need to know about stormwater management, including: pump station design, stormwater detention, monitoring and control, flood mitigation, and flood control pump stations.
Solving stormwater management challenges
Xylem’s new handbook shares the insights the company has gathered, through over 60 years of working with stormwater challenges, in order to help consultants, engineers and planners solve some of the most demanding scenarios related to stormwater management, flood prevention and relief.
These challenges include:
- The lack of space in cities for increasing pumping needs.
- Not having detention systems to buffer extreme amounts of stormwater.
- Combined sewer overflows and aging infrastructure.
Xylem’s stormwater management approach is two-fold. First, it helps customers increase their adaptive capacities. It provides them with long-term solutions to better manage stormwater situations on a day-to-day basis.
At the same time, Xylem help customers prepare for emergencies. As weather becomes more unpredictable and extreme, planning for emergencies is more important than ever. It helps customers plan for every kind of potential disaster, and then together build a robust contingency plan.