These five cities could be one natural disaster away from a catastrophic water crisis
- But Oluwole “OJ” McFoy, the general manager of the Buffalo Sewer Water Authority, said it was a “nightmare scenario” for the city and a warning of how rising water levels could impact its water infrastructure.
- The high winds from the storm generated a phenomenon known as a “seiche,” in which water from the west end of Lake Erie near Toledo was pushed east, creating high water levels and coastal flooding in Buffalo.
- The 2021 infrastructure legislation signed by President Joe Biden includes about $30 billion for drinking water, and the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act another $550 million for water infrastructure.
- And because Puerto Rico’s water infrastructure relies heavily on the electric grid to operate, many residents were left without running water in their homes for just as long.
- When sea levels rise, summers become hotter or heavy rains lead to more flooding, the country’s water infrastructure – largely built last century and only designed to last roughly 75 years – will be more strained than ever, threatening a system vital to human life.
- In Jackson alone, it could cost $1 billion to $2 billion to repair the water system, and the water industry estimates that the total nationwide costs will top $1 trillion.
When torrential rainfall in August 2022 pushed the Pearl River in Mississippi to surge well beyond its banks, floodwaters spilled into the suburbs of Jackson and led an alreadyhobbled water treatmen [+12766 chars]