Water Wednesday - Drought

Category: Engineering

Written By: Keith Rutherford

Date: April 7, 2021

Water Wednesday - Drought cover image

Keith Rutherford, PE, is a Principal and a Senior Project Manager for Parkhill’s Treatment Practice. He has served as president of the local chapter for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), vice president – technical for the Texas section of ASCE, and as a project advisory committee member for the Water Reuse Foundation.

Turn on the tap and let it flow! Many people don’t even think about where our water comes from. But when you turn that tap and nothing flows, like what happened in many Parkhill communities during the latest freeze, people start to take note. Just like the freeze, drought can catch water utilities by surprise. 

For many years the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has monitored the drought situation across our great nation. Check out the U.S. Drought Monitor to see where our Parkhill communities stand with available water resources. 

The current drought situation is severe for most of the areas we serve. Surface water sources will be reduced during the drought period and communities will have to call on their groundwater and reclaimed water resources to get by. 

Conservation will likely be an important part of dealing with supply shortfalls as well. While conservation is good for handling supply shortfalls, it also reduces the revenue for many of our clients. This means that funding for capital projects could be reduced. 

Having a diverse water portfolio is key to managing drought situations. Treatment and Water Resources Disciplines can help your clients plan for the inevitable with new wells, brackish water treatment, and water reclamation.