Tropical Storm Harvey raises red flags on our infrastructure and planning
It’s Crucial to Upgrade America’s Water Infrastructure. Dams, reservoirs, canals and safe drinking water matter for everyone and U.S. infrastructure is due for an update.
Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes The Infrastructure Report Card, which grades the current state of national infrastructure categories on a scale of A through F. Since 1998, America’s infrastructure has earned persistent D averages, and the failure to close the investment gap with needed maintenance and improvements has continued.
The 2017 Infrastructure Report Card shows that we have made some incremental progress toward restoring our nation’s infrastructure, but it has not been enough. America’s cumulative GPA is once again a D+. Repairs are essential to improving this score, but so is technology.
Technology and Infrastructure
Consideration of emerging technologies and shifting social and economic trends when building new infrastructure, to assure long-term utility needs to take place. Additional considerations for planning for the future and implementing technology are:
- Utilize new approaches, materials, and technologies to ensure our infrastructure is more resilient – to more quickly recover from significant weather and other hazard events
- Technology is effective and efficient. It offers the U.S. an opportunity to modernize and extend the life of its current infrastructure while saving local, state and federal governments money and time.
- Infrastructure technology can be software or hardware, and often the two work together.
- Software can inventory and assess the conditions of bridges or levees by their age, components or other factors while hardware can monitor and transmit their statuses. Governments then use this data to effectively prioritize repairs or maintenance schedules.
- To grow and improve, the U.S. needs to incorporate new technology. It provides governments with the necessary data and tools to best use their resources, which improve the efficiency and functionality of the nation.
The advantages of leveraging technology are undeniable, which is why it needs to be adopted sooner rather than later.