US Infrastructure Unprepared to Face the Storms

August 2019

New study shows current design standards for water infrastructure are unprepared for climate change's increasing frequency and severity of extreme rainstorms

A new study by the American Geophysical Union, a not-for-profit scientific society dedicated to advancing Earth and space science, indicates the current design standards for U.S. hydrologic infrastructure are unprepared for the increasing frequency and severity of extreme rainstorms, meaning structures such as retention ponds and dams will face more frequent and severe flooding.

Extreme weather events are on the rise but U.S. water management systems use outdated design guidelines. The new research, published in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters, analyzed data from multiple regions throughout the U.S. and found the rising number of extreme storms combined with outdated building criteria could overwhelm hydrologic structures like stormwater systems.

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