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Thoughts From Engineers: Dam Management in the 21st Century: Collaborative and Community-Based

July 30, 2020 - in Articles, Column

The breach of the Edenville Dam in Michigan, which sent floodwater over the downstream Midland Dam and forced thousands to evacuate on May 19, 2020, tragically captures the catastrophic risk posed by aging dams with absentee or financially strapped dam owners…

Thoughts from Engineers: More than a Pump and a Toilet: Communities Worldwide Need Critical Water Supply and Sanitation Systems

June 12, 2020 - in Articles, Column

A day rarely goes by in the United States without some news about drinking water and the physical, social and administrative systems needed to deliver…

Thoughts from Engineers: Project Management in the Age of COVID-19

May 13, 2020 - in Articles, Column

If there’s one positive to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that we’ve been knocked out of our comfort zones, and forced to recalibrate and reevaluate…

Thoughts from Engineers: The Food Industry Has a Major Impact on Water Resources

April 22, 2020 - in Articles, Column

Cheesemaking is a bonafide American industry that generates some $50 billion in revenue every year. In the regions of New York where dairy farms dominate, small-town communities and cheese production have coexisted peacefully through the years. A longtime…

Thoughts From Engineers: A River Runs Through It: When Green Infrastructure Is More Than a Bit Player

February 5, 2020 - in Articles, Column

Urban water management is on course to complete an evolutionary circle. When cities began to modernize more than 100 years ago, the goal was to dispose of wastewater as quickly as possible. Engineers studied the physics of natural systems with an eye toward…

Thoughts From Engineers: Spinning Gold: Desalination Steps in to Alleviate World’s Water Crisis

December 17, 2019 - in Articles, Column

A scenario reminiscent of Garret Hardin’s “Tragedy of the Commons” plays out quietly around the globe. Proof that swelling populations in bone-dry regions of the world can no longer survive on existing reserves of freshwater, technology (and money) step…

Thoughts From Engineers: Water Scarcity is Common: The Grim Reality of Freshwater Supplies Worldwide

October 17, 2019 - in Articles, Column

Most news headlines barely get my attention, but it was startling to come across a list of 11 cities projected to experience serious water shortages within the next 50 years due to a combination of polluted and diminishing water supplies, climate change and…

Thoughts From Engineers: When a Deep Tunnel Isn’t Enough: Milwaukee Wrestles with Combined Sewer Overflows

August 23, 2019 - in Articles, Column

The City of Milwaukee was on the cusp of a victory lap. After several expansions to the Deep Tunnel storage system and other significant district-wide improvements to grey and green infrastructure, Milwaukee appeared more prepared than ever for the “mother…

Thoughts From Engineers: Look to the Watershed to Protect Water Quality

July 8, 2019 - in Articles, Column

The results of an in-depth study of groundwater released in early 2019 showed that 42 percent of private wells in southwest Wisconsin are contaminated with bacteria associated with farm operations and failing septic systems. In northeast Wisconsin, the region’s…

Thoughts From Engineers: A First for the Great Lakes: Water Piped Out and Back In

June 3, 2019 - in Articles, Column

The city of Waukesha, Wis., received permission in 2016 to divert 8.2 million gallons of Lake Michigan water per day as a new source of drinking water. Waukesha will use Milwaukee’s existing infrastructure to pump water out of Lake Michigan and 12.5 miles…