Monday, December 22, 2014

Sea-Level Rise's Threat to Bay Area Sewage and Stormwater Infrastructure

I've been writing for Estuary News, a monthly publication of the San Francisco Estuary Partnership covering the San Francisco Bay and adjacent waterways, for a while now. Maybe a few years. But to date I've only managed to post one of those stories here, because one is precisely how many of my articles for Estuary News have been published in full online. (Print still rules in this case.)

Well, here's the second one: "Two-Way Threat to Intakes and Outfalls," in the December 2014 issue. It covers an interesting issue: potential impacts that sea-level rise and climate change could have on the region's wastewater infrastructure. From the story: "The pipes and plants that collect, treat, and whisk away our cities’ stormwater and sewage could face a double hit from climate change in the coming decades: more severe storms dumping excess rainwater into the system on one end, and rising sea levels and storm surges inundating pipes and facilities on the other. The region’s five largest wastewater plants, processing 60 to 70 percent of our wastewater, are all located within a few hundred yards of the shore. 'If wastewater starts flowing into the streets, people are going to get upset really quickly,' says the Pacific Institute’s Matt Heberger." Read the rest here.