• Floods are complex events, and they are about more than just heavy rain. Each community has its own unique geography and climate that can exacerbate flooding, so preparing to deal with future floods has to be tailored to the community. Recent floods provide case studies that can help cities everywhere manage the increasing risk.

  • Flash flooding is a specific type of flooding that occurs in a short time frame after a precipitation event — generally less than six hours. It often is caused by heavy or excessive rainfall and happens in areas near rivers or lakes, but it also can happen in places with no waterbodies nearby.

  • In 2019, researchers at the U.S. GAO investigated climate-related risks at the 1,571 most polluted properties in the country, also known as Superfund sites on the federal National Priorities List. They found an alarming 60% were in locations at risk of climate-related events, including wildfires and flooding. As troubling as those numbers sound, our research shows that that’s just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

  • Although floods are a natural occurrence, human-caused climate change is making severe flooding events like this more common. In mountainous regions, three effects of climate change in particular are creating higher flood risks: more intense precipitation, shifting snow and rain patterns and the effects of wildfires on the landscape.

  • WaterNow’s Project Accelerator provides bandwidth and support to help communities get these types of projects off the ground. Open to cities, towns, utilities, and other public entities with responsibility for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater, the Accelerator provides selected projects with about 250 hours of pro-bono support.

  • Many look to the immediate concerns a significant weather event might bring — the potential for dangerous driving conditions with heavy sheets of rain or the threat of hail leading to a cracked windshield. Water resource specialists see the challenges posed by stormwater that can result in infrastructure damage and polluted streams. These specialists dive into the reasoning behind why this issue is occurring to identify a solution that protects communities and mitigates long-term effects from major weather events.

  • The Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1, and the Gulf of Mexico is already warmer than average. Even more worrying is a current of warm tropical water that is looping unusually far into the Gulf for this time of year, with the power to turn tropical storms into monster hurricanes. It’s called the Loop Current, and it’s the 800-pound gorilla of Gulf hurricane risks.

  • Many of the world’s poorest people live in regions most susceptible to flooding. The situation is expected to worsen in the next few decades, especially for many of the world’s largest cities in lower and middle income countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. These cities must instead become truly “resilient societies” — before it is too late.

  • In 1992, Joseph Vietri, then a coastal engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, was walking with a colleague and a coastal researcher around Westhampton Beach, a barrier island located on the south shore of Long Island, New York.

  • Climate change is raising flood risks in neighborhoods across the U.S. much faster than many people realize. Over the next three decades, the cost of flood damage is on pace to rise 26 percent due to climate change alone, an analysis of our new flood risk maps shows.



Nicole Pasch (Xylem) is joined by Mike Staal (City of Grand Rapids) to discuss how real-time decision support and digital modeling empowered the City of Grand Rapids, MI, to solve their sewer overflows as well as reduce their inflow and infiltration challenge.