Population dynamics and the resiliency of water and wastewater infrastructure

Authored by: Kasey M. Faust , Jessica A. Kaminsky

Routledge Handbook of Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138306875
eBook ISBN: 9781315142074
Adobe ISBN:


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Infrastructure resiliency means more than avoiding or rebounding from physical damage to built assets. This chapter presents a new analytic category of resiliency in the built environment – the ability to handle extreme population dynamics that significantly change demand for infrastructure services. To date, this type of extreme event has been largely missing from the infrastructure resiliency conversation. The two cases presented in this chapter – rapid urban population growth arising from disaster displaced populations and chronic urban population decline in shrinking cities – are used to discuss technical challenges faced by cities that are responding to these kinds of unexpected population shifts. For example, cities report changed spatiotemporal distribution of demands and personnel challenges. No matter the driver of the extreme population dynamics, communities need tools and knowledge to adapt to changing conditions with technically sound short- and long-term solutions. By considering the challenges of extreme population dynamics during routine utility planning, communities can build flexibility and resilience into their infrastructure and enable a better level of service for all people.

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