Water Supply

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1983, Vol. 53, Issue 6, Pg. 50-53

Document Type: Feature article


In 1982, the Washington Metropolitan Area took steps to optimize its water supply for the next 50 years or more. Using state-of-the-art water resource management techniques, the local and regional organizations involved were able to achieve this solely by managing existing suplies more efficiently, without the need for construction of new large reservoirs, wells, or aqueducts. In grappling with the area's uncertain water supply, which had resulted in severe droughts during the 1960s, 16 major reservoirs had been proposed at a cost of between $200 million and $1 billion. Instead, the problem was solved by combining a sophisticated system of computerized river flow and water demand forecasting with risk analysis techniques. Only a single, small, local reservoir was needed to augment the yield of upstream reservoirs in case of forecasting error.

Subject Headings: Reservoirs | Water supply | Water resources | Resource management | Forecasting | Risk management | Urban areas | Water conservation | Washington | United States

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