Small Water Users—Planning Crisis

by Steven C. Harris, (M.ASCE), Owner; Harris Water Engineering, 954 Second Ave., Durango, Colo. 81301,
Andrea Sklarew Maynard, Aff.; Harris Water Engineering, 954 Second Ave., Durango, Colo. 82301,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1985, Vol. 55, Issue 8, Pg. 76-78


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Planning to rehabilitate small water systems—both irrigation and municipal water supply—often is ignored. In contrast, planning for new construction and for operations/maintenance work usually is well provided for in budgets and planning. As for small irrigation districts, since their dams were built decades ago, downstream communities have sprung up in their flood plain. Because property could be destroyed and lives lost if the dam fails, the state dam safety agency has applied stricter safety criteria—especially to spillway adequacy—to these dams that have led the state to draw down the reservoirs of some 200 dams. As for town water supplies, inadequate treatment has led residents of some to use bottled water at certain times of year. This article suggests sources of planning money, encourages the Bureau of Reclamation and Corps of Engineers to make their Western area data on hydrology and geology micro-computer accessible, and suggests how a small water user should organize to plan for rehabilitation of its infrastructure.

Subject Headings: Water use | Water management | Water distribution systems

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