by Virginia Fairweather, Editor in Chief; Civil Engineering, 345 E. 47th St., New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 10, Pg. 58-61

Document Type: Feature article


This is an overview of civil engineering challenges in the water and wastewater fields by the end of the decade. Experts offer predictions and opinions about drought and the need to conserve water. We may drink bottled water by the year 2000 or have water supplied in two streams, one a costly and highly treated supply for drinking and the other for all other uses. Engineers will deal with the need to rehabilitate aging water distribution systems, and will use new treatment technologies, such as membrane treatments. Water reuse and conservation techniques will be developed and agricultural applications will change. Flood forecasting and disaster mitigation will also be concerns. Civil engineers will have the challenge of conveying information on health risks to the public, and will also have to allay fears about the safety of recycled water. Coastal engineers will deal with rising conflicts over coastal property and also with the rising sea levels. Many engineers predicted increasing conflicts over water allocation, between municipal, industrial and agricultural consumers of water. There will be fewer new dams, and pumped storage facilities to supply peaking power demands which will probably increase.

Subject Headings: Water conservation | Municipal water | Water management | Irrigation water | Health hazards | Coastal environment | Storage facilities | Waste storage

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