Water Management and Climate Change- InterTest

According to scientific data from NASA, global climate change is increasing the intensity of extreme weather events. Prolonged periods of record high temperatures resulting in drought, or hightened ocean surface temperatures causing more frequent and intense storm flooding, undoubtedly affects our ecosystems, agriculture, and water supply globally. These phenomena and their effects highlight the ongoing need for a reliable water management systems to mitigate water supply safety risks to communities, safeguard resources, and ensure a sustainable future.

Climate Change and Its Impact on Water Systems

Climate change has an extreme range of effects on the planet. Higher temperatures and altered precipitation patterns lead to extended droughts. On the other hand, the increased intensity of rainfall and rising sea-levels cause severe flooding. Each of these extremes have profound implications not only on water availability but also on water quality, further complicating the challenges of water management.

Droughts are becoming more frequent, severe, and prolonged in many parts of the world. Hightened temperatures and lack of precipitation cause groundwater to evaporate at a rapid rate. The result causes soil contracting and hardening, which exerts pressure on vital waterways that may fracture or break pipelines. The lack of water and raising temperatures are not the only threats droughts cause to the ecosystems. Devastating wildfires can quickly turn lush forests into fields of ash, destroying everything in their path while polluting the air with a grey haze of smoke.

Wildfire burning down field of trees- InterTest
Image: Wildfire Burning Down Field of Trees 


The consequential impacts are far-reaching, affecting more than just agriculture, air pollution, and reduced biodiversity. Water supplies for drinking can also be destroyed or damaged, causing a lack of access to safe drinking water. Water management systems can be severly damaged during the fires causing leaks of chemicals or sewage into freshwater (as seen from the Maui 2023 wild fires). To further exasperate the damage of drought, extended period without rain alters the ground soil as well as the ecosystem, leading to an increased risk of flash flooding when rainfall does occur in these areas. 


Floods present an equally daunting challenge. The increased intensity and frequency of rainfall due to climate change, coupled with the effects of sea-level risemagnify the risk of floods. Urban areas, in particular, face significant challenges due to inadequate drainage systems and surfaces that hinder water absorption.

Major Flooding in inner City- InterTest
Image: Major Flooding in Urban Area 


The aftermath of flooding is often devastating, destroying infrastructure, contaminating water supplies, and displacing communities. Landslides become a more prevalent risk as the ground begins to absorb the excess amount of water, losing its integrity and creating an avalanche effect with mud. 


Reliable and Efficient Water Management Systems

Water management systems are crucial for ensuring public safety and conserving our precious water resources. These systems help prevent contamination, reduce the risk of waterborne diseases, and ensure a consistent supply of clean water. Efficient water management also enhances resilience against droughts and other climate-related challenges, making it an essential component of a secure and sustainable infrastructure. 

Water Drainage Pipes being Installed-InterTest
Image: New Water Drainage System being Installed in City


Sustainable Water Resources Management (SWRM) is another necessary factor to ensure the longevity of access to clean drinking water. Rainwater harvesting, efficient irrigation methods, and resilient agricultural practices must be prioritized to optimize water use and minimize waste. Moreover, integrating green infrastructure or floodplains in urban planning can significantly mitigate flood risks by enhancing water permeability and storage capacity. By optimizing water usage and minimizing waste, sustainable resource management, safeguards the environment and access to clean water for future generations.

Remote Visual Inspection (RVI) Tools in Water Management

RVI solutions offer new alternatives of inspection methods and data collection to ensure better condition and functioning of our waterways. Drones equipped with professional industrial cameras improve methods of data collection and monitoring of water patterns to help analyze water management plans. Camera systems such as push cameras, industrial borescopes, and pan-tilt-zoom cameras enable faster and thorough, non-destructive testing of water pipes. Together these systems allow proactive measures and repairs to be taken prior to extreme weather events.

UAV Drone Surveilliance and Inspection equipment offers a unique perspective on mapping the path of groundwater. UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles, allow large areas of land to be quickly surveyed to determine the best water management plan to be implemented to conserve and adequately disperse rainwater. The Sony ILX-LR1 is a high-resolution compact camera with photogrammetry capabilities, making it a perfect option for aerial mapping. 

Sony Alpha ILX-LR1 Mounted on UAV Gimble- InterTest
Image: Sony ILX-LR1 mounted on UAV Gimble 


While drones ensure reliable waterways from the skies, systems like pipe-crawling robots and push-camera systems give us confidence in our water systems from the ground. These systems help to inspect sewer and water lines that are not easily accessible for erosion, cracks, and inconsistencies within the pipes, to ensure that contaminated or excess water is being appropriately treated. The Wohler VIS 700 is a uniquely durable push camera system with an IP67 rating to withstand the harsh wet environments these inspections pose.

Wohler VIS 700 Industrial Inspection Push Camera Inspecting Drain-InterTest
Image: Wohler VIS 700 Inspecting Sewer Drain


Similarly, the Peerless PTZ-XD Cameras are waterproof up to the entire length of the cable, allowing this camera head to be fully submerged and utilized in contaminated areas.

Peerless PTZ-XD Camera Heads- InterTest
Image: Peerless PTZ-XD Camera Heads 

Routine inspections with these advanced visual inspection tools detect potential problems early, such as a compromised waterway, debris blockages, or sediment buildup, preventing minor issues from becoming significant contributors to floods.

The Reality of climate change, with implications for drought and flooding, demands a closer look at our relationship with water and water management. By acknowledging the critical role of reliable water management systems and investing in sustainable practices and technologies, societies can enhance resilience to climate change.