Drowning in Waste: Confronting the Ecological, Economic, and Technological Realities of Aging and Obsolete Water Infrastructure
The critical global problem of aging and obsolete water infrastructure threatens economic stability, human welfare, and the environment. Countries around the world face the challenge of allocating scarce resources to maintain and upgrade wastewater resource infrastructure, a burden frequently relegated to local governments. Water-infrastructure and policy decisions at the local level may have large ecological and socioeconomic impacts downstream, but we have a limited understanding of how waste streams vary and how they may differentially affect ecosystem structure and function through space and time. Using examples from the US and abroad, Krista Capps will discuss how to fill this important information gap and highlight the type of interdisciplinary research needed to advance understanding of links among freshwater ecology, water infrastructure, and human health and well-being.