Scenario: WATER SHORTAGE

May 10, 2013

in Negative Events

INTRO
The normal utility water supply is either greatly diminished, requiring water rationing or is completely eliminated. This can be caused by disruptions to the electric power that runs the water pumps, or to water supply itself, to the water treatment plants or some form of contamination to the water. Most suburban and small city areas rely on water towers to provide both gravity fed water pressure and a buffering against surges in demand and diminished supply. Most of these towers have a capacity to supply the neighborhood for about twenty four hours. High rise buildings also use roof-top water tanks to provide gravity fed pressure and probably have even less reserve time. Flat urban environments may rely on pumping to create water pressure. In case of pump failure in this system, there is no reserve for pressure.

VARIATIONS
Local failure disrupts local water supply but other nearby sources are still available.
Widespread failure disrupts all water supplies.
Electric power failure means there is 24 hours or less of water reserves available.
Contamination could prevent use of water for drinking without some form of purification, but water is available.

IMPACT
Dehydration from lack of drinking water becomes a serious factor in 24 hours or less, a critical factor up to about 48 hours and is debilitating and deadly beyond that point.
Lack of flushing water for toilets can cause bad sanitary conditions as waste backs up.
Lack of water for washing will deteriorate hygiene.
Lack of water for gardens can affect food supply.
Contamination of water can spread disease or toxins creating illness.

Select applicable CONTINGENCY PLANS

  • Emergency Stores Plan
  • Emergency Survival Plan
  • Medical Emergency Plan
  • Hunker Down and Ride It Out (HDARIO) Plan
  • Evacuation Plan
  • Electric Power Failure

RELATED ARTICLES:
Water Basics
Basic Water Calculator

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