In July, the Syfy network released
“Sharknado,” a made-for-television disaster film about a tornado — technically
a waterspout — that slurps up a bunch of sharks and hurls them across Los
Angeles and Southern California. Campy fun and comically horrific mayhem
In response, the Internet and social media
exploded with joy at the pure ridiculousness of it all. In fact, Consumer
Reports interviewed experts at the Insurance Information Institute (New
York) to see which of the incidents in the movie would be covered by different
types of policies.
We’re not sure if anyone asked how to get a
Great White out of a clarifier, but that’s probably not a pressing question.
(Alligators and hippos are a different story! See the July 2012 issue of
— and the July 2009 issue of
Flying sharks aside, preparing for actual
disasters is a serious concern for water resource recovery facilities. Whether
the disaster is a sudden and violent thing — such as a flood, earthquake, or
landslide — or more gradual and enduring — such as a drought or rising sea
level — utilities need to be prepared to keep the water flowing and the
wastewater facility operating.
Two feature articles in this issue look at
different aspects of this challenge. “Water, wastewater, and stormwater
agencies respond to extreme weather events” draws on case studies of utilities
that have survived and recovered from disasters to demonstrate the lessons and
best practices that can be applied elsewhere. Then, “What will it cost?”
presents a tool created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that can
help utilities estimate what disruptions in service will mean for the
facilities involved as well as the affected communities.
While neither of these articles is quite as
exciting as a swirling maelstrom of airborne apex predators, we hope they are
slightly more useful.
P.S. – If you
do have experience
with sharks (or any other extreme wildlife) in your facility, we want to hear