When we think about outstanding engineering and infrastructure the Roman aqueducts often come to mind. However, today's engineers have developed some equally outstanding water management projects. Here's a look at three examples that are sure to impress. Will they stand the test of time?
Earthquake resistant pipes Los Angeles has begun installing earthquake-resistant water pipes at key locations around the city, including near the epicenter of the 1994 Northridge earthquake. It's all part of a major $10 million project.
Energy-producing infrastrcuture According to an announcement on Business Wire earlier this year, Lucid Energy officially turned on an in-pipe hydropower system serving the Portland, Ore., area. According to the announcement:
The LucidPipe Power System uses the gravity-fed flow of water inside a PWB pipeline to spin four 42” turbines that are now producing electricity for Portland General Electric (PGE) customers under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the utility, helping promote renewable power development and resource diversity for Oregon. The system, which was installed at no cost to PWB or the City of Portland, is the first project in the U.S. to secure a 20-year PPA for renewable energy produced by in-pipe hydropower in a municipal water pipeline.
An oldie but a goodie. The nation's oldest aqueduct celebrated 275 years in February. Recognized as a historic landmark in 1968, Texas' Espada Acequia (ah-SAY-key-uh) began supplying water in what is now San Antonio, in the 1700s. According to an article from the American Society of Civil Engineers:
... [Spanish] missionaries found that the irrigation ideas widely used throughout Spain since the time of the Moorish conquest worked particularly well in the hot, dry southern Texas climate. Intermittent rainfall and the need for a reliable water source made the design and installation of an acequia system a high priority. Thus started one of the earliest recorded engineered water projects in North America. The system consisted of the construction of 5 dams, 7 gravity-flow ditches paralleling the San Antonio River, and at least 1 aqueduct. Without the use of modern machinery, the builders constructed a 15-mile network that benefited 3,500 acres of land. The Spanish missionaries oversaw the construction.