Urban Drought Guidebook

Farwell, L. and Prillwitz, M.
Date published
31 Dec 2008
Tools, guidelines and methodologies
Disasters, Drought, Environment, Urban, Urban design/planning, Water and sanitation
United States of America

This updated guidebook was conceived to help water managers facing water shortages by showing them how to use tried methods of the past as well as making use of new tools and methods.

Drought, climate change, natural disasters, and environmental protections can all affect water supplies. Good planning and preparation can help agencies maintain reliable supplies and reduce the impacts of supply interruptions. Managing water shortages involves using programmes to temporarily reduce demand and find alternate water to temporarily increase supply. The guidebook discusses water shortage management programs that belong in water shortage contingency plans. It was first written in 1988, and then updated in 1991 and 2008 to help water suppliers cope with potentially severe drought and other water shortages. The focus of the guide is to provide a step-by-step process to anticipate and respond to water shortages. The guidebook emphasises two areas: First, it uses examples of well-conceived and executed plans in California and other parts of the country to illustrate recommendations whenever possible. Second, it stresses that successful programmes are commonly the result of a cooperative effort between water suppliers and their customers. Activities that foster this spirit of cooperation are highlighted.

The wide array of approaches presented in the guidebook reflects the variable water supply and demand scenarios from one end of the state to the other. Accordingly, this guidebook hopes to be useful for the design of programmes that reflect local and regional conditions.