Mistakes of the past


The River Aire starts its life as a healthy Dales river flowing from beneath the limestone cliffs of Malham Tarn. ( It supports sensitive wildlife including grayling, mayfly and dragonfly. ( But by the time it has passed through industrial West Yorkshire it is little more than an open sewer. The river is dead. The cause of its death is the sewage effluent dumped into the river from sewage treatment works along its length by Yorkshire Water. At times of low rainfall as it flows through Leeds the river comprises just 30 per cent own water and 70 per cent sewage effluent. And on hot days it stinks.

Drinking water and sewerage services play a critical role in the development process as they are essential for the health and well-being of populations. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the impact of natural disasters frequently results in severe damage to these systems, representing important economic losses and serious disruptions in the quality of services. Factors such as uncontrolled urban growth, deteriorating and inadequate infrastructure, and, above all, the location of these systems in areas that are vulnerable to natural hazards have resulted in a striking increase in the frequency of disasters and the severity of damage. This situation presents obstacles for development and hazards to the health of affected populations.

This book provides basic tools that water service companies can use to evaluate the components of

The local hazard mitigation plan focuses on the most prevalent hazards such as coastal storm surge and flooding, levee failure, high winds, hurricanes, tornadoes, drought and subsidence. It will estimate the location and extent of possible losses to life and property and interruption of service from these hazards, identify and prioritize mitigation strategies, and plan ways to implement these strategies.

The heavy rains and floods in many areas of California this year have disrupted some community water supplies and sewerage systems. Such natural disasters often result in public concern about possible contagion from flood waters due to contamination by sewage or animal carcasses.