We live in a networked society. From the food that we put on the table to the clothes that we wear to the energy facilities that provide the heating, cooling, and electricity in our homes, we are dependent on a number of connections, both roadway designs, structural designs, and the future needs that are being addressed by transportation planning firms. Now more than ever, however, our nation is also reliant upon the security systems that protects the networks we need to live out every day lives.
Your latest vacation may have been to the Hoover Dam and you may have looked at it from the beauty of Lake Mead, but a growing number of people are increasingly aware of how vulnerable the energy facilities are in this country. In a time when the nation is concerned about an outside hacker compromising the effectiveness of both energy and transportation infrastructure, it should come as no surprise that there is an immediate need for the latest security measures.
Americans rely on safe drinking water, electricity, and transportation for not only their day to day lives at home, but also the jobs that provide them they income that they need to have these lives. Consider some of these latest statistics about the importance of the nation’s transportation, water, and energy needs:
- 33% of all dam failures or near-failures since 1874 have happened in just the last decade.
- 50% of America’s interstate miles are at 70% of traffic capacity, and nearly 25% of the miles are strained at more than 95% capacity.
- Drinking water utilities will have to invest $334.8 billion over the next 20 years to address their deteriorating infrastructure needs, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates.
- 4,095 dams in America were deemed “unsafe” by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
- 25% of bridges in the U.S. are handling more traffic than they were designed to carry or are in need of significant repairs.
- Every major U.S. container port is projected to be handling at least double the volume it was designed for by the year 2020.
Both aging facilities and the threat of outside intervention are concerns that the U.S. must be prepared for. From the latest security measures to protect our power grid to the sustainability to the nation’s water and energy needs, it is essential that local and national officials continue to work to protect our families.