Back to top

Water Management And Storage

Strategies that provide critical needs for water when a facility loses power or other services


Strategies that provide critical needs for water when a facility loses power or other services.


During storms and other natural hazard events, drinking water -or “potable” water- can become scarce or contaminated, and non-potable water such as waste from sinks and toilets may have nowhere to go. Managing water resources to create a resilient household or residential building is critical to supporting household, building and community resilience.

Puerto Rico has some of the most abundant water resources on earth, with 1200 freshwater bodies irrigating it from mountain to coast, andan average of 30 to 170 inches of rainwater annually, depending on the area. However, there is not yet enough water treatment infrastructure to purify or distribute this water. This can leave homes and housing vulnerable to interruptions in potable water supply. Additionally, an interruption of electrical service, a fractured distribution pipe or a contaminated reservoir can jeopardize water security during a natural hazard event - which drives home the importance of taking resilient water management into our own hands. 



Residential buildings manage water in two ways: ”intake,” or supply of potable water, and “outtake,” or discharge of non-potable water.

  • SUPPLY: Water is usually distributed to buildings from a large treatment facility after it is made safe for drinking. In the majority of cases, the systems that deliver water to a household faucet are pressurized - which means they need energy in order to operate. 
  • DISCHARGE: There are two types of water that leave our homes: rainwater, which can collect at the roof and at our site’s surface, and wastewater, which comprises waste draining out of toilets, urinals, lavatories, sinks and washing machines. In the majority of cases, these systems use gravity tooperate, not electricity. 
  • Understanding these components and how they work at our homes will enable us to improve them. The strategies outlined in this chapter support conservation and management of both potable and wastewater on sites to ensure access to clean and safe water in the face of a natural hazard.



Please complete the form below to continue viewing the Keep Safe Manual and to receive future updates.