With each passing year, many inland areas in the U.S. are flooding more often due to shifting rainfall patterns and more frequent, extreme weather events. Climate scientists say this is only the beginning of what will be decades of increasingly dangerous and damaging extreme weather – and there’s no question that much of it’s being driven by climate change.

Floods in inland areas are the most prevalent type of natural disaster in the United States, and one of the most harmful to people and property. In 2017 alone, more than 3 billion dollars were lost in property damages and ruined crops.

And when increased rainfall leads to flooding, there can be a mixing of stormwater and sewage that leads to bacterial contamination in the water, contributing to shortages of drinkable water and increasing exposure to gastrointestinal diseases.

Water management strategies that account for changing climate conditions and extreme weather events can help reduce risks to water security. For example, using smart sensors for real-time drinking water quality monitoring and contamination detection can act as a quicker early warning system, saving both lives and money. This type of smart water quality monitoring can be applied to a variety of different IoT (Internet of Things) scenarios, like smart cities.

Ultimately, reducing carbon emissions from sources like coal-fired power plants and diesel-burning trucks can help mitigate the impact of climate change and result in enormous savings to public health systems.