I read the article ... is this a site only an engineer could love? I believe water access (problems) will become huge ... perhaps only seawater desalination or weather control will fix?
We do practice water conservation in a big way, because we are off-grid in a water-short western state (with weird water laws), and in an area where drilling a water well is problematic (gas and oil industry, state caters to them over us), and where we are looking to never again pay those ridiculous and ever-rising water/wastewater bills. Our water supply is essentially a mountainous, snow-fed lake.
This is better water than I can get out of our water-well, which produces high-quality sulphur water for us (thanks, oil and gas industry). And yes, water wells in our county do catch fire ... had such a fire dept call last week.
We initially used about 250 gallons of water per month, and paid .04 cents/gallon, and we hauled/stored this ourselves, for years. I stupidly put in a washing machine, hooked the house up to the shed's water storage tank, and did other crazy stuff, such that we're now up to almost 500 gallons/month, but still paying .04 cents/gallon (and still hauling it ourselves (now we have a 500-gallon "water trailer", part of water/fire protection).
No wastewater fees in our rural location (septic system, greywater, humanure, etc.), but when in the city many years past, we used to have water/ww bills for 2k or more gallons of water consumption, and were charged the same amount for ww (whether it went into the garden or not), and all kinds of fees crept in to the bill. Good to be beyond such madness, for now ...
Water ... can't live w/o it, and it's getting harder to come by ...
I think you are correct in assuming its a site an Engineer would love.
Storm water is now being considered an asset in some places as we learn to use it rather than dump it in the nearest river and cause flooding.
A lot of flooding around the world is caused by people cleaning up rivers and streams.
Back to water though, it is considered to be the new area of conflict between communities.
Dam building cuts off supplies downstream.
Its ripe for conflict with population growth forcing countries to grab as much water as they can.
John Daley Bendigo, Australia
The Enemy of progress is the hope of a perfect plan