Let’s talk water. It may not be at the top of the agenda for real estate developers, but ignoring the water realities of a property can lead to costly repairs and in extreme cases, complete site failure. There are also a number of environmental considerations and requirements that a developer will need to know. Before a site undergoes development, there are a few key water facts that need to be outlined to prevent issues down the road.

Water Tables and Real Estate

A water table is the boundary between water-saturated ground and unsaturated ground. Deep beneath the surface, pockets of water known as aquifers reside. These pockets can be affected by land use and tides and fluctuate with the change of season. How does this affect building integrity? Paired with soil conditions and drainage, a property’s water table level can cause serious damage to a home. Dense soil paired with a high-water table can cause a home to swell and become saturated, exerting significant pressure on the foundation. In extreme cases, this pressure can shift foundation walls and other structures, like fencing and decks, and lead to humidity issues bringing in rust, bacteria, and mold.

Planning for Water Supply

Any development is going to need a water supply, and knowing if there is an ample source nearby to satisfy your development needs is imperative. There are many types of water sources that developments can draw on including surface water like rivers and lakes, groundwater, rainwater, saline and brackish water, and renovated wastewater. Most developments will need fresh water, but developments like golf courses commonly use renovated wastewater to irrigate grass and provide aquifer storage for later use. Working with a professional water surveyor for water finding will help you map out your water usage and ensure there is enough supply for your development.

Water Rights and your Development

Understanding the water rights in your state is crucial for development. The right to withdraw and use water is determined by state and federal statutes, administrative regulations, and court injunctions. Water rights policies can have significant impacts on a development. Conservation of fish and wildlife habitat is becoming increasingly recognized and environmental considerations can have an impact on a development’s ability to withdraw and use water. Before getting to work on a development, it is important for developers to understand the scope of their water use and ensure they are adhering to any local or state regulations on water usage.

Water Surveying Done Right

Planning a successful development demands a strategic water plan and water finding. That’s where professional water surveyors come in. American Water Surveyors has years of experience working with real estate developers to determine the best approach to water development. Our crews use state-of-the-art technology to provide our clients with groundwater depth, yields, and suitability prior to project starts. Not every development is able to rely on municipal water, and we have the tools and knowledge to help your development locate a sustainable and safe water supply. Our crews are a phone call away and ready to help your development grow.