Downgraded infrastructure systems

Infrastructure that is incapable of efficiently and securely performing to the intended standards for which it was designed. This can be due to poor implementation or construction, wear and tear, age, usage, and/or lack of maintenance that may affect performance especially in the face of shocks and stresses.


1. Poor performance of infrastructure is typically categorized as downgraded through a process of evaluation according to established norms and standards.

2. The pace of downgrading can be accelerated by (i) social factors, (ii) governance mechanisms, (iii) natural decay and deterioration, (iv) poor detailing and design, (v) lack of maintenance. See also “Infrastructure maintenance".

3. In some contexts, infrastructure can be downgraded for reasons other than poor performance, e.g., reclassification of a highway from one type to another.

4. Upgraded infrastructure is the infrastructure that meets a higher performance standard, often through improvements, expansions, or renewals to parts of an infrastructure system.

Submerged handpumps in flooded areas

Handpumps are prevalent in rural regions around the world as a reliable source of potable water. In the event of a flood, sources of water such as ponds, wells or handpumps are affected. Submerged handpumps can become ineffective or even completely ruined if the water column is contaminated due to flooding. A practical solution to this problem is to elevate the pumps above the High Flood Level (HFL). Raised handpumps mounted on a platform to mitigate the impact of flooding are increasingly becoming a common practice across the Indo-Gangetic floodplains in India as well as across the border in Nepal.