Monday, April 14, 2014

Graph of the Week


Texas Water 2014 and Eight Areas to Consider


In honor of Texas Water 2014 this week in Dallas, here is my list of growth opportunities that engineers and managers need to be looking at:
  1. Smarter systems and software for metering and network monitoring - - Asset management will increasingly focus on managing what you can measure.  Reactive management needs to get closer to active management.
  2. Urban Water Management - - Out with the silos of water management and in with the notion of thinking in terms of One Water.  We just need to call it water.
  3. Low-Energy Treatment and Better Process Efficiency - - Optimizing asset performance over the complete life-cycle will require civil engineers to think more like industrial engineers and OR experts.
  4. Flood Safety and Security - - We know we face a future of extreme rainfall events.  Risk reduction and management, from better mapping to real-time monitoring/barriers, need more attention and innovation.
  5. Wastewater Reuse - - The local wastewater treatment plant is a valuable source of resources and nutrients.  In a resource constrained world, wasting wastewater will not be considered sustainable utility management.
  6. The Water-Energy Nexus - - Water needs energy and energy needs water.  The interdependencies of the two systems have the potential to have cascading impacts this century. 
  7. Zero-Discharge Sanitation - - Innovation will continue to drive the idea of a system that generates zero or minimal wastewater.  Resilience and sustainability will drive a de-centralizing water resources movement.
  8. Megacities - - The best jobs will be in the best cities.  Mass migration to the best jobs/best cities will produce higher density living conditions - requiring creative engineering and technology in the context of full spectrum water resources management.