Center for Geographic Information Systems Lunchtime Seminar Series
The Center for Geographic Information Systems
Lunchtime Seminar Series Presents
Prof. Eric Williams
Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rochester Institute of Technology
for a talk entitled:
Towards a Sustainable and Resilient Smart-Water-Grid
Urban water systems face sustainability challenges ranging from water quality, leaks, over-use, energy consumption, and long-term supply concerns. Resiliency challenges include the capacity to respond to drought, managing accelerated pipe deterioration, responding to natural disasters, and preventing terrorism. One strategy to enhance sustainability and resiliency is the development and adoption of a smart water grid. Smart water grid incorporates networked monitoring and control devices into its structure, which provides diverse, real-time information about the system, as well as enhanced control. Data provide input for modeling and analysis, which informs control decisions, allowing for improvement in sustainability and resiliency issues. While smart water grids hold much potential, there are also potential tradeoffs. For example, increased water efficiency could lead to reduced capacity to adapt to fluctuations in supply. The smart water grid is discussed at two levels in this presentation: broad level coverage of technology, sustainability and resiliency issues and specific results from a case study analyzing economic and environmental characteristics of smart irrigation systems for residences.
Eric Williams joined Rochester Institute of Technology in 2011. Prior to his current appointment, he held a joint appointment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. His research interests include industrial ecology and life cycle assessment, in particular applied to analyzing information technology (IT) and energy systems. His IT-related work includes life cycle assessment of semiconductors and computers and macro-analysis on relationships between energy consumption, telecommuting, and e-commerce. In the energy domain, he is working on systems assessment of energy supply technologies, using thermodynamics-based measures to characterize long-term trends in energy efficiency, and the effects of development and urbanization on energy demand in industrializing nations.