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March 6, 2020

Building Water Security From the Bottom Up by Leveraging Big Data | Newsha Ajami | WiDS 2020

About This Video

Newsha Ajami, Director of Urban Water Policy at Stanford University, delivers a Technical Vision Talk at WiDS Stanford University on March 2, 2020

Access to safe and reliable water is the foundation of social, economic, and environmental wellbeing, however it is being threatened by impacts of climate change, environmental degradation, population growth, and aging infrastructure. According to the United Nations water security is one of the 21st century’s greatest challenges. Our current water infrastructure networks have been designed and governed under the assumption of abundance and stationarity, believing that by harnessing nature we could deliver unlimited amounts of water to various sectors. There was limited accounting for human dynamics uncertainties in managing these complex networks. Building climate-resilient and sustainable water systems under such structural and environmental pressures requires an integrated and holistic approach that would better represent the interlinks among science/engineering, society, and policy.

While this is easier said than done, some of the emerging data sources from digital platforms, online aggregators, social media, and measurement technologies (e.g. sensors and remotely sensed data), combined with improved computing power, are offering new opportunities to unfold and better define the new frontiers of water sustainability and resiliency. In this talk I will share a portfolio of innovative water management tools that harness new data sources to assess both evolving water demand trends and modern supply regimes to achieve water security.

In This Video
Chief Strategy and Development Officer for Research, Berkeley Lab