How has climate change impacted your work?

My experience:

On a day-to-day basis, my U.S. public sector work is partly in supporting drinking water utilities. In this capacity, I’ve been working with several utilities in modeling system hydraulic resiliency related to human-made and natural disasters, using WNTR. There has no doubt been an uptick in utility-level interest in building resiliency, and adjusting capital planning, appropriately.

On a volunteer basis, I’m currently working on some Engineering Service Corp initiatives to (1) switch out drinking water hand pumps for solar-powered distribution systems, and (2) establish guidelines for proper solar-powered drinking water system design – both in Uganda. I can’t tell if there’s much of a trend in this direction globally, or if technical obstacles (cost, training, O&M) are still too prominent.

How has climate change impacted your work? If it hasn’t, why do you think that is the case?

Climate change is a very important topic (not just in engineering) to be able to comprehend, and hopefully will have a solid solution in the near future. Since joining a design team in California, most of our design includes meeting the Low Impact Development requirements, which is fantastic and challenging at the same time. Some of our projects also needs to meet albedo requirements and recycling materials as components.

Climate change has impacted my work in that many of our projects involve repairing damage caused by storms that are stronger now then in the past due to the effects of climate change. The clients are also looking for designs to be resilient and designed with climate change and future sea levels in mind.

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I too have been working on resiliency; particularly, modeling drinking water systems.

Need to use materials and resources efficiently