Thursday, January 30, 2020
Speaker: Vanessa Speight, Professor, University of Sheffield
Title: "What is the future of sustainable water in cities?"
Time: 2:30 PM
Location: Rm. 128 Jeffrey Hall
Vanessa Speight is Professor of Integrated Water Systems in the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering at the University of Sheffield, focusing on drinking water quality and innovation in water systems around the world. She is Managing Director of TWENTY65, the EPSRC-funded Grand Challenge Centre for Water with 6 universities and 100+ industrial collaborative partners working across the water cycle to develop flexible and synergistic solutions to meet future challenges for water. With over 25 years of experience in the water industry, she has worked with more than 70 water utilities across the USA, Canada, and UK and has supported regulatory development for the US Environmental Protection Agency for more than 10 years. She has a Bachelors in Civil Engineering from McGill University, Masters and PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Cities are facing new challenges, particularly influenced by climate change impacts and population growth, while the complexity of urban water systems increases. As individual households and multifamily/institutional/commercial water users install water saving technologies, such as greywater recycling and rainwater harvesting, total water usage and patterns of water demand are changing. The water quantity and water quality impacts of such sustainable water technology uptake could include increased water age in distribution systems, drinking water quality degradation, sewer blockages, and sewage quality degradation leading to taste, odour, and possibly hydrogen sulfide buildup. While many studies have evaluated individual decentralised technologies at small scales, it is also important to understand the implications of different models for and rates of technology uptake across cities so that utilities can proactively plan to provide sustainable water services into the future.