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Moving Towards Sustainable and Resilient Smart Water Grids

Michele Mutchek () and Eric Williams ()
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Michele Mutchek: Department of Civil, Environmental & Sustainable Engineering, Arizona State University, Engineering G-Wing, 501 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
Eric Williams: Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rochester Institute of Technology, 111 Lomb Memorial Drive, Sustainability Hall, Rochester, NY 14623, USA

Challenges, 2014, vol. 5, issue 1, 1-15

Abstract: Urban water systems face sustainability and resiliency challenges including water leaks, over-use, quality issues, and response to drought and natural disasters. Information and communications technology (ICT) could help address these challenges through the development of smart water grids that network and automate monitoring and control devices. While progress is being made on technology elements, as a system, the smart water grid has received scant attention. This article aims to raise awareness of the systems-level idea of smart water grids by reviewing the technology elements and their integration into smart water systems, discussing potential sustainability and resiliency benefits, and challenges relating to the adoption of smart water grids. Water losses and inefficient use stand out as promising areas for applications of smart water grids. Potential barriers to the adoption of smart water grids include lack of funding for research and development, economic disincentives as well as institutional and political structures that favor the current system. It is our hope that future work can clarify the benefits of smart water grids and address challenges to their further development.

Keywords: water management; smart technology; ICTs; water efficiency; sustainability; resiliency; energy-water nexus (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A00 C00 Z00 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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