Tuesday 19 Feb 2013Urban Water Challenges for the 21st Century: A US Perspective

Vanessa Speight -

Harrison 170 14:00-15:00

In the US, the 1970s saw the rise of environmental legislation that drove treatment plant construction and upgrades for municipal water and wastewater systems. However, as these systems enter the 21st century, a new focus on buried infrastructure is emerging. The regulatory environment, public ownership issues, geographic spread and diversity of urban water systems in the US all pose unique challenges to buried infrastructure renewal. This presentation will explore some of the drivers in the US water industry today and trends for future research, including physical system integrity, hydraulic efficiency, and water quality.


Bio: Dr. Vanessa Speight has a background in consulting engineering and research focused on drinking water distribution systems, including applications of models for decision support, public health risk, and regulatory development. She has led planning studies and modeling projects on water treatment and distribution for more than 50 water utilities across the US and has been supporting the USEPA for the past seven years on regulatory development and guidance.

Dr. Speight has a Bachelorís degree in Civil Engineering from McGill University and Masterís and PhD degrees in Environmental Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Speight was national practice leader for water distribution systems at an international consulting firm prior to founding Latis Associates in 2010. During 2013 she is a visiting researcher with the Pennine Water Group at the University of Sheffield.

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