Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Energy-Water Modeling and Impacts at Urban and Infrastructure Scales

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 14:55
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We converge multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral modeling and data analysis tools on an urban watershed to examine the feedbacks of concentrated and connected infrastructure on the environment. Our focus area is the Lower Hudson River Basin (LHRB). The LHRB captures long-term and short- term energy/water stressors as it represents: 1) a coastal environment subject to sea level rise that is among the fastest in the East impacted by a wide array of various storms; 2) one of the steepest gradients in population density in the US, with Manhattan the most densely populated coastal county in the nation; 3) energy/water infrastructure serving the largest metropolitan area in the US; 4) a history of environmental impacts, ranging from heatwaves to hurricanes, that can be used to hindcast; and 5) a wealth of historic and real-time data, extensive monitoring facilities and existing specific sector models that can be leveraged. We detail two case studies on “water infrastructure and stressors”, and “heatwaves and energy-water demands.” The impact of a hypothetical failure of Oradell Dam (on the Hackensack River, a tributary of the Hudson River) coincident with a hurricane, and urban power demands under current and future heat waves are examined with high-resolution (meter to km scale) earth system models to illustrate energy water nexus issues where detailed predictions can shape response and mitigation strategies.

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