Across the country, communities are facing serious challenges when it comes to the most basic of their citizens’ needs – water. There are issues related to infrastructure, as water is flowing through old and aging pipes, causing potential health risks. And there are issues related to scarcity due to unsafe or unavailable water. The question is not if communities are going to face a serious water crisis, but when?
How will the communities throughout the U.S. meet the quality, quantity, and accessibility needs and plan, develop, and pay for their water infrastructure in the 21st Century? Starting tomorrow, government leaders, municipalities, and business and community leaders will be in Flint Michigan attending Water Infrastructure Conference. The national conversation will explore water-related issues identified in the recently released Michigan Water Strategy and the 21st Century Infrastructure Commission Report.
Big data and technology can play an important role in addressing these issues. On Thursday, March 9, at 11:30 Cities Rising Technologies, The Institute of Water Research and School of Planning, Design, and Construction at Michigan State University (MSU) will present a Workshop that will provide a hands-on demonstration of an online Mapping and Impact Assessment Toolkit being used daily by municipalities and townships in Michigan’s Capital Region. This tool enables local decision makers, developers, and the public to visualize, analyze, and assess the potential effects of local projects, programs, and policies on their water infrastructure.
With this application, a user can locate a project on an online base map, select and visualize mapped information about that location and surrounding areas, and evaluate the proposed action. The Workshop will explore best practices for evaluating the effects of local planning and decision-making on environmental, social, economic development, and health conditions, equity, and well-being. Workshop organizers encourage conference participants to bring their laptops to the workshop and try out any number of What-If scenarios in real time. This Toolkit was developed with assistance from Microsoft through a technology support award from their Azure for Research program.
Microsoft is assisting researchers at MSU in addressing these tough questions through a technology support award from Microsoft under their Azure4Research program. Josh Henretig, Senior Director of Sustainability Solutions & Partnerships for Microsoft, is transforming the future of water with new technologies – the cloud, IoT and machine learning – that will empower organizations to understand and address the water-related risks they face in their communities.
Henretig said, “We are pleased to present a grant to The Institute of Water Research at Michigan State University. This Azure for research grant will provide Institute of Water Research at Michigan State University with advance technologies. “There is a great opportunity to use technology to accelerate the world’s understanding and management of critical water-related resources,” said Henretig, “Microsoft believes in the power of the cloud to drive these changes, and we are pleased to present an Azure for Research grant to The Institute of Water Research at Michigan State University to support their work on this important issue.”
Jeremiah Asher, Assistant Director of The Institute of Water Research at Michigan State University, said he is excited about the grant Microsoft is providing. “It can be difficult to solve tomorrow’s water problems with today’s technology. However, cloud computing, machine learning, and seamless workflows provided through the Microsoft Azure for Research award will help us develop scalable solutions to better understand and address tomorrow’s water issues.”
Source: Cities Rising Technologies