The MUS-Senegal Trilogy

3 10 2015

Our final paper related to multiple-use water services (MUS) in Senegal was recently published in Water Alternatives. This paper completes our trilogy of papers in which we [1] explore the extent of piped-water-based productive activity occurring in Senegal and how this relates to system performance, [2] study the role of productive water use in women’s livelihoods, and [3] undertake an incremental income-cost (I-C) analysis of whether the theoretical financial benefits to households from additional piped-water-based productive activities would be greater than the estimated system upgrade costs.

These three papers capture the main findings from our study of MUS in Senegal and offer some important empirical research on the emerging concept of MUS.21

Workshop on ‘Water Infrastructure Management for Performance, Resiliency, and Sustainability’

30 09 2015


Please consider attending the IITK-VT workshop on Water Infrastructure Management for Performance, Resiliency, and Sustainability at IITK, Kanpur, India, on December 17-18 , 2015.

Originally posted on IITK-VT Partnership on Sustainable Infrastructure:

A workshop on Water Infrastructure Management for Performance, Resiliency, and Sustainability is being organized by the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK), India and the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Management (SWIM) Center, Virginia Tech, USA, on 17th-18th December, 2015 at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.2015-09-30_1632

This workshop is a part of the ongoing collaborative Project on ‘Creating an International Program for Sustainable Infrastructure Development’ under the Obama Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative under the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India.

The workshop will bring together professionals from water utilities, academic institutions, regulatory bodies, professional organizations, and private industry to help understand complex water infrastructure systems, to better define each other’s roles and responsibilities relating to these systems, and develop a roadmap for effective utilization of available resources working towards the creation of sustainable and resilient water infrastructure systems. The event will seek to bridge the gap between academia and real-world…

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Experience WASH in Malawi (Study Abroad)

23 09 2015

If you are a Virginia Tech undergraduate or graduate, please come to the Drillfield today to learn about a new WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) course I will be offering during Summer II, 2016, in partnership with the Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation.static_qr_code_without_logo

To keep up to date on course news, please join the Google group.

Course Flyer


Course Information

Images from MalawiPoster_images

VT PGG Student Presents at ISNGI 2015

16 09 2015

This past week, one of my PGG doctoral students, Marc Fialkoff, attended the International Symposium on Next Generation Infrastructure in Washington D.C. The conference brought together scholars from a variety of disciplines to discuss challenges in the areas of energy, transportation, water resources, and healthcare. MarcThe panel sessions focused on individual critical infrastructure sectors as well as techniques for modeling and implementing policies for more resilient infrastructure. Marc presented his work on freight transportation resilience and using GIS to evaluate legal restrictions on short sea shipping under disruptive conditions. This research was undertaken during his summer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory under guidance of Olufemi Omitaomu, the team lead for the Critical Infrastructure and Urban Resilience group at Oak Ridge National Lab.


Marc’s research provides a good example of the interdisciplinary work that is undertaken by students in the PGG program at Virginia Tech. With training in law and transportation planning, Marc’s research bridges disciplines of law, planning, civil engineering, and network analysis to explore the impact of law and policy on the movement of goods under a time of crisis – e.g., during Hurricane Sandy.

I co-chair Marc’s PhD committee with Ralph Buehler. Kathleen Hancock, Henning Mortveit, and Jonathan Gutoff also serve on Marc’s committee.

New Book on Sustainable Transportation

9 09 2015


See the description by ITS-Leeds of our new co-authored book on sustainable transportation.

Originally posted on itsleeds:

A post to fanfare the arrival of a new book on Sustainable Transportation. The book is the fruit of six years work with Henrik Gudmundsson (DTU Denmark), Ralph Hall and Joe Zietsman (Texas TTI). The book, Sustainable Transportation: Indicators Frameworks and Performance Management , is written for students, academics and practitioners interested in how to make transportation more sustainable.

The book begins by providing a rich account of sustainable development, transportation’s contribution (positive and negative) to those goals and what is meant and intended in various interpretations of “sustainable transportation”. Whilst this part of the book reflects the state of art it is grounded in principles which can be explored and developed in a range of contexts. The book, as the title suggests then goes on to explore the importance of information in decision-support around sustainable transportation.

It is in the use of information to support decisions or challenge progress…

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Policy Brief: The Human Right to Domestic and Productive Water

25 08 2015

In 2010, a milestone was reached when the UN General Assembly recognized the human right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation. Yet, water also plays an important role in realizing other human rights such as the right to food and livelihoods, and in realizing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. These broader water-related rights have been recognized but not operationalized. This (draft) policy brief argues for a more holistic interpretation of existing international human rights law that supports a broader range of water-related rights. In addition, it raises the question of whether the current formulation of the human right to safe and clean drinking water, could limit development opportunities for people in rural and peri-urban communities who also use water for productive activities around the homestead.

We would welcome any comments you might have on this policy brief that should be viewed as a working draft.


Pictures from Orientation and Cadet Parade

22 08 2015

Over the past several days, Virginia Tech as come alive with returning and new students. In the slideshow below, I capture a few images from the SPIA and UAP orientation and the New Cadets Parade that was held this morning.

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