An Op-ed in the NYTimes today by Dr. Michael Webber (disclaimer: Dr. Webber was my advisor at the University of Texas) makes the connection between water and energy availability. Although the water and energy connection is not often discussed, both resources rely heavily on each other; energy is used to purify and procure water while water is integral to cooling in power plants and fossil fuel extraction. In this Op-ed Dr. Webber explains this connection and suggests policies that will minimize the stress on water and energy resources in the future. It’s a quick and informative read!
A Report Card: that dreaded piece of paper that caused us all anxiety in grade school (and perhaps still does for those of us who are still students). Over the past two decades, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has used report cards to convey the state of the nation’s infrastructure in a concise and comprehensive way with the civil engineering profession and the general public.
ASCE is America’s oldest national engineering society with over 140,000 international members. Since 1988, ASCE has published four report cards for America’s infrastructure that highlight the deficiencies and ways to improve. ASCE published the first report card in 1988 and has since published subsequent report cards in 1998, 2001, 2005, and 2009, with total average grades of D, D+, D, and D, respectively.
Water and energy was a theme at the MIT energy conference this weekend. This article discusses the measures being implemented in West Texas to protect the Ogallala Aquifer and the difficulty of enacting restrictions in an area where water is a precious resource.