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Research Areas

Water Supply System Security

The Missouri Water Resources Research Center is working with the University of Kentucky, Western Kentucky University and University of Louisville on a series of projects on water system security.  In one project we are developing analysis and decision support tools that will provide guidance to water sector owners and operators for the decontamination of water systems after a significant chemical or biological agent contamination.  The desired outcome of this project is information that will assist local, state, and regional water utility personnel during their initial response to, and subsequent decision making regarding, flushing and restoring contaminated water systems.

A second project involves the development of a decision support tool that will predict the economic impact of a disruption of water service to local communities.  The analysis will investigate the impact on local and regional economies due to both water service disruptions and subsequent recovery actions.  The desired outcome is a tool that will assist water utility operators, as well as local and state governments, in making more informed response decisions after a disruptive event.  The tool developed for this project will define the economic losses to the business and commercial sectors of the region as a result of an adverse incident in the water supply system.  The project will focus on quantitative analysis of economic impacts and issues of business resiliency.

The third project is developing a better understanding of the impact of water distribution system flow dynamics in order to improve interpretation of water quality measurements and thus assist  making better informed operational decisions.  The project is determining how to verify the accuracy of real-time hydraulic/water quality models using stored SCADA data and to understand the relationship between observed water quality changes and network flow dynamics.  In addition, we are developing a toolkit for use by water utilities to identify the appropriate analytical tools to support their operational needs. The toolkit is expected to have the following components: (a) a graphical flow dynamic model, (b) guidance with regard to hydraulic sensor placement, and (c) guidance with regard to the appropriate level of technology needed to support operational needs.