State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007DC88B
Title: Decision Support System to Deal with Water Emergencies for Metropolitan Washington DC
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/29/2008
Congressional District: DC
Focus Categories: Management and Planning, Water Supply, Education
Keywords: Water Security, Decision Making, Emergency Response planning, Education, Emegency Preparedness
Principal Investigators: Kanungo, Shivraj; Behera, Pradeep K.
Federal Funds: $ 15,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 15,820
Abstract: The current regulation on Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act, requires drinking water utilities serving more than 3,000 people to perform vulnerability assessments and to prepare an Emergency Response Plan (ERP).

The ERP also must include "actions, procedures, and identification of equipment which can obviate or significantly lessen the impact of terrorist attacks or other intentional actions on the public health and the safety and supply of drinking water provided to communities and individuals." (EPA 2003).

For water utilities, however, enhancing physical security and compliance of current regulation is one of many priorities. Because of the competition for limited resources, including financial and personnel, the current compliance requires a very balanced approach across each of the following five dimensions (i) financial (ii) personnel (iii) management tools, (iv) operational approaches, and (v) physical security design features. This complex decision problem requires a holistic response - especially in an emergency. Like many other metropolitan systems of the nation, the Metropolitan DC water system is a large and complex system. Moreover, the nature of vulnerability and preparedness for DC system is unique given that it is the nation's capital. Therefore there is a need to develop an efficient decision support system (DSS) for the water utility system which would not only provide day-to-day management support but also during emergency situations.

This is a collaborative research project between George Washington University (GWU) and the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). This interdisciplinary research, addressing decision making and information technology use in water security, is being carried out as a precursor to a longer-term research effort. By conducting this preliminary study, we aim to delineate and prioritize decision and information requirements based on their relevance to practicing managers and policy makers in the DC Metro area. The specific objectives of this research are:

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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