Mike Martin is Technical Services Director at the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and Chair of WEF’s Utility Management Committee and Zonetta English is Strategic Initiatives and Project Delivery Director at the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District and Vice-Chair of WEF’s Utility Management. In this episode Mike and Zonetta discuss some of the current issues and trends in utility management, including data management, workforce development, diversity, affordability, and PFAS. They also share how they are tackling these areas at their utilities in Milwaukee and Louisville. These topics are part of the programming at WEF’s Utility Management Conference on February 21-24.
Chris Hunniford is Chief Operating Officer of V&A Consulting Engineers and Mark Perkins is President and Owner of Perkins Engineering Consultants. In this episode Chris and Mark discuss a variety of trends in odors including challenges with getting new facilities permitted, the patchwork of regulations across the country, and the continued rise of data, sensors, and other technology. They also talk about the agenda and highlights at WEF’s upcoming Odors and Air Pollutants Conference.
Diane Grossenheider is Project Manager with Black & Veatch and Jen Welsch is Principal Engineer with the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. In this episode Diane and Jen discuss the rapid expansion of tools for using data to proactively manage collection systems, including smart sewers, real-time controls, and GIS software. They also talk about the upcoming WEF Collection Systems Conference on March 23-25, which will feature sessions on the data topic and speakers from around the world.
Kevin Marsh is the President of FlowWorks. In this episode, Kevin discusses the growing role of machine learning in flow forecasting, which involves using historical data and weather models to forecast the impacts of wet weather on water infrastructure. He says that advance notice allows utilities to plan and the public to be alerted about events like combined sewer overflows, and that forecasting will become far more common with the increase in data, internet connectivity, and cloud computing. Kevin discusses how changing weather and climate uncertainty are causing utilities to want to better understand how systems are affected by rain events.
Jim Cooper is Intelligent Water Lead at Arcadis. In this episode Jim discusses a new report done in collaboration with Bluefield Research on how artificial intelligence and predictive analytics can help address two human-centric challenges facing the water sector: affordability and resilience. He explains the concept of collective intelligence, which is “people plus technology,” and how a digital future can empower employees, not replace them. Jim says the sector is at a tipping point where early adopters of intelligent water are reaping multifaceted benefits.