How the Smart Grid Will Increase Electricity Stability
“How will the smart grid help prevent power outages?”
One of the leading causes of power outage is load mismatch. However, with the advent of the smart grid, distribution services will be better at managing this, thereby increasing resilience. This is How the Smart Grid Will Increase Electricity Stability.
Why Cross-Sector Communication Is Necessary for Interdependent Infrastructure Resilience
“Why do critical infrastructure professionals from different sectors need to talk to each other more?”
The closer one looks at infrastructure failures, the more one realizes how interdependent they all are. When a disaster strikes one, it strikes the others as well. If resilience planning is done for one infrastructure sector without taking others into account, true security can never be achieved. To do this, cross-sector communication must be established, whether it be how electricity failures can cause water treatment to ground to a halt or how ruptures in gas supply could induce transportation bottlenecks. This is Why Cross-Sector Communication Is Necessary for Interdependent Infrastructure Resilience.
“How can we keep stormwater in an enclosed plant area to build flood resilience?”
Plants and soil are great for absorbing stormwater runoff. However, it can be hard to keep the water inside the necessary area. So how can we use our engineering mindsets to solve this? Well what if we were to create a curb that would encircle an green area with a small opening so water could enter? This is the idea behind a Stormwater Bumpout, a smart, easy, and sustainable way to manage incoming stormwater.
Image credit phillywatersheds.org
“What is a simple way to build resilience against urban water runoff?”
With the advent of the changing climate, flood resilience will be a hot topic for urban areas. One of the simplest green stormwater infrastructure methods is to simply build Rain Gardens which can divert runoff water into depressed areas with soil to grow greenery. This is a simple and cost-effective method to enhance climate change resilience.
Image credit radioadelaide.org.au
The Ratio of Fresh Surface Water to Ocean Surface Water and Why it Matters
“Why does it matter that there is over thirty-two times as much water in the ocean than lakes?”
Water is foundational to biological life. 97% of surface water is located in the ocean while the rest are in lakes and other freshwater sources. Since humans are using freshwater at unsustainable rates and ocean water has extra salinity, people will have to think more about conserving water and expanding desalinization.
The Northeast Blackout of 2003
“How did the worst blackout of the Northeastern United States unfold?”
On August 14th, 2003, a power line in Ohio under the dominion of the utility First Energy’s control struck a tree and faulted, causing power to redistribute throughout the rest of the network. The alarm system used by the company had a bug and did not not alert the authorities. This caused other lines to sag out and fault with trees, creating a cascading power failure by around 4:05 pm Eastern US time. This spread throughout the rest of the Northeastern grid, causing 50 million people in the U.S and Canada to lose power for up to two days. Not only did this result in 11 deaths and approximately 6 billion USD in damage. The Northeast Blackout of 2003 was one of the costliest to date and resulted in the U.S setting much stricter standards for reliability and maintenance of power lines.
Image credit cdn.newsday.com
Infrastructure System Interdependence
“How do multiple infrastructure systems affect one another?”
Critical Infrastructure Systems are woven into the fabric of our everyday life. Whether it be the electricity we use to power our computers or the water pumps that we drink from, there is some resource behind it. And in the modern world, all of these systems seem to be interconnected, such as electricity for water-pumps or water for agriculture. As a consequence, if one of these systems go haywire then there will be consequences across all infrastructure systems. This coupling is known as Infrastructure System Interdependence and is used by policy-makers and engineers to analyze resilience risk.