HDIAC Critical Infrastructure Protection Webinar

September 13, 2019 posted by


Good afternoon and welcome to the HDIAC
webinar series. This is our last webinar of 2015 and today we have a Critical
Infrastructure Protection (CIP) webinar presented by Benjamin Ruddell from Arizona State University. Thank you Benjamin. Hi, thanks everybody for joining us. I’m Ben Ruddell. I’m on the engineering faculty at
ASU. Thank you to Melissia and HDIAC for hosting this webinar. What I want to talk
to you today about is a new data set and a new capability that emerging around mapping our vulnerability and indirect security risk to drought in the global hydro-economy. So that’s our topic and you’ll see what I mean in a moment. so there’s been a lot of talk in the
news and in the security community about drought, about water scarcity, and about
how this might affect us in an increasingly globalized and water scares
21st century. Climate change has been discussed a lot and for good cause. It’s
presenting us with a lot of challenges in addition to the others that we face
in the security community not least among those challenges and perhaps the
most severe all of them related to climate change is drought and I’m talking specifically
about how drought can cause water shortage is unexpectedly or perhaps with
some anticipation beforehand and how the drought can impact the global economy and
therefore the security situation. So for example in the United States what you
see here in front of you is map for water scarcity. This is a simple water stress index.
It’s just the ratio of our our rainfall and renewable water flow in every county
in the United States related to our water use by the economy. So let me
translate that for you this map is red it means that people are using nearly
all or even more water that is available on renewable basis and that means that
we are exposed to both short-term unexpected water shocks which could
damage the economy and affect our supply chain but it also means that we are
effected by increasing long-term chronic water scarcity and a few things happen
when we have water stress. Costs increased so your costs for managing
water resources starts rising and they can rise exponentially they
got really quickly as you start to transition to more and more
energy-intensive and technologically intensive management technologies like
water recycling desalination for example. Perhaps the more severe issue is that there’s a lot of inequity in
water scarcity. So if water supply get cut off we start falling back on who has
the ability either legally or physically to force the water to come to them and
you have winners and losers and that creates a lot of conflict. And so the
United States that might mean we have costs we have political battles and a
lot of uncertainty in that water supply chain. In other countries it might mean
that there is a potential armed conflict for famine and for some of the other
things that we worry about. So anyway water scarcity is a serious challenge and
I think we’re concerned especially about short-term unexpected shocks like
drought and that is proportionate to our renewable surface water availability of
groundwater and chronic stress is a different issue because you can see that
problem coming for a long way away for example would be the California
groundwater management currently. We’ve known about that for fifty years so it’s
not really a surprise. It’s sort of a different issue. So let’s talk about how these new data set
that’s can tell us about our vulnerability to drought through teleconnections. So global and regional trade both grown dramatically since the
1980’s. This map you see in front of you is from a 2012 paper in PNAS
which matched virtual water flow. So virtual water flow is just a map of our
water supply chain and this map was done at the level of continents. So we’re
looking at a primarily water-borne international trade in goods and
services that were produced using water. So the flow has created a net dependency for
example of the world on North America and South America which are these major
global exporters of water derived goods and services. We also have a lot of flows
within the continents of course and what this map doesn’t show you is that most of the
trade is local and regional. These trades are teleconnections and teleconnection is pretty simple concept a basically what it sounds like. You are
creating a dependency or connection between two spatially distant locations.
And so when we have trade that creates a teleconnection by default. What’s
special about a virtual water teleconnection is that it is the special
case where trade depends on water resources in the originating location.
And so the trade is rendered proportionate to that dependency. So the
right tool for understanding a remote connection in the economy and a remote
vulnerability to water resources and to drought in a distant location is virtual
water flow. And that’s why this concept is important. A new development is that we are just now
in 2015 beginning to understand the detailed virtual water teleconnections
in the global economy. This is really important because as I
mentioned in the last slide very much very large fraction of these virtual water
connections are within regions and they are within local area. A lot of them
connect regions to cities that the typical pattern. So the vast majority of
these connections are not international in nature although those are also
important. The big story is really at the regional
and local scale and the river basin scale. That’s the other reason why the
new detailed data products are really important. It’s because water resources
are not a continental scale or national scale issues, water resources are much more
local. So as we will see the moment it matters very much whether a drought or
water shortage impacts on one side or the other River Basin boundary. It matters very
much which side of a political boundary it
hits you on, which city is affected, and so we need to get down to very fine
scales in space and also in time to understand the impacts that are going to occur here. Also, as we know when the last decade unfortunately you know from examples in
Somalia and now in Syria and elsewhere that these drought influence conflicts
are often low-level conflicts. They are also offen local and regional conflicts
not global conflicts. So you really need is very precise details local information. So, we are the first country, United States, to have this data product
available of the National Water Economy Project has just produced new data set, the
National Water Economy Database NWED for the United States. And that the first
really spatially detailed and economically detailed database of these
virtual water teleconnections in the economy. So this give us a map within the United
States of where our vulnerabilities are through those teleconnections and it’s the
basis of all kinds of interesting math that it is very interesting I think
for the security community. This just a brand new capability that’s emerging.
It’s new to science and I wanted to emphasize that but that’s why you
perhaps haven’t seen this before. This is really hot off the press. So I’ll ask you a question first. We’re getting into the substance of
the talk now. So do you know where in the United States a drought would hit us hardest;
in other words, where are we vulnerable to drought in the United States? That is now
a question that we can answer for the very first time because data set. There’s a
paper in review right now. It will be coming out in the spring that map some of the
stuff. So that is a map of that vulnerability and this is the product of
your virtual water use, virtual water inflow to a county multiplied by
the water stress factor of the originating location. So as you can see
it’s primarily the western United States that that is vulnerable. And these are the
places we need to worry about drought happening. These are the locations where there is a lot of vulnerability. So we’re very vulnerable to drought that are going to occur
in southern Arizona, in California, southern Idaho, and throughout the
western USA generally but also surprisingly you see some issues showing up
in south Texas, Mississippi River Basin, Chicago, and southern Florida. So these
are also places where we might need to be investing in water security and
national water infrastructure to help secure the situation. On the flip side if
your green on this map you don’t have a lot to worry about. So these would be
lower priority locations. We can get into even more detail too. So
I can put a pin on the map. I can put that pin there in a specific city or a
specific community and I can ask the question of where this water footprint
or where is the virtual water source from this specific community? This is
really important is we want to manage the vulnerability and resilience of a
community to water stress and to water shocks. Its function both of their direct
water infrastructure so that’s the pipes to go out to their local rivers and aquifers and how that system works but it’s also a function of this virtual water map. This virtual water footprint on the landscape and question is you know
where is the city’s water supply chain located and then that a secure water
supply chain. So we can do some math on that now. We have some papers out which
show how you can actually calculate in a formal way vulnerability and
resilience of a city or any location to drought as a function both of its hard
local infrastructure and of its water supply chain. About eighty percent of the
city’s water footprint and therefore vulnerability is actually in its water
supply chain. It’s not local in the city of Flagstaff. It’s this water supply chain
at sprawled across the western U.S. So this map that you see is a product again of the water stress and the virtual water out flows
of Flagstaff and so the places that your been red on this map are the
places that Flagstaff needs to be concerned about. Now, if you are a water
manager and economic manager or security manager in Flagstaff you should be very
concerned about droughts that impact southern Arizona. And in fact Flagstaff is
even more vulnerable to southern Arizona and water shocks than it is to our shocks
in its own local backyards there in northern Arizona. So Flagstaff is particularly
vulnerable to problems in Phoenix. The NEC Phoenix, Maricopa County highlighted
there in red. So we now have the capability to map these
indirect vulnerabilities to drought within the United States and one of the lessons
that comes out of this is that cities and large companies also security facilities,
military bases, they should be managing this water supply chain to shift it, to
diversify it, and to spread it around and keep it for being concentrated in these
really vulnerable locations. This is another view of that same map. So this is
a little bit more focused. I wanted to emphasize the topic that I just brought
up in the previous slide. So this is the indirect water scarcity index. So this is
the product of the virtual water outflow to Flagstaff combined with the water stress
and we can see in a lot more detail here. Flagstaff needs to be concerned about in
general Nevada, southern California, southern Utah, New Mexico, Front Range
Colorado, and a little bit of Kansas and Nebraska. That’s where its water supply
chain is located and these are places where water problems could impact Flagstaff’s security. You have a big oil and gas dependency in northwest New Mexico. So
there’s water problems that affect oil and gas sector in New Mexico that
hits Flagstaff. And if there’s water problems that impact agricultural sector in
southern Arizona that hits Flagstaff. Here’s that formal resilience framework
for Flagstaff’s water supply chain. This is a paper that we presented in 2015.
What we can do is we can map the diversification of the city’s water
footprint and its water supply chain against several different indicators. So
these are the indicators on the diversity with respect to politics and
governance, the geography of the supply chain, its boundaries. Are you dealing
with and sourcing to multiple hydrologic boundaries? Are we sourcing to a diversity of different
economic sectors in different locations? So the idea here is that you translate
this NWED information, this hydro-economic network, into a real concrete metric that
can allow us to improve and to manage that water supply chains, to improve
security and resilience. This is how we do that. So there’s a basket of diversification indicators here which turned into a resilience metric. And when you put this direct and
indirect water supply chain vulnerability together with the
resilience of the network you get a diagram that looks like this. And so those
the vertical and horizontal lines are Flagstaff’s local vulnerabilities
and resilience not including their water supply chain and then the colored
dots are the actual numbers including the water supply chain and those teleconnections. For every sector of Flagstaff’s economy according to different
metrics of resilience. And so what you see there is that on the scale of 0 to
10 with one being vulnerable, Flagstaff is sitting at about 0.7, with some
scatter, which means that Flagstaff is relatively vulnerable because it tends
to have a vocal local water supply and a water supply chain there are in
very water service locations in the Colorado River Basin. That’s probably no
surprise but the good news is that on the resilience scale where 1 is highly
resilient and diversified water supply chain Flagstaff on average comes out being
relatively resilient. So it actually sits around 0.7 on the
resilience scale on average although different sectors of its economy fare
differently. So for example we might expect that the agricultural sector and the mining
sector in Flagstaff’s areas are not so resilient because their way on
over on the left side of the scale. That’s because they have their supply
chains heavily concentrated in one location in Arizona, that is southern
Arizona, but on the average Flagstaff, we could say that the place is both
relatively vulnerable but also relative resilient because it has a
really strong diversified economy and water supply chain. We can do this
analysis now for any county, any economic sector in the United States and we hope
to be able to do this for the world and that’s where the real value comes in. So
we’re working on the United States right now but we need the community’s help to
start talking about doing this for the world. And you can, once you measure this
vulnerability and resilience you can manage it. You can use it to predict the
impacts of a specific drought. You can ask the question, if there’s a drought in
Turkmenistan, who is going be affected by that? Who do we need to worry about being
destabilized because of that drought? What sectors of the economy? Where should we
be investing our resources both in terms of water investment and security
resources to try and head off and prevent some of these drought induced
and climate change induced complex. So these types of maps have the potential
to anticipate what would happen if drought or climate change impacts hit a
certain location and then we can start to manage and improve the vulnerability and
resilience in critical places in the world. You can also identify places you
want to avoid. If you’re setting up a global security infrastructure you want
to keep your supply chain away from places that are red on these maps. You
want to steer your water supply chain away from those spots. So those spots
might be places you would otherwise source of your supply chain but when you
take the water security metrics into account it turns out to be a bad idea. So what we’d really like to build next
is a global product. so NWED for every country and every region in the world
and we think that this would be really valuable for the global security
community. It’s gonna be valuable for USAID and for development purposes in
terms of prioritizing investments and resources. And as I said it I think it
would be valuable for the security community directly in terms of
anticipating water induced conflict and specifically the indirect impacts of
those conflicts which are generally local and regional in nature. So we have some examples where that would probably have helped us recently. There’s been a lot of talk about Syria and there was a
serious regional drought. It didn’t necessarily hits Syria so hard but there
will regional drought issues which really affected that rural economy. And I
haven’t got the results because they don’t have the data but I believe that
if we did this sort of math for the Syrian conflict we would have identified
these locations that were impacted by the drought as sources of significant
vulnerability in this regional hydroeconomy. So this is something that I think we could have anticipated using this data product. I want to rap up by providing acknowledgments to my
partners. There’s been a lot of them. Of course our project is the
National Water Economy Project for the United States. We’ve gotten help from the
Great Lakes Protection Fund for regional work by the Great Lakes Commission.
Sandia National Laboratories has provided some key data for the United States. Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives at ASU has
provided some in-kind support. And we have a lot of help from city partners and
university partners in our team. I especially want to acknowledge Richard Rushforth, who is a student who is graduating soon for my lab. He has put together the
National Water Economy Database itself. And there’s a long list of partners who
have been working with on this, so I just want to make sure that they get their
acknowledgement. It’s a team effort on this type of integrative project. So I’m
going rap up now and thank you very much for your time and attention. Good bye. Thank you, Ben. That was a great webinar. It is easy to
see where this overlaps with a lot of HDIAC focus areas. Thank you all for
attending and have a great afternoon.

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