October 19, 2006

California water district taps professor's expertise

by Sun Min

CARBONDALE, Ill. – One of the world's largest water districts is tapping into the expertise of a researcher in the College of Liberal Arts at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Benedy Dziegielewski, professor of water resources in the geography and environmental resources department, is advising the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) on its water-supply needs.

MWD is a consortium of 26 cities and water districts that provides water to 17 million people in parts ofLos AngelesOrangeSan DiegoRiversideSan Bernardino and Ventura counties.

Specifically, Dziegielewski is helping the district develop an overall water supply and system strategy to ensure continued reliability in meeting current and future water demands. Dziegielewski reviewed the district's current system and identified short-term and long-term options for improving the district's forecasting models. Dziegielewski recently prepared a short summary of his assessment of MWD's methods as well as his recommendations for future analysis.

"I think the staff of MWD will have a direction on what their approach should be to forecasting water demands," Dziegielewski said. "From a broader perspective, more accurate predictions of the total volume of water that will be required in the future and the maximum rates of flow on hot summer days will help MWD to avoid over-investment or under-investment in water supply infrastructure, which may amount into billions of dollars."

The water district selected Dziegielewski based on the SIUC professor's reputation as an expert on water-demand forecasting. He has 25 years of experience in water resources planning and management and is author of 120 publications. In the 1980s and 1990s, Dziegielewski was a water demand management consultant in California and Arizona. He also serves as executive director of the International Water Resources Association. Dziegielewski's research interests include water demand management, modeling of water use and drought management.

Dziegielewski immigrated to the United States from Poland in 1979. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in science from Poland's Wroclaw Polytechnique University and a doctorate in geography and environmental engineering from SIUC.

Supporting and fostering faculty excellence are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.


Benedy Dziegielewski

Benedy Dziegielewski
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