Ezra's Round Table / Systems Seminar: Pat Reed (Cornell CEE) - Conflict, Coordination & Control in Water Resources Systems Confronting Change


Frank H. T. Rhodes Hall 253


Globally, our operation and planning of water resources systems must evolve to better confront the fundamental challenges posed by meeting rapidly evolving human demands and increasingly severe hydroclimatic extremes. Addressing these challenges requires an understanding of how our current institutions constrain adaptive actions and the resulting consequences of these constraints on the coupled human-natural system dynamics. Discovering strategies for better balancing multi-sectoral human demands and adapting to increasingly severe extremes requires modeling advances that permit high fidelity representations of state-action-consequence feedbacks while also accounting for the information available to the actual managers of water resources systems. Moreover, we must acknowledge that the actual state-action-consequence feedbacks are deeply uncertain given the myriad of ways that socioeconomic and climatic pressures may evolve in the future. This seminar will share recent innovations in the design of robust and adaptive strategies capable of managing conflicting objectives and evolving pressures. Our work is strongly focused on helping analysts and stakeholders (1) effectively and rapidly interrogate multiple competing hypotheses for how complex water management problems should be formulated and (2) explore the resulting tradeoffs, dependencies, and vulnerabilities of candidate actions to a broad range of potential system conditions and external forcings. These points are illustrated for the highly uncertain Food-Energy-Water tradeoffs confronting Vietnam within the Red River basin as well as cooperative water supply infrastructure investment pathways for the Research Triangle region in North Carolina, USA. Bio: Dr. Reed’s Decision Analytics for Complex Systems Research Group is exploring new frameworks for effectively combining a wide range of knowledge sources with simulation, optimization, and AI analytics to capture impacted water resources systems’ governing processes, elucidate human and ecologic risks, limit management costs, and satisfy stakeholders’ conflicting objectives. The management modeling tools developed by the Reed Research Group combine multiobjective optimization, high performance computing, and advanced spatiotemporal visualization and uncertainty modeling techniques to facilitate improved stakeholder decisions. Decision support software developed by Dr. Reed has been used broadly in academic, governmental and industrial applications with more than 30,000 users in 100 countries.