Category: Student Competition

397416 - Exogenous Human-Infrastructure Interactions: The Operational Effects of Gentrification on Water Networks

Wednesday, Jun 6
8:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Gentrification, defined in this study as the increase in property values arising from factors such as, housing/building renovations and middle/high-income housing demands, often displaces low-income residents and preexisting, small businesses. This socioeconomic shift in the population demographics is tightly coupled with human interactions with the gentrifying area’s water infrastructure. Previous studies have shown that low-income and middle/high-income residents have in average different daily patterns of water usage. Gentrification can change the temporal distribution of daily peak demands with a higher peak in the morning corresponding to the middle/high-income pattern while the low-income pattern is characterized by two less pronounced peaks in the morning and in the evening. If operations or physical infrastructure remain unchanged, this shift in water use trends may result in inadequate water pressures, and thus, reduced levels of services for residents or insufficient fire flows capabilities. This study seeks to assess the impact of gentrification on the water service given the existing infrastructure. Hydraulic modeling simulations are performed capturing the population dynamics arising from gentrification over one decade. Two water demand trends associated with low and middle/high income previously established in the literature were used. The temporal change of water pressure is measured to highlight vulnerable sections of the network. Different pressure zones that have gentrified during the 2000-2010 decade are modeled in a south-central city of the United States. The socioeconomic data are obtained from the US Census Bureau. The water network and land use characteristics are provided by the case study city. Those outcomes can potentially help identify whether the existing infrastructure is adequate, and plan for future changes. This study could ease the inclusion of gentrification in the previsions of population changes and its impacts on the water network: it will suggest a typical time- and geographical-scale associated with this phenomenon’s technical impacts.

Co-Authors: Kasey Faust, Austin, TX – The University of Texas

Julie CHARLOTTE. Faure

Ph.D. student
The University of Texas at Austin