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Abstract: Water for centuries has been a resource taken for granted by society. However, in recent years, water shortages and ageing infrastructure have forced decision-makers to place the costly burden of supporting water system back on end-users. The distribution of this burden has been shown to disproportionately impact vulnerable communities (e.g., lower-income and BIPOC communities). Dr. Osman in this talk will explore the socio-technical dimensions of the provision of water and how to center justice in the decision-making process. Specifically, this seminar covers two case studies: 1) exploring the inclusion of drinking water in the federal Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool and 2) examining drinking water system consolidations within the state of California to determine whether consolidation has sufficiently provided reliable drinking water to vulnerable communities.
Bio: Dr. Khalid K. Osman is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University and a Center Fellow by courtesy at the Woods Institute for the Environment. Khalid also holds faculty affiliations at the King Center for Global Development and the Center for the Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. He holds a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on the operationalization of equity in the provision of infrastructure services. Primarily on water sector infrastructure, challenging himself to develop consistent and measurable definitions of water equity, developing frameworks for equity in the adoption of new water technologies, and investigated equitable communication strategies by water utilities during disasters. He leads Osman Lab to develop new approaches to equitable and just infrastructure in a world where climate change challenges vulnerable communities every day.