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Distinguished Lecture Series
Slobodan Simonovic, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Director, Engineering Works: Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
Resilience: A New Metric for the Assessment of Measures for Adaptation to Global Change
 
Guest Speaker
 
Friday, March 31
2 to 3 p.m.
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road, EE 106
Boca Raton Campus
Videoconferenced to the Dania Beach, SeaTech Campus, ST 250.
Abstract
There are practical links between water resources, climate change adaptation and sustainable development leading to improvement in water management and re-enforcing resilience as a new development paradigm. There has been a noticeable change in water management approaches, moving from focus on vulnerability to resilience; the latter viewed as a more proactive and positive expression of community engagement with water management. As water problems are increasing, at the same time they erode resilience. Over the last ten years substantial progress has been made in establishing the role of resilience in sustainable development. Multiple case studies around the world reveal links between attributes of resilience and the capacity of complex systems to absorb disturbance while still being able to maintain a certain level of functioning. Building on other experience, there is a need to focus more on action-based resilience planning. Water problems do not impact everyone in the same way. It is clear that the problems associated with sustainable human wellbeing call for a paradigm shift. Use of resilience as an appropriate metric for investigation arises from the integral consideration of overlap between: (a) physical environment (built and natural); (b) social dynamics; (c) metabolic flows; and (d) governance networks. This presentation provides an original systems framework for quantification of water resources resilience to global change. The framework is based on the definition of resilience as the ability of physical and social components of water resources systems to absorb impacts of global change (system disturbance) while still being able to continue functioning. The disturbance depends on spatial and temporal perspectives and direct interaction between impacts of disturbance (physical, social, health, economic, and other) and adaptive capacity of the water system to absorb disturbance.
Biography
Dr. Simonovic has extensive research, teaching and consulting experience in water resources systems engineering. He is teaching courses in water resources and civil engineering systems. He actively works for national and international professional organizations. Simonovic’s primary research interest focuses on the application of systems approach to management of complex water and environmental systems. Most of his work is related to the integration of risk, reliability, and uncertainty in hydrology and water resources management. He has received a number of awards for excellence in teaching, research and outreach. He has published over 490 professional publications and three major textbooks. He has been inducted to the Canadian Academy of Engineering in June of 2013.
 
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