Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A predictive risk modeling system for the management of small-scale water and wastewater facilities: Toward long-term sustainability of our national parks
by Hagarty, Edward Patrick, D.Sc., The George Washington University, 2008, 180; 3297441
Abstract (Summary)

In developing countries, a lack of clean drinking water often caused by poor sanitation, results in serious public health concerns. Since numerous economic development projects in the developing world compete for funds to improve public health and well being, the resources that are available for water and wastewater projects should be used as efficiently as possible to protect public health. Improvements in methods to prioritize water and wastewater projects can assist public health officials to efficiently allocate the limited resources available.

This research develops a prioritization system for allocating limited resources to water and wastewater facilities in the U.S. National Parks that could have applications in developing countries. The National Park Service (NPS) has limited resources to meet its needs and in many cases provides services away from urban areas with no access to existing pubic works infrastructure. The National Parks provide an excellent test bed for evaluating improvements to management systems employed to allocate resources to enhance the visitor experience while protecting public health.

This research includes the development of a risk-based decision-aiding system to help prioritize water and wastewater improvement projects to minimize potential health risks. The decision-aiding system is based on risk factors identified by subject matter experts and prioritized based on protection of public health. These risk factors when combined with field observations determine scores for specific water or wastewater improvement projects. The scores for each project are then compared to determine the priority for implementation from a public health perspective. The system can be used to select projects when funds are not available to implement all of the planned projects. The system allows the NPS to make the best use of available funds, improve water and wastewater facilities, and efficiently manage health risks.

Use of this model may be extended beneficially to other operations such as less developed countries faced with providing water and wastewater services with limited budgets. The risk-based decision aiding system or prioritization model presented in this research could allow local authorities to make funding decisions by prioritizing projects based on public health.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Deason, Jonathan P.
Commitee: Boucher, Douglas H., Harrald, John R., Murphree, E. Lile, Jr., Ryan, Julie J.C.H.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Engineering Management
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-B 69/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Sanitation, Public health, Environmental engineering
Keywords: Decision-aiding, Drinking water, National parks, Prioritization, Public health, Wastewater, Water
Publication Number: 3297441
ISBN: 9780549460589
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