Applying Antifragility to Water Utilities | WWD Weekly Digest

Jan. 27, 2022
What is antifragility? And how can it be applied to the municipal water and wastewater sector?

Utility resilience has become a ubiquitous industry term and consideration, particularly in regards to weather. Approximately a year a go, Winter Storm Uri blanketed Texas in historic snowfall, impacting numerous water and wastewater utilities throughout the state. While utilities were resilient in the face of this event, another paradigm — antifragility — could be useful in staving off the next storm.

Joe Goodwill is an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Rhode Island. He has been researching the concept of antifragility — a term more commonly used in the banking and finance world — to determine its applicable uses for the water and wastewater industry. 

Timestamps

  • Intro | 0:00
  • Background on Goodwill and URI | 0:40
  • What is antifragility? | 1:31
  • How do antifragility and resilience compare or contrast? | 3:25
  • Resilience is a response; Antifragility is proactive | 7:20
  • Lessons from the Providence Water Supply Board | 10:52
  • Technologies that work well for antifragility | 14:15
  • Steps utilities can take toward an antifragile mindset | 16:48
  • Getting engineering and consultant buy-in on antifragility | 18:54
  • Outro | 19:52

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