Water & Waste Management

Finding leaks while they're easy to fix

MIT News

Monterrey itself has a strong incentive to take part in this study, since it loses an estimated 40 percent of its water supply to leaks every year, costing the city about $80 million in lost revenue. That's why that desert nation's King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals has sponsored and collaborated on much of the MIT team's work, including successful field tests there earlier this year that resulted in some further design improvements to the system, Youcef-Toumi says. Currently there is not an effective tool to locate leaks in those plastic pipes, and MIT PipeGuard's robot is the disruptive change we have been looking for." The MIT system was actually first developed to detect gas leaks, and later adapted for water pipes.

Population increase and the smart city


One thing is for certain when urbanization at this rate occurs, and that is the strain on public services and resources rapidly increases. By 2100 the global population is expected to reach 11 billion people, but we should see this as an exciting opportunity to use the Internet of Things in formatting smart cities. Smart waste management applies the Internet of Things to rapidly improve efficiency. The growth of smart cities should only accelerate over the coming years – their potential is limitless and although they are expensive to plan and implement initially, they will only benefit residents by improving living cost, health, and quality of life.

Hazardous waste identified and sorted using simple barcodes

New Scientist

Because many processing facilities can't quickly identify the chemicals in this household waste, the items are often simply lumped together and incinerated – which is expensive. Their start-up, Smarter Sorting, has installed a barcode scanning system at four waste disposal sites in the US used by the public – in Austin, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; Portland, Oregon; and Mesa County, Colorado. "The machine goes'beep' and at that point the screen simply tells the worker, 'this is where you should place this item'," says Chris Ripley, who co-founded Smarter Sorting together with Charlie Vallely. Also testing the technology is Hope Petrie, hazardous materials manager at Mesa County Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, although she isn't yet using it to alter the way large numbers of items are processed.

How Machine Learning Helps Identify Toxicity In Potential Drugs


The team believe that being able to determine the atomic structure of protein molecules will play a huge role in understanding how they work, and how they may respond to drug therapies. The drugs typically work by binding to a protein molecule, and then changing its shape and thus altering how it works.

Here's Why Water in the West Goes from Drought to Deluge

Mother Jones

Jerry Brown declared over on April 7--this winter's record-breaking wet weather has recharged surface water supplies across California: By the end of February, reservoirs in about 80 percent of the state's river basins were above historical average capacity. This year's plentiful precipitation is pushing water-forecasting models to their limits as analysts predict summer water supply based on winter rain and snowfall amounts outside historical norms. The late March or early April California snowpack reading is crucial for the managers that allocate water to irrigation districts and customers downstream of Trinity Lake, the third largest reservoir in the state, says Donald Bader, manager of the Northern California Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation, which manages about a dozen California reservoirs. Blue Mesa, for example, the largest reservoir in Colorado, was at 69 percent capacity by the end of March; that's 126 percent of the historical average for that time of year.

[Report] Giant viruses with an expanded complement of translation system components


Some giant viruses encode a genome larger than that of some bacteria, but their evolutionary history is a mystery. Examining the genomes within a sample from a wastewater treatment plant in Austria, Schulz et al. assembled a previously undiscovered giant virus genome, which they used to mine genetic databases for related viruses. The authors thus identified a group of giant viruses with more genes encoding components of the protein translation machinery, including aminoacyl transfer RNA synthetases, than in other giant viruses.

4 questions with Rush CIO Dr. Shafiq Rab


Dr. Shafiq Rab, CIO of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, uses his background in public health to inform his IT vision. For almost 20 years, he has served as a healthcare CIO at institutions like Hackensack (N.J.) University Health Network; Greater Hudson Valley Health System in Middletown, N.Y.; and St. Mary's Hospital in Passaic, N.J. In January, Dr. Rab brought his public health and IT expertise to Chicago after being named CIO and senior vice president of Rush University Medical Center. Question: How does your commitment to public health impact your work as a CIO?

Smart Water: EMAGIN is Using Artificial Intelligence to Make Managing Water Utilities and Industries Safer and Greener


By combining artificial intelligence with water utilities and industries, EMAGIN wants to shift the paradigm from reacting manually to proactively controlling how water utilities are operated and managed. EMAGIN's innovative, artificial intelligence-driven optimization and analytics platform is the Hybrid Adaptive Real-Time Virtual Intelligence, or HARVI. With HARVI, EMAGIN wants to leverage artificial intelligence to create an intelligent water system that connects to its natural and built environment. "It's an honour to be ranked one the top data-driven startups globally in the water sector," reveals Mohamad.

Kitchener startup applies artificial intelligence to water management


A startup that has developed artificial intelligence to better manage city water systems is among 10 companies from around the world admitted to a San Francisco accelerator focused on turning drought, leaky pipes and pollution into business opportunities. After graduating from the University of Waterloo with a degree in environmental engineering, Gaffoor hooked up with Vedut, who graduated from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology with a degree in software engineering. Two Ontario municipalities are using the startup's artificial intelligence to help operate drinking water and wastewater systems. Gaffoor, Emagin's chief executive officer, and Vedut, its chief operating officer, say the application of artificial intelligence to municipal water systems is an emerging area.

Immobots Take Control

AITopics Original Links

"There are lots of systems in the world that have sensors and actuators, but don't look like traditional mobile robots," says Brian Williams, a former NASA researcher who coinvented Deep Space One's autonomous software and is now a professor at MIT's Space Systems and Artificial Intelligence Laboratories. Once programmed with immobotic software, Williams explains, these systems "have a commonsense model of the physics of their internal components and can reason from that model to determine what is wrong and to know how to act." But in truth, the stuck power switch wasn't an authentic crisis: ground controllers deliberately misled the craft's control software so they could see how Remote Agent, the system developed by Williams and his NASA colleagues, would respond. That's why engineers at Xerox and its recently spun-off Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) have begun to build immobot intelligence into high-end copy machines.