ERDC working to address energy and water resiliency

Engineers at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) are working to develop an Installation Energy and Water Plan to address resiliency for energy and water security at the ERDC Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg, Mississippi. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo)

Posted on November 22, 2021

VICKSBURG, Miss. – The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is working to develop an Installation Energy and Water Plan (IEWP) to address resiliency  for water and energy security at the ERDC Waterways Experiment Station (WES) in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

“Our current IEWPs address where we are vulnerable,” said Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Commanding General and 55th Chief of Engineers for USACE. “We must ensure our plans are developed to account for the dynamics of today.”

The purpose of the IEWP is to provide a roadmap for how to improve security and resilience of installation systems and operations when external and internal energy and water services are disrupted.

“Other Army installations that have developed an IEWP have had to use outside vendors,” said Dr. David Pittman, director of the ERDC, who also serves as chief scientist and director of research and development for USACE. “However, creation of the ERDC’s IEWP is a collaborative effort amongst most of our labs, using a data-driven approach.”

Development of the ERDC’s IEWP looks to mitigate risks to all critical missions, to reduce the risk of future disruptions, to reduce energy and water use of all missions through conservation and efficiency efforts and to lower total operating costs while fully maintaining services.

“We have several goals we look to meet with the creation of the ERDC’s IEWP,” Pittman said. “We are hoping to provide 14 days’ worth of sustained energy and water that are necessary for critical missions.”

The ERDC provides critical support to installations around the world, that helps to power America’s mission abroad. In the event of the loss of power or water, the ability to function normally with no disruptions is a top priority to leadership.

“We are doing great things for installations around the globe,” Pittman said. “Developing an IEWP for the ERDC will give this installation the same level of energy and water resiliency and security. It will allow us to continue our mission should one of our labs lose power or water for an extended period.”

ERDC researchers and engineers are currently working to establish the enterprise’s baseline condition and future projections. ERDC researchers will then propose courses of action to improve identified deficiencies, which will be further refined in an implementation plan. Through this implementation plan, new funding opportunities for improving energy and water resiliency and security will be available for the ERDC WES campus.

IEWPs for the ERDC’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Illinois, Geospatial Research Laboratory in Alexandria, Virginia and Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, New Hampshire will be developed in the future.

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