Chhipi Shrestha, Gyan Kumar
Research Topic: Sustainability Assessment of Urban Water Systems: A System Dynamics Modelling for Water-Energy-Carbon Nexus
Research location: Peachland and Penticton
Research supervisor: Dr. Kasun Hewage & Dr. Rehan Sadiq
My research is on urban water sustainability. The sustainability of an urban water system can be enhanced by reducing water extraction (from lakes, rivers) and minimizing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. We can reduce water extraction by recycling wastewater and/or by harvesting rainwater but they may require additional energy and emit more greenhouse gases. We can also reduce water extraction and energy use by using water efficient fixtures such as efficient faucets, toilets, shower heads or efficient water appliances such as laundry machines, dishwashers etc. However, all solutions should be cost effective. So, my research objective is to develop an urban water planning tool called "Water-Energy-Carbon Nexus tool" to find an optimum strategy (suitable options) for sustainable water planning and management in a community. The tool will also help communities to develop a net-zero water. Net-zero water is a situation where, the inflow of freshwater in a community is balanced by the outflow of water in quantity and quality over a year. A net-zero water community may have to use rainwater to balance the inflow and outflow of water in a community.
Home Town: Bhaktapur
Faculty/School: Faculty of Applied Science
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I have been teaching as an Assistant Professor in Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University. I was teaching and guiding students in research. So I felt, I needed a Ph.D. degree to upgrade my knowledge and skills. I also thought I could do my job (academics) better after completing PhD study.
Why did you decide to study at UBC's Okanagan campus?
In 2012, we, i.e. Central Department of Environmental Science organized a training workshop for its faculties on environmental risk analysis in Nepal. Dr. Rehan Sadiq was one of the resource persons for it. I knew about UBC Okanagan from him and then searched about the university on the internet. I found it as a dream university for my higher education. Dr. Sadiq’s expertise also was a motivator for me. So, I applied to the PhD program at the School of Engineering, and fortunately I got an accepted with Dr. Kasun Hewage and Dr. Rehan Sadiq as my supervisors. I joined the School of Engineering at UBC Okanagan to increase my engineering knowledge to my subject knowledge. I started PhD Jan 2013.
What impact do you hope your research will have?
Municipalities and urban developers can use the water-energy-carbon nexus tool (being developed) for urban water planning and management. This means users can select a set of optimum urban water options for cost effective water solutions. Communities are variable based on their water demand (different population, number of industries etc.) and variable water availability. Some communities may have a larger number of water sources (lakes, creeks, more rainfall etc.) whereas others may not. So, sustainable water solutions may differ from community to community. By using the tool, a community can select a sustainable solution(s) for them. Sustainable water means, the community will be using optimum water (not overusing) that uses less energy (for water pumping and treatment) therefore, using less greenhouse gas emissions. Obviously, the solution will be cost effective which can be analyzed using the tool. The tool will be applicable for new community (neighborhood) development as well as, existing communities. In summary, a community can assess and plan for a sustainable water based on water availability, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and cost using the tool.
What has been your most memorable Okanagan experience so far?
The surrounding green hills and steep black roads of the Okanagan Valley are similar to the Kathmandu Valley where my hometown is located. The Valley feels like home although I am physically very far away. In Nepal, everyday I traveled to the university (workplace) via transit which is a little ways from city center and located on a hill. Here, I have been doing the same here - everyday I travel via transit to reach UBC Okanagan which is a ways from the city center but is also located on a hill. Except for the snow in winter, the weather is also similar to my hometown. What a wonderful analogy! So, everyday in Okanagan is memorable to me. Above all, the Okanagan people are lovely!
Last reviewed 11/20/2015 2:27:42 PM