Daigger was selected by the faculty of the Yale Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering for this annual event honoring a distinguished scientist/engineer.
Daigger’s presentation is titled Closing the Knowing/Doing Gap
Factors such as population and economic growth, increasing resource scarcity, and climate change have created a time of “reinvention” for urban water management. Responses include the “One Water” concept where water is thought to be managing in an integrated fashion within the urban area, rather than as separate “stove pipes”, and the blossoming interest in resource recovery from the used water stream. This is leading to dramatic changes in approaches to urban water management, and rapid advances in new and improved technologies to advance the objectives underlying these over-arching trends. These dramatic changes also necessitate changes in professional practice to recognize the developmental nature of technologies which must be evaluated and either implemented today or allowed for in plans and designs, and the significant changes in the supporting infrastructure which will enable these new approaches. Understanding the life-cycle of technology development, including the importance of learning curves, when evaluating evolving technologies; using risk and opportunity analysis as a formal step in options analysis; and including visioning and scenario analysis as regularly used components of professional practice become essential components of professional practice if we are to seize the potential opportunities before us. Right now a significant gap exists between what we “know” we can do and what we are actually “doing”. This gap is created by the fact that historic approaches to urban water management planning are ill-suited to the rapid changes now occurring and need to be updated with proven techniques and approaches adopted from other areas of professional practice. These changes in professional practice needed to propel our profession forward will be the subject of this presentation.