WithersRavenel engineers honored for presentation on Beaufort water modeling project

WithersRavenel engineers honored for presentation on Beaufort water modeling project

What happens when COVID-19 interrupts your water modeling project? A presentation by two WithersRavenel utilities engineers that tackled that question recently won an award at the International Conference on Water Management Modeling (ICWMM).

Nina Caraway, PE, and Casey Garland, Ph.D., PE, received third place honors from ICWMM for Best Paper Presentation. Their presentation focused on WithersRavenel’s project with Beaufort County. Caraway and Garland are on the team working with the county, and were in the midst of calibrating a new hydraulic model when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

With the aid of the County’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), Beaufort’s AMI vendor was able to team with WR in capturing water usage data to help define past, present, and future demand. This valuable information allowed WR and the County to evaluate a multitude of operational conditions reflective of pre-pandemic usage as well as data obtained during the pandemic to be held as a comparison for post-pandemic operational funding.

The presentation addressed the challenges of developing a successful calibrated hydraulic water model during a national crisis while simultaneously addressing fluctuating operational conditions for multiple interconnected systems.

Caraway said various factors prompted the pair to write about the Beaufort project, from the uniqueness of the system to the pandemic’s effects on water usage to the large amount of information gathered.

“In addition to comparing pre- and post-pandemic water patterns, having hourly data provided valuable insight into both operational and consumption patterns which varied not just throughout the day, but also varied on day of the week and even season,” she said.

Ultimately, the project will allow WithersRavenel engineers to help the County understand its system and make data-backed decisions to improve future efficiency and quality.

Would you like to put WithersRavenel’s modeling experts to work for you? Contact Caraway at (919) 238-0307 or ncaraway@withersravenel.com.