Water Research Foundation Project 4469 - Joint water and electric planning tournament

Tournament referees (Steven Kenway and Steve Conrad) conferring with Team 3

On October 16 and 17, 2014 the Water Research Foundation hosted a Joint Water and Electric Utility Planning Tournament in Denver Colorado. Approximately 32 people from the United States, Canada, and Australia and representing water and electric utilities, water and energy sector professionals, federal and state regulators, and academic institutions took part in a simulated planning tournament in order to identify opportunities and barriers to water and electric utility integrated planning.
The tournament was held as part of project 4469: Water and Electric Utility Planning led by Steve Conrad, Simon Fraser University and Steven Kenway, the University of Queensland. This project originates from the realization that water and electric utilities plan separately, yet share the same water resource; a resource which is increasingly scarce.
New water supplies require more energy. Increased energy supplies require more water. This is just one example of the positive feedback cycle existing with regard to water and energy management, there are many more. This creates a massive challenge. It also creates the opportunity for a high level evaluation of innovative solutions of which planning needs to be at the forefront. There are appreciable opportunities for water / electric integrated planning and this gives cause for further investigation.
But how can water and electric utilities work together to manage scarce resources? Water and electric utilities often operate in silos, even in combined utilities, and many barriers do exist to such initiatives.
The Joint Water and Electric Utility Planning Tournament is a concept based on the Invitational Drought Tournament developed at the Science and Technology Branch of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Using simulation gaming, a tournament helps actors discuss opportunities for future planning efforts.

Team 4 deliberating planning options

In the Joint Planning Tournament, multiple water and electric power sector actors form teams consisting of approximately five players. The teams are guided through two integrated planning scenarios set in a fictitious city and region. The scenario includes information about the city and its biophysical, political, and social environment (e.g. demographics, temperature, precipitation, water and energy demand projections). Teams are provided a technical memo and guided through each scenario round. Teams work together to develop an integrated water and electric utility plan consisting of several planning alternatives. Teams score each other based on their integrated plan’s abilities to meet the goals of the scenario, minimize economic impact and maximize system resiliency in both the short and long term. The team with the highest score at the end of the second scenario wins the tournament.
The 2014 Denver tournament was organized Steve Conrad, Steven Kenway, Maria Brusher, Linda Reekie and Valerie Roundy, and sponsored by the Water Research Foundation, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and American Water Works Association. A summary report and copies of the tournament materials are linked below.

Tournament Roles

Players
· Actively participate in the WEUIP Tournament
· Consist of players from electric and water utilities, government, industry, and academia/NGO
· Within the team – time keepers, spokespersons and recorders are selected for each round

Facilitator/Organizers
· Facilitate the process overall
· Work together to adjust as necessary
· Answer question regarding process, technical options

Observers or “Fans”
· Observing the process for potential planning tournament application and feedback – on process, organization etc.
· Scoring Team presentations/choices

Judges
· Evaluate the cost and benefits of innovative adaptation options
· Engage in the scoring process along with the individual players and teams

Referees
· “Content” experts that can be consulted by teams
· Evaluate the cost and benefits of innovative options

Summary Report:
Project 4469 WEUIP Tournament Summary 2015

Hill, H., Hadarits, M., Rieger, R., Strickert, G., Davies, E.G.R., Strobbe, K.M., 2014. The Invitational Drought Tournament: What is it and why is it a useful tool for drought preparedness and adaptation? High Level Meeting on National Drought Policy 3, 107–116.