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Energy-water analysis of the 10-year WECC transmission planning study cases.

Description: In 2011 the Department of Energy's Office of Electricity embarked on a comprehensive program to assist our Nation's three primary electric interconnections with long term transmission planning. Given the growing concern over water resources in the western U.S. the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) requested assistance with integrating water resource considerations into their broader electric transmission planning. The result is a project with three overarching objectives: (1) Develop an integrated Energy-Water Decision Support System (DSS) that will enable planners in the Western Interconnection to analyze the potential implications of water stress for transmission and resource planning. (2) Pursue the formulation and development of the Energy-Water DSS through a strongly collaborative process between the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC), Western Governors Association (WGA), the Western States Water Council (WSWC) and their associated stakeholder teams. (3) Exercise the Energy-Water DSS to investigate water stress implications of the transmission planning scenarios put forward by WECC, WGA, and WSWC. The foundation for the Energy-Water DSS is Sandia National Laboratories Energy-Power-Water Simulation (EPWSim) model (Tidwell et al. 2009). The modeling framework targets the shared needs of energy and water producers, resource managers, regulators, and decision makers at the federal, state and local levels. This framework provides an interactive environment to explore trade-offs, and 'best' alternatives among a broad list of energy/water options and objectives. The decision support framework is formulated in a modular architecture, facilitating tailored analyses over different geographical regions and scales (e.g., state, county, watershed, interconnection). An interactive interface allows direct control of the model and access to real-time results displayed as charts, graphs and maps. The framework currently supports modules for calculating water withdrawal and consumption for current and planned electric power generation; projected water demand from competing use sectors; and, surface and groundwater availability. WECC's long range planning is organized according ...
Date: November 1, 2011
Creator: Tidwell, Vincent Carroll; Passell, Howard David; Castillo, Cesar & Moreland, Barbara
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A study of algal biomass potential in selected Canadian regions.

Description: A dynamic assessment model has been developed for evaluating the potential algal biomass and extracted biocrude productivity and costs, using nutrient and water resources available from waste streams in four regions of Canada (western British Columbia, Alberta oil fields, southern Ontario, and Nova Scotia). The purpose of this model is to help identify optimal locations in Canada for algae cultivation and biofuel production. The model uses spatially referenced data across the four regions for nitrogen and phosphorous loads in municipal wastewaters, and CO{sub 2} in exhaust streams from a variety of large industrial sources. Other data inputs include land cover, and solar insolation. Model users can develop estimates of resource potential by manipulating model assumptions in a graphic user interface, and updated results are viewed in real time. Resource potential by location can be viewed in terms of biomass production potential, potential CO{sub 2} fixed, biocrude production potential, and area required. The cost of producing algal biomass can be estimated using an approximation of the distance to move CO{sub 2} and water to the desired land parcel and an estimation of capital and operating costs for a theoretical open pond facility. Preliminary results suggest that in most cases, the CO{sub 2} resource is plentiful compared to other necessary nutrients (especially nitrogen), and that siting and prospects for successful large-scale algae cultivation efforts in Canada will be driven by availability of those other nutrients and the efficiency with which they can be used and re-used. Cost curves based on optimal possible siting of an open pond system are shown. The cost of energy for maintaining optimal growth temperatures is not considered in this effort, and additional research in this area, which has not been well studied at these latitudes, will be important in refining the costs of algal biomass production. The ...
Date: November 1, 2011
Creator: Passell, Howard David; Roach, Jesse Dillon & Klise, Geoffrey T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Viability report for the ByWater Lakes project.

Description: This report presents the results from the hydrological, ecological, and renewable energy assessments conducted by Sandia National Laboratories at the ByWater Lakes site in Espanola, New Mexico for ByWater Recreation LLC and Avanyu Energy Services through the New Mexico small business assistance (NMSBA) program. Sandia's role was to assess the viability and provide perspective for enhancing the site to take advantage of renewable energy resources, improve and sustain the natural systems, develop a profitable operation, and provide an asset for the local community. Integral to this work was the identification the pertinent data and data gaps as well as making general observations about the potential issues and concerns that may arise from further developing the site. This report is informational only with no consideration with regards to the business feasibility of the various options that ByWater and Avanyu may be pursuing.
Date: October 1, 2013
Creator: Lowry, Thomas Stephen; Klise, Geoffrey Taylor; Passell, Howard David & Peplinski, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sustainability innovation foundry %3CU%2B2013%3E FY13 : merging research and operations.

Description: Sustainability is a critical national security issue for the U.S. and other nations. Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) is already a global leader in sustainability science and technology (SS&T) as documented in this report. This report documents the ongoing work conducted this year as part of the Sustainability Innovation Foundry (SIF). The efforts of the SIF support Sandia's national and international security missions related to sustainability and resilience revolving around energy use, water use, and materials, both on site at Sandia and externally. The SIF leverages existing Sandia research and development (R&D) in sustainability science and technology to support new solutions to complex problems. The SIF also builds on existing Sandia initiatives to support transformation of Sandia into a fully sustainable entity in terms of materials, energy, and water use. In the long term, the SIF will demonstrate the efficacy of sustainability technology developed at Sandia through prototyping and test bed approaches and will provide a common platform for support of solutions to the complex problems surrounding sustainability. Highlights from this year include the Sustainability Idea Challenge, improvements in facilities energy use, lectures and presentations from relevant experts in sustainability [Dr. Barry Hughes, University of Denver], and significant development of the Institutional Transformation (IX) modeling tools to support evaluation of proposed modifications to the SNL infrastructure to realize energy savings.
Date: December 1, 2013
Creator: Mizner, Jack Harry; Passell, Howard David; Keller, Elizabeth James Kistin; Gordon, Margaret Ellen; McNeish, Jerry A. & Sullivan, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Borders as membranes :metaphors and models for improved policy in border regions.

Description: Political borders are controversial and contested spaces. In an attempt to better understand movement along and through political borders, this project applied the metaphor of a membrane to look at how people, ideas, and things ''move'' through a border. More specifically, the research team employed this metaphor in a system dynamics framework to construct a computer model to assess legal and illegal migration on the US-Mexico border. Employing a metaphor can be helpful, as it was in this project, to gain different perspectives on a complex system. In addition to the metaphor, the multidisciplinary team utilized an array of methods to gather data including traditional literature searches, an experts workshop, a focus group, interviews, and culling expertise from the individuals on the research team. Results from the qualitative efforts revealed strong social as well as economic drivers that motivate individuals to cross the border legally. Based on the information gathered, the team concluded that legal migration dynamics were of a scope we did not want to consider hence, available demographic models sufficiently capture migration at the local level. Results from both the quantitative and qualitative data searches were used to modify a 1977 border model to demonstrate the dynamic nature of illegal migration. Model runs reveal that current US-policies based on neo-classic economic theory have proven ineffective in curbing illegal migration, and that proposed enforcement policies are also likely to be ineffective. We suggest, based on model results, that improvement in economic conditions within Mexico may have the biggest impact on illegal migration to the U.S. The modeling also supports the views expressed in the current literature suggesting that demographic and economic changes within Mexico are likely to slow illegal migration by 2060 with no special interventions made by either government.
Date: October 1, 2005
Creator: Malczynski, Leonard A.; Passell, Howard David; Forster, Craig B. (University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT) & Cockerill, Kristan (Cockerill Consulting, Boone, NC)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Modeling the transfer of land and water from agricultural to urban uses in the Middle Rio Grande Basin, New Mexico.

Description: Social and ecological scientists emphasize that effective natural resource management depends in part on understanding the dynamic relationship between the physical and non-physical process associated with resource consumption. In this case, the physical processes include hydrological, climatological and ecological dynamics, and the non-physical process include social, economic and cultural dynamics among humans who do the resource consumption. This project represents a case study aimed at modeling coupled social and physical processes in a single decision support system. In central New Mexico, individual land use decisions over the past five decades have resulted in the gradual transformation of the Middle Rio Grande Valley from a primarily rural agricultural landscape to a largely urban one. In the arid southwestern U.S., the aggregate impact of individual decisions about land use is uniquely important to understand, because scarce hydrological resources will likely limit the viability of resulting growth and development trajectories. This decision support tool is intended to help planners in the area look forward in their efforts to create a collectively defined 'desired' social landscape in the Middle Rio Grande. Our research question explored the ways in which socio-cultural values impact decisions regarding that landscape and associated land use. Because of the constraints hydrological resources place on land use, we first assumed that water use, as embodied in water rights, was a reasonable surrogate for land use. We thought that modeling the movement of water rights over time and across water source types (surface and ground) would provide planners with insight into the possibilities for certain types of decisions regarding social landscapes, and the impact those same decisions would have on those landscapes. We found that water rights transfer data in New Mexico is too incomplete and inaccurate to use as the basis for the model. Furthermore, because of its lack of accuracy ...
Date: November 1, 2004
Creator: Jarratt, Janet (Valencia County, NM); Passell, Howard David; Kelly, Susan (Utton Transboundary Resources Center, Albuquerque, NM); Malczynski, Leonard A.; Chermak, Janie (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Van Bloeman Waanders, Paul (GRAM, Inc., Albuquerque, NM) et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Integrated system dynamics toolbox for water resources planning.

Description: Public mediated resource planning is quickly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Unfortunately, supporting tools are lacking that interactively engage the public in the decision-making process and integrate over the myriad values that influence water policy. In the pages of this report we document the first steps toward developing a specialized decision framework to meet this need; specifically, a modular and generic resource-planning ''toolbox''. The technical challenge lies in the integration of the disparate systems of hydrology, ecology, climate, demographics, economics, policy and law, each of which influence the supply and demand for water. Specifically, these systems, their associated processes, and most importantly the constitutive relations that link them must be identified, abstracted, and quantified. For this reason, the toolbox forms a collection of process modules and constitutive relations that the analyst can ''swap'' in and out to model the physical and social systems unique to their problem. This toolbox with all of its modules is developed within the common computational platform of system dynamics linked to a Geographical Information System (GIS). Development of this resource-planning toolbox represents an important foundational element of the proposed interagency center for Computer Aided Dispute Resolution (CADRe). The Center's mission is to manage water conflict through the application of computer-aided collaborative decision-making methods. The Center will promote the use of decision-support technologies within collaborative stakeholder processes to help stakeholders find common ground and create mutually beneficial water management solutions. The Center will also serve to develop new methods and technologies to help federal, state and local water managers find innovative and balanced solutions to the nation's most vexing water problems. The toolbox is an important step toward achieving the technology development goals of this center.
Date: December 1, 2006
Creator: Reno, Marissa Devan; Passell, Howard David; Malczynski, Leonard A.; Peplinski, William J.; Tidwell, Vincent Carroll; Coursey, Don (University of Chicago, Chicago, IL) et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Data collection for cooperative water resources modeling in the Lower Rio Grande Basin, Fort Quitman to the Gulf of Mexico.

Description: Water resource scarcity around the world is driving the need for the development of simulation models that can assist in water resources management. Transboundary water resources are receiving special attention because of the potential for conflict over scarce shared water resources. The Rio Grande/Rio Bravo along the U.S./Mexican border is an example of a scarce, transboundary water resource over which conflict has already begun. The data collection and modeling effort described in this report aims at developing methods for international collaboration, data collection, data integration and modeling for simulating geographically large and diverse international watersheds, with a special focus on the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo. This report describes the basin, and the data collected. This data collection effort was spatially aggregated across five reaches consisting of Fort Quitman to Presidio, the Rio Conchos, Presidio to Amistad Dam, Amistad Dam to Falcon Dam, and Falcon Dam to the Gulf of Mexico. This report represents a nine-month effort made in FY04, during which time the model was not completed.
Date: October 1, 2004
Creator: Passell, Howard David; Pallachula, Kiran (GRAM, Inc., Albuquerque, NM); Tidwell, Vincent Carroll; Villalobos, Joshua (Texas A&M University); Piccinni, Giovanni (Texas A&M University); Brainard, James Robert et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department