Dr. Christine Boyle, PhD (Founder & CEO) and Dr. Sohaib Alam (Lead Data Scientist), Valor Water
According the American Water Works Association, America must invest $1 trillion in the next 25 years to get its water infrastructure up to 21st century standards. This talk will describe how we built up to this $1 trillion bill then describe how the emerging fields of water finance and water revenue analytics are helping strengthen America’s water utilities’ financial performance. Data science is not a silver bullet to solve America’s water infrastructure issues. But, innovations in water data science are helping solve pressing water pricing and efficiency issues while also introducing new forms of due diligence to water funding models. In this way, precious public funds can be spent to improve water system efficiency and those funds can be allocated based on data –driven performance evaluation criteria.
Dr. Boyle has over 10 years in the water sector with a focus on decision support analytics for utilities and companies. She received a doctorate in water resource planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011, during which time she led a team at the university’s Environmental Finance Center on a multiyear study of water utility data analytics for the state’s Urban Water Consortium. She has advised the national governments of China and the Maldives on national water policy in her role as a World Bank consultant. She has also worked with water utilities nationwide and multiple Fortune 500 companies on crafting water strategies that achieve both water resource and financial sustainability goals.
Boyle has worked at three “startups” and founded two of her own (Blue Horizon Insight and Valor Water Analytics). She has published and presented widely on food security, data mining in the water sector, water policy, and the water-energy nexus
M. Sohaib Alam is Lead Data Scientist at Valor Water Analytics. He has a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he focused on string theory and related topics in quantum gravity. He graduated with a BA in mathematics and physics from Franklin & Marshall College, and spent part of his undergraduate at CERN, home to the world’s largest particle accelerator and birthplace of the world wide web. Before joining Valor, Sohaib was a Fellow at Insight Data Science in New York City. He thrives on applying his extensive training in mathematics and its applications to solve the kind of problems that Valor engages with.
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