Erik Porse, PhD

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Natural Gas Use in L.A. County

CC BY-SA 2.0, File:Aliso Canyon gas leak site, Dec. 14, 2015 (23389378449).jpg, Created: 14 December 2015

The shutdown of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility has threatened the reliability of energy supplies in Southern California. Reducing natural gas demands, especially during peak periods of summer and winter use, is critically important to preserve uninterrupted electricity and natural gas services throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan region. In winter, natural gas consumption […]

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U.S. Urban Infrastructure: Eras and Development

D.C. Good Plan- zoomed

Infrastructure makes up critical physical and technological systems in the built environment, or the “sinews” of the city (Tarr 1984). With industrialization in Europe and North America, cities developed infrastructure that utilized new energy sources to facilitate commerce and exploit natural resources. Over several centuries, municipalities increasingly undertook central roles in financing, planning, constructing, and […]

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Managing Arroyos in Los Cabos

This entry is also posted on the Sustainable Cities International blog, which gives updates of work from SCI’s Affiliated Researchers and interns working with member cities throughout the world.  A quiet evolution is taking place in how we use and move water within cities throughout the world.  In Los Cabos, Mexico, where I am working […]

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Stormwater Management and Governance in San Francisco

An excerpt from a recently published journal article on governance of urban stormwater systems in future cities…. San Francisco provides a relevant example to understand governance changes related to future stormwater systems. The San Francisco Bay Area has a total population of over 7 million people in nine counties and is dominated by San Francisco Estuary, […]

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Treating Water in the Home

Treating water in a home or a building may be relevant in a few situations.  First, in communities without sufficient capital to build water treatment facilities, residents are forced to drink bottled water.  This happens thorughout the world, from the farmlands of East Africa to the rural communities of California.  Second, many in the sustainability […]

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Urban Water and Governance


Water infrastructure is typically about pipes and bills.  Most cities have dedicated departments that manage water distribution, sewage, and stormwater systems.  Today, however, new designs for more sustainable urban development are re-considering how we deliver these services for residents.  Rather than provide and manage water through centralized services, what are the opportunities and challenges associated […]

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Understanding Arsenic in Drinking Water

Arsenic is a naturally-occurring element that can leach into groundwater and surface water from rocks and minerals.  In most areas, natural levels of arsenic in water are less than 1 ppb, though some communities, particularly in the Western U.S., have recorded natural arsenic levels in water sources over 10 ppb1.  Arsenic can have both acute […]

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Direct Potable Water Reuse in Cities

Direct potable reuse (DPR) involves processes where “purified municipal wastewater is introduced into a water treatment plant intake or directly into the water distribution system.”1 As populations increase and treatment technologies improve, direct potable reuse may become an economically viable or even preferred option to meet growing global water demand. Water reuse takes many forms. […]

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Life in the Tails: Behavioral Economics

The question of merging individual (or organizational) decision-making with infrastructure design and management is supremely interesting, though not often engaged by the engineering community. For urban infrastructure, social systems are a key component of function. Individual decisions are influenced by personal views, interactions with peers, and larger social trends. This may not have a lot […]

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Urban Infrastructure, Ecosystems, and Eco-technological Systems

Though exploding urban populations are indicative of the massive planetary changes humans are enacting, the process of urbanization has been a fundamental trend for centuries. Rapid urbanization in North American, European, and some Asian countries during periods of industrialization since 1860 necessitated a series of innovations in organization and infrastructure in order to facilitate transportation, […]

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