February 8, 2017 9:00 pm / 10:00 pm

CHS 33-105 (Center for Health Sciences)

About the Seminar: Nations around the world face the challenges of inadequate access to water as well as rising exposure to weather-related disasters. In this seminar, two studies are highlighted that provide insight into modern approaches to managing environmental hazards. The first study assesses past and future trends in mortality due to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH). This dynamic view of long-term trends represents an improvement over static depictions of WaSH services. Results based on simulation modeling indicate that in many developing regions, WaSH mortality will decline to near-zero levels. Yet, WaSH mortality may persist in parts of South Asia and increase in Sub-Saharan Africa, suggesting that assistance is likely beneficial in these locations.
The second study provides insight into emerging challenges due to extreme events in megacities. Yet, surprisingly, the broad public impacts of disasters and the behavioral aspects of adaptation are poorly understood. This study assesses how online information can enable households to reduce flood impacts. Results indicate that social media can dramatically reduce impacts and enable effective disaster preparation. This has broad implications for incorporating online applications into disaster communication. Overall, both studies illustrate how management of environmental hazards can be improved by incorporating economic methods and social perspectives.