All posts by Harrison Zeff

About Harrison Zeff

Environment Sciences & Engi


For much of the 20th century, municipalities responded to growing water demand by developing large storage infrastructure capable of maintaining adequate water supplies even during the most extreme droughts. Faced with increasing financial and environmental pressures associated with new storage projects, this strategy has become more and more untenable for water utilities, even in regions accustomed to water abundance.  In order to meet the challenges of the 21st century, water management strategies will need to place more emphasis on efficient regional cooperation and demand-side measures.

My research focuses on the problems utilities face during this transition and finding potential solutions at the intersection of network analysis, economics, and multi-objective optimization.  New business models which provide utilities with more efficient sources of supply also introduce new types of financial risk, and a more integrated water distribution system requires the consideration of multiple objectives across a number of different actors.  The aim is to formulate water management problems in a way to both better understand why decisions are made in complex, multiple objective environments, as well as to develop ideas which can improve the tradeoffs facing utilities.

I’ve set up this website to highlight some of the interesting research my collaborators and I have been doing on these subjects.  Feel free to send questions or feedback (both positive and negative) to