ASU partnership to help resource management in Latin America, Caribbean

two men shaking hands

Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President Luis Alberto Moreno met in Washington, D.C., to solidify, in a memorandum of understanding, a water resources-focused partnership that began in 2011. The alliance is expected to apply the data visualization, modeling and simulation methodology of ASU’s Decision Theater Network to areas including energy, mining, climate change and emerging cities, among others.

“The ASU-IDB collaboration has covered expansive ground since inception,” said Sethuraman "Panch" Panchanathan, senior vice president of the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU. “This has culminated in a promising pipeline that will develop over the next three years of the (memorandum), leveraging ASU’s diverse academic and research capabilities, and IDB’s commitment to bring about development in a sustainable, climate-friendly way.”

Inspired by Hurricane Alex and the severe flood which damaged Monterrey, Mexico, in 2010, ASU and the Inter-American Development Bank co-funded the application of Decision Theater technology to prevent future flooding and promote optimal water sustainability and planning in 2011.

Also sponsored by the FEMSA Foundation and Tecnologico de Monterrey’s Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean, this pilot facilitated decision-making among stakeholders by testing future water scenarios in Monterrey’s San Juan River Basin. A breakthrough visualization tool for water and sanitation, the Innovation Consortium Project Water is the brainchild of Mexican decision-makers and a binational team of scientists, whose efforts will be reflected in an upcoming publication.

“Innovation is a principle that drives the IDB, and our partnership with Arizona State University has brought that to the table,” said Bernardo Guillamon, manager of the IDB’s Office of Outreach and Partnerships. “Improved resource management is a critical need that ASU is helping meet in an inventive and effective way.”

Collaborative efforts by ASU and the Inter-American Development Bank will include the development and delivery of training courses, knowledge generation and dissemination, research and case studies, and organization of and participation in events such as workshops and seminars.

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