Masood Parvania, professor of in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, along with Rebecca O’Neil and Kostas Oikonomou, colleagues Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), has helmed an international initiative aimed at defining the future of water power research.

Diagram of the six areas the researchers' roadmap addresses.
The report groups research priorities into six broad categories within the “water-power nexus.” (Graphic by: Shannon Colson | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

The project, a collaboration of more than 40 international researchers, has now published a collective technical report, titled Integrated Water and Power Systems: Current State and Research Roadmap. The report is a product of the IEEE’s Power and Energy Society Task Force on Water-Power Systems, which was created in 2020 to serve as an international forum for experts in academia, national laboratories, industry, and government.

The systems that deliver water and energy are two of the most critical elements of civic infrastructure, and growing populations mean increasing demand for both. Despite their overlaps, however, water and energy systems are typically managed separately, as they consist of a complex array of technologies that were independently developed and implemented over time.  

Now, digital technologies promise new ways of integrating those systems, improving the efficiency and resilience of both.

At a high-level, the report offers extensive foundational knowledge and context on ways that water and energy systems are connected and interdependent. With this roadmap, the potential of integrated water and energy systems is imagined, offering branches of research directions and hopefully igniting many new ideas within the international community.

“Through meaningful dialogue and collaboration, we’re envisioning how research and development can promote efficient and resilient integration of water and power systems,” said Parvania, who also directs U-Smart: Utah Smart Energy Laboratory.

Read more about the roadmap at