Austin Urban Systems: Lessons from the 2021 Freeze

Mar 16, 2022

10:00am – 11:00am CT

The winter storm that hit Texas in February 2021 left thousands of Austinites without power and safe drinking water for days. In this session, we will investigate the series of events that led to Austin’s numerous power outages and boil water notice. We will use a recollection of the unexpected challenges that Austin Water and Austin Energy faced during the storm to characterize water-energy system interdependencies and identify how Austin residents played a major role in the response.

This session will propose ways to learn from the 2021 winter storm to better understand and monitor urban system interdependencies, which are increasingly complex in the context of climate change and emerging technologies.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

photo of Julie Faure
photo of Kasey Faust
Kasey Faust

The University of Texas at Austin

photo of Erik Funkhouser
Erik Funkhouser

City Of Austin’s Electric Utility Commission

photo of Joshua Rhodes
Joshua Rhodes

IdeaSmiths LLC

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