ASCE has honored the writing team of Mathews J. Wakhungu; Noha Abdel-Mottaleb, Ph.D., A.M.ASCE; E. Christian Wells; and Qiong Zhang, Ph.D., EIT, A.M.ASCE, with the 2023 Wesley W. Horner Award for the paper “Geospatial Vulnerability Framework for Identifying Water Infrastructure Inequalities,” Journal of Environmental Engineering, September 2021.

The researchers present a geospatial vulnerability framework for identifying water infrastructure inequalities, using the City of Tampa, Florida, to demonstrate the framework. For this framework, they integrate geographic information systems (GIS) analysis of environmental hazards, a factor analytic model of sociodemographic data, and a network topology-based performance indicators for the water distribution network. The resulting framework models the environmental and social vulnerabilities, quantifies hydraulic vulnerability and infrastructure interdependence, and maps their distributions across the urban environment. The authors found that the highest levels of social and environmental vulnerabilities in Tampa are present in low-income areas and communities of color that have high hydraulic vulnerability and infrastructure interdependency, which creates pockets of low resilience capacity.

The Wesley W. Horner Award recognizes papers that have contributed to the areas of hydrology, urban drainage, or sewerage.