Anum
Khan

Project: Hydro Intelligence

Anum is a Graduate Research Student at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and is currently completing a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Her research focuses on mitigating the impacts of “flushable” consumer products on urban wastewater collection systems.

Anum is an active participant in water organizations, like the International Water Association, Canadian Water Network, and the Canadian Association on Water Quality. She has a passion for machine learning and innovating water technologies that incorporate some form of deep learning.

She exemplifies leadership through her participation in Engineers Without Borders, where she currently oversees a youth-led non-profit initiative aimed at raising awareness in youth on local and international water challenges.

In her spare time, Anum enjoys spending time with her family, riding her bike around the block, and reading up on notable autobiographies.

PROJECT

Hydro Intelligence is a spinoff of HydroHaus, which was a project Anum participated in with a student team during a university-level competition among other student design teams across Ontario. Her team placed first place in the competition and is now working to scale HydroHaus.

Hydro Intelligence will mitigate the impacts of intense rainfall events in the Greater Toronto Area through the implementation of GIS-and AI-based measures at the property and neighbourhood levels. The GIS-analysis is being performed through HydroHaus, and the AI-based measures will be performed through image collection, transfer, and processing performed at outfalls and CSO discharges.

The impacts of intense rainfall events do not go unseen. Rather, they have begun to appear more evident over the last decade as we’ve witnessed high-frequency flooding events in the downtown core. This project will address the impacts of these flooding events by using the data from the GIS and AI tools to propose low-impact development measures for property owners (to address the property level) and urban planners (to address the neighbourhood level) to reduce the quantities and effects of high peak stormwater runoff.

This idea was not a sole contribution but rather, the team I was working with over the course of the Rain It In competition came up with the idea behind HydroHaus together. Our team was comprised of engineering students, environmentalists, data analysts, and urban sustainability students. Moreover, I was also working as a research student simultaneously on quantifying the impacts of so-called “flushable” consumer products. Merging these two projects together led me to develop Hydro Intelligence.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

When I visited Pakistan for the first time in July 2012, I was clueless to the fact that this was a nation hard-hit by climate change. That initial realization led me to develop a stronger passion for a more sustainable planet.

I chose to study Civil Engineering with a focus on SDG #6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Having the opportunity to address water management issues in an integrated context through my studies has further motivated me to continue my quest for knowledge.

I aspire to build bridges between Canada and developing countries to better address the issue of water scarcity in both urbanized and remote regions.

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