Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

Search results for: Geanette Polanco

2 Non-parametric Linear Technique for Measuring the Efficiency of Winter Road Maintenance in the Arctic Area

Authors: Mahshid Hatamzad, Geanette Polanco

Abstract:

Improving the performance of Winter Road Maintenance (WRM) can increase the traffic safety and reduce the cost as well as environmental impacts. This study evaluates the efficiency of WRM technique, named salting, in the Arctic area by using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), which is a non-parametric linear method to measure the efficiencies of decision-making units (DMUs) based on handling multiple inputs and multiple outputs at the same time that their associated weights are not known. Here, roads are considered as DMUs for which the efficiency must be determined. The three input variables considered are traffic flow, road area and WRM cost. In addition, the two output variables included are level of safety in the roads and environment impacts resulted from WRM, which is also considered as an uncontrollable factor in the second scenario. The results show the performance of DMUs from the most efficient WRM to the inefficient/least efficient one and this information provides decision makers with technical support and the required suggested improvements for inefficient WRM, in order to achieve a cost-effective WRM and a safe road transportation during wintertime in the Arctic areas.

Keywords: DEA, environmental impacts, risk and safety, WRM.

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1 Water Security in Rural Areas through Solar Energy in Baja California Sur, Mexico

Authors: Luis F. Beltrán-Morales, Dalia Bali Cohen, Enrique Troyo-Diéguez, Gerzaín Avilés Polanco, Victor Sevilla Unda

Abstract:

This study aims to assess the potential of solar energy technology for improving access to water and hence the livelihood strategies of rural communities in Baja California Sur, Mexico. It focuses on livestock ranches and photovoltaic water-pumptechnology as well as other water extraction methods. The methodology used are the Sustainable Livelihoods and the Appropriate Technology approaches. A household survey was applied in June of 2006 to 32 ranches in the municipality, of which 22 used PV pumps; and semi-structured interviews were conducted. Findings indicate that solar pumps have in fact helped people improve their quality of life by allowing them to pursue a different livelihood strategy and that improved access to water -not necessarily as more water but as less effort to extract and collect it- does not automatically imply overexploitation of the resource; consumption is based on basic needs as well as on storage and pumping capacity. Justification for such systems lies in the avoidance of logistical problems associated to fossil fuels, PV pumps proved to be the most beneficial when substituting gasoline or diesel equipment but of dubious advantage if intended to replace wind or gravity systems. Solar water pumping technology-s main obstacle to dissemination are high investment and repairs costs and it is therefore not suitable for all cases even when insolation rates and water availability are adequate. In cases where affordability is not an obstacle it has become an important asset that contributes –by means of reduced expenses, less effort and saved time- to the improvement of livestock, the main livelihood provider for these ranches.

Keywords: Solar Pumps, Water Security, Livestock Ranches, Sustainable Livelihoods.

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