Research Statement

What is 3 + 4:
What is 3 + 4:

Research Statement and Vision
Olayinka Okeola, PhD

The overall goal of my research agenda is to provide information to make a good stewardship of water resources for nexus of cities, water, energy and food. It will also be a platform to train and mentor students. In 2010, the United Nations formally made a declaration on human right regarding accessibility to and sustainability of water. There are several declarations along with consequential moral burden on nations. However, the modus operandi of financing implementations is a huge challenge. All problems associated with sustainable water resources management are difficult ones which Yoe [1] describes as having no right answer. Difficult problems are found at the intersection of science and values. The problem of uncertainty is embedded in all difficult problems along with the problems of human rationality [2]. My research goal is “Safe, sustainable, and efficient water delivery for human livelihood and development”.  The research aims at national priorities that align with global effort in ensuring sustainable development. The realization of water, energy and food, resources inadequacy and threat to humanity became a ‘global concern’. In addressing these challenges, the application of Decision Support Systems (DSS), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Geographic Information System (GIS), and statistical tools will be deployed for solving Water Resources System management with broad interest in hydrology, climate impact studies, water policy, and water resources infrastructural management.

My current research interest is an extension and expansion (in scope) of what I have been engaged in for a while but with particular emphasy in addressing global environmental challenges and sustainable developments that is a frontier of research. Fundable research proposal usually align with the national priorities of the beneficiary countries as set out in their National Development Plan and this is where recognizable funded researches are domiciled (e.g. USA National Science Foundation and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) and subsequently define my visionary research agenda. Critical appraisal of fundable research areas is ever imperative and is guiding my concept note development that addresses specific thematic focuses especially on WEF for achieving UN SDGs. Specifically I really want to have my mark in developing novel sustainable solutions to the complex problems of the nexus of cities, water, energy and food that are of local and national concerns 

Water, energy, and food are inextricably linked and are extremely very important to effective management of any of these resources crucial to the sustainable development of any nation.  The world is focusing on profiling water, energy, and food nexus. Shortages of any of the three is not only limiting sustainable livelihood and developments but can cause economic loses and human lives at the extreme cases. Water resources are often most challenging because water cannot be manufactured and the availability is largely depended on climate variability and anthropogenic. Considering this, the need for efficient allocation of water across sectors become obvious. Systems-approach that recognizes stakeholders participating in decision making is imperative. The Water-Energy-Food Nexus resulted in diversity of disciplines in the study and thus engendered more collaboration between a wider group of academics and decision makers and my efforts into one or two networking/collaborative groups is concertedly ongoing. 

2.1 Target Grant
Nigeria TetFund National Research Fund (NRF) Grants. (Worth – Max. ₦50M)
My focus is on SDGs 1(clean water & sanitation) and 11(sustainable cities & communities) within the context of Nigeria Sustainable development priorities agenda. Subsequently, will develop concept note on TetFund category 3, (cross cutting). Thematic area 25: “Cross-cutting Issues in Sustainable Development Goals.” With preliminary on two foci:
Focus 1. This includes developing content, method, relevance, feasibility, preliminary cost, and collaborative-discipline identification team.
Focus 2. Developing basic research for knowledge and preliminary data generation.
Duration: 12-18 Months

I have not been granted any research grant but notwithstanding, I am not relenting effort in improving my strategies. We responded to a call for proposal under 2019 Emerald African Management Research Fund Award in August 2019 in which I was the Principal Investigator. Our research title is “Modelling of Water Infrastructure System for Efficient Service Delivery in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) Setting: A Diagnostic Study of University of Ilorin, Nigeria”. The research proposes to analyze and develop a model for the water infrastructure system of the school in order to improve its sustainable service delivery to 60,000 based community with high tendency to increase. The study will subsequently serve as a baseline for the expanded scope within the purview of Nigeria’s United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda of the national development priority.  My research efforts up to date have led to publication of 20 peer-reviewed papers that are included Scopus-index journals, 9 conference papers, 2 technical papers. I have two studies ongoing in the area of surface hydrology for water resources management.  They are:
1.    Spatial Hydrological Analysis for Storm water Harvesting Investigation Using ARCGIS Modelling.
This study was conducted for Ilorin metropolitan comprises of four local Government and capital of Kwara state of Nigeria. The paper is in the process of resubmission.
2.    Application of hybrid of T-F, ARIMA and ANN models for reservoir system planning and management.
This study is addressing the issue of dearth of streamflow data for reservoir management and is ongoing.

Some key tools and their application in my past studies are briefly enumerated:
Decision Support System: The DSS found wide applicability [eg 3,4, and 5] because of the flexibility for incorporating multidisciplinary state of the arts tools. I had developed an integrated hydro-economic optimization model as the core DDS tool for management a regional metropolitan water supply scheme in Kwara state, Nigeria.
Stakeholders’ participation: In water resources management problem today, the contribution of stakeholders’ is important. I have used Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to capture stakeholders’ contribution into the decision process of urban water management strategies [6]. Econometric model is another supporting tool employed to determine crucial decision process of socio-economic significant [7].
Geographical Information System: It is a versatile tool of huge diverse uses in many fields.  It has help to reduce challenges of modern day research equipment by exploring GIS in watershed management most especially special hydrology.

[1]    Yoe, C. (2002) Trade-off analysis planning and procedures guidebook. Planning and Management Consultants, Ltd. Carbondale, IL. USA.
[2]    Khisty, C.J. and Mohammadi, J. (2001) Fundamentals of Systems Engineering. Prentice Hall, Inc. New Jersey. USA
[3]     O.G. Okeola and B.F. Sule (2012) Evaluation of Management Alternatives for Urban Water Supply System Using Multicriteria Decision Analysis.  Journal of King Saud University – Engineering Sciences. 24: pp 19–24.
[4]    Simonovic, S.I. (1996) Decision support systems for sustainable management of water resources: 1. General principles .Water International. (21)4: 223-232
[5]    Westphal, K.S., Vogel, R.M., Kirshen, P., and Chapra, S.C. (2003) Decision support system for adaptive water supply management. J. Water Resources Planning and Management.  (129)3: 165-177.
[6]    Panagopoulos, Y., Makropoulos, C. and Mimikou, M. (2012) Decision support for diffuse pollution management. Environmental Modelling & software. 30: 57-70
 [7]    B.F. Sule and O.G. Okeola (2010) Measuring willingness to pay for improved urban water supply in Offa city, Kwara State. Nigeria. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply. (10):2 Pp 933 -941.

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