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Planning for robust water supply system investments under global change

Huskova, Ivana; (2018) Planning for robust water supply system investments under global change. Doctoral thesis (Eng.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Climate change, population growth, institutional changes and the uncertainties inherent in these pose a major challenge to planning and management of water supply systems. Using historical river flow records to predict the behaviour of water resource systems into the future is no longer sufficient since the hydrologic record can no longer be assumed to represent future conditions. Planning under uncertainty approaches must allow considering future uncertainties in the water supply as well as demand and the institutions that manage water and its uses. Furthermore, water systems are complex and must meet multiple demands of a range of stakeholders whose objectives often conflict. Understanding these conflicts requires exploring many alternative plans to identify balanced solutions in light of important system trade-offs. The thesis focuses on improving the water resource planning process in the UK and to reflect trends in current water planning policy developments in the UK and worldwide. The challenge of longterm human-natural resource system planning is to identify high value portfolios of human interventions whilst considering the two main challenges: future deep uncertainty and multiple concurrent societal goals. This identification process is severely complicated by the exponentially large number of alternative combinations of schemes available to manage future resources. This research project demonstrates how simulating systems under multiple plausible realizations of the future coupled with ‘many-objective’ optimization can provide decision makers with robust solutions. Visual analytics is used to interact with results and demonstrate the benefits of this approach compared to traditional planning practices. Results presented here aim to aid water resources planners to orient investment strategies to meet key requirements and aspirations. These include but are not limited to maintaining the supply-demand balance and customer satisfaction in future, promoting sustainable use of resources, protecting the natural environmental, etc. The thesis aims to communicate to planners the increase in understanding of how such aspirations can be balanced taking into account uncertainties of future conditions using the proposed approaches.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Eng.D
Title: Planning for robust water supply system investments under global change
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045915
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