The world population living in urban settlements is expected to increase to 70% of 9.7 billion by 2050. Historically, as cities grew, new water infrastructures followed as needed. However, these developments had less to do with real planning than with reacting to crisis situations and urgent needs, due to the inability of urban water planners to consider long-term, deeply uncertain and ambiguous factors affecting urban development and water demand. These, coupled with increasingly uncertain climate conditions, indicate the need for a more holistic and intelligent decision-making framework for managing water infrastructures in the cities of the future.
This project aims to develop a new theoretical framework for the allocation and development decisions on drinking water infrastructure systems, so that they are socially equitable, economically efficient and environmentally resilient, as advocated by the UN Agenda 2030, Sustainable Development Goals. The framework will integrate real-time monitoring and control with long-term robustness and flexibility-based pathway methods, and incorporate economic, social, ethical and environmental considerations for sustainable transitioning of urban water systems under deep uncertainty with multiple possible futures.
The Water-Futures team will build on synergies from the four research groups, transcending methodologies from water science, systems and control theory, economics and decision science, and machine learning, into an integrated decision and control framework, to be implemented as an open-source research toolbox. The new science outcomes will be applied to three case studies exemplifying different types of urban water systems: a mature, relatively stable system; a mature and rapidly expanding system; and a relatively recent supply system in a developing country with high growth and special challenges, including limited resources, intermittent supply and high water losses.
Fields of science
- engineering and technologycivil engineeringstructural engineeringhydraulic engineering
- social sciencesother social sciencessocial sciences interdisciplinarysustainable development
- engineering and technologyenvironmental engineeringwater treatment processesdrinking water treatment processes
- social scienceseconomics and businesseconomics
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeERC-SyG - Synergy grant