Water System Resilience (ARCC-Water)

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Civil Environmental and Geomatic Eng

Abstract

Reliable water supply is fundamental to human health and wellbeing, and in the UK is underpinned by inter-linked infrastructure for abstraction, storage, treatment and conveyance of potable and wastewater. Climate change has the potential to affect the UK water system in a number of ways: through changes in the water available for abstraction and storage, especially through altered drought frequency and intensity, changes in demand and changing risk of infrastructure failure.This project aims to develop a set of analysis tools and data on climate change and future demand that will enable users to identify packages of options that results in heightened reslience of the UK water system to these uncertain future drivers. The multi-criteria approach to be developed will also allow alternative adaptation options to be assessed against other criteria, such as environmental sustatinability, energy costs and public acceptability.The focus of the study is South and East England, an area that is already experiencing water system stress, and likely to be subject to additional stresses in the future due to climate change and demographic changes.The methods and results of this research will enable the UK to better plan for adaptation of the water system to climate change, and will help identify the polciy and regulatory changes that would be needed for adaptation to take place.The project has been designed in collaboration with stakeholders from government (DEFRA, EA, OFWAT, GLA), the water industry (UKWIR, Water UK and a number of water companies) and NGOs with an interest in water. These same stakeholders will be involved throughout the project as project partners.

Publications

10 25 50

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Harou J (2010) The Evolution of Water Resource Planning and Decision Making in European Review of Agricultural Economics

 
Description We developed methods to plan water resource systems that took into account uncertainties and non-economic metrics of performance. Here are two prominent examples of where the research was published in top journals and had policy impact as each paper involves industry representatives:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022169415008719
and
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378016304216
Exploitation Route The Environment Agency and Ofwat (English water regulators) are changing the way they regulate water companies partially in response to our work, and our influence. My group works for the regulators frequently.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Security and Diplomacy

URL http://wrse.org.uk/
 
Description Currently England is moving away from an economics-only planning framework for deciding water supply and water resource infrastructure water investments. In this project we compared the economics only approach to a multi-criteria one, backed by integrated engineering models which look at many factors of engineered, environmental and economic performance. This work has influenced the water regulators in England (Environment Agency, Ofwat); the guidelines for the 2019 water plans will strongly be changed as a response to our work and the wider community moving towards more sophisticated planning under uncertainty approaches for water - not only financial/economic.
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Economic

 
Description J Harou presented to Environment Agency senior water team
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
Impact Prof. J Harou was asked to give evidence to the senior Environment Agency panel about new approaches to planning water resource investments for England. This will contribute to moving beyond the current approaches used by water companies which only consider the costs of the different supply alternatives.
URL http://wrse.org.uk/
 
Description Prof. Harou in UKWIR group writing UK water planning guidelines with water companies and regulators
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact Prof. Harou is part of the Atkins led UKWIR (UK Water Industry Research) team writing the Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP) 2019 METHODS - DECISION MAKING PROCESS: GUIDANCE document. This 2016 report describes how UK water companies can use state of the art Decision-making under uncertainty methods to better plan their water supply investments. This will mean UK consumers get more reliable better quality water for cheaper.
URL http://www.ukwir.org
 
Description Anglian Water industrial research funding
Amount £220,000 (GBP)
Organisation Anglian Water Services 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 03/2017 
End 12/2018
 
Description EU FP7
Amount £291,232 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2013 
End 01/2017
 
Description IAA-EPSRC Concept and Feasibility Scheme (University of Manchester)
Amount £43,751 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2015 
End 10/2015
 
Description IAA-EPSRC Secondment with Anglian Water Services
Amount £104,680 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 11/2015 
End 03/2017
 
Description International Climate INitiative
Amount £477,781 (GBP)
Funding ID WISE-UP project 
Organisation Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) 
Sector Public
Country Germany, Federal Republic of
Start 09/2013 
End 02/2017
 
Description Thames Water industrial research funding
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Thames Water Utilities Limited 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 09/2016 
End 12/2018
 
Description Water Resources of East Anglia project
Amount £263,000 (GBP)
Organisation Anglian Water Services 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 03/2016 
End 03/2018
 
Title Efficient and Robust Decision Making - applied to UK water planning 
Description This approach combines robust decision making and multicriteria search to help infrastructure planners select infrastructure investments under an uncertain future. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This approach to planning is being used by several water companies to plan their water systems and justify choice of investments to regulators. 
 
Title Pywr (open source water management model) with Atkins 
Description Pywr (on Github) - collaboration with Atkins Llimited, an open-source water resource system simulation model 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Building models of between 7 and 12 water company areas with water company staff to enable them to efficiently plan their infrastructure systems. 
URL https://github.com/pywr/pywr
 
Description Cornell University 
Organisation Cornell University
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Following the ARCC-Water project we have established a long-term relationship with Prof. Patrick Reed at Cornell University in NY, USA. This has led to the following publication: Matrosov, E.S, Huskova, I, Kasprzyk, J.R, Harou, J J, Lambert, C, Reed, P.M. Many-objective optimization and visual analytics reveal key trade-offs for London's water supply. Journal of Hydrology. 2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.11.003
Collaborator Contribution Advisory
Impact Matrosov, E.S, Huskova, I, Kasprzyk, J.R, Harou, J J, Lambert, C, Reed, P.M. Many-objective optimization and visual analytics reveal key trade-offs for London's water supply. Journal of Hydrology. 2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.11.003
Start Year 2012
 
Description Memorandum of Understanding with Atkins UK (Water group) 
Organisation WS Atkins
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Atkins has funded a PhD student in our group and we have signed a memorandum of understanding related to the development of an open-source water resources simulation model named pywr which is to be shared and improved by researchers, consultants, water industry and government specialists.
Collaborator Contribution They funded a very bright student, we are building water models for UK water utilities, building new open source software https://github.com/pywr/pywr
Impact https://github.com/pywr/pywr
Start Year 2014
 
Description Memorandum of Understanding with Halcrow-CH2M 
Organisation CH2M HILL
Country United States of America 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Halcrow and Prof. Harou's group at the Univerity of Manchester have joined forces in building a Innovate UK-funded (2013 TSB water scarcity competition) joint venture www.hydraplatform.org, an open-source software platform for modelling engineered - natural resource system networks and www.hydraappsotre.com, an app store for Hydra compatible models, and www.hydramodeller.com, a commercial user-interface for Hydra.
Collaborator Contribution They designed the websites and the Hydra Modeller user interface.
Impact This is a new category of civil engineering product/service, a model platform, where users can link several models to one data management system.
Start Year 2012
 
Title Hydra - an open software platform for managing networked resources (water, energy, transport, etc.) 
Description Platform that enables data management for large scale resource networks. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact May be adopted by water companies and resource management agencies world wide 
URL http://www.hydraplatform.org