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

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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. The findings of the ARCC project have influenced how we set up the Water Resources of the South East and Water Resources East projects and also how certain water companies (Thames Water, Anglian Water) conduct water planning.
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.
First Year Of Impact 2009
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Invitation to 2017 and 2018 events to shape Environmetn Agency future water resource management plan guidelines
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Julien was invited to present at two Environment Agency London events on the reform of uk water resources planning in December 2017 and March 2018. Julien is broadly credited with having changed English water planning from a least cost approach to a multi-criteria one. Julien's group has been working with the Water Resources of the South East (WRSE) and Water Resources East (WRE) consortia as lead academic decision-making analytics contractor since 2009 and 2013 respectively. Both groups are using models and/or approaches designed by his research group. These consortia of water companies and regulators make regional strategic decisions on water infrastructure investments worth billions of pounds of the public's money in each 5-year planning period. Through these projects Julien has transformed how water companies use simulation and optimisation tools to select and design billions pound complex infrastructure constellations. The change in how UK water companies select and justify investments has and will lead to a reduction in the cost of water infrastructure and increased levels of service (reliability, resilience, and environmental quality).
 
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 System scale design of hydropower systems
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in systematic reviews
Impact Better investment in new dams, better design of hydropower systems at international scale.
URL https://global.nature.org/content/power-of-rivers
 
Description Anglian Water industrial research funding
Amount £220,000 (GBP)
Organisation Anglian Water Services 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
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 Global Challenge Research Fund - Growing Research Capability to Meet the Challenges Faced by Developing Countries
Amount £9,846,864 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/P011373/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 12/2021
 
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
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
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
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
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
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 
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 
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 
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 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact May be adopted by water companies and resource management agencies world wide 
URL http://www.hydraplatform.org
 
Description February 14-15 Resilient Water Decisions Workshop at The World Bank, Washington DC 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact An international group of experts was brought together to advise the World Bank on how to identify and support resilient water managment and planning activities and investments.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2016/10/21/drmhubtokyo-knowledge-program-resilient-water-su...
 
Description National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Gave a talk at the NIC on 'Designing and assessing infrastructure system interventions with stakeholders'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description September 21, 2018, 'Enabling a step-change in UK water planning with open-source tools' Workshop, London, UCL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Open event attended by nearly 50 participants detailing our research's group suite of open-source water resources simulation and data management software
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk given at Environment Agency event: WRMP24- Setting the Direction 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact WRMP24: Setting the Direction

Wednesday 29th November 2017 12:30 - 15:30

Venue: Broadway House Conference Centre, Tothill St, London, SW1H 9NQ

Background: The prospect of droughts worse than previously seen, a changing climate and population growth all present significant challenges to security of supply. We must face these challenges and do so in a sustainable manner that doesn't put the environment at risk.

Water resources management plans have already evolved in some ways to meet these challenges and now is the right time to enhance the work we have done for WRMP19 so that we are ready for WRMP24 and for an uncertain future.

We welcome you to this round table discussion to explore our direction of travel for WRMP24. We intend to use the outputs of the day to create a set of principles by which we will work towards WRMP24 guiding the necessary research and development together with the government, fellow regulators, water industry and partners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description World Bank - Resilient Water Decisions talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The World Bank
Office of the Chief Economist (GGSCE), Sustainable Development Vice Presidency
Global Water Practice (GWAGP)
Korea Green Growth Trust Fund (KGGTF)
WORKSHOP

February 14th and 15th, 2018 in Washington, D.C., USA
1. WORKSHOP OBJECTIVE
The purpose of the workshop is to share the experiences of the World Bank and similar water management and development organizations in dealing with climate and other uncertainties towards resilient water-related investments. The challenges and gaps in terms of practices, governance, finance, and other key factors being faced in the practice of decision making for planning, design and operation of water-related projects will be discussed.
The workshop will also provide an opportunity to learn from practitioners and members of the academic and consulting worlds about the latest advances in this field, including how to integrate existing and new tools within this framework and how best to advance and mainstream these approaches.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018