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Sustainability of Urban Water Systems

Keywords: urban water cycle services, sustainability, risk, long-term planning, reliability
Fig. 1. An outline of risk methodology developed in the TRUST project (Author: Vittorio Di Federico)
Fig. 2. The Financial Sustainability Rating Tool (FSRT) developed in TRUST (Author: Vittorio Di Federico)
Fig. 3. Metabolism model of water consumption at building scale (Author: Vittorio Di Federico)

Climate change, pollution of drinkable water sources, progressive aging of existing infrastructures and limited financial resources render the water cycle management in urban areas one the major issues of the next generations. To effectively cope with the aforementioned problems a new paradigm, aimed to sustainability of water usage, needs to be adopted by decision and policy makers, planners and users. Methods, technologies, field experiences and tools need to be provided to stakeholders to support the planning of infrastructure and water usage adaptation to the anthropic pressures exacerbated by climate change under limited financial resources. This approach requires water companies and research institutions to coproduce methods and tools, and the involvement of decision makers and stakeholders to select objectives and interventions in the urban water cycle aimed to an improved sustainability; the set sustainability targets need to be reached in a strategic horizon of a few decades. The sustainability concept is adapted to include: the assets and the governance domains; the tools needed to test the effects of planned actions on the sustainability objectives and to select the best adaptation path to reach sustainability. These tools include: (1) a metabolism model of the entire water cycle, able to compute mass, energy, pollutant and financial fluxes; (2) a risk model, aimed at quantifying the risk to fail sustainability targets; (3) a DSS to select the sustainability paths. All these tools need to be assisted by guidelines, procedures and inventories of technologies suitably developed. This overall approach at the strategic network level needs to be coupled with: (1) methods for optimizing rehabilitation interventions of water mains via risk analysis (Life Assessment Model); (2) extension of the above methodologies to the management of transport infrastructures and their interaction with the water infrastructure; (3) open source framework for Life Cycle Energy Analysis calculations; (4) evaluation of hydraulic capacity of deteriorating water networks; (5) reliability indicators describing hydraulic and water quality performance at nodal and network level.

Main publications

Liserra T., Benzedian K., Ugarelli R., Bertozzi R., Di Federico V., Kapelan Z. (2016). Metabolism- based modelling for performance sustainability assessment of urban water supply system: a case study of Reggio Emilia, Italy, Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, DOI: 10.2166/ws.2016.044.

Liserra T., Maglionico M., Ciriello V., Di Federico V. (2014). Evaluation of reliability indicators for WDNs with demand-driven and pressuredriven models. Water Resources Management, 28(5):1201-1217.

Di Federico V., Makropoulos C., Monteiro A., Liserra T., Baki S., Galvão A. (2014). The TRUST approach for the Transition to Sustainability of Urban Water Services: the water scarcity cluster, in: Proceedings of Waterideas 2014, Bologna, Italy, 22-24 October 2014, pp.1-10.

Conestabile della Staffa B., Ugarelli R., Di Federico V. (2013). La stima dei flussi energetici come strumento di valutazione ambientale per le reti di distribuzione idrica, L’Acqua 2/2013, 9-18.

Liserra T., Maglionico M., Ciriello V., Di Federico V. (2013). Uncertainty in design and management of sewer systems, Irrigation & Drainage Systems Engineering, 2:1, 1000105, doi: 10.4172/2168-9768.1000105.

Conestabile Della Staffa B., Ugarelli R., Di Federico V. (2012). Applicazione di una metodologia LCEA per la stima del carico energetico e ambientale relativo alle condotte idriche urbane, L’Acqua suppl. 4/2012, 137-144.

Ugarelli R., Venkatesh G., Brattebø H., Di Federico V., Sægrov S. (2010). Historical analysis of blockages in wastewater pipelines in Oslo and diagnosis of causative pipeline characteristics, Urban Water Journal 7(6), 335–343.

Ugarelli R., Venkatesh G., Brattebø H., Di Federico V., Sægrov V. (2010). Asset management for urban wastewater pipeline networks, ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems 16(2), 112-121.

Ugarelli R., Di Federico V. (2010). Optimal scheduling of replacement and rehabilitation in wastewater pipeline networks, ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 136(3).

Di Federico V., Ugarelli R. (2010). La gestione integrata delle reti idriche urbane, L’Acqua suppl. 2/2010, 5-10.

Ugarelli R., Kristensen S.M., Røstum J., Sægrov S., Di Federico V. (2009). Statistical analysis and definition of blockages-prediction formulae for the wastewater network of Oslo by evolutionary computing, Water Science and Technology 59(8), 1457–1470.

Ugarelli R., Venkatesh G., Brattebø H., Sægrov S. (2008). Importance of investment decisions and rehabilitation approaches in an ageing wastewater pipeline network. A case study of Oslo (Norway), Water Science And Technology 8(12), 2279-2293.

Liserra T., Ugarelli R., Di Federico V., Maglionico M. (2008). A GIS based approach to assess the vulnerability of water distribution systems, Water Asset Management International, 4.2 June 2008, 15-19.

Ugarelli R., Di Federico V., Sægrov S. (2007). Risk-based Asset Management for wastewater systems, NOVATECH 2007, Lyon, France, June 2007, vol. 2, 917-924.

Pollert, J., Ugarelli R., Saegrov S., Schilling W., Di Federico V. (2005). The hydraulic capacity of deteriorating sewer systems, Water Science and Technology 52(12), 207–214..

Research projects

GST4Water: Green-Smart Technology for sustainable use of water in buildings and in urban environment, Regione Emilia-Romagna, PORFESR 2016-2018

EU FP7-ENV.2010.3.1.1-1 ID 265122 Project: TRUST. Transitions to the urban water services of tomorrow.

EU FP 5 2002-2005 CARES: Computer Aided Rehabilitation of Sewer Networks, Po No EVK1- CT-2002-00106.

EU FP 5 2001-2004 CAREW: Computer Aided Rehabilitation of Water Networks, Po No EVK1- CT-2000-00053.