Decision Support for Urban Environmental Planning


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Presented by Dr. Vishal K. Mehta, Invited speaker at the 6th International Public Policy and Management Conference held at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India.

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  • Urban and regional planners and decision makers have to make decisions across multiple sectors, in many dimensions, and through a multitude of actors and agencies. At the same time
  • There are large uncertainties regarding the possible growth of a city – some of which are critical uncertainties, those uncertainties that also have a big impact.
  • Add to this the fact that India is rapidly urbanizing; take Bangalore as an example; it grew by about 1 million per people upto 2001; but in the last decade by almost 4 million.
  • It is informative to take a look at the elements of this DSS developed in Denmark.
  • My next example is from the world of GHG emissions, in particular with an on-line Decision Support System built by SEI called EUREAPA. I am going to quickly go through a few slides in which I focus on India, what our CO2 current footprint is, where it comes from, and how I can build an alternate policy scenario online to assess what
  • You can build scenarios for the future online: in this case I’m building one where coal powerplants are reduced by half and replaced by renewables. So for the purpose of this demonstration, I’m asking this DSS to tell me, what might be the reduction in GHG emissions if I replace half of current coal-fired electricity production by renewables
  • This graphic shows how that particular scenario reduces our Carbon footprint by 100 ktons of CO2 eq. How does this relate to urban context? Well, most of India’s footprint comes from urban consumption – and not only is our urban population growing, but consumption lifestyles are changing rapidly.
  • Now what does a comprehensive DST look like when adopting an Integrated Water Resources Management approach? As this slide shows, such a systems approach tackles several dimensions of water: including water availability driven by climate-driven hydrology, that is integrated with multi-sectoral demands for water that are met through infrastructure. Using scenarios, it moves away from utility-centric augmentation-only affects, and is able to comparatively assess plans and strategies for the future.
  • One such DSS is the Water Evaluation and Planning System (WEAP) developed by SEI over the last 20 years. It is a generalized software platform that lets you build specific models – you can buil a model for a house, up to a riverbasin. Two key aspects of it are that it has in-built capacity to integrate climate-driven simulation of the water balance, to allocation of water demands; and ii, any number of scenarios can be created in it.
  • In only Masaka, were we able to link the hydrology of the water source (the wetland) to the extraction and supply of water by the utility.
  • So far I’ve described -with examples- how various Decision Support Tools can be very useful in urban and regional planning. Now there are many barriers to effective and comprehensive decision making: from knowledge gaps to institutional inertia, technical, financial, lack of public participation. I will focus on knowledge gaps in the urban water sector, based on some work we are doing that is Bangalore focused.
  • First, the natural system is rarely understood well. In this case the hydrology or the water balance, which determines the biophysical limits to water availability.
  • I will focus on knowledge gaps in the urban water sector, based on some work we are doing that is Bangalore focused.
  • I will focus on knowledge gaps in the urban water sector, based on some work we are doing that is Bangalore focused.
  • What can we do when so much of the puzzle is missing. Let me give you an example from Mulbagal, supported by Arghyam and IISc. As part of Arghyam’s IUWM, some 400 wells were sampled by Dr. Sekhar’s team, which led to a very good understanding of the groundwater regime. However at the time, no similar sampling of the surface water balance was performed. Dr. Sekhar and I anyway used our expereince from other similar sites to build an integrated surface water and groundwater model in WEAP.
  • Given the current state of ICT, there is plenty of opportunity for innovation. For example, the public can become active participants in filling in knowledge gaps. Take for example the impressive Open Street Maps project: in which street level mapping for the entire world has been generated that is freely accessible and usable by volunteers around the world.
  • I’m going to end with a few slides on what we are currently doing on urban sustainability in Bangalore
  • Here is a screenshot of the WEAP GUI for a model for Mulbagal that we created with Arghyam and Dr. Sekhar. Building the model consists of dragging and dropping objects onto the screen – objects like catchments to simulated the hydrology, groundwater for recharge and extraction, and demand nodes for simulating various sectoral demands. Very complex models have been built – for example for the mountains in Sierra Nevada, I huilt a model which has 325 catchments and 25 reservoirs, 33 hydropowerplants plus municipal supply, but I’m going to show you only a few urban network examples, which tend to be simpler.
  • Decision Support for Urban Environmental Planning

    1. 1. Decision Support for Urban Environmental Planning Vishal K. Mehta, Ph.D. Stockholm Environment Institute Dec 29, 2011 6th International Public Policy and Management Conference IIM-Bangalore, India Acknowledgements: M.Sekhar, D.Malghan, Arghyam
    2. 2. OUTLINE I. Decision Support in Planning Need for Decision Support Examples II. Barriers to effective decision Support Knowledge Gaps III. Ongoing Research
    3. 3. 1. Need for Decision Support in Urban PlanningTHE CHALLENGE TransportDecisions made Security Energy across multiple sectors Comprehensive In multiple dimensions and Integrated Urban Planning by multiple actors/agencies Landuse Water Infrastructure
    4. 4. 1. Need for Decision Support in Urban Planning DriversLARGE UNCERTAINTIES Impact Critical uncertainties Uncertainty
    5. 5. 1. Need for Decision Support in Urban PlanningRAPID URBANIZATION -> CHANGING CITY Bangalore, India:• In 60 yrs, India’s urban Population Density Built-up area % Year (per sq population growth rate (m) km) urban footprint twice that of overall 1971 1.65 9,465 20% population 1981 2.92 7,990 26%• Urban poor ~2 5% of urban 1991 4.13 9,997 39% population 2001 5.1 11,545 69%• 20 m/100m lack safe 2011 ~9 na na water/sanitation Sources: Census; Iyer et al (2007)
    6. 6. I. Role of Scenario-based Risk assessmentScenario-Based Risk Assessment considers: System performance over all plausible conditions, moves away from traditional “design event” approach Explicitly recognizes that uncertainty (lack of quantified probabilities) exists in the process and must be addressed through scenario analysis Relies upon two way communication with stakeholders to select the level of risk they can tolerate with consideration of tradeoffs of multidimensional costs vs safety Results in Robust Decisions – adaptation strategies that are least likely to fail
    7. 7. I Examples of DST: Urban Air pollution (Meerfert, Denmark) Motivation: Larsen et al (1997) found that mortality from traffic-related air pollution as high as that from accidentsJensen et al., 2001. A Danish decision-support GIS tool for management of urban air quality and humanexposures. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 6, 229-241.
    8. 8. I Examples of DST: Urban Air pollution (Meerfert, Denmark)
    9. 9. I Examples of DST: Urban Air pollution (Meerfert, Denmark) Air Quality Monitoring Forecasts Emissions inventory Elements of Air Pollution Information DSS Air Quality &Exposure to the public mapping Assessment of abatement measures Linking Environmental Quality to Public Health is key to public awareness & behavioral change, and should be an urban governance mandate
    10. 10. I Examples of DST: Broad St Cholera Outbreak, London 1854Linking Environmental Quality to Public Health :the beginnings of epidemiologyDr. John Snow mappedCholera outbreak to a single contaminated pump
    11. 11. I Examples of DST: Low-carbon development EUREAPAConsumption-based footprint of 45 countries, 57 sectors
    12. 12. I Examples of DST: Low-carbon development pathways
    13. 13. I Examples of DST: Low-carbon development
    14. 14. I. Examples of DST: Water Supply/Water Resources Management• Focus on increasing extraction and supply -> No comparative cost-benefit analysis of various options (scenarios) Installe -> Examples: d Present Projects Year Supply Bangalore Capacit y (MLD) (MLD) Chennai Delhi Arkavathy (TG Halli) 1933 149 60UTILITY PERFORMANCE Cauvery Stage I 1974 135 135• No city has 24/7 water supply Cauvery Stage II 1983 135 135• Poor often pay more for water Cauvery Stage III 1993 270 300• High leakage rates (20-60%) Cauvery Stage IV, 2002 270 270 Phase – I• Big cities: surface water supply from afar Total Supply 959 900• Small towns: groundwater• Electricity is >30% of costs• Inability to recover costs
    15. 15. Will retail Will thecustomers Will recreation remain Will groundwater Will hydropower management hydrology How willpractice compatible with future remain viable? change in response to shifts in the change? climateconservation? operations? Groundwater flow and market? Hydrology change?Demand side Recreational use surveys transport models Energy policy analysis with energy models with land Climatemodels with future projections sector forecast models use projections models 324643 Note: Image adapted with permission from the City of Portland, Oregon Water BureauHow much will new Will industrial Will this fish be listed Can we tap into a new Will agriculturecompete for sharedresidential discharges change? for protection? water supplies or become a potential supply?construction Regulatory and Habitat and species source? emerging lifecycle models with River hydraulic and Agricultural production models withincrease demand?Regional economic technology analysis Ecosystem contaminant transport water rights database
    16. 16. I Examples of DST: Integrated Water Resources Management Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) System ( ) A generalized water resources software that provides flexible user- friendly interface to build custom applications A Decision Support Tool for Integrated, Comprehensive, Cross- Scale Water Management Planning Integrated : Hydrology with Priority-based Demand Allocation Comprehensive: Can include Equity, Environmental constraints, Financial Aspects, Water quality, Groundwater Cross-Scale: From a single house to a city to a riverbasin Ideal for ”What-if” scenario investigations for PLANNING and POLICY Analysis Management scenarios Climate change impacts
    17. 17. I. Example: Water Supply - Lake Victoria towns Lake Victoria region Masaka Bukoba Kisii Population 70,000 69,000 200,000 Streamflow 6.9 - - (106 m3) Water produced 2.35 0.9 (106 m3) Demand 80% 60% <50% coverage Operating Costs 496,000 USD 465,000 USD 726,000 USD Revenues 768,000 USD 470,000 USD 383,000 USD Key issues Waterworks Unaccounted Water Revenue<<Costs capacity, (UAW)~50%, high Very low population electricity costs coverage growth UAW~50%, high(1) To examine how climate, electriciity costsdemography and infrastructure Scenarios Investigatedimpacts water utility performance Infrastructure Increased Increased capacity, Increased capacity reduced EAW capacity, reducedin 3 east African towns EAW Demand 2% population 4% population 4% population growth and growth growth(2) To develop water resources climate-relatedmanagement tools that integrate demand modelabove aspects in a single platform Climate CCSM, Reduced rainfall None None
    18. 18. I. Example: Water Supply - Lake Victoria townsNABAJUZI watershed, Masaka
    19. 19. I. Example: Water Supply - Lake Victoria towns Results from Masaka, Uganda“…Hydrologic integration is necessary to evaluate the water availability andimpacts side of the water supply problem. Collection of the hydroclimaticdata needed in order to do the same, should be a priority for utilities andagencies in the LV region…”
    20. 20. II Barriers to Effective Decision Support Knowledge Gaps Communication Institutional Barriers Inclusion Financial Technical
    21. 21. II Barriers to Effective Decision Support Crucial Knowledge Gaps • Hydrology is rarely understood -> biophysical limits to water availability What is the natural water balance ? • Of both far-off source waters, of local water sources Ex: The resolution of groundwater monitoring (1 per 40-50 km2) is not enough for highly variable urban landscapes
    22. 22. II Barriers to Effective Decision SupportCrucial Knowledge Gaps• Changed hydrology of urban environments -> (biophysical impacts)What is the impacted water balance? • E.g. Elevated, and contaminated water tables (Seoul, Mulbagal, Bangalore) BWSSB supplies 900 MLD into the city from surface water that is not local to Bangalore Sekhar, M. and Kumar, M.S.M. 2009. “Geo-hydrological studies along the Metro Rail Alignment in Bangalore
    23. 23. II Barriers to Effective Decision SupportCrucial Knowledge Gaps• Extraction and Demand from each source remains unknown• Demand drivers for above across the social-economic spectrum • E.g. tankers, pvt borewells, local water bodies • How many wells? How much being pumped out? How much returning and where? • E.g. Chennai: 22-66% of water demand met by private wells
    24. 24. II Barriers to Effective Decision Support What can we do the in the meantime? AET Rain ~ 80% 100% Streamfl Surface watershed Example: Mulbagal ow ~ 10% Percolation (Rainfall Recharge) ~ 10% Net Groundwater Aquifer Groundwater discharge ~ 10%With Arghyam, IISc Aim: Impacts of population growth on GW depths; RWH, WWT, investment decisions
    25. 25. II Barriers to Effective Decision SupportWhat else can we do in the meantime?Room for innovation?• Public participation in data collection (e.g. OpenStreetMaps)• Crowdsourcing (e.g. Thailand flood)• Sensor Networks
    26. 26. III. Current Research Activity in Bangalore Key research questions: 1. What is the city-wide pattern of (water) resource availability? 2. What is the geographic distribution of (water) consumption? 3. What are the drivers that explain the pattern of water consumption observed? 4. What projections can we make for water demand and supply, as well as feedbacks to sources into the future? 5. What are the links and feedbacks to the biophysical system
    27. 27. III. Current Research Activity in BangaloreResearch Activities and Methods ..1. Household Water consumption survey Mental model for drivers of Quantity, source-mix
    28. 28. III. Current Research Activity in BangaloreResearch Activities and Methods…2. Understanding the biophysical resource:groundwater models, mass balances Groundwater –surface water models,3. Optimal monitoring density in urban mass balancesenvironmentsAdaptive sampling, Bayesian data fusion
    29. 29. III. Current Research Activity in BangaloreResearch Activities and Methods …4. Formal participatory planning exercises5. Urban Metabolic MappingGeospatial web-based planning platform Geospatial web toolsAn open-source application for - Information Communication - Web-based scenario-planning
    30. 30. Summary1. Decision Support Tools can be very valuable for comprehensive urban and regional planning2. These tools already exist; or can be built with scientific input3. Knowledge gaps limit the full potential of DST to be achieved – but progress can be made in parallel4. Intensive data-driven approaches will be necessary to fill knowledge gaps5. Urgent need for • Intensive environmental quality monitoring • Linkage between environmental quality and public health • Effective public participation and communication • Formal scenario-based planning for the future THANK YOU !
    31. 31. Extras
    32. 32. I. Some WEAP examplesWater Systems Planning Small Reservoirs Project, Ghana/Brazil California Water Plan, California, USA Guadiana River, SpainTransboundary Water Policy Okavango River, Angola/Namibia/Botswana Lower Rio Grande, USA/Mexico Mekong River, Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam/Laos Jordan River, Syria/Israel/JordanClimate Change Studies Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins, California, USA Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Massachusetts, USA Yemen Second National Communication Mali Second National CommunicationEcological Flows Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Town of Scituate, Massachusetts, USAWater Utility DSS Application Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Towns in East Africa; Mulbagal, India.
    33. 33. WEAP Network Schematic GIS Tool Model Intuitive GIS-based graphical interfaceBuildingScenari oBuildingGraphs & Maps
    34. 34. Urban Water examples > Austin, TexasAim: Cost-effectiveness of conservationand reuse strategies vs increasing watertreatment capacity
    35. 35. Urban water examples>Portland, OregonAim: conjuctive use of SW and GW vs. building newreservoir