Robust optimisation of urban water resource systems in the face of known and unknown unknowns

Mohammad Mortazavi-Naeini, George Kuczera, Anthony S. Kiem, Ben Henley, Brendan Berghout, Emma Turner, Lijie Cui

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch


Future climate change presents a significant challenge in the planning and management of urban water supply systems. A large number of studies have been conducted in the past decade on hydrologic impacts of climate change. These studies reveal a difficult-to-quantify uncertainty in respect to future availability of water resources. This study considers the issue of identifying Pareto-optimal solutions for urban water supply that are robust in the face of uncertain climate change. The approach is based on the simulation of two plausible bounding future climate scenarios to allow expected performance to be traded off against the variability in performance. A case study demonstrates the feasibility of this approach for a complex urban water supply system based on the Lower Hunter system and a subset of plausible but generalised decision variables. The primary objective is to minimize the present worth of costs associated with infrastructure decisions, operation and drought contingency. By introducing a second objective which minimizes the difference in present worth costs across future climate scenarios, the trade-off between efficiency and robustness is identified.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings - Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium 2014, HWRS 2014
Subtitle of host publication35th Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, HWRS 2014; Pan Pacific Hotel Perth; Australia; 24 February 2014 through 27 February 2014; Code 111004
Place of PublicationBarton ACT Australia
PublisherInstitution of Engineers Australia
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781922107190
ISBN (Print)9781634399357
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventHydrology and Water Resources Symposium 2014 - Perth, Australia
Duration: 24 Feb 201427 Feb 2014
Conference number: 35th


ConferenceHydrology and Water Resources Symposium 2014
Abbreviated titleHWRS 2014

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