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Past Projects

Take a look at our past projects by clicking on the title below to find out more information:

The network project is half-way through its three year grant period. It has made good progress in developing and maintaining contact between academic groups researching into computer technology for the design and management of underground infrastructure for the water industry, on both the clean and wastewater sides. Contacts with industry have been strengthened with new industrial members joining, and an increased awareness of the needs of industry conveyed to the academic members.

The success of network is evident in the research proposals drawn up between members, both academic and industrial. For further information, visit the ACTUI website.

The original objectives were:

  1. To encourage mutually beneficial collaboration between academic research groups and between academic groups and the water industry.
  2. To encourage collaboration between academic groups on new research proposals.
  3. To encourage active industrial participation in the formulation and execution of future research projects.
  4. To set up web sites for communication and dissemination of research information, opportunities and initiatives, for discussion groups and for industry links.
  5. To encourage member participation in relevant conferences, symposia and seminars.
  6. To achieve sufficient enthusiasm and support for the network for it to become self sustaining after the initial period of funding.

These objectives remain unchanged. However the means of accomplishing them will be reviewed at the next ACTUI meeting.

The AIA project is led by CWS and aims to explore the feasibility of more integrated urban utility service provision as a potential way to improve the sustainability of urban development. This will be achieved by researching issues of scale, integration and delivery to reduce the use of resources, limit emissions, manage innovation and improve the quality of life in the case study of Ashford, Kent, UK.

Early water work includes a detailed analysis of the working of the Ashford Integrated Water Management strategy. The main research areas covered by AIA project concentrate on the following aspects

  • Sustainable development
  • Utility integration: water & energy/carbon
  • Scale issues
  • Decision making and stakeholders
  • Delivery processes
  • Identification of benefits & best practice
  • Case study (Ashford) and stakeholder focus

Download AIA Project Presentations

For more details on any of these three projects, including how you might wish to be involved, please contact: Prof David Butler or Dr Raziyeh Farmani 

Universities involved in Ashford’s Integrated Alternatives

  • University of Exeter Centre for Water Systems
  • Cranfield University
  • Imperial College London - Business School
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Bradford

Operational energy costs make up a substantial proportion of the annual expenses of water supply utilities. It is thus important that the operational control of water distribution systems is optimized to ensure that appropriate levels of service and reliability are met at minimum cost. The operational optimization problem is complicated by a number of factors: vast numbers of possible operational solutions; variations in demands and electricity tariffs through a typical operating cycle; minimum reservoir level requirements; and limitations on the number of pump switches. An additional complication is the non-linear hydraulic behaviour of water distribution systems, which makes computer modelling of these systems computationally expensive. One of the most effective ways of optimizing the operation of water distribution systems is through the application of genetic algorithms (GAs).

The GA methodology is based on the mechanics of natural selection, combining survival of the fittest with randomized information interchange between the members of a 'population' of possible solutions. A number of studies have shown that GAs can be successfully applied to the operational optimization of water distribution systems. One of the greatest drawbacks of GAs is that they require a large number of function evaluations to achieve convergence. Each function evaluation requires a computationally expensive dynamic simulation of the distribution system which, in turn, makes GA runs time-consuming. The objective of this project was to improve the efficiency of GA optimization. This was achieved by improvements in two areas. The first improvement was made in the dynamic modelling of water distribution systems. A new method, called the Explicit Integration method, was developed. In the Explicit Integration method, the system's hydraulic behaviour is linearized, and the reservoir demand described by a general polynomial function. This allows the reservoir dynamic equations to be solved explicitly. The linear hydraulic coefficients are updated by performing snapshot simulations at regular intervals during the run. The number of snapshot simulations is significantly less than those required by the conventional Euler numerical integration method. By reducing the number of snapshot simulations required for a dynamic simulation, the computational effort is reduced, and thus the simulation running time.

The second improvement to the efficiency of GA optimization was made by combining the GA with a local search method, the Hooke & Jeeves pattern search, in a hybrid method. GAs are good at finding the region of the optimal solution in a large solution space, but much less efficient in then finding the optimum point. Local search methods, on the other hand, are efficient in finding a local optimum, but are not able to escape the attraction basin of this point to search the wider solution space. By combining the GA and local search methods, the advantages of both methods are exploited to improve the efficiency of the optimization method. A number of example applications are used to illustrate the workings of the different methods developed in the study. In the final chapter, both the Explicit Integration and the hybrid methods are applied to a large and complex water distribution system in the UK. It was possible to reduce the time required for an operational optimization run substantially from a number of days to approximately one hour.


  • Van Zyl, J. (2001) A Methodology for Improved Operational Optimization of Water Distribution Systems, PhD thesis, University of Exeter.
  • Van Zyl, J., D.A. Savic, G.A. Walters (2002) Operational Optimization of Water Distribution Systems Using a Hybrid Genetic Algorithm Method ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, (submitted for publication).
  • Van Zyl, J.E., D.A. Savic and G.A. Walters (2000), A Method for Improved Efficiency in the Dynamic Modelling of Hydraulic Networks, Second ISSMO/AIAA Internet Conference on Approximations Fast Reanalysis in Engineering Optimisation, May 25 ? June 2 (proceeding published on CD), p. 10.
  • Atkinson, R.M.A., van Zyl, J.E., G.A. Walters and D.A. Savic, (2000) Genetic Algorithm Optimisation of Level-Controlled Pumping Station Operation, Water Network Modelling for Optimal Design and Management, CWS 2000, Centre for Water Systems, Exeter, UK, pp. 79-90.
  • Van Zyl, J.E., D.A. Savic and G.A. Walters (2001), An Explicit Integration Technique for the Dynamic Modeling of Water Distribution Systems, World Water & Environmental Resources Congress, May 20-24, Orlando, Florida, edited by Phelps, D. and G. Sehlke (proceeding published on CD), p. 10.
  • Van Zyl, J.E., D.A. Savic and G.A. Walters (2001), "A Hybrid Method for Operational Optimization of Water Distribution Systems", in Water Software Systems: Theory and Applications, Vol. 2, Ulanicki, B., Coulbeck, B. and Rance, J.P. (eds.), Research Studies Press, Baldock, Hertfordshire, England, pp. 89-97.
  • Van Zyl, J.E., D.A. Savic and G.A. Walters (2002), Accuracy Issues in Extended Period Modelling of Water Distribution Systems, First Symposium on Environmental and Water Resources Systems Analysis, ASCE, May 19-22, Roanoke, Virginia, Kibler, D.F. (ed.), (proceeding published on CD), p. 10.

Wastewater reuse presents a feasible solution to the growing pressure on Europe's water resources. However, wastewater reuse implementation faces obstacles that include insufficient public acceptance, technical, economic and hygienic risks and further uncertainties caused by a lack of awareness, accepted standards, guidelines and uniform European legislation.

So far, there are no European regulations on water reuse and further development is slowed by lack of standards in water quality, treatment and distribution systems. While guidelines for agricultural water reuse have been defined by the World Health Organisation, and by different states such as the USA and Saudi Arabia, a uniform solution for Europe is lacking. European standards have to take a complex water policy and management framework into account and have to balance the protection of water resources, economic and regional interests and consumer-related safety standards.

The Centre's involvement concentrates on WP8 of the project dealing with optimal total system design, using multi-objective Genetic Algorithms with mathematical modelling tools for different components of the reuse system (piping network, wastewater treatment plants, upgrading, etc).

Working as part of the AQUAREC consortium (, the Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter recently developed decision support software (DSS) for Water Treatment for Reuse and Network Distribution (WTRNet). As the name suggests, the software has been developed that addresses both the treatment and distribution aspects of potential water reuse schemes, considered at a planning level. This article describes in brief the process followed in the development of WTRNet software and provides a description of its key features. A PowerPoint presentation can be found here (4MB).

Reclaimed water projects typically include construction of new treatment or upgrades to a municipality’s treatment systems to clean wastewater to the required quality level, and construction of distribution systems which may include pipelines, pumping and storage facilities for reclaimed water. Therefore, the complexity associated with the planning of water reuse systems is very high, as a very large number of design combinations is possible. Also, one of the requirements of the AQUAREC project was that the spatial relation between wastewater treatment sites and potential reuse locations has to be considered. To aid in the planning of water reuse schemes several DSS have been developed in the past. A comprehensive literature review of DSS in the water reuse area revealed that the majority of water reuse research has been focused on the generation, evaluation and optimisation of treatment, despite the fact that “no single factor is likely to influence the cost of water reclamation more than the conveyance and distribution of the reclaimed water from its source to its point of use” (US EPA Guidelines for Water Reuse, EPA/625/R-04/108, 2004). Several researchers considered the distribution system in their evaluation of reuse schemes, with significant simplifications of treatment processes.

The key objective in the development of WTRNet was to develop a DSS that overcomes the limitations of existing tools, by addressing both the treatment and distribution aspects of water reuse schemes in an integrated manner and with sufficient detail. The software development focused on allowing the user to deal with the following questions:

What processes are needed to produce reclaimed water of adequate quality for a specified influent quantity/quality and end-user requirements?
How is the reclaimed water going to be delivered to end-users (i.e., sizes of distribution system components required)?
Who should receive the reclaimed water (i.e. best selection of customers from the identified potential end-users)?
Click here if you want to download a PowerPoint presentation of the work on development of WTRNet.

In order to conduct evaluations required to answer the above questions in an efficient manner, the simulation component was first developed along with a user-friendly interface. The simulation model includes a default knowledge base stored in the project file, as well as separate computational modules for treatment performance and sizing of the reclaimed water distribution system. The model knowledge base contains the following information: the design and costing information on unit processes, water quality requirements for different types of end uses of reclaimed water, suggestions for treatment trains that could be used for influent quality / end use combinations, rules for combining unit processes, and the design and costing information on the distribution system components. Information on treatment processes has been verified by comparing the software outputs with existing reuse schemes and values for cost and performance of treatment options reported in the literature.

The treatment performance has been developed with functionality to perform the evaluation of user-selected combinations of unit processes in a treatment train. The evaluation of treatment train performance and the display of treatment train evaluation results are carried out as changes to the treatment train are made. Since the evaluation results in a large output, the calculated data is displayed through four separate frames on the form: effluent quality, pollutant percent removed, evaluation criteria scores and costs and resources.

The distribution system performance computational module is used to optimally size the distribution system elements. The sizing is carried out based on a pre-determined branched layout and preferences of the user for locating the pumping and storage facilities, entered using a user-friendly interface. The method used is a two-step procedure that first determines the optimal allocation of reclaimed water (along with optimal sizes of seasonal storage), followed by the sizing of pipes and pumping stations.

In addition to allowing the software user to evaluate a large number of design alternatives using the simulation component of WTRNet, the software includes optimisation routines for conducting the least-cost planning of integrated water reuse systems. The verified simulation software was used as basis for the optimisation components, initially to determine the numbers of possible design alternatives involving different end-uses and numbers of customers. This results of this exercise showed that incorporating a single optimisation methodology would not be appropriate, since the number of design alternatives changes by several orders of magnitude, depending on the influent quality an the number of potential end-users considered.

In order to accommodate the wide range of the number of possible design alternatives, three algorithms are incorporated in the optimisation module. If the secondary effluent is to be reclaimed and the number of potential customers is not large, exhaustive enumeration is used to determine the least-cost design alternatives for all combinations of end-users. If the secondary effluent is to be reclaimed for a (potentially) large number of end-users, a simple Genetic Algorithm (GA) is used for optimal user selection. Finally, if the source of water is raw sewage or primary effluent, the optimisation algorithm used is a GA with customised operators. The algorithm conducts a simultaneous search of least-cost design alternatives and the best selection of customers.

The WTRNet decision support tool provides a platform that can be used to conduct the integrated assessment of water reuse options in an efficient manner. The tool has been successfully applied on a case study of water reuse options in the city of Kyjov, Czech Republic, and London, England.

AquaStress is a four year (2005-2009) Integrated Project (IP) funded by the European Commission in the frame of the 6th R&D Framework Programme, with contributions from 35 renowned organizations, including SMEs, from 17 countries.

Water stress is a global problem with far-reaching economic and social implications. The mitigation of water stress at regional scale depends not just on technological innovations, but also on the development of new integrated water management tools and decision-making practices. The AquaStress IP delivers enhanced interdisciplinary methodologies enabling actors at different levels of involvement and at different stages of the planning process to mitigate water stress problems. The IP draws on both academic and practitioner skills to generate knowledge in technological, operational management, policy, socio-economic, and environmental domains.

This IP draws on both academic and practitioner skills to generate knowledge in technological, operational management, policy, socio-economic, and environmental domains.

AQUASTRESS will generate scientific innovations to improve the understanding of water stress from an integrated multisectoral perspective to support:

  • diagnosis and characterisation of sources and causes of water stress;
  • assessment of the effectiveness of water stress management measures and development of new tailored options;
  • development of supporting methods and tools to evaluate different mitigation options and their potential interactions;
  • development and dissemination of guidelines, protocols, and policies;
  • development of a participatory process to implement solutions tailored to environmental, cultural, economic and institutional settings;
  • identification of barriers to policy mechanism implementation;
  • continuous involvement of citizens and institutions within a social learning process that promotes new forms of water culture and nurtures long-term change and social adaptivity.

The IP adopts a Case Study stakeholder driven approach and is organised in three phases:

  • characterisation of selected reference sites and relative water stress problems,
  • collaborative identification of preferred solution options,
  • testing of solutions according to stakeholder interests and expectations.

It will make a major contribution to the objectives of the Global Change and Ecosystems and supporting the Community Directive 2000/60/EC and the EU Water Initiative.


CWS Contribution to AQUASTRESS is the application of Conceptual Modelling, Systems Thinking and System Dynamics Modelling (SDM) for the simulation of the project’s case studies for complex dynamical water and/or environmental systems, that will act as Decision Support Tools, examining various operational scenarios, integrating different technical options for the mitigation of water stress.

SDM is a methodology for studying and managing complex feedback systems. It is typically used when formal analytical models do not exist, but where system simulation can be developed by linking a number of feedback mechanisms. This type of Systems Modelling, being lower in detail and higher in integration, allows the domain experts and the local stakeholders to explore the relationship between various technical options and the overall system behaviour and to increase their understanding of the interactions and impacts among different water system components.

So far there have been two case studies within AQUASTRESS, where SDM has been applied

  • The water system of Kremikovtzi (Bulgaria), where the aim is to reduce clear water consumption and increase water re-use within the plan 
  • The Merguellil valley water system (Tunisia), a hydrological/water resources management model, involving a semi-arid area with increased irrigation demands, including 25 small dams for rainfall harvesting, a large reservoir (El Haouareb) and aquifer recharge.

SDM Software specifications

SDMs are implemented in special visual environments that enable the user to effectively "draw" the system components and their interrelations and run different scenarios. SIMILE® for numerical and VENSIM® for causal-qualitative diagrams have been used for building the models.


  • VAMVAKERIDOU-LYROUDIA, L.S. and SAVIC D.A. (2008). "System Dynamics Modelling: The Kremikovtzi Water System", Report No.2008/01, Centre for Water Systems, School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, University of Exeter, UK, 132p
  • VAMVAKERIDOU-LYROUDIA, L.S., SAVIC, D.A., TARNACKI K., WINTGENS T., DIMOVA, G. and RIBAROVA I. (2007). "Conceptual/System Dynamics Modelling Applied for the Simulation of Complex Water Systems", in Water Management Challenges in Global Change, Proc. Int. Conf. CCWI 2007 & SUWM 2007, Leicester UK, 3-5 Sept. 2007, Taylor & Francis Group, London UK, pp. 159-167

Application: Kremikovtzi Water System

The Kremikovtzi metallurgical plant, near Sofia, Bulgaria, constructed initially in 1963, is one of the largest water consumers in the country (total fresh- water consumption 55×106 m3/year on average - roughly equivalent to the water needs of a city with a population of 600 000). Its water supply system is complex and consists of both freshwater (reservoirs, rivers, groundwater) and reused water sources (treated industrial waste water). It also provides water for a number of smaller satellite plants, sharing the same water resources. Some of the system’s freshwater sources are also used by urban and agricultural water users in the Sofia region, leading to regulations for priorities and upper limits to water consumption for industrial use, as well as water stress situations arising in times of drought. SDM has been developed and applied to the Kremikovtzi water system in order to simulate and study future operational scenarios, under varying climatic conditions ("normal", "dry" and "very dry" years) and operational rules.

The general scope for the scenarios and the simulation through SDM is to reduce clear water consumption and increase water re-use within the plan, as well as define suitable operational rules, that will allow the plant to operate under drought and water scarcity conditions. These rules involve hierarchical closure of some less important industrial units and/or reallocation of water resources, defined by the model.

The prototype application involves the water system of the Kremikovtzi industrial plant (Bulgaria), where the aim is to reduce clear water consumption and increase water re-use within the plan. A second application has also been developed for the simulation of the Merguellil Catchment (Tunisia), a hydrological/water resources management model, involving a semi-arid area with increased irrigation demands, a system of 25 small dams for rainfall harvesting, the operation of a large reservoir (El Haouareb) and aquifer recharge.

More related documents are available within our downloads.

The overall aim is to develop, implement, test/verify and hand over a Risk-based Decision Support System (DSS) to enable control room operators to react and remedy failures in the Yorkshire Water Services (YWS) water distribution system before they impact customers.

The DSS developed as part of this KTP will maximise the benefit of collecting real-time data for rapid evaluation of bursts and leaks in a Water Distribution System (WDS). A number of models and data sources will be integrated and the synergetic effect of combining advanced technologies with experience of human operators will be exploited by the DSS. Moreover, the DSS will reduce the cognitive load of human operators by presenting processed and relevant information, ultimately helping YWS to improve customer experience and deliver world class service.

Company: Yorkshire Water Services Limited

KTP Associate: Josef Bicik

Academic Supervisor: Prof. Zoran Kapelan

Project Length: 2.5 years (August 2010 - January 2013)

To promote the efficient use of resources there is a recognised need to make best use of existing infrastructure. Whole Life Costing (WLC) in combination with computational optimisation techniques has been used to satisfy this need. WLC methodologies consider all the costs (private & social) that accrue to initiation, provision, operation, maintenance, servicing and decommissioning, over the useful life of a service facility. Application of WLC to (capital and operational) management of water distribution networks has been based on detailed consideration of holistic performance and explicit linking of costs to their drivers. Decision Modelling links the Costs and Performance frameworks via WLC Scenario Management Software called WiLCO.

WiLCO incorporates an optimisation module to find the least Whole Life Cost management solution within the user defined performance/risk/cost scenario. All aspects of performance which impact on costs accruing to any party are considered resulting in the derivation of six integrated performance sub-modules; Leakage, Demand, Structural Performance, Customer Interruptions, Water Quality, Hydraulic Capacity. These sub-modules quantify current and future performance and the effect on performance of interventions, e.g. pipe replacements and changes in operational strategy, at given time horizons.

This two-centre project between the Centre for Water Systems (University of Exeter) and the Pennine Water Group (University of Sheffield) and has been carried out in close collaboration with the water industry. Collaborators included water companies (Yorkshire Water, United Utilities, South West Water, Thames Water, Lyonnaise des Eaux), a consultant (Ewan Group), and a software provider (Geodesys).

The project outputs satisfy the aims of the WITE programme through which it was funded. The programme was established to promote research collaboration between universities and the water utilities, providing the basis for solutions to problems faced by the water industry and providing a supply of skilled people, trained in water engineering research. The key objective of the programme, dissemination and exploitation of the research outputs, through close collaboration with water utilities.

The project was funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under the Water Infrastructure and Treatment Engineering (WITE) programme. and end-users, has been fully achieved as evidenced by the project outputs.

More about the project (partners, outcomes, Powerpoint presentations,etc) can be found on our dedicated website.


  • Engelhardt, M.O., Skipworth, P.J., Cashman, A., Savic, D., Saul, A.J., Walters, G.A. (2002) A Whole Life Costing for Water Distribution Network Management, Thomas Telford Ltd, London UK (ISBN 0-7277-3166-1), pages 216.
  • Engelhardt, M.O., Skipworth, P.J., Cashman, A., Savic, D., Walters, G.A., Saul, A.J., (2002) Applying Whole Life Costing to Water Distribution Network Management. Accepted for publication in Urban Water Journal.
  • Engelhardt, M.O., Skipworth, P.J., Cashman, A., Savic, D., Walters, G.A., Saul, A.J., (2002) Determining Maintenance Requirements of a Water Distribution Network using Whole Life Costing. J. Quality and Maintenance Engineering, Vol. 8, No. 2 (in press).
  • Skipworth, P.J., Engelhardt, M.O., Cashman, A., Savic, D., Walters, G.A., Saul, A.J., (2002) Performance Modelling in a Whole Life Costing Approach to Water Distribution Network Management. Submitted to ICE J. Water and Maritime Engineering
  • Skipworth P.J. (2002) Whole Life Costing for Sustainable Infrastructure - a focus on water distribution networks. Feature Article "Sustain - Built Environment Matters", Volume 3, Issue 3, McClelland Publishing.
  • Engelhard, M.O., Skipworth, P.J., Savic, D., Walters, G.A., Saul, A.J., Cashman, A., (2002) WiLCO: Whole Life Costing Software. Accepted for publication at ASCE/EWRI Annual Conference, Roanoke, Virginia, May 19-22.
  • Engelhardt, M.O., Savic, D., Walters, G.A., Skipworth, P.J., Saul, A.J., Cashman, A., (2002) Whole Life Costing methodology for Water Distribution Network Management. Accepted for publication at Enviro 2002, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Skipworth, P.J., Cashman, A., Engelhardt, M.O, Saul, A.J, Savic, D.A., and Walters, G.A. (2001) Incorporation of leakage in a whole life costing approach to distribution network management. In Water Software Systems: Theory and Applications, Vol. 1, Ulanicki, B., Coulbeck, B. and Rance, J.P. (eds.), Research Studies Press, Baldock, Hertfordshire, England, pp. 49-59.
  • Skipworth, P.J., Cashman, A., Engelhardt, M.O., Saul, A.J., Savic, D.A. (2001) Quantification of Mains Failure Behaviour in a Whole Life Costing Approach to Distribution System Management. World Water & Environmental Resources Congress, May 20-24, Orlando, Florida, edited by Phelps, D. and G. Sehlke (proceeding published on CD), p. 10.
  • Engelhardt, M.O., Skipworth, P.J., Cashman, A., Savic, D.A., Saul, A.J., Walters, G.A. (2001) Incorporation of water quality in a whole life costing approach to distribution network management. 4th International Conference on Water Pipeline Systems - "Managing Pipeline Assets in an Evolving Market", March 2001.
  • Engelhardt, M.O., Skipworth, P.J., Savic, D.A., Saul, A.J., Walters, G.A. (2000) Rehabilitation strategies for water distribution networks. Urban Water, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 153-170.
  • Skipworth, P.J., Saul, A.J. and Engelhardt, M.O. (2000) Distribution network behaviour - extracting knowledge from data. Int. Symposium on Water Network Modelling for Optimal Design and Management , Exeter, UK.
  • Engelhardt, M.O., Savic, D.A., Walters, G.A. (1999) Using genetic algorithms to optimise water distribution system rehabilitation, 9th International MIRCE Symposium on System Operational Effectiveness, Knezevic, J., U.D Kumar and C. Nicholas (eds.), Woodbury, UK.

Bacti: is a project to develop a tool (or suite of complementary tools) to deliver rapid forecasting of bacterial concentration exceedance in tidal waters where these arise as a result of trigger events such as rainfall, wind direction, Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) operation, etc. It aims to facilitate meeting the requirements of European Commission Revised Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC)(rBWD). The project focuses on utilising machine-learning modelling tools that can also deliver acceptable levels of accuracy.  We also consider simple transferability so that it can be utilised widely at different bathing waters and shellfish waters.

The modelling tool will have potential applications in providing forecast water quality at bathing waters and shellfish waters to assist with water management actions, and active incident management.  Also it is intended as a tool to inform retrospective investigations into water quality non-compliance (in particular source apportionment at different bathing beaches).

Funding bodies: Environment Agency of England & Wales (SW Region) (CP27) and South West Water Plc

For more information see the BACTI poster

CADDIES Framework

The CADDIES framework is divided into multiple components / softwares: 

  • An application programming interface (API) to create cellular automata rules and associated application(s).
  • A set of different hardware platform implementations for each CA type, allow for fast deployment of rules to highly parallel hardware, including (Linux and Windows variants of):
    • Simple serial implementations.
    • Shared memory model parallel implementations on modern CPU's, using OpenMP.
    • General Purpose Graphics Processing Unit (GPGPU) highly parallel implementations, using OpenCL.
  • A set of different CA type implementations, including:
    • Regular square grids
      • Von Neumann Neighbourhood.
      • Moore Neighbourhood.
  • Regular Hexagonal grids (under development).
    • Rapid and accurate reduced-complexity 2D urban surface flow model(s).
    • Basic application, and CA rules - Open Source
    • Advanced application and CA rules - under license agreement
      • Application
      • Dynamic Link Library (DLL) API flooding interface (under development)
  • Rapid and accurate reduced-complexity 1D sewer flow model(s) (under development).
  • Unified 1D sewer and 2D surface flow model(s) (under development). 


As part of the CADDIES Framework, a two-dimensional cellular automata based model, called Weighted Cellular Automata 2D (WCA2D), and its respective application, called caflood, has been developed. The aim of this model and application is to achieve fast flood modelling for large-scale problems using modern hardware with parallel capabilties.

The WCA2D model adopts simple transition rules rather than the complex Shallow Water Equations to simulate overland flow. Furthermore, the complexity of these transition rules are further streamlined by a weight-based system that reduces the computating cost of using physically based equations and complex mathematical operations. The WCA2D is a diffusive-like model that ignores the inertia terms and conservation of momentum and it improves the methodology used in the previous CADDIES CA2D model (Ghimire et al., 2013).

The WCA2D model has been designed to work with various general grids, (e.g., rectangular, hexagonal or triangular grid) with different neighbourhood types (e.g., the five cells of the von-Neumann (VN) neighbourhood or the nine cells of the Moore neighbourhood). The major features of this new model are: 

  1. The ratios of water transferred from the central cell to the downstream neighbour cells (intercellular-volume) are calculated using a minimalistic and quick weight-based system.
  2. The volume of water transferred between the central cell and the neighbour cells is limited by a single equation, which comprises a simplified Manning’s formula and the critical flow condition.
  3. The model can be implemented easily in parallel computing environments due to features of the cellular automata technique. 

Find out more about our CADDIES downloads and view our publications on our dedicated webpage.

Water company costs for flooding caused by surcharging sewers and burst water mains can be significant when including claims, insurance costs and outcome delivery incentives penalties. For example, one burst 20 inch water main in London’s Tooley Street in 2008 alone caused losses of “tens of millions” of pounds for Thames Water (Evening Standard, 2013). These events can also be devastating to customers as they pose substantial social and economic effects that may continue over extended periods of time. Understanding the potential risk of flooding from buried assets is essential in estimating risk exposure. However, the provision of a timely, accurate and comprehensive assessment of flood risk is challenging as it requires complex modelling and analysis methodologies. ICT solutions are required that allow risk of flooding from pipes to be assessed on a network wide scale. Following on from the development of a generic two-dimensional (2D) flood modelling tool (CADDIES) through funding from EPSRC, the researchers from the University of Exeter’s Centre for Water Systems have teamed up with ICS Consulting to customise and integrate the tool within ICS own Asset Data Management System (ADMS) to enable fast and accurate modelling and assessment of flood risk.

The two existing best practice approaches involve either one-dimensional (1D) or 2D modelling. However, with either there is an unacceptable trade-off between the speed and accuracy when multiple runs are required. The 1D models are fast but suffer from oversimplification of flood flows which are assumed to be unidirectional. However, actual flooding results in divergent/recombining paths and ponding, which limits the 1D model’s capability to accurately and realistically predict flood depths, velocities and extents, all key indicators of risk to life and property. While being more accurate, the existing 2D models are computationally expensive, requiring hours or even days to complete each simulation.

Using the new concept of “Cellular Automata”, University of Exeter researchers developed a fully dynamic 2D model (CADDIES). This takes advantage of the local interaction between water levels surrounding each square grid cell, the huge amount of freely available high-resolution LiDAR data and the power of Graphical Processing Units (GPU). As a result, the ICS-implemented system produces complex dynamically 2D flood extents and ponding areas at the very fastest speeds, while maintaining the highest accuracy levels. It closely matches the output of industry standard commercial software and is between 5-20 times faster than conventional 2D methods.

There are multiple benefits from the developed CADDIES methodology as implemented within ICS asset planning and management suite of tools, ADMS:

  • Better understanding of sources and consequences of flood risk from their own assets will allow water service companies (WSC) to prioritise their investment in flood risk mitigation making better use of limited financial resources;
  • Greatly enhanced run times of up to 20 times better than that available with existing commercial 2D models allows use in real-time company operations responding to actual flooding events;
  • Consistent network wide risk analysis results produced by ADMS, using a single setup and tens of thousands of analyses in one batch run, as opposed to running each analysis individually and by a number of analysts;
  • Reduced harm to local economies from flood events inundating residential and commercial properties, and interconnected multi-utility infrastructure through targeted investment;
  • Scientifically tested and proven flood modelling with automated time step optimisation to achieve better accuracy than 1D models and much faster runs than 2D models;
  • The use of structured square grid, which is readily available from LiDAR data and automatically used by CADDIES, reducing time-consuming processing associated with unstructured grids and avoiding a large amount of human intervention.

Water distribution and wastewater systems in the UK consist of over 700,000 km of water distribution and sewer pipes, which represents a large risk exposure from flooding caused by sewer surcharging or water main failures. There is also an emerging abundance of freely available high resolution (one meter or less) LiDAR data due to the advent of remote sensing, which enables wider applications of detailed flood risk modelling and analysis. Considering the above asset base and the need to better assess the consequence of flooding in urban areas, the potential for improving the risk assessment processes and reduce harmful consequences of flooding is enormous.

As an example, ICS have already performed flood risk analysis for a major WSC, over 20,000 water pipe simulated failure locations were considered. Further work on 120,000 pipe failure locations for the same WSC in under way.

ICS offer the tool as a fully integrated software package, either for client use or as a service, to allow wider adoption of the methodology and the associated tools.

Until recently flooding from sewer and water distribution networks has mainly been considered reactively, after the flooding has occurred. Flooding from water mains or sewers is often an unpleasant and distressing event for customers, with potential to waste precious water resources, cause pollution and harm people and the environment. Infrastructure and businesses can also be affected by flooding, further escalating the impact on local communities.

The ADMS/CADDIES methodology helps mitigate the threat of flooding to people, their property and infrastructure by providing fast and accurate data for decision makers. These significant enhancements over current technologies provide accurate information to water companies allowing them to make better investment and operational decisions. By improving the intelligence about flooding risks both quickly and accurately, the result will be better management of natural water resources and an enhanced ability to mitigate flooding impacts on society and the environment. At a time of increased pressures from severe flooding due to factors like climate change these new technologies provide water companies with leading edge tools for understanding and managing flood risks and impacts.

Modern high-performance computing used by ADMS/CADDIES minimises energy usage and increases carbon efficiency of the hardware used to run extensive flood risk analyses.

Decisions about Urban Planning issues are complex problems involving multiple large organisations with differing objectives, large sums of money and conflicting priorities (economic re-generation, environmental protection, management of scarce resources, etc). Furthermore the decision making process is not purely about optimising an analytical problem. Human issues play a major part in defining what is acceptable.

The CoDES team has successfully investigated approaches to support the fully integrated, cross-sectoral planning needed for a genuinely sustainable urban environment. The SUE Programme has brought together a number of research consortia that are focused on sustainability issues in a particular sector of the urban environment, i.e. construction, water, waste, land, transport, etc. For example, integrated urban water management might permit the development of more sustainable systems by integrating the traditionally separate functions of providing water supply, collecting, treating, and disposing of wastewater, and handling urban wet-weather flow . However, mono-sectoral strategies or actions really cannot be sustainable in their own right. They need to be integrated with one another in a holistic or ‘joined up’ manner, thereby fulfilling the need for “environmental policy integration”, which is a fundamental requirement of EU and UK environmental policy. Therefore, there are a number of difficult questions that need to be addressed with respect to decision support prior to the development and implementation of a truly integrated sustainable policy. These include:

  • How to identify critical decisions within specific sectors or which straddle sectors;
  • What are the characteristics of the decision support tools needed to reconcile mono-sectoral decisions/policies in a way that supports sustainable development?
  • What are the barriers which both commonly hinder the use of such tools and identify best practice methods and tools?
  • How to provide a decision support framework when the complexity of the decisions needed to improve the sustainability of urban environment as well as the complexity of the decision-making process itself, suggests the need for a multitude of tools for a multitude of stakeholders?

The overall aims of the CoDES scoping study were to:

  1. examine existing research on decision processes, including key drivers and barriers;
  2. identify gaps in that research through continuing interaction with urban decision-makers, and
  3. to formulate a core research programme for the main project.

The research carried out is directly aligned with the four objectives of the scoping study, which can be summarised as to:

  1. Analyse mapping of the most critical decisions within specific sectors or which straddle sectors;
  2. Analyse the decision support tools needed to reconcile mono-sectoral decisions/policies in a way that supports sustainable development;
  3. Develop better understanding of the barriers which both commonly hinder the use of such tools and identify best practice methods and tools; and
  4. Develop an advanced decision support toolbox that will integrate sustainability issues from the water sector and possibly from several other sectors of the urban environment (plus project with WaND).

The work on the first three objectives has been done mainly through literature reviews and focused case studies and key advances are described in the following sections.

Key Advances and Supporting Methodology

  • Decision Mapping
  • Decision Support Tools
  • Barriers and Drivers
  • DST Toolbox (with WaND consortium)

The overall aim of CORFU was to enable European and Asian partners to learn from each other through joint investigation, development, implementation and dissemination of short to medium term strategies that will enable more scientifically sound management of the consequences of urban flooding in the future.

CORFU was a four-year project involving 15 European and Asian institutions, funded by a grant from the European Commission, Seventh Framework Programme. Professor Slobodan Djordjevic of the University of Exeter was Project Coordinator. Professor David Butler was also involved in CORFU as a member of the Executive Committee. Dr. Michael Hammond and Dr. Albert Chen were involved full time as postdoctoral researchers managing one of the CORFU work packages, and Anne Douglas-Crawford was Project Administrator.

For further information, please visit the CORFU website

This project was undertaken collaboratively with the University of Sheffield and University of Bradford. In respect of water services, and hence sewerage provision, in England and Wales the Regulator seeks to ensure effective and efficient expenditure by service providers on service delivery whilst protecting the environment, meeting standards, and achieving social goals. This is against a background of seeking to minimise the cost to customers and maintain reasonable levels of shareholder returns (to guarantee financial viability for the businesses). However, in respect of the investment in the renewal, maintenance and operation of the underground sewerage assets there is a need for better economic justification.

At the same time there is an emerging requirement to include sustainable development objectives in the decision making process and increasingly a balance has to be struck between purely economic socio-environmental criteria. Hence, for the sewerage network, there is a need to develop a tool that takes account of changing attitudes to social and environmental responsibilities within an appropriate economic framework. This project addresses this need.

The project aimed to provide a framework that allowed for the impact of management decisions in sewerage to reflect the holistic costs, the associated affect on asset performance (the cost driver) and, provides a key component contributing to assessment of the impact on sustainability of different options. Also, the research sought to make the whole life costing (WLC) approach applicable to both existing systems and first time sewerage. For example, some 4% of properties in the UK are not connected to public sewers but are connected to alternative wastewater disposal systems. The Water Industry Act (1991) requires that, subject to a number of conditions, sewerage undertakers should provide a public sewer to replace such domestic private systems. To do this requires consideration of both the technical and economic factors and hence the proposed WLC approach will implicitly address these issues.

The proposed WLC methodology builds on our previous work and is based on absolute values (in monetary units) that require robust performance and accounting modules to be in place in order to assign (cost) consequences to actions. WLC has the advantages that:

  • the costs themselves are being used, so that there is a universal understanding,
  • the process is fully auditable to external reporters,
  • it provides a holistic and robust rationale for asset management,
  • it considers both costs and performance over extended periods,
  • it incorporates sustainability issues related to resource use and impacts on the environment and society.

The aims of the project were:

  • To derive a tool to minimise the whole life costs of sewerage systems based on constrained service delivery targets.
  • To develop appropriate criteria and integrated performance models for new, existing and unsewered systems.
  • To establish a framework that allows the impact of management decisions for sewerage to reflect the holistic costs and link these to performance (the cost driver).
  • To develop a methodology to define in what circumstances first time sewerage is viable.
  • To provide an approach for the assessment of existing and new sewerage systems in terms of management options thereby contributing to an assessment of the sustainability of these sewerage systems.
  • Implicit in these aims is the need to incorporate the linkages between decision making and the economic, social and environmental aspects of system performance and operation in real value terms.


To develop a methodology and software tool to assist management decisions in order to provide acceptable performance at a minimum cost over the whole life of the sewerage system.

Network Definition describes the sewerage system and its performance. Hydraulic and asset performance models have been developed, these output KPIs to describe system performance. The accounting module assesses costs based on the predicted performance and chosen management strategy.

Hydraulic modelling

Hydraulic modelling is used to assess system performance in terms of:

  • Dry Weather Flows
  • Wet Weather Flows
  • Sedimentation

Dry Weather Flow - Sewerage Available to Transport

The SATT score is calculated based on peak flows and durations from the diurnal flow profile.

Wet weather flow - HKPI

Wet weather events of varying return period and duration are specified. KPIs are aggregated for the hour which includes the peak flows.


Sedimentation is assessed during dry weather flow velocities as specified in CIRIA Design Manual Report 141.

Asset performance modelling

Asset performance modelling currently comprises blockage, collapse and deterioration. These models are derived from historic data, thus the primary limitation is quantity and quality of data.


Deterioration is based on a Markov transition at each timestep. Transition probabilities (pj,k) have been derived from repeat CCTV data.

Blockage and collapse

Numbers of blockages and collapses are predicted within pipe sub-groups over the catchment, rather than actual locations of incidents.

Cost accounting

The accounting module considers all costs, whether direct or indirect, arising from operation, maintenance and management of the system and uses an activity based costing approach. Costs are user definable within the accounting spreadsheet.

Software tool

DST builder

The Cost-S software tool brings together the network performance models and the cost accounting framework in a package which allows system performance to be assessed at user defined time intervals over a variable whole life period.
Models are run at each timestep to calculate costs and KPIs. These can then be viewed, selected and aggregated using the list of indices and the GIS interface.

Based on the predicted performance, the user is able to implement a range of intervention sets. The effect of each different intervention set on costs and performance can then be assessed by re-running the models.

Policies explorer

The policies explorer allows the user to assess the cost and performance associated with different intervention sets over both a single time step and multiple time steps.

The future

The research work carried out to date can be characterised as proof of concept. Although a variety of tools have been developed and integrated into the software tool, it is very much a research based tool that has not been fully bench tested. It is clear that a good case can be made for the further development of the work in order to refine the tools and provide a more user friendly and ultimately an industry useful and attractive application tool. To do this would require its application to actual case studies, through which better user interfaces can be developed and customised to more closely fit industry standards and requirements.

The project deals with the use of data mining techniques on the Royal Mail risk database. A sample database was supplied on which encouraging results were found. The data mining techniques employed here each attempt to find patterns and trends in a database with greater accuracy than standard statistical techniques. These are designed to find relationships between seemingly unrelated sets of data. The data in the risk database consists of several attributes of a Post Office and the number of incidents it has suffered in the past three years. The task of the data mining tool is to find what (if any) reasons there are behind an office being more prone to incident than another. Each technique had different errors on the Royal Mail database.

Typically, the error was around 20-25% depending on the technique used. The inclusion of the postcode information in the South West database, late on in the project has yielded errors of less than 1%. Each of the techniques has a very different output and the collation of this information is one of the difficult points of the project. Generally, these techniques output a set of rules in IF?AND?.THEN format. These are understandable, but if there are large numbers of them it can be tedious applying these rules to new cases. The use of the results of these data mining techniques requires some automation, especially with rulesets of 50 rules or more. To enable this, an easy-to-use program was developed to allow users to test a new Post Office against the results from the data mining techniques. It is hoped that this flexible piece of software will allow the inclusion of the results of any of the techniques and to test any office regardless of how much information about it is known.

The overall aim of the project was to develop a research base on aspects related to urban water demand management and enhancing capacity at institutional and national level through structured knowledge transfer and provision of pilot scale demonstration sites for selected water demand management options in developing countries.

The key objectives included:

  1. Initiate the establishment of 2-3 pilot scale greywater recycling projects to investigate their performance in a predominantly hot climate.
  2. Strengthen the postgraduate environmental engineering curriculum to address local issues and include sustainable solutions pertaining to water demand management.
  3. Develop a web based online resource for water demand management.
  4. Develop a nationwide network for water demand management comprising stakeholders from higher education institutes, industry and government to gather the necessary critical mass to facilitate development, exchange and promotion of knowledge on:
    • innovative (but robust) water distribution system ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ solutions, technology rollout and resulting spin off companies (opportunities and implications for the urban poor)
    • policy formation and decision making
  5. Organise a series of national level training workshops on water distribution systems and an international conference.

CWS contribution to DelPHE project

 CWS team led by Prof. Fayyaz Ali Memon, was responsible for the:

 Supervision of  the development and testing of two low cost grey water treatment options

  • Development of a postgraduate level module with specific focus on urban water demand management
  • Organization of an International Conference on Sustainable Water Management in developing countries.

Project partners

  • Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter
  • Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Sindh, Pakistan
  • National Centre of Excellence in Analytical Chemistry, Pakistan
  • Sindh Agriculture University, Pakistan

This 3 year project was jointly funded by the British Council and DFID under Developing Partnerships in Higher Education (DelPHE) programme. The project included CWS collaboration with three higher education institutions in Pakistan.

An EPSRC project titled 'Inverse Transient Analysis in Pipe Networks for Leakage Detection, Quantification and Roughness Calibration' was executed jointly by Exeter University (EU, GR/M66981/01) and Imperial College (IC). The project was initiated around the idea of detecting leaks in water distribution systems (WDS) by calibrating the transient simulation model for unknown nodal leaks (Liggett et al., 1994). During the project, EU's part of the research work was to concentrate on the improvement of existing methodologies for WDS model calibration and sampling design.

The project was (and is still being) disseminated scientifically via multiple journal and conference publications. A full list of publications can be found in the accompanying Interim Report. The EU part of the project was led jointly by Prof. D. Savic and Prof. G.A. Walters. The research work was carried out by Dr Z. Kapelan.

While the project has been disseminated successfully in scientific terms it has yet to be exploited commercially. It is envisaged that the best way to do this is to transfer the relevant knowledge from EU to one of the project participants, a company called Ewan Optimal Solutions Ltd (EOSL). It is also envisaged that the most suitable person to do the actual transfer would be the RA on secondment from EU. In return, EOSL will provide training for the RA with the aim of enhancing his competencies.

The main objectives of the proposed collaboration between EU and EOSL are as follows:

  1. Transfer of the research knowledge gained during the original EPSRC project from EU to EOSL
  2. Enhancement of research assistant's competencies.

Funding body: Ewan Optimal Solutions Ltd.

Development work resulted in the software programs, GAnet and GAcal, which have been used on commercial projects involving hydraulic model calibration, design of water distribution network reinforcement and rehabilitation schemes and the optimization of level controlled pumping station operation. GAcal has also been sold commercially. Current development work is aimed at integrating GAnet with OpenNet, a library of C++ classes that provide the facilities for modelling water networks.


  1. Morley, M.S., R.M. Atkinson, D.A. Savic and G.A. Walters, (2001) GAnet: Genetic Algorithm platform for pipe network optimisation, Advances in Engineering Software, Vol. 32. No. 6, pp. 467-475.
  2. Savic, D.A., G.A. Walters, R.M. Atkinson, M. Randall-Smith (1999), Genetic Algorithm Optimization of Large Water Distribution System Expansion, Journal of Measurement and Control, Vol.32, No.4, pp.104-109.
  3. Atkinson, R.M., M.S. Morley, D.A. Savic and G.A. Walters (1998), GANET: The Integration of GIS, Network Analysis and Genetic Algorithm Optimization Software for Water Network Analysis, Hydroinformatics 98, Babovic, V. Larsen, L.C. (eds.), Balkema, Rotter-dam, pp. 357-362.
  4. Walters, G.A., D.A. Savic, R. Thurley, D. Halhal, Z. Kapelan and R. Atkinson, (1999), Optimal Design of Water Systems Using Genetic Algorithms: Some Recent Developments, in Computing and Control for the Water Industry, R. Powell and K.S. Hindi (eds.), Research Studies Press, Baldock, Hertfordshire, England, pp. 337-344.
  5. Savic, D.A., G.A. Walters, M. Randall-Smith and R.M. Atkinson (2000), Large Water Distribution Systems Design through Genetic Algorithm Optimisation, ASCE 2000 Joint Conference on Water Resources Engineering and Water Resources Planning and Man-agement, July 30-August 2, Minneapolis, USA, edited by Hotch-kiss, R.H. and M. Glade (proceeding published on CD), p. 10.
  6. Morley, M.S., R.M. Atkinson, D.A. Savic and G.A.Walters (2000) OpenNet: An application-independent framework for hydraulic network representation, manipulation & dissemination, presented at the Hydroinformatics 2000 Conference, Iowa City, USA, 23-27 July (proceeding published on CD), p. 10.
  7. Atkinson, R.M.A., van Zyl, J.E., G.A. Walters and D.A. Savic, (2000) Genetic Algorithm Optimisation of Level-Controlled Pumping Station Operation, Water Network Modelling for Optimal Design and Management, CWS 2000, Centre for Water Systems, Exeter, UK, pp. 79-90.

The objective identified in the proposal was the investigation of potential applications for genetic programming (GP) that would be of benefit to the water industry. The proposal also stressed that the project would develop a novel algorithm and that the investigation would not simply consist of applying the existing genetic programming (Koza, 1992; 1994) algorithm to selected problems. The importance of comparing the new method with existing techniques was also identified. In recent years many methods for creating "black box" mathematical models have been reported in the engineering literature. The methods include artificial neural networks, polynomial networks and genetic programming.

Research literature has tended to emphasise the benefits of these new methods, particularly the ability to automatically create mathematical models without having to specify the form of an equation in advance, as many older regression methods require. However, the literature has tended to downplay one of the major disadvantages of the new methods, the inability to determine confidence limits on predictions. Measures of error or uncertainty are often critical for models used in engineering applications where the consequences of error may include damage to property or loss of life. After preliminary examination the original method of genetic programming (i.e., Koza-style GP and symbolic regression in particular) was found to be deficient in a number of aspects in addition to the inability to provide confidence limits. These include:

  • Resulting models are not necessarily smooth and can have peculiar discontinuities or spikes. These result from the use of conditionals (if ? then statements) and a mathematical exception used to force closure under division. To avoid division overflow errors the exception is made that division by zero produces zero rather than infinity.
  • Resulting models are often very complex and difficult to interpret. There is no comprehensive method to determine if models are overfit or underdetermined.

Solutions are generally not very good.

It was concluded that in the original form, genetic programming had been largely oversold and was not suitable for real-world civil engineering applications.

The first phase of the project was to develop an improved GP methodology by incorporating classical statistical methods for parameter optimisation into symbolic regression. Classical parameter optimisation would both improve the quality of solutions and allow for estimation of confidence limits. The development of a method that automatically generates (evolves) mathematical models that are amenable to statistical inference represents the best aspects of both approaches, provided that the resulting models are competitive in terms of accuracy with other methods. A new technique of this type would have much wider applications than water resources engineering alone. The technique could be used in any field where predictive or simulation models are used and minimising computational effort or the accurate assessment of uncertainty in predictions is critical.


  • Davidson, J. W., D. A. Savic and G. A. Walters (2001a) Prediction error in rainfall-runoff models part 1: Overfitting, Water Resources Research, in preparation.
  • Davidson, J. W., D. A. Savic and G. A. Walters (2001b) Prediction error in rainfall-runoff models part 2: Probability density function of error, Water Resources Research, in preparation.
  • Davidson, J. W., D. A. Savic and G. A. Walters (2000a) Symbolic and numerical regression: experiments and applications. Accepted for publication in Journal of Information Sciences.
  • Davidson, J. W., D. A. Savic and G. A. Walters (2000b) Rainfall Runoff Modelling Using a New Polynomial Regression Method. 4th International Conference on Hydroinformatics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA.
  • Davidson, J. W., D. A. Savic and G. A. Walters (2000c) Approximators for the Colebrook-White Formula Obtained through a Hybrid Regression Method. XIII International Conference on Computational Methods in Water Resources, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.
  • Davidson, J. W., D. A. Savic and G. A. Walters (2000d) Symbolic and numerical regression: experiments and applications. Proceedings of Recent Advances in Soft Computing 2000, De Montfort University, Leicester, 175-182.
  • Davidson, J. W., D. A. Savic and G. A. Walters (1999a) Symbolic and numerical regression: a hybrid technique for polynomial approximators. Proceedings of Recent Advances in Soft Computing ?99, De Montfort University, Leicester: 111-116.
  • Davidson, J. W., D. A. Savic and G. A. Walters (1999b) Method for the identification of explicit polynomial formulae for the friction in turbulent pipe flow. Journal of Hydroinformatics 1(2) 115-126.
  • Savic, D. A., G. A. Walters and J. W. Davidson (1999) A genetic programming approach to rainfall-runoff modelling, Water Resources Management, 13 (1999) 219-231.

Control rules have been used in the United Kingdom for more than 50 years to reduce operating costs by controlling the overdrawing and pumped refill of reservoirs. However, for over 25 years some water companies within the UK have been integrating their sources into resource zones so there has been a need to produce conjunctive control rules applying to a whole system. This is undertaken to achieve greater economic returns, a higher reliability of supply and to provide a clear view about the 'spare' resource within a system.

The derivation and construction, whether formally or informally, of reservoir operating control rules within the Environment Agency South West region has been based on a methodology described in The British Hydrological Society Occasional Paper No.1 (1988). This technique is able to deal adequately with the operation of single reservoirs. However, although some guidelines on the operation of multi-purpose, multiple reservoir water systems have been devised, there remains no methodology generally accepted by water resource managers for deriving multiple-reservoir operating policies.

This research developed a new approach to the optimisation of the operation of multiple reservoir systems. The revised methodology develops the concept of an extended drought period with an additional emergency storage reserve to extend the reliability of the system. The operation of the Roadford Reservoir System, South West England, consisting of nine reservoirs was studied. Through simulation analysis, the control rules of each reservoir were revised to achieve the targets to the maximum possible extent. The obtained results are superior to the current operating control rules, in terms of reliability of supply and the volume of demand deficit in Roadford Reservoir System over a 116-year historical data set.


  • Thorne, J.M., D.A. Savic and A. Weston, (2002) Optimised Conjunctive Control Rules for a System of Water Supply Sources: Roadford Reservoir System (UK), Water Resources Management (in press).
  • Thorne, J.M., D.A. Savic and A. Weston, (1999) Development of Optimised Conjunctive Control Rules for a System of Water Sup-ply Sources, in Making Better Use of Water Resources, CIWEM, London, pp. 141-155.
  • Thorne, J. and D. A. Savic, (1998), Development of Optimised Conjunctive Control Rules for a System of Water Supply Sources, Centre for Water Systems, Report No.98/02, School of Engineering, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom.

Funding body: Teaching Company Directorate, DTI and Ewan Optimal Solutions Ltd

The privatisation-led drive in the UK water industry towards increasing efficiency and effectiveness has led to the water companies requiring the optimal performance from their assets. The regulator has also placed particular emphasis on improving combined sewer overflow (CSO) discharges during the AMP3 Period. These market pressures have led to the introduction of novel computing techniques that improve the decision making process. One such technique is the genetic algorithm (GA), whose potential to optimise urban drainage systems was identified by Rauch and Harremos (1998). Genetic algorithms are general artificial evolution search methods based on natural selection and mechanisms of population genetics. They emulate nature's very effective optimisation techniques of evolution, which are based on preferential survival and reproduction of the fittest members of the population, the maintenance of a population with diverse members, the inheritance of genetic information from parents, and the occasional mutation of genes.

These algorithms are best suited to solving combinatorial optimisation problems that cannot be solved using more conventional operational research methods. Thus, they can be applied to large, complex problems that are non-linear with multiple local optima. The first objective of this project is to develop the SewerNet application, which uses a GA to optimise the design and rehabilitation of sewer networks given the constraints placed by the UK regulators. SewerNet combines the object-orientated frameworks of: the OpenNet network model (Morley et al, 2000), the University of Exeter's Centre for Water Systems genetic algorithm library (Morley et al, 2000), and the hydraulic simulation module.

The Urban Pollution Management (UPM) procedure is well established in the United Kingdom as a way to evaluate the performance of the urban drainage system's effect on receiving waters' quality. However, although engineering solutions developed using the UPM procedure have been successful in meeting design criteria for water quality they have been less successful at delivering these benefits at least cost. The second objective of this project is to develop a novel approach to the design of cost effective solutions to urban water quality problems. The approach combines the concepts of UPM, simplified integrated urban catchment modelling and genetic algorithm optimisation within a software tool named Cougar. The use of Cougar to identify least cost engineering solutions to the pollution problems caused by combined sewer systems will be introduced through an illustrative example. The promising results achieved demonstrate the capability of the approach used to optimise designs in terms of cost and water quality performance.


  • Parker,M.A., D.A. Savic, G.A. Walters and Z. Kapelan (2000) SewerNet: A Genetic Algorithm Application for Optimising Urban Drainage Systems, presented at the International Conference on Urban Drainage via Internet, May 18-25 (proceeding published on CD) p. 11.
  • Gill, E., M.A. Parker, D.A. Savic and G.A. Walters (2001), Cougar: A Genetic Algorithm and Rapid Integrated Catchment model-ling application for optimising capital investment in combined sewer systems, World Water & Environmental Resources Congress, May 20-24, Orlando, Florida, edited by Phelps, D. and G. Sehlke (proceeding published on CD), p. 10.

Funding bodies: Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC), Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Environment Agency, UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Scottish Executive.

The Flood Risk Management Research Consortium (FRMRC) is an interdisciplinary group investigating the prediction, prevention and mitigation of flooding. The project is being carried out over the period 2004-2008 and involves a number of UK academic institutions with a total budget of £5.7m, the Consortium employs 30 post-doctoral researchers and 12 research students (1 post-doc and 1 student at Exeter).

The Consortium is funded by the EPSRC, in collaboration with the Defra / EA Joint Thematic R&D Programme for Flood & Coastal Defence, UKWIRNERC and the Scottish Executive. The concept behind this innovative joint funding arrangement is that it allows the Consortium to combine the strengths of blue skies and near-market researchers and research philosophies in a truly multi-disciplinary programme.

The research portfolio has been formulated to address key issues in flood science and engineering, while being consistent with the objectives of the funding agencies. The ethos of the consortium is to encourage a holistic approach with research in most work packages conducted jointly by researchers from two or more areas.

FRMRC will address eight Research Priority Areas (RPA), identified as being of key importance by end-users and stakeholders at the workshops organised by EPSRC during 2002:

  1. Project management (integration of RPAs)
  2. Land use management
  3. Real time flood forecasting
  4. Infrastructure management
  5. Whole systems modelling
  6. Urban flood management
  7. Stakeholder and policy
  8. Geomorphology, sediments and habitats
  9. Risk and uncertainty

The Centre for Water Systems is engaged in RPA 6 Urban Flood Management, together with the Pennine Water Group (Sheffield), Imperial College (London) and University of Wales (Aberystwyth) and in collaboration with the University of Belgrade.

Urban flooding is caused by the drainage system being unable to cope with the volume of surface runoff and includes co-incident flooding due to both river and rainfall floods inundating urban areas. Floods in urban areas impact human habitats and are a risk to public health. There is a need for improved modelling to predict urban flood routes and the extent of flooding so that mitigation measures can be designed to cope with unwanted water surcharged from the sewer system. It is planned to develop new serviceability indicators for asset performance and remediation, and to quantify the impact of urban flooding on health.

Methodology and software under development at the Centre will be used along with other tools for simulation of urban flooding. The approach incorporates two specific concepts:

  1. Explicit modelling of water exchange between surcharged flow in a piped system and the surface flow on the streets during a flood, when these two systems form a multiple-looped network involving a complex interaction of flows.
  2. Application of advanced GIS-based analytic tools to predict flood flow paths by effective utilization of digital terrain models, detailed surface cover (land-use) images, spatially and temporally variable rainfall, and other data.

Flood risk management research consortium 2 - FRMRC2 has been formulated to address key issues in flood science and engineering and the portfolio of research includes the short-term delivery of tools and techniques to support more accurate flood forecasting and warning, improvements to flood management infrastructure and reduction of flood risk to people, property and the environment. A particular feature of the 2nd phase is the concerted effort to focus on coastal and urban flooding.

Find out more on our dedicated webpage.

AQUATOR® is a commercial software for developing and running simulation models of natural rivers, water resources and water supply systems, using different operational rules, constraints and priorities. Developed by Oxford Scientific Software, it is being used by several water companies in the UK. The Centre for Water Systems has undertaken the task of linking AQUATOR to a Multiobjective Genetic Algorithms optimisation module.

Initially GANetXL, an add-in for Microsoft Excel®, developed by the Centre for Water Systems was linked to AQUATOR, for the optimization of reservoir operation.

However due to the excessive computational time required, AQUATOR-GA, a new GA application was developed, using distributed computing, which has been integrated within the AQUATOR environment.

It has already been applied to two case studies, both reservoirs operated by United Utilities.


Funding body: EPSRC and Ewan Optimal Solutions Ltd (CASE studentship)

A major challenge to the UK water industry is to improve the performance of sewer systems. Flooding of properties and roads, and excessive spill frequencies are problems that the UK water companies are now required to address. Indeed, the water industry is investing large sums of money to rectify these problems, starting with the creation of Drainage Area Plans. These first define the networks and then identify the problems. The third stage is the development of a catchment strategy or 'optioneering', which involves proposing how the problems can be overcome and at what cost.

This project is concerned with initial phases in the development of a system for obtaining more effective and economic designs from this 'optioneering' stage, using a simplified analytical tool and Genetic Algorithms to explore the vast range of combinations of alternative design actions. The simplified analytical tool, called 'Fastnet', gives an approximate but very rapid model of the network's hydraulic performance. The Genetic Algorithm carries out a search to find the most cost effective combination of storage, pipe upsizing and re-routing based on meeting required hydraulic performance criteria, assessed using Fastnet.


  • Fullerton, J.N., G.A. Walters and D.A. Savic, (2002) Simplified Modelling of Storm Water Flows for Optimisation, in Hydraulic Information Management, Brebbia, C.A. and W.R.Blain (eds), WIT press, Southampton, pp.133-142.
  • Fullerton, J.N., G.A. Walters and D.A. Savic, (2002) Decision sup-port software for optioneering: a feasibility study, International Conference on Sewer Operation and Maintenance, 26 - 28 No-vember 2002, Bradford, UK (accepted for presentation).

The joint project between the Exeter University's Centre for Water Systems and Imperial College is aimed at developing an integrated, inverse-transient approach to leakage detection and model calibration.

Collaborators: Imperial College (Academic), Yorkshire Water, Bristol Water, Thames Water, Anglian Water, Ewan Optimal Solutions and UKWIR (Industrial)

Visit the project website >>

In more detail, the initial objectives were as follows:

  1. Development of a new numerical modelling approach by combining the inverse transient analysis (IC), steady-state and transient network analyses and genetic algorithms optimisation (EU) to enable optimal selection of pressure measurement sites for leakage detection and pipe roughness calibration
  2. An experimental programme under strictly controlled laboratory conditions and simulated leaks in pipelines (IC and Thames Water) aimed at acquiring reliable sets of both steady state and transient flow data for testing of the methodology, calibration and verification of the programs
  3. Development of a data mining or some other procedure for establishing rules on how to select pressure measurement sites in new networks (EU)
  4. Field tests (full scale water supply system of Anglian Water) for obtaining reliable sets of transient flow data and their application in the inverse transient method for leak detection and calibration (IC&EU)
  5. Analysis of the methodology on the basis of uncertainty reduction and data reliability improvement (IC&EU), for possible application in the UK Water Industry
  6. Analysis of trends and future research needs.

The research work carried out has resulted in the development of new or improved calibration and sampling design methodologies. All methodologies presented here were coded for testing purposes. Coding was done in the C++ programming language. A brief summary of the new or improved methodologies is given here below.

Initially, a transient simulation model (i.e. software) for any pipe network configuration was developed. Software for the calculation of the Jacobian matrix (i.e. partial derivatives of model predictions with respect to analysed calibration parameters) was developed for transient, steady-state and extended-period simulation model cases. It was necessary to develop such software for: (a) application of gradient type optimisation methods, e.g. the Levenberg-Marquardt method; (b) use of post-calibration statistical analysis and (c) solving the optimal sampling design problem. For steady-state and extended period simulation (EPS) hydraulic models two methods were developed and coded: the sensitivity equation method and the adjoint method. For the transient WDS model, a novel method based on a variation of the existing sensitivity equation method (Nash et al., 1999) was developed to support any pipe network configuration. An improved approach for the calibration of WDS hydraulic models was developed. Its main characteristics are as follows:

  • Approach can be applied for the calibration of all major WDS hydraulic models: (a) steady-state flow model, (b) EPS model and (c) transient model.
  • The calibration problem is formulated as a constrained optimisation problem with prior information on parameters incorporated in the objective of weighted least square type (Kapelan et al., 2001c; Kapelan et al., 2001e).
  • Two existing (genetic algorithm (GA) and Levenberg-Marquardt (LM)) and two novel, hybrid optimisation methods were developed to solve the analysed calibration problem. The hybrid methods were named GALM (Kapelan et al., 2000) and HGA (Kapelan et al., 2001a; Kapelan et al., 2001b; Kapelan et al., 2002b; Kapelan et al., 2002a).
  • The use of diagnostic statistics and analysis to identify ill-posed calibration problems and to provide partial insight into the calibration process.
  • Use of various statistics to thoroughly evaluate calibration process results in terms of: (a) model fit, (b) uncertainties (i.e. errors) associated with estimated calibration parameters, (c) uncertainties (i.e. errors) associated with calibrated model predictions.

A novel sampling design approach for calibration of WDS hydraulic models was developed. Its main characteristics are as follows:

  • The sampling design problem is formulated as a multi-objective optimisation problem. The two main objectives are: (a) maximise calibration accuracy by minimising calibrated model uncertainty and (b) minimise total sampling design costs.
  • Three calibration accuracy objectives were analysed: (1) D-optimality (Kapelan et al., 2001d), (2) A-optimality (Kapelan, 2002) and (3) V-optimality (Kapelan et al., 2002e; Kapelan et al., 2002c). Therefore, both model parameter and prediction uncertainties were analysed.
  • A new single-objective GA (SOGA) optimal sampling design model (Kapelan et al., 2002f; Kapelan et al., 2002g) was developed. The sampling design problem was formulated as a single-objective problem and solved using a standard GA optimisation method. Two objectives are recombined into a weighted single one after normalisation.
  • A new multi-objective GA (MOGA) optimal sampling design model (Kapelan et al., 2002d) was developed based on Pareto domination,. The aim was to treat and solve the sampling design problem as a true multi-objective optimisation problem. The MOGA methodology is based on Pareto domination rules, restricted mating and niching. The new MOGA approach was compared to several well-known SD methods from the literature (Ferreri et al., 1994; Bush et al., 1998; De Schaetzen et al., 2000).

All developed calibration and sampling design approaches were tested and verified on multiple case studies involving both relatively simple, small artificial WDS networks and relatively large, complex real-life WDS networks (Kapelan, 2002).

Since the first results of the research work were published, UK water companies have shown substantial interest in the developed technology. As a result, the EPSRC has recently approved for the research assistant (Dr Kapelan) to be seconded to Ewan Optimal Solutions Ltd, a company collaborating on the original project, on a Research Assistant Industrial Secondment (RAIS) scheme.


  • Kapelan, Z.S. (2002), "Calibration of WDS Hydraulic Models", PhD Thesis, Department of Engineering, University of Exeter, 334pp.
  • Kapelan, Z.S., Savic, D.A., and Walters, G.A. (2000), "Inverse Transient Analysis in Pipe Networks for Leakage Detection and Roughness Calibration", Proc. Water Network Modelling for Optimal Design and Management, Exeter, UK, D. A. Savic and G. A. Walters, eds., vol. 1, 143-159.
  • Kapelan, Z.S., Savic, D.A., and Walters, G.A. (2001a), ?A Hybrid Inverse Transient Model for Leakage Detection and Roughness Calibration in Pipe Networks (1): Theoretical Development?, Journal of Hydraulic Research (IAHR), (accepted for publication).
  • Kapelan, Z.S., Savic, D.A., and Walters, G.A. (2001b), ?A Hybrid Inverse Transient Model for Leakage Detection and Roughness Calibration in Pipe Networks (2): Applications?, Journal of Hydraulic Research (IAHR), (accepted for publication).
  • Kapelan, Z.S., Savic, D.A., and Walters, G.A. (2001c), ?Incorporation of Prior Information on Parameters in Inverse Transient Analysis for Leak Detection and Roughness Calibration?, Urban Water, (accepted for publication).
  • Kapelan, Z.S., Savic, D.A., and Walters, G.A. (2001d), "Optimal Sampling Design Methods for Calibration of Water Supply Network Models", Proc. International Conference on Computing and Control for the Water Industry CCWI 2001, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, D. Ulanicki, B. Coulbeck and J. P. Rance, eds., vol. 1, 99-109.
  • Kapelan, Z.S., Savic, D.A., and Walters, G.A. (2001e), "Use of Prior Information on Parameters in Inverse Transient Analysis for Leak Detection and Roughness Calibration", Proc. World Water & Environmental Resources Congress, Orlando, USA, CD-ROM edition.
  • Kapelan, Z.S., Savic, D.A., and Walters, G.A. (2002a), "Hybrid GA for Calibration of Water Distribution System Hydraulic Models", Proc. 1st Annual Environmental & Water Resources Systems Analysis (EWRSA) Symposium, Roanoke, Virginia, USA, CD-ROM edition.
  • Kapelan, Z.S., Savic, D.A., and Walters, G.A. (2002b), "A Hybrid Search Technique for Inverse Transient Analysis in Water Distribution Systems", Proc. 5th International Conference on Adaptive Computing in Design and Manufacture, Exeter, UK, I. C. Parmee, ed., vol. 1, 75-86.
  • Kapelan, Z.S., Savic, D.A., and Walters, G.A. (2002c), "Multi-objective GA Solution to Problem of Optimal Sampling Design for WDS Hydraulic Model Calibration", Proc. 5th International Conference on Hydroinformatics, Cardiff, UK, vol. 2, 1435-1440.
  • Kapelan, Z.S., Savic, D.A., and Walters, G.A. (2002e), "Multi-objective Sampling Design for Water Distribution Model Calibration", Proc. 3rd International Conference on Environmental Management, Johannesburg (RSA).
  • Kapelan, Z.S., Savic, D.A., and Walters, G.A. (2002d), ?Multi-objective Sampling Design for Water Distribution Model Calibration?, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, ASCE, (submitted for publication).
  • Kapelan, Z.S., Savic, D.A., and Walters, G.A. (2002f), ?Optimal Sampling Design Methodologies for Water Distribution Model Calibration: 1. Theory?, Water Resources Research, (submitted for publication).
  • Kapelan, Z.S., Savic, D.A., and Walters, G.A. (2002g), ?Optimal Sampling Design Methodologies for Water Distribution Model Calibration: 2. Applications?, Water Resources Research, (submitted for publication).

iWIDGET’s focus is a more integrated approach to water resources management and the project will contribute to delivering a sustainable, low-carbon society, helping progress towards the Europe 2020 targets on Climate and Energy. This approach will be developed by researching, developing, demonstrating and evaluating a fully integrated ICT-based system of techniques and technologies that will encourage and enable householders and water suppliers to understand and manage down their demand and minimise wastage in the supply chain.

The Project is being led by Prof. Dragan Savić, Founder and Co-director of the Centre for Water Systems at the University of Exeter.

The partnership assembled to deliver the iWIDGET project is a combination of all the key players in the field, leading ICT companies, business leaders, technology developers, standardisation organisations, water companies and top scientists in the field of water management, information and systems analysis and the social sciences. See the iWIDGET web site for more details.

Together the WIDGET consortium brings to the table a clear understanding of the market, the technological state-of–the-art with respect to hardware and software, new research and development in data mining, analytics, decision support, scenario modelling, data management, standards interfaces, visualisation, water conservation modelling and social simulation. The project will also obtain input from householders through two case studies and input from the broader water industry through its Advisory Panel.

For further information, please see the iWIDGET website.

NEPTUNE is a £2.7m joint EPSRC and industrially funded project bringing together seven academic and three industrial collaborators.  The aim of project NEPTUNE, is to advance knowledge and understanding about water supply systems in order to develop novel, robust, practical techniques and tools to optimize efficiency and customer service, through dynamic control or other means.

The key needs, identified by the industrial partners, to be addressed in project NEPTUNE are:

  • To deliver an optimised water distribution system
  • To be able to react to an incident before the customer is effected
  • To optimise the decision making process – to react to real alarms and incidents
  • To develop power harvesting techniques
  • To support the continued drive to reduce leakage
  • To develop innovation in pressure management to deliver key leakage and energy savings
  • To provide automated control and adjustment to the system
  • To build an integrated management system which will monitor leakage, energy, alarms etc
  • To develop online models to simulate the distribution network for the next 24 hours
  • To provide options to make significant savings in energy e.g. through pump schedule optimisation

The core deliverable of the Exeter team is an integrated, risk-based Decision Support System (DSS) for the rapid evaluation of intervention strategies to inform decision-making for sustainable water system operation. To ease the burden on system controllers and staff who are dealing with vast amounts of data, the DSS seeks to assist in: making optimal decisions, prioritizing the reaction to urgent events and identifying false or duplicated alarms.  The DSS facilitates the integration of these diverse outputs into a single, coherent application to be presented to the operator.

Project NEPTUNE is a collaborative project involving two leading UK Water Service Providers - Yorkshire Water Services and United Utilities - and a major provider of automation technologies - AAB. The research work is mainly carried out through the collaboration of several UK universities, including the University of Exeter.




The aim of the Exeter team is to develop an integrated, risk-based decision support system to evaluate intervention strategies and provide decision makers with the required information to operate a sustainable water system. The Centre for Water Systems, as a part of RPA3, carries out the research work in the following work packages:

  • Decision support system - To develop an integrated, risk-based decision support framework to support tactical (real-time) and strategic decision making.
  • Intervention management - To design and implement incident isolation and impact reducion strategies used within risk-based decision making.
  • Risk-based decision making - The aim is to develop a new general methodology for the management of risk and uncertainty associated with the decision making process for water supply networks.

Find out more about these aims on our dedicated webpage.


The project resulted in a prototype DSS currently being developed further through Knowledge Transfer Partnership projects with Yorkshire Water.

The project team at Exeter has filed a patent outlining the methodology developed for the NEPTUNE Decision Support System. We are currently in negotiations to sell our patent rights.

The following papers have been published so far:

  • Bicik, J., Kapelan, Z., Makropoulos, C. and D.A. Savić (2011) Pipe burst diagnostics using evidence theory, Journal of Hydroinformatics, Vol 13, No 4, pp. 596-608.
  • Savić, D.A., J.B. Boxall, B. Ulanicki, Z. Kapelan, C. Makropoulos, R. Fen-ner, K. Soga, I.W. Marshall, C. Maksimovic, I. Postlethwaite, R. Ashley and N. Graham (2008) Project NEPTUNE: improved operation of water distribution networks, Proceedings of the 10th Annual Water Distribution Systems Analysis Conference WDSA2008, Van Zyl, J.E., Ilemobade, A.A., Jacobs, H.E. (eds.), August 17-20, Kruger National Park, South Africa, pp. 543-558, CD-ROM.
  • Awad, H., Z. Kapelan and Savić, D.A. (2008) Analysis of pressure manage-ment economics in water distribution systems, Proceedings of the 10th An-nual Water Distribution Systems Analysis Conference WDSA2008, Van Zyl, J.E., Ilemobade, A.A., Jacobs, H.E. (eds.), August 17-20, Kruger National Park, South Africa, pp. 520-531, CD-ROM.
  • Bicik, J., C. Makropoulos, D. Joksimović, Z. Kapelan, M.S. Morley and Savić, D.A. (2008) Conceptual risk-based decision support methodology for improved near real-time response to WDS failures, Proceedings of the 10th Annual Water Distribution Systems Analysis Conference WDSA2008, Van Zyl, J.E., Ilemobade, A.A., Jacobs, H.E. (eds.), August 17-20, Kruger National Park, South Africa, pp. 510-519, CD-ROM.
  • Bicik, J., Savić, D.A. and Z. Kapelan (2009), Operation of water distribution systems using risk-based decision making, Integrating Water Systems, Boxall & Maksimovic (eds), Taylor and Francis, London, pp. 143-149.
  • Awad, H., Z. Kapelan and Savić, D.A. (2009), Optimal setting of time-modulated pressure reducing valves in water distribution networks using genetic algorithms, Integrating Water Systems, Boxall & Maksimovic (eds), Taylor and Francis, London, pp. 31-37.
  • Morley, M.S., J. Bicik, L.S. Vamvakeridou-Lyrouidia, Z. Kapelan and Savić, D.A. (2009), Neptune DSS: A decision support system near-real time operations management of water distribution systems, Integrating Water Systems, Boxall & Maksimovic (eds), Taylor and Francis, London, pp. 249
  • Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia, L.S., J. Bicik, H. Awad, M.S. Morley, Savić, D.A. and Z. Kapelan (2009), Developing and implementing a real-time intervention management model for water distribution systems, Integrating Water Systems, Boxall & Maksimovic (eds), Taylor and Francis, London, pp. 339-345.
  • Bicik, J., Z. Kapelan and Savić, D.A. (2009), Operational Perspective of the Impact of Failures in Water Distribution Systems, World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, Kansas City, Missouri, 17-21 May, 2009: Great Rivers, ASCE, p. 10, CD-ROM.
  • Bicik, J., C. Makropoulos, Z. Kapelan and Savić, D.A. (2009), The Application of Evidence Theory in Decision Support for Water Distribution System Operations, The 8th International Conference on Hydroinformatics, 12-16 Jan, Concepcion, Chile, CD-ROM.
  • Bicik, J., C. Makropoulos, Z. Kapelan and Savić, D.A. (2010) Risk-Based Prioritisation of Failures in Water Distribution System Operations, HIC2010, Tianjin, China.
  • Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L.S., Bicik J., Morley M., Savić, D.A., Kapelan Z. (2010) A Real-Time Intervention Management Model For Reducing Impacts Due To Pipe Isolation In Water Distribution Systems, Water Distribution Systems Analysis 2010 - Proceedings of the 12th International Conference, WDSA 2010, pages 209-221.
  • Bicik, J., Kapelan, Z. and Savić D. A.  (2011) Challenges Of In The Imple-mentation Of A Decision Support System For Real-Time Operational Man-agement of Water Distribution Systems Management, Eleventh International Conference on Computing and Control for the Water Industry: Urban Water Management: Challenges and Opportunities, 5-7 Sept, Exeter, UK, p.8.

The central tenet of the NeWater project is a transition from currently prevailing regimes of river basin water management into more adaptive regimes in the future. This transition calls for a highly integrated water resources management concept. NeWater identifies key typical elements of the current water management system and focuses its research on processes of transition of these elements to adaptive IWRM.

Each key element is studied by novel approaches. Key IWRM areas where NeWater is expected to deliver breakthrough results include:

  • governance in water management (methods to arrive at polycentric, horizontal broad stakeholder participation in IWRM)
  • sectoral integration (integration of IWRM and spatial planning; integration with climate change adaptation strategies, cross-sectoral optimisation and cost-benefit analysis)
  • scales of analysis in IWRM (methods to resolve resource use conflicts; transboundary issues)
  • information management (multi stakeholder dialogue, multi-agent systems modelling; role of games in decision making; novel monitoring systems for decision systems in water management)
  • infrastructure (innovative methods for river basin buffering capacity; role of storage in adaptation to climate variability and climate extremes)
  • finances and risk mitigation strategies in water management (new instruments, role of public-private arrangements in risk-sharing)
  • stakeholder participation; promoting new ways of bridging between science, policy and implementation

The development of concepts and tools that guide an integrated analysis and support a stepwise process of change in water management is the corner-stone of research activities in the NeWater project. To achieve its objectives the project is structured into six work blocks, and it adopts a management structure that allows effective exchange between innovative and cutting edge research on integrative water management concepts, with practical applications and testing through participatory stakeholder processes in selected river basins.

Funding body: Teaching Company Directorate, DTI and Ewan Optimal Solutions Ltd.

Calibration of computer models for network analysis is a regular component of the model building process. The process generally first involves a series of field tests during which pressures and flows are recorded at strategic locations in the system. This is followed by a desk exercise during which adjustments are made to the roughness values used in modelling the system until a satisfactory match is obtained between modelled and observed values. The selection of a satisfactory set of roughness values can be a tedious business when undertaken by the traditional trial and error approach. In this work, several methodologies were proposed to assist the modeller in the following two tasks: firstly in the selection of sensitive sampling locations in a water distribution system and secondly in the derivation of a good calibrated hydraulic network model. A new calibration approach which consists of adjusting the pipe roughness, the pipe diameter and the nodal demand which certain limits, is proposed by using a genetic algorithm search method.

Three new sampling design approaches were also proposed. The first two approaches rank potential sampling locations based on the shortest path algorithm logic, while the third approach searches for the optimal set of monitoring points by maximising the entropy function using a genetic algorithm search method. The calibration and sampling design approaches are demonstrated by using six hydraulic network models, including three real-life networks. The calibration results show that the genetic algorithm approach consistently achieves more accurate fits than manually worked solutions while the sampling design results demonstrate the potential for financial savings through more efficient equipment deployment.


  • De Schaetzen, W.B.F. (2000) Optimal Calibration and Sampling Design for Hydraulic Network Models, PhD thesis, University of Exeter.
  • De Schaetzen, W.B.F., G.A. Walters and D.A. Savic, (2000), Optimal Sampling Design for Model Calibration Using Shortest Path, Genetic and Entropy Algorithms, Urban Water, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 141-152.
  • De Schaetzen, W., V.J. Ewan, D.A. Savic and G.A. Walters (1998), A Genetic Algorithm Approach for Rehabilitation in Water Supply Systems, International Conference on Rehabilitation Technology for the Water Industry, Lille, France, 23-25 March.
  • De Schaetzen, W., D.A. Savic and G.A. Walters (1998), Genetic Algorithms for Pump Scheduling and Cost Optimization in Water Supply Systems, Hydroinformatics 98, Babovic, V. Larsen, L.C. (eds.), Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 897-899.
  • Walters, G.A., D.A. Savic, M.S. Morley, W. de Schaetzen and R.M. Atkinson (1998) Calibration of Water Distribution Network Models Using Genetic Algorithms, in Hydraulic Engineering Software VII, Blain, W.R. (ed.), Computational Mechanics Publications, pp. 131-140.
  • De Schaetzen W., D.A. Savic, G.A. Walters and M. Randall-Smith (1999) Optimal Loger Density in Water Distribution Network Calibration, in Water Industry Systems: Modelling and Optimisation Applications, Vol. 1, Savic, D.A. and G.A. Walters (eds.), Re-search Studies Press, Baldock, Hertfordshire, England, pp. 301-308.

The problem of choosing the best possible set of network improvements to make with a limited budget is presented as a large optimisation problem to which conventional optimisation techniques are poorly suited. A multi-objective approach is developed, using capital cost and benefit as dual objectives, enabling a range of non-inferior solutions of varying cost to be derived. A Structured Messy Genetic Algorithm is developed, incorporating some of the principles of the Messy Genetic Algorithm, such as strings which increase in length during the evolution of designs. The algorithm is shown to be an effective tool for the current optimisation problem, being particularly suited both to the multi-objective approach and to problems which involve the selection of small sets of variables from large numbers of possibilities.


  • Halhal, D. (1998) "Optimal Improvement of Water Distribution Systems", PhD Thesis, University of Exeter
  • Halhal, D., G.A. Walters, D. Ouazar, and D.A. Savic, (1997), Multi-Objective Improvement of Water Distribution Systems Using a Structured Messy Genetic Algorithm Approach, ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, Vol. 123, No. 3, pp. 137-146.
  • Halhal, D., G.A. Walters, D.A. Savic and D. Ouazar, (1999), Scheduling of Water Distribution System Rehabilitation using Structured Messy Genetic Algorithms, Evolutionary Computation, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 311-329.
  • Walters, G.A., D.Halhal, D.A,Savic and D.Ouazar (1999), Im-proved Design of ?Anytown? Network Using Structured Messy Genetic Algorithms, Urban Water, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 23-38.
  • Halhal, D., G.A. Walters, D. Ouazar and D.A. Savic, (1995), Us-ing Genetic Algorithm Hybrids for the Optimal Improvement of Water Distribution Systems, presented at the third international conference on Computer Methods and Water Resources CMWR ?95, Beirut, Lebanon.
  • Walters, G.A., D.A. Savic, R. Thurley, D. Halhal, Z. Kapelan and R. Atkinson, (1999), Optimal Design of Water Systems Using Genetic Algorithms: Some Recent Developments, in Computing and Control for the Water Industry, R. Powell and K.S. Hindi (eds.), Research Studies Press, Baldock, Hertfordshire, England, pp. 337-344.
  • Halhal, D., G.A. Walters, D.A. Savic and D. Ouazar (1999) Optimal Phasing of Water Distribution Systems Rehabilitation, in Water Industry Systems: Modelling and Optimisation Applications, Vol. 2, Savic, D.A. and G.A. Walters (eds.), Research Studies Press, Baldock, Hertfordshire, England, pp. 437-448.

'Prepared: Enabling Change' is a large scale integrating interdisciplinary project funded by the European Commission Seventh Framework Program (EC FP7) . IPCC climate change scenarios have a global perspective and need to be scaled down to the local level, where decision makers have to balance risks and investment costs. Very high investments might be a waste of money and too little investment could result in unacceptable risks for the local community. PREPARED is industry driven. 12 city utilities are involved in the project and the RDT carried out is based on the impacts of climate change the water supply and sanitation industry has identified as a challenge for the years to come.

The result of PREPARED will be an infrastructure for waste water, drinking water and stormwater management that will not only be able to better cope with new scenarios on climate change but that is also managed in an optimal way. PREPARED involves the local community in problem identification and in jointly finding acceptable system solutions, that are supported by all, through active learning processes.


In order to make the results from PREPARED applicable to the everyday world, the work is being undertaken and applied to several 'demonstration' cities. The results from each of these cities will be adapted and applied to other demonstration cities in PREPARED, and then hopefully on a much more wider, global scale so that cities around the world can learn and start to take action to make their water systems more resilient to future global climate change. The demonstration cities in PREPARED are:

  • Aarhus
  • Barcelona
  • Berlin
  • Eindhoven
  • Genoa
  • Istanbul
  • Gilwice
  • Lisbon
  • Lyon
  • Melbourne
  • Oslo
  • Simferopol
  • Seattle

Exeter's involvement

Quantitative risk assessment

CWS is the leader in the Work Package dealing with Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA). The aims are to develop models for the assessment of social, environmental and economic risks related to the sustainable performance of water systems under changing climate conditions. Categories of risk related to urban water systems will be defined, and methods for deterministic and stochastic QRA will be defined, developed and implemented. Our partner demonstration city is Eindhoven (Netherlands). Figure 1 shows the iterative framework within which this work is placed, and illustrates the need for cooperation.

Best location of sensors

The objective is the development and the application of methods for optimal macro-location for sensors in order to provide useful and reliable measurements in urban water systems, at whole-network scale, where the objective is to optimally locate a limited number of sensors to balance the cost and model prediction accuracy

Modelling: calibration, uncertainty assessment, data assimilation

The University of Exeter-CWS is leading the work package for urban water system modelling. It includes the investigation of methodologies for uncertainty quantification in urban water systems modelling and identifying possible steps that can be taken to reduce all types of uncertainty in real-time modelling through calibration, verification and data assimilation. The detailed aims are to:

  1. evaluate new and existing methods for uncertainty quantification
  2. develop a toolbox of most promising uncertainty quantification methods
  3. investigate the potential of data assimilation schemes to reduce uncertainty associated with real-time modelling i.e. make real-time models more accurate and;
  4. develop recommendations on best practice and guidelines on the proper application of uncertainty quantification and data assimilation techniques in UWS modelling to help end-users in their applications.

Integrated real-time monitoring, modelling and control platform

The objective is to enhance the capability of existing measures and forecasting technologies by extending the open integrated monitoring toolbox and database system with the capabilities

  1. accommodating and using in real-time existing model descriptions of the water cycle
  2. real-time calibration and data assimilation - extending the virtual sensors concept
  3. using existing control systems as front-ends in order to enable the use of new promising control strategies and decision support systems using overall on-line optimisation.

Decision support and early warning systems for source- and receiving waters

The expected increase of the frequency and severity of extreme events will lead to a more rapidly changing input to the water supply and sanitation infrastructure and consequently also affect the outputs to the receiving waters. In order to strengthen immediate management actions, the overall objective is to:

  • enhance the capability of existing measuring and forecasting technologies by integrating these with new monitoring and modelling approaches, enabling development of decision support and early warning systems for:
    1. Immediate management of the competing use and protection of water intakes and;
    2. Immediate management of the health risks related to unavoidable combined sewer overflows and uncontrolled runoff caused by more frequent and heavier rainfall and specific warnings for areas subject to recreational use.

Early warning and distributed control systems for water supply

Existing water supply systems have to adapt to an increased temperature caused by climate change, which will affect water quality. Less use of potable water caused by water scarcity leads to higher retention times in supply networks, which also might add to temperature increases. The aims here are

  1. enhance the capabilities of existing measuring and forecasting technologies in order to enable early warning of deteriorating water quality using advanced water quality and quantity sensors for real-time monitoring and modelling of distribution networks
  2. use overall on-line optimisation to operate new promising real-time control strategies for distributed disinfection control to cope with enhanced microbial regrowth at higher temperatures.


Visit the Prepared website for futher information.


Funding body: ERASMUS scheme (European Community)

Cost minimisation is the main issue for water companies when establishing pumping regimes for water distribution. Energy consumption and pump maintenance represent by far the biggest expenditure, accounting for around 90% of the lifetime cost of a water pump. This work explores the development and use of multiobjective Genetic Algorithms for pump scheduling in water supply systems. The two objectives considered are minimisation of energy and maintenance costs. Pump switching is introduced as a surrogate measure of maintenance cost. The multiobjective algorithm is compared to the single objective GA, with both techniques improved by using hybridisation with a local-search method.


  • Mackle, G., D.A. Savic and G.A. Walters (1995), Genetic Algorithms for Pump Scheduling in Water Supply Systems, Centre For Systems And Control Engineering, Report No. 95/07, School of Engineering, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom, p.89.
  • Schwab, M., D.A. Savic and G.A. Walters (1996), Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm for Pump Scheduling in Water Supply Systems, Centre For Systems And Control Engineering, Report No. 96/02, School of Engineering, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom, p.60.

Funding body: ERASMUS scheme (European Community)

This project presents an application of Neural Networks (NNs) to rainfall-runoff modelling. Applications of the neural network technique in this domain of hydrology have so far provided accurate results for small storm events on theoretical catchments (Minns & Hall, 1995). The aim of the research presented in this report was to investigate the application of NNs, as 'black-box' models of rainfall-runoff processes, on real catchments. The NN approach is tested and compared to optimised conceptual hydrological models applied to a catchment over a period of several years. At the same time, all tests and experiments were done in parallel with a Genetic Programming technique (Cousin, 1997).

Thus, the performance of both data-driven methods could be compared to the model-driven approach (conceptual models). This report demonstrates how a NN and GP can be set up to obtain the best results given the necessary input data. The study revealed that the choice and preparation of calibration data sets are more important than the fine-tuning of the NN (choice of optimal parameters). Both GP and NN had similar behaviours and the final results were quite close to the model-driven approach results in terms of correlation and possible evaluation parameters.


  • Jacq, F. and D.A. Savic, (1997), Rainfall-Runoff Modelling Using Neural Networks, Centre For Systems And Control Engineering, Report No. 97/02, School of Engineering, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom, p.66.
  • Cousin, N. and D.A. Savic, (1997), A Rainfall-Runoff Model Using Genetic Programming, Centre For Systems And Control Engineering, Report No. 97/03, School of Engineering, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom, p.70.

RAPIDS: is a project to develop and demonstrate a tool to deliver rapid forecasting of urban flooding from manholes and other sewerage nodes. The project focuses on utilising machine-learning modelling tools that can also deliver acceptable levels of accuracy.  Simple transferability has been demonstrated through the UKWIR RTM project, together with a number of industrial partners, in which three-case study cities were modelled and results assessed.

Exeter's involvement

CWS has developed the RAPIDS software (currently in MATLAB), which includes two programs: RAPIDS1, which addresses the need for a faster surrogate for hydrodynamic simulators for early warning of urban flooding from sewers, and RAPIDS2 (under development), which aims to provide nowcasting for rainfall over the catchment containing the modelled Urban Drainage network (UDN). It is hoped to be able to demonstrate the cascading of these two systems to provide the required urban flood predictive model, which can deliver operationally useful forecast times in excess of 2-hours ahead.

For more information see the RAPIDS poster


The aim of the project is to provide the knowledge and evidence base to aid the planning of regional spatial development together with infrastructure for transport, water, waste and energy in a more coordinated and integrated way so as to:

  • Reduce the impacts on the environment and resources;
  • Improve economic competitiveness;
  • Allow households to live more sustainably, with a socially inclusive and enhanced quality of life.

The key idea is to find more sustainable combinations of infrastructure measures for various spatial planning options. Early work on water has looked at the impact of different urban growth forms and patterns on distribution performance. The project is led by the University of Cambridge.

Funding body: ERASMUS scheme (European Community)

The water industry in the United Kingdom spends approximately £70,000,000 per annum on electricity for pumping water supply. Similarly, almost 7% of the electricity consumed in the United States is used by the municipal water utilities. Since treated water pumping compromises the major fraction of the total energy budget, optimised operational schedules can improve the energy efficiency of a water distribution system. System operators make these operational schedules with the aid of special decision support software. This software is based on mathematical models, which can comprise several thousand components. During the search for an optimal operational schedule, those water network models are run many times for different input and operating conditions. However, only a few key results are normally necessary, so a simplified model which provides those outputs could be adequate.

Such a model should contain all the control components of the original model and the variables that are used to assess the quality of the operational policy. Ideally, simplified models will require less computation time and provide all information needed for the optimisation. Hence they could speed up the optimisation process and allow larger systems to be optimised. This project deals with simplification of water network models for the purpose of improving the running times of the simulation model.


  • Maschler, T. and D.A. Savic, (1999) Simplification of Water Supply Network Models through Linearisation, Centre for Water Systems, Report No.99/01, School of Engineering, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom, p.119.

Funding body: ERASMUS scheme (European Community)

Data driven modelling techniques have gained in popularity in the last 20 years. They are more cost effective compared to the development of mechanistic models. Furthermore, those mechanistic models are highly non-linear and complex, which makes them difficult to identify and use. Currently, the majority of data driven modelling methods can be categorised under two headings: artificial neural networks and statistical and regression analysis. Neural networks can usually provide models that are capable of good predictions, but they don't give any insight into the structure of the process. They are commonly called black boxes, one puts the data in and gets results from the model, but does not know anything about the underlying relationships between input and output data. It is usually desirable to gain some insight into the underlying process structures, as well as make accurate numeric predictions. The aim of this work is to develop a computer software, that uses genetic operations in order to find a symbolic equation describing the relationship between input and output data.

The structure and hence the complexity of the model or the equation is not specified like in the conventional regression, which seeks to find the best set of parameters for a pre-specified model. This new technique is called symbolic regression. Standard, bit-coded genetic algorithms are inadequate to represent varying sizes and shapes, hence the genetic programming technique is used.


  • Pyhnen, H.O. and D.A. Savic, (1996), Symbolic Regression Using Object-Oriented Genetic Programming (in C++), Centre For Systems And Control Engineering, Report No. 96/04, School of Engineering, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom, p.72.

The goal of the project was to bring the age of the MUSCos forward: to characterize possible multi-utility service-based performance contracting, to understand the current opportunities and barriers to MUSCo development and to model realistically the socio-technical systemic changes required for a true MUSCo expansion.

The TiGrESS project will evaluate the utility of Time-Geographical methods in increasing our understanding of the relationships between environmental change and social-economic driving factors through four focussed case studies of significance to sustainable socio-natural development within the European Union.

The case studies will look at problems of fisheries management and regional development, demographics and water resource planning, the dynamics of the European urban network and sustainable agriculture and land-use planning.

The key aim of Urban Futures project is to envisage the future to enable us to make more sustainable decisions today. Partners in the project bring different expertise including biodiversity, air quality, water and wastewater, sub-surface built environment, surface built environment and open space, density and design decision making, social needs, aspirations and planning policy.

The three main linking elements of this research are urban regeneration, sustainability, and future scenarios. Initial work in the water sector is taking the agreed ‘futures’ developed in the project and quantifying their impact on water distribution network design and operation.

The project is led by the University of Birmingham.

The EPSRC and industry funded L2.5M project was announced under the Sustainable Urban Environment initiative. The aim of the project was to support the delivery of integrated, sustainable water management for new developments by provision of tools and guidelines for project design, implementation and management.

The project was coordinated by Professor David Butler and included substantial input from the universities of Bradford, Cranfield, Exeter, Leeds, Sheffield and Wales (Aberystwyth) plus Imperial College London, CEH and HR Wallingford. Industrial support was widespread across the water sector including contributions from water companies, regulators, consultants and others.

Work packages focused on technical aspects of the water cycle (water supply, wastewater collection, storm drainage/SUDS), including demand forecasting and recycling. In addition, there was also work packages dealing with social, planning, economic and health issues.

The project concentrated on the management of the water cycle as delivered at the local level in new developments. A number of case study sites, at various states of completion, were studied. We are currently looking for sites with an emphasis on those where there is local/professional interest and access to data.

The Centre for Water System contributed to the project by developing a Decision Support Workbench (Generator) to facilitate the rapid development of Decision Support System (DSS) applications. Custom DSS implementations may then be generated through an extensible, interactive environment featuring "drag and drop" object-oriented components and dynamic connections between them. A number of components for the workbench were derived from new and existing tools for integrated modelling, spatial visualization and advanced decision support.

The project began formally on 1 April 2003 and lasted for four years.

WASSERMed is a European Commission Seventh Framework Program (EC FP7) funded interdisciplinary collaborative project that draws together experts from diverse backgrounds including water systems, agriculture, climate change analysis and social studies. It is one of three “sister projects” under the same theme of 'Climate induced changes in water resources', funded at the same time, focusing on water related threats from different point of views in the Mediterranean area (technical, meteorological, social). The other two projects are CLIMB and CLICO.

The main aims of WASSERMed are:

  • to analyse current and future climate-induced changes to the hydrological budgets and extremes in southern Europe and the Mediterranean
  • to explore the implications of these changes under the framework of environmental, social and economic threats to security
  • to develop holistic/integrated modelling approaches to quantify the impact of climate change
  • to assess changes to mean flows and the extremes
  • to develop indicators for the examination and quantification of future water related security issues
  • to develop meaningful and realistic mitigation/policy options with project partners


Study areas

‌The results from WASSERMed aim to be applicable to the entire Mediterranean basin. Five case study areas have been chosen to reflect the diverse range of environments and causes of water-related security threats in the region, while research partners and stakeholders from all these regions participate in the project. The case study areas are:‌

  • Syros Island, Greece
  • Sardinia
  • Tunisia
  • Jordan River, Jordan
  • the Nile River, Egypt‌

Exeter's involvement

System Dynamics Modelling

‌The Centre for Water Systems is the leader of the work package which involves developing and implementing water balance models, for each case study region, now and for the year 2050. Water demand will be estimated for 2050, with the aim being to assess the water-related security threats being posed to each case study area and to the wider Mediterranean basin as a result of potential  climate change scenarios and water shortages. Mitigating policy options will be defined and developed with local stakeholders in terms of absolute- and cost-effectiveness. System dynamics modelling (Fig. 1) is the tool being used in determining the water balance in each case study area, and to forecast future water use and demand. The work builds on previous experience of CWS with SDM for complex water systems at the EC FP6 project AQUASTRESS (2005-2009)

Other areas of CWS involvement

  • Macroeconomic effects, trade and virtual water: Global assessment of water balance cases, where an  assessment on the impact of the effects on national economies is being made, and changes in production structure, demand patterns and productivity will be modelled.
  • Sensitive strategic sectors: Assessment of climate change effects on tourism and adaptation measures to climate change for the agricultural sectors in the case study areas.
  • Dissemination and awareness, including stakeholder involvement for participatory processes through project workshops at the case studies sites, training seminars and workshops on System  Dynamics Modelling, so that all partners have an understanding of the processes and methods involved in water balance quantification .

For more information see the WASSERMED poster


Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • Sušnik J., Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L.S., Savić D.A., Kapelan Z., 2013. Integrated modelling of the water-agricultural system in the Rosetta region, Nile delta, Egypt, using system dynamics. Accepted in Journal of Water and Climate Change.
  • Sušnik J., Molina J-L., Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L.S., Savić D.A., Kapelan Z., 2013. Comparative analysis of System Dynamics and Object-Oriented Bayesian Networks modelling for water systems management. Water Resources Management. 27(3): 819-841. DOI: 10.1007/s11269-012-0217-8.
  • Sušnik J., Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L.S., Savić D.A., Kapelan Z., 2012, Integrated System Dynamics Modelling for water scarcity assessment: Case study of the Kairouan region. Science of the Total Environment. 440: 290-306. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.050.085.

EU project reports

  • Sušnik J., Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L.S., Savić D.A., Kapelan Z., 2012, Synthesis report on modelling and indicators for policy recommendations. WASSERMed Report 5.3.1. 89pp.
  • Sušnik J., Kampragrou E., Manoli E., Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L.S., 2012, Preliminary report on water balance modelling for all case studies. WASSERMed Milestone 5.4. 46 pp.
  • Sušnik J., Manoli E.,Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L.S., Savić D.A., Kapelan Z., 2012, Stakeholder consultation meetings on water balance modelling and evaluation: short report. WASSERMed Milestone 5.6. 16 pp.
  • Sušnik J., Manoli E., Kampragrou E., Mereu S., Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L. S., Savić D.A., Kapelan Z., 2012, Report on water balancing for all case studies. WASSERMed Report 5.2.3. 72 pp.
  • Sušnik J., Manoli E., Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L. S., Kampragrou E., Assimakopoulos D., Todorovic M., Mereu S., Roushdi M., El-Ganzouri A., Shatanawi M.S., Lili-Chabaane Z., Chakroun H., Oueslati I., Leduc C., Ogilvie A., Al-Naber G., Saba M., 2011, Water demand scenarios for the Case Studies. WASSERMed Report 5.1.2. 78 pp.
  • Sušnik J., Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L.S., Savić D.A., Kapelan Z., 2012, Preliminary analysis of scenarios and options for all case studies. WASSERMed Milestone 5.5. 33 pp.
  • Sušnik J., Manoli E., Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L. S., 2011, Definition, details and specifications of a database for modelling purposes. WASSERMed Report 5.1.1. 27 pp.
  • Sušnik J., Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L. S., Manoli E., 2011, Report on modelling tools and techniques to be applied to each case study for water balancing. WASSERMed Report 5.2.2. 50 pp.
  • Sušnik J., 2010, Literature review and comparative analysis of the existing methodologies for water balance. WASSERMed Report 5.2.1. 34 pp.
  • Sušnik J., Manoli E., 2010, Selection of indicators for case studies. WASSERMed Milestone 5.1. 51 pp.

Conference proceedings

  • Sušnik J., Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L. S., Savić D. A. and Kapelan Z., 2012, A System Dynamics Model assessing climate change impacts to the Rosetta region, Nile delta, Egypt. Proceedings of  the 10th International conference on Hydroinformatics, Hamburg, Germany, 13-18 July, 2012.
  • Sušnik J., Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L. S., Savić D. A. and Kapelan Z.,2011, Evaluating water-related security threats for complex water systems using System Dynamics Modelling, Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Computing and Control in the Water Industry, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK, 5-7 September 2011, pp. 71-76.
  • Sušnik J., Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L. S., Savić D. A. and Kapelan Z.,2011, System Dynamics Modelling applied for the integrated simulation of complex water systems, Proceedings of the 8th IWA Symposium on Systems Analysis and Integrated Assessment, San Sebastian, Spain, 20-22 June 2011, pp. 535-542.

The overall objective of the Water4India project was to optimise and implement a set of technological alternatives for water supply in India.

The key objectives include:

  • Identify the main vulnerable areas suffering from water scarcity taking into account different factors such as current and future water availability, supply from centralized or decentralized sources, and qualitative and quantitative requirements of communities in the light of available sources and their quality.
  • Assess and quantify currently applied technologies to produce drinking water at a small scale level. Its integration with different solutions to address water shortage will be considered.
  • Adapt and develop a set of solutions based on technological components for water treatment on a small scale according to the end-users needs in the identified areas. These technologies will include:
    • Ultrafiltration with optimized energy demand
    • Filtration based on microfibers
    • Desalinization technologies such as reverse osmosis
    • UV disinfection
    • Membrane distillation
    • Adsorption using conventional and novel low-cost, locally available materials
  • Assess and quantify existing technologies for water quality monitoring to evaluate the quality of raw and treated water, and also the composition of wastewater. Special attention will be given to pathogens, studying the quality of water by state-of-the-art methods such as Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment within the framework of Water Cycle Safety Plans based on good-house keeping.
  • Develop a Decision Support System which integrates multi-criteria evaluation of technological alternatives for obtaining drinking water of the appropriate quality in each socio-economic situation, together with its management and sustainability assessment. This DSS will allow stakeholders and authorities to compare and select the best components to meet environment, economic and social aspects.
  • Demonstrate the selected technologies in two pilot sites with different geological, hydrological and technical situations.
  • Propose best practice guidelines for the end-users, especially when small scale technologies are chosen.

CWS contribution to WATER4India

Led by Prof. Fayyaz Ali Memon, CWS team were primarily responsible for developing two tools:

  • A user friendly tool to reduce consumption at household level through the selection of water efficient technologies keeping in view a range of sustainability indicators and the Indian context
  • A high level decision support systems to propose a range of water treatment technology terrains and develop their multi criteria based evaluation with specific reference to application potential in developing countries.

This was a 3 year project supported by the European Union under the FP7 SME targeted Collaborative Project Call. The project team included nearly 20 partners from European Union member states and India.

Project partners

  • SOLINTEL M&P, Spain
  • University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland
  • Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter, UK
  • RWTH Aachen University, Germany
  • KWR Water, Netherland
  • Cranfield University, UK
  • Adin Holdings, Israel
  • AMIAD, Israel
  • Solarspring, Germany
  • Vertech Group, France
  • Proinso, Spain
  • University of Technology, Sidney, Australia