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Open AccessArticle

A Planning Tool for Optimizing Investment to Reduce Drinking Water Risk to Multiple Water Treatment Plants in Open Catchments

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Seqwater, 117 Brisbane St., Ipswich, QLD 4305, Australia
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TRUII, PO Box 3134 West End, Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia
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Academic Editors: Carla Sofia Santos Ferreira and Zahra Kalantari
Water 2021, 13(4), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040531
Received: 24 December 2020 / Revised: 10 February 2021 / Accepted: 12 February 2021 / Published: 18 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Land-Use Changes on Surface Hydrology and Water Quality)
Supplying safe, secure, and reliable drinking water is a growing challenge particularly in regions where catchments have diverse land uses, rapidly growing populations, and are subject to increasing weather extremes such as in the subtropics. Catchments represent the first barrier in providing ecosystem services for water quality protection and bulkwater suppliers are therefore investing in mitigation measures to reduce risk to drinking water quality for consumers. This paper presents an approach to combine data on erosion processes, pathogenic bacteria and protozoa from several sources, determine the highest risks from these hazards and identify an optimum portfolio of intervention activities that provide maximum risk reduction at water treatment plants (WTP) for a given budget using a simulated annealing optimizer. The approach is demonstrated in a catchment with six WTPs servicing small rural to urban populations. The catchment is predominantly used for agriculture. Results show that drinking water risk from protozoa can be reduced for most WTPs for moderate investment budget, while bacteria risk reduction requires significantly larger budget due to the greater number of significant source sites relative to protozoa. Total suspended sediment loads remain a very high risk to most of the WTPs due to the large extent of channel and gully erosion and landslides. A map of priority areas and associated suite of interventions are produced to guide on groundwork. View Full-Text
Keywords: decision support system; simulated annealing; optimization; total suspended sediments; pathogens; bacteria; protozoa; intervention; natural resource management decision support system; simulated annealing; optimization; total suspended sediments; pathogens; bacteria; protozoa; intervention; natural resource management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Thompson, C.; Stewart, M.; Marsh, N.; Phung, V.; Lynn, T. A Planning Tool for Optimizing Investment to Reduce Drinking Water Risk to Multiple Water Treatment Plants in Open Catchments. Water 2021, 13, 531. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040531

AMA Style

Thompson C, Stewart M, Marsh N, Phung V, Lynn T. A Planning Tool for Optimizing Investment to Reduce Drinking Water Risk to Multiple Water Treatment Plants in Open Catchments. Water. 2021; 13(4):531. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040531

Chicago/Turabian Style

Thompson, Chris; Stewart, Morag; Marsh, Nick; Phung, Viet; Lynn, Thomas. 2021. "A Planning Tool for Optimizing Investment to Reduce Drinking Water Risk to Multiple Water Treatment Plants in Open Catchments" Water 13, no. 4: 531. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040531

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