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Special Issue "Centralized versus Decentralized Urban Water Systems"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Water Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Christos Makropoulos

Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Water Resources Management; Hydrology; Urban Water; Hydroinformatics; Civil Engineering
Guest Editor
Prof. David Butler

Centre for Water Systems, School of Engineering, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Environmental engineering; Hydraulics; Urban drainage; Water and wastewater treatment; Urban water management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Planning for future urban water services is challenged by uncertainties in the supply side (e.g. climate change), the demand side (driven by socio-economic as well as geopolitical changes) as well as the infrastructure itself that links the two. Aging urban water infrastructure and the obvious investment gap that hinders complete replacement is both a problem but also a potential opportunity to change the very face of what urban water infrastructure looks like. Urban water management itself is continuously evolving, moving onto resource efficiency, urban ecosystem services, circular economy and urban resilience. This progressive move to more distributed, interconnected and multipurpose infrastructure brings us now to the edge of new paradigms, in which the city’s infrastructures are more interconnected to each other (e.g. water-energy systems), are re-purposed to support a new understanding of what is ‘waste’ and what is a ‘resource’ (e.g. circular economy) and are more tightly coupled to the digital world. And yet, as more distributed solutions are becoming cost-effective and arguably fit better in the circular world, the question of the appropriate balance and trade-off between centralized and decentralized urban water systems becomes an urgent one. To answer it and understand how these new infrastructures will perform and how their deployment will impact legacy centralized infrastructure, we need new types of models that can link centralized and decentralized systems and assess their combined performance, as well as new metrics of performance per se, suitable for these hybrid (central-decentral) infrastructures under uncertainty, also building on the idea of resilience. In this Special Issue, we investigate technologies, models, tools and methods able to capture, visualize and quantify the pros and cons of a new generation of infrastructure and help us balance novel decentralized systems with centralized legacy infrastructure, leveraging the strong points of both for a more circular, resilient future.

Prof. Christos Makropoulos
Prof. David Butler
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • cascading effects
  • circular systems
  • decentralized
  • legacy centralized infrastructure
  • optimal infrastructure mix
  • resilience
  • uncertainty
  • whole cycle urban water models

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Tackling the “New Normal”: A Resilience Assessment Method Applied to Real-World Urban Water Systems
Water 2019, 11(2), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020330
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
The water sector is, currently and for the foreseeable future, challenged by rising levels of uncertainty in demand and availability of water, in a context of aging infrastructure and limited investment. In order to support strategic planning, water companies need a way to [...] Read more.
The water sector is, currently and for the foreseeable future, challenged by rising levels of uncertainty in demand and availability of water, in a context of aging infrastructure and limited investment. In order to support strategic planning, water companies need a way to assess how their system behaves when faced with a range of changing conditions (climatic trends, asset deterioration, behavioral patterns, etc.) as well as accidents/incidents and/or extreme events (wildcards). In this study, a resilience assessment methodology was demonstrated, with ‘stress tests’ alternative water system configurations (including systems designed with decentralized or distributed philosophies) under a range of scenarios and extreme events. A ‘resilience profile graph’ was developed to quantify the performance of each configuration. The methodology was applied to the real-world urban water system of Oasen, which supplies the eastern part of the Province of South Holland, where the current system configuration and two potential future configurations were tested (one decentralized and one distributed). We show how the concept of resilience, operationalized through this methodology, can assist long term decision making and support strategic infrastructure planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Centralized versus Decentralized Urban Water Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Understanding Fundamental Phenomena Affecting the Water Conservation Technology Adoption of Residential Consumers Using Agent-Based Modeling
Water 2018, 10(8), 993; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10080993
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 2 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 27 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4183 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
More than one billion people will face water scarcity within the next ten years due to climate change and unsustainable water usage, and this number is only expected to grow exponentially in the future. At current water use rates, supply-side demand management is [...] Read more.
More than one billion people will face water scarcity within the next ten years due to climate change and unsustainable water usage, and this number is only expected to grow exponentially in the future. At current water use rates, supply-side demand management is no longer an effective way to combat water scarcity. Instead, many municipalities and water agencies are looking to demand-side solutions to prevent major water loss. While changing conservation behavior is one demand-based strategy, there is a growing movement toward the adoption of water conservation technology as a way to solve water resource depletion. Installing technology into one’s household requires additional costs and motivation, creating a gap between the overall potential households that could adopt this technology, and how many actually do. This study identified and modeled a variety of demographic and household characteristics, social network influence, and external factors such as water price and rebate policy to see their effect on residential water conservation technology adoption. Using Agent-based Modeling and data obtained from the City of Miami Beach, the coupled effects of these factors were evaluated to examine the effectiveness of different pathways towards the adoption of more water conservation technologies. The results showed that income growth and water pricing structure, more so than any of the demographic or building characteristics, impacted household adoption of water conservation technologies. The results also revealed that the effectiveness of rebate programs depends on conservation technology cost and the affluence of the community. Rebate allocation did influence expensive technology adoption, with the potential to increase the adoption rate by 50%. Additionally, social network connections were shown to have an impact on the rate of adoption independent of price strategy or rebate status. These findings will lead the way for municipalities and other water agencies to more strategically implement interventions to encourage household technology adoption based on the characteristics of their communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Centralized versus Decentralized Urban Water Systems)
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