Integrated Planning Tools

Planning, adaptation, and operation of urban water systems pose, due to their complexity, particular challenges. Climate change and demographic changes are just some of those challenges. Within the research focus of “Integrated Planning Tools”, ifak provides support, in close cooperation with local governmental and non-governmental actors, addressing such challenges by development, adaptation, and application of simulation tools.

These simulators allow processes and interactions within urban systems to be visualised in a transparent way. Besides the role of simulation results in participatory decision processes, also model building itself contributes to an improved understanding by decision makers and stakeholders of the complex systems. System processes and interactions of their components  are driven not only by technological, but also by social and economic factors.

LiWa Project Conference, 16th April 2013 in Lima

In a close, interdisciplinary cooperation with engineers, social scientists, and economists, working jointly with the water and wastewater company of Lima, Peru (SEDAPAL) and additional partners from Peru, a set of consistent scenarios of potential futures of the water sector of Lima has been developed. These scenarios, as well as various sets of action options, have been evaluated and assessed with a purpose-built, yet generally applicable, simulator based on the concepts of Material Flux Analysis. The live application during Round Table events in Lima, convening the various stakeholders and institutions involved with the water system, permitted the discussion of potential options to combat the effects of climate change on the desert city Lima. This discussion process resulted in the development and approval of the Action Plan “Lima 2040“ by high-level representatives of water company, water authorities, municipality, and the NGO sector. This illustrates that ifak’s work has impacts on political decision making and application in practice.

In a similar way, the NASS simulator will permit the modelling and representation of  new and alternative sanitation systems regarding their potential to recover nutrient resources and related cost considerations. In another cooperation project with water-scarce Israel, impacts of greywater recycling on sewer systems and wastewater treatment plant are being investigated.