Planning and management of water and energy systems constitutes a complex task. This holds true even more so when not only water supply, wastewater and energy, but also additional infrastructure systems are to be considered, e.g. food and waste. Resource utilization and costs are among the criteria to be considered in many strategic planning processes. Modelling and simulation provide excellent means of support in decision-making and planning, also in their application in stakeholder meetings and participation processes.
Global Water Resources
In the light of increasing shortage of global water resources and relevant global developments, prudent management of water resources becomes ever more important. Modelling allows to analyse the consequences of different water management strategies (such as prioritization and purpose-driven use); this also includes balancing between availability and demand and allocation of resources.
New and alternative sanitation systems
New and Alternative Sanitation systems are becoming more and more focus of discussion. Saving on precious water resources and recovery and reuse of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, are motivating the application of these sanitation concepts. Simulation tools, developed at ifak, allow modelling and visualization of the relevant resource fluxes, and integrate also concepts of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
Trans-sectoral strategic pre-planning of urban infrastructure systems
In order to extend the scope of analyses of infrastructure systems, ifak’s Department of „Water and Energy“ not only considers water and energy systems, but also their interactions with connected infrastructure systems (such as food and solid waste). In order to enable such analysis of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, simulation tools are developed and applied in national and international contexts.
Obviously, considerations related to costs and utilization of resources are of high importance also in industrial applications. Projects within the topical area “Integrated Planning Tools” at ifak assist in the optimization of processes and of resource utilization. Dynamic process simulation is integrated with approaches of Life Cycle Assessment, in order to provide maximum benefit to the end users.