In the past, the focus of drainage design was on sizing pipes and storages in order to provide sufficient network capacity. This traditional approach, together with computer software and technical guidance, had been successful for many years. However, due to rapid population growth and urbanisation, the requirements of a “good” drainage design have also changed significantly. In addition to water management, other aspects such as environmental impacts, amenity values and carbon footprint have to be considered during the design process. Going forward, we need to address the key sustainability issues carefully and practically. The key challenge of moving from simple objectives (e.g. capacity and costs) to complicated objectives (e.g. capacity, flood risk, environment, amenity etc) is the difficulty to strike a balance between various objectives and to justify potential benefits and compromises. In order to assist decision makers, we developed a new decision support system for drainage design. The system consists of two main components – a multi-criteria evaluation framework for drainage systems and a multi-objective optimisation tool. The evaluation framework is used for the quantification of performance, life-cycle costs and benefits of different drainage systems. The optimisation tool can search for feasible combinations of design parameters such as the sizes, order and type of drainage components that maximise multiple benefits. In this paper, we will discuss real-world application of the decision support system. A number of case studies have been developed based on recent drainage projects in China. We will use the case studies to illustrate how the evaluation framework highlights and compares the pros and cons of various design options. We will also discuss how the design parameters can be optimised based on the preferences of decision makers. The work described here is the output of an EngD project funded by EPSRC and XP Solutions.
Chow, Jo-Fai; Savić, Dragan A.; Fortune, David; Kapelan, Zoran; and Mebrate, Netsanet, "Evaluating And Optimizing Sustainable Drainage Design To Maximize Multiple Benefits: Case Studies In China" (2014). CUNY Academic Works.