Urban Water Supply

Urbanisation is increasing in many countries, leading to the establishment of 33 megacities, representing huge water demand which is increasingly difficult to supply, exemplified by the recently avoided Day Zero event in Cape Town (2018) and the ongoing water crisis in Chennai, India. The ongoing growth of megacities could lead to the potential for further Day Zero events in countries ill-equipped to deal with such a situation. This study analyses the water supply and demand situations in 12 megacities hosting 194 million people.
The expansion and operation of water supply systems under growing demands, hydrologic variability, and water scarcity requires strategic decisions on supply sources for reducing and improving reliability and flexibility. The design and operation of such supply portfolio merits decisions of what and when to expand, and how much of each source to use considering interest rates, economies of scale and hydrologic variability.
The sustainability of water resources depends on the dynamic interactions among the environmental, technological, and social characteristics of the water system and local population. These interactions can cause supply-demand imbalances at diverse temporal scales, and the response of consumers to water use regulations impacts future water availability. This research develops a dynamic modeling approach to simulate supply-demand dynamics using an agent-based modeling framework that couple models of consumers and utility managers with water system models.