ESR5: Assessment of environmental and socio-economical implications of urban wastewater systems upgrading

Objectives:

Water managers are facing emerging challenges in urban wastewater systems pushed by societal, economical and technological changes. In order to evaluate how well the system meets specific objectives influenced by current and emerging challenges, relevant indicators are employed. The objective of this research topic is to develop an Environmental Decision Support System (EDSS) to assess the technical, environmental and socio-economic aspects for WWTP upgrade. A sub-objective is to include uncertainty into the EDSS to make more qualified decisions.

Expected Results:

The ESR candidate will integrate different knowledge representation techniques, such as mathematical models and knowledge-based systems, together with various economic, social and environmental criteria to assess sustainability and technical feasibility of proposed measures, using, whenever it is possible, a model-based scenario analysis. Specifically, the ESR will come up with a methodology (based on EDSS principles) to tackle WWTP upgrades for microcontaminants removal and for nutrient recovery providing a set of recommendations to decision-makers. The ESR will get training on uncertainty assessment to make sure that all solutions provided by the EDSS will come along with an uncertainty range, related to variability in the considered variables or unknowns.