Drought due to climate change and other extreme events such as wildfire and floods challenge drinking water utilities’ ability to treat water to meet regulatory and public health protection goals, with turbidity and disinfection byproducts (DBPs) control as the critical water quality (WQ) issues The objectives of the research are to:
- understand the flow and sediment generation from water supply watersheds in response to scenarios of hydro-climatological extremes and natural hazards,
- understand the mobilization and transport of organic matter and sediments, and in some cases nutrients through the watershed and eventually to the water treatment plant (WTP),
- develop source water thresholds for turbidity and DBP precursors based on finished water regulatory constraints and using stream WQ data with extreme value theory predict WQ threshold exceedences, and
- evaluate a suite of adaptation and operation strategies (e.g., watershed management, wild fire mitigation, WTP modifications) along with their economic, societal and policy implications – with multi-objective optimization and multi-criteria analysis tools.
Graduate student Billy Raseman is funded on this project.
The figure above shows our conceptualization of the decision framework and the stressors to the system. It is from our review paper of decision support in water treatment. We also presented a poster on this work at the Decision Making Under Uncertainty workshop 2016.