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Integrated modelling of stormwater treatment systems uptake

A C Castonguay, M S Iftekhar, C Urich, P M Bach, A Deletic
Water Research 2018 October 1, 142: 301-312
Nature-based solutions provide a variety of benefits in growing cities, ranging from stormwater treatment to amenity provision such as aesthetics. However, the decision-making process involved in the installation of such green infrastructure is not straightforward, as much uncertainty around the location, size, costs and benefits impedes systematic decision-making. We developed a model to simulate decision rules used by local municipalities to install nature-based stormwater treatment systems, namely constructed wetlands, ponds/basins and raingardens. The model was used to test twenty-four scenarios of policy-making, by combining four asset selection, two location selection and three budget constraint decision rules. Based on the case study of a local municipality in Metropolitan Melbourne, Australia, the modelled uptake of stormwater treatment systems was compared with attributes of real-world systems for the simulation period. Results show that the actual budgeted funding is not reliable to predict systems' uptake and that policy-makers are more likely to plan expenditures based on installation costs. The model was able to replicate the cumulative treatment capacity and the location of systems. As such, it offers a novel approach to investigate the impact of using different decision rules to provide environmental services considering biophysical and economic factors.


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