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Uncertainty-Accounting Environmental Policy and Management of Water Systems
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2007 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 41, no 10, 3635-3659 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Environmental policies for water quality and ecosystem management do not commonly require explicit stochastic accounts of uncertainty and risk associated with the quantification and prediction of waterborne pollutant loads and abatement effects. In this study, we formulate and investigate a possible environmental policy that does require an explicit stochastic uncertainty account. We compare both the environmental and economic resource allocation performance of such an uncertainty-accounting environmental policy with that of deterministic, risk-prone and risk-averse environmental policies under a range of different hypothetical, yet still possible, scenarios. The comparison indicates that a stochastic uncertainty-accounting policy may perform better than deterministic policies over a range of different scenarios. Even in the absence of reliable site-specific data, reported literature values appear to be useful for such a stochastic account of uncertainty.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 41, no 10, 3635-3659 p.
Keyword [en]
National Category
Water Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7188DOI: 10.1021/es061515eISI: 000246371800046ScopusID: 2-s2.0-34250815228OAI: diva2:12121
QC 20100623Available from: 2007-05-28 Created: 2007-05-28 Last updated: 2010-12-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Environmental management of water systems under uncertainty
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental management of water systems under uncertainty
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Hydrological drainage/river basins constitute highly heterogeneous systems of coupled natural and anthropogenic water and pollutant flows across political, national and international boundaries. These flows need to be appropriately understood, quantified and communicated to stakeholders, in order to appropriately guide environmental water system management. In this thesis, various uncertainties about water and pollutant flows in drainage/river basins and their implications for effective and efficient water pollution abatement are investigated, in particular for mine-related heavy metal loadings in the Swedish Dalälven River basin and for nitrogen loadings in the Swedish Norrström drainage basin. Economic cost-minimization modeling is used to investigate the implications of pollutant load uncertainties for the cost-efficiency of catchment-scale abatement of water pollution.

Results indicate that effective and efficient pollution abatement requires explicit consideration of uncertainties about pollution sources, diffuse contributions of the subsurface water system to downstream pollutant observations in surface waters, and downstream effects of different possible measures to reduce water pollution. In many cases, downstream load abatement measures must be used, in addition to source abatement, in order to reduce not only expected, but also uncertainties around expected pollutant loads. Effective and efficient environmental management of water systems must generally also consider the entire catchments of these systems, rather than focusing only on discrete pollutant sources. The thesis presents some relatively simple, catchment-scale pollutant flow analysis tools that may be used to decrease uncertainties about unmonitored water and pollutant flows and subsurface pollutant accumulation-depletion and diffuse loading to downstream waters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Mark- och vattenteknik, 2007
Trita-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1034
Water Resources Engineering
National Category
Water Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4396 (URN)978-91-7178-670-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-06-07, D2, Lindstedtsvägen 5, KTH, 10:00
Available from: 2007-05-28 Created: 2007-05-28 Last updated: 2012-03-19Bibliographically approved

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