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Hydraulic modelling as a tool for problem analysis and decision support: Case study of the Naguru water supply system in Uganda
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
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(English)In: Journal of Hydroinformatics, ISSN 1464-7141Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

This paper describes a study in which hydraulic modeling was applied as a tool to guide planningand decision-making to address water distribution bottlenecks within an urban water supplysystem in Uganda. In response to chronic supply intermittencies and an ever-increasing outcryfrom affected customers, a number of interventions were proposed - and some implemented -formulated largely based on intuition, rule-of-thumb, and experience of the network operationalstaff. However, in recognition of the constraints of this approach in the face of an increasinglycomplex and ever-expanding network, a more rigorous and scientific approach was applied, inwhich simulation modeling was used to evaluate system performance under the various proposed interventions. Model results indicated that most of the proposed alternatives, including those thathad already been implemented, would yield unsatisfactory performance in the medium to longterm, albeit providing minimal relief in the short term. The study thus demonstrated the importance of application of formal tools such as hydraulic modeling as a replacement for moreintuitive and judgment-based network management approaches, especially given the large,complex and problem-prone water supply systems characteristic of urban utilities in developingcountries.

Keyword [en]
Hydraulic modeling, Simulation, Water network management, Urban water systems
National Category
Water Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-11915OAI: diva2:289619
QS 20120327Available from: 2010-01-25 Created: 2010-01-25 Last updated: 2012-03-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Water supply management in an urban utility: A prototype decision support framework
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Water supply management in an urban utility: A prototype decision support framework
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this study, four real-life problem situations were used to explore the challenges of developing and implementing decision support tools for planning and management within an urban water utility. The study sought to explore how the degree of adoption of formal decision support tools in practice, generally perceived to be low, could be improved. In the study, an Action Research (AR) approach was used. AR is an inquiry process that involves partnership between researchers and practitioners for the purpose of addressing a real-life problem issue, while simultaneously generating scientific knowledge. Unlike other research methods where the researcher seeks to study organizational phenomena but not to change them, the action researcher attempts to create organizational change and simultaneously to study the process.

During the study, a number of prototype data management tools were developed. GIS-based spatial analysis and visualisation tools were extensively used to inform and enhance the processes of participatory problem identification and structuring, while a number of modelling tools were applied in the generation and evaluation of alternative solutions. As an outcome of the study, a prototype framework for the application of decision support tools within an urban water supply planning and management context was proposed.

The study highlighted the challenges of embedding formal decision support processes within existing work systems in organizations, and recommendations were made on how best to achieve this. The AR approach was found to be useful in bridging the gap between academic research and technological practice, supporting the development of computerised planning and decision support tools of practical benefit to organizations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2009. x, 45 p.
Trita-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1054
Decision support systems; Geographic information systems; Participatory planning; Urban water supply management; Decision support framework; Action research
National Category
Water Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-11900 (URN)978-91-7415-543-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-02-05, Conference Room, Department of Food Science and Technology, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, 10:00 (English)
QC 20100723Available from: 2010-01-25 Created: 2010-01-21 Last updated: 2010-07-23Bibliographically approved

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