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Minimization of Cost, Sediment Load, and Sensitivity to Climate Change in a Watershed Management Application

TitleMinimization of Cost, Sediment Load, and Sensitivity to Climate Change in a Watershed Management Application
Publication TypeJournal Article
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Publication Year2013
AuthorsChicakly, K, Bowden, WB, Eppstein, MJ
AbstractOne challenge of climate change adaptation is to design watershed-based stormwater management plans that meet current total maximum daily load targets and also take into consideration anticipated changes in future precipitation patterns. We present a multi-scale, multiobjective framework for generating a diverse family of stormwater best management practice (BMP) plans for entire watersheds. Each of these alternative BMP configurations are non-dominated by any other identified solution with respect to cost of the implementation of the management plan and sediment loading predicted at the outflow of the watershed; those solutions are then pruned with respect to dominance in sensitivity to predicted changes in precipitation patterns. We first use GIS data to automatically precompute a set of cost-optimal BMP configurations for each subwatershed, over its entire range of possible treatment levels. We then formulate each solution as a real-valued vector of treatment levels for the subwatersheds and employ a staged multiobjective optimization approach using differential evolution to generate sets of non-dominated solutions. Finally, selected solutions are mapped back to the corresponding preoptimized BMP configurations for each subwatershed. The integrated method is demonstrated on the Bartlett Brook mixed-used impaired watershed in South Burlington, VT, and patterns in BMP configurations along the non-dominated front are investigated. Watershed managers and other stakeholders could use this approach to assess the relative trade-offs of alternative stormwater BMP configurations.
Accepted, awaiting publication
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