Tuesday 20 Jan 2015Smart Permitting: A Cost-effective Regulation Framework for Water Quality Risk Management

Fanlin Meng - University of Exeter

Harrison 170 14:00-15:00

End-of-pipe permitting is a widely practiced approach to control environmental risk imposed by wastewater discharges. However, the effectiveness of the traditional regulation paradigm is being challenged by increasingly complex environmental issues, ever growing public expectations and the need for cost-effective approaches. A smart, operational control-based permitting framework is proposed in this study to maximize urban wastewater system performance in a reliable, energy and environmentally efficient manner. A range of tools has been employed including integrated system modelling, multi-objective optimization and visual analytics, to establish a four-step smart permitting framework. Stakeholders are engaged in the whole permitting process to facilitate the development of sustainable solutions that achieve balanced benefits. Results from a case study demonstrate that conflicting objectives - in this case, operational cost, treatment process stability and environmental risk, can be simultaneously improved through the newly developed framework. We conclude that smart permitting shows promise for regulators and water service providers alike.

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