Prepared: Enabling change (2010-2014)

Funding body: European Commission Seventh Framework Program (EC FP7)

Prepared: Enabling Change is a Large Scale Integrating interdisciplinary project funded by the European Commission Seventh Framework Program (EC FP7) . IPCC climate change scenarios have a global perspective and need to be scaled down to the local level, where decision makers have to balance risks and investment costs. Very high investments might be a waste of money and too little investment could result in unacceptable risks for the local community. PREPARED is industry driven. 12 city utilities are involved in the project and the RDT carried out is based on the impacts of climate change the water supply and sanitation industry has identified as a challenge for the years to come.

The result of PREPARED will be an infrastructure for waste water, drinking water and stormwater management that will not only be able to better cope with new scenarios on climate change but that is also managed in an optimal way.. PREPARED involves the local community in problem identification and in jointly finding acceptable system solutions, that are supported by all, through active learning processes.


In order to make the results from PREPARED applicable to the everyday world, the work is being undertaken and applied to several 'demonstration' cities. The results from each of these cities will be adapted and applied to other demonstration cities in PREPARED, and then hopefully on a much more wider, global scale so that cities around the world can learn and start to take action to make their water systems more resilient to future global climate change. The demonstration cities in PREPARED are:

  • Aarhus
  • Barcelona
  • Berlin
  • Eindhoven
  • Genoa
  • Istanbul
  • Gilwice
  • Lisbon
  • Lyon
  • Melbourne
  • Oslo
  • Simferopol
  • Seattle

Exeter's involvement

Quantitative risk assessment

CWS is the leader in the Work Package dealing with Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA). The aims are to develop models for the assessment of social, environmental and economic risks related to the sustainable performance of water systems under changing climate conditions. Categories of risk related to urban water systems will be defined, and methods for deterministic and stochastic QRA will be defined, developed and implemented. Our partner demonstration city is Eindhoven (Netherlands). Figure 1 shows the iterative framework within which this work is placed, and illustrates the need for cooperation.

Best location of sensors

The objective is the development and the application of methods for optimal macro-location for sensors in order to provide useful and reliable measurements in urban water systems, at whole-network scale, where the objective is to optimally locate a limited number of sensors to balance the cost and model prediction accuracy

Modelling: calibration, uncertainty assessment, data assimilation

The University of Exeter-CWS is leading the work package for urban water system modelling. It includes the investigation of methodologies for uncertainty quantification in urban water systems modelling and identifying possible steps that can be taken to reduce all types of uncertainty in real-time modelling through calibration, verification and data assimilation. The detailed aims are to:

  1. evaluate new and existing methods for uncertainty quantification
  2. develop a toolbox of most promising uncertainty quantification methods
  3. investigate the potential of data assimilation schemes to reduce uncertainty associated with real-time modelling i.e. make real-time models more accurate and;
  4. develop recommendations on best practice and guidelines on the proper application of uncertainty quantification and data assimilation techniques in UWS modelling to help end-users in their applications.

Integrated real-time monitoring, modelling and control platform

The objective is to enhance the capability of existing measures and forecasting technologies by extending the open integrated monitoring toolbox and database system with the capabilities

  1. accommodating and using in real-time existing model descriptions of the water cycle
  2. real-time calibration and data assimilation - extending the virtual sensors concept
  3. using existing control systems as front-ends in order to enable the use of new promising control strategies and decision support systems using overall on-line optimisation.

Decision support and early warning systems for source- and receiving waters

The expected increase of the frequency and severity of extreme events will lead to a more rapidly changing input to the water supply and sanitation infrastructure and consequently also affect the outputs to the receiving waters. In order to strengthen immediate management actions, the overall objective is to

  • enhance the capability of existing measuring and forecasting technologies by integrating these with new monitoring and modelling approaches, enabling development of decision support and early warning systems for:
    1. Immediate management of the competing use and protection of water intakes and;
    2. Immediate management of the health risks related to unavoidable combined sewer overflows and uncontrolled runoff caused by more frequent and heavier rainfall and specific warnings for areas subject to recreational use.

Early warning and distributed control systems for water supply

Existing water supply systems have to adapt to an increased temperature caused by climate change, which will affect water quality. Less use of potable water caused by water scarcity leads to higher retention times in supply networks, which also might add to temperature increases. The aims here are

  1. enhance the capabilities of existing measuring and forecasting technologies in order to enable early warning of deteriorating water quality using advanced water quality and quantity sensors for real-time monitoring and modelling of distribution networks
  2. use overall on-line optimisation to operate new promising real-time control strategies for distributed disinfection control to cope with enhanced microbial regrowth at higher temperatures.


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