Using ensemble weather forecast in a risk based real time optimization of urban drainage systems

Vianney Augustin Thomas Courdent, Luca Vezzaro, Peter Steen Mikkelsen, Ane Loft Mollerup, Morten Grum

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    Global Real Time Control (RTC) of urban drainage system is increasingly seen as cost-effective solution in order to respond to increasing performance demand (e.g. reduction of Combined Sewer Overflow, protection of sensitive areas as bathing water etc.). The Dynamic Overflow Risk Assessment (DORA) strategy was developed to operate Urban Drainage Systems (UDS) in order to minimize the expected overflow risk by considering the water volume presently stored in the drainage network, the expected runoff volume based on a 2-hours radar forecast model and an estimated uncertainty of the runoff forecast. However, such temporal horizon (1-2 hours) is relatively short when used for the operation of large storage facilities, which may require a few days to be emptied. This limits the performance of the optimization and control in reducing combined sewer overflow and in preparing for possible flooding. Based on DORA's approach, this study investigated the implementation of long forecast horizon using an ensemble forecast from a Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model. The uncertainty of the prediction is characterized by an ensemble of 25 forecast scenarios. According to the status of the UDS and the forecasted runoff volumes, the objectives for the control strategies might vary from optimization of water volumes to reduction of CSO risk. Thus different modes are implemented in DORA-LF (Long Forecast) in order to adjust the control strategies to the situations. In order to handle the long forecast, the horizon is divided into multiple and variable time step. This new approach was tested on selected rain events and shows an improvement in the protection of sensitive areas during long or/and coupled events by allowing anticipated CSO in low sensitivity areas.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalHouille Blanche
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)101-107
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Water Science and Technology
    • Model Predictive Control
    • Numerical Weather Prediction model
    • Overflows risk
    • Urban water management
    • bathing water
    • demand analysis
    • drainage network
    • ensemble forecasting
    • flooding
    • hydrological modeling
    • optimization
    • prediction
    • radar
    • real time
    • risk assessment
    • runoff
    • urban drainage
    • volume
    • water management
    • WATER


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