An Integrated Environmental Assessment of Green and Gray Infrastructure Strategies for Robust Decision Making
Environmental Science & Technology
American Chemical Society
The robustness of a range of watershed-scale “green” and “gray” drainage strategies in the future is explored through comprehensive modelling of a fully integrated urban wastewater system case. Four socio-economic future scenarios, defined by parameters affecting the environmental performance of the system, are proposed to account for the uncertain variability of conditions in the year 2050. A regret-based approach is applied to assess the relative performance of strategies in multiple impact categories (environmental, economic and social) as well as to evaluate their robustness across future scenarios. The concept of regret proves useful in identifying performance trade-offs and recognizing states of the world most critical to decisions. The study highlights the robustness of green strategies (particularly rain gardens, resulting in half the regret of most options) over end-of-pipe gray alternatives (surface water separation or sewer and storage rehabilitation), which may be costly (on average, 25% of the total regret of these options) and tend to focus on sewer flooding and CSO alleviation while compromising on downstream system performance (this accounts for around 50% of their total regret). Trade-offs and scenario regrets observed in the analysis suggest that the combination of green and gray strategies may still offer further potential for robustness.
Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Northumbrian Water Ltd.
This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Environmental Science and Technology, copyright © American Chemical Society 2015 after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see 10.1021/es506144f. This is an open access article published under an ACS AuthorChoice License, which permits copying and redistribution of the article or any adaptations for non-commercial purposes.
Vol. 49 (14), pp 8307–8314