Project Description

Fellow: ESR3 - Arturo Torres Host institution: LIST (formerly CRP Henri Tudor) Duration: 36 months on QUICS (48 months PhD) Planned start date: November 2014
Actual start date: January 2015
Project title: Optimal complexity of urban wastewater system models accounting for spatial uncertainty propagation across different scales (WP2, WP6)
Supervisor name: Dr Ulrich Leopold, Dr Gerard Heuvelink & Prof. Dr Lucien Hoffmann (& previously Dr. Kai Klepiszewski) PhD enrolment: Y (Awarded by Wageningen University)


  • Analyse the propagation of uncertainty in selected subcatchments of the Haute-Sûre sewer system.
  • Testing both aggregation (upscaling) and disaggregation (downscaling) under uncertainty.
  • Identifying the trade-off between model complexity and model accuracy.
Tasks and methodology: Analyse the propagation of uncertainty using Monte-Carlo simulation and three different modelling tools, providing different degrees of complexity to selected subcatchments of the Haute-Sûre sewer system. Both aggregation (upscaling) and disaggregation (downscaling) procedures are needed when sub models require input at a different scale than the output of a previous sub model. The trade-off between model complexity and model accuracy will be identified and a multi-criteria algorithm developed to select the optimal model complexity. ESR3 will apply data assimilation to 2 case studies. ESR3 will develop and exchange methods for optimised space-time sampling schemes for model validation and calibration under uncertainty with ESR2 at (WU). ESR3 will also exchange with ESR1 (JLU) to connect natural systems outputs as inputs for ESR3 in the case of the Haute-Sûre catchment.
Results: Software tools for aggregation, disaggregation and propagation of uncertain model input parameters such as runoff characteristics of catchment surfaces or pollutant transport performance in individual sewers (D2.3). Specific assimilation tools will be developed within the OpenDA platform . Guidance, journal paper and associated software for decision analysis of the trade-offs between model complexity and accuracy (D2.3, D6.1, D6.6).
Dissemination: Journal papers. Two presentation/year as MC Ambassador, incl specific outreach to inhabitants Haute-Sûre catchment. Annual conference presentations. Protocols and manuals for end-users.
Planned secondments: To W+B (3months) to apply data assimilation to urban drainage models, Amsterdam case study. To WU (3months) for development of downscaling and uncertainty propagation methods. To USFD (1 month) to study uncertainty in sediment and pollutant modelling in sewer systems.