Urban water resources (Contact: Philip Binning, Peter Steen Mikkelsen, Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen)
Integrated water management in cities is becoming more and more important because of water shortages and increasing urbanization. Integrated management considers drinking, storm and waste waters as a single system and seeks to capitalize on synergies between them. For example, water friendly urban design seeks to integrate stormwater infiltration for groundwater recharge and rainwater harvesting into urban design. Technological solutions such as desalination are also becoming more common. Research being conducted includes the development of a future water supply for Copenhagen and conjunctive storm and ground water management in cities.
Flood control, pollution control and resource utilization (Contact: Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen and Peter Steen Mikkelsen)
The European Union?s Water Framework Directive (2000) and the very recent European Flood Directive (2007) are both in the process of being interpreted prior to direct implementation in the European member states. Although much is yet to be decided on the detailed level, especially when urban areas are concerned, these two directives are clearly driving forces for future developments in urban water management. Efforts are made to parallel the processes outlined in the two directives, with the aim to identify synergies and possible solutions that respect the directives while at the same time reducing risks, utilising resources efficiently and contributing to more sustainable urban development by use of e.g. water sensitive urban design.
Implications of uncertainty (Contact: Peter Steen Mikkelsen and Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen)
Decisions made in order to adapt to climate change have a high and inherent degree of uncertainty. Thus uncertainty related to risk assessment, modelling and decision-making in urban water management is analyzed to provide a basis for decision-making in situations where uncertainty plays a major role. The basic approach is to categorise uncertainty in three dimensions: location (technical, social, environmental), level (statistical, scenario, ignorance) and nature (reducibility), and to act by using appropriate means such as engineering procedures, negotiations and adaptive management depending on the context.
Decision support and social issues (Contact: Peter Steen Mikkelsen and Govert Geldof)
Decision-making is a social process, which is commonly influenced by technical and environmental issues. Decision-support tools are prepared to empower water managers by making relevant information available, and multi-criteria tools are sometimes used to make the basis for political decisions more transparent. They do not, however, embrace the decision-making process, which remains a political issue. Case study inventories are conducted in several countries, especially where climate change adaptation is a driver for increased involvement of citizens in urban water issues.