Urban Water Systems




Urban Water Systems focusses on sustainable management of the urban water cycle with respect to its quantity and quality dealing with processes and technologies across the continuum from raw water, to potable water, to wastewater, to storm water. In all cases, collection, treatment, use, and reuse are considered. Both computational and experimental studies are conducted and research is done at the lab, pilot, full, or city scale, and in collaboration with other research institutes, stake holders, or end users.

Scientific topics in focus:

  • Water supply
  • Storm water management
  • Systems analysis
  • Climate change impact and adaptation


Hans-Jørgen Albrechtsen
DTU Miljø
45 25 15 86



Systems analysis of urban water systems


Management of multiple water qualities in complex water systems requires development and application of tools to assess climate change mitigation and adaptation, energy efficiency, cost efficiency, health and risk, all in the context of circular economy.


Treatment technologies in water supply


Understanding and optimization of treatment processes to ensure good water quality. This includes biological rapid sand filters removing e.g. ammonium and pesticides, softening, sensors, and monitoring of water quality.

Chemical constituents in stormwater runoff

Conventional sampling methods and passive sampling techniques are combined with chemical analysis, dynamic process modelling and uncertainty quantification to assess fluxes and control options for priority pollutants at the treatment unit and catchment scale.

Past, present and future rainfall extremes


Rainfall observations from gauges and weather radar, scaling from point rainfall to high-resolution weather models used in climate change predictions, non-stationary point process models, climate change factors for design, Tools to guide design and analysis.

Climate change impacts and adaptation


Cities of the future, impacts from rainfall and storm surges, risk-based design of urban water infrastructure, hydrological modelling of novel urban drainage systems, multifunctional solutions, decision making under uncertainty, innovation on climate adaptation.

Real time modelling for warning and control

Rainfall forecasts, in-situ probes and software sensors, on-line data assimilation and deterministic-stochastic modelling. Flood warning and risk-based, dynamically optimized control of sewer systems and wastewater treatment plants.

Martin Rygaard, Water Supply

Safe and optimal water supply – Going beyond the adequate

Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen, Clima Change

Cities and climate change - How to cope

Peter Steen Mikkelsen

Water DTU: A center focusing on interdisciplinary research and innovation

Drinking Water - Biological Treatment in Rapid Sandfilters

By Hans-Jørgen Albrechtsen, Professor, DTU Environment
17 AUGUST 2019