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A collaborative planning framework for integrated urban water management with an application in dual water supply: a case study in Fort Collins, Colorado

Date

2018

Authors

Cole, Jeanne Reilly, author
Sharvelle, Sybil, advisor
Grigg, Neil, advisor
Arabi, Mazdak, committee member
Goemans, Chris, committee member

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Abstract

Urban water management is essential to our quality of life. As much of our urban water supply infrastructure reaches the end of its useful life, water managers are using the opportunity to explore alternative strategies that may enable them to better meet modern urban water challenges. Water managers must navigate the labyrinth of balancing stakeholder needs, considering all costs and benefits, reducing decision risk, and, most importantly, ensuring public health and protecting the environment. Innovative water managers need guidance and tools to help manage this complex decision space. This dissertation proposes a collaborative, risk-informed, triple bottom line, multi-criteria decision analysis (CRTM) planning framework for integrated urban water management decisions. The CRTM framework emerged from the obstacles and stakeholder needs encountered during a study evaluating alternative dual water supply strategies in Fort Collins, Colorado. The study evaluated four strategies for the dual supply of raw and treated water including centralized and decentralized water treatment, varying distribution system scales, and integration of existing irrigation ditches with raw water landscape irrigation systems. The results suggest that while the alternative dual water supply strategies offer many social and environmental benefits, the optimal strategies are dependent on local conditions and stakeholder priorities. The sensitivity analysis revealed the key parameters driving uncertainty in alternative performance were regulatory and political reinforcing the importance of participation from a wide variety of stakeholders. Evaluation of the decision process suggests the CRTM framework increased knowledge sharing between study participants. Stakeholder contributions enabled a comprehensive evaluation of the option space while examining the financial, social and environmental benefits and trade-offs of the alternatives. Most importantly, evolving the framework successfully maintained stakeholder participation throughout the study.

Description

2018 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.

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