Optimising urban water systems for sustainability and resilience


4 Minute read

Access to running water is one of humanity's most basic necessities. This project aims to improve the design of our water systems so that they can remain functional under a variety of tough conditions.

The goal of this project is to:

  • Optimise the design and operation of urban water systems so they are more able to cope with future uncertainty.

The details

Urban water systems provide usable, drinkable water by connecting homes with a water source. As such, these water systems must be as effective, efficient and dependable as possible. This PhD project focuses on modelling an urban water system that meets the following requirements:

1. It is protected against uncertain future events. Urban water systems must be able to operate under different spatial and temporal conditions.

2. It satisfies multiple environmental and efficiency objectives, including:

  • Maximising water savings
  • Minimising cost
  • Minimising greenhouse gas emissions.

We will also study how such a water system could be applied to both greenfield and brownfield developments. A greenfield project is a building project that is started on a vacant work site. A brownfield project is a building project that is started on a site with existing buildings or structures.

Graduate researcher profile: Snigdha Sarita Mohapatra

Snigdha Sarita Mohapatra

I obtained both my Bachelor of Technology and my Master of Technology as part of a dual degree in civil engineering from the National Institute of Technology in Odisha, India. Within civil engineering, I specialise in water resources. My joint PhD with the University of Melbourne and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur focuses on the modelling of water systems. At IIT Kharagpur, I reviewed the literature surrounding water system modelling. I also learned relevant techniques that are used in water system modelling. At the University of Melbourne, I will focus on the implementation of these techniques.

My main professional goal is to create a water system that is economically, socially, environmentally and technically sustainable. I enjoy teamwork, learning new techniques and facing challenges. I speak Odia, Hindi and English. In my spare time, I like to practice painting and photography.

Supervision team

First published on 22 March 2022.

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