Modelling impacts on urban river water quality




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The ecosystems in natural water bodies in urban areas are often negatively affected by pollutant loads and increased peak flows resulting from pipe discharges. To ensure a good state of the natural water systems, we need to consider these impacts when modelling different planning scenarios for urban water management. Typically, a river water quality model will be applied for this purpose.

When designing urban water management, we want to simulate the effect of many different planning options in a number of different climate and city development scenarios. Performing a combined simulation of urban water system and river is tedious in this context, because the two systems are typically simulated in separate modelling packages and because the river quality model adds significant overhead to the simulation.

The purpose of this project is therefore to develop input-output relationships for river water quality in a case study in Odense. The idea is to perform simulations in an existing river water quality model in WEST for a large number of rain events and various levels of pipe discharges from the urban water system. The results of the simulations will be analysed (e.g., using clustering techniques) to identify which combinations of environmental conditions (rainfall in different areas, temperature) and urban discharges (pollutant load, peak flow) impact the water quality so much that guidelines values for the good ecological state are violated.  Subsequently, this information can be used to derive a simplified model (either a simple WEST model or even just a statistical function) that describes the impact of pipe discharges on river water quality, without running the full river water quality model.

This is a modelling project. You will need to work with an existing WEST model. It is not a prerequisite that you know data analysis techniques, but you need to not be afraid of working with a scripting language (R, Python, possibly MATLAB). The case study will be located in Odense and we expect to involve Vandcenter Syd in the discussion of modelling results.


Interest in modelling and data analysis

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DTU Miljø


Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen





Kandidatuddannelsen i Miljøteknologi


Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen


Roland Löwe, Luca Vezzaro




DTU er et teknisk eliteuniversitet med international rækkevidde og standard. Vores mission er at udvikle og nyttiggøre naturvidenskab og teknisk videnskab til gavn for samfundet. 10.000 studerende uddanner sig her til fremtiden, og 5.700 medarbejdere har hver dag fokus på uddannelse, forskning, myndighedsrådgivning og innovation, som bidrager til øget vækst og velfærd.

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