National Water Infrastructure Adaptation Assessment: Part II, Smart Urban Designer (SUD) and Application Case Studies
Yang, J., H. Wei, X. Wang, S. Buchberger, M. Liang, N. Chang, B. Bierwagen, S. Julius, Z. Li, D. Boccelli, R. Clark, H. Liu, AND J. Neal. National Water Infrastructure Adaptation Assessment: Part II, Smart Urban Designer (SUD) and Application Case Studies. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-20/165, 2020.
The national adaptation assessment report was a result of continuing research efforts in the past several years on hydroclimatic impacts on water infrastructure and adaptation methods. For the adaptation needs, a suite of tools ranging from those in strategic planning, master planning and engineering, to those in watershed modeling and drinking water plant simulations, have been developed or adopted. These adaptation techniques for different levels of purposes are described in this report and other companying publications with illustration of case studies. The focus is to develop actionable science and engineering basis for adapting to the likely future environmental stressors at local scales, and by doing so, to support water resource managers and technical stakeholders who face the technical complexity.
This report “National Water Infrastructure Adaptation Assessment: Part II, Smart Urban Designer (SUD) and Case Studies” is a part of the research effort undertaken by the EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) Water Systems Division (WSD) on national water infrastructure assessment. The multi-year research has generated data, models and methods to assess the water infrastructure vulnerability and develop sustainable planning and designs for infrastructure improvement. This research, organized by ORD’s Air and Energy (A-E) program in collaboration with EPA’s Office of Water (OW), is summarized into four documents. The first document published in 2015 contains a preliminary regulatory and technical analysis of the United States water infrastructure, and its relationship to hydroclimatic and socioeconomic changes. The Part II report is focused on the SUD tools and methods for urban planning and infrastructure adaptation design. The content aims to assist water practitioners and urban planners in developing resilient, efficient and economic water supply systems and water management programs. At the same time, the tools and methods can help practitioners with understanding the interconnectedness of urban growth, transportation and pollution to the water infrastructure system. In sequence, the report first outlines adaptation objectives and the SUD framework in three spatial scales. Next, it describes unique environmental properties associated with urban growth and current planning practices to facilitate urban growth. In Sections 3.0-7.0, the core SUD components in urban planning and water system engineering are described. Case studies are provided for further insights on the utilities and function of SUD tools and methods. In Section 8.0, the SUD application in coastal areas illustrates the complex factors of the hydroclimatic impacts in adaptation planning. It is noteworthy that water infrastructure adaptation can take place at different scales: regional urban-wide planning, water system optimization for master planning, and adaptive engineering and design for local water infrastructure components. The adaptive urban planning concept consists of an integrated analysis and scenario-based simulation of future land use, transportation and water infrastructure. The actions aim to improve urban efficiency and achieve adaptation co-benefits in infrastructure economics and resilience. The resulting urban form sets up the framework to which water infrastructure services can be adopted. At the water-system level, the SUD adaptation tools include those for trade-off analysis in evaluating infrastructure master planning options. At the local level, the SUD tools and methods include those newly developed for modeling water treatment, distribution, water storage and conservation. Together with real-time water monitoring and forecasting techniques that will be described in other Adaptation Assessment documents, a suite of techniques has become available for water managers in assisting water supply system planning and improvement. These developed adaptation methods were examined in adaptation case studies on urban water supplies in both the U.S. inland and coastal regions. The applications include adaptation studies for urban infrastructure and water systems in Cincinnati, Ohio; Manatee County, Florida; Las Vegas Valley Water District, Nevada; and Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. It is noted that the technical national adaptation assessment report covers a wide range of technical subjects and is developed for technical professionals. A companion synopsis report is prepared and will be published separately to disseminate the highly technical information to managers, policy-makers and a broader audience.