Decision making in flood risk based storm sewer network design

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

It is widely recognised that flood risk needs to be taken into account when designing a storm sewer network. Flood risk is generally a combination of flood consequences and flood probabilities. This paper aims to explore the decision making in flood risk based storm sewer network design. A multi-objective optimization is proposed to find the Pareto front of optimal designs in terms of low construction cost and low flood risk. The decision making process then follows this multi-objective optimization to select a best design from the Pareto front. The traditional way of designing a storm sewer system based on a predefined design storm is used as one of the decision making criteria. Additionally, three commonly used risk based criteria, i.e., the expected flood risk based criterion, the Hurwicz criterion and the stochastic dominance based criterion, are investigated and applied in this paper. Different decisions are made according to different criteria as a result of different concerns represented by the criteria. The proposed procedure is applied to a simple storm sewer network design to demonstrate its effectiveness and the different criteria are compared.

Keywords: decision making, flood risk, multi-objective optimisation, storm sewer network design

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