A decision support system (DSS) tool for the assessment of intervention strategies (Alternatives) in an urban water system (UWS) with an integral simulation model called ‘WaterMet2’ is presented. The DSS permits the user to identify one or more optimal Alternatives over a fixed long-term planning horizon using performance metrics mapped to the TRUST sustainability criteria. The DSS exposes lists of in-built intervention options and system performance metrics for the user to compose new Alternatives. The quantitative metrics are calculated by the WaterMet2 model, and further qualitative or user-defined metrics may be specified by the user or by external tools feeding into the DSS. A multi-criteria decision analysis approach is employed within the DSS to compare the defined Alternatives and to rank them with respect to a pre-specified weighting scheme for different Scenarios. Two rich, interactive graphical user interfaces, one desktop and one web-based, are employed to assist with guiding the end user through the stages of defining the problem, evaluating and ranking Alternatives. This mechanism provides a useful tool for decision makers to compare different strategies for the planning of UWS with respect to multiple Scenarios. The efficacy of the DSS is demonstrated on a northern European case study inspired by a real-life UWS for a mixture of quantitative and qualitative criteria. The results demonstrate how the DSS, integrated with an UWS modelling approach, can be used to assist planners in meeting their long-term, strategic-level sustainability objectives.
Tips to maintain your HPLC & UHPLC systems and columns
Recently, Ade Kujore (Cecil Instruments), Tracie Brombos (GenTech Scientific) and I were asked by Angelo De Palma, a well-respected writer for Lab Manager magazine, to contribute to an article about maintaining and caring about your laboratory instruments. Here are my tips/best practices for column and HPLC/UHPC/UPLC system maintenance. Maintaining your LC columns Proper storage of HPLC columns will increase longevity and performance. For long-term storage, it is best to follow manufacturer’s recommendatio...
Improved Water Management Propels Growth of Ontario Cheese Maker
Like all farmers, the Van Bergeijk family works hard from ‘sun up to sun down’ to run their farm in southwestern Ontario. Everything in the dairy farming operation is interconnected. They grow corn on their 325 hectare farm to feed 400 dairy cows. The cows produce 11,000 litres of milk a year. That milk is used to make the prize-winning Mountainoak Cheese. Besides the hard work, there’s another essential element that is vital to the sustainability and future business growth of this integrated...
Glyphosate and AMPA in drinking water
Carcinogenic or not? The broad-spectrum herbicide glyphosate is used all over the world in agriculture. Alongside farming, the chemical is also used for weed-killing in domestic gardens and in public and private spaces kept free from «vegetal invasion», such as railway tracks. Glyphosate has been used since the 1970s in pesticides and was hitherto thought to be harmless at typical levels of exposure. However, since the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – the specialized cancer-re...
Environmental impacts of ocean-energy systems: a life-cycle assessment
Ocean-energy technologies — which harvest renewable energy from the sea — will have a significant role to play in a future low-carbon society. A recent life-cycle analysis of different ocean-energy devices has found that life-cycle environmental impacts are caused mainly by the materials used in the mooring, foundations and structures. Improving the efficiency and lifespan of the devices, as well as improving mooring and foundations and deploying devices further out at sea, will help to further reduce...
Diver versus Deep Trekker: A Cost /Benefit Analysis
As underwater ROV technology continues to evolve and transform, industry professionals are faced with a simple question: diver or drone? While the question may be simple, often the answer is not and depends on a multitude of factors such as the scope of a task, operating environment/conditions and project complexity to name a few. Ultimately everything boils down to two factors: safety and cost. All other factors, fall under or are measured by, the safety of the team and the all-mighty dollar. Safety is, of...