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Thursday, July 13 • 17:30 - 18:00
3130 Energy and Water in the Earth System: An Integrated Modelling Approach

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The concept of global change refers to planetary-scale changes in the Earth system. The system consists of the land, oceans, atmosphere, life, and the planet's natural cycles that are linked and influence one another. As a result, it becomes necessary to consider impacts of global change from an integrated perspective. The ANEMI integrated assessment model is developed at Western University to study feedbacks in the Earth system as they relate to water resources management and the energy-economy using the system dynamics simulation approach. Nine different model sectors are used to represent the system structure, which is composed of stocks and flows used to represent feedbacks within and between sectors. The model sectors include population, climate, carbon cycle, energy-economy, water quality, water quantity, water demand, food production, and land-use. The model has been used to study the dynamics of adding water pollution affects into the determination of water stress, potential for wastewater reuse to limit water stress, and the effect of carbon taxation on economic growth, CO2 emissions, and climate change within the integrated system.

In this work, structural changes to the ANEMI model have been made to create a tighter link between water resources and the energy-economy sectors and to study the feedbacks between them. Capital stocks for water and energy supplies are modelled dynamically in order to examine the development of alternative water resources such as desalination, wastewater reuse and groundwater mining to offset future water stress, as well as the dynamics of coal, oil, and natural gas as sources of energy for electricity and heating purposes. A link between the water and energy capital stocks is made by examining future projected growth in energy recovery from biogas and biosolids by-products from the wastewater treatment process, which is influenced by a projected increase in the level of wastewater treatment and reuse. Preliminary results show that by investing in recovered energy from wastewater treatment by-products, fossil fuel consumption may be reduced, thereby slowing price increases in fossil fuels as the supplies are being depleted.

Current improvements to the ANEMI integrated assessment model are focused on the development of a methodology to study potential feedbacks between drinking water and wastewater treatment as they are related via source water quality and economics. For example, treated and untreated wastewater discharges have the potential to reduce water quality of lakes and rivers, which act as source waters for drinking water treatment plant intakes. If water quality becomes degraded due to increased levels of sediment and dissolved organic matter, the cost of treatment and plant maintenance increases. At this point there is an economic trade-off between investing in increased wastewater treatment and the increase in drinking water treatment costs. The results of the ANEMI model are currently globally aggregated. This allows for the Earth system to be modelled simply in a way that allows for the dynamics of global change to be analysed and feedbacks to be diagnosed. However, this level of aggregation also limits the practical value of model results. A multi-scale feedback disaggregation approach for the ANEMI model is briefly discussed.

Thursday July 13, 2017 17:30 - 18:00
3rd Floor, Room SR 121, Institut für Computertechnik,TU Wien Gußhausstraße 27-29, 1040 Wien, Austria

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