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Sci-Tek Engineer presented paper at the 2017 International Conference on Water Management Modeling

Sci-Tek’s Adam Erispaha, P.E., a civil engineer and consultant to the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD),  presented his paper, titled “Automating model builds for sequence optimization of flood mitigation investment phases,” at the 50th annual International Conference on Water Management Modeling (ICWMM), in Toronto, Canada on March 1st- 2nd, 2017. The paper is co-authored by Christine Brown, one of the PWD’s newly graduated environmental engineers who Mr. Erispaha has mentored.

The paper proposes a process and set of tools to automate the creation of an exhaustive set of flood mitigation scenarios modeled in EPA SWMM5, as well as a strategic planning framework that leverages the exhaustive model scope. Using the proposed method, models are generated for each logical combination of independent flood mitigation alternatives, at each possible phase of implementation (i.e. at every practical phase of investment). Cost estimates and flood risk reduction values are calculated for each flood mitigation alternative and organized into all possible sequences of implementation. The exhaustive set of progressive implementation scenarios is then leveraged as a decision-making tool to provide flexibility in long-term planning: because each phase of investment can be implemented and function independently, large capital improvement programs can be constructed progressively, without having to commit (politically and financially) to the cost of the fully implemented program.  With the proposed process and data produced, it is shown that strategic planning can be adaptive and adjusted to favor short-term cost-effectiveness, or optimized within a long-term budget while being able to discontinue investment at any phase in the program.

The paper and presentation included a discussion on how these methods are being applied to an ongoing flood mitigation program in Philadelphia, PA by the Philadelphia Water Department. As part of the body of work, two open-source software packages are being developed: swimmio and pyplan.

The ICWMM brings together professionals from around the world to exchange ideas on current practices and emerging technologies in water management. Emphasis is on state-of-the-art computer modeling for resolving water quantity and quality problems in stormwater, wastewater, watershed and water distribution systems.