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A Discrete-Event Dynamic Systems Approach for Environmental Decision-Support
Huang, Dong-Bin
PhD Thesis, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland In his thesis, Dong-Bin Huang developed an event-based dynamic material flow and life-cycle-inventory modeling method and applied it in the urban area of Kunming (China) for urban water resource planning and pollution control of Dianchi Lake. Download
Discrete Event Simulation for Exploring Strategies
Huang, Dong-Bin
"This paper presents a model structure aimed at offering an overview of the various elements of a strategy and exploring their multidimensional effects through time in an efficient way. It treats a strategy as a set of discrete events planned to achieve a certain strategic goal and develops a new form of causal networks as an interfacing component between decision makers and environment models, e.g., life cycle inventory and material flow models. The causal network receives a strategic plan as input in a discrete manner and then outputs the updated parameter sets to the subsequent environmental models. Accordingly, the potential dynamic evolution of environmental systems caused by various strategies can be stepwise simulated. It enables a way to incorporate discontinuous change in models for environmental strategy analysis, and enhances the interpretability and extendibility of a complex model by its cellular constructs. It is exemplified using an urban water management case in Kunming, a major city in Southwest China. By utilizing the presented method, the case study modeled the cross-scale interdependencies of the urban drainage system and regional water balance systems, and evaluated the effectiveness of various strategies for improving the situation of Dianchi Lake." Environmental Science & Technology 2007, Vol. 41, Issue 3, pp. 915-921 Available for purchase from: ACS Publications
Confronting limitations
Huang, Dong-Bin
"Despite continuous investment and various efforts to control pollution, urban water environments are worsening in large parts of the developing world. In order to reveal potential constraints and limitations of current practices of urban water management and to stimulate proactive intervention, we conducted a material flow analysis of the urban water system in Kunming City. The results demonstrate that the current efficiency of wastewater treatment is only around 25% and the emission of total phosphorous from the city into its receiving water, Dianchi Lake, is more than 25 times higher than its estimated tolerance. With regard to the crisis of water quantity and quality, the goal of a sustainable urban water environment cannot be attained with the current problem-solving approach in the region due to the technical limitations of the conventional urban drainage and treatment systems. A set of strategies is therefore proposed. The urban drainage system in Zurich is used as a reference for a potential best-available technology for conventional urban water management (BAT) scenario in terms of its low combined frequency of sewer overflow." Journal of Environmental Management, online since July 2006 Available online from: ScienceDirect
Wiederverwenden statt verschwenden / Recycler au lieu de jeter
Zurbruegg, Christian
This article discusses alternative sanitation systems enabling the reuse of human waste (organic solid waste, urine, faeces) in agriculture. Case studies in Mexico, China, and Ghana illustrate how the concept of closing nutrient cycles can be succesfully implemented. Helvetas Partnerschaft 2006, Number 183, pp.16-18 Download from Helvetas: German version / French version
Wastewater Management in Kunming, China
Medilanski, Edi
"Large sewer systems with central wastewater treatment plants were long considered a successful model that could be exported to practically any city of the world. This centralized, highly water-consuming system has, however, shown its limits in some developing and transition countries, especially in fastgrowing cities with limited water resources. This study from around Lake Dianchi in Yunnan, China, investigated the feasibility of introducing measures at the source for the different urban wastewater contributions in the city of Kunming, and the stakeholder perspectives on this approach. In addition, the stakeholders evaluated the potential of two different sanitation alternatives that allowed the separation and re-use of human excreta as fertilizer." Environment and Urbanization 2006, Vol 18, No. 2, pp. 353–368 Download
Identifying the Institutional Decision Process to Introduce Decentralized Sanitation in the City of Kunming (China)
Medilanski, Edi
"We conducted a study of the institutional barriers to introducing urine source separation in the urban area of Kunming, China. On the basis of a stakeholder analysis, we constructed stakeholder diagrams showing the relative importance of decision-making power and (positive) interest in the topic. A hypothetical decision-making process for the urban case was derived based on a successful pilot project in a periurban area. All our results were evaluated by the stakeholders. We concluded that although a number of primary stakeholders have a large interest in testing urine source separation also in an urban context, most of the key stakeholders would be reluctant to this idea. However, the success in the periurban area showed that even a single, well-received pilot project can trigger the process of broad dissemination of new technologies. Whereas the institutional setting for such a pilot project is favorable in Kunming, a major challenge will be to adapt the technology to the demands of an urban population. Methodologically, we developed an approach to corroborate a stakeholder analysis with the perception of the stakeholders themselves. This is important not only in order to validate the analysis but also to bridge the theoretical gap between stakeholder analysis and stakeholder involvement. We also show that in disagreement with the assumption of most policy theories, local stakeholders consider informal decision pathways to be of great importance in actual policy-making." Environmental Management 2007, Vol. 39, No. 5, pp. 648-662 Available from: SpringerLink