Planning More Efficient Drainage Infrastructure: Applying Optimization Algorithms and Triple Bottom Line for Stormwater Management Planning and Improved Resiliency
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The traditional approach for evaluating capital improvement options within networked hydraulic systems is to develop design alternatives, model the effects of each alternative, estimate the planning-level costs for the most promising alternatives, and choose the most cost-effective alternative for more detailed design.

This approach works well if the number of potential alternatives is small and manageable. However, as we increase the scale of master planning to include larger basins, watersheds, and entire cities the number of alternatives can increase substantially. Determination of the potential combination(s) of solutions based on multiple decision criteria while also considering cost-effectiveness becomes an overwhelming task to evaluate and compare potential viable solution sets. The required resources using a traditional method is nearly impossible and often results in incomplete, partial, or no comparisons of alternatives resulting in the final selection of a less cost-efficient opportunity. With advances in computing power and optimization algorithms, a more efficient and objective-based approach to assess hundreds of thousands of capital improvement alternatives is possible. Using a cloud-based optimization software package, Geosyntec analyzed costs, hydraulic performance to determine optimal solutions meeting design criteria. Tailored algorithms that used localized cost curves were developed to determine the most cost-efficient green and gray infrastructure capital improvement alternatives to meet project objectives. Post analyses of optimal scenarios using a triple bottom line (TBL) assessment of environmental benefits was then completed to understand more holistic benefits and costs in stormwater and sewer collection systems improvements. This presentation will share the process for developing optimized results using two separate case studies.

Publication Summary

  • Geosyntec Authors: Scott Struck
  • All Authors: Scott Struck
  • Title: The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Denver Branch & Rocky Mountain Association of Environmental Professionals (RMAEP) Virtual Meeting
  • Event or Publication: Event
  • Practice Areas: Urban Stormwater Management Planning and Design
  • Citation: Scott Struck, Ph.D. (Colorado) will present "Planning More Efficient Drainage Infrastructure: Applying Optimization Algorithms and Triple Bottom Line for Stormwater Management Planning and Improved Resiliency" at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Denver Branch & Rocky Mountain Association of Environmental Professionals (RMAEP) Virtual Meeting from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. MDT on September 3, 2020.
  • Date: September 3, 2020
  • Location: Virtual
  • Publication Type: Platform Presentation