Scheduling Future Water Supply Investments Under Uncertainty
Uncertain hydrological impacts of climate change, population growth and institutional changes pose a major challenge to planning of water supply systems. Planners seek optimal portfolios of supply and demand management schemes but also when to activate assets whilst considering many system goals and plausible futures. Incorporation of scheduling into the planning under uncertainty problem strongly increases its complexity. We investigate some approaches to scheduling with many-objective heuristic search. We apply a multi-scenario many-objective scheduling approach to the Thames River basin water supply system planning problem in the UK. Decisions include which new supply and demand schemes to implement, at what capacity and when. The impact of different system uncertainties on scheme implementation schedules are explored, i.e. how the choice of future scenarios affects the search process and its outcomes. The activation of schemes is influenced by the occurrence of extreme hydrological events in the ensemble of plausible scenarios and other factors. The approach and results are compared with a previous study where only the portfolio problem is addressed (without scheduling).