SWITCH city water balance: a scoping model for integrated urban water management

Rae Mackay, Ewan Last

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Climate shifts, environmental degradation, aging infrastructure, energy adaptation and population growth are impacting many cities worldwide and will force changes to the way water is managed in the future for most cities around the world. To help meet these challenges, the SWITCH European Framework VI project is developing decision support tools to assist city stakeholder communities to scope future options for integrated urban water management (IUWM). City Water Balance (CWB) is one of several simulation tools being developed within SWITCH as part of the City Water integrated knowledge base system/decision support system. CWB is a scoping tool developed to allow the rapid assessment of alternative water management strategies for a city. The tool outputs indicator data on water demand, quality, energy consumption, and simplified life-cycle cost. The data requirements of City Water Balance allow a model to be established quickly from extant spatial mapping. It advances previous work of Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) scoping models in two ways. The first is the integration of natural systems more fully into the urban water cycle description. The second is the extension to address energy consumption as well as life cycle costs. The initial application of the model to Birmingham (UK) using historical data for verification and validation has provided a valuable illustration of the effectiveness of the model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
JournalReviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010


  • Life cycle cost
  • Decision support
  • Urban water management
  • Scoping model


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