Meet Philippa Mohan

Academic and Industrial affiliations: The University of Sheffield, Stantec
Title of research project: Development of risk-based investment decision making tools that account for predictive model uncertainty in Water Framework Directive studies

Modelling is becoming more prominent in assisting the decision making strategies within the water sector. This includes the assessment of water quality parameters to achieve ‘good’ ecological status in Water Framework Directive (WFD) studies. When modelling is used correctly it can offer a holistic approach in considering different dynamics of a catchment and thus allowing a balanced assessment of the implementation of both regulatory and infrastructural mitigation strategies.  However, currently insufficient consideration is being made to correctly identify and then use uncertainty within water quality models; leading to a possible incorrect assessment of watercourse and hence ineffective use of economic resource. Therefore, this project firstly aims to develop a statistically based tool which quantifies uncertainties in sub-models. It is then the aim to aggregate these individual uncertainties to better understand the uncertainty as a whole in the hydraulic and water quality parameters used in WFD assessments. With the final aim of the project to investigate the role of personal risk adverseness in terms of investment decision making strategies to allow the development of a framework which incorporates model uncertainty into an objective investment decision making strategy.  It is the idea that this framework would be applied to a range of different catchments to evidence the potential cost variation of investment decision for WFD compliant solutions.