A Hybrid Interval-Robust Optimization Model for Water Quality Management.

TitleA Hybrid Interval-Robust Optimization Model for Water Quality Management.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsXu J, Li Y, Huang G
JournalEnvironmental engineering science
Date Published2013 May

In water quality management problems, uncertainties may exist in many system components and pollution-related processes (i.e., random nature of hydrodynamic conditions, variability in physicochemical processes, dynamic interactions between pollutant loading and receiving water bodies, and indeterminacy of available water and treated wastewater). These complexities lead to difficulties in formulating and solving the resulting nonlinear optimization problems. In this study, a hybrid interval-robust optimization (HIRO) method was developed through coupling stochastic robust optimization and interval linear programming. HIRO can effectively reflect the complex system features under uncertainty, where implications of water quality/quantity restrictions for achieving regional economic development objectives are studied. By delimiting the uncertain decision space through dimensional enlargement of the original chemical oxygen demand (COD) discharge constraints, HIRO enhances the robustness of the optimization processes and resulting solutions. This method was applied to planning of industry development in association with river-water pollution concern in New Binhai District of Tianjin, China. Results demonstrated that the proposed optimization model can effectively communicate uncertainties into the optimization process and generate a spectrum of potential inexact solutions supporting local decision makers in managing benefit-effective water quality management schemes. HIRO is helpful for analysis of policy scenarios related to different levels of economic penalties, while also providing insight into the tradeoff between system benefits and environmental requirements.

Alternate JournalEnviron. Eng. Sci.