of zurich region
process in the region
responsibility lies with the municipal authorities of the city of
Zurich. Water supply and waste water treatment are located in different
departments. This is a certain problem if one considers the determination
of water prices.
The main stakeholders
are the management of urban water supply of the city of Zurich.
They support the project and will be actively engaged in the development
of the actor platform. The main clients are given by the owners
of real estates. The individual households are not very well organized
regarding the consumption of water. Most households pay a fixed
sum per month to guarantee their water supply. Often this sum is
included in the rent. Water prices are quite low and are irrelevant
regarding the overall budget of a household. Because of these reasons
most people are not aware of their personal water consumption.
of the environment related to water management
area of Zurich is located in the Swiss midlands. Water is in general
not a scarce resource, due to the lake of Zurich which covers 66%
of the city's water consumption. The rest of the demand is covered
by groundwater (25%) and by spring water (9%).
Per capita water
consumption is above the European level but it has been decreasing
during the last ten years. Practices in water supply management
have been based on the development of large capacities to meet water
demand at peak times. The actual capacity lies at 500'000 m3 per
day while peak demand in 1998 reached only 250'000 m3 per day.
waste water treatment has been assured at a high technological level
at large financial expenses. There are no pressing environmental
problems regarding present water quality and supply. However, political
authorities face an increasing dissatisfaction of citizens and NGOs
with the strategy for technical end-of-pipe solutions to environmental
changes to happen in the next decades in the environmental and socio-econonomic
management is challenged by institutional change, new cost structures
and new pricing regimes. Large investments are required to maintain
the present facilities. This increases the uncertainties impinging
on the current management. However, urban water management is quite
inflexible being tied into a lock-in situation arising from a huge,
long-lived and expensive infrastructure.
environment one can expect another source of uncertainty given by
a rise in peak demand due to a change in extreme weather events.
The major uncertainties
that have to be dealt with regard the change in peak demand due
to a change in extreme weather events and the possible institutional
that one would like to address with the model at the current state
of knowledge about the region and stakeholders interests?
scenarios for the response of consumer demand to different pricing
the diffusion of water conservation technologies.
- How will
decreasing water demand affect the functioning of the current
technological system to ensure a safe water supply and efficient
waste water treatment?
the effectiveness of different management strategies for a cost-effective
and ecologically responsible management of water resources and
a reliable operation of the water supply system in times of increasing
transition scenarios to other management and supply regimes with
higher flexibility, higher economic and environmental performance.
- Explore the
potential of social learning in a participatory setting facilitated
by such agent based models.
of the participatory process with specific reference to problem
An actor platform
with about 10 participants will be set up. They will engage in a
process of group model building and model moderation. This will
comprise about 2 to 3 sessions with the platform as a whole and
sessions with individual members. Currently we develop the method
of model moderation further to be applicable for agent based modeling.
We intend to investigate the mental models of the individual actors
and include them as a major source of uncertainty into the models.
The actor platform will accompany the process of model building.
Finally the model will be validated in the participatory setting
and scenarios for future water supply will be developed and discussed.
of regional case studies
- Water consumption,
water prices and financial data for the water supply of Zurich
for the last 100 years.
data (temperature, precipitation, etc.) for Zurich for the last
- Broad demographic
data sets for Zurich since 1914.
- A first
model is currently developed focusing on the rule-governed behaviour
of engineers in water supply management. It is developed and
applied in a participatory process with the board of managers
of water supply in Zurich.
- New approaches
to model consumer behaviour are currently developed and implemented
in a model.
- A water
demand calculator will be used to explore the potential of water
conservation for households.
- A study
was undertaken to assess the market structure in water conservation
technologies. Considerable knowledge about consumer demand and
its dependence on technology, weather etc.
account about the major developments over the past decades
frameworks: The water supply of Zurich has been a public utility
since its foundation in 1868. There have not been any changes in
the regulatory frameworks during the last decades.
In public opinion water should be available in sufficient quantity
with sufficient pressure at any time. This attitude led to the extension
of the existing water extraction plants when peak demand reached
99% of the capacity in July 1976. Because of these extensions and
decreasing water demand during the last decade we face large overcapacity
situation: Since 1986 the water supply of Zurich is financially
independent. Thus it has to cover its costs by the income from the
sale of water. In spite of decreasing water consumption the water
supply managed to realize profit during the last years due to economies
in different parts of the company.
situation: Due to effective waste water treatment the lake has
regained good water quality more than ten years ago. Different measures
made sure that the quality of the groundwater and of the springwater
could be kept on a high level as well.