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Dammed or damned: Six open challenges in sustainable river basin development
Time: 2020-01-13 15:00:00    From:

 Reporter Topic:Dammed or damned: Six open challenges in sustainable river basin development

Reporter:Associate Professor Andrea Castelletti, Polytechnic University of Milan

Time: 15:00, Jan.13, 2020

Location:Academic Hall of State Key Laboratory

Andrea Castelletti is an associate professor of Water Resources Management at Politecnico di Milano, Italy, and a senior scientist at ETH Zurich. He received an MSc degree in Environmental Engineering and a PhD in Information Technology from Politecnico di Milano in 1999 and 2005. He is the head of the Environmental Intelligence Lab at Politecnico di Milano.

Dr. Castelletti research interest includes water systems planning and control under uncertainty and risk, decision-making for complex engineering systems, big environmental data analytics and smart sensing, information theory and selection for environmental decision making. He is leading a group with 4 post-docs, 5 PhD students and 3 research associates, and he is involved in a number of national and international projects as coordinator or principal investigator.

Dr. Castelletti is co-author of two international books on integrated water resources management, and more than 150 publications in international journals, book chapters and conference proceedings. He is Associate Editor of Water Resources Research, the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, and Environmental Modelling and Software.

Large storage systems play a key role for securing water, energy, and food, and thus increasing socioeconomic development and reducing poverty worldwide. This is leading developing countries and international agencies to undertake major investments in dam construction, primarily to produce hydropower. Globally, about 3,700 new major dams are planned or under construction. Dam booming has multiple reasons. Hydropower is generally regarded as a valuable renewable and clean energy resource. Additionally, hydropower provides important ancillary services to the electric system as well as non-energy services like flood control and water supply for food production.  Despite these many potential benefits, dams can create substantial negative environmental externalities that are commonly underestimated in single large dam developments as well as in the development of multi-dam schemes in large river networks. This talk will analyse the main challenges and barriers to internalizing such externalities, and explore the potential role of ICT and optimal control in supporting a paradigm shift in modern river basin development.