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Sven Berendsen

Modelling the water cycle for a 'Digital Twin' for Newcastle.

Project title

A Digital Twin of city-wide water usage


Project description

Currently, we are in the age of the digital industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0. The core component of this is the generation of models depicting reality as close as possible – the “Digital Twin”.

This project will build a Digital Twin for Newcastle. It will model the water cycle from the potable water supply network to the sewer network. It will simulate property level water demand and wastewater generation.

The core of the simulation is the water usage behaviour of each individual household. Sven will use an agent based model, unprecedented for its spatial (property level) and temporal (≤15min) resolution. Disaggregated census data from ITRC-MISTRAL, such as the number people on the property, their income bracket, age and education status, will form the inputs. Depending on time constraints, we may also include external events like football games and weather.

The outputs from this model will be in the form of water demand and wastewater generation time series. These will feed into water distribution and sewer network models. We will verify the results against time series provided by Northumbrian Water.

The combined model will:

  • provide Northumbrian Water with the means to determine the expected water demand
  • give the University, Northumbrian Water and local council(s) a tool to predict future water usage
  • provide one of the building blocks for generating a complete digital twin of a whole city