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Supporting decisions for the application of combined natural and engineered systems for water treatment and reuse

Published Online:pp 96-114

Combined natural and engineered systems (cNES) for water/wastewater treatment are well suited for application in many rural and semi-rural areas, especially those with water demand and wastewater production peaks related to tourism, farming and their nexus. The planning, implementation and operation of cNES is not a trivial task. A decision support system for the implementation of cNES, based on a user-oriented approach, is presented. Decision support is organised not into tools or tasks, but into a set of services targeted all potential user types, identified and parameterised through user's analysis. Six decision-making stages identified, leading to the specification of three generic types of services: 1) an information service, based on a knowledge repository; 2) a suite of tools service, implemented as a sustainable ecosystem of decision support tools; 3) a guidance service, based on a knowledge reasoning system that identifies typical application cases and produces analytic roadmaps towards achieving user goals.


cNES, DSS, user-oriented, decision services, knowledge repository, mathematical modelling, knowledge reasoning, roadmaps, environmental impact assessment, water resources management