University College London Featured PhD Programmes
Sheffield Hallam University Featured PhD Programmes
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Featured PhD Programmes
University of Sheffield Featured PhD Programmes
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Heidelberg) Featured PhD Programmes

Benefits of cooperation in transboundary river basins

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, November 15, 2019
  • Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding
    Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

Project Description

This is an ideal project for a resourceful and driven individual. The successful candidate will develop and hone first-rate analytical, computational and communication skills that will enable them to choose their subsequent career path, whether in academia or industry.

This project will look at developing methods to evaluate the benefits of cooperation for the use of water resources in transboundary river basins, i.e., basins where water is shared between several countries. Increasing water demands, along with a variable water supply and a changing climate, mean water is becoming more valuable. Many decision-makers plan investments to bolster water security, but often with an exclusive focus on their country or region. How can we plan the construction and management of new infrastructure to ensure that instead of causing conflicts in a river basin, it ushers in an era of prosperity shared by all riparians?

The PhD will look at large-scale river systems in the Global South, and confront two types of methods to have a full picture of the trade-offs between the water uses of different countries. On one hand, hydro-economic analysis has been largely developed by water engineers to combine hydrological fluxes and the management of water infrastructure with economic considerations. It enables policy makers to understand how water availability and demand impact the value of water across space and time, and helps in water resources planning and management. On the other hand, water use for economic efficiency must be balanced with other uses that are generally more difficult to quantify, such as the provision of essential ecosystem services. Multi-objective evolutionary algorithms (MOEA) enables a quantification of these trade-offs.

The project will focus on developing new and powerful methodologies to support sustainable planning and management of water resources:
1) Extending stochastic dual dynamic programming (SDDP), one of the rare hydro-economic optimisation methods that work for large-scale reservoir systems, to account for the non-cooperative management of their water resources by each country.
2) Developing methods to explore trade-offs between countries when several objectives are considered and not given an a priori monetary value. Due to the system’s scale, these methods will combine SDDP with state-of-the-art multi-objective evolutionary algorithms (MOEA), e.g., by using SDDP to guide the MOEA’s progression.

This project will include national but also international cooperation opportunities, including with top research groups abroad and with international organisations such as the United Nations’ FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation).

Funding Notes

Funding notes
Awards for UK students cover tuition fees and a maintenance allowance at the standard RCUK rate – e.g. £14,777 per annum in 2018-2019. EU applicants who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years

How good is research at University of Sheffield in Civil and Construction Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2019
All rights reserved.