Valuing the financial benefits of decision support systems for environmental management - Case studies from rapid response and proactive odour management in wastewater treatment
The benefits of decision support systems for environmental management are often challenging to value, particularly where they include intangible benefits that require a detailed understanding of operating procedures, such as risk mitigation or operational improvements. This paper describes the methodology used to value a cloud-based decision support system for odour risk management implemented at two wastewater treatment plants in England in mid-2016. The system was used for rapid analysis and response to odour issues, as well as predictive modelling and interpretation of odour risk, and was designed to provide operational staff with information that could be used to avoid or reduce odour impacts in the community. This paper describes the methodology used to value the benefits associated with implementing a decision support system at these two facilities, including capital and operating cost savings, and payments through incentive mechanisms in the regulatory framework. This paper also explores the extent to which the estimated benefits could apply to other wastewater treatment plants. Significant financial benefits were quantified, but depend significantly upon the regulatory regime in the UK, and the level of prior mitigation implemented at the facility.
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Mr Chaim Kolominskas (Pacific Environment)
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