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Lisbon, Portugal

Luis A.,EPAL SA | Lickorish F.,Cranfield University | Pollard S.,Cranfield University
Water Research | Year: 2015

Risk management plays a key role in water utilities. Although risk tools are well-established at operational levels, approaches at the strategic level are rarely informed by systemic assessments of the water supply and lack a long-term perspective. Here, we report a baseline strategic risk analysis, founded on a systemic analysis of operational risks developed 'bottom-up' and validated in a large water utility. Deploying an action-oriented research method, supported by semi- structured interviews with in-house water utility risk experts, deep connections are established between operational risk and strategic risk that surpass those existing elsewhere in the sector. Accessible presentational formats - influence diagrams, risk "heat-maps" and supporting narratives are used to promote Board-level risk discussions, and characterise a baseline set of strategic risks core to forward utility master planning. Uniquely, the influence of operational events, exposures and potential harms, together with the mitigating measures in place to mediate these risks are linked to corporate objectives on business sustainability, profitability, water quality, water quantity, supply disruption and reputation. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Luis A.,EPAL SA | Lickorish F.,Cranfield University | Pollard S.,Cranfield University
Water Research | Year: 2016

Integrated, long-term risk management in the water sector is poorly developed. Whilst scenario planning has been applied to singular issues (e.g. climate change), it often misses a link to risk management because the likelihood of impacts in the long-term are frequently unaccounted for in these analyses. Here we apply the morphological approach to scenario development for a case study utility, Empresa Portuguesa das Águas Livres (EPAL). A baseline portfolio of strategic risks threatening the achievement of EPAL's corporate objectives was evolved through the lens of three future scenarios, 'water scarcity', 'financial resource scarcity' and 'strong economic growth', built on drivers such as climate, demographic, economic, regulatory and technological changes and validated through a set of expert workshops. The results represent how the baseline set of risks might develop over a 30 year period, allowing threats and opportunities to be identified and enabling strategies for master plans to be devised. We believe this to be the first combined use of risk and futures methods applied to a portfolio of strategic risks in the water utility sector. © 2015.

Lanham A.B.,New University of Lisbon | Carvalheira M.,New University of Lisbon | Rodrigues A.M.,EPAL SA | Cardoso V.V.,EPAL SA | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering | Year: 2011

[S,S]-ethylenediamine-N,N'-diglutaric acid (EDDG) has been gaining interest in the industrial sector as a promising chelator. In this study, the effective metal complexing capacity of EDDG over a wide pH range was modelled and its biodegradability assessed. Results showed that EDDG could effectively bind to several metallic ions in a wide pH range and was completely biodegraded after approximately 15 days by un-acclimatized sludge. To confirm its biodegradability, an accurate quantification method based on the combination of liquid chromatography and tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was developed. Good linearity of the detector response was found for EDDG at concentrations ranging from 0,15 to 1,2 mg/L. Copyright © 2011 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

de Jesus Gaffney V.,University of Lisbon | Almeida C.M.M.,University of Lisbon | Almeida C.M.M.,Laboratorio Of Bromatologia E Qualidade Da Agua | Rodrigues A.,EPAL SA | And 3 more authors.
Water Research | Year: 2015

A monitoring study of 31 pharmaceuticals along Lisbon's drinking water supply system was implemented, which comprised the analysis of 250 samples including raw water (surface water and groundwater), and drinking water. Of the 31 pharmaceutical compounds, only sixteen were quantified in the analyzed samples, with levels ranging from 0.005 to 46ng/L in raw water samples and 0.09-46ng/L in drinking water samples. The human health risk assessment performed showed that appreciable risks to the consumer's health arising from exposure to trace levels of pharmaceuticals in drinking water are extremely unlikely, as RQs values were all below 0.001. Also, pharmaceuticals were selected as indicators to be used as a tool to control the quality of raw water and the treatment efficiency in the drinking water treatment plants. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Gaffney V.D.J.,University of Lisbon | Cardoso V.V.,EPAL SA | Benoliel M.J.,EPAL SA | Almeida C.M.M.,University of Lisbon
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2016

Sulfonamides (SAs) are one class of the most widely used antibiotics around the world and have been frequently detected in municipal wastewater and surface water in recent years. Their transformation in waste water treatment plants (WWTP) and in water treatment plants (WTP), as well as, their fate and transport in the aquatic environment are of concern.The reaction of six sulfonamides (sulfamethoxazole, sulfapyridine, sulfamethazine, sulfamerazine, sulfathiazole and sulfadiazine) with free chlorine was investigated at a laboratory scale in order to identify the main chlorination by-products. A previously validated method, liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, was used to analyse SAs and their chlorination by-products. At room temperature, pH 6-7, reaction times of up to 2 h and an initial concentration of 2 mg/L of free chlorine, the majority of SAs suffered degradation of around 65%, with the exception of sulfamethoxazole and sulfathiazole (20%). The main reaction of SAs with free chlorine occurred in the first minute. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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