Doctoral dissertation Rubén Fernando Jerves Cobo - Integrated water system modelling to support water management in the Cuenca Basin

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BIOMATH is proud to announce that Rubén Fernando Jerves Cobo successfully defended his Doctoral Thesis.

Title: Integrated water system modelling to support water management in the Cuenca Basin

Abstract: The water quality worldwide has been degraded principally by anthropogenic causes such as intensive agriculture, industrial production, mining, untreated wastewater and urban runoff. The Cuenca River basin, located in the southern Andes of Ecuador, suffers disturbances to its aquatic ecosystem due to the presence of hydropower dams and an urbanized area that corresponds to the city of Cuenca. Several stakeholders made efforts to recover the ecological status of the Cuenca River and its tributaries. These efforts have been mainly focused on the management of the wastewater. However, the ecological status of the rivers continues to be affected by the remaining wastewater effluents and other sources of pollution.

The overall aim of this dissertation is to develop an integrated river management (IRM) model for ecosystem analysis, under current and potential future conditions, that can be used as a decision-making support tool in the management of the Cuenca River basin. This study, with the help of advanced statistical methods and models, also analyzes the physicochemical, microbiological and morphological variables that could influence macroinvertebrates and provides insights in the ecological water quality of the Cuenca River system.

Additionally, driving pressures such as outfalls, combined sewer overflows and discharges from wastewater treatment plants are included in a mechanistic integrated urban wastewater (IUWS) model. The results of this IUWS model are linked with ecological models to assess and to predict the water quality in the Cuenca River under current and simulated conditions.

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