2023 journal article

A sociotechnical framework to characterize tipping points in water supply systems


By: E. Berglund n, M. Skarbek n & L. Kanta*

author keywords: Critical transition; Tipping point; Regime shift; Change point detection; Agent-based modeling; Urban water supply management
UN Sustainable Development Goal Categories
Source: Web Of Science
Added: August 7, 2023

Population growth and a drying climate can push urban water supply across a tipping point into a new regime of water deficits. This research develops an analytical approach to characterize tipping points in water supply systems based on a loss of ecological resilience. A comprehensive sociotechnical modeling framework is developed to apply increasing stress gradients, representing climate change and population growth scenarios, to a water supply system and generate time series of deficits, which are analyzed to characterize tipping points. An agent-based modeling framework of water use, supply, and management simulates feedbacks and adaptations between human behavior and water infrastructure systems. Projections of climate change are generated using a stochastic reconstruction framework. A change point detection algorithm is applied to detect change points, and a tipping point rule selects a tipping point from a set of change points. The sociotechnical framework is applied for a case study to demonstrate tipping point analysis. A range of stress gradients are applied for a projected period, and tipping points are characterized for climate change scenarios and management strategies. The sociotechnical framework characterizes the resilience of water supply and can be applied to simulate, predict, and avert tipping points in water supply systems.