Agent-based modelling and resource network optimisation for the WASH sector – GTG Webinar – August 6th 2015

The[1] prototype development is on track for demonstration in early 2016 with two successful meetings held between the GAMA Technical Group and UK technical team to support the development of the decision support tool

Accra large (1)Attendees included representatives from the University of Ghana, Institutes of Local Government Studies, Environment and Sanitation Studies, Sanitation and Waste Management, the Environment Protection Agency, Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), Ministry of Local Government (MLGRD), CERSGIS, Ghana Green Building Council, Cities Alliance, People’s Dialogue and Global Water Partnership in Ghana, along with global academics and practitioners in the sustainable cities realm. Meetings introduced current state of the art practices using systems modelling for problem solving and to inform decision making.

An outline of the prototype development for the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector in GAMA was provided by Koen Van Dam & Harry Triantafyllidis from Imperial College London (see below). A preliminary data and mapping overview was provided by Rembrandt Koppelaar of the Institute of Integrated Economics Research (IIER). The prototype development process is designed to be fully collaborative with GTG members in order to ensure that a functional prototype is produced. Podcast recordings and slide decks for the GAMA Technical Group for June and August (below) have been published.

Agent-based modelling (ABM) and resource technology network (RTN) modelling and optimisation

Accra Ghana image 4Accra Ghana image 1Both ABM and RTN will be incorporated into ABM represents decision-making entities, e.g. human individuals, and can be used to simulate and map demand for resources across a city. RTN models contain resources, processes, technologies (infrastructure such as buildings and networks), the physical space of a city and its surroundings, and agents (interacting occupants of the region). They define overall city systems and can be manipulated to optimise these within certain constraints to most effectively balance trade-offs.

Modelling the WASH sector in GAMA

Accra Ghana image 2The prototype will calculate the variables needed to help teams to optimise the WASH system, minimise wastes and increase sustainability given the clean water resources available to GAMA and the demands that will be placed on them now and in the future. Prototype development is iterative, expanding to include detailed water use and sewage flow from human activities (modelled), a more complete set of technologies for water and sanitation, long-term population and economic scenarios, indicators beyond current financial and greenhouse gas emissions.

Decision support

The WASH prototype will help to assess 1) water demand/sewage production using scenarios 5-20 years ahead including spatial mapping; 2) technologies that can meet water demand (% water demands met) and sanitation needs (% sewerage coverage); 3) financial, environmental and social implications of technology choice; 4) implications of operational sustainability of policy/cost changes.

Data Review

A preliminary data overview has identified over 150 datasets for the WASH sector in GAMA. Population and household data from the Ghana Statistical Survey 2000 Census provided by Dr. Kwado Ohene Sarfoh is being spatially translated at district level. There is currently no visibility on GA districts and data is only partial for TEMA. Census data at neighbourhood level is currently missing and would help to create a richer model. Please contact us if you have a solution to help with this omission.

A sewerage base map with main areas of service has been provided. Sewage pipes and network connections are missing – the World Bank WASH project is assisting in this regard. A base map of large pipelines in the water network system is being digitised and more detailed pipe locations being pursued through the Ghana Water Company Ltd.

Global community

The Ecological Sequestration Trust is working in Mongolia, China and the UK to demonstrate a new approach for sustainable urban development as outlined in this report. We continue to gain increasing presence in the UN family and as part of the UNISDR’s R!SE Initiative. We are assisting the City of Ulaanbaatar to apply to the Green Climate Fund and establish its own revolving fund for resilient development, a financial service model we hope to bring to GAMA.

Contact us

We welcome your input, questions, comments or feedback on data, the prototype development or any aspect of the programme. We encourage you to visit the GAMA Technical Group discussion forum where you will also find a record of all questions, answers and comments raised in meetings to date.

[1] is being developed by the partners mentioned throughout this report as part of the DFID funded, Cities Alliance managed Future Cities Africa programme.


Webinar slides download – PDF


Webinar audio download – MP3