, Volume 43, Issue 8, pp 1093–1111 | Cite as

Modeling integrated urban water systems in developing countries: case study of Port Vila, Vanuatu

  • Michael S. Poustie
  • Ana Deletic


Developing countries struggle to provide adequate urban water services, failing to match infrastructure with urban expansion. Despite requiring an improved understanding of alternative infrastructure performance when considering future investments, integrated modeling of urban water systems is infrequent in developing contexts. This paper presents an integrated modeling methodology that can assist strategic planning processes, using Port Vila, Vanuatu, as a case study. 49 future model scenarios designed for the year 2050, developed through extensive stakeholder participation, were modeled with UVQ (Urban Volume and Quality). The results were contrasted with a 2015 model based on current infrastructure, climate, and water demand patterns. Analysis demonstrated that alternative water servicing approaches can reduce Port Vila’s water demand by 35 %, stormwater generation by 38 %, and nutrient release by 80 % in comparison to providing no infrastructural development. This paper demonstrates that traditional centralized infrastructure will not solve the wastewater and stormwater challenges facing rapidly growing urban cities in developing countries.


Developing countries Sustainable urban water management Simulation modeling Strategic infrastructure planning Scenario analysis 



The authors would like to acknowledge funding provided by AUSAID. The authors would like to acknowledge the two blind reviewers’ whose comments and suggestions have greatly strengthened the paper.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Monash Water for Liveability, Department of Civil EngineeringMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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