Dr John McKibbin is a Research Principal at the Institute for Sustainable Futures applying analytical modeling methods and tools to inform urban sustainability policy, planning and design.
Drawing from a background in engineering, John’s doctoral research focused on developing improved concepts and analyses for designing cost-effective, sustainable and resilient energy and water systems, with a particular focus on the emerging challenges associated with mitigating and adapting to climate change.
Key research areas include:
- integrating, analysing and visualising urban environmental performance data, leveraging web-based data platforms, big data analytics and browser-based interactive visualisation tools
- simulating and forecasting the energy and water requirements of buildings, precincts and cities, employing end use modelling, building and appliance stock modelling, building services modelling (for heating and cooling, water heating etc), and water balance modelling (for irrigation, rainwater tanks)
- assessing alternative energy and water servicing strategies including efficiency measures (e.g. efficient appliances), distributed resource measures (solar PV, rainwater harvesting) and central infrastructure options (e.g. network augmentations)
- assessing the resilience of urban systems and strategies employing scenario analysis, contingency analysis, uncertainty analysis, and decision analysis
John has worked with a wide range of clients including councils, energy networks, water utilities, and governments across Australia, including:
- working with CSIRO Data61 to develop a web-based data platform for publishing, analysing and visualising urban energy, water, waste and transport data
- working with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and electricity utilities across Australia to develop a national tool for identifying energy demand management and renewable energy opportunities
- working with the Australian National Water Commission and water utilities across Australia to develop a national tool for identifying water conservation and alternative supply opportunities and
- providing policy advice to state and federal government departments including the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Committee for Water, Local Government Infrastructure Services Queensland, the Australian Department of Environment, and the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.
Mukheibir, P., Mitchell, C.A., McKibbin, J.L., Komatsu, R., Ryan, H. & Fitzgerald, C. 2012, 'Adaptive planning for resilient urban water systems under an uncertain future', Proceedings of OzWater'12 'Sharing Knowledge, Planning the Future', Australian Water Association Convention - Ozwater, Australian Water Association (AWA), Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-8.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Water planners are familiar with some form of variability in climate and demand. However, the uncertainty associated with the frequency and magnitude of the variations, coupled with broader performance expectations, means that long term deterministic planning needs to give way to a new approach. The structured adaptive planning process proposed in this paper aims to meet those objectives and accommodate the uncertainty in the future by developing a portfolio of measures that are both flexible to gradual changes in trends and robust to sudden shocks. A step-by-step process of the planning framework is presented. This is followed by a case study of the inputs and results based on its implementation by the Melbourne water businesses.
Mukheibir, P., Mitchell, C.A., McKibbin, J.L., Komatsu, R., Ryan, H. & Fitzgerald, C. 2012, 'Planning for adaptive urban water systems under an uncertain future', Climate Adaptation in Action 2012: Sharing knowledge to adapt, Climate Adaptation in Action 2012: Sharing knowledge to adapt, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), Melbourne, Australia.
McKibbin, J.L., Inman, M. & Turner, A.J. 2010, 'ISDP: a new national tool for integrated water resource planning', Ozwater '10: Australia's National Water Conference and Exhibition, Ozwater '10: Australia's National Water Conference and Exhibition, Australia Water Association (AWA), Brisbane, Australia, pp. 1-8.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper reviews recent research undertaken to extend the integrated Supply-Demand Planning (iSDP) model, a tool developed by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, and the CSIRO together with water utilities across Australia. The research seeks to provide a transparent, open-source tool to assist urban water resource planners nationally. This paper reviews the role of the model and details several novel developments. These include an integrated analysis of wastewater, energy, nutrient and greenhouse gas flows, facility for testing alternative scenarios, a series of outputs for assessing the impact of alternative strategies, and an embedded library of region-specific assumptions and references.
McKibbin, J.L., Fane, S.A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2009, 'Next generation IRP: extending water planning processes and tools to analyse distributed water futures', Proceedings of the 5th IWA Specialist Conference 'Efficient 2009', 'Efficient 2009': 5th IWA Specialist Conference on Efficient Use and Management of Urban Water, International Water Association (IWA) and Australian Water Association (AWA), Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-5.
McKibbin, J.L. 2008, 'Toward sustainable sanitation: a least cost planning approach for assessing alternative sanitation futures', honours thesis, University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney.
McKibbin, J.L., Willetts, J.R., Hagare, P. & White, K. 2008, 'Valuing sustainable sanitation: the economic assessment of alternative sanitation programs', 8th IWA Specialized Conference on Small Water and Wastewater Systems (SWWS) and 2nd IWA Specialized Conference on Decentralised Water and Wastewater International Network (DEWSIN), IWA, Coimbatore, India, pp. 1-4.
The Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology Sydney, undertook a review of the environmental effects of the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Scheme on behalf of the Australian Government Department of the Environment.
The review analysed several facets of the Scheme, including:
* the interactions between WELS and other urban water policies
* changes in the products registered and sold since the commencement of WELS
* changes in water consumption since the commencement of WELS
* energy, greenhouse and household bill impacts associated with reduced water consumption
Fane, S.A., Retamal, M.L., McKibbin, J.L. & May, D. Institute for Sustainable Futures 2011, Case study: Integrated resource planning for urban water - Wagga Wagga, pp. 1-78, Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Fane, S.A., Turner, A.J., McKibbin, J.L., May, D., Fyfe, J., Chong, J., Blackburn, N., Patterson, J.J. & White, S. Australian National Water Commission 2011, Integrated resource planning for urban water - resource papers, pp. 1-206, Canberra.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Retamal, M.L., McKibbin, J.L. & Fane, S.A. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2008, National greywater rainwater initiative: input into design of rebates for households and surf life saving clubs, pp. 1-60, Sydney.
The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) commissioned the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) to undertake research into the likely costs of, and potential water yields that may be achieved by, household rainwater tanks and greywater reuse systems in households across Australia. This research is being carried out to inform the design of a new rebate program that will provide an incentive for households to install these systems. The primary objectives of this research are to: determine the categories and types of household greywater systems currently available; estimate the annual water yields that might be achieved by household rainwater tanks and greywater systems; identify average costs associated with each system; and provide recommendations for the structure of the residential rebate program. In addition to the residential component of this study, ISF has been contracted to examine the potential for water savings initiatives to be implemented at surf life saving clubs (SLSCs) with the aid of federal government grants. The objectives of this research are to: collect data on the water consumption of SLSCs; identify the types of water savings initiatives that could be implemented at SLSCs; estimate the potential potable water savings (from scheme supplies) that would be achieved by these water savings initiatives and the associated costs; and provide recommendations for criteria and conditions of the grant scheme for SLSCs.