Leonardo Alfonso Segura

Associate Professor of Hydroinformatics


Leonardo Alfonso is a Civil Engineer of the National University of Colombia, currently holding the position of Associate Professor at IHE Delft. He has a combined consultancy and research experience in water modelling. He holds an MSc degree in Water Science and Engineering, specialisation Hydroinformatics at UNESCO-IHE Delft and a PhD degree from Delft University of Technology and UNESCO-IHE. He was coordinator of the Hydroinformatics Specialisation from 2018 to 2021, part of the former Water Science and Engineering Master Programme and a component of the Erasmus Mundus Flood Risk Management programme.

Leonardo has several years of teaching experience that complements his practical experience in the field. He completed the University Teaching Qualification (TU Delft) in 2013, as well as a PhD Supervision course (Utrecht University) in 2017. To date, he has co-promoted three PhD students at TU-Delft, and co-mentored two at the University of Cassino (IT), one at Sapienza University (IT), and one at the Minas Gerais University. He is currently co-mentoring one PhD student from the National University of Colombia - Manizales, one from the Sun Yat-Sen University (China) and one from the Harbin Institute of Technology, China.

To date he has supervised more than 30 MSc students on diverse water-related topics. His main teaching tasks include Python Programming, Real-time Control of Water Systems, Decision Support and Software for model integration, common for the new MSc in Water and Sustainable Development in the Digital Innovation and Hydroinformatics profile.

He has participated in several capacity-building activities in Kenya, Rwanda and Myanmar and in Colombia, for which he is Country Coordinator and member of the Academic Research Partnership Colombia - The Netherlands.

He is member of the SENSE Research School, and former member of the Sounding Board of the Orange Knowledge Programme of Nuffic (2019-2021).

Research Summary

Dr. Alfonso has participated in a number of European-funded research projects under the Seventh Framework Programme and H2020. Among others, he co-managed the FP7 KULTURisk project from 2011 to 2014, led the modelling work package of the FP7 WeSenseIt project (2012 - 2016) and managed various tasks in the Waternomics project (2014 - 2017). He is currently involved in the H2020 NAIADES project, where water modelling techniques are used to generate big data to feed an Artificial Intelligence platform to support efficient water management. Recently, he finished the H2020 Ground Truth 2.0 project, where he explores the value of citizen data with respect to monitoring networks.

His research interests are aligned with the three Hydroinformatics Chair research lines: 

Data, modelling, uncertainty and risk

  • Use of mobile and smartphone technologies for data collection (citizen observatories): complementing in-situ data with dynamic, intermittent, heterogeneous data coming from citizen observations.
  • Design and evaluation of (dynamic) monitoring networks.

Systems engineering, optimization and integration

  • Multi-objective model-based optimisation of water systems, including design and operation of urban water systems.

Collaborative decision making and Internet-based computing and learning

  • Decision making under uncertainty: incorporating decision-maker's beliefs in water-related risks decisions using Value of Information and Prospect Theory concepts.


Peer-reviewed journal papers (request them via ResearchGate)

Alfonso, L., M. Gharesifard and U. Wehn (2022). "Analysing the value of environmental citizen-generated data: Complementarity and cost per observation." Journal of Environmental Management 303: 114157.

Lopez, E. and L. Alfonso (2022). "Methodology to Optimally Place Pressure Sensors for Leak Detection in Water Distribution Systems Using Value of Information." Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 148(8): 04022043.

Bertini, C., Ridolfi, E., de Padua, L. H. R., Russo, F., Napolitano, F., & Alfonso, L. (2021). An entropy-based approach for the optimization of rain gauge network using satellite and ground-based data. Hydrology Research, 52(3), 620-635.

Alonso Vicario, S., Mazzoleni, M., Bhamidipati, S., Gharesifard, M., Ridolfi, E., Pandolfo, C., & Alfonso, L. (2020). Unravelling the influence of human behaviour on reducing casualties during flood evacuation. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 65(14), 2359-2375.

Quintiliani, C., Marquez-Calvo, O., Alfonso, L., Di Cristo, C., Leopardi, A., Solomatine, D. P., & De Marinis, G. (2019). Multiobjective Valve Management Optimization Formulations for Water Quality Enhancement in Water Distribution Networks. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 145(12), 04019061.

Marquez Calvo, O. O., Quintiliani, C., Alfonso, L., Di Cristo, C., Leopardi, A., Solomatine, D., & de Marinis, G. (2018). Robust optimization of valve management to improve water quality in WDNs under demand uncertainty. Urban Water Journal, 15(10), 943-952.

Padua, Luiz Henrique Resende de, Nascimento, Nilo de Oliveira, Silva, Francisco Eustaquio Oliveira e, & Alfonso, Leonardo. (2019). Analysis of the fluviometric network of Rio das Velhas using Entropy. RBRH, 24, e42. Epub October 17, 2019.https://dx.doi.org/10.1590/2318-0331.241920180188

Mazzoleni, M., Cortes Arevalo, V. J., Wehn, U., Alfonso, L., Norbiato, D., Monego, M., Ferri, M., and Solomatine, D. P.: Exploring the influence of citizen involvement on the assimilation of crowdsourced observations: a modelling study based on the 2013 flood event in the Bacchiglione catchment (Italy), Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 391-416, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-391-2018, 2018.

Mazzoleni, M., Noh, S. J., Lee, H., Liu, Y., Seo, D. J., Amaranto, A., Solomatine, D. P. (2018). Real-time assimilation of streamflow observations into a hydrological routing model: effects of model structures and updating methods. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 63(3), 386-407.

Henriksen, H. J., Roberts, M. J., van der Keur, P., Harjanne, A., Egilson, D., & Alfonso, L. (2018). Participatory early warning and monitoring systems: A Nordic framework for web-based flood risk management. International journal of disaster risk reduction, 31, 1295-1306.

Mazzoleni, M., Chacon-Hurtado, J., Noh, S. J., Seo, D. J., Alfonso, L., & Solomatine, D. (2018). Data Assimilation in Hydrologic Routing: Impact of Model Error and Sensor Placement on Flood Forecasting. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 23(6), 04018018.

Banik, Bijit Kumar, Leonardo Alfonso, Cristiana Di Cristo, Angelo Leopardi, and Arthur Mynett. (2017). 'Evaluation of Different Formulations to Optimally Locate Sensors in Sewer Systems', Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 143: 04017026.

Mazzoleni, Maurizio, Leonardo Alfonso, and Dimitri Solomatine. (2017). 'Influence of spatial distribution of sensors and observation accuracy on the assimilation of distributed streamflow data in hydrological modelling', Hydrological Sciences Journal, 62: 389-407.

Mazzoleni, Maurizio, Martin Verlaan, Leonardo Alfonso, Martina Monego, Daniele Norbiato, Miche Ferri, and Dimitri P. Solomatine. (2017). 'Can assimilation of crowdsourced data in hydrological modelling improve flood prediction?', Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 21: 839-61.

Chacon-Hurtado, J. C., L. Alfonso, and D. P. Solomatine. (2017). 'Rainfall and streamflow sensor network design: a review of applications, classification, and a proposed framework', Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21: 3071-91.

Botwe, Benjamin O., Leonardo Alfonso, Elvis Nyarko, and Piet N. L. Lens. (2017). 'Metal distribution and fractionation in surface sediments of coastal Tema Harbour (Ghana) and its ecological implications', Environmental Earth Sciences, 76: 514.

Mazzoleni, Maurizio, Martin Verlaan, Leonardo Alfonso, Martina Monego, Daniele Norbiato, Miche Ferri, and Dimitri P. Solomatine. (2017). 'Can assimilation of crowdsourced data in hydrological modelling improve flood prediction?', Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 21: 839-61.

Ridolfi, E., M. Rianna, G. Trani, L. Alfonso, G. Di Baldassarre, F. Napolitano, and F. Russo (2016), A new methodology to define homogeneous regions through an entropy based clustering method, Advances in Water Resources, 96, 237-250, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2016.07.007.

Alfonso, L., M. M. Mukolwe, and G. Di Baldassarre (2016), Probabilistic Flood Maps to support decision-making: Mapping the Value of Information, Water Resources Research, 52(2), 1026-1043,10.1002/2015WR017378.

Mazzoleni, M., L. Alfonso, J. Chacon-Hurtado, and D. Solomatine (2015), Assimilating uncertain, dynamic and intermittent streamflow observations in hydrological models, Advances in Water Resources, 83, 323-339

Velez, Carlos, Leonardo Alfonso, Arlex Sanchez, Alberto Galvis, and Gilberto Sepulveda. (2014). 'Centinela: an early warning system for the water quality of the Cauca River', Journal of Hydroinformatics, 16: 1409-24.

Alfonso, L., E. Ridolfi, et al. (2014). "Ensemble Entropy for Monitoring Network Design." Entropy 16(3): 1365-1375.

Ridolfi, E., L. Alfonso, G. Di Baldassarre, F. Dottori, F. Russo, and F. Napolitano (2013), An entropy approach for the optimization of cross-section spacing for river modelling, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 1-12.

Alfonso, L., L. He, A. Lobbrecht, and R. Price (2013), Information theory applied to evaluate the discharge monitoring network of the Magdalena River, Journal of Hydroinformatics, 15(1), 211-228.

Alfonso, L. and Price, R. (2012) Coupling hydrodynamic models and value of information for designing stage monitoring networks, Water Resources Research 48 (8), W08530

Jonoski, A., Alfonso, L., Almoraide, A., Popescu, I., van Andel, S., Vojinovic, Z. (2012) Mobile phone applications in the water domain. Environmental Engineering and Management Journal 11 (5, 2012), 919-930

Alfonso, L., Jonoski, A., and Solomatine, D. (2010). ”Multiobjective Optimization of Operational Responses for Contaminant Flushing in Water Distribution Networks.” J. Water Resour. Plann. Manage., 136(1), 48–58. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9496(2010)136:1(48)

Alfonso, L., A. Lobbrecht, and R. Price (2010), Optimization of water level monitoring network in polder systems using information theory, Water Resour. Res., 46, W12553.

Alfonso, L., A. Lobbrecht, and R. Price (2010), Information theory–based approach for location of monitoring water level gauges in polders, Water Resour. Res., 46, W03528

Latest conference papers

  • Corzo, C, Alfonso, L., Corzo G., Mocanu, I., Solomatine, D.,  A methodology for single and double-leak location in pressurised Water Distribution Networks using flowrate-dependent pressure residuals vectors. Water Distribution System Analysis Conference, WDSA, July 2022, Valencia, Spain
  • Seyoum, S., Alfonso, L., van Andel, S.J., Koole, W., Groenewegen, A., van de Giesen, N., (2016) A Shazam-like household water leakage detection method. Water Distribution System Analysis Conference, WDSA, July 2016, Cartagena, Colombia
  • Banik, B., L. Alfonso, A. Torres, A. Mynett, C. Di Cristo, and A. Leopardi (2015), Optimal placement of water quality monitoring stations in sewer systems: an information theory approach, Procedia Engineering, 119, 1308-1317
  • Alfonso, L., J. Chacon, and G. Pena-Castellanos (2015), Allowing Citizens to Effortlessly Become Rainfall Sensors, in 36th IAHR World Congress edited, The Hague, the Netherlands
  • Cortes-Arevalo, J., J. Chacon, L. Alfonso, and T. Bogaard (2015), Evaluating data quality collected by using a video rating scale to estimate and report rainfall intensity, in 36th IAHR World Congress edited, The Hague, the Netherlands

Other information

Honors & Awards

  • 2004 Watermill project fellowship, Dutch Government
  • Country Coordinator Award, 2019

External links with research profile

·         Google Scholar Profile

·         Follow me on Research Gate

·         ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8471-5876

·         Researcher ID: B-5164-2011

External links to projects

·         NAIADES - A holistic water ecosystem for digitisation of urban water sector

·         Evidence4Policy - Developing the evidence-base in support of water resources management policy in Colombia

·         GroundTruth2.0 - Environmental knowledge discovery of human sensed data

·         KidronNar - From conflict on wastewater management in the Kidron/Al-Nar basin towards sustainable development by decentralised local solutions for wastewater treatment and reuse

·         MaMaSe - Improving water safety and security in the Mara River Basin

·         WeSenseIt - A Citizen Observatory of Water

·         KULTURisk - Knowledge-based approach to develop a culture of risk prevention in Europe

·         Climate Adaptation Colombia - A tipping point analysis

·         Nuffic Refresher Curse for Latin American Alumni - Integrated River Basin Management under Climate Change (Bogota, 2015)

MSc thesis


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