Leonardo Alfonso Segura Dr.

Senior Lecturer in Hydroinformatics


Leonardo Alfonso is a Civil Engineer of the National University of Colombia. 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 and a PhD degree in the same field from UNESCO-IHE / TU Delft. He is currently participating in a number of European-funded research projects under the Seventh Framework Programme and in several capacity-building projects under the Colombia-Holland Water Alliance. His teaching activities include ICT, Operational Water Management, Software for model integration and Matlab.

Research Interests

Dr. Alfonso's 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 dinamic, 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 and rural 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.

Teaching Experience

Leonardo has several years of teaching experience that combines well with his practical experience in the field. He completed a pedagogical training on University Teaching Qualification by Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). He has supervised a number of MSc students and PhD students on diverse water-related topics. His main teaching tasks include Information and Communication Technology, Real-time Control of Water Systems, Software for model integration and Matlab.

Main Activities

  • Initiator of international multidisciplinary research EC FP7 project WeSenseIt (14 partners from 7 countries) on developing a citizen observatory of water
  • Involved in the H2020 Citizen Observatories project GroundTruth2.0 (led by UNESCO-IHE)
  • Currently participanting in EU-FP7 Waternomics project and Mau Mara Serengueti (MaMaSe) project.
  • Currently involved in Colombian water and capacity building projects, including the Colombia-Netherlands Academic Research Partnership.
  • Participating in DUPC2 projects KidronNar, Evidence4Policy and Multistor.

Honors & Awards

2004 Watermill project fellowship, Dutch Government


  • Alfonso, L., M. M. Mukolwe, and G. Di Baldassarre (2016), Probabilistic Flood Maps to support decision-making: Mapping the Value of Information, Water Resour. Res., 52, 1026–1043, doi:10.1002/2015WR017378 (downloadable at ResearchGate)

    Jeuken, A., L. Bouaziz, G. Corzo, and L. Alfonso (2016), Analyzing Needs for Climate Change Adaptation in the Magdalena River Basin in Colombia, in Climate Change Adaptation, Resilience and Hazards, edited by W. Leal, H. Musa, G. Cavan, P. O'Hare and J. Seixas, pp. 329-344, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland,10.1007/978-3-319-39880-8.

  • Mazzoleni, M., L. Alfonso, and D. Solomatine (2016), Influence of spatial distribution of sensors and observation accuracy on the assimilation of distributed streamflow data in hydrological modelling, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 1-19,10.1080/02626667.2016.1247211.

  • 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., and M. Tefferi (2015), Effects of Uncertain Control in Transport of Water in a River-Wetland System of the Low Magdalena River, Colombia, in Transport of Water versus Transport over Water, edited by C. Ocampo-Martinez and R. R. Negenborn, pp. 131-144, Springer International Publishing,10.1007/978-3-319-16133-4_8

  • 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,http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2015.07.004.

  • Velez, C, Alfonso, L., Sanchez, A., Galvis, A., Sepulveda, G. (2014) Centinela: an early warning system for the water quality of the Cauca River. Journal of Hydroinformatics Vol 16 No 6 pp 1409–1424 © IWA Publishing 2014 doi:10.2166/hydro.2014.127

  • Ridolfi, E., L. Alfonso, G. Di Baldassarre, F. Dottori, F. Russo, and F. Napolitano (2014), An entropy approach for the optimization of cross-section spacing for river modelling, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 59(1), 126-137

  • Alfonso, L., E. Ridolfi, S. Gaytan-Aguilar, F. Napolitano, and F. Russo (2014), Ensemble Entropy for Monitoring Network Design, Entropy, 16(3), 1365-1375

  • Jonoski, A,. Alfonso, L., Almoradie, A., Popescu, I., van Andel, S., Vojinovic, Z., (2012) Mobile Phone Applications in the Water Domain, Environmental Engineering and Management Journal, Vol.11, No. 5                                    

  • Alfonso, L., He, L., Lobbrecht, A., Price, R., (2012) Information Theory Applied to Evaluate the Discharge Monitoring Network of the Magdalena River. Journal of Hydroinformatics In Press, Uncorrected Proof. IWA Publishing 2012, doi:10.2166/hydro.2012.066

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

  • Alfonso, J. L., Jonoski, A., and Solomatine, D. P. (2010a). "Multiobjective Optimization of Operational Responses for Contaminant Flushing in Water Distribution Networks." Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 136(1), 48-58

  • Alfonso, L., Lobbrecht, A., and Price, R. (2010b). "Information theory-based approach for location of monitoring water level gauges in polders." Water Resources Research, VOL. 46, W03528, 14 PP., 2010 doi:10.1029/2009WR008101

  • Alfonso, L., Lobbrecht, A., and Price, R. (2010c). "Optimization of Water Level Monitoring Network in Polder Systems Using Information Theory" Water Resources Research, VOL. 46, W12553, 13 PP., 2010 doi:10.1029/2009WR008953

Latest conference papers

  • 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