This paper presents a framework for the matching industry clusters to appropriate alternative water sources using an eco-industrial approach. Alternative water sources are increasingly being considered in new industrial developments to reduce demand on potable supply and improve sustainability performance. The suitability of alternative water sources for industrial development is influenced both by the demand profile of the industrial tenants and the limitations and opportunities presented by the local environment. This paper demonstrates an approach that integrates the principals of industrial ecology for considering the feasibility of alternative water services in a new industrial estate. The application of industrial ecology principles takes a site specific approach that considers the opportunities and limitations offered by the local environment and existing regional industries in moving towards sustainable water services. Industrial ecology facilitates opportunities for planning symbiosis between industries through by-product exchange, water cascading and cooperative infrastructure. The framework was applied to a new industrial development in Melbourne, Australia; with the assessment of alternative water sources part of a larger project that had the purpose of identifying regional by-product synergies based on materials, energy and water exchanges between businesses. The feasibility assessment detailed demonstrates that suitability of alternative water sources varies depending on the industry water demand profile. The paper demonstrates that the application of industrial ecology principles can be used to consider the feasibility of alternative water sources based on the regional context and the demand profile of industries locating to an eco-industrial park.
Keywords: alternative water services, eco-industrial parks, industrial ecology, rainwater harvesting, sustainable development, water recycling