Water balance modelling of alternate water sources at the household scale

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Alternate water sources are being implemented in urban areas to augment scheme water supplied by a water utility to homes. These sources include residential wells, rainwater tanks and greywater systems. Greater water efficiency can be achieved when these systems are designed to match a water source to a given demand based on both water quantity and quality parameters. In this way the use of an alternate water source can be maximised and the use of the high quality scheme water minimised. This paper examines the use of multiple alternate water sources sequentially to supply the same demand point potentially optimising the use of all available water sources. It also allows correct sizing of such water systems and their components to reduce scheme water demand. A decision support tool based on water balance modelling was developed that considers such water options at the household scale. Application of this tool to eight scenarios for both large and small house lots shows that using alternate water sources individually can result in significant scheme water savings. However by integrating these sources additional scheme water saving can be made.

Keywords: alternate water sources, modeling, urban water, water balance, water system design

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