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Water Res ; 188: 116477, 2021 Jan 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33137527


Historically, little consideration has been given to water performance of urban developments such as "hydrological naturalness" or "local water self-sufficiency". This has led to problems with increased stormwater runoff, flooding, and lack of local contributions to urban water security. Architectural design, water servicing technologies and environmental conditions are each known to influence water performance. However, most existing models have overlooked the integration of these factors. In this work, we asked 'how the water performance of urban developments at site-scale can be quantified, with joint consideration of architectural design, water servicing technologies, and environmental context (i.e. climate and soil)'. Answering this question led to the development of a new method and tool called Site-scale Urban Water Mass Balance Assessment (SUWMBA). It uses a daily urban water mass balance to simulate design-technology-environment configurations. Key features include: (i) a three-dimensional boundary focussed on the "entity" of development (ii) a comprehensive water balance accounting for all urban water flows, (iii) methods that include key variables capturing the interactions of natural, built-environment and socio-technological systems on water performance. SUWMBA's capabilities were demonstrated through an evaluation of a residential infill development case study with alternative design-technology-environment configurations, combining three dwelling designs, seven water technologies and three environmental contexts. The evaluation showed how a configuration can be identified that strikes a balance between the conflicting objectives of achieving the desired dwelling densities whilst simultaneously improving water performance. For two climate zones, the optimal configuration increases the total number of residents by 300% while reducing the imported water per capita and stormwater discharge by 45% and 15%, respectively. We infer that SUWMBA could have strong potential to contribute to performance-based urban design and planning by enabling the water performance of dwelling designs to be quantified, and by facilitating the setting of locally-specific water performance objectives and targets.

Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Abastecimento de Água , Cidades , Hidrologia , Chuva , Tecnologia , Água
Water Res ; 137: 395-406, 2018 06 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29544822


Water sensitive interventions are being promoted to reduce the adverse impacts of urban development on natural water cycles. However it is currently difficult to know the best strategy for their implementation because current and desired urban water performance is not well quantified. This is particularly at the city-region scale, which is important for strategic urban planning. This work aimed to fill this gap by quantifying the water performance of urban systems within city-regions using 'urban water metabolism' evaluation, to inform decisions about water sensitive interventions. To do this we adapted an existing evaluation framework with new methods. In particular, we used land use data for defining system boundaries, and for estimating natural hydrological flows. The criteria for gauging the water performance were water efficiency (in terms of water extracted externally) and hydrological performance (how much natural hydrological flows have changed relative to a nominated pre-urbanised state). We compared these performance criteria for urban systems within three Australian city-regions (South East Queensland, Melbourne and Perth metropolitan areas), under current conditions, and after implementation of example water sensitive interventions (demand management, rainwater/stormwater harvesting, wastewater recycling and increasing perviousness). The respective water efficiencies were found to be 79, 90 and 133 kL/capita/yr. In relation to hydrological performance, stormwater runoff relative to pre-urbanised flows was of most note, estimated to be 2-, 6- and 3- fold, respectively. The estimated performance benefits from water sensitive interventions suggested different priorities for each region, and that combined implementation of a range of interventions may be necessary to make substantive gains in performance. We concluded that the framework is suited to initial screening of the type and scale of water sensitive interventions needed to achieve desired water performance objectives.

Cidades , Hidrologia/métodos , Ciclo Hidrológico , Austrália , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Chuva , Reciclagem , Urbanização , Águas Residuárias , Abastecimento de Água
Water Res ; 106: 415-428, 2016 Dec 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27750130


Urban areas will need to pursue new water servicing options to ensure local supply security. Decisions about how best to employ them are not straightforward due to multiple considerations and the potential for problem shifting among them. We hypothesise that urban water metabolism evaluation based a water mass balance can help address this, and explore the utility of this perspective and the new insights it provides about water servicing options. Using a water mass balance evaluation framework, which considers direct urban water flows (both 'natural' hydrological and 'anthropogenic' flows), as well as water-related energy, we evaluated how the use of alternative water sources (stormwater/rainwater harvesting, wastewater/greywater recycling) at different scales influences the 'local water metabolism' of a case study urban development. New indicators were devised to represent the water-related 'resource efficiency' and 'hydrological performance' of the urban area. The new insights gained were the extent to which alternative water supplies influence the water efficiency and hydrological performance of the urban area, and the potential energy trade-offs. The novel contribution is the development of new indicators of urban water resource performance that bring together considerations of both the 'anthropogenic' and 'natural' water cycles, and the interactions between them. These are used for the first time to test alternative water servicing scenarios, and to provide a new perspective to complement broader sustainability assessments of urban water.

Abastecimento de Água , Água , Cidades , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Reciclagem , Águas Residuárias , Recursos Hídricos