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Type: Journal article
Title: Multiobjective optimization of cluster-scale urban water systems investigating alternative water sources and level of decentralization
Author: Newman, J.
Dandy, G.
Maier, H.
Citation: Water Resources Research, 2014; 50(10):7915-7938
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 0043-1397
Statement of
J. P. Newman, G. C. Dandy, and H. R. Maier
Abstract: In many regions, conventional water supplies are unable to meet projected consumer demand. Consequently, interest has arisen in integrated urban water systems, which involve the reclamation or harvesting of alternative, localized water sources. However, this makes the planning and design of water infrastructure more difficult, as multiple objectives need to be considered, water sources need to be selected from a number of alternatives, and end uses of these sources need to be specified. In addition, the scale at which each treatment, collection, and distribution network should operate needs to be investigated. In order to deal with this complexity, a framework for planning and designing water infrastructure taking into account integrated urban water management principles is presented in this paper and applied to a rural greenfield development. Various options for water supply, and the scale at which they operate were investigated in order to determine the life-cycle trade-offs between water savings, cost, and GHG emissions as calculated from models calibrated using Australian data. The decision space includes the choice of water sources, storage tanks, treatment facilities, and pipes for water conveyance. For each water system analyzed, infrastructure components were sized using multiobjective genetic algorithms. The results indicate that local water sources are competitive in terms of cost and GHG emissions, and can reduce demand on the potable system by as much as 54%. Economies of scale in treatment dominated the diseconomies of scale in collection and distribution of water. Therefore, water systems that connect large clusters of households tend to be more cost efficient and have lower GHG emissions. In addition, water systems that recycle wastewater tended to perform better than systems that captured roof-runoff. Through these results, the framework was shown to be effective at identifying near optimal trade-offs between competing objectives, thereby enabling informed decisions to be made when planning water systems for greenfield developments.
Rights: © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
DOI: 10.1002/2013WR015233
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Civil and Environmental Engineering publications

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