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Open AccessArticle

Impact of Hybrid Water Supply on the Centralised Water System

Unit of Environmental Engineering, University of Innsbruck, Technikerstr. 13, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Monash Infrastructure Research Institute, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Clayton VIC 3800, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2017, 9(11), 855;
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 31 October 2017 / Accepted: 1 November 2017 / Published: 4 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Water Cycle Modelling and Management)
Traditional (technical) concepts to ensure a reliable water supply, a safe handling of wastewater and flood protection are increasingly criticised as outdated and unsustainable. These so-called centralised urban water systems are further maladapted to upcoming challenges because of their long lifespan in combination with their short-sighted planning and design. A combination of (existing) centralised and decentralised infrastructure is expected to be more reliable and sustainable. However, the impact of increasing implementation of decentralised technologies on the local technical performance in sewer or water supply networks and the interaction with the urban form has rarely been addressed in the literature. In this work, an approach which couples the UrbanBEATS model for the planning of decentralised strategies together with a water supply modelling approach is developed and applied to a demonstration case. With this novel approach, critical but also favourable areas for such implementations can be identified. For example, low density areas, which have high potential for rainwater harvesting, can result in local water quality problems in the supply network when further reducing usually low pipe velocities in these areas. On the contrary, in high demand areas (e.g., high density urban forms) there is less effect of rainwater harvesting due to the limited available space. In these high density areas, water efficiency measures result in the highest savings in water volume, but do not cause significant problems in the technical performance of the potable water supply network. For a more generalised and case-independent conclusion, further analyses are performed for semi-virtual benchmark networks to answer the question of an appropriate representation of the water distribution system in a computational model for such an analysis. Inappropriate hydraulic model assumptions and characteristics were identified for the stated problem, which have more impact on the assessments than the decentralised measures. View Full-Text
Keywords: integrated system analysis; rain water harvesting; water quality analysis; UrbanBEATS; urban form integrated system analysis; rain water harvesting; water quality analysis; UrbanBEATS; urban form
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Sitzenfrei, R.; Zischg, J.; Sitzmann, M.; Bach, P.M. Impact of Hybrid Water Supply on the Centralised Water System. Water 2017, 9, 855.

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