Assessing the combined benefits of water recycling technologies by modelling the total urban water cycle

E. Rozos, and C. Makropoulos, Assessing the combined benefits of water recycling technologies by modelling the total urban water cycle, Urban Water Journal, 9 (1), doi:10.1080/1573062X.2011.630096, February 2012.



This study investigates the potential benefits of new technologies, modern appliance, and innovative techniques that help to improve the performance of the urban water cycle. Urbanisation is a major source of additional pressures (both qualitative and quantitative) on the environment. For example abstractions to cover the increased demands for water supply or alterations of the topographic and geomorphologic properties of the land cover result in considerable changes to the dynamics of the hydrosystem (change of average and maximum values of flows). Sustainable, water-aware technologies, like SUstainable Drainage Systems (SUDS) and rainwater harvesting schemes, can be implemented to reduce these adverse effects. These technologies introduce interactions between the components of the urban water cycle. Rainwater harvesting for example, apart from the potable water demand reduction, may have significant influence on the generated runoff. Consequently, an integrated modelling of the urban water cycle is necessary for the simulation of the water-aware technologies and the identification of their combined benefits. In this study, two hypothetical developments implement rainwater harvesting schemes and SUDS, and are simulated using the Urban Water Optioneering Tool (UWOT), which is able of using rainfall time series of arbitrary time step. The two hypothetical developments were studied to investigate the contribution of the water-aware technologies to the minimisation of the environmental pressures. Significantly different urban density was assigned to these developments to highlight the influence of urban density on the efficiency and reliability of the water-aware technologies. The results indicate that: (a) water-saving schemes like rainwater harvesting and greywater treatment can reduce significantly the pressures of new developments (e.g. reduction of potable water demand by 27%); (b) the reliability of the water-aware technologies decreases with urban density; (c) if localised rainwater harvesting is implemented then the efficiency of the water appliances influences considerably the generated runoff.

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Our works referenced by this work:

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Our works that reference this work:

1. E. Rozos, and C. Makropoulos, Source to tap urban water cycle modelling, Environmental Modelling and Software, 41, 139–150, doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2012.11.015, Elsevier, 1 March 2013.
2. P. Kossieris, Panayiotakis, K. Tzouka, E. Rozos, and C. Makropoulos, An e-Learning approach for improving household water efficiency, Procedia Engineering, WDSA 2014, Bari, Italy, Water Distribution Systems Analysis, 2014.
3. D. Bouziotas, E. Rozos, and C. Makropoulos, Water and the City: Exploring links between urban growth and water demand management., Journal of Hydroinformatics, 17 (2), doi:10.2166/hydro.2014.053, 2015.
4. D. Nikolopoulos, H. J. van Alphen, D. Vries, L. Palmen, S. Koop, P. van Thienen, G. Medema, and C. Makropoulos, Tackling the “new normal”: A resilience assessment method applied to real-world urban water systems, Water, 11 (2), 330, doi:10.3390/w11020330, 2019.