This study provides a compelling argument for innovation in new land release areas that incorporates a precinct based infrastructure planning philosophy. The use of integrated systems analysis to examine water cycle management options allows an understanding of reduced requirement for infrastructure generated by different strategies. A wide range of options for providing water cycle management services for the Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Area were assessed against multi-criteria objectives for the project that included development of a green suburb and a range of community sustainability goals.
An integrated water cycle management that includes the use of rainwater tanks, water efficient appliances and gardens, and wastewater reuse from treatment plants located within the development area provided the greatest benefits. These benefits included a net present benefit, 75% reduction in mains water demand, 63% reduction in wastewater discharges to the ocean and the greatest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This strategy will also improve the security of water supplies in the Greater Geelong region allowing the avoidance or deferral of some local and regional augmentation strategies. Targets for reduction of mains water demands and sewerage discharges of 60% and 50% can be included the planning policies for new land release areas.