Impacts of innovative WSUD intervention strategies

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July 12, 2015

Picture1It is not widely appreciated that innovative Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) intervention strategies can counter the negative effects of deteriorating water infrastructure and evolving urban areas. Deteriorating infrastructure is a problem for the majority of urban centres around Australia and is becoming more important as assets age, populations increase and urban centres expand. These problems generally result in diminishing asset performance and serviceability. This paper provides a discussion of infrastructure deterioration, including some of the specific physical causes of deterioration, and also contrasts current infrastructure practice with innovative WSUD approaches to mitigate the impacts of infrastructure deterioration.

A simple case study is presented to demonstrate how traditional infrastructure can be augmented with innovative WSUD approaches to provide significant improvements in the performance of traditional water infrastructure. The computer program PURRS has been used to simulate the effects of water demand management, wastewater reuse and rainwater tanks on mains water supply. This has been done by modelling the lot scale water balance and then determining the water supply characteristics.

A discussion on the potential benefits that may be obtained from the combined water cycle asset serviceability is provided which describes how lifecycle costs may be reduced and asset replacements deferred. This paper concludes that it is absolutely necessary to investigate the urban water cycle in a holistic and integrated way in order to provide more optimal outcomes to urban water cycle problems.

Impact of WSUD interventions

Dr Peter Coombes

Dr Coombes has spent more than 30 years dedicated to the development of systems understanding of the urban, rural and natural water cycles with a view to finding optimum solutions for the sustainable use of ecosystem services, provision of infrastructure and urban planning.

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