An Integrated Framework for Assessment of Hybrid Water Supply Systems
Urban water managers around the world are adopting decentralized water supply systems, often in combination with centralized systems. While increasing demand for water arising from population growth is one of the primary reasons for this increased adoption of alternative technologies, factors such as climate change, increased frequency of extreme weather events and rapid urbanization also contribute to an increased rate of adoption of these technologies. This combination of centralized-decentralized water systems approach is referred to as “hybrid water supply systems” and is based on the premise that the provision of alternative water sources at local scales can both extend the capacity of existing centralized water supply infrastructures, and improve resilience to variable climatic conditions. It is important to understand, however, that decentralized water production and reuse may change the flow and composition of wastewater and stormwater, thereby potentially also having negative impacts on its effectiveness and performance. This paper describes a framework to assess the interactions between decentralized water supply systems and existing centralized water servicing approaches using several analytical tools, including water balance modelling, contaminant balance modelling and multi-criteria decision analysis. The framework enables the evaluation of impacts due to change in quantity and quality of wastewater and stormwater on the existing centralized system arising from the implementation of hybrid water supply systems. The framework consists of two parts: (1) Physical system analysis for various potential scenarios and (2) Ranking of Scenarios. This paper includes the demonstration of the first part of the framework for an area of Melbourne, Australia by comparing centralized water supply scenario with a combination of centralized water supply and reuse of treated waste water supply scenario.