Decentralised water reuse in Sydney, Australia: Drivers for implementation and energy consumption

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Environmental Engineering and Science, 2018, 13 (1), pp. 2 - 7
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© 2018 ICE Publishing all right reserved. Water recycling and reuse is becoming increasingly common throughout the world. The objective of this study was to compare five decentralised water recycling and reuse systems in Sydney, Australia, in terms of the drivers for their implementation and their ongoing energy consumption, allowing comparison to conventional water sources. The security of supply was found to be the main driver for four out of the five schemes. For the fifth scheme, the driver was to obtain a high environmental rating for the building it is located in. The analysis shows that water reuse can provide water at the same or less energy consumption compared to water supplied through the mains network. However, where the water recycling ethos of ‘fit for purpose’ is not considered, this can often lead to a significant overall increase in power consumption. This study highlights the need for regulatory bodies to consider a wider range of impacts when preparing guidelines and incentive schemes for water reuse. When the focus is too narrow, there is a risk that unintentional negative impacts such as increased power consumption and potential carbon dioxide emissions are the outcomes.
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