Development of a water cycle management approach to Sponge City construction in Xi'an, China

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Journal Article
Science of the Total Environment, 2019, 685 pp. 490 - 496
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© 2019 In recent years, climate change, population growth, and inefficient use of water have exacerbated the water resources scarcity problems around the world. Hence, this paper establishes a new approach of Sponge City construction (SCC) based on water cycle management (WCM) for the sustainable exploitation of groundwater, recycled wastewater and rainwater in the Xi'an Siyuan University. The University is located in an isolated area that is far away from the city center so that no centralized water supply system could be utilized. To mitigate water scarcity problems in the University, 39% of the annual rainfall is harvested and stored from impervious surfaces and grasslands by using the Curve Number (CN) method. This stored water is reused for non-potable purposes: 40% for toilet flushing and 60% as miscellaneous water. According to findings, the available rainwater of500–700 m3/d accounts for 16–23% of the non-potable water from April to December. Moreover, the utilization rate of water resources increases from 204% to 227%. With the minimum volume of large-scale rainwater harvesting cistern of 52,760 m3, the environment could be adequately watered while improving the expansion and development conditions on the campus. Furthermore, water scarcity problems could be mitigated through optimization of the water resources utilization system. This study demonstrates that this new approach of SCC based on WCM could alleviate water resources scarcity problems in Xi'an Siyuan University effectively. It is hoped that this study will provide a model and example of the new approach for future applications.
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