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Modelling the future impacts of urban spatial planning on the viability of alternative water supply

Hargreaves, Anthony J.; Farmani, Raziyeh; Ward, Sarah; Butler, David


Anthony J. Hargreaves

Raziyeh Farmani

Dr Sarah Ward
Associate Professor in Community Resilience (within CWCR)

David Butler


Greywater recycling and rainwater harvesting have the potential to increase the resilience of water management and reduce the need for investment in conventional water supply schemes. However, their water-savings would partly depend on the location and built-form of urban development and hence its household sizes and rainwater per dwelling. We have therefore tested how spatial planning options would affect the future viability of alternative water supply in the Greater South East of England. Our integrated modelling framework, for the first time, forecasts the future densities and variability of built-form to provide inputs to the modelling of alternative water supply. We show that using projections of the existing housing stock would have been unsound, and that using standard dwelling types and household sizes would have substantially overestimated the water-savings, by not fully representing how the variability in dwelling dimensions and household-sizes would affect the cost effectiveness of these systems. We compare the spatial planning trend over a 30 year period with either compaction at higher densities within existing urban boundaries, or market-led more dispersed development. We show how the viability of alternative water supply would differ between these three spatial planning options. The water-savings of rainwater harvesting would vary greatly at a regional scale depending on residential densities and rainfall. Greywater recycling would be less affected by spatial planning but would have a finer balance between system costs and water-savings and its feasibility would vary locally depending on household sizes and water efficiency. The sensitivity of the water savings to differences in rainfall and water prices would vary with residential density. The findings suggest that forecasts of residential densities, rainfall and the water price could be used in conjunction with more detailed local studies to indicate how spatial planning would affect the future water saving potential of alternative water supply.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 1, 2019
Journal Water Research
Print ISSN 0043-1354
Electronic ISSN 1879-2448
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 162
Pages 200-213
APA6 Citation Hargreaves, A. J., Farmani, R., Ward, S., & Butler, D. (2019). Modelling the future impacts of urban spatial planning on the viability of alternative water supply. Water Research, 162, 200-213.
Keywords Ecological Modelling; Waste Management and Disposal; Pollution; Water Science and Technology
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