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End-user cost-benefit prioritization for selecting rainwater harvesting and greywater reuse in social housing



Sarah Ward

Jose Gabriel Mendoza

Edgar Ricardo


© 2017 by the authors. Rainwater harvesting (RWH) and greywater reuse (GWR) are increasingly being considered at the building-level to achieve multiple goals. Cost-benefit assessments facilitate decision-making; however, most are focused on large-scale systems with limited information available for households from developing countries. To better understand the prioritization of costs and benefits by potential end-users in this context, this paper presents an assessment of an RWH/GWR system in low income, low consumption households in a social housing development in Colombia. From an initial household consultation, preferences related to the use of RWH/GWR were identified and three alternatives were proposed and designed. In a follow-up consultation, potential end-users were engaged with the cost-benefit of the proposed alternatives. Potential end-users prioritized the selection of the system with potable water savings of 25%, a payback period of 30 years, an internal return rate of 4.7%, and a Benefit/Cost ratio of 1.3. Of the three alternatives, this system had the median payback period, highest investment, and highest maintenance cost, but also the highest volumetric water saving and highest water and sewerage bill savings. In contrast to findings from developed countries, this indicates that minimising the cost may not be the primary decision making criteria in some developing country contexts, where perhaps a greater value is placed on conserving water resources.


Domínguez, I., Ward, S., Mendoza, J. G., Rincón, C. I., & Oviedo-Ocaña, E. R. (2017). End-user cost-benefit prioritization for selecting rainwater harvesting and greywater reuse in social housing. Water, 9(7), 516.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 6, 2017
Publication Date Jul 12, 2017
Journal Water (Switzerland)
Electronic ISSN 2073-4441
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 7
Pages 516
Keywords financial feasibility, greywater, prioritization, rainwater, social housing
Public URL
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