Urban Developer available now!

Tuesday 5 July 2011

eWater's next generation software tool for urban water management, Urban Developer, is available for download now!

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Saving water by modelling human behaviour

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How many showers would the members of a given household or street have in any one week; how long would those showers last; and how much water would they typically consume? How many times would those householders flush the toilet in an hour or a day, and how much water would their washing machines and other water-using appliances consume?

How does the equation change as people in the house or street adopt water-efficient appliances, or if architects, builders and developers installed more rainwater or greywater tanks and moved us away from the mains?

These are the sorts of questions urban planners, managers and designers in the urban water sector grapple with every day.

Now eWater CRC has achieved a major breakthrough by developing a software product for Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) that allows users to simulate the way human behaviour impacts household water use.

As the Productivity Commission urges reform on a highly stressed urban water sector, eWater has launched Urban Developer, a new tool to support Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM), after a beta testing period. The product was launched at Singapore Water Week this week.

Traditional models of the urban water system rely on users to specify water demand. Urban Developer offers a major step forward, with the incorporation of a demand estimation component – the Behavioural End-use Stochastic Simulator (BESS) – developed by Mark Thyer, a senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide, and colleagues.

BESS can estimate an individual household’s use of common household water-using appliances at the individual household scale at sub-daily time steps (hour or minute). In the near future it will also model the way weather affects outdoor water use.

“Urban water use is changing,” Thyer says. “Smart-metering and other detailed water use monitoring projects are continually improving our understanding of urban water use. The benefit of the BESS framework is that it will enable users of Urban Developer to estimate the impact on demand at the household scale of changes in uptake of water efficient appliances and household occupancy.”

“It will also allow users to model the impact of substituting mains water for alternative sources like rainwater tanks or greywater re-use for individual household end-uses (washing machine, toilet, gardening etc.).

Fully suited to international conditions, Urban Developer allows urban water managers to compare options for integrated water management from lot-to-cluster scale.

“Urban Developer offers a game changing capability to be able to model rigorously the whole urban water cycle,” says Tony McAlister, managing director BMT WBM Pty Ltd. “For the first time, users can make decisions based on all elements of the urban water cycle (stormwater, wastewater and potable water) taking consideration of a wide range of potential management intervention factors including reuse, alternative sources of supply, water efficient appliances, etc. It allows users to simulate and evaluate a wide range of potential integrated urban water management strategies which we know are so important to creating the sustainable cities of the future.”

The next generation software tool incorporates all three urban water cycle services – potable, waste and stormwater – within a single framework. It can simulate demand and supply interactions at sub-daily time scales, and can deal with catchment rainfall-runoff responses at a range of scales.

Read more about Urban Developer.

Media contact

Gareth Lloyd, +61 2 6201 5074 or email gareth.lloyd@ewater.com.au