Taking the pressure off reservoirs


View story in H20 Thinking

In most coastal cities, every time it rains the water goes down the drain and heads out to sea.  At the same time, the dam levels continue to struggle.

eWater CRC student Andrew Graddon is investigating how Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) can help companies and developers make better use of valuable rainwater.

Andrew is engaged in PhD research on the topic at the University of Newcastle, supervised by Professor George Kuczera and Dr Mark Thyer (School of Engineering) and Dr Matt Hardy (BMT WBM Pty Ltd, Melbourne), all of eWater CRC.

Andrew is a mathematician and computer programmer, so the aim of his PhD is to build a model of the urban water cycle up to the suburb scale. The model tracks how the inputs, storages and outputs of mains, stormwater and wastewater from suburban blocks are related so that overall savings can be readily calculated.

Andrew’s novel approach is to piggyback two software methods that up to now have focussed on separate ends of the urban water spectrum – individual houses and regional water supply networks. The result is a simulation method that can show how individual allotments, when grouped together into a decentralised water-sensitive network, can take the pressure off a central reservoir.