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Alternative Water Resources for Rural Residential Development in Western Australia


Rainwater collected from residential roofs and greywater generated from domestic uses except toilets are viewed as possible substitutes for high grade water sources which supply nonpotable indoor uses and irrigation in Australia. This paper searches for alternatives by adopting roofwater and greywater in residential envelope as per Australian water standards. A water balance model Aquacycle was applied to determine storage capacities and to evaluate the percentage reduction in water supplying, stormwater run-off and wastewater disposal, as well as volume of rainwater use and greywater reuse. This study provides the results of greywater recycling, which contributes to the greater saving of mains water supply than rainwater use, and which reduces more than half of the wastewater to receiving waters in the rural township of Cranbrook, Western Australia. The results of this study provide greywater usage (maximum reduction 32.5%) more significantly reduces scheme water supply than rainwater harvesting (maximum reduction 25.1%). Use of greywater on individual residential lots has the dramatic effect for drainage system by reduction approximately 54.1% or 88.1 m3/lot/year. The results of rainwater use analysis show explicitly that rainwater tanks are much more effective in intercepting roof runoff, with the maximum stormwater reduction 48.1% or 68.3 m3/lot/year. This research endeavours to offer a typical paradigm for an integrated water system in the rural residential sectors.

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Correspondence to Yan Zhang.

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Zhang, Y., Grant, A., Sharma, A. et al. Alternative Water Resources for Rural Residential Development in Western Australia. Water Resour Manage 24, 25–36 (2010).

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  • Rural residential development
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Greywater reuse
  • Integrated water management