Presentation on theme: "Smartmetering to determine diurnal water use patterns Research partner: RedSkink Main issue: Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) options, particularly."— Presentation transcript:
Smartmetering to determine diurnal water use patterns Research partner: RedSkink Main issue: Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) options, particularly involving decentralised approaches (rainwater harvesting and wastewater reuse), have been poorly modeled in the past. Decentralised systems operate differently to large dams and monitoring water use at small time-steps (6 minutes) allows insight into allotment scale dynamics allowing refinement of any Integrated Water Cycle Management Plan. Main causes: Bulk metering unable to provide insight into the diurnal patterns of household water use. Research approaches Smartmetering of dwellings to identify diurnal water use patterns; Use of 6 minute time-steps to reveal detail; Application to urban water system design (using discrete peaks and peak hour demand determination); Research outcomes Rainwater tanks and wastewater reuse can reduce household water use by up to 75 %; Rainwater tanks are more resilient to climate change than large dams; Rainwater tanks and wastewater reuse offset the need for a new large dam in the Hunter until at least 2040; Contact: Dr Steven Lucas Steven.Lucas@newcastle.edu.au Prof. Tim Roberts: Tim.Roberts@newcastle.edu.auSteven.Lucas@newcastle.edu.auTim.Roberts@newcastle.edu.au Prepared by Dr Steven Lucas The Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment (TFI) http://www.newcastle.edu.au/research-centre/tfi/ The Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment can assist Industry, Councils and Planners in many ways including: Water management assessment/audits and advice on optimal solutions Smart metering of water systems (real-time monitoring) Water system modeling and scenario comparisons NATA accredited water analysis Environmental investigations Community engagement and workshops Source: Lucas and Coombes (2009) Relationship between rainfall, tank water level and water demand Note: Monitoring timesteps very important. Also, household water demand and connected roof area more important than tank size Introduction The Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment (TFI) promotes sustainable water management solutions. The TFI provides a research gateway for external partners to be involved in improving their water management through robust research and innovative approaches. Studies undertaken include both freshwater and marine environments. Examples of research undertaken at the TFI include: Investigating contaminant export to Tilligerry Estuary NSW Research partner: Port Stephens Council Main issue: Faecal contamination impacting on oyster quality. Main causes: Contamination suspected to originate from septic tank systems in the area. Research approaches Use of source-tracking techniques including faecal sterols, E.Coli and nutrients; Real-time monitoring of groundwater, rainfall and drain water levels; Event-based water quality sampling/analysis; Estuary modeling (salinity) Research outcomes Water quality in Tilligerry Estuary influenced by tides, rainfall and landuse; Constructed drains in residential areas bordering Tilligerry Estuary are subject to tidal excursion; The hydrologic connection between septic tanks and the estuary was confirmed, however; Sterol analysis found that faecal contamination was primarily sourced from herbivores (cows, horses, etc) during this period. Figure 2 Source: BMT WBM Potential leaching of coal trace elements to seawater Research partner: Xstrata Coal and Introspec Consulting Main issue: Concern that coal saturated with seawater will leach trace elements to the environment. Main cause: The grounding of the coal bulk-carrier ‘Shen Neng’ on Douglas Shoal (Great Barrier Reef). Research approaches Laboratory leaching tests and flotation tests; Particle sizing; Seawater analysis using ICP-MS; Research outcomes Minimal leaching of coal trace elements to seawater (except for Mn); More research required for a range of coal types The potential health implications of coal dust in rainwater Research partner: Xstrata Coal and Introspec Consulting Main issue: Concern that trace elements in coal dust may leach into harvested rainwater after being deposited on the roof. Main cause: Close proximity to coal loading facilities. Research approaches Monitoring and analysis of both rainwater from several tanks and the supplied town water; Leaching tests undertaken on many coal types in the area Water analysis using ICP-MS; Research outcomes Minimal leaching of coal trace elements to rainwater in the tank; Zn, Pb and Cd (in trace concentrations) removed from rainwater in the tank (by coal dust itself) Due to very low trace element concentrations there are negligible health impacts from ingesting harvested rainwater containing coal dust.