eWater CRC has released Urban Developer, a new tool to support Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM). Initially targeted at lot-to-cluster scale applications, it will ultimately allow urban water managers to compare options for integrated water management ranging in scale from the allotment to the suburb. It is now available in a free beta version.
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.
Urban Developer will let users examine, design and assess how a system based on water-sensitive design principles will operate. The modelling framework is equally applicable to brown and greenfield sites, and can also be used to explore issues such as urban renewal by enabling exploration of innovative service delivery strategies.
It also lets users see the relationship between inputs, outputs and amounts in store. It readily highlights the potential interactions of water supplies from reservoirs, stormwater, rainwater tanks and wastewater.
The program allows the user to play with the factors affecting individual blocks and streets and will ultimately extend to the suburb scale.
“We have built Urban Developer as an alternative to traditional planning, design and management methods,” says Product Leader Dr Matthew Hardy of BMT WBM Pty Ltd.
Hardy says until the release of Urban Developer there were few comprehensive models available that could be used to assess IUWM. There was a particular dearth of models capable of representing demand and supply relationships to any degree of detail.
If IUWM is to succeed practitioners must have access to tools like Urban Developer that can model and assess systems based on multiple and alternative service delivery strategies, he says.
Urban Developer joins the well-known music urban stormwater software in the eWater Toolkit.
While music addresses the water quality aspects of urban stormwater management, Urban Developer takes an integrated management approach to stormwater and provides support for the assessment of a broader range of options. The new Toolkit member can handle the required feedback loops and will ultimately evaluate water quantity and quality consideration in a single framework.
Why it’s a useful tool
Operators of Australia’s urban water systems are looking for security of supply to meet the challenges raised by growing populations, economic growth and changing climate. New systems must also be able to respond to future needs, as well as preserving environmental values of receiving waters.
The challenge in developing an integrated framework is capturing the different system drivers. Stormwater arise from rainfall and runoff processes, whereas consumer demand drives mains water supply and waste water generation. Integrating these elements and their aspects into a single program is complicated, but Hardy believes he and his fellow developers have succeeded.
“Unlike other models, Urban Developer is focussed on resource use, not just infrastructure,” he says. “Consumption, storage and reuse are the basic starting points, and from there we can examine options like resource substitution such as sewer mining, for example. Decisions about infrastructure are really the end point,” he says.
Urban Developer makes it possible to select alternatives that lead to maximum efficiency, simplifying policy decisions.
Urban Developer is built on internal hierarchies and networks. These make it possible to consider links directly, and to step easily from one scale to another–and from standard options to alternatives. The program makes it relatively simple to integrate scales and systems, and to explore relationships across scale and system boundaries. This allows the user to examine the available range of sources and sinks critically, and evaluate all possible internal loops and interactions.
Saving water is the overall aim, in an environment where competition for water is certain to continue to grow.
Key features of Urban Developer
• Conceptual and preliminary design tool that replaces current manual processes;
• Clearly represent all three urban water cycle services and the interaction inherent between them – potable, wastewater and stormwater;
• Deal with probabilistic demand and end-use simulation;
• Analyse models using either continuous rainfall and climate data over long periods or using design storm events;
• Integrate systems at a range of spatial scales;
• Explore the effects of rainwater harvesting; and
• Powerful capacity for upscaling and downscaling.
For further information contact:
[email protected] (02) 6201 2293.
eWater's mission is to be a national and international leader in the development and application of products for integrated water cycle management. eWater's technologies and knowledge boosts the ability of industry to make water management decisions that are cost-effective, transparent, and scientifically defendable.
Since September 2005 we’ve worked with key industry players to explore how the latest scientific knowledge can help solve some of Australia’s most challenging water resource management issues.
eWater CRC has evolved a suite of products and services that can give water managers confidence that the decisions they make are backed by solid scientific research. Many of these products are available now and more will be released over the next few months.
eWater's product portfolio is the output of a marriage between the knowledge of leading scientists in the Australian water sector with the experience of those at the frontline of Australia’s water management problems.
eWater's products and knowledge boost the ability of industry to make water management decisions that are cost-effective, integrated, and scientifically defendable. eWater is now focused on delivering new products and has released six in the past year.
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