Evaluation Methods for Evidence-based Total Water Cycle Management and Planning
The South East Queensland Regional Plan required the development of sub-regional and local government Total Water Cycle Management (TWCM) plans by July 2012. These plans had to consider the capture and use of local water supply sources as well as potential environmental implications. Robust and rigorous evaluation of the costs and benefits of these plans to support decision making is a challenge. Because the urban water cycle interacts in many ways with related flows of nutrients, energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, there are broad repercussions for water cycle management. The aim of this project was to provide guidance on selected systems analysis methods for the quantitative assessment of water supply options. Due to its integrating nature, this project had strong connections to many other Alliance projects. Additionally, a collaborative approach with the Qld Healthy Waterways Partnership was adopted. The project built on research undertaken in the Life Cycle Analysis and Integrated Modelling Project initiated in 2007-08.
This project focused on testing and demonstrating six analysis methods at the sub-regional and regional scales. These methods included (1) life cycle, (2) total water cycle, (3) extended cost-effectiveness, (4) multi-objective optimisation, (5) Bayesian networks and (6) energy analyses. Overarching questions asked how can these methods they be improved, refined, applied and adapted in a TWCM planning framework? What are the possible data exchanges required? Can some methods be combined to provide better outcomes than using them individually? More specifically it sought to answer:
- How can energy consumption of an urban water system be quantified?
- How can a wide range of environmental impacts of options be quantified and normalised?
- What is the value of impacts, including externalities, reported in the international literature?
- How can the most cost-effective options be identified for a given objective?
- How can the most efficient water options be identified in the TWCM planning context?
- What are the associated computational challenges?
- How can explicit consideration of uncertainty and reliability in data and methods be taken into account? Does Bayesian Networks based method provide an improvement over simple multi-criteria decision analysis methods?
Key Publications and Outputs
- Technical Reports 61, 81, 85, 86, 88, 92, 97 100, 101, 104, 107 and 108 relate to diversity analysis of influence of water management on water balances related impacts
- Conference papers listed on the Alliance website
- Proceedings of the Alliance Science Forums
A number of related publications (particularly on energy, carbon and life-cycle implications of urban water management) were also produced in the Life-Cycle Analysis and Integrated Modelling project and are listed for that project.
Workshop, 19 November 2012, Program and Presentations
Workshop, 5 December 2012, Program and Presentations
Dr Shiroma Maheepala, CSIRO