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A framework for planning sustainable seawater desalination water supply

Shahabi, M.P., McHugh, A., Anda, M.ORCID: 0000-0001-7398-4192 and Ho, G.ORCID: 0000-0001-9190-8812 (2017) A framework for planning sustainable seawater desalination water supply. Science of The Total Environment, 575 . pp. 826-835.

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A quantitative framework for sustainable desalination planning in metropolitan areas, which integrates the tools of mixed integer linear programming and life cycle assessment, is presented. The life cycle optimisation framework allows for optimal desalination planning by considering choices over intake type, staging and location of the infrastructure under different land-use, environmental and economic policies. Optimality is defined by the decision maker's selected objective function, being either an environmental impact or a levelised cost indicator. The framework was tested for future desalination planning scenarios in the northern metropolitan area of Perth, Western Australia. Results indicate that multi-staged construction and decentralised planning solutions may produce lower life cycle environmental impacts (58%) and at a lower levelised cost (24%) than a centralised desalination solution currently being considered by Western Australian water planners. Sensitivity analysis results suggest that the better environmental and economic performance of decentralised planning over centralised planning is highly sensitive to the proportion of land that can be made available for the siting of decentralised plants near the demand zone. Insight into land use policies is a critical factor to the initiation and success of decentralised solution in developed metropolitan areas.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2016 Elsevier B.V.
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