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An analysis of the effectiveness of mains water reduction strategies in a medium density residential development in metropolitan Perth

Wheeler, Tom (2019) An analysis of the effectiveness of mains water reduction strategies in a medium density residential development in metropolitan Perth. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

This thesis reviews and quantifies the implementation of mains water reduction strategies in a medium density residential development in a city with a drying climate. WGV by DevelopmentWA (WGV) is a 2.2-hectare infill development in the Fremantle suburb White Gum Valley, Perth, Australia. WGV incorporates a number of mains water reduction strategies including water efficiencies, conservation and alternative sources.

This thesis investigates the implementation of these mains water reduction strategies, providing understanding on the impact of the strategies for residents living in the development. Over 60 smart meters were installed at the site to record data on mains, bore and rain water consumption for three dwelling typologies including:

- Detached dwellings: Assumed occupancy of 2.8 people per dwelling with an average of 105m2 per person with no common walls between dwellings.
- Attached dwellings: Assumed occupancy of 2.8 people per dwelling with an average area of 45m2 per person with common walls between dwellings.
- Multi-residential (Apartment) dwellings: Assumed occupancy of 1.8 people per dwelling with an average area of 55m2 per person.

The results demonstrated that residents living in WGV reduce their total water consumption by 48% whilst reducing their mains water consumption by approximately 64% in comparison to the typical Perth home. This is an 8% difference to the preliminary modelling completed by Josh Byrne & Associates (JBA) which predicted a mains water savings of 72%.

Attached dwelling residents were the lowest mains water consumers, using 20kL/person of mains water per year (81% reduction on Perth average) whilst Apartment residents consume 32kL per year (70% reduction) and Detached residents consume 52kL per year (51% reduction).

The thesis also found that the community bore system had been implemented successfully. Direct on-site infiltration was determined to be greater than the groundwater abstraction rate, leading to the conclusion that the community bore at WGV is sustainably managed.

Future policy implications following this study should include industry and governmental agencies investigating the implementation of small-scale decentralised alternative water sources and the water efficiencies and conservation strategies presented in this thesis.

A number of further studies are recommended including a detailed analysis of the Design Guidelines provided to residents by Development WA to further understand the large variation in water consumption levels of resident living within the WGV precinct. This study would include household audits and surveys with residents to provide a breakdown of the effectiveness of each water reduction initiative implemented to better understand the influence of the Design Guidelines.

Overall, WGV has been successful at reducing its mains water consumption by 64% which is within 10% of the predicted savings in the preliminary modelling completed by JBA.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: Engineering and Energy
United Nations SDGs: Goal 13: Climate Action
Supervisor(s): Anda, Martin, Dallas, Stewart, Byrne, J. and Taylor, M.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/54832
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