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Planning researchers to conduct sustainable water system study

Thursday, 01 March 2012

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During March 2012, Mr Raju Dhakal and Professor Geoff Syme from ECU’s Centre for Planning will conduct research to better understand the impact that sustainable water supply systems have on the communities who use them.

The research will be undertaken in Brighton, where they will assess community satisfaction with an innovative dual water supply system in place there. Houses in the area are linked to the dual system, which provides safe drinking water to the home, and also non-drinkable supply to the garden and lawn from a bore. The design is intended to encourage sustainable water use.

Through a series of homeowner surveys in Brighton and neighbouring Ridgewood, Mr Dhakal and Professor Syme hope to judge the project’s effectiveness straight from the source. By establishing the level of satisfaction local residents have with the system, they also hope to gain insight into the wider views on water usage in the area. The research will form the basis of recommendations for water supply design in future developments in Perth.

The project is part of the research for Mr Dhakal’s PhD thesis, ‘Evaluating residential satisfaction of an innovative dual water supply system and water sensitive urban design’.

“Over a period of 30 years, pressures on water resources have increased due to population growth and climate change, widening the gap between water demand and supply. Traditional water supply systems are deemed to be insufficient to meet the gap. Therefore, urban planners are considering alternative systems for sustainable water resource management,” said Mr Dhakal.

"The collaboration between the Water Corporation and Satterley with the development at Brighton represents a significant change in the design of water supply to suburbs, as it is the first time in WA that a community level dual water supply system has been implemented.

"It is important to establish the effectiveness of the project in regards to the suburban landscape, but also from the household viewpoint. Community perceptions of alternative water systems are not yet well understood, but could be key to the long-term development of water-conscious urban design."

The results of the research will be publicly available mid-2012.

More information

For more information on the research project, contact Professor Geoff Syme.

Phone: (61 8) 6304 2154
Email: g.syme@ecu.edu.au

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