Darwin residential end use pilot study

Seccull, Christopher (2011) Darwin residential end use pilot study. [USQ Project]


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Rapid urban development and climate change are contributing to an increased risk and security of supply to the Darwin Water Supply System. Annual water consumption in Darwin
is well above the national average. End-use measurement is an essential input into the development and assessment of supply side strategies and demand management initiatives.

The Darwin Residential End Use Pilot Study seeks to provide an insight into where, when and how much water is used in residential households in Darwin. High resolution water meters and data loggers were installed on a sample of 10 households. Data loggers recorded water consumption every 10 seconds over a 6 week logging interval. Special purpose Trace Wizard software was used to disaggregate consumption in end uses such as showers, clothes washing, irrigation etc. The study commences during the dry (summer) period which coincides with peak water consumption.

Average daily household consumption across 8 households was 1878.1 L/hh/d with an average per capita consumption of 747.2 L/c/d. Two of the households were omitted from
the study due to data logger failures and statistical relevance. Approximately 77 % of overall consumption was directed to outdoor uses and 23 % to indoor uses. Water consumption was highly skewed towards the highest water users.

Average per capita indoor consumption was disagreggrated into showers (36.5 %), clothes washing (20.6 %), leakage (15.9 %), toilets (13.5 %), faucets (12.5 %) and dishwasher (1 %). Indoor consumption showed minimal variation from studies in other regions. The study supports the use AMR systems to identify leakage during night time flows.

Irrigated areas for each household were calculated and demonstrated a close correlation to overall consumption. This study supports evidence from the DeOreo (2011) study that an outdoor model can be generated to relate lot size to irrigated area and to overall consumption for broader catchment areas. Targeted demand management programs towards
the highest water users can be optimised with consideration to the theoretical irrigation requirements and degree of excess irrigation. Demand management initiatives need to be
targeted to excess irrigators without encouraging deficit irrigators to irrigate.

The study indicates that the use of historical planning estimates to forecast water supply is significantly overestimating water consumption with the increasing trend towards higher housing densities, smaller lot sizes and reduced irrigated areas.

Outdoor water use contributed to an average 93.5 % of peak hour demand between 6pm to 7pm. Cumulative sporadic irrigation events at peak hour had a significant influence on the peaking factor coinciding with optimum and convenient irrigation times.

The annual variations in climatic and transient population cycles suggest that annual consumption alone is a poor indicator of annual performance and in the assessment of
demand management initiatives. Darwin’s distinct climate cycle presents opportunities to track demand management initiatives, identify excessive irrigators and households with high level leakage.

A pilot study provides the opportunity to understand the underlying variables that influences both indoor and outdoor end uses in tropical climates and outlines recommendations for future targeted research. The study forms the first phase of an extended project to analyse
seasonal variations of water use in tropical climates.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2013 07:13
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 01:38
Uncontrolled Keywords: water supply system, water consumption
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0907 Environmental Engineering > 090702 Environmental Engineering Modelling
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4011 Environmental engineering > 401199 Environmental engineering not elsewhere classified
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/22692

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