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 Abstract

 

Total Water Management (131 pp, 2.74 MB) (EPA/600/R-12/551) July 2012

There is a growing need for urban water managers to take a more holistic view of their water resource systems as population growth, urbanization, and current o perations put different stresses on the environment and urban infrastructure. Total Water Management (TWM) is an approach that examines urban water systems in a more interconnected manner, focusing on reducing water demands, increasing water recycling and reuse, creating water supply assets from stormwater management, matching water quality to end-use needs, and achieving environmental goals through multi-purpose, multi-benefit infrastructure.

This study documents the benefits of TWM to water management decision-makers and can be used to support the development of management techniques that could be adopted in order to improve urban systems. This study includes a comprehensive literature review that summarizes TWM principles and real world applications in the United States and abroad. The literature review was organized into different regions of the country in order to reflect geographic water management drivers and challenges.

An evaluation protocol for analyzing TWM is presented, along with a detailed discussion of modeling techniques. A desk top analysis was conducted to demonstrate how TWM alternatives would perform against traditional approaches to water management using a systems model. The model simulates supply reliability, total lifecycle costs, water wastewater capacity, quality of receiving waters, and a number of environmental indicators. The Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) software, developed by the Stockholm Environment Institute, was used as the modeling platform.

The City of Los Angeles was used as the case study for desktop analysis, using real data within a real planning context. The City was divided into four demand areas, each with its own connections to surface water, groundwater, and imported water supply sources, i.e., water from outside City limits, as well as connections to wastewater treatment plants and receiving waters. TWM strategies that were evaluated included increased water conservation, expanded water recycling and reuse, graywater, stormwater recharge, and rainwater harvesting. The WEAP model simulated how nitegrated water supply, stormwater and water quality management can provide nicreased opportunities for achieving urban system goals that would not exist in single-purpose, traditional planning.

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