Cities across the world are experiencing radical transformations in the way they manage resources as well as implement infrastructure. In particular, Smart Cities are based on new ways of conceiving buildings, neighborhoods as well as water and wastewater services: the benefit being enhanced resource efficiency, increased resilience to climate change and lowered carbon emissions.
Melbourne developing the foundations of a Smart City
In Melbourne, the South East Water utility has initiated – in partnership with residential land developer Villawood Properties – Project Aquarevo, which aims to turn a new development in Lyndhurst, south east of Melbourne, into Australia’s most water efficient development.
Innovative approach to managing water and wastewater
South East Water is developing an integrated approach to the supply of water and wastewater services that will reduce each home’s water demand by up to 70%. Using a range of water innovations and smart technology, each home will feature:
- Hot water systems that are fed by rainwater harvesting systems rather than using water treated to potable standards
- Smart rainwater tanks that will receive weather forecasts, enabling the tanks to release excess water before heavy storm events. This means the tank can capture as much rainfall as possible to minimize overflows and flooding of local waterways
- Recycled wastewater, treated at an on-site water recycling plant, for use in the garden, toilet or washing machine
- An ICT device that ensures the connection to the modern pressure sewer system is optimal, ensuring the treatment plant runs efficiently
Smart Cities of the future will use combinations of innovation infrastructure and software to increase resource efficiency and resilience to climate change.
*Robert C. Brears is the author of Urban Water Security (Wiley). Urban Water Security argues that, with climate change and rapid urbanization, cities need to transition from supply-side to demand-side management to achieve urban water security.