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Stellenbosch University (2014)

Domestic water demand for consumers with rainwater harvesting systems

O Brien, Olivia

Titre : Domestic water demand for consumers with rainwater harvesting systems

Auteur : O Brien, Olivia

Université de soutenance : Stellenbosch University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2014

The focus of the study is to theoretically assess tank-water demand and employ methods to establish the actual tank-water demand at selected houses in a case study area. This study also examines the influence of domestic rainwater harvesting systems when used in combination with a municipal water distribution system. The case study comprises of 410 low cost housing units in the Western Cape. The system demand patterns of low cost housing units are uncharacteristic, when compared with suburban system demand patterns, and cannot be defined by traditional models. Similarly, the use of rainwater harvesting systems in these areas follows an unconventional routine that is yet to be defined. A stochastic end-use model for water demand is developed which produces temporal profiles for water supplied from both sources, namely the water distribution system and the rainwater harvesting system. The model approximates a daily system and tank-water demand pattern for a single domestic household, using @RISK software. The demand estimation methodology is clarified through application on a particular case study site where harvested rainwater is frequently utilized. Estimates of the parameter values are based on consumer surveys and previous studies on the case study area, where the household size was defined in the form of a probability distribution. The results confirm the atypical system demand patterns in low cost housing units units. Although two clear peaks exist in the morning and in the evening, a relatively constant average flow is present throughout the day. A sensitivity analysis of all the model parameters verified that the household size has the most substantial influence on the tank-water demand pattern. The system and tank-water demand patterns were compared to published average daily water demand guidelines, which confirmed that increased water savings could be achieved when the rainwater source is accessible inside the household with minimal effort. The stochastic demand profiles derived as part of this research agree with the metered system demand in the same area. The results of this study could be incorporated into the future development of national standards.


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