Communities worldwide face water supply challenges and often seek alternative sources of water. Recycled water is an alternative generated from wastewater to reduce non-potable uses of high quality water supplies for irrigation, industrial processes, power plant cooling, and toilet flushing. Researchers have recommended constructing the systems in new communities to reduce capital investment. The implementation of these systems is often financially difficult to justify within existing communities. Orange County Water District constructed a recycled water system, Green Acres Project (GAP), within existing communities in northern Orange County, California. The system delivers recycled water to four cities, reduces seawater intrusion, creates a benefit from a wastewater stream, and diversifies the region’s water portfolio. As is common among recycled systems, the GAP has operated at a financial loss since its construction in the early 1990’s. Through water sale revenues and a subsidy program, the District has been able to cover operational and maintenance costs but not capital. This study presents hydraulic and financial modeling to better understand the current GAP system and proposed changes. EPANET has been used to simulate five scenarios that include current operation, known future demand changes, breaking distribution loops, and increasing demand to balance finances. Analyzed financial scenarios include continued operation, breakeven finances, change in treatment technology, abandonment of system, and changing the local definition of recycled water. Recommendations to improve financial and operational efficiencies, challenges, and lessons learned from the GAP system are presented so other communities investigating implementation of recycled water programs may become better informed.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 52/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Engineering, Civil engineering, Environmental engineering|
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