SWITCH: Managing Water for the City of the Future

Managing Water for the City of the Future

Water Demand Management

Zaragoza, Spain

Since 1996, water saving has been a major focus in Zaragoza, and consumers of various types have reduced their use of water. Under SWITCH, the Municipality instituted a Demonstration on water loss management, where 4 District Meter Areas (DMAs) were set up in Actur District of Zaragoza, with flows and pressures monitored through a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA), linked to a Geographic Information System and simulation model. Practical Guidelines were developed for sectorization of a water system into DMAs, and for setting up the control system, with practical recommendations for wider application in Zaragoza and elsewhere.

The Zaragoza Demonstration also included the installation of water saving devices in people's homes in Actur, and distribution of information on good practices, with a systematic survey of how these interventions affected household water consumption.

Alexandria, Egypt

Informal settlements have grown in Alexandria, as in other cities in developing countries, and now accommodate more than 40% of the population of Alexandria. Recognising the needs in these areas, the Alexandria Learning Alliance picked the Ma'awa el Sayadeen informal settlement for a SWITCH Demonstration which included various aspects of Water Demand Management.

Non Revenue Water (NRW) was reduced by creating a District Meter Area (DMA), by pipeline survey with leak detection equipment, by identifying and repairing leaks and by replacing mal-functioning consumer meters.

Water saving devices were installed in houses, mosques and a youth centre.

A borehole was drilled to use groundwater for landscape irrigation, rather than drinking water.

The demonstration also included a water efficiency study, which showed how a range of water demand management options could be analysed (e.g. water efficiency measures in government, tourist and commercial buildings, industries and agriculture, tariff reform, household fittings, leakage reduction) and compared with water supply options (e.g. wastewater reuse and desalination).

As well as the technical innovations, this Demonstration is an example of the institutional challenges that governments face with informal settlements and how governments and local communities can work together to provide services in an economical and equitable manner.

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