Report on economic viability of recycled water schemes

Thursday, 21 November, 2013

The Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence (AWRCE) has produced a comprehensive framework to assess the economic viability of recycled water schemes.

Developed from a study by Marsden Jacob Associates, the report examines the economics of water recycling in the broadest sense - both commercial value to businesses and the broader economic value to the community and environment - for non-potable use with various residential, industrial, municipal and agricultural projects.

The report found that many water re-use schemes use a variety of limited assessment methods for their costing and planning decisions. Economic and commercial benefits are often inappropriately estimated and poorly delineated between parties, rendering the economic case for investment in recycled water projects difficult to establish in advance and to determine in hindsight.

The economic framework uses cost-benefit analysis to focus on a wider range of capital, operating, social and environmental costs and benefits, and provides practical guidance on the assessment of business cases for individual recycled water projects. The recommended framework is based on interviews with representatives from industry, government agencies and water utilities, and from literature and regulatory reviews, surveys and supporting studies.

The report is available at

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