Rita Hochstrat, Darko Joksimovic, Thomas Wintgens, Thomas Melin, Dragan Savic:
Economic considerations and decision support tool for wastewater reuse scheme planning
Water Science and Technology, 2007, 56(5), 175-182
The reuse of upgraded wastewater for beneficial uses is increasingly adopted and accepted as a tool in water management. However, funding of schemes is still a critical issue. The focus of this paper is on economic considerations of water reuse planning. A survey of pricing mechanisms for reclaimed water revealed that most schemes are subsidised to a great extent. In order to minimise these state contributions to the implementation and operation of reuse projects, their planning should identify a least cost design option. This also has to take into account the established pricing structure for conventional water resources and the possibility of gaining revenues from reclaimed water pricing. The paper presents a case study which takes into account these aspects. It evaluates different scheme designs with regard to their Net Present Value (NPV). It could be demonstrated that for the same charging level, quite different amounts of reclaimed water can be delivered while still producing an overall positive NPV. Moreover, the economic feasibility and competitiveness of a reuse scheme is highly determined by the cost structure of the conventional water market.
Alternative reuse schemes; cost optimisation; decision support tool; water prices; water reuse