This paper provides details of a preliminary least cost planning (LCP) assessment carried out for Canberra, the capital city of Australia, as part of the development of a 50 year Water Resources Strategy. In the assessment a suite of options consisting of demand management, source substitution, reuse and supply were developed to determine how to satisfy water demand requirements for the projected population over the 50 year planning horizon whilst also achieving the identified demand reduction targets. The options developed were then compared on an equal basis using the principles of LCP to identify the suite of lowest cost options to be considered for further analysis and implementation. The suite of demand management options developed was found to have the lowest whole of society levelised cost. Since the preliminary analysis and release of the Water Resources Strategy in April 2004, a water efficiency team has been set up to develop an implementation plan, implement options, develop an end use model, conduct pilot studies and undertake program evaluations.

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