Global concern over growing urban water demand in the face of limited water resources has focussed attention on the need for better management of available water resources. This paper takes the “fit for purpose” concept and applies it in the development of a model aimed at changing current practices with respect to residential planning by integrating reuse systems into the design layout. This residential reuse model provides an approach to the design of residential developments seeking to maximise water reuse. Water balance modelling is used to assess the extent to which local water resources can satisfy residential demands with conditions based on the city of Adelaide, Australia. Physical conditions include a relatively flat topography and a temperate climate, with annual rainfall being around 500 mm. The level of water-self-sufficiency that may be achieved within a reuse development in this environment is estimated at around 60%. A case study is also presented in which a conventional development is re-designed on the basis of the reuse model. Costing of the two developments indicates the reuse scenario is only marginally more expensive. Such costings however do not include the benefit to upstream and downstream environments resulting from reduced demand and discharges. As governments look to developers to recover system augmentation and environmental costs the economics of such approaches will increase.

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