Keywords: water recycling, irrigation, decision support, urban spaces, public open spaces, Sydney, Australia, water restrictions, water sustainability, alternative water sources
Sustaining public open spaces through water recycling for irrigation: developing decision support tools and framework
Sydney's water consumption is at critical levels. Severe drought and population increases have placed pressures on existing water sources resulting in restrictions that affect the community. Whilst there is significant environmental, social and economic value associated with public open space, maintenance of these areas have been severely affected by water restrictions, and in some cases, local government has reduced the use of such areas. Replacing traditional potable water supplies with alternative sources is an option, yet there are several issues and liabilities that need to be considered. In this paper, we examine different issues that impact the use and sustainability of water use for public open spaces in the context of the Sydney Metropolitan Area (SMA). We then review the need for an appropriate decision support tool and discuss the potential benefits of developing a decision framework to support the use of alternative water sources for public open space irrigation.