Water Pressure’s Off in Sydney


No, not the pressure of water restrictions, rather, Sydney Water is reducing the actual water delivery pressure. Sydney water is guaranteeing a minimum pressure head of 15m, which is 5m head less than the expected available fire demand pressure in publicly available documents published by many water authorities.

The Sunday Telegraph, 10 December 2006 reports, “Sydney Water has begun cutting water pressure for residents and businesses to conserve billions of litres of dwindling drinking supplies.” Reduced water pressure is proved to reduce mains bursts and the flow of continuous leaks, of which Sydney water loses a significant volume of it’s supply to.

With water supplies running at all time lows, the city is requiring drastic measures to manage the sustainability of it’s supply. Of interest to me is the safety and sustainability of a lower water pressure in the event of a fire. Zone management to ensure supply to critical areas in the event of a fire, supply strategies to guarantee supply to hospitals and process specific needs should also be considered.

The average household in Sydney has the attitude that water will be there when and how we need it. The centralized infrastructure and extended large scale network is likely to respond poorly to increased demands and reduced supply. Sydney Water will find it difficult to tell residents that water won’t be available as they’ve come to expect. Security of supply is a real concern in such a centralized scenario as Sydney has, and any measures to reduce demand or stress on infrastructure is a welcome change.

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Sustainable Sewer for Victoria, BC

Sewer Manhole - CC licensed image on Flickr WorldChanging now has blogs for cities around the states, and one big one for Canada, which I’m proud to be a part of. Here is a link to a recent post of mine.

Victoria, the Capital of British Columbia, has a problem. For decades the city has been dumping raw sewerage into the ocean, with little regard to marine health or the sustainability of the practice. It seems that public opinion is divided on the issue, with some even questioning why treatment is needed at all. For a nation as proud as Canada about it’s natural tourist resources, this seems to be a short sighted outlook. Thankfully the provincial and federal governments are working towards an innovative solution. (Now that sounds like the Canada we all love and enjoy, doesn’t it!)

Source: WorldChanging Canada: Sustainable Sanitary Sewer for Victoria

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Water Sensitive Urban Design

Well, that’s what we call it in Australia anyway, rain water tanks, rain gardens, biofiltration swales, wetlands, sand filters, gross pollutant traps are all critical parts of residential and urban stormwater management.

Planetizen points to a recent article in the Urban Land magazine, (usually subscription only, but follow the link below for this article).

Vogel believes that Seattle and Portland have come closest to designing natural stormwater management for an urban density that would please urbanists of all stripes. “Portland’s 12th Avenue is a model for fitting nature-based stormwater management into the traditional street network in moderate- to high-density areas. In bringing even more of nature’s functions into such areas, Seattle’s “Swale on Yale” and Taylor 28 move further in the direction of…high-performance infrastructure.

Source: Does Runoff Have To Run Off? | Planetizen

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