Stanford Uni develops app to help utilities evaluate hybrid water reuse systems

Environmental engineers at Stanford University, US, have developed a new software application that can help urban water utilities to evaluate integrated water reuse and stormwater runoff systems.

The software, AquaCharge, can help authorities to compare the tradeoffs between different hybrid systems that combine stormwater capture using spreading basins, and water reuse systems, for aquifer recharge.

Taking a cue from Orange County in California, US, the engineers looked at factors such as the availability of spreading basins and stormwater supplies, the potential to produce recycled water, and options for installing recycled water pipelines.

“Our system enables utilities to think about a new kind of hybrid water replenishment system, and to determine what sort of system will meet a city’s goals at the lowest cost,” says Stanford graduate student Jonathan Bradshaw.

The new app could help California to meet its goal of doubling or tripling water reuse, which currently stands at 15 per cent of available wastewater effluent, by 2030.

Bradshaw, together with professor of civil and environmental engineering Richard Luthy, have been recognised by the American Society of Civil Engineers for their latest work.