Rainwater harvesting: An assessment of the future potential in Sweden.

University essay from KTH/Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik

Abstract: The thesis address the field of stormwater management. With a changing climate, the field of stormwater management much like many other fields will need to incorporate sustainable development if overall sustainability is to be reached. The aim of the thesis is to evaluate the current method for dealing with stormwater in Sweden, mainly in urban areas, and point to issues at hand and identified ways of addressing them. The concept of Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) is assessed. A comparison of results from several case studies from around the world show that there are several aspects of high importance for the viability of such technology. Among others price for municipal water, ability to lower costs due to smart planning ahead of installing, inclusion of environmental aspects and impacts on society such as reduced load on water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, reduced pollution load and greenhouse gas emissions (mainly due to less water treated at wastewater treatment facilities). The main conclusion from comparing and compiling results were that the viability of RWH from an economic standpoint is questionable. Although if including all identified gains for the municipality including stormwater management benefits and indirect gains due to reduced load and taking all aspects of importance into consideration there is potential for such technology even in a country like Sweden with good water supply and infrastructure in place. This thesis is of importance since it brings RWH technology into the light as a potential sustainability measure in Sweden. It evaluates the important parameters for the technology to be viable as indicated by case studies and literature within the field.

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