A circular model of urban hydrology

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Virginia Tech

Fresh water, particularly potable water, is a critically important, albeit scarce, resource to human beings. Increasing evidence of polluted fresh water bodies indicate water usage patterns that are detrimental to the scarce reserves of fresh water on a regional and global level. It may be said however, that, that the current problems of water wastage and abuse are not merely the results of the technology used but more so of the erroneous perceptions that have guided its development. Therefore it is crucial to not only adopt different technology to solve current water management problems but more important to create a new holistic paradigm of water management that provides the framework for ecologically sustainable technology.

The thesis on a circular model of urban hydrology is an attempt in this direction. The thesis is based on the need to develop a sustainable model of urban hydrology. It is a descriptive model that combines existing technologies in a manner that would make them relevant to present and future cities and is applied on a conceptual level to study the implications that this new model could have on the urban landscape. By exploring the concepts of waste water reclamation and re-use, and storm water management that is connected to the city's water supplies, the circular model attempts to attempts to reduce the affects of urbanization and urban water usage on external natural systems while establishing ecologically benign links with the regional and global environments.

The use of biological systems for wastewater reclamation has different implications to the urban physical environment in terms of its landuse patterns, open space systems, human activities and aesthetics, than a conventional centralized system of water supply and disposal. The thesis discusses those implications that are particularly relevant to those involved in the planning and design of cities and speculates on an urban environment that might be different from an existing modern city.

reclamation, water systems