Development of a Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Framework for the Implementation of Stormwater Reuse in Canadian Municipalities
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Water reuse is an increasingly popular consideration for municipalities, developers, and businesses. Currently, the majority of water reuse applications originate from Australia, Southeast Asian nations, and the Middle East. Stresses posed by population growth and/or water scarcity are the primary drivers for the prevalence of reuse applications in these regions. However, an increasing number of regions in North America are in the process of implementing, or have already implemented, some form of water reuse. Water reuse is increasingly adopted by municipalities due to its potential to combat (a) increasing water scarcity in urban areas, (b) decreasing water quality of receiving waters due to wastewater discharge and urban runoff inputs, and (c) diffuse pollution inputs from rural areas within municipalities. This thesis focuses on stormwater reuse. Historically, stormwater has been regarded as an inconvenience. Traditional stormwater management efforts have primarily focused on channeling stormwater away from urban centres as efficiently as possible. However, the adverse impacts of urban runoff on receiving waters, as well as the increasing need for more intelligent water resources management, are gradually changing the perspective on stormwater. Increasingly, stormwater is being regarded as an asset rather than an inconvenience, as well as a potential alternative water source which could be used to supplement domestic water supplies. This thesis presents the results of the research undertaken to develop a decision-making framework to aid Canadian municipalities in the planning and implementation of stormwater reuse. The objective of the framework is to provide planners, developers, and engineers with a management model to aid in understanding the interactions among the decision-making variables in stormwater reuse. The thesis begins with a literature review covering the history of reuse in North America. Next, a critical assessment of the reviewed literature is used to develop a decision-making framework for stormwater reuse implementation within Canadian municipalities. The framework delineates the major decision-making factors potentially influencing implementation choices, as well as the interactions among these factors. Finally, the thesis provides an example of framework application, discussion of potential framework limitations, and recommendations for future work.