Real Time Control of Rainwater Harvesting Systems: The Benefits of Increasing Rainfall Forecast Window
AuthorXu, WD; Fletcher, TD; Burns, MJ; Cherqui, F
Source TitleWater Resources Research
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union (AGU)
AffiliationSchool of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsXu, W. D., Fletcher, T. D., Burns, M. J. & Cherqui, F. (2020). Real Time Control of Rainwater Harvesting Systems: The Benefits of Increasing Rainfall Forecast Window. Water Resources Research, 56 (9), https://doi.org/10.1029/2020wr027856.
Access StatusOpen Access
Use of real time control (RTC) technology in rainwater harvesting systems can improve performance across water supply, flood protection, and environmental flow provision. Such systems make the most of rainfall forecast information, to release water prior to storm events and thus minimize uncontrolled overflows. To date, most advanced applications have adopted 24‐hr forecast information, leaving longer‐term forecasts largely untested. In this study, we aimed to predict the performance of four different RTC strategies, based on different forecast lead time and preferred objectives. RTC systems were predicted to yield comparatively less harvested rainwater than conventional passive systems but delivered superior performance in terms of flood mitigation and delivery of environmental water for streamflow restoration. More importantly, using a 7‐day rainfall forecast was shown to enhance the ability of RTC in mitigating flood risks and delivering an outflow regime that is close to the natural (reference) streamflow. Such a finding suggests that RTC combined with 7‐day forecast can enhance the functionality of rainwater harvesting systems to restore and even mimic the entire natural flow regimes in receiving streams. This also opens up a new opportunity for practitioners to implement smart technology in managing urban stormwater in a range of contexts and for a range of stream health objectives.
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