Page 8 - Final Report-8 NO TRANSPARENCY

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Resilient urban systems:
a socio-technical study of community scale climate change adaptation initiatives
Emerging infrastructure models
While the operating conditions for future infrastructure systems may differ from the past, the range of system
designs available to current decision-makers is expanding. Shifts in social norms, market conditions and
technical capacity over the last two decades have seen the emergence of varying forms of infrastructure,
including those providing energy and water services.
These systems are diverse and potentially disruptive to conventional infrastructure. At one end of the scale
are systems that may support a single household. Greywater systems, rainwater tanks and solar photo-
voltaics are some common examples. Above this scale lies a rapidly growing (market driven) range of
technical systems suited to community, industrial facility or precinct scale. Water recycling (‘third-pipe’),
stormwater collection and small solar thermal and cogeneration systems are just some examples.
Figure 1: Spectrum of water and energy systems
The growing availability of ‘alternative’ energy and water systems is important in the current context. Existing
systems are demonstrating significant weaknesses (even brittleness), adaptive strategies to climate change
are needed, and infrastructure investment is required to meet increasing demand. In a recent report on
Melbourne’s water resources, the State Government recognises a need for new ways to manage water
resources to address the increasing strain being placed on existing infrastructure from:
• A rapidly growing population;
• Pressure on the natural and built environment from population growth;
• Increased climate risk and variability;
• The need for safe and secure water to support resilience and liveable communities; and
• Growing community concern about the rising costs of water.
(Victorian Government, 2011).