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When to Consider Distributed Systems in an Urban and Suburban Context

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Distributed water management describes integrated planning, design, and management using system infrastructure at various scales, based on an equitable approach that considers suitability and sustainability. This paper, based on research supported by the Water Environment Research Foundation, introduces distributed management in the context of sustainability, provides examples of where distributed approaches are being used to advance sustainability at the community level, and suggests principles and provides tools that practitioners can use to maximize value. Case studies that illustrate distributed management approaches include onsite reuse systems driven primarily by green building and sustainable design and managed decentralized systems, including either individual onsite systems, cluster systems, or a combination thereof. Examples include situations where traditional municipal utilities are incorporating distributed infrastructure approaches such as managed cluster systems, wastewater mining, and satellite reuse facilities.

Keywords: Distributed management; decentralized systems; green building; infrastructure; sustainability; watershed approach

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-01-01

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