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SELF-EFFICIENT WATER USE IN A NEIGHBORHOOH IN LA SERENA – CHILE.
Principles of Urban Planning Management – Julián Alfonso Zamudio Piñeres
SELFT- EFFICIENT WATER IN A
NEIGHBORHOOH AT LA SERENA – CHILE.
JULIAN ALFONSO ZAMUDIO PIÑERES - 81092982240
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SELF-EFFICIENT WATER USE IN A NEIGHBORHOOH IN LA SERENA – CHILE.
Principles of Urban Planning Management – Julián Alfonso Zamudio Piñeres
INTRODUCTION
Chilean economy showed in 2015 a 2.1 % increment of the GPD (World Bank, 2016). The water used for
drinking and sanitation purposes by Chilean population represents 7.2 % of total Chilean´s groundwater sources
(Dirección General de Aguas (DGA), 2010). Nevertheless, Chile has a complex water management network,
which is composed of either highly specialized public and private institutions. However, this network has a
scarcity of coordination between its members, bearing to lose effectiveness in water management itself (OECD,
2011). Additionally, the hydric handling made Chilean institutions increases the risk of water source
overexploitation, bringing a lack of water availability in dry seasons for human consumption (Valdés-Pineda et
al., 2014). Indeed, irrigation consumption represents 77, 8 % total amount available for the country (McPheeet
al, 2012), and actually, the government is planning increase the total irrigated area in 57% at 2022 (Comisión
Nacional de Riego (CNR), 2011).
BASELINE
La Serena is a small city located at Coquimbo bay with an extension of 1,892.8 km2 (Instituto Nacional de
Estadísticas, 2002). It has a fixed population of 210.000 inhabitants (Gobierno de Chile, Ministerio de Economía,
2014) and 50% of that actual population is young (Nanninga et al., 2016). Tourism and agriculture are the main
economic activities of La Serena, showing an annual income USD 5.200 per habitant and an index GINI of 0.37
(Ministerio de Desarrollo Social - Gobierno de Chile, 2013). The municipality is a third-level administrative
division governed by Municipal Council. In fact, La Serena´s municipality is promoting educational programs in
hydric sustainable and environmental performance (Ilustre Municipalidad de la Serena, 2016). The municipality
is also looking for public-private alliances with community partnerships to improve the environmental
performance of the city.
Regarding water resources, Serena´s rainfall rate is around 81 mm per year (Dirección Meteorológica de Chile,
2001). A groundwater source feeds up the La Serena´s drinking water system, and the water supplying is
restricted during the dry season. 95% of inhabitants are connected to that system, showing an average water
consumption of 125 l/day per person (Knoema, 2015). To supply irrigation systems into the region
overexploitation of the groundwater is carried out. The groundwater source is under pressure because its
recharge rate becomes lower every year, and it depends on water availability in higher parts in the mountains
and filtration process in Serena´s landscape (Squeo et al., 2006). As a result of before, the Coquimbo region
has actually negative water balance of -893 Mm m3/ year in 2010 and an expected -1299 Mm m3/ year in 2025
(World Bank, 2011). It is also important to remark that groundwater quality exceeds Chilean drinking water
standards for iron, manganese, and sulfates (Arumí Ribera, J.L., Oyarzún Lucero, 2006). Concerning to
wastewater, around 95 % of the population is connected to sewage system but only 30% of this wastewater is
treated.
In summary, it has been shown that Serena´s scenario shows a future scarcity of supplied drinking water to
city´s population because of human and natural factors. The human aspects could be described as high water
consumption per capita, the high population growing rate, and the increase of water demand by economic
activities like agriculture and mining. The natural ones are related to the decrease of groundwater recharge rate
along the time, low water quality standards, and a negative water forecast balance. In fact, La Serena´s
municipality has been following a linear water cycle for water management.
METHODOLOGY
The urban circular metabolism is the main concept to design a new sustainable scenario for water flow inside of
novel neighborhood close to Serena´s city center. Similarly, the Urban Harvest Approach (UHA) at the local level
will be used as a methodological tool. The three basic principles of UHA (Agudelo-Vera et al., 2012) will be mixed
with backcasting thinking. Baseline assessment will be made applying DPSIR method to define the strategic
guidelines for the system, and the proposed responses will be related to a specific drive force. Before-after Mass
Flow Analysis (MFA) for the system will be done.
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SELF-EFFICIENT WATER USE IN A NEIGHBORHOOH IN LA SERENA – CHILE.
Principles of Urban Planning Management – Julián Alfonso Zamudio Piñeres
NEW SCENARIO
This work aims to develop a new approach to get a sustainable water management for a new neighborhood
(system) in La Serena. The approach will include a new technology use, the actions to be taken to change the
social practices related to the application of new ideas, an environmental educational process, and economical
proposal to allow the system to work in an autonomous way. The system will be located at old Hospital´s place,
which was built around 1950 (Historia - Hospital de La Serena, 2016) in a 2 hectares’ land. This place has an
old infrastructure for water supply and sewage discharge. The neighborhood will be designed with 3 floors
buildings and 6 apartments per floor, for a total of 180 spaces for middle-income families, young professionals
and students. Apartments will have two different designs, distributed in 10 buildings with a land area of 20.000
m2. The population forecast for the system is 594 calculated on basis of 3.3 persons per apartment (Knoema,
2015). 167 m2 it is the average built area per apartment, taking into account that 30 % of total space available
will be used to construct common areas, getting approximately 42.000 m 2 as total building area.
DPSIR analysis for the system is displayed in table 1. There were identified five driven forces and 15 responses
in total. Following DPSIR analysis, the actual system´s scenario shows a huge dependency of external inputs,
and the waste stream produced inside the system has important contamination effects in the surrounding
environment by continuous discharge of chemicals and organic matter without some control. In general, it is not
used sustainable technology for drinking and waste water treatment. Recycling, multi-sourcing or recovering
concepts are not taken into account for water management. Consequently, in the future, the water management
has to handle how to afford more resources to fulfill drinking water requirements of the system. On basis of this
findings, it is defined the future vision of the system, which one consists in design highly self-sufficient scheme
with 5 general goals: 1) reduce general consumption by 46 %, 2) 40% of the water inputs are recovered, 3)
sewage output it is pre-pretreated in situ, 4) an economic incentive is proposed and 5) finally environmental
education is taught for system inhabitants.
In figure 1, actual and proposed designs for a system are displayed. For both scenarios, the models show
calculated flows of water consumption for households and common areas separately. The diagrams show each
specific stream for the whole system. To get it, it was taken the total water consumption per house and was
multiplied by an average of percentages of water consumption for single-family house in the United States
(DeOreo and P.E., 2011) and U.K. (Parker Joanne M and Wilby Robert L., 2013) considering the same behavior
for system´s households. Afterward, daily water flow for the system was estimated multiplying the daily house
consumption by the total number of houses (180) and the result was multiplied by the average member family
number (3.3). The calculated water consumption is showed in m 3/day.
For the new model, important assumptions were made. First of all, the technology used has 100 % of
effectiveness and it is defined 0% of leakage for the system. Secondly, it was defined 1500 m2 of land to use like
gardens inside the neighborhood, corresponding to 7.5 % of available land. The necessary space to build all
treatment systems is getting 1800 m2, that was delimited as 9 % of total land. Another assumption is the practices
like toilet use, cleaning habits and others in-house water uses are the same for all inhabitants of the system.
Into the actual model, household consumption is the most relevant component of the system, with 73.8 % of
water inputs. Indeed, it is clear a lack of use of UHA principles inside the system. The calculated water
consumption value for new model for the whole system (67 L/day/person) is 46% lower than the initial value,
and it is also lower than values shown by developed countries, usually are into 110 – 215 L/d per person (Martin
Robert, Fry Al, Haden Eva, 2016).The new design for water treatment reduces outputs and avoid discharge
waste water mixed with solids. Gray waters pre- treatment is an on-line system, using filtration by gravity with
activated carbon and zeolites. The gray water pre-treatment is electrocoagulation unit and a submerged
membrane bioreactor system tank (Bani-Melhem and Smith, 2012).
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SELF-EFFICIENT WATER USE IN A NEIGHBORHOOH IN LA SERENA – CHILE.
Principles of Urban Planning Management – Julián Alfonso Zamudio Piñeres
Table 1. DPSIR analysis for a neighborhood close to city center of la Serena.
Drive force
Pressure
State
Impact
1.DRINKING
WATER
FOR
CONSUMPTION
Use of chemicals
to achieve a good
quality
drinking
water
Specialized water
treatment plants.
2.Wastewater
produced
by
human activities
Water
discharged
solid
chemical
pollutants.
is
with
and
The
percentage
wastewater
treatment.
low
of
More
requirements
for

1. Decentralized
 Technical
energy and infrastructure.
technology
for
water treatment.
Solid
residues
with
chemical
affecting
pH
values of the soil where are
discharged.
Diminution
of
aquatic 2. Decentralized Technical
ecosystems quality.
technology
per
building with solid
Cross-side contamination in waste separation,
using EM and
animals and plants.
plants for waste
Contamination of water for water.
High quantity of
sludge
with
chemical
substances.
Increasing
concentration
of
pollutants water
Need for large
infrastructure
to
handle sewage.
Water used into
dwellers is not
reused or recycle
in others process.
Type
human consumption.
More demand
materials
High quantity of
wastewater it is
produced.
3.Not
environmental
approach
to
using
water
inside
households
Response
Response Description

Upgrade the quality of 100% gray waters
to safe water using electrocoagulation
system.

Upgrade black water quality according to
Chilean standards by EM / Algae –tech
approach and plant filter system.
Perform a pre-treatment for 100 % of
gray waters eliminating suspended
solids by filtration.
Separate 100 % of solid waste from the
black waters.
Upgrade toilets to high water efficiency –
use, getting 40 % of water savings.
Cascading from water used at the
shower to cleaning house water and from
clothing washing to toilets.
Collect and storage 80 % of rainfall
available at neighborhood for cleanup
activities for common areas into the
buildings.


building


Water it is not used
with
maximum
efficiency.
The scarcity of water in
groundwater source.
3. A system to
collect
rainfall
water and recycle
for several cycles
to make cleanup
activities.
Technical

4. Separation of
grew waters from
black waters and
recycling it for
drinking
water
use.
Technical

Build energy efficient drainage system
into
neighborhood
area
allowing
separate and storage gray and black
waters, also will allow drive the gray
water pre-treated for drinking water
treatment.
SELF-EFFICIENT WATER USE IN A NEIGHBORHOOH IN LA SERENA – CHILE.
Principles of Urban Planning Management – Julián Alfonso Zamudio Piñeres
4.water
availability
Use of a big
quantity of fresh
water
sources
(Rivers
and
groundwater)
The public water
system is not able
to supply to all
population water in
dry seasons
Groundwater source it is
over stress and it is not able
to recharge itself.
Replacement of
ground green film
by concrete or
another
not
natural
ground
film.
5.Urban design
without
sustainable
approach
Policies based on
the linear model
of
water
management.
Complexity
in
water´s distribution
system and sewer
system.
Not
economic
incentive
for
change.
Low interest in sustainable
use of the water by
population.
5.
An
environmental
course
about
water
efficiency
use.
Social
engagement

6. Include highpressure systems
for the house
toilets,
kitchen,
and showers
Technical

7. Include highefficiency
dish
machine.
Technical

8. Include green
walls to get water
from humidity from
the air.
9. Include a green
bonus system for
the neighborhood
to give incentives
to owners and
tenants.
Technical

Economical

Certificate 100 % of the system´s units
as green in order to define economical
green bonus as an alternative income for
system maintenance.
10. Savings of
water fees and
taxes
by
maintaining
the
consumption
below the goal
line.
Policy
change

Negotiate with municipality authority a
reduction of 7% in overall taxes and
water fees if consumption is lowered
20% per person living inside of the
system.

Performing
an
environmental
educational campaign for all inhabitants
using traditional and not–traditional
education
tools
to
improve
environmental awareness, chance social
practices linked with water consumption
and get better acceptance of new
strategies adopted into the system.
Reducing 13 % consumption in
households’ units using tap water
pressured devices in daily activities.
Upgrade 100 % of grey waters for cleanup houses and common areas.
To Reduce 7 % of consumption in
households’ units using high-efficiency
water and energy dish machine.
Obtain 2% of consumption water by new
green walls technology.
SELF-EFFICIENT WATER USE IN A NEIGHBORHOOH IN LA SERENA – CHILE.
Principles of Urban Planning Management – Julián Alfonso Zamudio Piñeres
Figure1. Actual and proposed model for a new neighborhood at La Serena.
SELF-EFFICIENT WATERANAGEMENT IN A NEIGHBORHOOH IN LA SERENA – CHILE.
Principles of Urban Planning Management – Julián Alfonso Zamudio Piñeres
Each apartment will be certificated as sustainable housing unit using [email protected] standard (“SuRe® - The Standard
for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure - Global Infrastructure Basel,” 2014). On basis of that certification,
the system is allowed to generate green bonds (What Are Green Bonds, 2009). In addition, the bonds business
model will be managed by a private company. Finally, the social practices and cultural perceptions into the
system will be influenced by one-year educational process, performing environmental advertising and one
monthly meeting with inhabitants of the system, to teach about water cycle approach and how it is possible to
get financed by following sustainable practices.
DISCUSSION
TECHNICAL MESUARES
Technologies to be installed into the system are 80 % “invisible” for the final user, all of them are well-known
devices and the dwelling design would be as traditional household one. In contrast, water treatment technology
use filter plants located at ground floor, it is inodorous and completely safe high-tech approach and it will be
placed at gardens space without additional features. Indeed, the filter zone will be mixed with the gardens to
provide green spaces getting a compact and diversified neighborhood. The treatment system for gray water and
black water were designed to use 2% of built area, in fact, electrocoagulation and bioreactors will be placed
underground with special features, implying additional structure requirements. Regarding this, drainage and
water recycling pipeline design is complex and needed more space for accommodating its technical devices,
bringing to a complicated pipeline inside of the building. Finally, the new scenario has a reduction of total water
input of 83%.
SOCIAL PRACTICES
Social practices related to new highly efficient technologies to be applied will change in a small proportion. In
general terms, water savings is done inside the system using technologies allowing to use less water, so,
meanings related to those related activities still represent the same. Therefore, materials and competences
related to how to use new technologies will change, but this change is relatively small compared to previous
social practical ones. The perception about use recycled water should be addressed in right way, to avoid
rejections by system´s inhabitants. Finally, set up targets for getting certifications and money savings is a way
to design influential social practices by urban governance, getting standardized cultural conduct in the system.
The project should take advantage of its scope for young people, making easy to perform changes to get cyclic
urban metabolism inside the system.
URBAN PLANNING DECISIONS
Water treatment systems were designed to fulfill water requirements by the system. The system is also
connected to municipal drinking water system avoiding risks related with water insufficiency in the dry season.
The quality of drinking water depends strongly on gray water stream, so the system’s population should be
responsible about what kind of pollutants are discarded into gray and black waters. The new approach has
incorporated high efficiency technology devices to get a self-providing system, using cascade, recycling and
multisource use of water. The technologies and green business model might overcome several challenges, and
both have to be approved by local government. However, the policies regarding quality water might stop the
initiatives and the entire project could be seen as a threat to the water public institution. Instead, management
made by the private sector of the green business will be perceived as good, enhancing interest in the cities’
water supply instead of irrigation uses.
ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
The sewage stream will be discharged with high-quality standards, the solid waste is separated to do
composting, and the sludge produced by the treatment has no chemical pollutants, making able its employment
for composting as well. Moving on now to consider the solid waste management in situ, this has important
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SELF-EFFICIENT WATERANAGEMENT IN A NEIGHBORHOOH IN LA SERENA – CHILE.
Principles of Urban Planning Management – Julián Alfonso Zamudio Piñeres
challenges to overcome, like get excellent gas emission control and strict times for the solid treated delivery to
the exterior of the system. This solid treatment approach brings to the system a high sanitation risk.
CULTURAL DIMENSIONS
The technology and urban design practices as green spaces, diversity, and density were used and mixed with
green economic model bringing to the approach high feasibility regardless to cultural conceptions because the
cultural changes performed are not significant. The project feasibility is threatened by governmental institution
opposition but the inclusion of young people and profitable focus on public basis– private cooperation guarantees
more possibilities of success. Also, the concept of use recycled water for high-quality human uses will be affected
by Chilean cultural perceptions. Thus, the educational program proposed ensures a match between approach
and cultural dimensions of the population, giving tools to overcome a possible blocking by cultural features.
Additionally, the water scarcity in the region is still high, making the model attractive for the population, bringing
to meaningful change in the value of water.
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Principles of Urban Planning Management – Julián Alfonso Zamudio Piñeres
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