Equitable cost allocation for rainwater harvesting system : framework analysis : case of Austin,TX



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The limitation of urban water supplies is becoming worse each year. Several studies estimate that 2 billion of the world’s population will suffer from water scarcity by 2050; and urbanization rates is placing an even greater challenge in providing the infrastructure needed to serve growing populations. At this point, rainwater may be considered as the most critical, untapped water resource in a global aspect. Rainwater Harvesting Systems (RWHS) have tremendous potential, not only to provide sufficient water supply, but also to serve as a valuable stormwater management tool. Despite these benefits, RWHS is still not popular among ordinary people in urban situations, due mostly to high installation costs. This study aims to explore the equitable cost reallocation of residential rainwater harvesting systems between the urban utility, land developer and homebuilder, and individual homeowner sectors. It may be possible to redistribute the cost equitably among the parties based on potential benefits received,thereby making RWHS more affordable and more viable as a new water supply for urban areas.