Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Amaris G, . Dawson R., Gironás J., Hess S., Ortúzar J.D. (2021)

From mathematical models to policy design: predicting greywater reuse scheme effectiveness and water reclamation benefits based on individuals’ preference

Revista : Sustainable Cities and Society
Volumen : 74
Número : 103132
Páginas : 1-19
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


The residential reuse of greywater has attracted interest in recent years as a strategy to face water security problems. Nowadays, some cities such as Santiago de Chile are seeking to promote new laws that allow residential greywater reuse and make the incorporation of the necessary infrastructure (machinery and a parallel pipe system) mandatory for new buildings. The success of any such schemes, in terms of the amount of mains water that can be saved, is clearly influenced by the decision that individual consumers make on whether or not to use the parallel system, as they will also be the ones to face the potential externalities produced by the system (e.g., odours, noise from technology). Understanding and anticipating the behaviour of individuals is not an easy task, especially in the context of systems not yet widely implemented, but the groundwork has been laid with the application of approaches that allow analysts to determine the heterogeneity in consumer preferences based on the qualities of the product or service. However, there has been a lack of focus on making predictions that quantify the impact of acceptability on the volume of water recovered, driven in part by methods that been applied. This paper presents a way of predicting policy effectiveness and potential greywater reclaim benefits based on individuals’ preferences. For this, we use two existing models that allow us to make predictions of greywater reuse for different domestic purposes. In a case study application to the city of Santiago de Chile, we carry out scenario tests to predict the potential uptake under potential future policy settings and show how allowing for an additional permitted use of greywater could save several hundred litres of water per month per household.