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Water Sci Technol. 2012;66(3):635-43. doi: 10.2166/wst.2012.188.

Assessing the urban water balance: the Urban Water Flow Model and its application in Cyprus.

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The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus.


Modelling the urban water balance enables the understanding of the interactions of water within an urban area and allows for better management of water resources. However, few models today provide a comprehensive overview of all water sources and uses. The objective of the current paper was to develop a user-friendly tool that quantifies and visualizes all water flows, losses and inefficiencies in urban environments. The Urban Water Flow Model was implemented in a spreadsheet and includes a water-savings application that computes the contributions of user-selected saving options to the overall water balance. The model was applied to the coastal town of Limassol, Cyprus, for the hydrologic years 2003/04-2008/09. Data were collected from the different authorities and hydrologic equations and estimations were added to complete the balance. Average precipitation was 363 mm/yr, amounting to 25.4 × 10(6)m(3)/yr, more than double the annual potable water supply to the town. Surface runoff constituted 29.6% of all outflows, while evapotranspiration from impervious areas was 21.6%. Possible potable water savings for 2008/09 were estimated at 5.3 × 10(3) m(3), which is 50% of the total potable water provided to the area. This saving would also result in a 6% reduction of surface runoff.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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