Journal article

Real Time Control of Rainwater Harvesting Systems: The Benefits of Increasing Rainfall Forecast Window

Wei D Xu, Tim D Fletcher, Matthew J Burns, Frédéric Cherqui

Water Resources Research | American Geophysical Union (AGU) | Published : 2020


Use of real time control (RTC) technology in rainwater harvesting systems can improve performance across water supply, flood protection, and environmental flow provision. Such systems make the most of rainfall forecast information, to release water prior to storm events and thus minimize uncontrolled overflows. To date, most advanced applications have adopted 24‐hr forecast information, leaving longer‐term forecasts largely untested. In this study, we aimed to predict the performance of four different RTC strategies, based on different forecast lead time and preferred objectives. RTC systems were predicted to yield comparatively less harvested rainwater than conventional passive systems but ..

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Awarded by European Union

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was made possible by the financial support from Melbourne Water, through the Melbourne Waterway Research-Practice Partnership ( and from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement 786566 ( D. Xu received a Melbourne Research Scholarship provided by the University of Melbourne and South East Water Corporation. South East Water Corporation also provided operating expenses for this research. The support is gratefully acknowledged. The authors also thank South East Water Corporation (especially David Bergmann and Jeddah Breman) and Melbourne Water Corporation (especially Andrew Grant, Rhys Coleman, and Sarah Watkins) for their intellectual input and guidance. We also would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers and the Associate Editor for their helpful suggestions and comments.