An economic assessment tool to better assess the commercial and economic aspects of recycled water schemes in Australia.
What is the Recycled Water Economic Assessment Tool?
The tool is a free Excel-based system that allows users to undertake a cost benefit analysis to quantify a range of economic, social and environmental benefits, and costs for recycled water schemes. It is designed as an easy-to-use system to assess alternative water recycling options, primarily for non-potable purposes.
How does it work?
The tool uses information entered by the user on the likely costs and benefits of a particular water recycling initiative. While the tool is designed to be relatively easy to use, users should familiarise themselves with the Economic Viability of Recycled Water Schemes framework by the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, which is also available for download, to ensure an understanding of the context and application of the information that is to be entered. As with all models, the better the quality of the inputs, the greater the reliance that can be placed on the outputs of the model.
The tool was developed and tested in Microsoft® Excel™ 2010 and will function “as is” in versions of Excel from 2007 onwards.
How was it developed?
In 2013, Marsden Jacob Associates undertook an analysis on the Economic Viability of Recycled Water Schemes for the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence. The study provided a framework to help assess the economic viability of recycled water schemes, including not only the commercial value to businesses, but also the broader economic value to the community and environment.
In response to industry support and feedback, Marsden Jacob and the Centre developed a Recycled Water Economic Assessment Tool to assist users apply the framework and principles from the 2013 study to on-the-ground projects.
The tool is a spreadsheet that allows users to undertake a practical cost benefit analysis of non-drinking water recycling schemes. The tool is designed to be relatively easy to use and can assess a range of different water recycling situations.
Why is it useful?
The tool allows users to enter a wide variety of costs and benefits that are relevant to water recycling projects, including capital and operating costs, revenue from the scheme, avoided water and wastewater costs, and broader external factors (where applicable) like carbon emissions, the wider community’s willingness to contribute to the scheme, and the impact on water restrictions and the take-up of rainwater tanks.
The tool includes two output modules – one from a whole-of-community perspective and another from the commercial perspective of the recycled water service provider. Outputs include year-to-year cash and non-cash values, and a summary of the Net Present Value results.
Who can use it?
Anyone can access the tool. It is particularly useful for business managers, plant operators and planners at regional councils, utilities and organisations in Australia. It can also be used by consultants preparing a business case for a recycled water initiative for regulatory approval.
To obtain a copy of the model, please send an email to AWRCOE.
To help with our understanding of who is using the model, please include:
- your name,
- your organisation,
- what you hope to use the model for,
- whether you want to be advised of any updates in the model.
For further information on the tool, please contact our Melbourne office +61 3 8808 7400.
- Neither the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence nor Marsden Jacob Associates accepts any responsibility for any interpretation, opinion or conclusion that users may form as a result of using the Recycled Water Economic Assessment Tool.
- Use of the Recycled Water Economic Assessment Tool is entirely at the risk of the user. Neither the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence or Marsden Jacob Associates provide any warranties regarding the validity or accuracy of the Recycled Water Economic Assessment Tool and will not be held liable for any consequent damages or losses. Users should seek independent financial advice before relying on the results for any commercial or financial decision.
- The Recycled Water Economic Assessment Tool is provided “as is” – support cannot be guaranteed, but questions may be directed to Marsden Jacob Associates in the first instance.
- The Recycled Water Economic Assessment Tool evaluates the project against the specific alternative (‘without project’) scenario assumed by the user, but does not assess the project against other possible options. Analysis of other options should be undertaken separately.