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Ariane Liu

Senior Research Consultant, Institute for Sustainable Futures
Economics, Development Economics
 

Conferences

Liu, A., Giurco, D. & Mukheibir, P. 2015, 'Household water-use feedback: moving forwards towards sustainable urban water', International Conference on Sustainable Water Management, Murdoch University, pp. 1-8.
Sustainable water management is becoming increasingly essential in an age characterised by rapid population and urban growth, industrial development and climate change. Opportunities to promote conservation and water-use efficiencies remain attractive in directly reducing water demand. Smart water metering and the provision of detailed water-use feedback to consumers present exciting new opportunities for improved urban water management. This paper explores two smart water metering trials in New South Wales, Australia, which provided household water consumption feedback via (i) paper end-use reports and (ii) an online portal. This combination enabled a deeper exploration of the various impacts of detailed feedback enabled via smart water metering, while simultaneously extending experience of the practical issues and challenges involved. The positive effects uncovered by the research present an important opportunity for smart water metering feedback to contribute towards more sustainable urban water management. Their summary contributes empirical evidence on the impacts for water utilities considering embarking on the smart water metering journey with their customers. The identification of future research and policy needs sets an agenda for smart water metering to promote a sustainable digital urban water future. A more coordinated approach to feedback programs is called for between the water industry and research to ensure very clear business and sustainability objectives are met. Utilities should also aim to integrate the design and plans for advanced feedback programs at the outset of smart meter implementations.
Liu, A., Giurco, D. & Mukheibir, P. 2014, 'Online household water portal: user interactions and perceptions of water-use', The 2nd Smart Water Grid International Conference 2014, Incheon, South Korea.
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Liu, A., Giurco, D., Mukheibir, P. & Graeme, W. 2013, 'Smart metering and billing: Information to guide household water consumption', Proceedings of the 2013 AWA Water Education, Efficiency and Skills conference, AWA Water Education, Efficiency and Skills conference, Australian Water Association (AWA), Sydney, Australia.

Journal articles

Liu, A., Giurco, D. & Mukheibir, P. 2017, 'Advancing household water-use feedback to inform customer behaviour for sustainable urban water', Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 198-205.
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© IWA Publishing 2017.Sustainable water management is increasingly essential in an age characterised by rapid population growth, urban and industrial development and climate change. Opportunities to promote conservation and water-use efficiencies remain attractive in directly reducing water demand. Smart water metering and the provision of detailed water-use feedback to consumers present exciting new opportunities for improved urban water management. This paper explores two smart water metering trials in New South Wales, Australia, which provided household water consumption feedback via (i) paper end-use reports and (ii) an online portal. This combination enabled a deeper exploration of the various impacts of detailed feedback enabled via smart water metering. The positive effects uncovered by the research present an important opportunity for smart water metering feedback to contribute towards more sustainable urban water management. Their summary contributes empirical evidence on the impacts for water utilities considering embarking on the smart water metering journey with their customers. The identification of future research and policy needs sets an agenda for smart water metering to promote a sustainable digital urban water future. Larger-scale trials are now required and utilities should integrate the design and plans for scalable advanced feedback programs at the outset of smart meter implementations.
Liu, A., Giurco, D., Mukheibir, P., Mohr, S., Watkins, G. & White, S. 2017, 'Online water-use feedback: household user interest, savings and implications', Urban Water Journal, pp. 1-8.
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© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis GroupThis paper reports on the short- and long-term impacts of online water-use feedback provided via a smart metering trial involving 120 households in New South Wales, Australia. Near-real time water consumption feedback was provided via an online portal to half of the sample. Water consumption was uniquely analysed one year pre- and post-intervention, and in conjunction with login data. During one year of available access, the intervention group saved an overall average of 24.1 litres per household per day (L/hh/d) (4.2%). Regression analysis showed the significant savings of active users related specifically to portal login activity. Significant short-term effects persisted for 42 days, averaging at 63.1 L/hh/d. The article discusses the implications for research and practice, including a consideration of how, in addition to providing ongoing access, online portals could be leveraged further by water authorities to help meet urgent short-term supply constraints such as in drought.
Liu, A., Giurco, D. & Mukheibir, P. 2016, 'Urban water conservation through customised water and end-use information', Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 112, no. 4, pp. 3164-3175.
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Water conservation in urban centres is an ongoing challenge in which new technologies can play an important role. Smart water metering in conjunction with end-use analysis enables the collection of more detailed information on household water consumption than was previously possible. This presents a new and currently underexplored opportunity to promote more efficient water use via the provision of detailed customised water-use information to householders. Among the variety of possible approaches, is the option of paper-based reports containing a highly detailed 'snapshot' of household water use. This paper describes a mixed methods study in which customised paper-based 'Home Water Updates' were provided to a group of households in Australia to explore the idea of providing detailed feedback, including detailed end-use consumption information on uses of water within the home. The methods used within this research are described in detail to disseminate experience in this relatively new area of research. Analysis of the post-intervention householder evaluation survey showed the provision of detailed water-use information via the Home Water Updates appealed to the vast majority of householders; and further resulted in changed behaviours (e.g. shorter showers and full washing machine loads) and installations of new infrastructure. These research findings suggest a role for customised household water and end-use information via smart metering. However, more work is required to optimise approaches to enable a significant contribution towards more sustainable urban water management.
Liu, A., Giurco, D., Mukheibir, P. & White, S. 2016, 'Detailed water-use feedback: A review and proposed framework for program implementation', Utilities Policy, vol. 43, pp. 140-150.
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Smart water metering (SWM) introduces new opportunities to engage householders about water use based on detailed information. Water utilities must decide how to embrace these opportunities, but remain hesitant due to limited available experience and knowledge, which risks delaying the benefits of involving householders more fully in SWM and more sustainable water consumption. An implementation framework is developed outlining the key strategic, practical and evaluative elements in decision-making for detailed feedback programs by drawing on the literature and first-hand experiences of two feedback trials involving SWM. Existing approaches are reviewed and recommendations are provided to advance more well-considered approaches and realise benefits regarding sustainable water use.
Liu, A., Giurco, D. & Mukheibir, P. 2015, 'Motivating metrics for household water-use feedback', Resources Conservation and Recycling, vol. 103, pp. 29-46.
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Liu, A., Giurco, D., Mukheibir, P. & Graeme, W. 2013, 'Smart metering and billing: Information to guide household water consumption', Water, vol. 40, no. 5, pp. 73-77.
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Until now householders have received limited information on their water consumption patterns. Smart water metering presents far more detailed information resources and the opportunity to transform the e xisting flow of information to consumers for improved efficiencies in water usage. However, a balance is needed between delivering current minimal information and the ful l detail smart metering can provide on time of use and end uses. It is critical to understand what information is of value to householders. This paper presents results from a recent householder survey at MidCoast Water {N5W}, which improves our understanding of the customer perspective on water consumption information.
Boyle, T.M., Giurco, D., Mukheibir, P., Liu, A., Delaney, C.C., White, S. & Stewart, R.A. 2013, 'Intelligent metering for urban water: A review', Water, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 1052-1081.
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This paper reviews the drivers, development and global deployment of intelligent water metering in the urban context. Recognising that intelligent metering (or smart metering) has the potential to revolutionise customer engagement and management of urban water by utilities, this paper provides a summary of the knowledge-base for researchers and industry practitioners to ensure that the technology fosters sustainable urban water management. To date, roll-outs of intelligent metering have been driven by the desire for increased data regarding time of use and end-use (such as use by shower, toilet, garden, etc.) as well as by the ability of the technology to reduce labour costs for meter reading. Technology development in the water sector generally lags that seen in the electricity sector. In the coming decade, the deployment of intelligent water metering will transition from being predominantly pilot or demonstration scale with the occasional city-wide roll-out, to broader mainstream implementation. This means that issues which have hitherto received little focus must now be addressed, namely: the role of real-time data in customer engagement and demand management; data ownership, sharing and privacy; technical data management and infrastructure security, utility workforce skills; and costs and benefits of implementation

Reports

Fam, D.M., Turner, A., Latimer, G., Liu, A., Giurco, D. & Starr, P. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2017, Convergence of the waste and water sectors: risks, opportunities and future trends – discussion paper, pp. 1-24, Sydney, Australia.
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The aim of this discussion paper is to bring to light the increasing convergence of the water and waste sectors and the associated risks, benefits, and future trends already on the horizon. Current examples of convergence in managing coal seam gas (CSG), food waste, fats, oils and grease (FOG) and biosolids, provide insights into not only the risks to public and environmental health of waste streams that cross sectoral boundaries but also potential opportunities for the water and waste sectors to seize as business opportunities. What is clear is that convergence between these sectors is already happening and in some cases there are adverse environmental consequences and associated health impacts. A key message from this research is the need to take an integrated and coordinated approach to planning and regulating the convergence of the water and waste sectors. Key recommendations to manage the risks associated with cross sector convergence of the water and waste sectors include facilitating: (1) increased engagement between regulators of each sector, (2) greater communication across sectors (3) a co-ordinated approach and plan to managing waste streams, (4) the development of monitoring and evaluation frameworks that cross sectors and (5) a coordinated approach to the assessment of research needs.
Fattal, A.R., Kelly, S., Liu, A. & Giurco, D. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2016, Waste Fires in Australia: Cause for Concern?, pp. 1-33, Sydney.
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