Candice is a Senior Research Consultant at the Institute for Sustainable Futures specializing in applied research to inform policy and practice in urban green infrastructure. A human geographer and trained social researcher Candice works in the Natural Resources and Ecosystems group. Her research focuses on the social and environmental function of green infrastructure in urban geographies, managing projects that explore the relationship between vegetation and localized heat, health and well-being, and ecosystem services. Recognizing the complex nature of urban geographies Candice draws on trans-disciplinary research principles in all stages of a project to ensure applied, real-world research outcomes. Working closely with industry, state and local governments Candice’s research works to provide a meaningful balance between local context, theory and evidence to assist clients in working towards actionable outcomes and best-practice strategy development in urban green infrastructure.
Turner, AJ, Mukheibir, P, Mitchell, C, Chong, J, Retamal, M, Murta, J, Carrard, N & Delaney, C 2016, 'Recycled water – lessons from Australia on dealing with risk and uncertainty', Water Practice and Technology, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 127-138.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Much can be learned from the numerous water recycling schemes currently in operation in Australia, especially with respect to making investment decisions based on uncertain assumptions. This paper illustrates through a number of case studies, that by considering the contextual and project related risks, a range of business related risks become apparent. Shifts in the contextual landscape and the various players' objectives can occur over the life of a project, often leading to unforeseen risk and uncertainty. Through a thorough consideration of the potential risks presented in this paper, proponents as well as owners and managers might make better recycled water investment decisions, enhancing the benefits and minimizing the costs of water recycling schemes. This paper presents an overview and discussion of seven key factors to consider when planning a recycling scheme.
Suburban rainwater tanks have the potential to reduce household mains water consumption, but simply installing the technology does not mean rainwater is automatically incorporated into everyday practices. Exploring how rainwater is conceptualised in contrast to mains water, and the way it is used in household practices, provides insights into why rainwater tank households may not be using less mains water than households without tanks. Water saving strategies that promote rainwater tanks tend to focus on installation rather than how, why and where rainwater is substituted for mains water. While there is the assumption that rainwater tank households use less mains water, an investigation of rainwater practices have revealed influential social and cultural factors that extend far beyond installing a new technology. Drawing on a household water study involving 21 interviews and 1425 surveys in the Illawarra region, Australia, practice theory principles provided insight into how rainwater was conceptualised, revealing the 'meaning' of rainwater as an influential factor informing its everyday use. The historical, cultural and emotional meanings of rainwater contribute to shaping its use in everyday practices. Rainwater means different things to different people and it is this spectrum of meanings that inform the range of practices, and volumes of use. This study highlights opportunities for increased integration of rainwater into household practices, which may broaden the perceived uses and usefulness, reshaping it's meaning over time.
The water demand and water use practices of each community are different. Designing cost-effective demand management programs requires investigating and responding directly to the unique water issues and opportunities of each community (Turner et al., 2010). As presented in this paper, a `mixed method baseline analysis' has proven to be valuable in developing a demand management program tailored to the distinctive community context. A mixed method baseline analysis is comprised of two interlinked components: (i) quantitative smart meter data analysis to create a detailed understanding of the water demand pro¬file; and (ii) qualitative social research to understand the social, cultural and institutional influences that drive existing water patterns. This paper shares the mixed method baseline analysis and resulting implications for a demand management program implemented in the remote Indigenous community of Gunbalanya, Northern Territory, in 2013.
Mukheibir, P, Boyle, TM, Delaney, CC & White, S 2014, 'Estimating the reliable residential water substitution from household rainwater tanks', Water Practice and Technology, vol. 9, no. 3.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Intelligent technologies are increasingly facilitating sustainable water management strategies in Australia. While this innovation can present clear cost benefits to utilities through immediate leak detection and deference of capital costs, the impact of this technology on households is less distinct. By offering real-time engagement and detailed end-use consumption breakdowns, there is significant potential for demand reduction as a behavioural response to increased information. Despite this potential, passive implementation without well-planned residential engagement strategies is likely to result in a lost opportunity. This paper begins this research process by exploring the effect of smart water meters through the lens of three behaviour change theories. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), Belief Revision theory (BR) and Practice Theory emphasise different variables that can potentially influence and predict household water engagements. In acknowledging the strengths of each theory, the nuances and complexity of household water engagement can be recognised which can contribute to effective planning for residential smart meter engagement strategies
Boyle, TM, Giurco, D, Mukheibir, P, Liu, A, Delaney, CC, White, S & Stewart, RA 2013, 'Intelligent metering for urban water: A review', Water, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 1052-1081.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
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
This paper provides the first published post-installation analysis of retrofitted rainwater tanks and their effects on mains water consumption. The study aimed to determine the average mains water reductions achieved in households with recently installed rainwater tanks and compare this figure with wider community consumption. The social and cultural impacts of rainwater tank ownership were also explored to understand how rainwater is used and perceived. The results show that during the period of analysis, the drought years of 20052007, 7125 or 8% of Illawarra households installed a tank. Comparison of mains water consumption for two years before and after installation shows that rainwater tank households reduced their mains water consumption about the same amount (10.26%) as the wider community (10.8%). The social and cultural components reveal three main groups of households. The largest group, water users, had a desire for water autonomy and independence to continue previously enjoyed water practices that had been restricted. Among a light green group, tanks were part of a package of overtly pro-environmental behaviours that did not necessarily change consumption patterns. A frugal group, many of whom had been raised in rural areas, were the main water savers. Perception of tank water quality was shown to be an influential determinant of how rainwater was used, particularly for connections internal to the house. This study shows that rainwater tanks have the potential to achieve significant water savings, but if water-intensive behaviours are not modified, and rainwater tanks are not plumbed indoors, the potential of this alternative water source will not be met. Currently, rainwater tanks facilitate water users as much as water savers
Mukheibir, P, Turner, AJ, Mitchell, CA, Chong, J, Murta, J, Retamal, ML, Carrard, NR & Delaney, CC 2014, 'Shifts happen: Making better recycled water investment decisions', Sustainability in Public Works Conference 27 29 July 2014, Sustainability in Public Works Conference 27 29 July 2014, IPWEA, Tweed Heads.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
ABSTRACT: Recycled water has increasingly been considered as a means to deal with water supply-demand imbalances, treated wastewater disposal and stormwater management. It contributes to the sustainability of urban water systems and the regeneration of the urban landscape. However, recycled water schemes are not mainstream, and are often confronted with numerous challenges. By considering the contextual and project related risks associated with a diverse selection of recycling projects in Australia, a range of business related risks have become apparent. There is now evidence that shifts in both the contextual landscape and the objectives of the various players involved can occur over the life of a project, resulting in risk and uncertainty often not foreseen. Many guidelines on recycling have been produced which focus mainly on technical risk. Drawing on the experiences of a diverse selection of case studies in Australia, this paper contemplates the additional risks and uncertainties, often not initially considered at the inception of a recycling scheme. This paper presents an overview and discussion of six key issues to consider when planning a recycling scheme.
Delaney, CC & Fam, DM 2012, 'The meaning of rainwater: using practice theory to analyse household rainwater consumption', Proceedings of Tapping the Turn conference: social dimensions of water management, Tapping the Turn: social dimensions of water management, Australian National University (ANU), Hedley Bull Centre, Australian National University, Canberrra.
This report presents an analysis of water use in Gunbalanya and an independent evaluation of the `Gunbalanya Water Initiative (the Initiative), a water demand management program led by Power and Water Corporation (PWC) in 2013. The Initiative was implemented in the Gunbalanya community (Oenpelli) in western Arnhemland, Northern Territory, in response to increasing water scarcity and rising demand from the water system. The community experiences water shortages at the end of most dry seasons (October to December) as the aquifer is dependent on seasonal recharge and unique aquifer characteristics prohibit higher extraction rates. Increasing water demand incurs higher production costs. Where that water continues to the sewer, it can also overload sewage treatment systems. These drivers triggered an analysis of the sources of demand (water use, leaks, etc) to identify and test the local efficacy of targeted demand reduction measures. Implementation of the Initiative was from October 2012 to November 2013 through a partnership between local and Territory governments and the Gunbalanya community. The partners included Power and Water Corporation, the NT Department of Housing, the West Arnhem Regional Council (WARC), and the NT Department of Community Services. In - kind contributions from all partners supplemented grant funding of $298,000 from the Australian Government to deliver the program. The focus of the Initiative was to engage Indigenous public housing tenants and community stakeholders in a water efficiency program. Smart meter data interpretation played a significant role in the Initiatives design, monitoring and evaluation. A mixture of qualitative and quantitative evaluation techniques were used.
Jacobs, B, Mikhailovich, N & Delaney, C Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2014, Benchmarking Australia's Urban Tree Canopy: An i-Tree assessment, Final Report, pp. 1-43, Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This report aims to provide 139 Local Governments in urban and semi urban environments across Australia with an estimate of land surface cover. This study is part of the 202020 Vision, funded by Horticulture Limited Australia, in working towards a 20% increase in the level of green space in Local Government Areas (LGAs) across the country. View/download http://202020vision.com.au/media/7141/benchmarking_australias_urban_tre…
Mukheibir, P., Delaney, C.C., Boyle, T.M. & Milne, G.R. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2013, Lower Hunter Water Plan: Options investigation - rainwater tanks (Final Report), pp. 1-130, Sydney.
Ross, K, Delaney, C & Mitchell, C 2013, Gunbalanya Household Water and Energy Initiative. Paper 1: Baseline Evaluation. Paper 2: Design Recommendations. Paper 3: Interview Tools. Paper 4: Learning Paper.
Paper 1: Baseline Evaluation. Paper 2: Design Recommendations. Paper 3: Interview Tools. Paper 4: Learning Paper. Prepared by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney, for the Power and Water Corporation.