Tools for Reuse Master Planning

Last Modified: Oct 25, 2013


  • Enrique Vadiveloo, Janeen Wietgrefe - Hazen and Sawyer

A sample output of the Criteria Evaluation Model. Higher scores are considered higher-ranked alternatives.

For this particular master planning effort, the team worked directly with each of the 28 municipalities in the County to identify large user reuse projects within one, three, and five miles of the wastewater treatment plants. The tool facilitates the selection of projects both within and crossing jurisdictional boundaries, highlighting the potential partnerships between utilities to foster maximum reuse development.

Following the input of existing wastewater and reuse infrastructure, the land parcels of potential reuse customers is identified within GIS layers. Keying these parcels by land use code enables the user to view customers by either total potential reuse or by type of reuse.

Given this data, the tool offers the user a comprehensive view of potential reuse projects within a one-, three-, and five-mile radius of each plant across utility service boundaries. Performing this analysis captured the most economically-feasible reuse projects for the County and identified potential strategic utility partnerships.

Two recently developed tools can simplify analysis, facilitate planning, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of master planning.

Hazen and Sawyer has assisted municipalities nationwide with their master planning efforts, utilizing the latest technologies to continuously improve results. As part of a recent master planning effort, we created two tools for the ongoing evaluation of potential reuse projects.

These tools — the GIS Reuse Planning Tool and the Criteria Evaluation Model – originally developed for a county in the Southeastern United States – can be adapted to analyze potential projects around the globe. They also readily identify potential multi-jurisdictional reclaimed water projects with easy-to-use graphical interfaces and enable utilities to plan outside their silo.

Criteria Evaluation Model
The Criteria Evaluation Model performs a quantitative analysis on qualitative data to determine the return on investment of reuse projects and partnerships.

For this initial project, the team established 20 principal criteria (based on project benefits, implementation, reliability, general acceptance, and cost) for use in the evaluation tool. The methodology included establishing a weight for each criterion, which can be tailored to any utility performing the evaluation. Additionally, the team calculated a scaling factor to ensure the criteria are evaluated on similar scales.

Once the user enters scores for each criterion, the model tabulates a total for each project and summarizes the results. Higher scores are considered higher-ranked alternatives. Since the weighting of the criteria directly affects the scoring of the project, variations in weighting will provide multiple rankings that can reflect the perspectives and the priorities of any number of stakeholders.

Municipalities may also perform this ranking analysis to complete reuse feasibility studies for future permitting efforts. The flexibility of this criteria evaluation model provides a cost savings for future planning updates for all involved municipalities.

GIS Reuse Planning Tool
The GIS Reuse Planning Tool compiles existing reuse infrastructure, public works projects, and potential large-user customer identifi cation on GIS into a Google Earth platform that anyone, from GIS novice to GIS expert, can manipulate.

For more information, please contact the authors at and

Hear about new publications with our email newsletter

We will never share your details with anyone else.


Newsletter Newsletter

Horizons Summer 2018 (pdf)

Horizons showcases significant water, wastewater, reuse, and stormwater projects and innovations that help our clients to achieve their goals, and can help you achieve yours. Articles are written by top engineers and process group leaders, demonstrating and explaining the beneficial application of a variety of technologies and tools.

View previous issues »