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Volume 32 No 6 September 2005 Journal of the Australian W ater Association

Editorial Board F R Bishop, Chairman B N Anderson, G Finke, G Finlayson, G A Holder, B Labza, M Muntisov, F Roddick, G Ryan, S Gray, A Gibson, C Diaper Water is a refereed journal. This symbol indicates that a paper has been refereed.


OPINION 2 The Debate Continues; Basic Necessities; Getting Up Close ond Personal with Water, D Miell


ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES 6 Awards; Young Water Professionals; News from the WEN

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34 [ •, BENEFIT COST ANALYSIS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL FLOW OPTIONS: THOMSON AND MACALISTER RIVERS Atransparent process for sharing a resource J Branson, N Stu rgess, R D umsday

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OUR COVER: The Thompson Dam harnesses the Thomson River to provide about 60% of Melbourne's water, but there are demands for a greater proportion to be released downstream for environmental reasons. The Living Murray Initiative has also stimulated protest from current abstractors and there are many other examples. A 'healthy working river' must balance ail these demands. The paper by Branson er al (page 34) attempts to provide a transparent framework to balance costs and benefits. Photo courtesy ofMelbourne Water.


from the president

THE DEBATE CONTINUES As our com munities, political leaders and our water fam ily passionately de bate h ow our cities diversify water sources to improve rhe security of our supplies, it is worthwhile to reflect on two famo us quotes.

is one of the largest consumers of energy, and we must focus on greenhouse gas impacts as part of ou r sustainability m easu res.

• Benjam in Franklin (1706 1790), scientist, inventor, ph ilosopher, economist and statesman mused , "When the

well is dry, we learn the worth of water''. • John F. Kennedy (1917 1963), the thirty-fifth President of rhe United Stares philosophised "ff we could ever

competitively, at a cheap rate, get ftesh water ftom saltwater, ... (this) would be in the longrange interests ofhumanity which could really dwarf any other scientific accomplishments. " We are still learning the worth of water, bur we have been delivered the great leap forward John Kennedy dreamed of in technology fo r desalinated water to be a cosr-comperirive option as pan of our supply portfolio. The p rice charged fo r good quali ty, safe, drinking water is often set artificially low, nor reflecting the economic cost of existing su pply systems or rhe eco nomic cost o f the next incremental increase in supply. T he price of water rarely

Darryl Day

construction) and Sydney (project developm ent), has created great debate about energy and rhe con rriburion of rhe water sector ro greenhouse gas emissions. What many do nor appreciate is that every aspect of water has an energy component. The pressure in our pipes, th e transport from source and quality improvement and disinfection th rough our treatment planes, all have significant energy compo nents. When we think of rhe energy involved in desalination of brackish or seawater, ir needs to be in compariso n to rhe energy involved with alternative o ptions, such as the h igh standard of treatment required for recycled water. In addition

The price of water rarely includes the cost of externalities, that is environmental and other costs such as greenhouse gas emissions, protection of catchments and allocation of water for our cities. includes rhe cost of externalit ies, char is environmental and o ther costs such as greenhouse gas emissions, protection of catchments and allocation of water fo r ou r cities. It has com e as no surprise that seawater desalination , to increase source diversity for o ur major cities of Perth (under



significant energy is consumed in transporting recycled water from rhe rrearmenr planes (often at rhe lowest point in rh e catchm ents) ro areas such as industrial and commercial precincts and growth corridors where ir can be used. Ir is nor a black and white d ebate, but o ne o f comparison, and consid eration. T he water sector

At the Victo rian Bran ch Annual Din ner o n 18 August, C heryl Baragol, C hairman of M elbou rne W ater Corporation, shared her views on corporate social responsibili ty and Melbourne W ater's industry leading approach ro reducing, and offsetting, greenhouse gas em issions. Cheryl's vis ionary leadership has contributed ro a very healthy debate, and a challenge to us all , in our ap proach to sustainab ili ty. The Victorian Branch An nual D inner was a stunning success with outgoing Branch President, M elita Stevens, welcom ing nearly 600 people to an eveni ng of networking and fine dining. A WA, and rhe water family, has n ever b een stronger in V ictoria refl ected by rhe support of leaders from all sectors and the broad mix of people at the dinner. Thank you M elita fo r your leadership, passion and com mi tment over rhe last two years (and longer), and welcome to th e incoming Branch President, C h ris Povey. T he Western Austral ian Regional Conference, held rh is year in Bun bury, was also a great success with an interesting and entertaining day of presentations, and excellent feedback. As WA Branch m em bers appreciate, Carh Miller, the Marketing and Events Coordinator is a dynamic organiser and great ambassad or for rhe water sector and delivered a very professional event. Congraru larions to outgoing Branch President, T revor W inton, who h as raised the profile and influence of AWA and welcome to Jeff Camkin , th e new Branch President for the next two years. The New So uth Wales Heads of Water Conference and Gala D inner was another outstanding success. In rhe fo ur

years rhe even t has been held, ir was the most successful , drawing leaders nationally and within N ew South Wales with an exciti ng, informative and high ly topical program. The C onvenor, E mma Pryor, her organising committee and Branch P resident Annalisa Contos, all contributed many hours of perso nal rime to make the event the highlight of the N ew South Wales calendar. These events are AWA a r i rs best; delivering oppo rtunit ies fo r those in the water family to meet, discuss em erging issues, share knowledge and experiences. In closing, I encourage everyo ne to get involved in National Water Week from 16 October to 22 October 20 05 . AWA, though the Water Education Network, w ill provide national leadershi p for National Water Week, including support and promotion of events through the AWA website. The theme 'Water fo r Life' is also the theme of rhe U ni red Nations Internacional Decade for Action launched on World Water Day, 22 March th is year. T he Water Education Network Coordinator, Corinne C heeseman, is working with organisers and her 1200 strong netwo rk to promote events locally and nationally.

Darryl Day



Adva nced Wa ter Tre atment

DECEMBER - Liquid Waste Treatment, Proj ect Del ivery, Activated Sludge Dynamics, e-Water CRC FEBRUARY On-si t e Systems , Algal Toxins, Ewater Research Program

BENEFIT COST ANALYSIS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL FLOW OPTIONS: THOMSON AND MACALISTER RIVERS J Branson, N Sturgess, R Dumsday Abstract Namral resource eco no mists in URS Australia were asked by the Victorian Department of Sustainabil ity and Environment to assess one of the most important contemporary questions in water resource management, that is, "how do we best share water resources between the three principal water users"; namely, the environment, irrigators and urban users. In lace 2000, a Task Force was established to review the bulk entitlements for the Macalister and Thomson Rivers in V ictoria. Five scenarios spanning the extremes were analysed for the economic, social and environmental values of water. While most of the flow regimes assessed were economic -

A transparent process for sharing a resource. having positive benefit cost ratios - our assessment showed chat the preferred option was one of che compromise options, where the benefits of some increase in environmental flow remained high, but relative to the ' full ' recommended flows the impacts on irrigators and the urban user, Melbourne Water, were reduced.

Introduction In late 2000, a Task Force was established to review the bulk entitlements fo r the Macaliscer and Thomson Rivers in Victoria. As part of chis 99 review two separate but concurrent smdies were 98 commissioned co look into the appropriateness of the bulk 97 entitlements for environmental g flows. Both studies used the 96 FLOWS method for determining w environmental water 95 requirements. T he Thomson and Macalister 94 Rivers are located about 160 kilometres east of Melbourne and

The FLOWS method is a method for determining environmental flow requirements in Victoria. The method is based on the philosophy of describing key flow components (such as overbank flows and freshes) as part of a recommendation for an environmental flow regime. This approach differs markedly from previous environmental flow requirements that established 'minimum flows' only. connect the Tho mso n Reservoir - which presently provides around 60 per cent of Melbourne's water - and Lake Wellington, wh ich fo rms part of the Ramsar-listed Gippsland Lakes. The rights to water stored in the T homson Reservoir are held by Melbourne Water Corporation (>90%) and irrigators in the Macaliscer Irrigation District. The majority of irrigation water used in the Macalister Irrigation D istrict is sourced from Lake G lenmaggie, which is an annual storage on the Macalister River. As part of chis review, URS Australia was asked to assess the benefits and cosrs of environmental flow options that were being developed by the Task Force based on recommendations of both environmental flows studies. In particular, the aim was to undertake a benefit cost analysis that considered economic, environmental and

Overbank flow - . . - - - - - Bankfull flow _ _ _..,--

High Flow freshes


93 1 -40

This is an edited version of a paper delivered at OzWater 2005.



social benefits and costs, to investigate whether any change in bulk entitlements wo uld be economic, and to ensure that the process fo r revising environmental flows remains as transparent as possible.

Environmental Flow Scenarios An expert panel of scientists, which included people from various disciplines, including environmental science, terrestrial ecology, freshwater ecology, fis h biology, engineering, catchment hydrology, geomorphology, and namral resource management, determined a flow regime chat would provide for an ecologically healthy Thomson and Macalister river system; and con trasted this with the current Bulk Entitlement provisions. In between these two extremes, three compromise environmental-flow options representing high, medium and low risk options were developed. Compromises were provided in the for m of changes to the full recommendations in specific flow co mponents. Flow components describe che variability in stream discharge as well as fl ows connecting the river to the floodpla in. Seven d istinct flow components were described in developing che compromise flow scenarios: • Cease to Flow - periods when there is no detectable flow of water. The river bed may dry completely, o r water may be retained in isolated pools. • Low Flows - flows that provide a continuous flow over the bottom of the stream channel, but do not fill the channel to any great depth. The term is most oft en used in relation to baseflows that occur over the drier periods of the year (e.g. summer) that are sustained for some period (weeks to months), even in the absence of rainfall.

Low Flow freshes , Lowflpws 10 20

-30 Station (m)

Figure l. River flow components measured by depth.


• Low Flow Freshes - flows that produce a rise in river height fo r a short period (usually measured in d ays), due to short bursts of rain during periods of low flow. • High Flows - a term used to describe the persistent increase in

retereed paper

seasonal baseflow char generally valued by the eco nomise. T his is 12000 occurs over autumn , winter and not an easy cask and inevitably spring, bur which remai n requires judgement by all 10000 Overbank flow con fi ned in the srream channel. involved in chis process. T he 8000 cask was undertaken at a • High Flow Freshes - flows 3' Banklull flow Workshop with approximately char produce a rise in river height ~ 6000 ~ 20 technical experts in che for an extended period during ....a 4000 various specialities. Ic was not periods of high flow, inundating Low Flow possible to value all substantial rhe banks of rhe channel to some 2000 LTIOW outcomes, primarily because depth. relevant valuation studies have 0 • Bankfull Flows - flows chat Jan Feb Mar Apr May J..1 Jul A~ Sep Oct Nov Dec not been conducted. co mpletely fill the channel co the T he srudy of Bennett and cop of the banks. Figure 2. River flow components measured by rate o f flow. Morrison (2001) was considered • Overbank Flows - flows chat to contai n river attribute values spill out of the channel onto che most suitable for benefit floodplai n. benefit transfer. Under chis process, value to che Thomson and Macalisrer transfer esti mates chat have been developed in ocher T hese different components can be Rivers in Victoria. T hose char were visualised by che depth of water they stud ies, and for ocher cases, are used co considered relevan c were: produce in the channel (Figure I) or from inform decision making by inference. • the percentage change in the length of different stages in a hydrograph (Figure 2) . Benefit transfer is a useful process in the river wi th healthy native vegetation and Each flow component is assumed co have placing no n-market values on wetlands; d ifferent eco logical functions or environmental benefits where independent co nsequences in a river. • the change in the number of native fis h environmental evaluations cannot be species presen c; and For the Thomson and Macaliscer flow undertaken. scenarios, the flow components of bankfull • the change in che number of waterbird Scientists, such as ecologists and fl uvial and overbank flows, summer and win ter and ocher fauna! species present. geo-morphologiscs, ch ink about flow low flows, and sum mer and winter freshes W hilst ocher values do exist fo r rivers and regimes and their effects in many were considered the lease important wetlands in ocher pares of Australia, the dimensions. T hese are seldom coincident components. If they were removed, they above values were specifically developed fo r with the sec of attributes the co mmu nity is would still provide an improvement in che the process of benefit transfer, and it was concerned abour when considering the health of che cwo rivers. T he fi ve flow considered chat extrapolation of their effects of changing river flows or ocher river scenarios chat were developed fo r evaluatio n estimated values for 'N SW southern managemen c variables. T herefore, a fi rsc were: coastal' rivers would be most appropriate step in valuing changes in flows is to • Scenario l - Full environ mental flow translate the outcomes measured by Ir would be extremely difficu lt to recommendations determine the precise probability scientists into the outco mes chat are • Scenario 2 - Low comprom ise distributio n of outco mes for each of rhe important to the co mmuni ty and can be • Scenario 3 - Medium co mpromise • Scenario 4 - High comprom ise VOGELSANG-THE PUMPS FOR EVERYTHING THAT FLOWS • Scenario 5 - Current bulk entitlement Vogelsang Rotary Lobe Pumps are masters in versatility. Sturdy & space saving, low maintenance & prov1s1ons powerful, and have already stood their test in industrial & domestic waste disposal for a long time. They T hroughout this report, these five move anything that is meant to flow, free of blockages and without breakdowns even in extreme situations scenarios are referred co as O ptions l co 5. T he actual change in Tho mson and Features Macaliscer river flows char would have • Self priming to 9 m NPSH occurred under each scenario were • Insensitive to dry running quantified for che past 48 years using the • Discharge heads up to 16 bar historical flow records in Table l. • Flow rates to 900 m3/hr The benefits and coses of the flow • Compact modular construction options were assessed relative co the current • Pumping forward I reverse situation, which was modelled as Option 5. • Optimised sealing system


Benefits From Increased Environmental Flows Generating primary dollar values fo r environmental assets and benefits was beyond the scope of chis study. Bennett and Morrison (2001) and van Bueren and Bennett (200 1) describe a process where the values of environmental assets assessed by detailed research at a given site can be transferred co similar environmental assets ar other sires provided some minimum criteria are met. The process is termed

r fere d paper

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above three river attributes. Therefore, we used simple triangular distributions by requesting the technical experts to specify their best estimates of most likely, absolute minimum (worse) and absolute maximum (best) physical outcomes of the attributes chat were valued. Even so, che technical experts emphasised that this did not capture all the uncertainty involved in predicting furnre outcomes fo r the attributes char could be valued. In their study, Bennett and Morrison found chat the values chat people hold fo r river heal ch varies for households inside and outside the catchment. T he value estimates, expressed as willingness to pay for an improvement in river healch, char were used to value the benefits of each flow regime are shown in Table 2. The values shown in Table 2 were estimated as one-off payments made by households and as such represent respondents' "present values" (over 20 years) of the scream of benefits chat they will enjoy fro m che attributes through time (measured as willingness to pay for an improvement in these attribu tes). In commenting on the robustness of the estimated values of che accribuces, Bennett and Morrison note chat the estimating equations explain a large proportion of che variabili ty displayed in the data, in ocher words, "the models are extremely good at explaining the choice behaviour of the respondents". As well, 33 of the 35 estimated attribute values were signi ficant at che fi ve per cent level. As discussed in URS (2003) two approaches to benefit valuation can be used. One is willingness to pay, which reflects the maximum monetary amoun t chat an individual would pay to obtain a good. The ocher is will ingness to accept

Table 1. Average annual change in outflow, 1955-2003 . Option

Average increase in outflow from Thomson River• (GL/ yr)

Option 5 Option 4 Option 3 Option 2 Option l

Average increase in outflow from Macalister River (GL/yr)

0 12 18 25 40

0 8 13 16 17

0 20 31 41 57

0 5 7 10 13


Table 2. Attribute value estimates for NSW southern coastal rivers. Attribute Native Vegetation° Native Fi sh6 Fauna<

Value estimate ($ per within catchment household)

Value estimate ($ per outside catchment household)

2.32 7.37 0.92

2.6 1 6.72 0.87

a. Vegetation Unit= Value ($) per one per cent increase in river length with healthy vegetation and

wetlands b. Fish Unit = Value ($) per unit increase in the number of native fish species present c. Fauna Unit = Value ($) per unit increase in the number of waterbird and other fauna species present

(compensation), which reflects che minimum monetary amount required to relinquish the good. Willingness to pay, therefore, provides a purchase price, relevant for valuing che proposed gain of a good, whereas willingness to accept provides a selli ng price, relevant for valuing a proposed relinquishment. Conventional economic theory suggests that, in most circumstances, these two measures should yield roughly equal estimates of value. However, there is a large body of empirical evidence from observation of human behaviou r chat demonstrates char



c ~ ~

~ ~

~ j;


~ "'

The Thomson Dam supplies 60% of Melbourne's water.


Increase in outflow from Thomson and Macalister Rivers

*Thomson River upstream of Mocalister River



Average increase in outflow from Thomson and Macalister Rivers (GL/yr)

willingness to accept frequently exceeds by many rimes che will ingness to pay for che same good. For example, Horowitz and McConnell (2002, Table IIIA) reviewed some 50 studies char explored emp irical differences between che two concepts and summarised their results in terms of the mean ratio of 'willingness to accept' to 'willingness to pay'. They found, fo r example, chat the mean ratio for public or non-marker goods was 10.4 1 with a standard deviation (SD) of 2.53, the mean ratio for ordinary private goods was 2.92 (SD = 0.30), and the mean ratio for all goods was 7.17 (SD = 0.93) . Horowitz and McCo nnell concluded chat che ratio is highest fo r public or non-market goods, next highest for ordinary private goods and lowest for exchanges of money itself. It is our belief (shared by ochers, for example, Knetsch 1990, and Brown and Gregory 1999) that chis empirical evidence should nor be ignored, and char che correct measure of value should be used in the analysis of environmental programs. In shore, che benefits of restoration and improvement should be valued by willingness to pay for an improved environmental asset or service, while the benefi t of preservation and maintenance should be valued by willingness co accept che loss of the asset or service. If analyses use willingness to pay where willingness co accept is appropriate, a whole class of environmental goods will be under-

re ereed paper

Table 3. Mean and standard deviation of benefits ¡ perfect correlation between outcomes [WTA). Standard deviation (Sm)

Mean benefit (Sm)


Option l Option 2 Option 3 Option 4



53 49

26 21 17 15

-80 -84

Option 5

Table 4. Mean benefits relative to contin uation of O ption 5. Option

Option Option Option Option

Total benefit relative to Option 5 (Sm)

Extra flow relative to Option 5 (GL)

Mean Value per MLof extra flow

163 137

57 41 31 20

$2,860 $3,341 $4,290 $200

l 2 3 4

133 4

valued and hence under-supplied. For example, willingness co pay is relevant co measure the gain in benefits of improving native vegetation and werlands bur willingness co accept is appropriate co measure rhe loss of benefits if there was loss of native vegetation and werlands from its existing condition. If will ingness to pay is used where willingness to accept is appropriate, there may be insufficient investment in the prevention of losses and damage (preservation and maintenance), and the associated environmental 'goods' will be under-supplied.

Estimating Willingness to Accept Compensation Unfortunately, estimates of willingness co accept are hard to find and difficu lt to collect. Contingent valuation or choice modelling are perhaps the only ways co derive these estimates, bur such survey methods may tend to overestimate wi llingness co accept. An appealing procedure is co exploit the disparity between the two measures by recognising chat willingness to pay under-estimates wi ll ingness to accept and to mulriply wi llingness co pay by a pre-determined factor, char is: WTA = WTP x multiplier. This approach would be suitable if we can estimate an appropriate will ingness co pay and an appropriate multiplier. le is argued in URS (2003) char an appropriate multiplier for river attributes might lie between 1.0 and 5.0 and can be assessed using characteristics of che river environments. A simple, consistent and robust index has been derived co scale the characteristics of a river reach co estimate appropriate multiplier values (see URS 2003). When willingness co pay estimates

ed paper

are available for 'within catchment' and 'outside catchment' communi ties, the multipliers should be estimated for both communities. The estimated multipliers can then be applied co attribute val ue estimates (willi ngness co pay) derived from previous scudies co estimate will ingness to accept for the loss of those attributes. Ideally, che sco ring process co decide che multiplier should be undertaken by surveying members of the relevant communities. Where chis is not possible, appropriately constituted 'representative panels' or 'focus groups' drawn from the communities would be a usefu l and convenient mechanism. Neither approach was possible within che resources and rimelines fo r chis study of the Thomson and Macalister Rivers. Therefore, the fo llowing multipliers were specified: â&#x20AC;˘ for households inside catchment: WTA = 5WTP â&#x20AC;˘ for households outside catchment: WTA = 3WTP Sensitivity analysis was then used to investigate the implications of different relationships between willingness co pay and will ingness co accept for each community. The distributions of benefits for che various attributes were used co calculate the mean benefit and its standard deviation fo r each environmental flow option . Each of the distributions of benefits was derived using the Monte Carlo risk technique, which randomly sampled 5,000 trials from the triangular distributions of benefits.

Results Table 3 shows the results of the simulation of 5,000 trials when all outcomes are assumed perfecrly correlated.

The latter assumption means chat when one attribute produces its worse (most likely, best) outcome all o cher attributes affected by the option produce their worse (most likely, best) outcome. These resul ts show chat continuation of O ption 5 (current si tuation} is estimated to result in a loss with a mean present value of $84m, and chat in 68 per cent of cases the actual outcome would lie between a loss of $69m and a loss of $99 m, chat is, plus and m inus one standard deviation aro und the mean. I n 68 per cent of cases, the estimated benefits of Option 1 would lie between $65 m and $93m. Relative co continuation of the current situation, however, Option 1 would produce an overall mean benefi t of $1 6 3m because ic would avoid che mean loss of continuing the current flow regime ($84m) and produce an extra benefit with a mean of $79m. The overall mean benefits of each o ption relative co continuing the current regime (Option 5) are shown in T able 4 along wich an estimate of che resultant mean value per ML of increased environmental flow.

Table 5. Mean benefits relative to contin uation o f Option 5 - all benefits at wi llingness to pay. Option

Option l Option 2 Option 3 Option 4

Toto! benefit relative to Option 5 ($ml

Extra flow relative to Option 5 (Gll

Mean Value per ML of extra flow

106 86 81 4

57 41 31 20

$1,860 $2,098 $2,6 13 $200

Table 6. The esti mated costs of increased environmental flows in the Thomson and Maca lister Rivers to Urban Water Co nsumers. Options

Net Present Cost @ 4% over 50 yrs ($ml

Net Present Cost @ 8% over 50 yrs ($ml

Option 1 Option 2 Option 3

11 7.70 99.04

83.25 69.93 64.79

Option 4

89.84 4 1.07

Sensitivity Analysis Two ocher scenarios were evaluated co cesc che sensitivity of the est imated benefits to assumpt io ns about che relationship between w illingness to pay and will ingness to accept. T hese were:


â&#x20AC;˘ all benefits to both co mmunities evaluated at willingness co pay (chat is, willingness to accept equal to will ing ness to pay; and â&#x20AC;˘ willingness co accept th ree times greater than w illing ness co pay fo r inside catchment co m munity, and will ingness co accept equal co willing ness co pay for o uc-of-cacch men c comm uni ty. (Zero co rrelation between t he attributes was also tested . Mean benefits of che O ptions were not alte red but the standa rd devia tio ns of th e benefits we re redu ced ). In each of these scenarios che same order and signs of the benefits of the Optio ns as shown in Table 3 were maintained and the same order and relative benefits compared to O ption 5 were also maintained. In the extreme, if all benefits were evaluated by will ingness to pay alone, che mean benefits relative to option 5 were rhose shown in Table 5.

Unvalued benefits T he assessment of benefits was unable to value changes in pop ulations of ex isting species and losses of invercebraces. Because these benefi ts remain unvalued, the resu lts o bta ined in chis study, given t he assumptio ns on which they are based , are likely co underestimate the true benefits of changing flows in the T homson and Macaliscer Rivers.

Costs From Increased Environmental Flows The coses of increased environmental fl ows were estimated separately for urban water customers and irrigators.



refereed paper

Urban Water Customers

Table 7. Average annual change in water availability and reliability to the M ID,

Melbourne water consumers are using only abour one half of rhe bulk warer entirlement char is available fo r use. Warer char is presenrly nor being used adds co the reliabili ry of rhe presenr urban supply system. In the future, as Melbourne's popularion grows and warer consumption is increased, Melbourne Warer will need to augment rhe current urban supply sysrem. Any decision in the short-term char reduces rhe bulk entirlement for Melbourne will mean char rhese augmentations will need to occur sooner rarher rhan later. The impacr of the flow oprions on Melbourne Warer was assessed by assuming char warer availabiliry and reliabiliry to urban consumers remains unchanged, and by calcularing rhe discounred value of rhe capiral coses of augmentations give n rh e different rimeframes for their occurrence. The costs shown in Table 6 are all relative co Oprion 5 - the base case. T he results showed char Oprion 1 - Full environmental flow - is more cosrly rhan rhe ocher options, as is to be expecred. Options 2 and 3 have similar levels of costs while Oprion 4 is the lease expensive option.


Option Option Option Option Option


1 2 3 4 5

Average reduction in water supplied (GL/yr)

Average % of water right supplied (%)

Lowest % of water right supplied (%)

12.0 10.5 7.3 4.1 0.0

111 112 115 117 12

23 37 43 55 71

Table 8. The estimated costs of increased environmental flows in the Thomson and Macalister Rivers to lrrigators.


Net Present Cost @ 4% over 50 yrs (Sm)

Net Present Cost @ 8% over 50 yrs !Sm)

Option l Option 2 Option 3 Option 4

64.2 58. l 42.4 27.4

37.l 33.2 24.2 15.6


REALM modelling was underraken co determine the impacr of each of rhe options on the reliabiliry of supply to irrigators, which in rhe Macalisrer Irrigation Disrrict are primarily dairy farmers.

Modell ed resulrs from rhe Department of Susrainabiliry and the Environment (DSE) are shown in T able 7. For each of rhe oprions, information is shown fo r the average (1955-2003) reducrion in warer availability, average annual percenrage of



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Table 9. Comparison of the benefits and costs of increased environ mental flows in the Thomson a nd Maca lister Rivers. Options

Environmental Benefits

Costs to urban water users

Costs to lrrigators

Option 1






Option 2



33 .2



Option 3


64 .8

24. 2



Option 4





0 . 10

water right supplied, and rhe lowest annual water right supplied.

consecu tive years) will ultimately determine whether demand does shift.

Dara on average changes in water availability say little about the changes rhar can occur from year to year. In trying to cap ture these differences, rhe modelled data were provided as a rime series. For every year between 1955 and 2003, rhe volume of water d elivered to irrigators for each o f the options was assessed relative to what wo uld be delivered given the cu rrent bulk entitlement (Option 5) .

We have assessed rhe impacts of water restrictions by assuming that milk production is held constant and that the costs of production increase. le is assu med that everything else remains constan t, fo r example, the condition score of the animal, joining rates, length of lactation and milk prices. Increases in costs of p roduction are assumed to be d ue to che costs of purchased feeds that would need to be substituted for pasture, includ ing any additional costs for feeding.

In analysing the results, h istograms were produced to show the d istribution of frequencies fo r different variations in water delivered. For example, th is analysis showed that in the majority of years (about 80 per cent), there was a negligib le difference in water delivered for all of the options. T he analysis also showed rhar the greatest differences between rhe options could be observed in the remaining years where water inflows are insufficient to meet irrigator demands. Irrigators may respond to reductions in water su pply using a range of strategies. Depending on the timing of rhe reductions, in the shore-term an irrigator may: • buy in supplementary feed; • dry off cows earlier than anticipated; • irrigate less pasture; • irrigate at a reduced applicatio n rare • buy temporary water; or • co ntin ue milk ing and reduce the condition score of rhe herd. Each of these strategies would involve a d ifferent set of impacts on che fa rm business, either by increasing business expenses or by reducing farm income. T he impacts are furt her complicated when we consider shore term and long term responses to changes in che supply of irrigation water. In rhe long-term, irrigators may:

An impact of $243.00 per ML was estimated. The overall impact of each optio n on irrigators was quantified by multiplying chis impact per ML by rhe reduced average volumes delivered and the likelihood of these d iffere nt events occurring. The results are shown in Table

8. The results show char the greatest impacts on irrigators are chose associated with O p tion 1 followed by Option 2 and O p tion 3.

Conclusions T he benefits and coses for each of rhe options are summarised in Table 9 for an assumed discount race of 8 per cent for irrigator and u rban costs, and environ men tal benefits. T he results show char the most economic option is Option 3 followed by Option 1 and Option 2. The high compromise option - Option 4 - is uneconomic. Note that all N PVs would be negative if environmental benefi ts were evaluated using willingness to pay.

• buy permanent water right, or • improve the efficiency with which they use water on pasture.

W here a discou nt rate of 4 per cent is assumed, only Option 3 remains economic, having a Net Present Value of $15 .Sm and BCR of 1.12. T his result occurs, in pare, because of a high capital expenditure ($254m) by MWC in years 30-40 (depending on the option) which is given extra weigh t at the lower discount rate.

In assessing the per unit impact of reduced water supply, it was assumed that irrigators do not shifr their long-term demand for water. The actual timing of restriction (whether o r nor they occur in

Finally, it should be noted that these results are probably conservative because costs are estimated over 50 years while survey respondents were asked to value enviro nmental benefits over 20 years. If




Net present value



benefits were assu med to continue ro 50 years, their totals could be 20-25 per cent higher.

The Authors Jane Branson Qane_Branson@ u is Principal Economist, URS Australia, Neil Sturgess and Dr Rob Dumsday are Associate D irectors, URS Australia. UR S is a large multidisciplinary natural resource management, environmental and engineering consultancy that began its Australian operations as Australian Groundwater Consultants Pry Led (AGC) in 1966. I n 1990 , AGC merged with Woodward-Clyde and in 1999 the company merged again with Dames & Moore to form URS, a worldwide professional service consultancy. The economics and policy group at URS incorporates the fo rmer Read Sturgess and Asso ciates and AACM . For more informatio n see h ttp ://www.ap. References Bennett, J. and Morrison, M, 200 I, Valuing the Environmental Attributes ofNSW Rivers. Draft report prepared for the NSW Environment Protection Authority. Available at h ccp :/ / apseg.anu.ed u .au/ staff!jbenneccr. php Brown, T. and Gregory, R. 1999, 'SURVEY Why the WTA-WTP disparity matters', Ecological Economics, 28, 323-335. Horowitz, John K. and Kenneth E. McConnell, 2002, 'A Review ofWTA/WTP Studies', journal ofEnvironmental Economics and Management, 44, 420-447. Knetsch, J.L, 1990, 'Environmental policy Implications of Disparities berween Willingness to Pay and Compensation Demanded Measures ofValues',journal of Environmental Economics and Management,

18, 227-237. URS, 2003 An economic methodology to analyse investments in river health - preservation versus restoration. Report prepared for the Department of Susrainabiliry and Environment, Victoria. van Bueren, M. and Bennett, L.W, 2001, Towards the Development ofa Set of Transferable Value Estimates for Environmental Attributes. Available at:!jben neccr. ph p

refereed paper

ENVIRONMENTAL FLOWS FOR THE MURRAY RIVER: AT WHAT COST? G Warne, C Norwood Abstract Irrigation and town communities along rhe Murray River remain seriously concerned about rhe social and eco nomic coses of increased flows compared co rhe relative and unproven environmental benefits of chose flows. Key issues include the apparent discounting of non-flow options ro improve river health, the lack of real data co substantiate the improvements being claimed by pro-flow proponents, and the phys ical constrain rs of rhe system co deliver increased flows or co increase flood duration without affecting properties, towns and busi nesses along rhe river. There are also concerns about che managemenc of fundi ng, che accountabili ty of water savings, and achieving real improvements on che ground (i.e. better, healthier, more diverse native forests, rivers wetlands and estuaries).

Introduction In Australia, over the past five years in particular, rhe campaign co increase environmental flows co improve the health of the Murray River has been gathering force. Enviro nmentalists and rhe Murray Darling Basin Com mission have both advocated increased flows with calls from some quarters for as much as 4500GL co be returned co in-river flows annually. In November 2003 rhe Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council annou nced an increased environmental flow fo r rhe Murray River of500GL, co be found over rhe fo llowi ng five years, as part of Living Murray Initiative First Seep. More than $ I billion has now been collectively made available for water savi ngs and improvements in river health including increased flows for rhe Snowy River. The fund ing, if wisely used, should make signi fica nc improvemencs possible, while minimising the impacts on water users.

Murray Irrigation Murray Irrigation Limi ted, in southern NSW, is typically rhe largest single water diverrer from the Murray River each year, and represents I 400 fami ly farm businesses which manage 740,000ha in rhe southern

Murray Irrigation Ltd Area of Operation

~ Mun'ly lml,l(ioo Led




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Riverina. Murray Irrigation was fo rmed when rhe government-owned NSW Murray Irrigation Area and Districts were privatised in 1995 and ownership was transferred co irrigacors. It is the largest privatised irrigation co mpany in Austral ia with infrastructure valued at more than $400 million.

A majo1¡ dive1¡ter argues their case. The co mpany has a NSW Regul ated River General Security Water Access Licence for 1.2 million enciclemenrs. In 2004/05, given conti nuing dry conditions and low water resource levels, the allocation was just 49% of enciclemencs and che company delivered 651 GL to 2400 farms in the area between Yarrawo nga in rhe ease and Swan Hill in che west. Fo r Murray Irrigation's community of water users, it was che th ird consecutive year of low allocations - 49%, 55% and just 8% in 2002/03.

Living Murray First Step For the company's irrigators, the 500GL for the Living Murray's First Seep represents

more than 40% of their water enciclemen ts, if taken excl usively from Murray Irrigation. If the water came equally from all irrigation communities in the southern Murray Darling Basi n, ic represents about 7.5% reduction in water avai lable for irrigated agriculture. Further system effi ciencies may be found in some areas, where water savings can be made. Improved fa rm productivity and new technology may also generate some water savings. However it appears unlikely chat savings of the magn itude required will be fo und through these methods, and chis will lead inevitably, to a reduction in the availabili ty of water fo r irrigation.

Implications for Rural Communities The implications of chis on rural communities are significanc, whether the water is sold willingly, or whether ic is resumed equally from all irrigators. Many irrigators in che region have already faced water use reductions without compensatio n as a result of the 1995 Murray Darling Basin cap on extractions from the Murray River, che l 50GL environmental allocation to the Barmah-Millewa Forest and a further 3.4% reduction in long term yield followi ng che introductio n of che NSW Murray Water Sharing Plan. The incergovernmencal



The SunRice mill at Deniliquin, which is a major employer for the town. Irrigation communities have benefited from greater agricultural production, new industries and more employment than adjacent dryland areas and they are keen to protect their access to the water that has generated these benefits. agreement, the National Water I nitiative, signed in June 2004, h as allayed earlier fears that Livi ng Murray environmental flows would again be taken from irrigators without compensation. The NWI limits uncompensated reductions to no more than 3% at the end of the currenr water sharing plan in 20 14, although sceptics point out chis has not yet been written into NSW legislation .

government areas in NSW and Victoria. The modelling indicated char a reduction in water by 10% or 750GL would result in job losses of 3.3%, a $73 million drop in fa rm gate production and $ 127 million worth of income lost annually fro m the regional community. Both studies were based on the p ractice of governments reducing allocations to irrigators without compensation.

There has been relatively little work undertaken to determine the social and eco nom ic impacts of reduced water use in irrigation communities or to develop policies to address these. Much of the socio-economic work which has been done has been commission ed by concerned communities themselves, rather than by government agencies researching the potential impacts of their policies. Agribusiness consultants Rendell McGuckian (now RMCG Consulting) assessed possible water red uctions of 10%, 20% and 40% to irrigators in Murray Irrigatio n Limiced's area of operations which broadly reflected Livi ng M urray environmental flow options of750GL, 15000GL and 3000GL (Rendell McGuckian 2003).

The implications of governments and environmental trusts entering the marker as water buyers remain relatively unexplored territory. It could well be chat one irrigation region , with a larger number of landholders will ing to sell their entitlements, will be more affected than ochers. The dwindling number of irrigators would be asked to bear an increasing share of the cost of the existing irrigation infrastructure, which in turn will affect the viability of their farm businesses.

The report indicated chat if reductions were shared equally by all irrigators in the south ern Murray Darling Basin a 10% cue in water wou ld reduce the number of viable farm businesses in Murray Irrigation's area by 30%, from 1445 co 994 and a 20% cut would almost halve farm businesses, to 743. The region's gross farm income, estimated in the report at $228, million, would drop to $204.5 million with a 10% cue, and would fall to $181 million with a 20% cut in water. A 2004 report from the Latrobe U niversity Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities (based largely on the Rendell McGuckian work) examined th e potential impacts of red uced water for irrigation, focusing on the M id Murray region, caking in 14 local



For chose living and working in irrigation areas, the stakes involved in the Living Murray Initiative and the subsequent environmental flows are high. While residents of the region are concerned about maintaining the health of their environment, at the same rime they want to maintain their access to water for irrigation, maintain the livelihoods and their commu nities - their schools, health services, sporting groups. Riverside communities and businesses along the Murray River are also keen to maintain the amen ity of their towns which h ave developed considerable tourist and recreational industries based on the currenr flow regimes and water management practices, which may also be at odds with increased flow, variability or other environmental objectives. For example, a proposal to reduce the weir pool at Lake Mulwala, aimed at reducing unseasonal summer flooding, resulted in a community protest at Yarrawonga in October 2003 attended by more than 4000 people, concerned chat it would affect the town's

tourism industry. (Higgins, Albury Border

Mail, 04/02/04)

Challenging the Data Much of rhe debate about environmental flows has been dominated by the passionate opinion of scientists, with little real information or practical examples that our co mmunities could relate to. Murray Irrigation's area of operations takes in an extensive network of rivers and creeks connected to the Murray River system. T he regional community has been making significant efforts to reduce the adverse impacts of irrigation and improve the health of the riverin e environment over many years. In the case of the Murray Ri ver irself, locals have experienced im provements in a number of commonly cited key indicators, including fish numbers and salini ty levels. Claims of a 'dying river' are ar odds wi th rheir own experiences. T he Murray River sys tem inheri ted today is also a highly regulated river system, with significant built, social and economic capital. T he floodplain the river once served has been greatly reduced through land clearing and the expansion of agri cultu re and the

construction of thousands of kilometres of levees. Developmen t has been based on the pattern of regulated river flows. Changes to those flows - particularly increased flows will potentially result in greater damage to rhe buil t capital, with rhe area upstream of Lake Mulwala most ar risk. W hile the Living Murray Iniriarive's documents discussed a "healthy working river" it appeared that scienti fic argument was advocating something that was closer to a natural or pre-Eu ro pean settlement river. These concerns and the potential cost to our communities of larger environmental flows led Murray Irrigation ro co mmission Dr Lee Benson of Ecology Management to review the four key scientific documents underpinning the Living Murray Initiati ve. His reviews have raised significant concerns about rhe reliance on modelling and expert opinion, rather than real data, as the foundati on fo r calls to increase environmental flows. It has also highlighted ex isting research wh ich identified 22 activities threatening the river and floodplain ecosystem, only seven of which related ro flow, and only two of which linked decl ining river health to reduced river flows (Benson et al. , 2003; Benso n 2004) .

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Theory Not Data Dr Benson fo und char in many instances rhe scientific reports relied on expert opinion and rheo rerical modelling, rather than real data, and there are layers of expert opinion based on previous expert opinion. Little, if any, new dara has been added as the reports have progressed from one to another. The use of rhe Murray Flows Assess ment T ool (MFAT ) and co mpu ter modelling in rhe Scientific Reference Panel Report (2003) has simply formalised the process fo r compiling and reporting opinion. MFAT itself does nor add data.

River Health The definition of a heal thy wo rking river is fundamental to rhe Living Murray Ini riarive, and to setting and achieving outcomes. However scientific reports underpinning the process, and the Jones et al (2002) report in particular, appears to have set a "naturally healthy" river as rhe ultimate reference point, rather th an a "healthy wo rking river", which would use rhe current conditions as rhe ultimate reference point. Dr Benson said comparisons with natural flows on a whole-of- river basis were

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meaningless unless the intention is to periodically flood towns and productive farm land. Comparisons with the volume of water required ro flood the natural floodplain were irrelevant because a large part of it did not exist in an ecologically functional form. This resulted in a signifi cant overestimate of the volume required to satisfy the existing or current floodplain . The use of 2/3rds of natural by Jones et al (2002) as a guidance value is a hydrological indicator, not an ecological indicator, and was developed from hypothetical responses in river systems in Queensland. There was no quantitative or causal ecological evidence for the propositio n char the Murray River becomes unhealthy when flow attributes move below 2/3rds of natural.

Flow Versus Non-flow Options I n particular Dr Benson has challenged the comments char non-flow options cannot b e traded for flow-related options. He said that while varying the flow was undoubtedly a key driver of riverine ecology it was nor the on ly driver and does nor act in isolation. In a highly modified system it was less important simply because of the range of ocher influences which now impact on the nver. Many of the factors that were putting river health at risk related to issues ocher than flow, and could nor be addressed by alterations to flow. Non-flow options which may have little social or economic impact could b e successfully traded off against options requiring changes to river flows which would have far more significant impacts on communities. Dr Benson said he was yet to see any logical argument why an action which p roduces the same environmental b enefit, with less socioeconomic impact, would nor be the p referred action.

Moving Forward In implementing the Living Murray Initiative, the MDB M inisterial Council has identified six icon sires, or significant ecological assets which would be the focus of the first in-depth environmental assessments and outcomes. These are the Murray River Channel, Barmah-Millewa Forest, Gunbower/Koondrook-Perricoora Forest, Hattah Lakes, Chowilla Wetlands and the Murray Mouth. While the NWI and the Living Murray Initiative are being directed at a Federal level the management of water resources is controlled by the states. The MDBC has developed a business plan for the Living Murray Initiative which includes a national register to verify water savings generated by

44 SEPTEMBER 2005 water

the stares as part of their contrib ution to the 500 GL target, bur it is the scares who are responsible for implementing the business plan. This includes positive communiry consultatio n about each of the six significant ecological assets which are the current focus of the plans. The First Seep decision gave a commitment to establish consultation committees which would help to identify the management objectives for each of these sites. Ir is now almost two years afrer the announcement of the First Step and these committees have still nor been formed. If the Murray River is to be managed for better environmental outcomes while balancing the social and economic needs of communities along the river then jurisdictional and political differences between the states will need to be overcome. Murray Irrigation and the communiry within its area of operations share a particular interest in two of these sires, the Barmah-Millewa Forest and the GunbowerPerricooca Forest. These sites are also jointly managed by NSW and Victoria. State governments are continui ng to negotiate representation of their various agencies on these consultation commi ttees. Meanwhile the participation of community members seems ever more distant, and there remains little scope to involve non-government expertise in the consultation process. We believe communiry involvement will be viral in developing, implementing and monitoring management plans for the various ecological assets. The last thing we want is a $500 million spend ing spree over the next five years, with very little ach ieved at the end of it. There seems to be no need to rush d ecisions. This may mean raking more time to get better information. In our region we have developed a regionally focussed Land and Water Management Plan involving all level of governments and local landholders. The plan has a 30 year rime frame, and it took more than five years of consultatio n and communiry involvement to put together. Thar's realistic when you're talking about major changes in land use, environmental outcomes and people's livelihoods. Change is more likely to be successful when communities are involved and can contribute to the process. The solutions need ed to maximise the enviro nmental o utcomes while minimising the social and economic coses. Just what these solution s are may not be immediately obvious. We need to id entify and evaluate options, and then prioritise chem according to chat criteria before making major decisions with major consequences.

The Authors George Warne (georgew@ is General

Manager of Murray Irrigatio n Limited and

Catherine Norwood (cacherinen@ is Commun ications Officer for Murray Irrigation Limited.

Bibliography Benson, L., Markham, A., Smith R. (2003) The

Science Behind the Living Murray Initiative, Murray Irrigation Led, Deniliquin NSW. Benson, L. (2004) The Science Behind the living Murray Initiative Part 2, Murray Irrigation Ltd, Deniliquin NSW. Co-operat ive Research Centre for Irrigation Futures (2005) Irrigation in Perspective:

Irrigation in the Murray and Murrumbidgee Basins, CSIRO, Australia Higgins, N (February 4, 2004) 'Leave our lake alone' in Albwy Border Mail, http://www. newsflow/ results Jones G, Hillman T, Kingsford R, McMahon T, Walker K, Arch ington A, Whittington J and Carrwright S, (2002) Independent Report on

the Expert Reference Panel on Environmental Flows and Water Quality Requirements for the River Murray System, CRC for Freshwater Ecology for Murray Darling Basin Commission, Canberra Murray Darling Basin Commission (October 2003) Ecological Assessment ofEnvironmental

Flow Reference Points for the River Murray System, Scientific Reference Panel for the Murray Darling Basin Commission, Canberra Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council (2003) Communique 14 November 2003, Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council, Canberra Murray Irrigation Limited (2004a) 'Talking of Water, making the most of every opportunity' in Talking Water Magazine 2004, ppG-7, Murray Irrigation Limited, Deniliquin Murray Irrigation Limited (2004b) 'Moving forward with the Living Murray' , in Talking Water Magazine 2004, ppG-7, Murray Irrigation Limited, Deniliquin Murray Irrigation Limited (in press) Sustainability Report 2005, Murray I rrigation Led, Deniliquin NSW Norris R, Liston P, David N, Coysh J , Dyer F, Linke S, Prosser I and Young B, (2001)

Snapshot ofthe Murray-Darling Basin River Condition, M urray Darling Basin Commission, Canberra Pinge, Ian (2004), The Socio Economic Impact of

Reduced Water Allocations in the Murray Dai-ling Association MDA Sub Region, Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities, La Trobe University, Bendigo Rendell McGuckian (2003) "The Implications for

Farm Viability ofa Reduced Allocation for Irrigation in the Murray Irrigation Area''. Murray Irrigation Led, Deniliquin NSW Thoms M, Suter P , Roberts J, Koehn J, Jones, G Hillman T and C lose A, Oune 2000) Report

ofthe River Murray Scientific Panel on Environmental Flows. River Murray Dartmo,ah to Wellington and the Lower Darling River, Murray Darling Basin Commission, Canberra

BUILDING PROJECT SUSTAINABILITY IN VIETNAM G Bridger Abstract The Three Delta Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project is a joint venture between the governments of Vietnam and Australia to improve the welfare and living conditions for residents in three Mekong Delta towns. The project's major focus is the development of urban environmental infrastrucmre, but also incl udes significant components of inscicutional strengthening and community development. Major challenges have been a lack of understanding by the water supply and urban environment companies as to the value of community programs, and a significant lack of capacity at the town and community levels for carrying the various programs our. Now nearly 4 years into chis 6 year project, the key implementation strategy to promote and strengthen linkages between the companies and the communities they serve is begin ning to show resulcs.

Figure 1. Location of project towns in Mekong Delta .

Engineering supported by institutional and community development.

supported by significant (but relatively lowcost) components of instimcional development (ID) and community development (CD). Engineering Infrastructure Water supply: the project is upgrading and

expanding the existing inadequate water systems and providing a clean, safe and adequate 24-hour treated water supply to the urban and newly developing areas of the

towns (Figure 3). Water pressure is being increased and the reliability of the systems improved, with reduction of existing high levels of non-revenue water. Two of the improved systems, fo r the towns of H a T ien and Sa Dec, will use surface water from the abundant rivers and canals of the Mekong Delta, for which treatment is required to remove high sediment loads and variable levels of domestic, agriculcu ral and industrial pollutants. Saline intrusion is a problem in Ha Tien town where raw water scorage is required to maintain supply during the drought season from November through May. Bae Lieu town relies on groundwater from an extensive aqui fer at 170m depth, and saline intrusion is likewise a concern which is being addressed th rough careful bore field location, testi ng and groundwater modelling. Drainage: new primary, secondary and tertiary dra inage systems are being constructed in Bae Lieu and Sa Dec. These systems, which are designed to be linked eventually to fumre sewerage systems, are expected to provide an example of good drainage design which can be replicated in ocher areas and towns when more fund ing is available. Wastewater: chis is limited to provision of public toilets at bus stations, markets, parks

Introduction and Project Overview The Three Delta Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project is a 6-year project to improve the welfare and living conditions of residents by rehabilitating and extending the water supply and sanitation systems of Bae Lieu, Ha T ien and Sa Dec, three provincial towns in the Mekong Delea of Vietnam (Figure 1). Town populations range from 60,000 (Ha Tien, Figure 2) to 130,000 (Bae Lieu). The project commenced in October 200 I and is now more than half way through its implementation. The total project cost is approximately A$80 million, jointly funded on a 65%-35% basis by che Australian and Vietnamese Governments, respectively. The project's main focus is on providing engineering infrastructure, and chis is

refereed paper

Figure 2. View of Ha Tien town.




and other public places. Many household septic tanks and toilets are being built through sanitation credit schemes targeted at poor households.

Solid waste: the existing uncontrolled rubbish dumpsites are being replaced with new sanitary landfills sufficient to cater for the co mmunity's needs until 2020. Rubbish bins, pedi-carts and trucks are being provided to extend the solid waste collection service to all urban areas and commune centres. Institutional Development The institutional development compo nent is providing training and equipment to build the capacity of the local water supply and environ ment companies to implement, operate and maintain the new works, to improve their financial and operational management, and their approach to customer service. Community Development The co mmunity development componen t is improving the overall welfare, livi ng conditions and health of the communities by increasing their awareness of water, sani tation and health linkages, encouraging contact with service provid ers, enhancing gender equity and improving neighbourhood environmen ts.

Challenges Existing Pre-project Water and Sanitation Situation The towns were originally selected by the Government of Vietnam due to their inadequate water and sanitation infrastructure. C ond itions in the 3 towns are broadly sim ilar, and the communities have become accustomed to poor or nonexistent levels of service, and therefore lack the knowledge or expectations of what good water and sanitation services should comprise. A brief summary of conditions at the outset of the p roject fo llows: • Existi ng water systems were mos cly old, limited in capacity and p roviding an intermittent and unreliable service. They required extensive upgrading and expansio n to meet current needs. Service coverage of piped water ranged from 13% (Ha T ien) to 52% (Sa D ec).

lacked basic health and sanitation education or knowledge of infrastructure, lacked communication skills such as facilita ting group meetings and organising training, and had little exposure to outside ideas. Their capacity in planning and management was weak and there was little belief in community participation.

Figure 3. Laying HOPE main in Ha Tien w ith assistance of the army. theoretically banned by the Government bur still in widespread use in poor urban and rural areas) . • Solid waste collection was available to only 30-40% of households, with disposal at inadequate, uncontrolled dump sites. Unregulated disposal of waste in streets, drains and waterways was commonplace. • Schools, particularly primary schools and kindergartens in poor neighbourhoods, commonly had very poor or non-existent sanitation facilities, and facil ities at public places were lacking.

Community Capacity and Awareness Ac the start of the project, commu nity organisations in the towns lacked contact with the water supply companies. There was a low awareness of the systems and services provided and of water, sanitation and health linkages. In general there was liccle coordination among the various local authori ties, such as che town peoples' committees, water and sanitation companies and mass organisations. People had li ccle knowled ge o r information about the benefits and costs of clean water and environmental sanitation, or of the services which could, or should , be provided by the co mpanies. Communi ty organisations like the Town Womens' Unions had very limited institutional capacity, no computer skills or equipment and were not confident to accept new approaches. Community leaders

• Drainage systems were mostly rudimentary, limited in extent, poorly maintained and ineffective. Annual fl ooding of low-lying poorer urban neighbourhoods was common (Figure 4). • Wastewater disposal, such as existed, was th rough on-sire septic ranks or open d rains or canals; only 40-50% of households had in-house toilets, and many poorer residents defecated in fi elds, canal or river banks, or fis h pond toilets (which are now

46 SEPTEMBER 2005 water

Figure 4. Flooded poor neighbourhood in Sa Dec.

Focus of Water Supply Companies Ac the start of che project, the water supply companies were not much interested in communi ty d evelopment or institutional strengtheni ng and didn't see the purpose in such programs. Companies were initially focussed on engineering aspects of the project with little appreciation of peoplerelaced issues. For the most pare they were simply water supply "factories" (in fact sometimes local construction, not water, was their core business), producing and distributing water and maintaining, to some extent, the systems. They, together with local public works and environmental companies, also operated limited solid waste collection and treatment facilities, and other urban services. T he companies mostly had limited institutional capacities and weak management, and basic finan cial and accounting systems. They were not run as business enterprises and managers had litcle understanding of enterprise d evelopment plan ning. The companies exercised minimal asset management with no maintenance plans or control over non-revenue water. N ew customers were faced with difficult and non-user-friendly adm inistration procedures, high connection fees and unsuitable tariffs. The companies had li ttle or no knowledge or understanding of customer service. The companies lacked any form of community involvement, coordination or participation, with no information exchange or customer feedback. There was no co nsideration that benefits might accrue from such activities and companies therefore initially offered little support to the project's community and institutional p rograms.

Poor and Minority Groups There are significant proportions of poor and very poor people living in the 3 towns (Figu re 5). The poor in urban wards frequencly have d ifficulty accessing infrastructure services, live in temporary housing (sometimes in illegal locations) in back alleys and small lanes which are difficult to access for service provision, and in environmentally degraded environments such as along polluted canals. Particularly in H a Tien,where water was scarce at the outset of the project, many

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Figure 5. Poor household. households spent large amounts of rime and labour collecting water from sources some distance away or unsafe, or paid high costs of up to the equivalent of A$4/m3 for water delivered by water sellers (Figure 6) . Khmer people, one of rhe main ethnic groups, are often poor with generally lower levels of sanitation services. T hese groups are being specifically targeted or they will remain marginalised. Strategies

During the initial 2-year period of design and commencement of infrastructure construction wo rks, che project's ID and

CD reams respectively worked closely with rhe provincial water supply and environment companies and town peoples' committees of the 3 towns to develop over rime a sense of mutual co nfidence, cruse and understand ing of the value and benefits which could accrue from rhe programs. The approach to building sustainable outcomes has been to build rhe capacity of rhe relevanr provincial and town agencies, and ro strengthen links between the companies and the communities they serve with che new infrasrruccure. Imporranr project implementation concepts and strategies are: • T he ID and C D programs are regarded as highly important for project sustainability and are incegrared throughout all project activities. • Close links are developed and mainrained between rhe project ream and the counrerparc agencies, with open communication to fos ter good cooperation and info rm ation transfe r throughout rhe project. • Project imp lemenration is based on realistic, wo rkable solutions developed on the basis of previous successful inrervenrions, best practices and lessons

Figure 6. Water sel lers in Ha Tien. learned, together with communi ty consultation and participation. Community Development Program

Th e primary objectives of the 5-yea r community development component of the proj ect are: • To increase awareness of water, sanitation and health linkages so that people are motivated to change their attitudes and practices. • To improve neighbourhood and school environments by motivating the community to take action to idenrify

07 3350 4582 08 8931 3300

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problems and work together co improve their environment. A community advisory committee (CAC) was set up in each town at the outset, and has now become the pri ncipal means of coordinating the CD programs and keepi ng participating agencies informed and involved in the project, and obtaining their advice on planning and implementation . The CAC is the focal point fo r community issues. It is an important forum for the 2-way exchange of information and ideas, and for problem-solving by agencies involved in the community component. To achieve coordination between the organisations involved in various fields of the project (solid waste, drainage, health awareness, water supply, publicity, municipal financing etc.) members are drawn from a variety of representative organisations as follows: • Town peoples' committee, ward and commune peoples' committees, water supply company, public works or environment · company responsible for drainage and solid waste collection, womens' union, youth union, cown education and training office, town healch office, cul ture and information office, and radio/TV office. The CD ream support the CAC with advice and training. This type of forum where d ifferent agencies can come cogerher for an integrated approach was previously non-existent in the cowns. The CAC has an im portant role co play in the oversight of the CD component, but individual members did not understand how co work together co collectively arrive at workable solutions. A major cask of the CD team has been co facilitate and stimulate team work, original thought and ownership. This is a slow process and has required building a

relationship of trust and reciprocity between the CAC and the project's CD team. T he objectives of the CD component are being achieved through the following programs: Public awareness program - IEC programs are being implemented under newly established IEC core groups in each town. Subsequently a network ofIEC core groups at ward and commune levels has been established, with an extensive volunteer network at the community level. A comprehensive training program has been carried our for rhe IEC core groups and volunteers covering health education, linkages between water and environmental sanitation and personal hygiene, communication skills, and IEC materials preparation skills. Through these groups, programs of public awareness activities have so far directly involved as many as 55,000 people in the 3 towns . Sanitation credit scheme, providing loans co the value of A$125 co support the construction of household septic ranks and latrines in poor households. This has been most successful with the construction of 2,400 septic ranks in the 3 towns so far through the credit scheme with many more constructed by better-off households without the need for loans. Environmental health micro-activities program, co support the construction of smal l neighbourhood environmental improvement projects such as lane paving, tertiary drainage, bridges, meet lighting, ere. The program has been operating in Bae Lieu and Sa Dec where around 200 micro-activities have been completed so far benefiting 5.400 households. The average cost of each micro-project is between A$750 - $1,000, shared between the project, the town and householders. A recent review of the program identified a high level of positive social and environmental impacts resulting from the program.

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School sanitation program, to support the construction of sanitation improvements in primary schools, such as toilet blocks, water systems and hand washing facilities. So far facilities have been provided in 18 schools directly benefiting almost 8,000 children (Figure 7). Acceptance and joint funding of the programs has been achieved in all 3 towns with the town peoples' committees matching project funds for the micro-activities and schools programs, and contributions to the IEC budget. An interesting feature of the program is the establishment of a joint "community development" bank account in each town, which has provided fun ding accountabi lity and openness, and a simplified process. Sustainable management and funding of the programs beyond the project is being assured through ongoing negotiations with the responsible contributing agencies. An important cons ideration of the CD program is that it is being carried out at a total cost of only 3% of the total project cost, and alrhough derailed analysis is not yer complere, ir is very evident rhar rhe benefirs in rerms of project sustainability far outweigh rhe cosrs of rhe program. Examples of some of rhe positive impacts of the CD programs so far are:

MWH=Experience Water and environmental engineering is our business. 180 people in 5 offices, across 4 states, makes us big in water. 6,000 global colleagues means MWH has the capability to deliver. MWH local teams powered with global knowledge - always measuring up to the challenge.

• Communities are more aware of healrh and hygiene issues in relation to clean warer and sanitation, leading to improved public health; • Improved sanitation and environmenral co nditions in poor neighbourhoods and schools; • C loser relarionships created between the town agencies and com muni ty, getting feed back on commun ity needs, creating opportunities for groups of residents to share benefirs with poor households, im provi ng neighbourhood relationships; • Increased participation and ownership of neighbourhood environmental improvements by the co mmuni ty through the co ntribution of funds, labour and maintenance; improving household savings habits; • Improved community awareness and habits in protecting the environment, keeping urban areas clean and gradually removing fish pond toilets.

Institutional Development T he primary objectives of rhe 5-year commu nity development co m ponent of the project are: • To strengthen the institutions involved with planning, funding, implementing and operating and maintaining the improved in frastructure systems. • To strengthen rhe role and involvement of women in the project. T he desired outcome of the ID program is the development of water supply, urban environment and public works companies with capable staff, better facilities and effective systems. Typical training and programs being carried out are: • Organisarional and human resources development of each company to ensure it is able to meeting irs busi ness objectives in an effecrive, efficienr and sustainable way. • U pgrading accounting, bill ing and customer management systems through training and improvement of computer hardware and software. • S trengthening managemenr information systems and performance indicators. • Esrablish ing asser managemenr and works managemenr sysrems. • Advising on appropriate water co nnecrion charges and water tariff structures to ensure that the targeted populations have access to the water supply service.

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(D MWH Meeting the challenge



By the completion of the Three Delea Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project in 2008 , it is expected the fo llowing achievements will have been reached:

• Developing strong customer orientation and marketing approach. • Provision of computers and other items of equipment. • T raining of agency personnel in management, operation and maintenance of water supply, sanitation and drainage systems (Figure

8). This approach linked to the CD programs supports sustainable development so that the facilities developed under the project last into Figure 8. Training operators in leak detection in Ha Tien. the future and are properly maintained b ecause people understand the importance of them in Progress Towards Sustainability improving their health and environment. ln general, largely as a result of the As for the CD program, the ID program Project's activities and programs so far, represents a relatively small proportion of there is evidence of greater awareness of the total project cost (around 6%) and environmental issues and impacts in the 3 likewise, the benefits in terms of project towns, with cleaning up of neighbourhoods sustainability far outweigh the costs of the and waterways, and development of parks, program . open spaces and waterside pathways. Examples of some of the positive impacts Communities and neighbourhood groups of the ID program so far are: are evidently feeling more empowerment • The improvement in company staff and demand for consultation and capacity is encouraging, with staff participation, and are com ing forward ro demonstrating new skills and competency request water connections, septic ranks and applied ro their work; desludging services, and improved solid • Customer management and awareness of waste collection services and equipment. customer service has shown a drastic For the communicy infrastructure improvemen t. Staff are now p roactive in programs it is evident there is a high level collecting feedback and suggestions from of co mmunity motivation, and benefits are cusromers, in order ro continuously spreading out beyond the programs actually improve services; funded with seed money from the project, • The asset management plan approach has made staff more proactive in establishing preventive maintenance procedures;

• The long term company objectives are better understood, and managers are caking the initiative to prepare strategic plans for 2006-2010;

with an increasing number of neighbourhood and school micro-activities being constructed by community initiatives, without project funding. The SCS program is a case in point, with as many septic ranks being constructed without loans, as with chem. Communities are beneficing not only with improved environmental sanitation and sense of ownership, but with improved technical skills and employment, improved neighbourhood relationships, and by learning new savings habits. Women are benefiting through experience and improved self-confidence due ro their key roles in planning, managing and implementing the credit schemes and various community programs and activities.

• Company managers are starring ro understand the value of performance indicators, with logical linkages ro improving operations; the computer (financial) models are likely to become effective tools.

During the past 6 months the focus on including the poor in the community programs has intensified, with a number of new policies and initiatives developed by the rowns ro ensure the needs of the poor and very poor are not overlooked.

• Non-revenue water is being progressively reduced; • Co mpany profitability is now seen as important with improved financial skills, use of financial analysis and indicators, and business planning in a system atic way; • Utilisation of staff is improved with peop le matched to jobs, resulting in more effective work force; different compensation packages are being applied with opportunities ro attend training;



• Substantial improvements in the water supply, drainage, sanitation and solid waste infrastructure systems and services in the 3 p roject towns. T reated water will be supplied on a 24-hour basis ro 90% or more households (a total population of around 250 ,000) in the service areas with quantity, quality, reliabilicy and pressure ro accepted standards. • En lightened and financially viable water supply and environ ment companies, providing high qualicy services and responsive ro com munity needs. • Communities and customers who are informed about and understand the benefits of good water supply and environmental sanitation, and are prepared ro pay a fair price for good services. • Improved neighbourhood environments, community sanitation and school sanitation faci lities provided th rough the communicy development programs. After more than 3 1/ 2 years of progressive implementation, the project's community development program is now well established and based on community consultation, participation and local ownership, is gender responsive and firmly linked ro the project's infrastructure outputs. There is every indication that the various programs are seen as highly beneficial to the rowns, good value for money, and will be conti nued and adequately fund ed after the project ends . Likewise there is increasing interest and involvement by the water and sanitation companies, and we are beginn ing ro see the benefits of strengthening lin kages with the rown agencies and community, with financial contributions towards communicy activities and increasing support and participation. The companies are setting up community liaison sections, actively funding and participating in communicy events and programs, providing free connections ro schools in the programs and ro some very poor households, and linking with the women's unions in establishing loan schemes for househ old connections.

Conclusions and Lessons Learned From the author's experiences on chis project and from other urban water supply and san itation projects in developing

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countries of Asia and Africa, the fo llowing conclusions and lessons shou ld contribute to building long term sustainability of urban water supply and sanitation projects, through water company and comm uni ty linkages: • T here is a viral need for the promotion and development of strong lin kages and good coordination between water supply and enviro nment companies and communi ty organisations at all stages of project implementation. • !nstiru rional strengthening and communi ty development must be regarded as key components of water and sanitation projects; in order to be most effective, the resources devoted to such programs should be significant and related in terms of budget an d duration to the resources devoted to the infrastructure works. • Conversely, fo r community development and institutional strengthening programs to be successful , they need to be linked to infrastructure improvements; they must also be ti med correctly - to start nor too long before rhe co nstruction and opera tion of new facilities.

• So und water company and community li nkages are highly desirable in worki ng cowards setting effective, realistic tariffs and fees. On ly in this way can subsidies be reduced and companies provided wirh greater fi nancial autonomy, thereby enabling them to furth er improve th e services rhey provide. • Water supply projects should always be considered in combination with environmental sanitation. Solely increasing rhe volume of water supplied to urban communities will exacerbate existing drainage problems. • Formal seeps need to be taken to integrate the project components. This integration should invo lve networking between co mponent work reams, with a clear understand ing of how the different component activities link to support the co mmon objecti ves of the project. • "Willingness to pay" data muse be carefu lly collected and used with caurion co mmuniti es with low levels of kn owledge and awareness of the value of clean water supplies and environm ental hygiene and health cannot be expected to understand the value of services which they know

nothing about, nor can rhey be expected to have any expectations of such services, until rheir awareness is raised. • In general, ir can be said that "the poor have no voice"; however, targeted public awa reness progra ms can provide chem not only with a vo ice, bur with opportu ni ties to improve their socioecono mic status.

Acknowledgments T hanks are due to the Government of Vietnam and the Government of Australia which are co-fu nding the project, and to the Australian Agency for In ternarional Development (AusAID) and the Provincial People's Committees of Bae Lieu, Kien Giang and Dong Thap Provinces. AusAID has kindly allowed the publishing of ch is paper.

The Author Geoff Bridger, a civil engineer with GHD, has spent almost 30 years working on water and sanitation projects in developing co untries of Africa and Asia, email gbridger-ghd3dt@hcm. vn n. vn.

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'WASH' FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Water, Sanitation and Hygiene by Putting People at the Centre The fact char a large majority of rhe world's population is without access to adequate water, sanitatio n, drai nage and solid waste disposal services presents strong evidence char conventio nal approaches to Environmental Sanitation are unable to make a significant dent in the backlog which exists in most of the developing world. Following an international congress held in Bellagio, northern Italy, in 2003, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC, hosted by rhe WHO) and the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), have developed a provis ional Guideline for Household-Centred Environmental Sanitation (HCES). Ir challenges conventional thinking and proposes some guiding principles as the

A guide towards more appropriate planning for developing countries. basis for future planning and implementation of environmental sanitation services, and is known as the "Bellagio Principles" (see box). The approach balances the needs of people with those of the environment to su pport a healthy life on Earth. Seen as radical departure from the central planning approaches of the past, it places the household and its neighbourhood at the core of the planning process. A "Provisional G uideline for DecisionMakers" has been developed to give guidance o n how to implement the "Bellagio Principles" by applying the HCES

THE BELLAGIO PRINCIPLES 1. Human dignity, quality of life and

environmental security at household level should be at the centre of the new approach, which should be responsive and accountable to needs and demands in the local and national setting. • solutions should be tailored to the full spectrum of social, economic, health and environmental concerns; • the household and community environment sho uld be protected; • the economic opportunities of waste recovery and use should be harnessed.

2 . In line with good governance principles, decision-making should involve participation of all stakeholders, especially the consumers and providers of services. • decision-making at all levels should be based on informed choices; • incentives for provision and consumption of services and facilities should be consistent with the overall goal and objective; • rights of consumers and providers should be balanced by responsibilities to the wider human community and environment.



3. Waste should be considered a resource, and its management should be holistic and form part of integrated water resources, nutrient flows and waste management processes. • inputs should be reduced so as to promote effi ciency and water and environmental security; • exports of waste should be minimised to promote efficiency and reduce the spread of pollution; • wastewater should be recycled and added to the water budget.

4. The domain in which environmental sanitation problems are resolved should be kept to the minimum practicable size (household, community, town, district, catchment, and city) and wastes diluted as little as possible. • waste should be managed as close as possible to its source; • water should be minimally used to transport waste; • additional technologies for waste sani risarion and reuse should be developed.

ap proach. Ir provides assistance to those who are will ing to include and rest this new approach in their urban environmental sanitation programs. Since practical experience with che H CES approach is lacking, chis G uideline is neither comp rehensive nor final, but will be developed further on the basis of extensive field experience and feedback from che users. A recent publication 'Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion' also addresses the processes for long-term changes at inscirucional level.

Download from or hard copy from, Roland., Tel: +41-1-823 5286.

BOOK REVIEW Dictionary of Water Engineering by Ken Nelson ISBN 1 85339 490 4 hardback. Published by ITDG Publishing, Schumacher Centre for Technology and Development, UK. Available from Astam Books Pty Ltd at or 02 9566 4400. Price including GST, Postage and Handling in Australia & New Zealand is SAU 98. The d ictionary was fi rst published by Bucterworths in 1973 and chis 2005 edition has seen a major review and update, with greater emphasis on the needs of poorer communities and environmental sustainability. The compact 20 cm by 13 cm volume contains 4000 entries, many supported by clear diagrams illustrating particular water engineering terms. Cross references are given when there are more than one name fo r a particular engineering activity. This edition would be of assistance co engineers, technicians and students who are involved in water technology in all its forms. The dictionary would be useful co other disciplines such as planners, sociologists, economists and financial analyses, working in water resources, water and sanitation field in developing countries.

Frank Bishop Postscript: Ken Nelson has been a Member ofA WA for 30 years.

WATER CONSERVATION THROUGH TRADE WASTE MANAGEMENT DJ Mclean, J McGregor Abstract Water conservation is an im perative seep in coral water resource management. Central H igh lands Water (CHW), through its trade waste management system, has focused efforts on water conservation with so me of its largest industrial and commercial water users, with the aim o f reducing waste generation, conserving resou rces, long term water resource management and continuous im provement in enviro nmental performance. CHW has realigned its trade waste management style from a historical en fo rcement and revenue gathering approach to a partnering ap proach, to encourage waste minimisation and efficien t resource use. Several trade waste customers have now im p lemented trade waste management p lans with a view to conserving water. In some cases a reductio n in water use of up co 90% has been ach ieved.

Key Words: resource management, water conservation, trad e waste.

Water Act 1989

Trade Waste By-law Acceptable Trade Waste Standards

Trade Waste Policy


Trade Waste Management



Trade Waste Agreement/ Consent


Figure 1. Trade waste management system .

Introduction The im portance of effective trade waste management for a water authority cann ot be over stated. An effective management system can provide an environment in which both the authority and the trade waste customer can work in a cooperative fash ion co achieve the goals of waste min im isatio n and resource co nservation. l n the context of this pap er water conservation has been identified as a major area of concern to the authority and therefore a p riority management objective. I n addition , with long lead ri mes for capital upgrades, finite raw resources and limited C H W asset capacity, the need co foc us on p riority parameters has become a viral management techniq ue in order to provide rhe authority with the necessary breathing space to maintain environ mental regulatory compliance. T he trade waste management system has been designed co in corporate a cooperative app roach where possible. C H W tracks developments and advances in trade waste management and th is technical expertise has helped customers become aware of both commo nly available an d best available technology and so manage

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th eir processes in a sustain able man ner. Within the trade waste management system cools have also been developed for the ongoing and conti nuous improvement in the management of water and other aspects of concern to the au thority, such as salt, wh ich may be a limiting factor in successful wastewater reuse. Trade Waste Management Plans have been developed with several of C H W's major trad e waste customers, including agreed act ion p lans with identified milestones to ach ieve waste mi nimisation outcomes acceptable to both parries.

Drivers such as full cost recovery, risk managemen t and waste minimisation for m the fo undatio n of the system. In order co maintain a consistent ap proach to t rad e waste managemen t the fo llowi ng principles, as stated in C HW's Trade Waste Policy, apply: â&#x20AC;˘ The 'pollu ter pays principle' wh ere waste generators, treaters or users must rake respo nsibility for the costs of avoid ing environmental damage resulting from their activities and for the costs o f repairing any cu rrent or futu re environmental degradation; and,

A partnering approach to customers has encouraged waste minimisation and efficient resource use. Background Central Highland s Water has approximately 46 0 trade waste customers within its region. Over the past 3 years CHW has embarked on a new management regime for trade waste discharges co the sewerage system .

â&#x20AC;˘ T he 'user pays principle' where, to the extent it is p racticable, customers cover both the fixed and variable costs incurred in the receipt, conveyance, treatmen t, and d isposal of waste. CHW has developed a trade waste management system u nder the Victorian



Water Act, 1989 , char has 4 distinct steps (Figure 1). The corner scone of chis system is th e policy char has b een developed and refin ed over several years, bur of even more importan ce is the inclusion of a trad e waste management plan char req uires industrial and commercial organisations to d evelop plans fo r waste minimisatio n and therefore water conservation. The methodology used is con sistent with the framework of the "Trade W aste Management Plans - G u ide and Industry T emplate fo r Improving T rade W aste Dischargers", released by the Victorian EPA & VicW ater trade waste partnersh ip. T he fra mework endeavours to provide a workable environment fo r custo mers whilst main tain ing rhe integrity of C H W 's assets an d pursuing advances in waste minimisation and improvements to waste quality. C H W's success in fostering cooperative relationships w ith its trade waste customers, is largely due to th e partnership app roach taken when negotiating new trade waste agreements. In all cases there are three crucial steps that precede the d evelopment of a trade waste management plan and su bsequen t signing of a trade waste agreemen t. These steps include carefully introducing the customer to C HW's regulatory and enviro nmental expectations, develop ing rhe customer's awaren ess of the consequences attribu ted to their trade waste, and an assessmen t of risk based o n shared knowledge and understanding.

Step 1 T he initial approach taken when contacting rhe customer has proven to b e virally important in setti ng rhe foundations for continuous improvement. A series of face-co-face on-site meeti ngs has been useful in establishing relationships on a personal level, with particular individuals, before the focus is sh ifted coward company performance and direction . I r is o ur experience that chis is th e key to d riving change and d eveloping en thusiasm within rhe customer's business. A cooperative relatio nship allows rhe authority to educate the customer as to current legislative and regulatory requirements, without alienating the customer with perceived th reats. A wellin fo rmed customer is typ ically mo re likely to recognise rhe importance o f change and the benefits associated with ir.

Step 2 Raising the customer's awaren ess of rhe impact of their trade waste is essential in the early stages of negotiatio n. Besides rhe obvious h ealth and safety concerns, it is



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Figure 2. Red uction in monthly water consumption for CMI Operations.

impo rtant char the custo mer u nderstands the con nection between their trade waste characteristics and the d emands on increasingly scarce water resources, rhe efficien cy of the authority's treatment system and the h eal rh of rhe receivi ng environmen t. C H W utilises rhe customer's intimate knowled ge of their own processes and com bines it w ith the principles of clean er productio n, in an effort to focus attentio n coward opportunities for legit imate improvement.

Step 3 When p rioritising improvements or cleaner production activit ies, CHW conducts an assessment of the risk associated with rhe customer's busin ess . U tilising a basic risk management approach to waste mi nimisation means char both the customer and rhe autho rity wo rk cooperatively fo r the maximum mu tual benefi t.

Case Studies CMI Operations I n O ctober 20 03, C HW approached CMI Operatio ns Ballarar with a view to renegotiating its outdated trade waste agreement. C H W applied th e techniques described above and through d eveloping a mutual awareness of CMI's trad e waste circumstances, CM I achieved a sizeable reduction in its demand on droughraffecred d rinking water supplies (Figure 2). In chis instance, as wit h n u mero us och ers, rhe water savings were large ly due to the addi t io n o f a "T rad e Waste M anage men t Plan" clause in a new trade waste agreement. I n chis way the custo mer is required to investigate opp ortuni ties fo r waste minimisat ion within its business, before agreeing on a se t of acti ons for progress ively implem ent in g imp rovemen t works w hi ch th en form part o f the customer's trade was te agreement.

Importantly, d uring the developmen t of CMI Operatio ns' trade waste management plan, a n umber of water reliant processes were identified as having the potential for recycled water to be used . Sim ilarly, it was noted chat by mak ing sim ple changes to selected processes, water efficiency could be greatly in creased. Upo n completio n of the works identifi ed in its trade waste man agement plan, C MI O perations had achieved a staggering reduction of up to 92% in its monthly water consumption , which equates to around 1.4 million litres per mo nth.

Masterfoods Since the signing of a new trade waste agreement in Feb ruary 2003, Masrerfoods Snackfo od has applied considerable effo rt to reducing its potential impact on CHW's works. O nce again rhe ability to work cooperatively with the customer proved to be th e key to success, with o ngoing d iscussions between Masterfood s and C H W focu sing on waste minimisat io n opportunities. Along with the mandatory risk managemen t clauses contained in Masrerfoods' new trade waste agreement, C H W and M asterfoods agreed on a trade waste management plan developed by Masterfo ods as an acceptab le means to not o nly manage, but also to improve Masrerfood s trade waste circumstances. H aving successfully raised M asterfoods' awareness to the overall impact associated with its d ischarge of trad e waste, C H W was able to leverage their enthusiasm to d rive the message of waste mi nimisatio n in to previo usly unaffected areas o f its business. I n essence, well-informed and empowered Masterfoods employees cook CHW's message of cleaner productio n back into the factory. Rather than relying on end-of-pipe treatment techno logy, M asterfoods was able to make changes to procedures in o rder to min imise waste at the po int source.

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wastewater Initiatives such as providing receptacles for spilled produce, borh dry and wet, meant chat large volumes of water were no longer required for cleaning whilst making rhe recovered waste suitable fo r recycling or sale as stock feed. Identification of water dependent processes also allowed for improvement works co target areas where maximum benefit would be achieved leading co furth er reductions in rhe load on the trade waste treatment plant. As a result of Masrerfoods' continuous improvement program linked co its trade waste agreement, a significant reduction has been realised in che volume of water consumed per tonne of chocolate produced. Figure 3 shows Mascerfoods' monthly water consumption per product output, revealing a reduction in average drinking water demand of 17% or rhe equivalent of 2.2 million litres of water saved each month.

Other Opportunities C HW supported Mascerfoods along with many of irs ocher trade waste custo mers by sponsoring an EPA Victoria cleaner production trai ning course in an effo rt co assist busi nesses co reduce their trade waste related environmental impact and CHW is working closely with many ocher businesses co reduce the collecrive demand by industry on potable water supplies. A brief outline of some of these exciting opportunities appears below. W hile Table I illustrates the savings chat have been achieved at three Ballarac food processing factories, a fourth factory in Delacombe is currently working with CH W and a neighbouring trade waste generator to re- use wastewater from one factory in the processes of the other. If successfu l, chis proj ect will present a potable subscicution outcome of up co 50,000 litres per day, equ ivalenr co the entire daily demand of drinking water by one of these faccories. One of Ballarat's largest textile businesses has agreed to participate in che CHW/EPA trade waste parrnership and in so doing has co mmitted co reducing water use where possible. With an average daily demand of 900 kilolitres, even the smallest percentage reduction would provide welcome relief on already stressed water suppl ies. A well-known tool manufaccurer based in Maryborough has also joined rhe trade waste partnership and has already begun chinking of recycling. A series of preliminary trials in December 2004 identified potential co reduce, or even eliminate, the use of water in the heat treatment process. Although rhe volumes saved will be modest, rhe importance of any attempt to reduce unnecessary water use mu st not be overlooked.

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Figure 3. Masterfoods water consumption kl per tonne of product.

Another of CHW's Maryborough based food processing customers has supported CH W's call for cleaner production, by establishing a link wirh a local pig farmer who now uses up co 90% of the trade waste generated . T his not only reduces the trade waste load on CHW's sewerage systems, but also reduces the pig farme r's demand for clean water. Although in chis case the pig fa rmer is outside CHW's water district, rhe net effect is a reduction in the demand for fresh water, which remains importan t regardless of regional boundaries. In addition, rhis particular business has made a number of process changes in an effort to reduce waste generation and in doing so has reduced its annual water demand by up co 25%.

Conclusion CHW's trade waste management system has evolved far beyond end-of-pipe co ntrols. Experience has shown us that a holistic approach co a customer's circumstances can yield significant benefits. Working in partnership with cuscomers and encouraging them co make rheir systems and processes available for constructive scrutiny, will often lead co increased efficiency, nor only efficiencies relating co the use of raw materials bur more efficient LLSe of potable water.

A trade waste system based on legislation alone is nor enough; regulations, limits and by-laws can be enfo rced co manage risk, but will do li ttle co promote continuous improvement. Thar is why CHW has chosen ro engage irs cuscomers in discussio ns chat will lead co a mutual awareness, followed by agreed action , and ultimately, co increased resource efficiency. T he success rhat CHW has experienced with industrial water conservation can be directly related co irs proactive management of trade waste. As a result, CHW maintains an appreciation for the potential chat srill exists withi n rhe industrial seccor and is therefore commirred co assisti ng businesses to max imise water efficiency and mi ni mise waste generation through a passionately driven trade waste managemenr system.

The Authors Danny Mclean, an environmental enginee r, is rhe Environment Manager, and Jason McGregor is the Trade Waste Coordinator for Central Highlands Water, PO Box 152 Ballarac, Vic 3353, Email or jmcgrego@chw.

Table 1. Significant Water Saving Achievements. Customer Type

Textile Food Processing 1 Food Processing 1 Food Manufacturing Metal Finish ing Manufacturing Food Processi ng Total

Water Savings (%)

Annual Water Savings

7% 20% 20%

550 kilolitres 19,300 kilolitres 17,900 kilolitres 22,700 kilolitres

17% 85% 22% 25%

16,400 kilolitres 32 kilolitres 1,000 kilolitres 77,882 kilolitres

1. Water savings have been estimated based on knowledge of processes and recycling efficiencies. Increased product output makes annual water demand comparisons misleading.





de Haas

Abstract This paper su mmarises che performance of three biological nu trient removal sewage treatment planes in Queensland (Australia). These planes are "extended aeratio n" types, creating screened, degritced raw sewage using a configu ration similar to the "3Stage Phoredox" concep t but including an oxidation ditch as the anoxic/aerobic reactor. A su mmary of che design loads and other plant parameters is p rovided, along with summary plan t effluent data over a perio d of up to six years. T he results show chat these plants achieved excellent nutrient removal performance (geometric mean total N < 3 mgN/L and coral P < 2 mgP/L achieved), through a combination of biological and simultaneous chemical removal using alum, despite the lack of fi lters on the secondary effluent. Effluent suspended solids were typically <3 mg/L and BOD 5 < 4 mg/L. T he capital cost for these plants was foun d to be below the average trend for BN R planes in Australia when co mpared on a similar basis (population equivalent and effluent quality), whilst the power input per unit organic load removed was in che upper quartile fo r a range of BNR planes.


Lime (or ~iapcsium Hydroxide)

A naerobic rtattor

Raw HWa&e

,-- ---.- - ~ - - ' - - -- - . I , ~- ' - -




1-l nt l effluent

Oxld11Uon Ditch





Sludge Waste

Bek Fitter


Sludge Cake to Bioso lids Disposal

Figure 1. Conceptua l process flow d iagram for STPs incorporating oxidation ditch. O xidation d itches (or Carrousel-type plants) have been used for a number of years throughout the world, includ ing Australia, mainly due co their relative simplicity and ease of co nstruction, especially in the early years (e.g. 1960s to early '80s) when constructed of concretelined earrhern walls. Over che years, such plants proved to be relatively robust in regards co terms of nitrogen removal, al though early versions had variable

Excellent performance without tertiary effluent filtration.

performance in this regard often due to inadequate or crude aeration co ntrol (e.g. by changing dep th of aerator submergence; or use of fi xed speed horizontal brush aerators). Oxidation d itches (usually witho ut selectors and poor aerat io n control) also tended co produce b ulkin g sludges, which was a fu rther d isadvantage. With the introduction of more stringent effluent nutrient limits, some designers have favou red the continued use of the


Introduction Brisbane and its surrounding areas in Sou ch-East Queensland (SE QLD) have been subject since the mid-1990s to increasingly stringen t environmental regulations in respect of nutrient discharges fro m wastewater sources. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in QLD has issued licenses to cities and surrounding shires in this region chat requ ire advanced removal o f nutrients. T ypically, these licenses have stipulated removal of nitrogen co less than 5 mg N/L total N (on a 50th percentile or someti mes 90th percentile basis) and so metimes <3 mg N/L (50%ile) . Sim ilarly, phosphorus removal to <2 (or sometimes < 1) mg P/L Total P (50%ile) has been stipulated.



1.0 0.0 4.--.....,..,-.-~--




,~~,,<~ ~ ~


~~,,~~~ ~ <~~



THORNESIDE STP: COMPLIANCE for TOTAL P 10.00 9.00 8.00 a.. 7.00 Ill 6.00 c,! 5.00 4.00 a.. 3.00 2.00 1.00

" "'e


Short term 50%ile


Long term 50%ile


~ , upplerrentary chanical dos~ rÂŤ PrerTDYal

Figure 2. Example of short (5 w eek) and long (50 week) term trend s in Tota l N and Total P for Thornesi de STP over seven years since commi ssi on ing, ba sed on w eekly composite sa mpling.

refereed paper

wastewater "oxidation dirch" concept bur incorporated a number of additions or refinements to improve performance. These included: • The addition of an anaerobic reactor upstream of rhe oxidation dirch (to encourage bio-P removal and also to act as a selector), giving a "3-stage Phoredox" type process co ncept; • Use of variable-speed vertical shaft surface aerators for improved aeration control via an instrumentation loop linked to on-line dissolved oxygen meters; and • Mechanical scum harvesters to minimise scum or foam accumulation on the ditch, thereby min imising re-seeding of the mixed liquor wirh filamentous-type bacteria. This paper summarises some of the design information for three sewage treatment plants in SE QLD based on the oxidation dirch concept, incorporating biological nutrient removal (BNR).

Plant summary design data T horneside and Cleveland STPs are located in Redland Shire, approximately 30 km easr of Brisbane; Coolum STP is located in Maroochy Shire, approximately 110 km north of Brisbane. T hese plants have similar process designs. The conceptual process flow diagram is shown in Figure 1. T he only signifi cant difference between rhe plan rs is char Thorneside and Coolum STPs have one activated primary tank (APT) each upsrream of the anaerobic reactor for pre-fermentation of the raw sewage, while Cleveland STP does not have an APT. Where an APT is present, rhe primary sludge from rhe APT is wasted back into the overflow (APT effluen t), which goes to the anaerobic reactor. T he design data for these planrs are summarised in T ables I and 2. T he design effluent quality targets for nu trients are summarised in Table 3. T he

Table 1. Summary plant design influent data Parameter

Connected population Population Equivalent flow 50 Percentile loads Flow, ADWF COD COD/BOD TSS (NFR) TKN TKN/COD TP TP/COD Total Alkalinity Peaking factors 90 Percentile 99 .7 Percentile (peak day) Peak rote (design) PWWF






30,000 250


38,000 250


4.95 330 2.5 135 33 0. 10 7.3

L/(EP.d) ML/d mg/ L



550 2.46 260 55 0.10 11 0.020 210

0.022 180

208 44 0.09 9.0 0.018 235

1.3 X 50%iJe 2.0 X 50%iJe 5.0 X 50%iJe

] .2 X 50%ile 3.0 X 50%iJe 5.0 X 50%ile

1.25 X 50%ile 2.0 X 50%ile 5.0 X 50%ile

mg/L mg/Las N mg/Las P mg/ L as CoCO3

500 1.9

* Coo/um STP hos two stages: data for Stage 2 {only this stage was operational for the period covered by this study) ADWF: Average Dry Weather Flow; PWWF: Peak Wet Weather Flow serdeabiliry parameters (V0 and n) were selected based on the adopted design value of SVl, related th rough relationships described by Hartley (1985) and Ekama et al (1984) (1997) .

Plant performance Nutrient removal perfor mance fo r the three plants is summarised in Table 4. An example of the long-term trends for coral nitrogen and phosphorus at T hornes ide STP are shown in Figure 2.

Capital costs The capital costs fo r the three STPs in this study were as follows (corrected to 2004 Australian dollars) : • T horneside STP: $11. 7 mill ion (M)

• Coolum STP: $10.6 M (included upgrade of so me existing structures) • Cleveland STP: $ 11.3 M. In terms of design flow (ADWF basis), the capital costs were equivalent to approximately $1.2 to $1.6 M per ML treated. The capital cost fo r these plants was approximately 20 to 30% below rhe trended average cost of BNR plants built in Australia, when compared on the basis of design EP and effluent 50%ile N &P limits (Han ley, 1999).

Operating costs The operating costs (2004 AUD) for rhese plan rs are in rhe order of $240 to $3 10 per ML treated (or approximately


%'~ c..=.J PCM


Scum, Sludge & other Unmentionables Tel. (02) 6581 0744

refereed paper

Fax. (02) 6581 0790




$ 1. 50 co $2.00 per kg BOD removed). The power consumption is in the order of 3.3 kWh per kg BOD removed or 1.8 kWh per kg biodegradable COD removed (biodegradable C OD is ~ 75% of coral COD load). Th is power consumption was in rhe up per quartile of d ata from 37 plants (30 of which were BNR plants) interpreted in the same manner by (Hardey, 2003).

Table 2. Summary plant design data. Coalum*




Not present




1. 1









APT max. SRT (sludge age)


BNR process SRT (sludge age)


Process Volume ML

Anaerobic: Ox. Ditch:









Max. SVI

















Stage 1: 0.85 Stage 2: 1.0


The results in Table 4 (also Figure 2) show that all three plants in this study achieved 100% compliance with their effluent quality targets in respect of coral N, BOD and TSS. T horneside and Cleveland STPs also achieved 100% compliance with their Tora! P requirement. T hese plants use supplementary alu minium sulphate dosing co achieve simultaneous biological-chemical P removal. Ar the alum dose applied , bio-P removal accou nts for approximately rworhirds of the coral P removal in these plan ts. W hilst rhe geometric mean of the effluent coral Pat Coolum STP was 1.2 mg P/L (i.e. < 2 mg P/L target), rhe long-term 500/o ile was marginally greater than 2 mg P/L for a period of several months in 1998, nor long after the plant was commissioned. Remarkably, no alum has ever been dosed on this plant, even though dosing faci lities have been installed. Biological P removal steadily imp roved, allowing compliance with the coral P target co be achieved since early 1999 co rhe present day. A key fearure o f the performance of all th ree STPs has been the excellent nitrogen removal performance, as is evident from rhe coral N data (Table 4). The geometric mean Tora! N is< 3 mg N/L in all three cases and < 2 mg N/L for Cleveland STP. The better N removal performance at Cleveland is ascribed co the fact that it receives a proportion of its load (approx . 12 co 20 % of the med ian BOD load) from a food processing plant. This trade waste load leads to a relatively favourable raw sewage TKN/COD ratio at Cleveland (actual median = 0.090 mg N/mg COD, Sep 1998 co Oct 2000) compared co that of Thorneside STP, for example (actual median = 0.15 mg N/mg COD, M ar 1998 co Sep 2002). Ir is notable that the excellent nutrient removal performa nce of these plants is achieved without tertiary effluent filtration. Very low effluent TSS concentrations are achieved (Table 4). This is attributable partly co the seeding characteristics of the sludges and partly co co nservative clarifier design. The mixed liquor from these oxidation d itch-type plants rends to produce nominally "bulking sludges" (with (D)SVI

Total: BNR process 90%ile MLSS Settleability parameters

Secondary clarifier max. overflow rate

Ave. 1 x ADWF Ave. 1 x ADWF Ave. 1 x ADWF Peak 0.8 x PWWF Peak 0.8 x PWWF Peak 0.6 x PWWF

RAS rate

* Coo/um STP has two stages: data for Stage 2 (only this stage was operational for the period covered by this study) APT: Activated Primary Tank RAS: Return Activated Sludge

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. •,

refereed paper

typically ranging from approximately 125 to 225 mL/g, and median ~ 165 mL/g for T horneside STP). Such sludges tend to give very clear effiuencs with few free bacteria or fine floes. Hence, conservative seco ndary clarifier designs were adopted (average overflow race < 0.25 m/h; peak overflow race 0.8 to 1.2 m/h).

Table 3. Design effluent quality limit values for nutrients and related parameters. Units

Thorne side



Limit type

mg/ L N

5; 7.5

5; 7.5

5; 7.5

LT ; ST 50%ile

15 1; 1.5 3.0 10; 15 30 15; 23

Maximum LT ; ST 50%ile Maximum LT; ST 80%ile Maximum LT ; ST 80%ile Maximum


Total N Total P



mg/L0 2


mg/L TSS

15 2; 3 6.0 10; 15 30 15; 23 45

Conclusion The three sewage treatment planes in Souch-Easc Queensland (Australia) co nsidered in chis study achieve excellent effiuenc quality, approaching world "best practice" by extended aeration (secondary treatment only) without tertiary filtration or tertiary nutrient removal systems. The designs are relatively conservative (e.g. 25 day design sludge age; relatively low-loaded secondary clarifiers), but chis produces very s table performance. I00% compliance with effiuent quality limits of <5 mgN/ L rocal N and <2 mgP/ L total P (as long term 50%ile o r geometric means) are routi nely achieved. Despite che conserva tive design of these planes, the capital coses were well below average, compared on a similar bas is co ocher BNR planes in Australia. Due to the reliance on extended aeration, power consumption for these planes is comparatively high. T he trade-off between optimal nutrient removal and power consumption (or greenhouse gas emissions) in BNR plants deserves further investigation.

Acknowledgement Redland Water & Waste is gracefully acknowledged fo r supply of effiuenc quality data reported in chis paper.

The Author Dr David de Haas (email is at the Brisbane office of GHD.

References H artley, K. ( 1999). BNR in Australia present trmds, f11111re directions. I BC Conference, Advanced Wastewater & Sludge T reat ment, Sydney. Hartley, K. (2003). "Energy consu mptio n in BN R planes." Ken H ardey, Consulting Engineer, Forest Lake, Brisbane, Australia (Unpublished data). H artley, K. (I 985). Operating the activated sludge process. Gutteridge Haskins & D avey., Brisbane, Australia, p45 . Ekama GA, Barnard J L, G unchert FW, Krebs P, McCorquodale JA, Parker DS and W ahlberg EJ. (1997) . Secondary Settling Tanks: Theory, Modelling and Operation. LA WQ Scientific and Technical Report N o. 6, International Association on Water Quality, London.

refereed paper

2; 3 20; 30 30; 45


-: Not specified; LT: Long term (50 consecutive weeks); ST: Short term (5 consecutive weeks) Results based on composite samples

Table 4. Summary data for effluent quality from sewage treatment plants in this study. Data taken for period post-commissioning and optimisation. Parameter

Date commissioned: Dote range:




June 1997 2/6/98 ¡ 20/7/04

April 1997 1/ 9/ 97 ¡ 30/ 4/ 04

December 2002 1I 4/ 03 - 20/ 7/04


2.2 1.9 3.4

1.5 1.0 2.2 4.8 6.8 68

Total N (mgN/L) Geometric mean Geometric SD LT 50%ile max. ST 50%ile max. Mox. n Totol P (mgP/ L) Geometric mean Geometric SD LT 50%ile max. ST 50%ile max. Mox. n BOD(5), mg/ L Geometric mean Geometric SD LT 80%ile max. ST 80%ile max. Max. n n at or below detection limit Detection limit TSS, mg/ L Geometric mean Geometric SD LT 80%ile max. ST 80%ile max. Mox. n n at or below detection limit Detection limit

1.5 3.5 5.9 13.5 316 1.0 1.9 1.6 4.2 4.0 316

8.8 13.6 338 1.2 2.4 2.2

0.2 1.0 0.3 1.2 2.1 68

6.5 8.9 338

4 1 4 7 10 315 308 4

2 2 4 9 13 338 104

4 1

3 1

2 2


3 6 8 316 218

8 11 16 339 96


4 6 6 67 64 4


6 8 68 57





NAIAD: SHARING LESSONS FROM INNOVATIVE URBAN WATER SCHEMES T Loetscher, P Dart, G Kirchhof, S Gray Abstract There are now numbers of innovative water p rojects in Australia, alread y implemented and planned , chat serve as a resting ground fo r new tech nologies, management ap proaches and institutional frameworks, generating valuable experience and insights. To d are, this k nowledge is largely shared in an opportunistic, uncoordinated fash ion. As a result, planners and practitioners alike ofren find it difficult to gain access to information about existing in novative water schemes and projects rhar could benefit rhe development of their own project. The Naiad p roject aims to change rh is by d eveloping a compu ter program for sharing lessons learned from urban water schemes among plan ners, local governments, and practitioners. T he project is a com ponent of rhe Sustainable Water Sources program of the C RC for W ater Q ual ity and Treatment, which is carried our at The U n iversity of Queensland in col laboration with CSIRO. A preliminary version of Naiad has recently been completed. The current project stage focuses on populating its knowledge base with interesting stories about in novative water schemes.

Communities of Practice Wenger (2004) defines commu n ities o f practice (CoP) as 'groups o f people who share a passion for something char they know how to do, and who interact regularly in order co learn how co do it better.' The concept is introduced here, because it offers a suitable framework for positioning and d iscussi ng a knowled ge repository such as Naiad. T he paradigm underlying CoPs is rhar knowing is nor merely an individual experience b ur o ne char is shared within a wider community. CoPs emerge our of a common context such as rhe need ro solve a problem or co provide better services co clients. According co Wenger, rhe focus of



Location Cost of planning Cost of construction CostofO&M Cost recovery Participatory planning Implementation etc.

has one or several


Overcome water shortage Cost reduction Compliance with regulations Environment projection Effluent disposal etc.

60 SEPTEMBER 2005 water

has one or several


Drinking water Crop Irrigation Golf course irrigation Garden watering Toilet flushing Industrial recycling etc.

may have one or several

Figure 1. Information contained in the Naiad database. managing a CoP will, therefore, be on fac ilitating its activi ties, as opposed ro determining and leading them. W ith ad equate support, Co Ps can be a powerful cool co propagate innovatio n. The Australian water sector is essentially a large, distributed and diverse CoP. This means that it's potential for innovation is large as well, bur at the same time its effectiveness suffers from a lack of internal

about innovative water schemes across Australia, includ ing contact derails of the scheme owner. This facilitates liaison and avoids re-inventing rhe wheel, rhar is, regenerating knowledge chat would have been readily available within the CoP. As a knowled ge repository, Naiad nor only provides a conven ient cool for d isseminating and sharing knowledge; it also helps identify key problem areas and

A sophisticated search engine to identify schemes and components. cohesiveness Ouscesen, 2004). l e thus is essential co provide cools that enable the CoP co identify new members, to maintain contact with existing ones, and co facili tate access co rhe collective knowledge th rough knowledge repositories (Lesser and Prusak,

2000). This is an edited version of the paper p resented at Ozwacer 2005.

Waler source Source quality User profile Treatment technologies Monitoring O&M (regime and cost) Regulatory Issues Risk management etc.

Naiad aims at closing this gap by providing comprehensive information

knowledge shortfalls that could, for example, become the focus of future research. Ocher, less obvious, benefits include: â&#x20AC;˘ A good knowledge repository is an efficient means for experts to disseminate and share their knowledge. For example, owners of innovative water projects often complain about being inundated with

enquiries about their project. Naiad offers one-stop shopping to anyone interested in innovative water management in Australia. This means rhar, once the project owners get contacted , the enquirer will already have a good basic understanding o f the p roject facts and be in a positio n to ask relevant and focused questions. In summary, Naiad helps the CoP to function more efficien cly and effectively. • A CoP that has been operating for some time will automatically converge jargon into standardised terminology, a prerequisite for members to co mmunicate efficiently (Lesser and Prusak, 2000). This seems particularly important in the water sector, where jargo n (e.g. sewer, sewerage, in-/effiuen t, reclamation, recycling, etc.) is often used inappropriately. • Another strong motive may be peer recognition of one's achievements and exp ertise (Wenger, 2004) . Accountability for suppo rting one another is an important ch aracteristic of CoPs. Saint-Onge (2003) observes that the CoP ' rakes fu ll responsibili ty for provid ing an effective and productive forum. Within this context, each member assumes the responsibility to support fellow members as required.' T his would imply a mutual obligatio n to contrib ute expertise to the CoP, and any wi chholdi ng of information would reduce the effectiveness of the CoP. In the case of water management, if we accept that there is an Australia-wide CoP, then withholding infor mation chat could promote sustainable water management practice would simply mean damaging our society as a whole, an act chat essentially is immoral (Berumen, 2003). I t can thus be argued that the ethically defensible positio n for Australian organisatio ns and practitioners who are knowledgeable about innovative water management would be to share such kn owledge with the CoP.

Naiad™ Search




Scheme Finder

The 1151 be tow displays all schemes matching the search crtten a Make yo u, setecUons and then click the Seaich bu non OblecbVes Overcome Water Shortage

Use 0 Restdenttal

Documents such as the one by Radcliffe are an important starting point and helpful in providi ng an overview of the status quo of innovative water management in Australia. However, because their scope is necessarily limited and because readers h ave to extract what interests chem by means of


I· ,

Environment Protection

G Institutional and Commercial

Compliance with Regulations

G Mumclpal

Cost Reducbon Effluent Disposal Text

GotfCourse 1mgatton tirtgat,on or Par1<s and Gardens

Sewage Treatment Plant

Type of Source

Mixed Wastewater 1 •

Dally Mean Flow

Not Specified •

P10Ject Stage






P1mpama Coomera Waterfuture ProJetl

DnnkJng Water

Plmpama Coomera Watertuture ProJect

P1mpama Coomera Waterluture ProJecl

Rainwater Tank Systems Recyc led Water

Plmoama Coomera Water1uture Pro1ec1

Wastewater Collectlon and Treatment


Figure 2. Search screen.

a highlighting pen, they are not ideal as knowledge repositories to support a dynam ic CoP. A computerised information system such as Naiad enables users to quickly search for specifi c sch emes using clearly defined search criteria. This filtered information can be much richer without resulting in infor mation overload or bulky d ocuments.

For example, to users who are interes ted in water schemes for urban residential d evelopments with dual reticulation and reclamatio n of household wastewater for roilec flushing, such a system wou ld present information abou t p rojects like Pimpama Coomera Warerfuture (Gold Coast City Council , 2004) but hide irrelevant schemes (e.g. golf course irrigation, crop irrigation,


Shared Knowledge A comprehensive review of water recycling in Australia was recently compiled by Radcliffe (2004). T his review clearly shows a trend toward source substitution an d more efficient use of water, entailing adoption of alternative water use and recycling technologies. It is impo rtant char the momentum derived from chis paradigm shift is sustained by a strong and growing Co P.

Scheme Map




Licence no: 1628

319 Parramatta Rd AUBURN NSW 2144 Phone: (02) 9748 2309 Fax: (02) 9648 4887



wastewater industrial recycling, ecc). The Naiad database will contain examples of both small and large scale alternative water schemes, with residential, municipal, agricultural and industrial applicatio ns.

The Naiad Tool The Naiad p roject commenced in 2004, and completion is anticipated in 2006. This paper describes a preliminary version. For chis purpose, it uses data from the master plan for the Pimpama Coomera Wacerfucure project (Gold Coast City Council, 2004), an integrated urban water management scheme currently under co nstruction chat will provide innovative services co a residential community at the Gold Coast, Queensland. Ic is anticipated chat a fu lly functio nal version of Naiad will be available coward che end of chis year. Figure 1 illustrates the kind of information contained in the Naiad database. The Pimpama Coomera scheme, for example, contains the following components: • Drinki ng water from Hinze dam supplied co kitchen cap • Rainwater collection for non-potable internal uses (bath, hoc water, laundry) • Water recycling for coilec flush ing • Water sensitive urban design • Smart sewers • Water conservation T he database also contains information about publications relevant co the scheme and, where available, mulcimedia files such as pictures about scheme components. The challenge is co present this comprehensive information in a tidy and accessible way. Naiad feat ures a sophisticated search engine chat enables users co quickly identify schemes and components chat interest chem (F igure 2). Users may select the scheme and component chey are interested in from the search res ul cs listed ac che bottom of the Search screen. An overview o f the selected icem is chen displayed in che Scheme screen. The recycled water component of the Pimpama Coomera scheme is used co illustrate chis in Figure 3.

Naiad™ Search




Scheme Finder

Plmpama Coomera Wateffuture Project: Recycled Water Location

IPlmpama Coomera. Oold Coast, Qld




Stage lconslruction


Source Type Mixed Wastewater

Residential Toilet Flushing


Summary Domestic wastewater will be recycled The recycled water will be used fo, toilet flushing, external domestic uses such as garden watering and car washing, and for fire 0ghllng

Mean Da1t,- Flow Overcome Waler Shortage Scheme Details Component Delalls Trealment Technologles G Operation & Mainlenance Regulalory Pe,mlls


Risk Management Lessons Learned

IGCost Figure 3. Scheme screen.

From che Scheme screen, more detailed information, including multimedia files, can be accessed. An Encyclopaedia about treatment technologies and water terminology also is included. For example, information on a particular scheme m ight scare chat one of the technologies used is microfilcracion. Users who do not know this techno logy can look ic up in the encyclopedia. Thus, users with limited expertise in water management can also benefit from Naiad.

Coll For Help T he project team is seeking organisations who own, manage or have implemented innovative water management schemes in Australia, and who are interested in having information about their scheme included in che database of Naiad. To fin d ouc more, please contact D r Thomas Loecscher ( .

The Authors The project team comprises Dr Thomas Loetscher, Dr Gunnar Kirchhof and Dr Peter Dart of The U n iversity of Queensland, and Dr Stephen Gray of CSIRO, all members of the CRC for Water Quality and Treatment.

References Berumen, M. E. (2003) Do no evil: ethics with

applications to economic theory and business, iUniverse, N ew York; Lincoln, NE. Egger, K. U. (2003) Personal Communication, Bern, Switzerland. Gold Coast City C ouncil (2004) Gold Coast C ity Council, Gold Coast. Gray, S., Grant, A., Toze, S., Jarret, R. , Lwin, T. and Hussain, 0. (2004) Sustainable

Urban Water - Schemes and Technologies, CSIRO, Melbourne. Justesen, S. (2004) In Knowledge Networks -

Innovation Through Communities ofPractice (Eds, Hildreth, P. and Kimble, C.) Idea Group Publishing, H ershey, pp. 79-95. Lesser, E. and Prusak, L. (2000) In Knowledge

and Communities, Butterworth-Heinemann, Boston, pp. 123- I 3 1. Nickols, F. (2003), Vol. 2004 Distance Consulting. Radcliffe, J. C. (2004) Water Recycling in Australia, Ausrralian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. Sainr-Onge, H. and Wallace, 0. (2003)

Leveraging Communities ofPractice for Strategic Advantage, Butterworth-Heinmann, Boston. T eigland, R. and Mclure Wasko, M . (2004) In

Knowledge Networks - Innovation Through Communities of Practice (Eds, Hildreth, P. and Kimble, C.) Idea Group Publishing, H ershey, pp. 230-242. Wenger, E. (2004) Ivey Business journal, 68, 1-8.

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