Water Journal August 2006

Page 1


ASSOCIATION ABN 78 096 035 773

Modelling and Management Have Never Been Easier!

& werGEMS is a comprehensive modelling and management solution for the design, analysis, and planning of sanitary and combined sewer system infrastructure. Designed, built, and field-tested by some of the most experienced sewer professionals in the industry, SewerGEMS continues to redefine the worldwide benchmark for sewer modelling and management software. ArcG IS Interface

Why Choose SewerGEMS? • Use stand-alone, MicroStation•, AutoCAD, and ArcGIS interfaces • Run EPA's SWMM or Bentley's ow n implicit e ngine MicroStation Interface

• Assign sanitary and stormwater loading to your model • Build your mod el from CAD drawings, GIS files, and spreadsheets

'..·::__-~·_. :. l ....._._,.

• Import Sewe rCAD•, StormCAo•, and SWMM files • Analyse and co mpare unlimit ed "what-if" scenarios




• Opt imise lift station and system sto rage • Model CSOs, SSOs, a nd 1/1 impact- full hydrology

Stand. Alone Interface

Bentley Sewerage Solutions Users: t

Brisbane Water

t Fitzroy River Water

t MidCoast Water


Caboolture Shire County


t Ratio nale Ltd.

t Citiwater townsville

G HD Pty Ltd.

t Hobart City Council

t T huringowa Water

Other Bentley water resou rces software includes: • SewerCAD : Sewer design and analysis

• CivilStorm' : Dynamic scormwater modelling

• WaterGEMS :Water distribution modelling

• ScormCAD : Storm design and analysis

t PondPack": Pond design and analysis

• HAMMER'":Transient analysis

For more information, visit:





1-800-245 -005 (Australia) • 0800-444-046 (New Z ea la nd) • + l -203-75 5- 1666 (wo rld w ide) E -MAIL:

a nz.ma rketing@be ntl ey.com

('J;CQ€ Ben tl ey Systems, Incorporated. Bentley, the Bentley "8" logo. CivilStorm, Haestad Methods, HAMMER, MicroStation, Pond Pack, SewerCAD, SewcrGEMS, StormCAD, and WaterGEMS are either registered or

unrenist'mHi trad emarks or service marks of Bentley Systems, Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners, r



" [


Volume 33 No 5 August 2006

Journal of the Australian Water Association

OPINION AND INDUSTRY NEWS OPINION DDay, President, AWA 4 New Directors and the Water Family CDavis, CEO, AWA 5 It's Also the Quality 6 VALE Jack Beale and Neil Wellington 8 My Point of View DPannell, Professor, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UWA, CR( Plant-Based Management of Dryland Salinity AWA NEWS Includes: Water Education Network; Young Water Professionals; Toowoomba Water Recycling Forum; UK Exchange 10 CROSSCURRENT Water Industry News, Education and Training, Projects & Reports, Personalia, 24 Multi-million Dollar Funding for Six High Priority Activities 37 AWA MEMBERSHIP NEWS New members


NATIONAL EVENT CALENDAR World Rivers Sound Warning on Climate Change Report by TLoos

CONFERENCE REPORTS Enviro 06: The Invitation Session



indicates the paper hos been refereed )

AGRICULTURAL USES The AWA Biosolids Ill Specialty Conference Report by EA Swinton and DWiesner The National Biosolids Research Program is paying off CRC IRRIGATION FUTURES Overview [ii Urban Irrigation - Looking at Water Use in Our Own Backyard BMaheshwari Asurvey of Sydney suburbia The Irrigation Industry in the Murray and Murrumbidgee Basins WMeyer, KMontagu A contemporary compilation of the industry and its future COMMUNITY CONSULTATION ' Risk Perception Relating to Effluent Reuse on a University Campus Safety depends not only on the supply but also on the way in which it is stored and applied CDerry, RAttwater [ii Sustainability Reporting - An Irrigation Organisation Perspective Meeting the interests of a range of diverse stakeholders, developing social, environmental and economic performance indicators DBrand, CNorwood PUMPING & PIPELINES The Melbourne Eastern Irrigation Scheme - A Major Recycled Water System Both U/F and reticulation hove now operated smoothly for over 12 months Perth Seawater Desalination Project on Track The pipelines now ready for 140 million extra litres per day Renewal of Pipeline Protective Coating: Environmental Management Plan The environmental impact of ActewAGL 's pipe bridges painting program was found to be broader than expected


49 51




P Everist


MOliver, GMarch


PChier, S Longmuir




INTERNATIONAL Delivering Safe Water and Sanitation: Working With and For the Poor The three supports of infrastructure, management and behaviour change are necessary




OUR COVER Agriculture uses about three-quarters ofthe available water resources in Australia, and the efficiency, economics, social and environmental impacts ofirrigation are all vital far the fi1ture. The CRC Irrigation Futures (see page 49) was farmed three years ago to study each ofthese aspects, including the beneficial use ofrecycled water. The cover picture is ofpre-irrigation far a sugar crop in the Burdekin, using layjlat piping to distribute the water to individual fimows minimising earthworks and labour, and improving control ofwater application. Photo courtesy of the CRC. Journal of the Australian Water Association



~ AWA CONTACT DETAILS • 'Promoting the sustainable ..~ management o,fwater > AVtllAUAlf

POSTAL ADDRESS PO Box 388, ARTARMON NSW 1570 EMAIL info@awa.asn.au

WEBSITE http://www.awa.asn.au PRESIDENT Darryl Day - president@awa.osn.au

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Chris Davis - cdovis@owo. osn.au

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER Ion Jarman - ijormon@owo.osn.a u

EVENTS Linda Phillips - 6 1 2 9495 9914 lphillips@owo.osn.au

MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION AND INQUIRIES Michael Seller - 02 658 1 3483 mseller@awo.osn.au

MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS AND CHANGES Membership Team - 1300 36 1 426 info@owo.osn.au

MEDIA AND MARKETING Ian Jarman - ijormon@owa.osn.au

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION Dione Wiesner PhD - 6 1 2 9495 9906 dwiesner@owa.asn.au

WATER EDUCATION NETWORK Corinne Cheeseman - 61 2 9495 9907 ccheesman@owa.osn.au

NATIONAL SPECIALIST NETWORK Lo uro Evanson - 6 1 2 9495 9917 levonson@owo .osn.au

AWA BRANCHES: AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY and NEW SOUTH WALES Errin Dryden - 61 2 9495 9908 edryden@owo.asn.au NORTHERN TERRITORY c/o Ian Jarmon - 6 1 2 9495 9911 ijarmon@awa.osn.au SOUTH AUSTRALIA Sarah Corey - 61 8 8267 1783 sobronch@awa.asn.au Q UEENSLAND Kathy Bourbon - 6 1 7 3397 5644 awaq@awa.asn.au TASMANIA c/o Ian Jarman - 61 2 9495 991 1 ijarman@awa.osn.au VICTORIA Joe Owzinsky - 61 3 9509 2748 owwo@i.net.ou WESTERN AUSTRALIA Coth Miller - 04 16 289 075 cmiller@owo .osn.au INTERNATIONAL WATER ASSOC IATION, AUST. (IWAA) c/o Chris Davis - cdovis@owa.asn.au

DISCLAIMER Australian Water Association assu mes no responsibility for opinion or statements of facts expressed by contributors or advertisers.

COPYRIGHT AWA Waler Journal is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced in any format without written perm ission of AWA. To seek permission to reproduce Wate r Journal material email your request to: ijormon@owo.asn.au

? AUGUST 2006


Journal of the Australian Water Association

Volume 33 No 5 August 2006

ISSN 0310-0367

AWA WATER JOURNAL MISSION STATEMENT 'To provide a print journal that interests and informs on water matters, Australian and international, covering technological, environmental, economic and social aspects, and to provide a repository of useful refereedpapers.' PUBLISH DATES Water Journal is published eight times per year: February, Morch, Moy, June, August, September, November and December EDITORIAL BOARD: Chairman: FR Bishop BN Anderson, CDiaper GFinke, GFinlayson, GA Holder, BLobza, MMunlisov, CPorter, FRoddick, GRyan, AGibson EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Water Journal invites editorial submissions for: Technical Papers and topical articles, Opinion, News, New Products and Business Information. Acceptance of editorial submissions is subject to editorial board discretion. Email your submissions to one of the following three categories: 1. TECHNICAL PAPERS AND FEATURES Bob Swinton, Technical Editor, Water Journal: bswinton@bigpond.net.au AND http://gemini.econ.umd.edu/wj (Editorial Express) Papers of 3000-4000 words (allowing for graphics); or topical stories of up to 2,000 words. relating to all areas of the water cycle and water business. Submissions are tabled at monthly editorial board meetings and where appropriate ore assigned to referees. Referee comments will be forwarded to the principal author for further action. See box on page 47 for more details. 2. OPINION, INDUSTRY NEWS, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Ian Jarman, ijarman@awa.asn.au Articles of 1000 words or less 3. WATER BUSINESS Brian Rault, National Sales & Advertising Manager, Hallmark Editions brian.rault@halledit.com.au Water Business updates readers on new products and associated business news within the water sector. ADVERTISING Brian Rault, National Sales & Advertising Manager, Hallmark Editions Tel: 61 3 8534 SO 14 (direct), 61 3 8534 5000 (switch), brian.rault@halledit.com.au Advertisements are included as an information service to readers and ore reviewed before publication to ensure relevance to the water environment and objectives of AWA. PURCHASING WATER JOURNAL Single issues available@ $12.50 plus postage and handling; email dwiesner@owo.osn.au BACK ISSUES Water Journal back issues ore available to AWA members at www.awa.osn.au PUBLISHER Hallmark Editions, PO BOX 84, HAMPTON, VICTORIA 3188 Tel: 61 3 8534 5000 Fox: 61 3 9530 8911 Email: hollmark.editions@halledit.com.au

Journal of the Australian Water Association

NEWS: AUSTRALIA • Following widespread controversy, the Australian Government has decided not to proceed with the sale of its 13% share of the SNOWY HYDRO, resulting in an effective abandonment of the sale process fo r NSW and Victoria. • GOSFORD and WYON G City Councils are considering investment in four mobile DESALINATIO N plants to help meet che severe water shortage which has developed in the area with substantial increases in population over recent years and a decline in rainfall. http://www.gwcwacer. nsw.gov.au/indexmain.htm • In a broad speech to the Committee fo r Economic Development in Sydney, MALCOLM TURNBULL questioned whether urban water restricti ons were designed to conserve a scarce resource or to protect cashflow and profit fo r govt owned water utilities. Mr.Tu rnbull noted that our cities could afford to have as much water as they could pay for because it could be produced by recycling or at a higher cost, desalination. http:/ /www.malcolmturnbull. com.au/ news/

• CRC for Plant-based Management of DRYLAND SALIN ITY is concerned chat TV viewers may have gained incorrect perceptions of the signi ficance, causes and impact of salinity in Australia. Some scientists on the investigative program argued that poor soil healch rather than rising groundwater cables is causing salt outbreaks and that planting trees can actually be harmful. http://sunday.ninemsn.com.au/ sunday/cover_stories/arricle_ l 991.asp • Two AQUIFERS together containing more than the volume of Sydney Harbour have been found deep within sandstone on the outskirts of Sydney. The SYDNEY CATCHMENT AUTHORITY says if the aquifers are managed cautiously, the city now has a viable source of groundwater, harvesrable in extreme drought. • A study into the extent and viability of GROUNDWATER resources as a drinking water supply for SYDNEY has identified a major resource in rhe Upper Nepean area near Kangaloon; and encouraging early results from LEONAY in Western Syd ney bur not much from three other sires. T est drilling has not begun at two more sires near Warragamba Dam and in the

A.11,art.x KRT. Amacan, Sftuat~ and Amamix

Kse 6J

• GRO UNDWAT ER use rs in six NSW valleys are now co nfident of winning their tax battle to have a $ 110 million NSW and

- -s ,_,

Solutions for all kinds of u.,ast• u.'<lter:

Illawarra. h ttp: //www.warerforli fe.nsw. gov.au/p/wf12006.pdf • The federal government will suspend $4m in NATIO NAL COMPETITION PAYMENT S (5%) to WEST ERN AUSTRALIA to penalise the state's lack of progress with water planning. http://www.nwc.gov.au/ mediacentre/ media releases • BASIX (sustainability tool fo r housing) in NSW will be optional fo r extensions to existing homes from 1 August and mandatory after 1 October chis year. A new BASIX Completion Receipt wi ll identify compliant homes, from 1 July. http:/ /www.basix.nsw.gov.au • A unique WATER HARVESTING system at the Sydney Entertainment Centre is currently being installed to collect around 4,500 kL/yr fro m the Centre's car park roof. The water will be reused on the Chinese Garden, T umbalong Park and ocher areas in Darling H arbour, replacing about 30% of the potable water use. h ttp://www.shfa.nsw.gov.au/ dynco nten r. cfm?MenuID =504





Designer ond ma nufacturer of high efficiency, low speed floating and fixed surface aerators from 3kW to 220 kW with an unmatched 5 year, unlimited hours guarantee. By-Jas offers flexible financing and delivery solutions including rental, purchase and fully ma inta ined operating leases. Ring now for a cu rrent stock list. Other products in our range include settling tanks ( 12 designs), packaged sewage and water treatment plants, reuse filters and clarifiers to Class B and Class A standard.

For more information, contact: By-Jas Engineering Pty Ltd KSB Ajax Pumps Pty Ltd• Phone (03) 9314 0611 Head Office Brisbane • Sydney • Melbourne • Adelaide • Perth • New Zealand

24 AUGUST 2006


Journal of the Australian Water Association

PO BOX 424, HASTINGS VIC 3915 Tel: (03) 5979 1096 Fax: (03) 5979 1524


NATIONAL GOLF DAY FOR WATERAID AUSTRALIA Vinedex and Australian Water Association hosted a series of 2006 golf days around Australia to raise money for WaterAid Australia. More than 300 water professionals participated raising in excess of $15,000.


vinielex System s & Sol utions




Vi~ Sys tems & Solulio

awaterAustralia .

Idea: Revitalise a community using one design solution from start to finish.

Realised: Civil engineers need a single design and drafting solution to more efficiently handle projects from survey to final plan production. With AutodeskÂŽ Civil 3DÂŽ software, project components like roads, surfaces, lots, and utilities are intelligently linked, so that a change made in one place instantly updates the entire project. Civil 3D also gives extended design and drafting teams access to up-to-date project data so everyone stays synchronised through all project phases. To download white papers, read customer case studies, and download a free trial CD, please sit www.autodesk.com.au/civil3d

states to monitor and counter pollution of groundwater by toxic chemicals such as pesticides, heavy metals and pharmaceutical residues. http://www.edie.net/news/ news_story.asp?id= l l 560andchannel=4 • USEPA has released a package of ONLINE COMPLIANCE tools to help water utilities meet the early implementation requirements for their Stage 2 DBP and Long-Term 2 (LT2) Enhanced Surface Water Treatment rules. They include the Data Collection and Tracking System (DCTS) and the I nitial Distribution System Evaluation (IDSE) Tool. http://www.awwa.org/ communicatio ns/news • A new WWF report - "Illegal Water Use in Spain": Causes, Effects and Solutions has identified over half a mill ion illegal BOREHOLES used to irrigate agricultural land, often supported by EU agricultural subsid ies. Spain is suffering severe water shortages and this ILLEGAL WATER ABSTRACTION makes it impossible for water ro be used wisely. http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/ where_ we_ work/europe/ news/ index.cfm?uNewsID =6890 0


• WATER FOOTPRINTS OF NATIONS. A study which aims to calculate the water footpr int for each nation of the world for the period 1997-2001. http ://www.waterfootprint.org/ Reporrs/Reportl6Vol l .pdf

EDUCATION AND TRAINING • After national industry consultation, the WATER TRAINING PACKAGE REVIEW has the first batch of d raft units of competency available for viewing and feedback. http://www. groups .edna. ed u.au/ course/view .php?id=416 No need to log on as a member to view the units - guest users will have total access to all of them .

PROJECTS AND REPORTS: AUSTRALIA • A PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION Staff Working Paper on 'STRANDED IRRIGATION ASSETS' by H. Roper, C.Sayers, and A.Smith has been loaded on the Commission 's website. The paper presents the results of research on the

options to address the perceived adverse finan cial consequences of stranded irrigations assets. http :/ /www.pc.gov.au/ research • The NATIONAL URBAN WATER GOVERNANCE PROGRAM comprises a group of social research projects aiming to provide a credible knowledge base to inform and assist urban water managers to build institutional capacity, improve water governance and deliver more sustainable fo rms of water management. http://www.urbanwatergovernance.com • A new PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION report warns that the government's attempt to make water savings through engineering projects such as replacing channels with pipes to reduce evaporation and seepage losses were proving too expensive and a more efficient option was fo r it to enter the market on behalf of the environment and buy water. http:/ /www.pc.gov.au/ study/watersrudy/ draftreport/ waterstudy. pdf • The City Futures Research Report No. 5 looks at Sydneysiders' behaviours - "Water Consumption and the Built Environment: a Social and Behavioural Analysis".

Pioneer Pump

PIONEER MINE PUMPS Vac Assist Dry Self Prime, Patented run dry mechanical seal system, Solids Handling and Clean Liquid capabilities, Available in a number of material & drive configurations, Heavy duty Skid and or Trailer mount design, long range fuel tanks, hose's etc, built to customer specifications. Max performances: Flows to 640 LPS, Heads to 160 m+, Sphere solids passing capabilities to 110 mm (4.5 " ), 50 CFM Vac Assist system.

,an n Bro'(Vn Brothers n1n Engineers W

Australia Pty Ltd

Melbourne Phone (03) 9793 9999 Fax (03) 9793 0022 Sydney Phone (02) 9624 2577 Fax (02) 9624 256 1 Christchurch Phone (03) 365 0279 Fax (03) 366 6616 Auckland Phone (09) 525 8282 Fax (09) 525 8284 Email info@brownbros.com.au

30 AUGUST 2006


Journal of the Australian Water Association

With water becoming an increasingly precious commodity, water utility companies need to be equipped with timely information to better manage their water network, especially with regard to leakages or loss of supply.

ESRI Australia's enterprise Geographic Information System (GIS) solutions allow you to organise, manage and distribute geographic information from various corporate databases, ensuring you can accurately identify specific properties or services that may be impacted by such events as stoppages, main breaks and drainage defects. Be better positioned to answer all your "where" q uestions, and improve incident management, provide better customer service, and increase operating efficiencies with ES RI Australia's utility-specific GIS solutions.

What are you waiting for? Contact ESRI Australia today to find out more.


Visit us at Stand 18 at the GITA 2006 Conference on 21 -23 August in Melbourne

wheresolutions@esriaustralia.com.au www.esriaustralia.com.au Freecall 1800 447111

Where Advantage Begins

http://www.fbe. unsw .edu.au/ cityfucures/ publications/ • CSIRO and Monash University report, 'WJTHOUT WATER: THE ECONOMICS OF SUPPLYING WAT ER TO 5 MILLION MORE AUST RALIANS', examines 25-year scenarios for how cities cope with likely demand. Wichouc expanded water trading and "new" sources of water: desalination planes, recycling; stormwarer, it suggests char, in one case, the price of water cou ld increase by ~ 10 times to manage demand. h rep:/ /www.clw.csi ro .au/ publications/ science/2006/ • WATER TRADING berween NSW, Victoria and SA should begin now under a pilot 'ragging' program. T hey were forced to act after $26mill ion in National Competition payments were suspended by the National Water Commission last month for fai ling to meet a 2005 deadline for deciding trading rules. Tenders to buy back water could be called in July. • SYDNEY WATER CORPORATION has been awarded the 2006 STO CKHOLM INDUSTRY WATER AWARD fo r its

"Every Drop Counts (EDC) Business Program". The program demonstrates how the utility is working with business, industry and government to attain longterm sustainability of Sydney's water supply. The prestigious industry award will be presented during World Water Week in Stockholm, August 20-26, 2006. www.siwi.org.

has pleased the utility with strong results recorded for water quality (overall satisfaction racing 8.0 - the highest score achieved in the 8 year history of rhe survey). Customers raced management of wastewater services (8 .8), environmental management (8.0), billing/customer service (8.1) and repairing service faults (8.3). l1ttp://www.gippswacer. com.au

• The PRODUCTIV1TY COMMISSION is researching the feasib ility of marker mechanisms for the efficient use of RURAL WATER and fo r dealing with rural watermanagement related environmental externalities to achieve commitments outlined in paragraph 61 (iii) of the National Water Ini tiative.

• The 10th Edition of Re Water (May 06), a quarterly newsletter focusing on fa rming with recycled water and relevant items about RECYCLED WATER, is available. hccp://www.recycledwacer.com.au/ newsletter. php

• W ith $1.3 m in fu ndi ng, SYDNEY WATER will scare planning and environmental impact assessment work on the firs t 10 villages of a total of 20 in outer Sydney to be connected to the public sewerage system rather than having chem use on-sire systems (a total of 33 18 lots). http://www.sydneywarer.com.au • An independent cl ient satisfaction poll commissioned by GIPPSLAND WATER

• T he Queensland Government has launched a new WacerWise information package, designed to help householders, business owners and local councils conserve water and contribute to water saving activities around the Scace. The WarerWise TOOLBOX is a practical, hands-on kir of rips and case scudies includes a home WacerWise rest to enable householders to evaluate their water consumption. l1ttp:// scatemen cs.cabinec.qld .gov .au

•Fittf11ai.. ..... :+r-,W Ultravi<>let Techn<>l<>gy <>f Australasia a n


Affil i ate/Techno logy P a rtn e r

Advantages of using the UVTA UV units for all disinfection applications • • • • • • •

UV lamps are not encased by fragile, easily fouled quartz sleeves Air cooling systems maintain the optimum UV lamp skin temperature Units are robust No short circuiting with true plug flow No wipers or scraping devices required No electrical contact with water Ease of installation

Have a good look at our new WEB site www.uvta.com.au AFTERWARDS Email us on :uvta@uvta.com .au or phone +61 8 8337 0079

Water lndustty Alliance


32 AUGUST 2006


Journal of the Australian Water Association

• The Queensland government budget committed ~$600 million for 2006-07 for new WATER INFRASTRUCTURE projects, some previously announced plus ocher additional spending http://scacemencs.cab inec. qld.gov.au • A study by the City Futures Research Centre at University ofNSW has concluded char Sydney-siders' behaviours, ATTITUDES and intentions regarding water use raises questions about where che next great savi ngs in household water use can be made if the current water shortage concinues because m ost are not prepared co make fu rther changes chat affect their lifestyle. lmp: //www.fbe. unsw.ed u. au/ staff/B ill .Randolph/ • NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Racing System) is a performance- based racing system for office build ings; based on measured operatio nal impacts on the environment. NABERS Office Water measures water consumption on a scale of one co five scars. A NABERS Water rating cool for residential buildings is in che final stages of development, for launching in August 2006. hccp://www. nabers.com.au/ officewacer .aspx

PERSONALIA • MWH would like co welcome the fo llowing new additions co its growi ng list of professional engineering and associated staff IAN EVANSON (National) ROGER VREUGDENHILL (National) DUNCAN CUMMING (Perch) RALPH WOOLLEY (Brisbane) and PETER ALLEN (Melbourne). • KIM FALSTER, formerly Manager Capital Projects and GM Water Engineering T echnologies fo r SA Water, has joined OSMOFLO Pry Led as National Operations Manager. www.osmoflo.com.au • ANDREW PORTER has left Sydney Water and joined Environmental & Engineering Consultancs URS Australia co work on innovative water conservation programs. andrew_porter@urscorp.com • DARYL McGREGOR, formerly with Albury Council, has established DLM Environmental Consul cancs Pry Led darylm@bigpond.com • MITCH LAGINESTRA has returned co Sydney after a seine of several years in GHD's Adelaide office.

Specify and use Link-Seal® seals to seal pipe penetration

• PETER FAGAN has been appoinced Principal, Water Resources and Technologies in GHD 's Water Business Scream: ED COURIEL has taken the role of Service Line Leader, Integrated Water Management • STEWART McLEOD, Director Technical Services, Dubbo C ity Council was recently elected the new C hair of the Water Directorate's Executive Committee. Stewart has been D eputy C hair fo r the past year and replaces Daryl McGregor as the Chair. • Ms ELI ZABETH NOSWORTHY, DAVI D GREEN & JAMIE QUINN have been appoi nted co the newly formed Queensland Water Commission. Ms Nosworthy is C hairman. • JOHN BRADLEY has been appointed the new CEO of the Queensland Water Commission. • GRAEME HILL has been appointed as MD of Earth Tech Engineering in Australia lmp://www.earchcech .com.au • Ac che recent Singapore Young Researchers' Conference, GARTH WALTER fro m Water Co rp won the Poster Presentation award and DEBORAH MARCH won the poster (2 of 4 awards). • TONY HANDAKAS is the new Siemens Water Technologies General Manager for Australia www.siemens.com.au • DAVID CROMBIE is the new President of the National Farmers' Federation, caking over from retiring President Peter Corish. • RICHARD HUGHES, fo rmerly Asset Management Coordinator for Gold Coast Water, has launched the Brisbane based consulting firm Systematic IMS specialising in infrastructure management services co local and state Governments in water supply, sewerage etc. Richard.Hughes@SyscemacicIMS.com.au • DOUG McCUTCHEON is retiring as CEO of Busselcon Water and has been replaced by KEITH WHITE. http://www.busselconwacer.wa.gov.au

Slide the assembly into the space between the pipe and wall opening II!


When the bolts are tightened, Link-Seal modular seals expand to create a gas and water tight seal. Available in Australia and New Zealand

Projex Group Pty Limited Telephone: 02 83361666, Facsimile: 02 8336 1670 www.projex.com.au, email : mail@projex.com.au

34 AUGUST 2006


Journal of the Australian Water Association

• Australian medical and essential services teams were deployed co Indonesia following the Yogyakarta earthquake on 27 May 2006. T he AusAID sponsored commitment included a Water and Sanitation T eam consisting of MARCUS HOWARD, DAVID SWAN and TOM RYAN, PRITHA HARIRAM, IR SITTI, and SCO TT CAWRSE. PAUL BYLEVELD was the Public H eal ch/Environmental Health Officer with the medical team.

AUSTRALIAN WATER ASSOCIATION NATIONAL EVENT CALENDAR 2006 blue= national events/major conferences/ AWA YWP

=Australian Water Association Young Water Professionals / orange= major state/territory event

Accurate at time of printing: please go to www.awa.asn.au a nd/or check with your local branch contact for up to date information

AUG 2006




ACT Errin Dryden 61 2 9495 9908

NSWBRANCH Errin Dryden 61 2 9495 9908


QLD BRANCH Kathy Bourbon 61 7 3397 5644 awaq@awa.asn.au



Sept1 IWA Dry Area Forum, Canberra. Sept 13-14 2 Day Seminar 'Water Issues in Mining', Adelaide

Oct and Nov WEN Fostering Sustainable Behaviour Workshops (FSB) Oct 12-14 Water Efficiency, Ballarat Vic Water Matters and Conference Dinner Oct 17, 18-19 FSB Workshops, Canberra Oct20 WaterAid Golf Day Sydney, Port Macqurle Oct 25-26 Engineers/ Operators Conference, Sydney

Nov 22-23 Master Class 'Evaluating Water Recycling Projects', Brisbane

Aug9 Student's Night Undergraduate Prize

Sept 13 Technical Meeting

Aug 11 Heads of Water, Sydney

Sept 6-7 Liquid Trade Waste Conference, Griffith Sept 21 AWA YWP Dinner, Sydney

Aug 14 LGSA Conference, Broken Hill

c/o Ian Jannan 61 2 9495 9911 ijannan@awa.asn.au

SEPT 2006

Aug 11 WaterAID Charity Golf Day, Da,win Aug9 Technical Meeting, Brisbane

Aug9 AWA YWP Forum, Brisbane

Sept13 Technical Meeting Sept 23-27 IWA, Brisbane Sept 20-22 Trade Waste Conf, Rockhampton

Sept 13-14 2 Day Seminar Water and Mining, Adelaide

SA BRANCH Sarah Carey 61 8 8267 7050 sabranc h@awa.asnau

Sept5 Computer Modelling

TAS BRANCH c/o Ian Jannan 61 2 9495 9911 ijannan@awa.asn.au

VIC BRANCH Joe Owzinsky 6139509 2748 awwa@i.net.au

Aug 17 Annual Dinner, Melbourne

WA BRANCH Cath Miller 0416 289 075 cmiller@awa.asn.au

Aug 25 AWA YWP Prison Tour Fremantle Dr Henrique Chaves

38 AUGUST 2006

Dec 01 Christmas Party Sydney

Nov 10-12 QLD Regional Conference

Oct4 AWA YWP Breakfast Meeting

Nov7 Computer Modelling No v 17 AWA YWP End of Year Function Nov 22 Hodgson Awards Nov 28, 29-30 FSB Workshops, Hobart

Sept12 Evening Seminar Septics and Catchment Mment, Melbourne Sept 21 AWA YWP International Opportunities & Water Aid Sector, Melbourne

Oct 12-14 Regional Conference & Water Efficiency, Ballarat Oct 27-28 AWA YWP Regional Event, Gippsland Oct31 Evening Seminar Monitoring Systems

Nov 14 Evening Seminar - Major Water and Sewage Projects Melbourne

Sept 13 Lavan Legal Lecture 3 TBA, Perth

Oct TBA Water Aid Golf Day Oct 13 WA Water Awards Dinner, Perth

Nov29 Undergraduate Water Prize, Perth Nov 8, 9-10 FSB Workshops, Perth

Sept 4-7 th 9 International River Symposium, Brisbane, Australia Sept 10-14 IIWA World Congress Beijing, China Sept 24-28Air/ Water/ Earth Perth, Australia


Nov 16-17 Regional Conference, Taree Nov 23-24 FSB Adv Workshop, Sydney

Oct 11 Technical Meeting Brisbane Oct 19 AWA YWP Trivia Night, Brisbane Oct 23, 24-25 FSB Workshops, Brisbane

Oct Prof Singer, Perth

ALLIANCES /International Events

Dec 11 Christmas Barbeque & AGM

Nov9 Christmas Party, Da,win

Aug 30 Water Forum, Launceston Aug2 AWA YWP Evening Future of Water, Melbourne

Nov 13 Technical Meeting

Oct 16 Water in the Bush NT Regional Conference Darwin

Oct 20 Water Awards

Journal of the Australian Water Association

Oct 4-6 AAEE Conference Sunbury, Australia Oct Oct 11-13 NZWWA Conference, New Zealand Oct 15-18 ANCID Conference, Darwin, Australia

DEC 2006

Dec 1 Christmas Party Brisbane

Dec6 Vic Branch Christmas Cocktails Melbourne

Nov 23 AWA YWP End of Year Festive Feast!

Nov TBA BioWise Composting Site Visit Nov29 Undergraduate Water Prize Presentation OCTOBER CONT: Oct 21-25 WEFTEC Dallas, Texas Oct 29-Nov2 No Dig Brisbane, Australia

Dec 13-15 CRC Env lsotape & Hydrogeology Conference Adelaide, Australia

rofessional develo

WORLD RIVERS SOUND WARNING ON CLIMATE CHANGE Water, rivers and climate change are inextricably linked, and are ringing warning bells across the world . More than ever before, the global water situation is uni ti ng people in hardship, with bill io ns being spent to protect water supp lies, livelihoods and, ulcimacely, lives. In Australia, one of the driest con tinents, a growing population and dryi ng climate is challenging environmental scientists, water managers and politicians to fi nd short and long-term solu tions to the growing crisis. And answers are not cheap or easy, often being social problems chat require political acnon. T he sraciscics alone are frighteni ng. Of th e water available for Australians to use, one quarter of the rivers and lakes are already used for drinki ng, ind ustry and agriculru re, an d one third of underground water is bei ng pumped to the surface and used for the sa me purposes.

9th International

Riversymposium 2006 4- 7 September If you ask Australia's natio nal science agency, che CSIRO, abo ut climate change, the outlook is bleak. By 2030 rain fall on the major capitals (except Hobart) could drop by 15 per cent. According to the 200 1 report, Climate Change Projections for Australia, Perth co uld lose up to 20 per cent of rainfall. At the sa me time, rising temperatures wi ll increase evaporation, further red uci ng water supplies in dams, rivers and reservoirs. In another recen c scientific report by the same agency, which examines water price implications for each of Australia's main cities and regions in 25 years' time, the real price of water could skyrocket.

Brisbane Australia The 2006 report, Without Water: The economics ofsupplying water to 5 million more Australians, says if governments do not act to expand water trading and access 'new' so urces of water such as building desalination plants, establishing large sewage recycli ng schemes and making use of storm water, the price of water wo uld increase by between five and ten times in large cities to manage demand. Internationally, the situation is not much better, and in many areas is far worse. The Uni ted Nations describes the global water situation as a "crisis ... essentially caused by the way in which we mismanage water." The UN is so concerned about water, it has named 2005 to 20 15 as the Decade of Water.

We'll help you make the most of it.

Only1% the world's water can be used fo'drinking. of

MWH plans, designs and delivers water systems that fully maximize o ur precious resources. Whether it's China's T hree Gorges Dam, or an advanced ,vaste,vater treatment plant on Australia's east coast, our commitment never varies. We build better systems for people, and for the planet

That's the nature of MWH.


MWH. www.mwhg lobal.com.au

Journal of the Australian Water Association


AUGUST 2006 39

• rofessional

develo •

conference reports More than 2 .7 billion peop le will face severe water shortages by the year 2025 if the world continues consuming water at the same rate, the United Natio ns has warned in its annual W orld Water Assessment Program report.

region. He's impressed by o rgan isations such as the International Riverfoundation which has set up 'twinning' programs co help developing countries better manage their river catchments. Partnersh ips and community action are cri tical co managing water and protecting rivers. Many will be highlighted at the coming International Riversymposium in Brisbane in September.

The looming crisis is being blamed on mismanagement of existing water resources, pop ulation growth and changing weather patterns. T he areas most at risk from the growing water scarcity are in semiarid regions of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

The theme, 'Managing rivers with climate change and expanding popu!ations'will investigate the challenge of meeting human needs

"Even where supplies are sufficient or plentiful, they are increasingly at risk from pollution and rising demand," says UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

for water under changing climatic conditions. Ir's an opportunity for hundreds of people co share ideas, case studies and examples on how co tackle threats co rivers and catchments.

Extremes in water supply d el iver unacceptable shocks co the d eveloping world, explains World Bank Senior Water Advisor, D avid Grey. "Mo nsoons, drough ts, depleted groundwater resources, and typhoons d evastate poor countries b ecause they' re in coo deep a hole eco no mically co red uce their risk," he says.

"Local communities can do amazing things," says Riversymposium chair Professo r Paul Greenfi eld of the University of Queensland. "There are many positive stories showing how science, public policy and co mmuni ty action are addressing river and global warming issues."

Grey, soon ro visit Australia as a keynote speaker for the International Riversym posi um, sees a strong link between the sophistication of a country's water management and its economic health. H e says investors are avoiding countries with unpredictable fo od p roduction, health p roblems related co poor water quality and unrel iable electricity su pplies.

"Fo r example, the Bulimba Creek C atchment Association, typical of many local conservatio n groups throughout Australia, has an outstanding reco rd of revegetating bushland and imp roving water q uality in a netwo rk of Brisbane creeks," says Professor G reenfield .

"Investment doesn 't flow co places where catastrophic water events cause huge social and econom ic problems and large-scale losses of life," says Grey.

"The associatio n coordinates Wate1watch, suppo rts 23 local Bushcare groups, provid es train ing p rograms co volunteers, and involves students and community grou ps in practical conservatio n projects."

Like many internatio nal water experts, Grey believes Australia must take a lead role with international assistance, training and capacity bu ilding for river management, particularly in the Asian Pacific

"Since 1999, the group has involved the com munity in rehabil itating 46 sites within the catch ment, and fo ur sites outside it with su pport from Landcare, the N atural Heritage Trust and local lead ers."


Each year, the symposium highlights new incernational and Australian industry practices, government regulations, techno logy and community education programs co sustain river water supply and q uality.

Asia-Pacific Regional Group Conference and Exhibition

The four-day even t also includes the prestigious T hiess I ncernatio nal and National Riverprize. The prize, regarded as the 'Nob el prize for saving rivers', recognises o utstanding achievements in river conservation and management. The fo ur International Finalists vying for the $225 ,000 prize are the Kissimmee River (USA), Lake Macquarie (Australia), Meewasin Valley (Canada) and the Sha River (Ch ina) . The fo ur Nation al Finalists vying fo r the $75,000 prize are the Cap e co Cape Catchment Group (M argaret River WA), Dee River (QLD), Lake Macquarie (NSW) and the T o rbay C atchment Group (WA) . In formation o n fin alists and press releases can b e fou nd on the Riversymposium website.


al I

International ~ Water Association ~ -



Platinum Sponsor

Awlnllan CO\'tmmtnl Dtp1nmtnl or A~ricvlturt. fl$11<rit$ •nd romiry

Gold Sponsor

W h ile Australia may not yet be experiencing some of the more dramatic and li fe threatening situations as many river systems overseas, the clock is t icking, particularly in relation co the current drough t and low levels in large dams that su pply water co major population centres. T he 9th International Riversymposium will be held at Brisbane's Conventio n and Exhibition Centre from 4-7 September as part of the city's annual Riverfestival. Other activities include Riverfire, Riverfeast and post-symposium study tours. Regular updates on international river issues, su ch as water scarcity, estuary flows , wastewater treatment, community consultation , legal fra meworks, damming rivers and water poli cy, wi ll be pu blished in free e- newsletters.

Enquires: Don Alcock, phone 0418 882 063 or Jenni Metcalfe, 0408 551 866 Resources: www.riversymposium.com, www. rive1Jestival. com.au

40 AUGUST 2006


Journal of the Australian Water Association


AWA and Tenderlink have combined to bri ng you access to all public sources of water related tenders in Australia, through the new AWA Tenderlink water tenders portal. Whether you are a supplier and want to receive notification of new tenders every day by email, or a purchaser, and want to post your own tenders, this new portal will take care of everything for you, including booking the print media.


The AWA Tenderlink portal offers competitive rates, with substantial discounts for AWA members. In fact, why wouldn't you become an AWA member when you can join up as an AWA Bronze Corporate member ($464 + gst) and take advantage of the discounted AWA National tender subscription ($795 + gst) saving you $300.


Tenderlink/non AWA members rate

Tenderlink/AWA members rate

AWA members save

National Coverage




Three State Coverage




One State




AWA Tenderlink are offering a 30 free trial of the daily tender notification service. To register, visit our website at:

www.tenderlink.com/awa and make sure you minimise the risk of ever missing a tender again.

ENVIRO 06: THE INVITATION SESSION Report by Terry Loos On the opening day of the Enviro 06 Conference in Melbourne, national and international organisations were invited to share their water and wastewater positioning in their state or country.

Darryl Day, President of the Australian Water Association described A WA's objectives and made the poin t chat AWA aims to fos ter the working together of the wider 'water fam ily' of organ isations and individuals. The current water challenges in Australia particularly necessitate a concerted effort. AWA also aims to bring about a more 'wacer-licerace' community, through its many information-sharing initiatives. H e noted chat che curren t drough t expectations of adverse climate change coupled with the current national water reforms have b rought community awareness, and ownership, of water issues to a high level. Mose of the current water management strategies contain the word 'our' in their titles.

Bruce G Rhodes, Manager Urban Water Planning, Melbourne Water (MW) o utlined how MW has accepted the in ternational and Australian findings on climate change and is now build ing chis into the planning and management of its water services. They have down-scaled the global general circulation modelling (GCM) to account for local climate - based on various climate change scenarios, and have undertaken catchment rainfall/runoff modelling. Their key risk areas are: decreasi ng source yields; impacts o n source water infrastructure; increasing water demands due to temperature/evaporation change; greater infil tration to sewers; flooding of drainage systems; and the implications for environm ental values - water quality and aquatic ecosystem s. Their fi ndings are char, by 2050, temperature could increase by 1.4 degrees; evaporation by 8 per cent; rainfall could decrease by 4 per cen t and scream fl ow by 18 per cent. Their view is chat the better they understand th e risks rhe better they can design rheir adaptation responses . Ongoing monitoring of system performance will be a key component of their app roach.




AWA President, Darryl Day, speaking at the conference.

Ross Young, Executive Director Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) observed chat the Australian water industry is currently going through a ' purple parch'. Public recognition of water issues is at an all-time high. T h e drought has been a big 'wake-up call' to politicians and the community at large. Hopefu lly, rhe outcomes will be good, logical water policy. However, it muse be acknowledged chat water policy already has made great advances over the last decade. For instance, urban water pricing is now better linked to actual usage. However, Ross cautioned char water pricing, water restrictions and ocher water use efficiency mechanisms can only reduce demand so

far. 'Demand-hardening' will em erge, and there are signs of ch is. The com munity will

confidently designed on chis informatio n. Water recycl ing will be essential in the future, bur R oss was most concerned chat rhe water industry should manage chis carefully because a single adverse public event in association with chis may p rej udice the adop tion of chis app roach across Australia. The cost of energy, and its greenhouse gas production implications, h as become a big factor in water management. If energy were not an issue, water managem ent would nor be an issue. W ith regard co the question of whether or not the current drough t is a manifestation of long-term cl imate chan ge, Ross showed graphs of the " Fed eration Drought" (approx 1896 - 1912) and the current drought, for the surface source serving

accept only so much reductio n in demand. There now is go od data on trends in urban demographics and end uses of water. Water

Canberra. This showed chat the current

demand management strategies can be

lasted lo nger. This was nor to deny cl imate

Journal of the Australian Water Association

river fl ow pattern was no different to the Federation drough t, and in face rhe latter

• rofessional

develo •

conference reports change, merely co put the situation in perspective (and co show that the situation could get a lot worse) . In conclusion: T he urban water industry has already made good progress in planning and managing the emerging issues. There really isn't a technical water crisis in our major cities, because matters are well in hand, however, we must closely watch changes co climate and review water strategies regularly. Judi Hansen, General Manger, Sustainability, Sydney Water spoke about the latest version of the Syd ney Metropolitan Water Plan ("Securing Sydney's Water Supply") released for public review on 8 May 2006. Syd ney has traditionally relied on dam storages for its supply (a storage volume per person of about six times the correspondi ng fig ure for Europe is needed). T he plan proposes an increasing diversification of supply and demand strategies invo lving: increased supply; recycling; demand management; contingencies fo r drought - groundwater and desalination. Demand management measures have been in place si nce 1990. Water charges have been increased. An extensive program of retro-fitting water use efficiency devices in existing dwelli ngs has been undertaken. So far, 300,000 houses have been retro-fitted and the target is co retro-fit one million houses by 2007. Addi tionally, under the BASIX initiative, all new dwell ings have to achieve a 40 per cent red uction in water usage. T his can be ach ieved by any combinatio n of use-efficiency, rainwater tanks and recycling. An overall target to reduce water demand per person by 35 per cent by 20 11 has been set, and so far a reduction of 24 per cent has been achieved . T he plan embodies several other supply and demand strategies, involving inter-basin transfers, deepening water access fro m the existing storage, new groundwater sources, leakage loss reduction, demand management plans for industry, and recycling. Recycli ng is currently l 5GL/a (3 per cen t) and the target is co increase ch is co 15 per cent (70GL/a) by 20 15. In the expanding areas of western Syd ney, recycled water usage of 27GL/a is planned. This will have the added benefit of bei ng part of a strategy co reduce the discha rge of treated effluent co the Nepean River. While indirect potable reuse would seem a logical strategy for recycli ng, the large distance and heigh t between Syd ney's coastal sewage treatmen t pl ants and its source rivers makes this idea unaffordable at th is stage, so IPR is not on

the Government's agenda. The main focus of recycling for at least the next ten years will be on non-potable uses. Planning and testing fo r desalination has been undertaken. The current dam storage level is 43 per cent. When the level falls co 40 per cent groundwater sources will be introduced. If the level falls to 30 per cent, desalination will be introduced (26 month lead time). A plant of at least 45 GL/a is proposed, with the option of going up co 180GL/a. In conclusion, th is has been the second worst drought in recorded history and there remain a number of uncertainties: cli mate variability; population growth; and the extent of water use by customers. T he Plan will bring a shift co supply-constrained, integrated management, with incremental investment. It is important that the planned respo nses be balanced and pragmatic. Dr Naomi Roseth of the People's Perspective Program of the CRC for Water Quality and Treatment, discussed the fi ndings of a survey on 'co mm unity views on water shortages and conservation'. This project sought co answer the question: "co what extent is the community concerned about water shortages, and willi ng, individua lly and commu nally, to save water?" Phase 1 was a phone survey of 3,500 randomly selected residents. 700 in each of: Adelaide; Darwin; Melbourne; Perth and Sydney. The questions centred on such issues as: extent of concern; perceived reasons for shortages; the right co use water; living with shortages; trust in the authorities; and what docs the futu re hold? T he find ings are that the commu nity is awa re and accepti ng of the current situation; bu t, the level of concern may not be sufficiently high co galvanise fu rther action. It is likely there wi ll be resentment if the situation worsens. Individually people are fairly consistent and predictable, although there arc clear segments in commu nity based on atti tude and will ingness co act. T he challenge co water authorities will be co keep the concerned people motivated and co target and ed ucate the 'doubters' Mr Gai Yin, Secretary-General, Advisory Committee for Science and Technology State Environmental Protection Administration of China outlined the key issues for water management in China noting chat water poll ution and scarcity of water resources has already become a bottleneck for sustainable development. The severity of water pollution has

reached a critical point. In conjunction with this, China is also a country of water shortages. Its total amount of water resou rces is 2,8 10 billion cubic metres, which ranks sixth in the world. However, it is one the 13 countries that suffer the most severe shortages of water resources in the world. About one-third of the mainstream sections of the major water systems in China are seriously poll uted. Ninety per cent of the river sections in urban areas are polluted. Many people in rural areas have no access to clean drinking water. The Chinese government has attached great importance co the prevention and control of water poll ution, however, the increase in pollution, associated with its rapid economic development, has, so far, outpaced the Govern ment's prevention and control efforts. In short, there are serious water pollution management challenges in China. The amount of sewage being discharged is increasing at a rapid pace (current discharge is around 40 billion cu.m/year). The development of treatment infrastructu re lags behind urban development. However, poll ution caused by industry is still the main source of water pollution. A large number of old enterprises are serious poll uters and are unable to prevent or control the poll ution they cause. In addition, there are sti ll a large nu mber of small businesses that consume high levels of energy and cause serious poll ution. The Chinese government faces the challenge of balancing eco nomic and social development, with poverry eradication, the protection of public health and the improvement of the environment. The "development of an energy-savi ng and en vironmentally-friendly society" has become the basic State policy of China. D uring the term of its eleventh Five-Year Plan, the Chi nese government is going to focus on the followi ng six areas co improve the protectio n of its water enviro nment and public health: (i) the quality of drinking water sources; (ii) prevention and control of water poll ution, especially in major river basi ns; (ii i) management practices co revitalise rivers; (iv) environmental law enforcement, particularly regarding illegal waste discharges; (v) publ ic access to water quality information; and (vi) water-saving practices. D uring the term of the plan, China is going to invest up to 1300 billion yuan (AUD 215Bn) in environmental protection, particularly on managing water pollution.

Journal of the Australian Water Association


AUGUST 2006 43

• •


. . .. .,

. .

conference reports China is hosting the 10th China International Environment Protection Exhibition & Convention (CIEPEC2007) at the China International Exhibition Centre in Beijing between 22-25 June 2007. This exhibition is the largest international event in enviro nmental protection, with th e longest history, in China. Ir is sponsored by the State Environmental Protection Administration of China and undertaken by the China Association of Environmental Protection Industry. This would be a great opportunity for Australian businesses interested in entering China's environmental protection marker co display their products and services. Andy Richardson, President, AWWA The US has approximately 54,000 water supply systems, but about 4300 systems serve about 82 per cent of the population. Eighty six per cent of the systems are owned publicly. A key issue in water supply provision is che popu lation migration from the water-rich States near the Great Lakes, co the water-poor Desert So uth-west (Phoenix, Las Vegas). Andy outlined nine key current trends in the North American Water Industry: (i) Asset replacement is a key issue. T hey need co spend $300Bn over the next 30 years on this. (ii) A wave of new drinking water quality regulations extending the focus from acute roxiciry ro chronic roxici ty levels - radon, arsenic, crypcosporidium, radionuclides etc. Rules on groundwater, fi lter backwash, distri bution systems etc. (iii) Utility reorganisations. (iv) Work environment changes. (v) Key decision-makers beco ming less technical. Baby boomers retiring. (vi) Total quality management. (vii) Rising water races. Need co price water more on its value. (viii) Total water resource management. Training young water professionals is a key objective. T here are opporcu nicies for young Australian water professionals in the US. (ix) The A WWA has been interviewing water util ities about che 'state of the water industry'. One of the fi nd ings is that since the terrorise attack on 9/ l 1 their biggest expendicures have been on water security protection. They are also most co ncerned about the occurrence of a water-related pandemic. T he USEPA believes chis ro be inevitable Michael Read, President of WEF The US has 15-20,000 wastewater

management utilities. T his has been the result of a significant push co consolidate chese utilities wich a view ro improving pollution management. A key emphasis of pollution management now is to cake a whole-of-catchment management approach. However, diffuse pollution from agriculcure is nor regulated. Agriculcural runoff (largely) inco che Mississippi has created an anoxic zone in che Gulf of Mexico char is larger chan che area of Massachuseccs. W hile pol icy interpretation between che ten regional EPAs can vary, the overall policy now allows for a 'watershed-based' permitting approach. Point source dischargers having problems with nutrients may now apply co offset chis by arranging for improved farm management chat reduces nutrient runoff. Regulation on (combined) overflows is now requiring zero discharge. In the colder regions, the temperature of discharges can be a pollutant, adversely affe cting salmon. The population of the USA is expected co increase from the current 300M to about 450M by 2050. The migration of people from che Great Lakes area co the desert south-west is also placing great pressures on wastewater management. 'Used' water from treatment plants is discharged into th e aquifer. T his aquifer serves as the water supply source. Monitoring of chis water quality has been widened to include several pharmaceuticals. (l e has been noted chat some time ago public service advertisements concerned about misuse of pharmaceuticals encouraged adults to dispose of their old medicines down the coilec). Ir is possible that in another decade water quality problems may be as much a com munity concern as they were in the 1970s The WEF is caking leadership roles in: (i) water literacy; and (ii) water supply and sa ni tation solutions in less-developed countries. T he focus on the laccer is on drinki ng water quality protection. Mike Schruer, President NZ WWA The NZWWA has 1400 members. Ir works closely wich AWA. T here are 74 Autho rities providing water supply and sewerage services The National govern ment has recently launched a new ini tiative, "Fresh Water for che Future". T his will beccer defi ne and limit water extractions. It may introduce water trading. There is a growi ng demand to irrigate dry land fo r dairying.

44 AUG UST 2006 Water Journal of the Australian Water Association

The NZWWA Annual Conference is in Christchurch from 11-13 October 2006. Paul Reiter, Executive Director, IWA broadly reviewed che World Water Scene, noting char ic is facing unprecedented challenges. T he current global water challenges are: (i) The population of India will increase by 300M in the next 20 years. (ii) Countries like Australia will need to produce and export food. T his will mean more irrigation. (iii) China is urbanising ac great race. (iv) T he urban percentage of the world's population is increasing - 18% in 1950 to 40% in 1990, projecting to 60% in 2030. (v) Seventy per cent of the next 2 billion people will locate in dry areas. (vi) Climate change will adversely affect water sources. (vii) T he concentration of nitrogen compounds in the environment is increasing. This is creating dead zones in oceans. (viii) We have to define and ach ieve sustainability and manage a ll chis affordably. Paul is impressed with the extent co which the Australian water ind ustry understands the challenges, and the way ic is responding. In brief che response themes will need to be based on doing more with less. This will entail: greater water use efficiency; nonpotable water reuse - including inter-basin transfer; potable reuse; desalination; and srormwater capture and reuse. Water from urban areas will need co be reused as many times as possible including for agricultural and environmental purposes before final discharge. The trend will be away from centralised systems cowards decentralised treatment planes, probab ly main ly me mbrane bioreaccor plants. Membranes will be the 'second revo lution' in water creacmenc. Bio and nano-technology will be the third revolution. Collaboration between all the major water indusny organisations will be fundamentally important in helping water authorities ro meet these challenges. We need collaboration across sectors - urban, industry, agriculture; across professions - science, engineering, eco nomics, and policy. We need collaboration across continents, form rich co poor from wee areas to dry. (The Australian committee of IWA is a branch of AWA. TWA has members in 120 countries).

THE AWA BIOSOLIDS Ill SPECIALTY CONFERENCE Reported by EA (Bob) Swinton and Diane Wiesner If you were one of rhe 125 regisrranrs ar the A WA Biosolids Special ty III co nference in Melbou rne in early June, you would have been pleased with your investment. T he full conference program of peerreviewed papers with two excellent guest speakers - Dr Stephen Smith and environmental biologist from Imperial College London and James Smith, senior wastewater engineer and long time US EPA group leader - was spiced with challenging discussion, lots of interactio n berween delegates, inreres ring speakers and exhibitors which all co nrribu red co its success. T he audience was boosted by a dedicated group from New Zealand and rhe N ational Bioso lids Resea rch Program ream. The presentation by rhe two guest speakers provided valuable insights co the direction of work overseas, with implications for the future in Australia. Stephen Smith ourlined the wo rk being done on assess ing pathogen survival in biosolids used in agriculru re. T his was driven by the concerns of the major food retailers in the 1990s that the use of improperly treated biosolids would affect the saleabili ty of the produce. In UK the disposal of sludge is farm land 60%, incineration 20%, the rest co landfill and land restoration. In Europe, 50% is used on farmla nd, with increasing shift in Germany cowards incineration. The Safe Sludge Matrix (SS M) was introduced as an ad hoc system co control rhis bur it showed up the need fo r srraregic research. Arrention has been focused on protection of chose working with biosolids incl uding home gardeners using soil supplements amended with biosolids, where direct manual contact

Passionate about biosolids ... some of the New Zealand contingent.

is involved rather rhan the use of mechanical sp readers.

showed one would need co eat a con of potatoes ferti lised by biosolids co ingest one salmonella organism.

A number of UK Water Ind ustry Research Programs are near completion. Specifically: a) Methods of enumerating pathogens. This has proved very difficult because of the high background on non-pathogenic organisms. Imperial College have developed a bio- luminescent technique co get around the problem. 6) Survival during sludge treatment is well researched. One aspect that has emerged is rhar fo r developing countries the sysrem of composti ng wirh green waste seems co be safe, provided the elevated temperature is maintained rhroughour rhe pile. c) Microb iological risk assessmen t is another direction. Paul Gale at wRc has "worked up" a salmonella risk cree that

d) Investigation of path ogen su rvival in so il remains work in progress. Lab rests showed that in air dry soil there is no decay. However, in moist soil there is rapid decay because soil is not a steril e medium : borh indigenous and anima l faecal orga nisms abo und together with predatory protozoa which avidly graze the bacteria - selectively in the case of gram negarive species. Both laboratory and field investigations have shown char nu mbers of E.coli in so il ame nded with conventional anaerobically stab ilised (MAD) sludge were indistin gu ishab le from backgrou nd population wi thin three months.

A BETTER TOMORROW made possible Melbourne 03 8517 9200

Sydney 02 8264 5100

Journal of the Australian Water Association

Brisbane 07 3251 2888


AUGUST 2006 45

Dr Smi th's con clusion s fo r safe use of biosolids were chat stakeholders needed co be involved in all decisions concerning land applicat ion an d reuse, chat regulated treatmen t is essential and chat natural attenuation of any surviving p athogens in soil is rapid and so p oses a negligible risk.

James Smith of the US EPA. Risk Managemen t Research Laboratory reviewed regulations and stabilisation processes for pathogen control. His full paper (available on the Con ference CD) is a mine of information. In h is presentation, James cold the audience that the USA generates eight M. ton ne/yr of biosolids (one hundred th the volume of animal man ure p roduced) of wh ich 60% goes to land. While the principal biosolids regulation the Rule 50 3 - dares back to 1993, in rhe lase 20 years, che content of the sludges has changed, with increasing concentration s of P an d N and new so urces of pathogens, from hospitals, abattoirs and funeral parlors (due to increasing popularity of embalmi ng processes) . Virus and parasites are the p roblem , no t bacteria. Vectors remain another problem o rgan ism for US. Recen t work has also shown ch at reliance on monitoring for a si ngle microorganism or parasite is inadequate James then moved on to di scuss a numb er of treatment processes and their comparative effectiveness. Alternative processes for Class A are being proposed, but attaining the necessary regimes of rime/ temperature and/or other scressors, such as p H, ammonia gas and dessication, for every pare of a solid is nor as sim ple as for a liquid, so th at co n tinuo us flow reacrors are suspect and the consensus is that mul t ip le scressors are necessary. All new processes are th oroughly tested by che USEPA, often involving spiking with virus

The two Smiths: Stephen of the UK {left) and James of the US. or parasites as discussed in detailed in the fu ll paper. T u rning to che questions raised by delegates. H ow effective is microwave or gamma radiatio n! It does kill pathogens and parasi res and ochers but che produce is readily re-infected by ambient organ isms to p roduce odours and subsequent vector accraccio n. W hat is che fu cure of land app lication in USA? T he produce m use LOOK good, SMELL good, and be a granular product, not lumps or dusty. C u rrently there is a shift away from use on land for food production in to land rehabiliracion such as quarries and disused mmes. Th e team from New Zealand mentioned their p roblems with the resistance of the Maori cul cure to exposure to human waste, which, for co mpose use in Wellington, had ro be overcome by a court case. Never-theless landfill is ga ining over benefi cial use.

The National Biosolids Research Program (NBRP) Launched ac Biosolids Specialty I, the research studies commenced under che NBRP are wind ing to a close. Over the past six years the effects of biosolids have been investigated at eighteen sites in fou r Australian scares, covering different soils, climates, crops, gathering a huge amo u nt of data. • Q ueensland and South Australia have fi nished, tho ugh data is still being analysed. • NSW is continuing che investigation of soil nitrification

16 AUGUST 2006


• WA is con d ucting scace based experiments • A smaller research project o n risk assessment for pathogens and organic contaminants in b iosolids involving teams from WA and SA-V ictoria has commenced and will report p rogress at Biosolids Specialty IV By the end of 2006 the metal story will have been com pletely fi nalised and summaries of the fi ndings are contained in the Papers on the Conference CD ROM.

Journal of the Australian Water Association

Tom Weir summarised che investigations on persistent organics in biosolids, includ ing agricul cural and ho rciculcural pesticides, co ncludi ng that there was less risk than in more industrialised nations and that un necessary regulatio n is curbing the benefi cial use of biosolids. Mike McLaughlin and a nu mber of team members reported o n the curren t fi nd ings of the National Biosolids Research Program, cond ucted over four states (see Box 1). In very brief summa1y, rhe on ly metal really implicated for human health is cadmium, because of its easy migration into plant tissue. Zinc is implicated for its effect on the viral soil microbi a, and copper is mo re significa nt than zinc for phytotoxicity. Based on research mainly co nducted with biosolids spiked with metal salts to sim u late worst case scenarios the NBRP team has developed three-dimensional matrices fo r phyto-toxicity of these metals, incorporating pH and cat ion exchange capacity. If natio nal regulations are set they must consider the most sensitive case, i.e. sandy soil, low pH, but alternative regulations are feas ible. Their results offer a rob ust scient ific ratio nale, which protects food but allows less restricted agricultural use in long term so the valuable n utrien t and organics will be used.

Sunietha Katupitiya, of Sydney Water, reported on their work on pathogen survival and run-off water q ual ity. Since 199 1, over $14M has been spent o n R&D. C u rrently 190,0 00 wet ton ne per year is

technical features

produced at the main WWTPs with 100% beneficial use. (75% to agriculture, 2 1% to composting, thence to horticulture, 4% fo r rehabilitation). Research and risk assessments have led to a sustainable beneficial use program under strict management guidelines suppo rted by the regulato ry au thorities. Ocher papers reported char 96% OS granulated biosolids has been trialled for surface application on golf courses, currently prohibited by the NSW Guidelines. T here was no significant difference in run-off water quality from plots incorporating the biosolids into the soi l. The benefits of a one-off application of biosolids to establish trees fo r minesite rehabilitation have been established by rhe NSW Forest Science Centre.

Technology: Drying T here were fo ur papers on drying techniques, two from New Zealand. Allen Campbell, of BECA P/L, summarised five years' experience with direct rotary dryers at Seaview (near Well ington) and New Plymouth. to prod uce 92-95% dry granular and sterile material. ( Metals have been controll ed by strict trade waste limits) . Although expensive, drying 'de-couples' sludge handling from the WWT P. Seaview is currently land fi lling but looking fo r markets. N ew Plym outh went im mediately to a marketi ng approach. T hey adopted strict quality con trol, appointed an enthusiastic entrep reneur, and are sell ing the material as a registered fe rtil iser, copyrighted as "Bioboost 6-3-0" (the NPK content). They avoided the agricultural and food sectors and aimed very successfully at turf, golf-courses and nurseries. D enis Browne, of FLO-DRY Engineering Ltd, described their 2-stage demonstration plane in Auckland. They decided char the conventional system of recycli ng some 60% of dried material to mix with rhe wee sludge to alleviate handl ing prob lems was wastefu l and created a dust hazard. T hey are using a rotary drum for the first stage, fed with 22% OS centrifu ge cake, to remove the 'free water' fo llowed by a com minuter and belt dryer to deal with rhe slower 'chemically bound' water to either 45% solids or 90% solids. The plant, designed for l ton ne/hr, has only just been commissioned, so we muse wait fo r fu rther news. Tim Kempton, of ERM P/L, described th e RDP Hybrid Evaporator, which aims at a

marketable product from all so res of organic wastes. For stab ilisation of biosolids, drying to 75% is adequate, bur for srerilisarion 90% is necessary, wi th problems of expense, dust and flammability. T heir system is designed fo r the flexibility of batchwise operation. T heir paddle dryer kiln is perched on load cells, so char operation can be controlled to cease ar any set point, say, at 22%, and every portion of rhe load ca n be guaranteed to be held at the required temperature fo r the required rime. On a more placid note, MicheUe Hansen described the solar drying systems being tried at rhe Boneo WWTP by Melbourne's So uth East Water Ltd. Their first was based on the SolarMix greenhouse system trialled at Caboolrnre (see Wate1; September 2004) bu r they fo und the randomly moving ' mole' which raked the drying sludge co be mechanicaJly unreliable, so they built a seco nd greenhouse with rhe sludge raked by a transverse multi-padd le beam which is passed from end to end twice a day. T here is little difference between them in drying effecti veness. In terms of area, they are so me I 0-20% fas ter than an open pan in their cl imate, bur some of that is due to the excl usion of rain by the roof. Sludge from the 'stabilisation' lagoon is pu mped in at 2%, settled and deca nted to about 5%. In summer, drying to about 65% rakes 3-4 weeks, in winter, 2-3 months. [n summ ary the cost can only be justified if there are site co nstrai nts. Ar the end of the conference a bus-load of delegates visited the system and a number of questions were posed and answered. Partha Susarla,of North Shore City Council, Auckland, and Hendrick van Rhijn of CH2MHill, outl ined the cell lysis project which FLO Dry Engi neering have install ed at the Rosedale WWTP. A German Biogest moderate pressure disinregrator treats TWAS in order to enhance its digestabiliry in the anaerobic digester. In itial results are promising and rhe proving periods will extend to September 2006.

Composting Th is was not dealt with in any of rhe papers bur so me delegates were formnare enough to visit rhe Pine Gro sire sec d ramatically deep in a huge basalt quarry operated by the parent company, Boral. Ken Hirst described the process. A layer of coarse green waste is laid down in rows about 200 m long, fo llowed by dewarered sludge from two regional cities, then capped wi th fresh

green waste. T he rows are periodically rnrned by a straddle machine providing aeration to establish the requisite rime/temperature regi me. There is a ready marker for rhe product in adjacent fa rmland. ( The company name derives from an adjacent operation supplying pine bark mulch).

The Farmers' Views David Nash, a member of rhe NBRP ream, is also a dairy fa rmer near rhe Packenham WWT P (South East Water Led). He works for Department of Primary Ind ustry in Victoria and brings a practical focus co his research and manage ment work. Nash gave a paper on biosolid applications to pasture from the perspective of a sustainable fa rmi ng system over a ten-year period, accounted to triple bottom line. Nash

water Editorial Submissions Technical Papers Water journal welcomes the submission of papers equivalent ro 3,000-4,000 words (allowing for graphics) relating to all areas of rhe water cycle and water business ro be published in rhe journal. Topical stories of up to 2,000 words may also be accepted.

All submissions of papers intended for the main body of the journal should be emailed to the Technical Editor, bswinton@bigpond.ner.au and http://gcmi ni.ccon.umd.edu/wj (Editorial Express). Shorter news items should be emailed to ijarman@awa.asn.au. A submitted paper will be tabled at a monthly Journal Committee meeting where, if appropriate, it will be assigned to referees. Their comments will be passed back ro rhe principal author. If accepted and after any comments have been dealt with, the fi nal paper can be emailed with the text in MS Word but with high resolution graph ics (300 dpi tiff, jpg or eps files) as separate files. Authors should be mi ndful rhat Water }oumal is published in a 3 column 'magazine' format rather than the fu ll-page format of Word documents. Graphics should be set up so rhat they will still be clearly legible when reduced to two-column size (about 12cm wide). Tables and figures need to be numbered with the appropriate reference in the text e.g. see Figure I, not just placed in the text with a (see below) reference as they may end up anywhere on the page when typeset. See index page 2 for more derails on this and other editorial submissions.

Journal of the Australian Water Association


AUGUST 2006 4.ti-

maintains that insufficien t R&D on the eco no mic benefit to a farmer has been do ne nor, any sufficient attention given to off-sire impacts. Altho ugh one application of biosolids proved to be more effective than inorgan ic fertiliser, its effect decreases. On che other hand ino rganic nitrogen fertiliser can be ap plied every year whereas the h igh phosphorus content of biosolids would build up over rime.

Deborah Pritchard, an agronomist at C u rtin University, WA reviewed the reactions of farmers to the provision of 20% sludge from Woodman Po int and Beenyup plants, together with lime stabilised sludge from Subiaco, a total of some 20,00 0 rpa DS. The Water Corporation pays for trucki ng the 150 km northeast co the 40 0 mm/a rainfall zone. A coral 200 0 ha/year is treated which is less than 1% of the coral broadacre cropping in WA. All of Woodman Point sludge in a year could be sup plied co one far mer. The sludge is messy and even though the Water Corporatio n loans the farmer a 7 r/hr spreader, it is more d ifficult co apply than inorganic fert iliser. So why is there a queue of far mers wishing co use it, despite che protests of the vocal locals?

Deborah's team d id an economic balance. Costs of buying and spreadin g conventional fertiliser were similar co that of spreading the free biosolids. With biosolids the yield of canola was increased co 136%, the wheat yield was unchanged but N content of che grain was higher. The advantage was that che slow release of N/P from the bio solids meant char there was no need co fert il ise in the seco nd year. So apart from rhe extra $185/ha for canola yield, there was a saving of $145/ha in the second year. Long before these figures were publ ished, the word had got around. The main constraint is on-paddock storage and the flies! So a fly-proof Centralised Biosol id s Storage Facility is being proposed by the Water Corporation.

Final Plenary and Open Discussion The fi nal open d iscussion began with an observation that Austral ia has a vast herd o f cattle, sheep, pigs and ocher livestock and there seems to be little concern abou t that manure being used in agriculture, yet biosolids was a different proposition. James Smith reminded the aud ience that in USA 100 t imes more animal manure is landspread than coral sewage sludge. But it is 'organic', therefore it is 'motherhood' and 'apple-pie', and although it is a much

The Australasian Biosolids Partnership - why re-invent the wheel? At the Biosolids Conference in 20 04 Allen Gale, D irector Tech nical Services, Goulburn Valley Water, raised the danger of adverse public perceptions compromising beneficial use of biosolids, and the need to address the problem in a p rofessional and co-ordinated manner. (See Water, N ovember 2004)

of an Australasian Biosolids Partnersh ip (ABP) to achieve sustainable use of biosolids from environmental, economical and social perspectives. Similar partnerships have been established in the USA (N BP) and rhe UK (SORP) and Canada is looking to ad opt a similar partnership

Experience overseas is showing that our current benefi cial use systems will be q uestioned by a more tech nologically and environmentally conscious society. We m ust be p repared to lead the debate with easily access ible, factually correct info rmation, on a so und scientific foundatio n.

A key component of the p rogram is a website: biosolids.com.au. The web sire will encompass a cen tral resou rce fo r info rmation on biosolids use across Australasia and internationally, setting the standard for best practice, enabling pracri rioners to use the same language, and giving the opportunity co learn fro m the experiences of orhers.

A Biosolids Commu nicatio ns G roup in Victoria developed a strategic fra mewo rk fo r public engagement in Victoria, with a recommendation that the fra mework be adopted nationally. At the 2006 Biosolids Conference, Allen outlined a proposed public engagement program for biosolids fo r Austral ia and New Zealand. W ith the cooperation of WSAA and Vic W ater a national Steering Group is recommending the establishment

18 AUGUST 2006


The p roposal is for A WA co rake ownership o f the ABP, with a launch by October this year. Long- term fundi ng requires rhe sup port of all au thorities, so it is critical that biosolids p ractitio ners raise awareness of their management to the urgen t necessity to lead the debate on sustainable use of biosolids befo re any existing or proposed system is attacked by an un informed p u blic.

Journal of the Australian Water Association

higher health risk the US EPA dare not interfere with the farm lobby. Nonetheless, some States have started investigatio ns. The New Zealanders echoed this poin t. Ir was generally agreed that fo r effective catchment managemen t we have to get a handle on animal manure more than on biosolids, and upstream sources must be investigated in event of 'leakage'. In the UK a 'sustainable organ ic resources consortium ' has been established, covering sewage sludge PLUS other organic wastes Other viral issues for the fu ture? The aud ience nom inated two main issues

1. Phosphorus management in long term. Ir muse be recycled because phosphate rock is a finite resource and is necessa ry fo r plant growth. 2. Public acceptance. Odour, transport, storage must all be done correctly. In regional Australia there are more customers for local biosolids than su pply, bur the major urban au thorities have a problem with pubic acceptance vs perceived risk. The perceptio n char prod uce markets will suffe r is a worry, particularly as third party liability creeps in . Perhaps o ne of the high points in the Conference and a poin ter to the futu re, was the launch of the Australasian Biosolids Partnership (see Box 2). Finally, our no rthern hemisphere visitors commen ted overall. Stephen Smith said he has learned a lot, particularly abo ut the d ifferent soils. He was incredibly impressed by enth usiasm of rhe NBRP teamwork. J im Smith was also impressed, but he noted char in this conference there was little on dewarering, chickeni ng, and digester gas, all viral topics . This last comment was taken up by Diane Wiesner who bro ugh t the Conference co a close. D iane noted char she had been d isappointed how few papers had been subm itted exami ning alternative technologies and uses fo r sl udge/bio solids. Apart from an emphasis o n the agronomic benefits of biosolids, there had been little focus on the p roduct's water-hold ing capab ilities, a potential role in salinity management or for applicat ions aside from sylviculru re and mine-sire rehabili tation . Biosol ids Specialty IV, is likely co be held in Adelaide in 2008 with a mix of 1/3 operational issues, 1/3 research and 1/3 technology. Thanks for all for the contribu tion made.

A WA Biosolids Specialty III Conference Proceedings available on CD ROM fl-om bookshop@awa.asn.au for $65 - also available previous Specialty Conference CD ROMs.

Cooperative Research Centre for


CRC FOR IRRIGATION FUTURES OVERVIEW W e all benefit from irrigation. Direcdy, irrigation provides us with a conti nuous supply of quality fresh frui t, vegetables, wine, grains and fib re and sustains our backyards, sports grounds and parks. lndirecdy, irrigation contributes to ou r national wealth generation, particularly in regional areas where irrigation supports vibrant and profi table co mmunities and industries. Irrigation impacts on our rivers and grou ndwater. In the rivers, flow patterns and vo lumes are al tered dramatically by irrigati on. Drainage water return ing to the

river contributes nutrients, chemicals and salt. T he ex tensive land clearing and irrigation of large volumes of water has caused a fu ndamental change in groundwater distribu ti on. T he irrigation industry, which uses 70% of the water extracted from our rivers, has the greatest opportu ni ties tO improve river and river dependant ecosystems. T he Cooperative Research Centre for lrrigation Futures was fo rmed in 2003 tO deliver research, education and train ing which gives co nfidence tO growers, industry, governments and rhe

CRC FOR IRRIGATION FUTURES VISION Our vision fo r irrigation practice and water use in Australia is rhar by 2020, as a nation we will have: • Defined and implemented the principles of sustainable irrigation practice in all environments • Processes that resolve the water use compromises necessary fo r people's needs, rhe environ ment, prod uction and amenity. The Board

communities ro invest in better irrigation, a better enviro nment and a better future. By facilitating cooperative research and training networks and programs which co ntinuously improve irrigation po licy, rools, practices and processes we set ourselves the goals of: • doubling irrigation water use productivity, • im proving profi tabi lity fo r co mmercial irrigation enterprises, and • protecting and enhancing landscapes and the environment. The fo llowing articles in this feature highlight the diversity of approaches requi red tO achieve our goals. From understanding the place of irrigation in the icon ic river systems of the Murray and M urrumbidgee tO water use in our own backyards. T he CRC, now begin ning its four th year, is fornssed on two key research programs System HarmonisationT M and Irrigation Toolkits™.

Irrigation practice - Peter Hayes (Chair)

System Harmonisation TM

M ike Logan - Corron Farmer, Narrabri. Water Industry

Irrigation and environmental sustainability have t0 dare been managed as two competing enterprises under separate and divergent control. T here is increasing suppo rt for a "harmonised" business approach ro sustainable use of our land and water resources. T he System Harmonisation™ program seeks tO identi fy business opportunities fo r irrigarors and water distribution managers tO beco me part of an expanding environmental services industry and in so doing support a truly sustainable and diversified irrigation business enviro nment.

Denis Flett - SKM Co nsultants G rah am Milligan - Natural Resources and M ines, Q ueensland Russell Cooper - Goulburn-Murray Water Research Management Diana Day - Sydney University Snow Barlow - Melbourne University Commercialisation Malcolm McKay - Australian Agricultural College Corporation T im Waterhouse - SenrekSensor T echnologies Communication T icky Fullerton - Journalist, ABC Four Corners

The main aim of this program is to identify opportunities fo r improving the Journal of the Australian Water Association


AUGUST 2006 49

management of surface and groundwater resou rces to satisfy environmental and consumptive demand in catchments with irrigation industries. To achieve this it will focus on the following specifi c objectives: • T o identi fy opportunities to modify irrigatio n system demand and supply through improved on farm/off fa rm infrastructure management, changed cropping mixes, potential ground water substi tution and trading op tions; • To assess the economic, environmental and social impact of these changed management practices; • T o obtain community feedback on the value of these options in meeting the economic and environmental issues arising from the implementation of water reform in irrigated catchments; • To achieve consensus between catchment stakeholders and scientists on fu ture catchment scenarios and knowledge gaps; and • To realise cu rrent and future business opportunities for joint CR C-industry research investments in future. A five way feasibility template has been developed to identify new science and knowledge fo r harmonising irrigation practice within the regional operating environ ment through agronomic, economic, technological and institutional improvements in water management. T he key outcome of this approach will be o ptimal economic returns from irrigation areas subj ect to the physical constraints of the system, envi ronmen tal demand and a range of on-farm managemen t options in cluding gro undwater, on-farm sto rage and canal operation technology. T his research program is inter-connected with regional clients from the beginnin g. Regional Irrigation Busin ess Partnerships™ (RIBP's™) become the influencing and governing entities with a vested interest in imp roving the econo mic, social and environ mental well being of their region through irrigatio n.

The CRC IF brings together farmers, industry, communities, governments and scientists (photo: Kelvin Montagu, CRC IF).

• Coleambally - Transfo rming change to regional water management outcomes through multiscale demand management.

• Western Sydney - Pathways for substitu ting fresh water use with recycled water while improving the water quality in the catchment.

• Macintyre Brook - Innovations in water sharing arrangements optimising security of supply and catch men t dividends .

Irrigation Toolkits™ The Irrigation Toolkits™ program delivers innovation to th e on-farm irrigation sector to improve production, profitabil ity and sustainability of irrigation enterprises. The program brings together three focused research and development areas that will make a difference to onfa rm irrigation performance in Australia.

Evaporation mitigation addresses the

imp roved irrigation efficiencies the management of salt and nutrients becomes even more critical. New water and solute measuring devices· now make it possible to track both the fare of water, salt and nutrients in the soil. Making sense of the information w ill allows the CRC to develop operational diagnostic tools to improve irrigation management both for its p roductive potential and reduced environmental impact of salts in the root zone.

Tools for Irrigation Profits and Longevity brings together developing measurement and control systems with information and analysis capability to help with real-time adaptive management d ecision making. While it is critical to have measurement systems in place to manage, it is important to have the different information "streams" easily available and to have the analysis and forecas t tools to project what the consequences o f a decision and subsequent action will be for p rofits, lifestyle and assets. T h is is an exciting area which w ill begin to harness the capabilities of new infield sensors, of better weather fo recasts, of comp uter simulation models and IT delivery.

C urrently, fou r Regional Irrigatio n Business ParrnershipsTM have emerged across Australia to capture the production and environmental gains from improving regional irrigation systems man agement. The RIB P's™ will develop these benefits through a regional business plan and investment prospectus. The RIBP'sTM engaged th us far are:

su bstantial losses of water from dams. Because of the high rainfall variability Australia has greater storage capacity than other co untries. Water stored in dams, particularly shallow on-farm dams, is subjected to evaporative losses. In small dams this can b e reduced through physical dam covers. But on large dams only chemical monolayer tech niques are potentially feas ible. This project is developing new monolayer detectio n and application systems to improve the reliability of this evaporation mitigation technology.

• South East ofSouth Australia -

Solute Signatures looks at the potential


Maximising sustainable irrigation development potential of the groundwater resources while minimising the impact of cu rrent and fu ture risks.

to use measured salt and nutrient distribution, or signacu res, as a managemen t tool. Water and salt are inseparably linked. In striving for

CRCfor Irrigation Futures, PO Box 56, Darling Heights Qld 4350. Ph: 6174631 2046, Fx: 6174631 1870, Web: www.irrigationfutum.org.au




Journal of the Australian Water Association

If you would like to stay in touch with rhe activities and o utputs of rhe CRC subscribe to our eNewsletter INFLO by visiting our website.

URBAN IRRIGATION - LOOKING AT WATER USE IN OUR OWN BACKYARD B Maheshwari Abstract The irrigat ion of home lawn s and gardens is a major consumer of potable water. Th is study looks at 50 home irrigation systems an d their water use in Sydney between November 20 04 and March 200 5. These ho meowners were not su bjected to the water restrictions enforced during chis period. Irrigatio n around homes accounted fo r 34% o f coca! household water use. T he study highlights d iffering water p ractices between gardens and lawns. Gardens appear co be the big consumer of water. Homeowners tend co considerably over-irrigate smaller irrigated spaces (<50 m 2 ), by two or more times che water actually requi red by planes. Smaller irrigated spaces represent a sign ificant p roportion of outdoor areas around homes, and as such they need co be cargeced in the fu ture water conservation strategies.

Background The watering of home lawns and gardens is a major consumer of potable water. Residential custom ers co nsu me approximately 70 % o f the 526 GL of water supplied co Syd ney (Syd ney Water, 2004). H omes use water both indoors and outside. Sydney Water has had reasonable success in reducing per capita indoor water use through various water conservation programs in the lase ten years. However, our un derstand ing of outdoor water use for irrigation is limicecl, particularly the irrigation practices employed by homeowne rs and opportunities chat exist for water savings.

Irrigated areas at each si ce were classifi ed in co three irrigation zones: lawn , garden (exotic plants, including vegetable gardens and trees) and 'ocher garden' (native or a mixcure of native and exotic planes and trees).

Irrigation system audits An aud it of the watering systems currenrly in use on 50 homes was und ertaken. The audit evaluated the design, installation , operatio n and management issues of the existing irrigation systems. The audit accempcs co separate che in fl uence of rhe physical system o n the effectiveness of wateri ng fro m che perso n who performs watering.

Outdoor water monitoring A coca! of 3,456 irrigation events were monitored on the 50 homes from November 200 4 co March 2005. Flow race, scare time, d uratio n and che dace of irrigation event were monitored by install ing d ata loggers and water m eters to the front and back taps of ho me sites. I nforma tio n on plane types and areas of irrigated spaces were collected for each home site.

A survey of Sydney suburbia. Sydney Water -

ol Operationl

ln chis Sydney study we looked at: • How much water is being used fo r irr igation aro und hom es? • ls water applied in excess of plant requirements? • What opportunities are there co imp rove home irrigation practice? T he irrigation syste ms of 50 h omes were audi ted (Figure 1) and che amo un t of irrigatio n water use was monito red between November 2004 and March 200 5. The homeowners were nor subjected co che water rescriccions enforced during ch is period.

A need to target over-irrigation of small gardens systems.

by microjet Figure 1. Location of the 50 Sydney home sites audited . Journal of the Australian Water Association


AUGUST 2006 5-1

technical features

Home irrigation systems Sprinkler systems (fixed and portable) accounted for more than half the irrigation systems wh ilst only 5% of che systems were drip (Figure 2a). Almost a quarter of the irrigated spaces were watered by hand. Interestingly, do-it-yo urself microjet irrigation systems accounted for 13% of systems but delivered 32% of the water applied (Figure 26). Control of the irrigation system was predominantly manual. Only 13% of systems had a si m ple tap ti mer and 15% were controlled wi th more sophisticated automated controllers.

Across the 50 homes, irrigation accounted for 34% of total household water use during the period November to March. This varied considerably between homes - from 2% to 84% of total water use. The large variation was related to both ga rden area and irrigation practices. The average daily ou tdoor water use for irrigation per home site during the study perio d was 392 Lid (12 kl/month). By compariso n, the average indoor daily water use fo r the same period was 593 Lid (18 kl/mon th).

Garden and lawns · Differing irrigation systems and practices

Garden areas, while accounting for half the irrigated area, consumed two-thirds of the water used outside. Lawns used the remaining one-third of the irrigation water. From a demand management point of view, this suggests that garden areas need to be specially targeted for educating homeowners about improving their irrigation practice and introducing or promoting smart irrigation technologies. Homeowners tend to considerably overirrigace smaller irrigated spaces (<50 m 2), by two or more times the water actually required by plants. T hese smaller garden areas were typically irrigated by microjet systems or hand where 23 KL/100m 2 /mo nth was ap plied. This compares w ith an average p otential evapotranspiration of 11 kLl00m2/ month. As the garden size increased che amoun t of water applied decreases such chat for all garden sizes th e water applied averaged 8.7 kL/ 100m 2/ month. Smaller irrigated spaces rep resent a significant p roportion o f outdoor areas around homes, and as such they need to be targeted in the future water conservation strategies.

52 AUGUST 2006


Training the auditor tea m.

Lawns were mostly irrigated with fixed and portable sprin klers. On average 4.3 kL/100m 2 /monrh of water was applied to lawns. Thus lawns were receiving about half che race of water applied to garden areas. T he associated aud it of irrigation systems highligh ted the general poor state of home irrigation systems. This ranged fro m poor

design and installation through to a lack of main tenance. Based on the experience with the au dit, a certification check list system is suggested focusing on the fo llowing three aspects: • The physical system (design, installation and maintenance) • Water conservation measures used at the sire, and; • The water practice of homeowners.



fixed sprinkler

Portable sprinkler

On average 34% of the total home water use is for o utdoor irrigation , and garden areas acco unted for two-third of the total water used for irrigatio n. On smaller irrigated spaces (lawn or garden) wh ich are typically m icrojer or han d irrigated, homeowners applied more than twice the water required . Future o utdoor water conservation strategies should be targeted to garden areas and small irrigated spaces.


b. fixed sprinkler Microjet

Fund ing for ch is project was provided by Sydn ey Water Corporation. T he Irrigation Association of Australia provided valuable support throughout this study. Thanks to all the ho meowners who enthusiastically participated in this trial and to Dr Parmjit Singh and Snezana Velickovski for their assistance in data collectio n and analysis.

The Author

Figure 2. The perce ntage of area (a), and water applied (b) by the different irrigation systems.

Journal of the Australian Water Association

Besant Maheshwari is the Urban Zone Leader fo r th e CRC fo r Irrigation Furnres and an Associate P rofessor with the School o f Natural Sciences at the University of Western Sydney, NSW.

THE IRRIGATION INDUSTRY IN THE MURRAY AND MURRUMBIDGEE BASINS W Meyer, K Montagu Introduction All Australians benefit from irrigation, either directly or eco nomically. Concern in Austral ia, particularly in southern Australia, about the co ntinuing ava ilability of water has particular interest for irrigators. However, the ability of the ind ustry to articulate its concerns and to develop a fu ll appreciation of its size, position and importance has been hampered by rhe lack of a contemporary compi lation of the industry. Given rhe biophysical, marker, infrastrucrure and skill variations, the current use of resources is profitable and of significant local benefit. Whether, on balance, these resources could be used for alternative purposes with greater net benefit for society as a whole is much less clear.


10,000 00,000

Irrigation in the Murray Murrumbidgee


The Murray and Murrumbidgee ri ver basins are iconic Australian river systems. Figure 1. The Mu rray-Murrumbidgee river basins indicating the distribution of The rivers rise in the New South Wales and irrigated land (2000/01) across the ten regions. Victorian Alps and join together downstream of Balranald in New South A contemporary compilation of the Wales. From the source the rivers flow for 2530 km entering the industry and its future. sea at Sourh Austral ia. Measured against other major world rivers, the Murray's flow is study in 2000/01 (National Land and Water Resources Audit 16% of rlm of the Nile, less than 3.5% of the Mississippi and 2001). The amount of water diverted for irrigation varies between 0.25% of the Amazon. T he Amazon discharges the Murray's years depending on rainfall conditions in the catchment (Figure 2). annual flow in less than one day. The variabili ty of water runoff Regulation of the river through sto rages, diversion structures into the Murray River is also much greater than other comparable and weirs provid es water for irrigation and town supplies, and a world supplies (McMahon et al. 1992). T his is one reason why the range of depend ent activiti es such as tourism and recreation. volume of storage in rhe Murray Darling Basin (2 .8 rimes annual The major run-off catchm ent areas of the Mu rray and use) is higher than the world average (1.7 rimes annual use). Murrumbidgee are ' fu ll y developed' - bu ild ing new storages Since the late l 800's irrigation has developed along the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers to the extent we see today where 1.3 million ha is irrigated across 10 regions (Figure l). Th is accou nts 15000 for 50% of the irrigated area of Australia. Within the regions the irrigated area fluctuates. For example, in 1996/97 a total of 1,024,000 ha was irrigated, increasing to 12000 _, 1,243,000 ha in 2000/01 . Much of this variability in area occu rs Q. 5 in cropp ing and pasture irrigation. T he capacity of annual i! cropping to adjust to variable water availability can be viewed as a -~.., 9000 D :i; D D D desirable adaptive response to what will conti nue to be a variable l supply system. While this may nor be an ideal fina ncial position at D the enterprise level, ir does provide resilience in the productive use 6000 Irrigation diversion Murray and Murrumbidgee basins CJ of th e variably available resources. Whether this is the opti mum way to manage variability and meet production and environ mental management expectations is not clear. 3000 ~ - ~ - - ~ - - ~ - - ~ - ~ - - ~ - ~





199912000 2000/01



Water for irrigation

Of th e I 0,960 GL of water diverted for irrigati on in the Murray Darl ing Basin, 8,608 GL (78%) is diverted by the regions in this

Figure 2. Total water diverted from the Murray-Darling basin

a nd for irrigation from the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers. Journal of the Australian Water Association


AUGUST 2006 53

technical features

would yield little additional water. Effectively there is n o ' new' water co be had. I n Figure 3 we summarise the face of che water diverted fo r irrigation in 2001 /0 1. Losses at each stage are significant totalling close to 5,000 GL. T hese losses occur through seepage an d deep drainage and evaporation from open water sou rces and the soil surface follow ing irrigation. With more than half the water diverted not being produ ctively used there is significant scope to reduce the losses and have these available for the irrigation industry or retained in the river and floodpla in environment.

Irrigation delivery and on-farm infrastructure Water is delivered from the river to th e farm gate through an extensive distribution system. Many regions also have an extensive drainage system to remove excess water. T ogecher these have an estimated replacement asset vale of $3.8 billion. To deliver the water to the crops, on-farm investment in irrigation systems totals $6.3 billion across the ten regions. Overall, 83% of the area is irrigated with surface (flo od and furrow) systems, 10 % wi ch sprinkler (centre pivots, lateral move and set sprin klers) systems, and 7% micro (miro sp ray and drip) systems. Across the regions significant differences in irrigation systems are observed (Figure 4). In the u pstream riverine areas of New South Wales and Victoria surface systems domi nate. l n the downstream mallee areas of the Sunraysia, Riverland and lower Murray pressurised sprinkler and micro systems Legend dominate. The water delivered to fa rms has an asset value of ap proximately $6.7 billio n , assuming a price of $1,0 00 per ML. Comb ined the on- and off-farm distribution network and water gives a to tal asset value of $16.8 billion across che ten regions.


Figure 3. Fate of water d iverted from the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers for irrigation.

Swface (flood furrow) Sprinkle< Systems


I[ [

set Spmklets


Irrigated crops and revenue W ith all chis in frastr ucture, water and expertise, what do es irrigatio n in th ese regio ns p roduce? The regions produced $3.1 billion in 2000/01 in total fa rm gate revenue from irrigation production. T his reven ue was prod uced by a range of an nual and perennial crops and grazing pastures (Figure 5). The upstream Murray is dominated by irrigated pasture accounting for 75% of the irrigated area with dairy pastures the largest component. Sixty- five percent of the irrigated area in the Mu rrum b idgee is used for rice and grain crop ping. Down stream, 77% of the irrigation area is used for horticu ltural production. T hese regions produce 19% of Australia's vegetables, 50 % of all fru it and nuts and 63% of all grapes. The combined estimated revenue for these commod ities is$ 1.7 billion or 40% of all fru it, nut and vegetable p roduction (irrigated and rainfed) in Australia.




Figure 4. Variations in irrigatio n application systems a long the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers.

Land use . . C(lreat, & coarso grains Cotton


11111 Fruit&tree nuts 1111 Hny, legumes & oilseeds




Figure 5. Varia tions in irrig ated land uses along the M urray a nd M urrumbidgee rivers.

Journal of the Australian Water Association

technical features refereed paper

ere irrigation futures 350




e 250










2 150

¡;;; 0








<C 100



50 0 -50

Figure 6. Average farm gate revenue generated per megalitre of irrigated water required .

Figure 7. Total estimated profit for the major irrigated commodities of the Murray and Murru mbidgee rivers.

T he highest levels of revenue generated on a per hectare and per megalirre of water basis were the intensive horticultural activities, vegetables, grapes, fruit and nut trees (Figure 6). As a result of the differing returns there is a substantial difference between the upstream Murray - Murrumbidgee and downstream mallee area (i.e. Sunraysia, Riverland and Lower Murray). T his is illustrated by comparing two regions: NSW Murray region irrigates 32 1,000 ha with a diversion volume (in a full water allocation yea r) of more than 2,000 GL to produce irrigated revenue of abou t $3 10 mill ion. T he Riverland region irrigates 36,000 ha with a diverted vo lume of 311 GL co produce irrigated revenue of$555 mill ion i. e. one tenth of the area with one sixth of the water producing 1.8 rimes the revenue - clearly, a more intensive irrigated system. The $3 . l billion revenue generated by irrigation industry req uires support services ("downstream" activity) and generates further activity in the processing of the produce ("upstrea m" activity). Factoring in the "upstream" and "downstream" dependent activities gives an average econ omic multi plier of 3.5. T hus the overall impact of irrigation on the regional eco nomy can be estimated at $10.9 bi ll ion. While total revenue is fun damentally important, the generati on of adequate profit is the key determinant of individual en terprises. Reliable profit numbers at enterprise level are difficul t co obtain and so estimates derived from known land use areas, generalised fa rm and commodity costs and returns, and assuming full equity co nditions have been used. At the largest aggregated level, the National Land and Water Resou rces Audit indicated that irrigated agricul ture generated 51% of the coral agricultural profit fo r the fi ve year period co 1996/97 from 0.5% of the total agricultural land area. T he updated estimate fo r the Murray-Darling Basin fo r 2000/01 by Bryan and Marvanek (2004) showed rhar "irrigated agri culture covered only about 1.4% of the total land area of the MDB, it accounted fo r around 36% of the total profit generated from agriculture". lrrigared dairy pastures generated the largest estimated profits fo r 2000/01 , despite the low revenue per ML (Figures 6 & 7). T his highlights the scale of irrigated dairy pastures in the regions. Irrigated grapes, fruit crops, vegetables and rice account for a signifi cant proportion of total profit across the region.

The population is greater; there are more businesses, more total employment and signi ficantly more services (banks, medical facilities, and recreational facilities) in the irrigated communities. There is some evidence char rhe intensity of services (number per I 000 people) is greater in irrigated districts with the towns acting as service centres fo r the surrounding rain-fed areas as well. T he only significant population centres in areas char receive less than 500mm of annual rainfall are associated with irrigated districts.

Communities With rhe increased productivity and associated activity, what does this do for the regional economic and social situation? On average, irrigated areas receive 2.4 rimes the total water input of adjacent d1y land areas. Revenue in irrigated areas is 13.1 times greater. This increased revenue supports a level of economic activity that is three to five rimes greater than in the adjacent rain-fed district.

Dr Michael Patorno, P.E. Manager Civil/ Structural and Water Resource Groups, URS, New Orleans

Regulation of the river through sro rages, diversion structures and weirs provides water for irrigation and town suppl ies, and a range of dependent activities such as rourism and recreation. As a result tourism is also higher in irrigated districts in total, but the in tensity (tourist visits per 1000 population) is nor greatly di ffe rent to rain-fed districts.

30th Hydrology & Water Resource s

SYMPOSIUM Pas t , Present & Future

H ote l Gr a n d Chance ll o r L a u nceston 4 - 7 D ecember 2006

Register now! www.cdesign.eom.au/hydrology2006 Keynote Speakers: Dr Walter Boughton, Honorary Senior Fellow, Griffith University A/Professor Ron Cox, Director, Water Research Laboratory, University New South Wales Dr Rory Nathan, Principal Hydrologist, Sinclair Knight Merz

General Enquiries: Conference Design Pty Ltd t: 03 6224 3773 f: 03 6224 3774 e: info@cdesign.com.au www.cdesign.com.au

Journal of the Australian Water Association


AUGUST 2006 55

technical features

can cause unacceptable water quality decline. As the demand for quality water grows, it also becomes more difficult to successfully run a drain and supply system. Dealing with this dilemma in che Murray is the fo cus of rhe salinity and drainage strategy of rhe Murray-Darli ng Basin Commission. Almost all irrigated areas in the scudy regions have or will develop unconfi ned aquifers (wacercables) char come close (<2 m) to the ground surface. Water, especially from surface flood ing of pascures and rice, has fi lled the unsaturated soil layers below the irrigated area. It has resulted in prolonged wee so il conditions and a predisposition to increasing salinisacion. In almost all ocher areas, irrigation has contributed signi fica nt volumes of water (and salt) ro the upper layer groundwater system.

T he mix of people in irrigated districts compared with rain fed clearly shows that irrigated districts have much more diversity in terms of countries of origin and language other rhan English. The irrigated disrricrs have people from more than rwenry fi ve countries while adjacent rain fed districts generally have fewer than ten countries of origin represented. Interestingly, che age distribution in irrigated and rain-fed districts is not greatly different although there is evidence char irrigated districts have a greater proporrion (2 ro 8% more) of thei r population under 40 years of age.

Environmental Consequences River health

T he Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers are now highly regulated. The impact on the river system arises not only from the water diverted from the river, bur also rhe due ro rhe changes in flow patterns and the impact of nutrient and sale discharge into the river. Altered river flow regimes have affected both in-river and riverine ecosystems: • weirs and diversion structures have often drowned nearby wetlands and floodplains; • changed flooding regimes, indicated by the reduction of small and medium floods from a frequency of eight years in ten, to less than four years in ten have reduced the size and diversity of flood plain vegetation and wetlands in many areas. Recognition of che need co manip ulate flow and flood conditions fo r improved main tenance of in-stream and dependent riverine ecosystems has lead ro The Living Murray Initiative being developed through the Murray-Darling Basin Commission. With irrigation consuming 70% of che water diverted from Murray-Murrumbidgee, the irrigation industry also has rhe biggest opporruniry to improve river and river dependant ecosystems. Salinity and groundwater

The difficult dilemma of managing a river, both as a landscape drain and as a water supply system is nowhere better illustrated than in managing sale. Exporting sal t from irrigated and rain-fed areas and discharging into the river is, in part, mimicking a natural process. However, for people and systems fu rther downstream, chis




Journal of the Australian Water Association

Management of sale accumulation and mobilisation associated with irrigation srill remains critical. Salt, accumulated during transpiration and evaporation of water muse be removed from the root zone of crops. Ic is estimated that 200,000 ha, or 17% of the irrigated area, already has some form of subsurface drainage. This area is likely to increase by at least 20,000 ha involving a capital expenditure of $55 million to $75 million as greater areas of high value crops are planted. T he total area of salt storage 'disposal' basins is nearly 14,000 ha, or 1.1% of the area chat is irrigated. Almost all these basi ns have slow and extended leakage back into the ground waters.

The Future Motivators for change

A primary mocivaror for water policy reform ar both Australian and state government levels is to encourage more economic activity from the use of limited water supplies. On the surface, chis could mean encouraging production of high value commodities such as vegetables and fru it. However, generation of greater profit, especially if chis is accompanied by lower risk from production and market volatility is a greater mocivaror. Water access

Continuing access to sufficient water of adequate quality primarily water with a low sale content - is needed for irrigation co prosper. T here is thus a coincidence of irrigator and river environment concerns in managing salinity in the rivers. Irrigarors will need to become more involved as managers of che rivers, where management is both ensuring the supply of water for irrigation and maintenance and repair of the rivers' natural assets

The Authors Dr Wayne Meyer (Wayne.Meyer@irrigacion futures.org.au) is a research scientist at CSIRO Land and Water and Chief Scientist with the CRC for Irrigation Futures. Dr Kelvin Montogu (Kelvin.Montagu@irrigationfu cures.org.au) is the Knowledge Exchange Manager with the CRC for Irrigation Futures.

References Bryan, B & Marvanek, S 2004, Quantifying and valuing land use change far i ntegrated Catchment Management evaluation in the Murray-Darling Basin 1996197 - 2000/01 . CSIRO Land and Wate r Client Report. McMahon, TA et al ( 1992). Global Runoff Continental Comparisons of Annual Flows and Peak Discharges. Catena Verlag, CremlingenDescedc. National Land and Water Resources Audie (NL WRA) 200 I. Austmlian Water Resources Assessment 2000. Nacural H eritage Trust, Canberra.

The full report on The Irrigation Industry in rhe Murray and Murrumbidgee Basins by Wayne S. Meyer. CRC For irrigation Futures Technical Report No. 03/05 June 2005 can be found at http://www. irrigationfutures.org.au

RISK PERCEPTION RELATING TO EFFLUENT REUSE ON A UNIVERSITY CAMPUS C Derry, R Attwater Abstract An assessment of risk perception and co mmunication relating to existing irrigation with tertiary- treated effiuent was carried out at the H awkesbury campus of rhe University of Western Sydney. This involved a ' knowledge, atti tudes, beliefs and practices' (KABP) survey of staff, students and residents of properties adjacent to rhe campus, and was part of healrh-risk assessment aimed ar upgrad ing risk management. In order to assess acceptance of risk relating to potential additional uses, respondenrs were asked to co mm ent on a wide range of hypothetical recycli ng options. The majority of respondents co nsidered the irrigation of grass, trees and shrubs to be accep table, with approximately half of the staff and res idents saying rhat they already used grey water for this purpose ar home. AJso acceptable was the irrigation of spores fields, vehicle cleansing, paved surface wash-down, fl ushi ng of to ilets, and the filling of ornamental ponds and wetlands. Whi le there was only li mited acceptance of effiuent irrigation for food production , acceptability increased wirh the introduction of physical or conceptual exposu re barriers, such as the peeling or cooking of vegetables, or the production of milk from irrigated pasture. Res pondents perceived local risk moni to ring as essential to securing safety, even if assurances regarding the original effl uent quali ty had been given by the supplying authority. T he survey revealed a need to improve fo rmal communication of risk information to staff and students

Introduction For over 30 years the Hawkesbury camp us of the University of Western Sydney (UWS), form erly H awkesbu ry Agricultural

Respondents were asked to comment on a wide range of hypothetical recycling options.

Tertiary treated effiuent from Richmond STP (mean 2.4 N!Ud)

Effluent recei\'ing ond (15 M L) Turke) Nest dam 93 ML

Hillside dam (76ML)

Cowshed (closed washdown loo ) Dairy pasll.lrc irri ation 95 Ila) Fodder irrigation (30 Ila Deer farm irrigation (2 Ila

llorticultur,: dam 84ML)

Horticulture tank (0.16ML)

Y arramundi dam

6.5 ML)

Sand filtration unit

Horse paddocks and vine ard (20 Ila

Horticulture area and work opportunil) scheme ( fruit. vegetables, flowers) (IO Ha)

Potable water connection

Figure 1. Campus components of the effl uent reticulation system (Derry, Attwater, Booth 2 006) .

College, has had an agreement with Sydney Water to receive dry-weather flow of effiuent from its Richmond sewage treatment plant (ST P) for the irrigation of lawns, sports fields, fruit orchards, vegetable beds, and pascure fo r horses, sheep and dairy cattle. This is a mutuallybeneficial agreement by which the University receives a free supply of irrigation water while Sydney Water minimises load-licence payments to the Department of Enviro nment and Conservation (DEC) for effiuent discharge into Ri ckaby's Creek, a tributary of Sydney's main river system, the Hawkesbury-Nepean (Booth et al. 2003, Derry, Booth, Attwater 2003).

A schematic of the on-campus reticulation system and irrigation sires, with relevant data to indicate its extent, is shown in Figure 1. In 2003 Sydney Water notified the deteriorating quality of effiuent from the Richmond STP, an ageing trickling-fil ter plant where the tertiary process involved alu m precipitation, chlorination and lagooning, but not fil tration. While Sydney Water data for STP effluent were available, rhe University had not carried out monitoring for effiuent quality change with passage through its reticulation, or fo r potential human exposure. (It should be noted that since the assessment, Sydney

Journal of the Australian Water Association


AUGUST 2006 57

Water has replaced the trickling filte r plane with an incerrniccencly decanted aerated lagoon (IDAL) plane). To investigate these aspects with a view co upgrading barriers co exposure, the University commissioned a healch risk assessment by a team of University researchers with relevant local and international experience. The assessment involved performa nce- and health-indicator monitoring at critical control points, with subsequent value-adding to che small, short-term data secs through environmental observation (inspection), and social surveying. Full results of chis assessment have been repo rted elsewhere (Derry, Actwater, Booth 200 6).


To explore risk tolerance and perception, two separate studies were conducted. One focused on larger generic stakeholder groups such as staff, students and residents of properties adjacent to the University, while rhe ocher focused on University "communities of practice" (COPs), being clusters of heterogeneous individuals with common function, and therefore potentially-similar exposure experience. These included a horticulture group, dairy farm group, outdoor laboratory unit,



Risk assessment was carried o ut within the framework of an existing risk management plan (Derry et al. 2002) which included a cyclic health risk management model (F igure 2) based on che report of che USA Congressional Commiss ion on risk management practice (Omenn Commission, 1997). In terms of chis model, multilateral risk communication was seen to b e central to effective and accountable risk management, necessitating an understanding of risk perception in participating stakeholder groups (Amendola 2001; Driedger, Eyles 2003; Frewer 2004; Renn 2004). Risk communication was seen co include the mulcilaceral fl ow of risk information between rhe different disciplines engaged in risk assessment, rhe d ifferent members of the risk management ream , and rhe representatives of communi ty stakeholder groups.


I Policy Development

Fig 2. Cyclic health risk management model (Derry et al. 2002).

University creche and work opportunity unit. T he COP study, which relied on action research methods, has been reported elsewhere (Artwacer, Derry 2005), while rhe study of larger generic groups, which yield ed sufficient data for d escrip tive analysis, is the topic of the current report.


Hills 1996; Herold, Peavy 200 2). Level of accuracy (sampling error) was sec at p =0.05 with a sta ndard normal deviate of 1.96. Maximum acceptable variance based on the potentially-rarest response was sec at 0.05 , an assumption based on the results of an earlier pilot study. Statistical correction of sample size for populations of less th an 10,000 was applied. Populatio n and sample details are shown in Table 1.

Knowledge, accirudes, beliefs and practices (KABP) assessmen t was used, being a method freq uently adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) to gather opinion on controversial areas, such as lifestyle and HIV-AIDS exposure (Campbell et al. 1999).

Three separate but analogous questionnaires were developed to collect information from staff, students, and residents relating co:

The survey included a sample of 72 staff, 189 students and 72 resid ents, minimum sample sizes having been estimated in terms of relevant statistical constructs (Clayton,

• exposure oppo rtunities through unprotected co ntact;

• awareness of the existing irrigatio n operation; • current sources of information;

• precautions taken to minimise exposure; • acceptance of additional reuse op tions; • releva nt domestic reuse practice.

Table 1. Population and sample sizes. Group Students Staff Index Residents 2


Minimum sample size at p=0.05

Achieved sample size

4,523 242 156

72 57 50

189 1 72 72

legend: 1: Effective sample size following standardisation for disciplinary group. 2: An "Index Resident" was the first adult presenting for interview at each dwelling.

58 AUGUST 2006


Journal of the Australian Water Association

The questionnaires were pilor-cesred then amended as necessary, the final version consisting of 16 closed-response questions, some with open-response su b-sections, with a fi nal open-ended section for recording comments of a general nature. The use of ever-popular Liken response scales was avoided as these rend co introduce marginal response categories, necessitating an increase in sample size.

Questionnaires were returned anonymously, although students were asked to stare their program of study as proxy fo r disciplinary field to allow statistical adjustment for overrepresentation fro m specific fields to take place.

Student survey The sampling frame (delineated population) included all full-rime undergraduates attending the campus. The preferred method of random sampling from enrolment lists was nor possible in terms of University confidenrialiry rules, therefore a rime-based, systematic sample was drawn at the time of surveying. This involved peerinterviewers approaching one student every 15-minutes at three prearranged nodes of major on-campus pedestrian flow to request participation in the survey. T he times at which interviewers occupied these sites were randomly selected. To reduce selection bias resulting from potential over-sampling of specific disciplinary fields, standardisation was ap plied during analysis by the adjustment of the observed ratio of students in the sample to match the actual ratio of students in the University population. This yielded a standardised student sample of 189 from the original 204 interviewed. Being well above the estimated minimum sample size of 72, this offered insurance against a potentially-optimistic estimate of variance.

permanent academic, laboratory and field staff. Random sampling was carried out using staff lists, the estimated minimum sample size being increased by 100% to account for non-responders, with questionnaires being distributed through the internal mail for self-completion. While the initial response rate was poor (27%), a greatly improved rate (63%) was recorded after a letter was sent to all staff urging participation by those who had received the survey, in the interests of duty of care to students.

Residents survey 156 domestic properties immediately adjacent to rhe campus which might have been effected by spray drift or other nuisance were included. Pilot interviews by three postgraduate students who administered the survey indicated that there was a high level of duplication of information given by different residents in any one household. I t was therefore decided that information from only one "index resident" would be included for each household, an index resident bei ng the fi rst adult presenting for interview. A sample size of 50 was estimated in terms of statistical requirements, and this was

increased to 100 to compensate for potential non-response. The sample was randomly selected by application-based random number generation. W here no-one was at home letters were left advising that a follow-up visi t would be carried o ut that evening, followed by a weekend visit if this was unproductive. This approach resulted in a 72% response rate.

Analysis and Presentation Data were manually extracted fro m the q uestionnaires, recorded in spreadsheet format and analysed with commerciallyavailable statistical software. Data are presented in this report as the percentage of affirmative responses received for each q uestion, although where more than 5% of responses fell inro "other" or "u nknown" categories, alternative presentation methods have been used. The convention of stating the numerator (n) with each percentage has been replaced by the statement of sample size in Table 1. In cases where sub-groups are d iscussed the relevant numerator has been stated. Being a descriptive study, the data have been presented mainly as percentages, with corresponding tables and graphs. Percentages have been rounded to

The q uestionnaire was intervieweradministered by volunteer student peers. Only four of the original 208 students who were approached declined to be interviewed giving an impressive response rate of 98%. Interviewers were second year environ mental health students with knowledge and skills in epidemiology, survey planning, questionnaire d esign and interviewing. They attended a one-hour orientation session and were paid for each questionnaire completed. T hey were aware that " under cover" students would be visiting survey nodes for quality assurance purposes. The questionnaire fo rm included clear "pathways" to be fo llowed by interviewers, to limit incorrect completion. C riteria for interpreting the questions and for recording information accompanied each question naire to reduce ambiguity and provide a means of standardising the record ing process.

Staff survey Core questions were the same as those in the student survey, with additional questions to capture infor mation relating to the supervisory or middle-management role of staff. T he sampling frame consisted of all Journal of the Australian Water Association


AUGUST 2006 59

technical features

whole units in terms of the estimated level of accuracy. In some instances the classifi cation of qualitative responses to open-ended questions was possible and here rates for the commonest clusters of responses have been given as percentages.

Results and Discussion Reuse knowledge An appreciable percentage of staff and students were aware of regional imperatives for water reuse (86% and 52% respectively) (Table 2). Many were also aware that treated effl uent was in use fo r campus irrigation (8 1%, 57%), although only a small percentage had undergone formal safety trainin g (safety induction) or had received written information relating to exposure risks and prevention (7%, 9%). Appreciable opportunity for exposure existed, however, with 46% of staff and 29% of students having come into contact with wet effluen t (Table 5 refers), and 33% of index residents observing spray-drift reaching surrou nding roads. Only 17% of staff had passed information on to others by formal means. Reco rd ed commen ts suggested that this reluctance to commun icate information was based on the lack of quantitative monitoring data for risk and exposure. This emphasised the need for ongoing monitoring of health-related ind icators at control points, not only to enable risk assessment to be carried out, b ut also to encourage a process of informed risk com munication. W h ile many staff and students were aware of the existing water reuse management committee (78%, 4 7%), less than 2% identified it as the relevant contact node for reporting hazards. T his emp hasised a need for extended stakeholder participation on the committee to raise the level of awareness of its fu nction and to open effective com munication channels between relevant campus communities and managemen t. It was of interest that while only 20% of students were aware of the Un iversity's recently established stormwater reuse wetlands, 31 % of local residents were aware of their existence. Most of these resid ents gave their source of information as signage on the mai n road adjacent to the wetlands and informal con versations with University staff, while relatively few named articles in the printed med ia as their source of information . Only 15% of residents were aware of Sydney Water's current water recycling proposal, d espite med ia coverage. This suggested a need to explore locallyrelevant methods of informing communities of regional reuse schemes, such as signage, 60 AUGUST 2006


Table 2. Reuse know led ge and risk communication. Affirmative response (%)


Awareness of regional water reuse imperatives Awareness of treated effluent in use on campus Receipt of formal safety induction/information Information or advice given to others Awareness of a reuse management committee Awareness of UWS stormwoter wetlands Awareness of Sydney Water reuse initiative Awareness of general imperative for reuse Observation of irrigation spray drift




86 81

52 57 9 5 47 20 21 52 N/A

43 46 N/A N/A N/A 31 15 60 33


17 78 62 35 86 N/ A

Legend: N/A means "not applicable" talks at meetings o r displays at sustainability centres. In response to open-ended questions, resid ents said they wanted more information on campus water reuse, a process for reporting observed hazard s such as spray-dri ft, and literature on household grey water reuse.

Reuse attitudes Respondents were p resented with a range of hypo thetical recycling op tions using terriary treated effluent "which complied fu lly with national guidelines for safe use", and were asked to comment which of these they would feel "comfortable" with. This encou raged comment in terms of aesthetic values (innate feelings of acceptance or possibly revulsion), rather than health risk, al though logic suggests that these factors may be conceptually interrelated (Table 3). A large majority of University respondents (staff plus students) accepted effluent for toilet fl ushing and for the irrigation of grass, trees and sh rubs, wh ile 100 % of the

index resid ents supported this option. This is understandable given that 46 % of index residents said they were already practicing informal water reuse at home (see Table 5), the majority using grey water for general garden irrigation (open-ended responses) . A test for non-parametric data revealed a statistically significant association (p<0.0 5) between the use of grey water at ho me, and the accep tance in p rinciple of effluentirrigarion of vegetables if cooked prior to consumption. When irrigation categories were ranked by poten tial health risk, as shown in T able 3, a stepped increase of acceptabil ity with decreasing risk was noted acro ss the three responden t groups (ANZECC/ARMCANZ/NHMRC 2000; FAO/WHO 2003; Mara, Cairncross 1989). This permitted grap hs for accep tability relating to irrigation and non-irrigation use to be produced usi ng pooled data (Figures 3 and 4) . W h ile there was relatively low acceptance of irrigation of foodstuffs compared to other

Table 3. Accepta bility of suggested effluent reu se o ptions. Affirmative responses (%)

Suggested use Staff



97 83 79 63 30 14

91 74 65 48 28 24

100 N/A N/A 60 43 32

70 96 79 73 79

91 74 76 65 48

85 82 90 67 58


Gross, trees and shrubs Sports fields Dairy posture Vegetables eaten cooked Vegetables eaten peeled only Salad vegetables eaten row Other use

Wash ing down of paved surfaces Flushing of toilets Washing down of vehicles Filling of ornamental ponds Filling of wetlands

Journal of the Australian Water Association

technical features refereed paper

uses, it should be noted char a high percentage of "unsure" responses were recorded for each proposed food irrigation use (range 20% co 22%). This suggests char variab les other than food type may be involved in community assessment of aesthetic acceptability, and char additional research is indicated co identify these potentially important modifiers of risk tolerance.

Vegetables eaten peeled

Some co ntextualising comm ents as relating co water re use beliefs included : "Hopefu lly there will be more recycled wate r reuse progra ms in chis Scace; it would certainly case our water problem . I guess the cost of these p rograms is an


Dairy pasture 1

"Everyone sho uld have a rain tank. If correct rests have been performed, I con sider it safe except for edible planes" "Th e water has been used for 60 years on rhe golf course in Rich mond with no problem s" " !e's too lace to scare. It should have been done earlier"











Percentage accepta nce 1 '

These two bars do not include data for index residents

Figure 3. Acceptability of irrigation uses: all responden ts. l


Wetland fi lling I

Ornamental pond fi ll ing


Vehicle washing


Toi let fl ushing


Wash-down of paved surfaces

I 0






Percentage acceptance Figure 4. Acceptability of non-irrigation uses: all respondents. Table 4. Beliefs relating to loca l effluent reuse. Affirmative responses (%)

Belief Stoff



Monitoring and control by a University risk management committee con secure sole irrigation




Supply from Sydney Water without University monitoring con secure sole irrigation




Regular updates on effluent quality should be provided via the University Web site




Table 5. Water reuse practices. Affirmative responses (%)


Reuse practices A substantial percentage of staff, students and index residen ts had come into contact with e fflu ent either direcrly or thro ugh rhe consumpt ion of fruit, vegetables and n uts from experimental horticultural areas (Table 5).

I Grass, trees and shrubs


"When the created effluent was used on the rugby oval, cues would cake lo nger to heal; rhe waste water used on the Oval shou ld be created to a higher level"



Sports fields 1

"En viron mental managemen t aspects a lso need attention; environm en tal flows , not over-harvesting water, protectio n of deep aq ui fe r recharge, prevenrion of shallow aqui fer recharge with salinacio n, monitoring of sal e levels and high pH " "The re is more we would like ro know: Can you drink reused effluent? How safe is its (effects)? Will it be passed through ani m als, e.g. milk, meat? H ow will it affect native wildlife and fish? "


Vegetables eaten cooked

Reuse beliefs Most University responden ts believed char scient ifi c monitoring and control by a risk management committee was necessary co secure safe irrigation wirh d isin fected effluent , even if assurances were co be given by the water provid er regarding rhe quality of the original supply (Table 4). In contrast, about half of rhe index residents believed that supply by Sydney Water would alone be a suffi cient guarantee of quality. Almost 80% of staff and 50% of studen ts said they would like to have regular updates on efflu ent quality via rhe University Web sire.


Salad vegetables eaten raw




Contact with wet effluent or ingestion of effluent-i rrigated fruit, vegetables or nuts




Use of personal protective equipment, hand washi ng, or avoidance.




Water reuse practiced "at home"




Journal of the Australian Water Association


AUGUST 2006 61

technical features

Of the exposed U niversity group, 40% (n =30) had made indirect contact through spray d rift, 33% (n=25) had eaten irrigated produce, and 16% (n=l2) had made direct con tact with wet residue on lawns, pasture o r p lanes. Less common exposure experience included direct co ntact with irrigation spray, d ried residue on planes, or wet materials handled during laborarory work.

residents and staff (Z:n=96) . Source

Conclusions T he su rvey revealed an appreciatio n among respo ndents of the regional imperative fo r water reuse, and a similar level of awareness chat reuse was being practiced on campus. Communication o f relevant health risk inform ation to staff and students was, however, inadequate and chis appeared ro relate ro a lack of local water-quality monitoring data fo r in clusion in safetyinduction sessions and b ulletins . T he need for ongoing moniroring was therefore identifi ed as importan t in facil itating bo th the assessment and commun ication of risk. University responden ts identifi ed University risk moniroring as necessary even if the water p rovider was able ro give assurances of safety regarding the original supply. This may suggest an appreciation chat safety depends nor only on the supply bur also on the way in wh ich it is subsequen tly scored and applied. 62 AUGUST 2006


% response

Washing mach ine Rainwater harvesti ng (eg : dam, tonk) Both, shower, spa Dish washer, sinks On-site aerated sewage treatment systems Others

Of chose aware of campus effluent reuse, 57% (n=33) o f staff and 24% (n=26) of students said they had taken personal precautions ro reduce exposure. Of chis studen t and staff sub-group, 52% of had practised avoidance and 34% han dwash ing after contact. There was minimal use o f personal p rotective equipment (PPE}, such as gloves or raincoats, suggesting a need for PPE, and for advice regarding its use. Collective data fo r staff and residents showed the most popular use for grey water at h ome ro be lawn, shrub , flower and tree irrigation (93%, n=82}, rhe p referred sources of grey water being shown in Table 6. In terms of the survey, source was not marched ro use. I r should be noted ch at aerated wastewater treatment systems (AWTSs) rep resented a relatively minor sou rce of recycled water in comparison ro grey-water generating equipment, with washing machines, baths, showers and spas being responsible for 53% o f all reused water.


Table 6. Sources of water reused at home by

33 23 20 9 8 7

The process of commu nicating information ro staff and students th rough safety inductions, bulletins and signage also had potential ro in form the local commun ity. The effectiveness of different comm unication pathways, however, required further research. A large majority of participants accepted in principle the concept of irrigating grass, trees and shrubs w ith treated effl uent, as well as roilet flush ing. A lower percentage accepted fo odstuff irrigation, although this varied wich the type of fo odstuff ro be irrigated . Acceptance also varied with attenuation of the link between effluent and consumer through the use of barriers such as peeling, cooking and the conversion of irrigated pasture ro mi lk. These observations suggested that consumer accep tance of food irrigation is negotiable in terms of the type of food irrigated, and the existence of exposure barriers. The survey contributed ro the understanding of stakeh older perceptions of risk, and ind icated the type of moniroring needed ro gen erate information for effective risk communication as central componen t in health-risk management for sustainable reuse.

Acknowledgments The researchers wish ro than k the Regio nal and Community Grants Scheme of the University of Western Sydney for fu nding the research, and the UWS and Rich mond commun ities, for their participation and support.

The Authors Chris Derry is senior lecturer in environ men tal epidemiology in the School of Na rural Sciences, UWS, and researcher with the CR C (I rrigatio n Futures). c.derry@uws.edu .au, 02 4570 1731.

Dr Roger Attwater is Manager, Hawkesbury Water Recycl ing Scheme.

Journal of the Australian Water Association

Amendola, A., 2001. Recent paradigms in risk informed decision making. Safety Science, 40, 17-30. ANZECC/ARMCANZ/NHMRC, Australian and New Zealand Environmenr and Conservation Council/Agricultural and Resource Managemenr Council of Australia and New Zealand/National Health and Medical Research Council, 2000. Guidelines for sewerage systems: use of

reclaimed water. National Water Quality Management Strategy, 14, ANZECC, Canberra ACT. Accwater, R. , Derry, C., 2005. Engaging communities of practice for risk communication in the Hawkesbu ry Water Recycling Scheme. Action Research, 3, I 93209. Booth, C.A., Attwater, R., Derry, C., Simmons, B., 2003. T he Hawkesbury water reuse scheme. Water, 30, 28-30. Campbell, 0., Cleland, J., Collumbien, M., Southwick, K., 1999. Social Science Methods for Research on Reproductive Health, WHO, Geneva. Clayton, D., Hills, M. , 1996. Statistical methods in epidemiology. Oxford University Press, Melbourne. Derry, C. , Am vater, R., Booth, S., 2006. Rapid health risk assessment of effluenr irrigation on an Australian university campus.

International journal ofHygiene and Environmental Health, 209, 159-1 7 1. Derry, C., Attwater, R., Booth, S. Dingsdag, D., 2002. Health risk management and the Richmond water reuse scheme. In proceedings of the International Water Association 3rd World Congress, Melbourne, 7-12 April. Derry, C., Booth, S., Attwater, R., 2003. A risk management approach t0 sustainable water reuse. Environ. Health, 3, 78-86. D riedger, S.M., Eyles, J., 2003. Differenr frames, d ifferenr fears: commun icating about chlorinated drinking water and cancer in the Canadian media. Social Science & Medicine, 56, 1279-1293. FAO/WHO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations/World H ealth Organization), 2003; Codex

Alimentarius: code ofhygienic practice for fresh fruits and vegetables: CAC/RCP 53-2003. FAO/WHO, Geneva. Frewer, L., 2004. The public and effective risk communication. Toxicology Letters, 149, 39 1397. H erold, J.M. , Peavy, J.V., 2002, in Gregg M.B. (ed.) Field Epidemiology, Oxford Universiry Press, Oxford. Mara, D., Cai rncross, S., 1989. Guidelines for

the safe use of wastewater and excreta in agriculture and aquaculture, WHO, Geneva. Omenn Commission: the Presidential/ Congressional Commission on risk assessment and risk management, 1997. A

framework for environmental health risk management. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC. Renn , 0 ., 2004. Perception of risks. Toxicology Letters, I 49, 405-413.

fere d paper

SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING AN IRRIGATION ORGANISATION PERSPECTIVE D Brand, C Norwood Introduction The irrigation industry in Australia has faced increased scrutiny in the last few years in the light o f public debate regarding irrigation an.cl claims of a water starved environment in crisis. Over the past decade Murray Irrigation Limi ted has voluntarily expanded its reporting from mandatory, dara-based compliance reporting to wholeof-business s ustainability reporting on its operations and perfo rmance. Political and community considerations have contributed to the expansion of rhe co mpany's public reporting, in.eluding improving rhe image and reputation of the company and irs irrigation cus tomers as responsible and sustainable operators. A recognised forma t based on the Global Reporting Initiative has been ado pted to provide greater credibility of rhe company's reporting although challenges remain in providing data that is relevant to rhe company and co mparable across the irrigation industry in general.

Reporting requirements In 1995 rhe NS W Government transferred the ownership of its Murray Irrigation Area and D isrricrs to a newly form ed, irrigatorowned co mpany called Murray Irrigation Li mired. Ir was rhe first of fi ve government irrigation schemes to be privatised in NSW, and is rhe largest privatised scheme in Australia. As an unlisted public company, Murray Irrigation is nor subject ro mandatory reporting requirements which apply ro government owned rural and urban water organisations. No r is ir subject to rhe marker fo rces and mandatory requirements that drive reporting for publicly listed companies. Ir does provide mandato ry annual fi nancial reports to shareholders as required under corporations law. T he NSW and Federal Governments have also requested, as part of licensing and fu nding D emelza presented the first draft of this paper at the You ng Water Professionals Confe rence, Sydney, February 2006.

Legend Murray Irrigation Ltd



Figure 1. Location of Murray Irrigation Li mited a rea of o pe ration s.

Meeting the interests of a range of diverse stakeholders, developing social, environmental and economic performance indicators.

relatively small portion of the Murray Darli ng Basin in terms of land area bu r signifi can t in terms of water use. Murray Irrigation has a sizeable share of rhe NSW Murray regulated river resource with approxim ately 72 per cent of rhe NSW general security entitlement. T he general security reso urce has recently been quire variable; over the last 5 years allocations have ranged fro m IO to 105 per cen r. The company's annual net water diversions over the last fi ve years have averaged 1,057,385 megalirres.

arrangements, an annual enviro nmental compliance report, with specifi c water and envi ronmental data. However there is no requirement fo r public disclosure of rhis information. From the in itial compulsory co mpliance reporting, the company's reporting has evolved significa ntly over rhe past decade as ir has embraced sustainability reporting. The enthusiasm of sraff has been a major contributor in this evolution. T hey have been keen to provide info rmation to a wider audience about the company's environmental initiatives, its accounrabili ry and the continuing improvement in rhe health of the regional landscape.

Ir supplies 2,4 10 fa rms rhar operate over an area of 748,000 hectares using a 3,000 kilometre network of gravity fed channels. T he intensity of irrigation in rhe region is moderately low. O nly half of rhe total area is able to be irrigated and only half of rhar is irrigated in a norm al year. T he main agricultural enterprises are rice, dairy and mixed grazing/cropping. Typically 46 per cent of irrigation water is used on rice, 40 per cent on pasture fo r meat and dairy production, and 14 per cent on cereals, predominantly wheat, barley and canola.

About Murray Irrigation

Compliance Reporting

The co mpany is siruared in rhe centre of the NSW Murray catchment (Figure I), a

When Murray Irrigation was fo rmed it was issued with an Irrigation Corporation

Journal of the Australian Water Association


AUGUST 2006 63

Water Management Works Licence by the now Department of Natural Resources, and an Environment Protection Licence by the now Department of Environ ment and Conservation. On privatisation Murray Irrigation was also made responsible for rhe implemen tation of rhe M u rray Land and Water Management Plans (L WMPs). These are a 30 year, $498 million natural resource management p rogram developed by rhe local community and government. Scare, Federal and Local Governments committed to provide $112 million in funding over the first 15 years, with landholders to commit $386 millio n over 30 years. T h e licences and LWMP fundin g agreemen ts in combination require the production of an annual compliance report. The key reporting requirements relate co: water su pply, water quality, watertable levels, land and water use and LWMP implementation . Compliance reporting began in 1994/95 and originally involved only the presentation of rhe data required. The company gradually began expand ing rhe report co provide co ntext for rhe data, to explain trends and to highlight some of rhe activities the company was undertaking beyond chose required for licence compliance. T his included: • Improvements in warerrables across the region following implemen tation of rhe LWMPs which far exceeded the predicted improvements; • A parmership with the NSW Murray Wetlands Working Group and local landholders to water stranded wetlands o n private properties; • Innovative research projects undertaken by the company including the d evelopment of aquaculture in saline grou ndwater. By 2000 the report had beco me large and cumbersome. Considerable resources were committed co p rovid ing the add itional info rmation and to incorporate these "go od news" stories about the company's performance, all for a readership of less than 50 people. The document was coo derailed and data heavy for a general audience.

Political Impetus Ar rhe same time a series of major water refo rms began to unfold char appeared co jeopardise the company's access co water resources and rhe continued funding of rh e Murray LWMPs. M urray Irrigation is rhe largest water user on rhe Murray River system and has a relatively low security resource compared to ocher irrigatio n districts in NSW, Victoria and South Australi a. T he political uncertainty facing 64 AUGUST 2006


/ ./u«Stralasta/1/

. ,{a,f//'(l/uSttl/1




• {mcvd'

Oemelza Brand (left) and Catherine Norwood with certificates recognising the standard of Murray Irrigation's reporting. rhe company provided furth er impetus to improve pu blic reporting and d emonstrate to the broader com munity char irrigated agricul ture can be sustainable and should be maintained in to the futu re. Although less than 40 % of all fl ows in the M urray River are extracted for irrigation, th e environ ment was emerging as a competitor for a share of the available scored and regulated water resource. In 1993 governments had agreed to provide a 100 gigalirre allocation for the BarmahM illewa Forest, raking rhe water from rhe general security resource, grantin g it a higher level of security and effectively reducing rh e amount of water available to irrigarors. In 2000 another intergovernmental agreement co mmitted to restore 28 per cent of average natural flows to the Snowy River and provide another 70,000 megalitres fo r th e Murray River. In 2002, rhe Murray Catchment Management Board also released its draft Catchment Management Blueprin t. Of the 118 priorities for funding , compo nents of the Mu rray LWMPs were ranked 88th, 89th and 95th . This was fo llowed in the same year by the Murray Darling Basin Commission's Living Murray Initiative, which reached agreement in 200 3 co provide an additional 500,000 megalitres of water for environmental flows in the M urray River.

Reporting Framework Ir was important to rhe company char a relatively rigorous fram ework be used for expanded pub lic environmen tal reporting co

Journal of the Australian Water Association

ensure the reporting was credible co government and environmental agencies in particular. After researching many reporting methodologies the G lobal Reporting Initiative (GRI) was adop ted. T h is triple bottom line approach to reporting looked to provide a logical and professional process co move forward with reporting practices. As an accepted standard the company believed it would provide its reporting w ith increased public credibility. The triple bottom line approach refers to the econo mic, social and environmental aspects of a businesses performance (GRI 2 002). T h e company continues co produce a compliance report, but ad opted the G RI principles for a separate Environment Report in 2004. T his was a more accessible form of the compliance report prepared for a more general readership. lrs focus very much remai ned on the environmental initiatives and compliance data. In 2005 ir evolved into a Sustainability Report as rhe reporting expanded to include a more whole-of-business approach. T he · information from some areas of business remained limited includi ng maintenance and engin eering division s, and proved difficult co integrate into a report which had developed largely from an extensive environmental foundation. Murray Irrigation is approaching its fo urth year of G RI reporting. This year the company's An nual Report will include a full report of rhe company's operations using the G RI criteria. Ir will provide a comprehensive report to both shareholders and stakeholders of the company's social,

refereed paper

economic and environmental impacts, and performance against its 2006-2011 Strategic Plan. In che next two years rhe company aims to consult with stakeholders regarding its reporting to chem and look to verification to improve the credibility of the information presented.


Benefits Once reporting is no longer driven by licences ir provides an opportunity to clearly represent the irrigation region's performance against rhe triple bottom line, to ensure transparency in reporting, and to add to the credibility and professional standing of rhe company. Although sustainabi lity reporti ng doesn't automatically lead to a sustainable business or industry, ir provides a mechanism to improve sustainability th rough assessing operations, encouraging continual improvement and demonstrati ng to the broader communi ty that you 're thinking about rhe environmental, social and economic im pacts of you r business. Leading organisations in Australia have been incorporating sustainability principles into their operations, and producing sustainabili ty reports on their achievements since the mid 1990s. The Department of Heritage reported char in 2004/05 119 of the top 500 Australian compan ies produced a public environment or sustainabil ity report (DEH 2005). Uptake of such philosoph ies in rhe irrigation ind ustry has been somewhat slower. Organ isations who have participated in th is public reporting to dare have reported a number of benefits. The 2006 Association of C hartered Certified Accountants Reporting Awards Conference in Sydney was cold char the prod uction of a sustai nabi lity or environment report was a contributi ng facto r for some investors when deciding to invest - regard less of whether they actually read the report. Investor confidence and improved reputation were key motivations for the preparation of reports by publicly listed companies. Other benefits included a more focused effort by managers and added value to the organisatio n. For Murray Irrigation, sustainability reporting has allowed the company to objectively analyse its operations and identify gaps in policy and data collection. As an example, reporting on stormwacer management highlighted a gap in policy relating to the management of the stormwarer escape system. This policy and new strategies are curren tly being developed in order to improve management. The Environment and Sustainability Reporcs

have also proven to be val uable resources fo r staff and srakeholders; a lor of queries regarding company operations, policy and performance can be answered very quickly by referring co the sustainability report.

Challenges Challenges in the preparation of Murray Irrigation's sustainability repo rts have included rhe desire to present information to meet the interests of a range of diverse stakeholders, developing social, environmental and economic performance indicators, collecting rhe necessary data, and comparing performance with ocher organisations. Benchmarking with other irrigation organisations has proven more difficult rhar originally anticipated. For instance, neighbouring irrigation corporations Coleambally Irrigation and Murrumbidgee Irrigatio n also collect extensive water quali ty data as part of their operating li cences. Bur a closer exam ination revealed rhar it would be difficult to compare the data because their licence conditions required mon itoring for a slightly different set of data. Murray Irrigation fou nd the move to sustainabi li ty reporting was rimeco nsumi ng as data on areas nor previously reported by rhe organisation was collected and collared, and other data presen ration was reviewed to suit a new audience. T he new business plan has addressed rhe issue of triple bottom line performance indicators to some extent, however, development and assessment of the indirect social and economic impacts of rhe co mpany operations is still proving to be a challenge. Benchmarking opportun ities are improving through initiatives such as the ANCID Benchmarking Program, the URS Sustai nability and En viro nmental Reporters Bench marki ng Program, and reporti ng awards such as the Australasian Reporting

Awards (ARA) and rhe Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Awards. The National Water Commission is looking ro develop national benchmarking frameworks for urban and rural water uriliries which may aJlow fo r more industry-wide benchmarking as well, however, it is focused on pricing and service performance. The inquiry on corporate responsibility by the parliamentary committee on corporations has generated debate about mandatory sustainability reporting and chis was a key topic of discussion at the 2006 ACCA reporting awards and conference. Some believe mandatory reporting will stifle innovation and be a backwards step, resulting in reporting only against compliance items - a " rick the box" approach rather than a co nstructive evaluation of business performa nce and accoun tability. Murray Irrigation's move to sustai nabil ity reporting has been vo luntary. As rhe business conti nues to evolve, so do reporting efforts, from rhe early days of data-based licence co mpliance to an integrated busi ness perfo rmance report rhar provides accountabi li ty to stakeholders, a clear direction for the furure of operations, and a public record of improving perfo rmance and accountabil ity.

Authors Demelza Brand is Murray Irrigation Limired's Environment Officer responsib le for rhe preparation of the company's annual Compliance Report and Sustainability Report (demelzab@m u rrayi rrigario n. com.au). Catherine Norwood is Murray Irrigation's communi cations officer responsible fo r corporate, shareholder and staff comm unicatio n, including development of Murray Irrigation's Annual and Sustainability Reports (catherin en@m urrayirrigation.com.au).

References Department of the Environment and Heritage

(2005). Triple Bottom Line Summary Report 2004-05. Department of the Environment and H eritage, Canberra, ACT. Global Reporting Initiative (2002). Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. G lobal Reporting Initiative, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Murray Catchment Management Board, 200 I. Murray Catchment Management Plan (Draft) : A blueprint for action. Department of Land and Water Conservation, Sydney, NSW. Murray Irrigation Limited (2005) . Sustainability Report 2005. Murray Irrigation Limited, Deniliquin, NSW.

Journal of the Australian Water Association


AUGUST 2006 65

THE MELBOURNE EASTERN IRRIGATION SCHEME - A MAJOR RECYCLED WATER SYSTEM P Everist Summary The $26 million Eastern Irrigation Scheme is a partnership between Melbourne Water Corporation and Earth Tech to supply 5000 megalirres of Class A recycled water per year co 60 customers in a 170 square kilometre area in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne centred around Cranbourne. The Scheme has now been in operation for over 12 months, delivering much needed recycled water co customers for horticultural and recreational pu rposes. It is expected chat the first residential dual pipe customers will be connected for summer 2006.

The Aim The Eastern Irrigation Scheme was designed to provide growers and customers with access to safe, reliable, high quality water on long-term contracts. This provides substantial confidence to customers so chat they can sustainably build their businesses and maintain their residential living environments. Earth Tech will own and operate the Eastern Irrigation Scheme for 25 years and is responsible for treatment and distribution of C lass A recycled water to 60 customers currently connected co the Scheme. Earth Tech is also responsible for ensuring compliance with Regional and Individual Environmental Improvement Plans and Customer Contracts. The Eastern Irrigation Scheme secs new standards for wastewater recycling technology, treating water co Class A levels su itable for supply for dual pipe customers. Earrh Tech's Recycled Water Quality Management Plan for the Eastern Irrigation Scheme is a benchmark used in the prepa ration of Australia's National Draft Water Recycling Guideli nes.

UF backwash pumps and piping.

Treatment The 30MLD ultrafiltration treatment plane treats the Class C effiuent from the Melbourne Water's Eastern Treatment Plane to a Class A standard. The process involves fine mechanical screening, coagulation and ultrafilcracion, followed by disinfection with chlorine. The Victorian Class A standard sets the treatment level at Log 7 removal for viruses and pathogens. This represents the world's best practise and is higher than che current US EPA recycled water requirements. The Eastern Irrigation Scheme ulcrafilcracion creacmenc plant was designed and built by Earrh Tech and is the the largest membrane plane producing recycled water in Australia. (see Davey et al, Water, March 2005) Earth Tech now has over 12 months of operational experience running the ulcrafilcracion plane. All plane commissioning issues have been resolved and a maximum day production, during the summer period, of nearly 25MLD has been recorded so far. The plant has a high level of instrumentation for monitoring, including trending the various functions, to optimise the plant performance and ensure the water quality is achieved. During commissioning the plane went through an extensive period of testing and proofing to demonscrare its reliabiliry and integrity. It is one of rwo planes

Both UIF plant and reticulation system have now operated smoothly for over 12 months.

Map of the scheme. S6 AUGUST 2006


Journal of the Australian Water Association

Table 1. Summary of pipe sizes and lengths. Pipe Size (mm diameter)

750 600 450 300 200 150 100 80 <80mm Total

Length (km)

4.3 4.7 12.2 16.6 1.4 9.9 6.6 1. 8 1.2 59.2 km

to gain Class A accreditation from the Department of Human Services in Victoria. The plant operates under a Recycled Water Q uality Management Plan that has been developed by Earth T ech and was part of the process ro obtain accreditation. Proced mes now in place demonstrate its continued compliance.

The Distribution System The treated water is stored on sire in a 4 ML tank. This tank also provides created water fo r plane backwash and chemical dosing functions. The recycled water is pumped from this rank into the 60 ki lometres of pipework which distrib utes the recycled water ro the supply area. The main pipeline leaving the treatment plane is 750mm in diameter and reduces ro 600m m, 450mm and eventually 300mm in the very eastern part of the supply area. T he larger sized pipelines are "sin rakoce" cement lined mild steel, supplied by Tyco Water, while the smaller pipel ines are PVC. Small reticulation mains branch out from the supply main in 200mm, 150mm, 100mm and 80mm diameters. Table 1 lists a summary of the pipe sizes and lengths. A number of railway, road and waterway crossings were made duri ng construction of the pipeline. These were generally by directional boring using HDPE pipe sections pulled through the bore under the other services. The pipelines have generally fo llowed the road network due ro environmental issues, lack of space, and

congestion of services. Some sections of the pipelines have been constructed on private property where easements have been created. Normal Water Industry construction standards were applied fo r the construction of the pipelines and air valves. Scour valves and isolation valves are installed at various locations for management of the distribu tion system. As part of the design of the pipeline system, hydraulic models were developed ro examine the pipeline performance for steady state and dynamic conditions for transient pressures and also for hydraulic capacity. A combination of air valves, pressure susta ining valves and control mechanisms has been used to manage the system. Pressure sustaining valves have been installed at major custo mer connections for rwo purposes: to ensure a mini mum pressure is sustained at the point of discharge to each customer's dam; and ro avoid the pipeline draining upon electrical or mechan ical failure. Earth Tech's responsibility is fo r the supply of C lass A water ro the customer's meter. Earth Tech has undertaken to supply a certain flow rate of recycled water, but does nor guara ntee the pressure at chis point. Customers can turn on the supply when required and the system then responds to the water drawn from the pipeline. The Customer Contract governs the supply cares and what the customers can and can not do with the water. Individual Environment Improvement Plans have been prepared for each Customer and these govern the application of the recycled water on the custo mer's property. Regular monitoring and aud iting is undertaken of how each customer uses the recycled water. The distribution system is consistently pressurised with a minimum pressure moni tored on the high point of the system which is located at Cranbou rne. T he system pro fi le is such chat the treatment plane is around elevation 4 metres, the pipeline rises ro a high point in the middle of the system, around elevation 75 metres in Cranbourne and then falls from chis point ro the most eastern customer, ease of Cranbourne, ro an

A general view of the plant.

elevation around 10 metres. A solar powered telemetry system transmits the pipeline pressm e from the high point of the system which is then used to control the pumps. Two other pressure monitori ng points are located ar rhe extremity of the Scheme and these assist with managing and monitoring the perfor mance of the network. A series of low level and high level pumps are located at the treatment plam and these pump from the recycled water tanks into the pipe distribu tion system. The pumps are con trolled by variable frequency drives which ramp up and down in response ro the pressure monitored within the system. A SCADA system, utilising CITECT has been installed at the Plant and chis provides real time management of the Scheme. A number of a.larms have been incorporated into the software and, provided an internet connection is available, the Scheme can be operated and monitored from anywhere in the world. The Scheme has performed to expectations and the feedback from the customers has been very positive. This in itself is leading to a number of new enquiries from potemial customers and a number of new co nnections have been made since com mencement of the Scheme.

The Author Peter Everist is the National Operations Manager of Earth Tech located at head office in Melbou rne. Email peter .everisc@earth tech. com .au

Journal of the Australian Water Association


AUGUST 2006 6i.l

PERTH SEAWATER DESALINATION PROJECT ON TRACK M Oliver, G March over the fu ll pipeline. T here were also 17 separate crossings of high pressure gas pipelines as well as oil and caustic lines requiring an extensive cathodic protection system. On the DN1400 route, there were many wetlands and Bush Forever sites co cross, which required careful management, as well as sites of Aboriginal significa nce, for which the Water Corporation employed Aboriginal mo ni tors.

T he Perch Seawater Desalination Project is on schedule and budget co produce clean, fresh drinking water by che end of 2006. The revolutionary $387m project celebrated a major milestone in June with che completion of all pipe laying work necessary co transport che desalinated water into the Water Corporation's Integrated Water Supply Scheme (IWSS) . There are two main pipelines involved in the project, planning fo r which scarred in early 2004. A l 0km-long DN1 200 MSCL Trunk Main will transfer water from the Kwinana plant site co T homsons Reservoir. A 12 km-long DN 1400 MSCL Trunk Main extends from Thomsons Reservoir co the new Nicholson Road Pump Station in Forrescdale. All pipes were supplied by Tyco Water.

The crossing through che Beeliar Wetlands (i ncluding T homsons Lake) with its high conservation values proved co be one of the most critical sections of che project. T he wetlands provide an important nesting and feeding habitat for much of the wildlife of this region, includi ng che oblong tortoise and birds that migrate from Siberia. An electric fence, which surrounds Thomsons Lake co protect native fa una from foxes and feral cats, runs alongside and through the construction area and needed to be continuously maintained. Where the pipelines crossed the existing electric fence, a temporary electric fence was installed prior co construction and then the original fence re-instated when works were finished.

Figure 1 shows the team completing the lase section. The pipe laying pare of che project had a good result, but ic was not without its challenges. The eight time frame for completing the pipe laying work before winter sec in made it an extremely difficult undertaking. On the DN1200 route there were significant issues with high tension 330kV power lines requiring voltage mitigation measures

The feedback from the Department of Conservation and Land Management as well as the local auchoricies was very positive regarding che way the Water Corporation handled the work. Major improvements co T homsons Reservo ir were also undertaken with replacement and re-seal ing approximately 6km of internal co ncrete joints, a new inlet and a new outlet using closed-faced thrust bore tunnelling techniques. The new Nicholson Road Pump Station is also on track co feed desalinated water into the IWSS, with more than 90% of works complete.

The pipeline now ready for 140 million extra litres per day.

Pleuger Submersible Pumps and Motors. • Suitable for deep bores • Full range for all bore sizes • Corrosion resistant materials • Revolutionary fine sand protection • Proven reliability and fully repairable • Capacities from 1 to 80,000 m3/h head to 800 m Flowserve Pump Division Australia - 26 Faigh Street Mulgrave VIC 3170 Tel: +61 3 9562 0744 Fax: +61 3 9562 2816


i Figure 1. With Nicholson Road Pump Station as the backdrop, workers busily finishing the final section of the DN 1400 on 17 June.

08 AUGUST 2006


Journal of the Australian Water Association

They wanted a world class pipe for this project ...

Construction started in May 20 05 following a thorough community consultation period. T he main buildings are now finished with five pumpsers and eigh t surge vessels installed. The pump station includes a main building and two transformer buildings. The m ain build ing houses the fi ve p umpsers with provision fo r a sixth unit and is effectively arranged as two pu mp stations within the one b uilding. Pumps, supplied by Flowserve Australia, are configured to be able to operate in parallel for low head pumping and in series for high head p umping when water is banked back into Perth's main Dams during winter periods. Each variable speed pumpset is rated 1650kW with total station flow rates ranging from 30 to 250 million litres of water per day. As such it will be one of the biggest and most complex ever built in WA and will not only p rovide a critical link for integration of desalination water into rhe IWSS, but will also cater for distribution of fu ture southern sources of water. Due to the pu mp stations' strategic importance in the IWSS, rwo 2650kW standby generators have also been installed.




,..,.,,.... .....o.,.....,_p;9r- -v.

Cannina - M~ing



Kwiium - Jand.\k01: SyMrm

Perth Seawater Desalination Project and IWSS. Extensive water hammer modelling determined that eigh t surge vessels were required and rwo were installed on the suctio n side, three o n rhe delivery fo r low head pumping and th ree on the delivery for high head pumping.

Filtration Media Invest In accurately graded, durable media from your complete filter media professionals.

We are pleased to offer you: • Decades of mineral processing experience • Media prod uced to the AWWA B100-89 Standard • An extensive product range at competitive prices • Man ufacturing in accord ance with Quality System AS/NZS ISO 9001:2000 • Packaging alternatives to suit any requirement • Proficient techn ical assistance and su pport • Prompt delive ry Australia-wide and Overseas

... ' . .. ... . ..


So, tap into our extensive experience and helpful service when next you require filter media.

-•- {O' RIVER SANDS ~;;

683 Beenleigh-Redland Bay Road, Carbrook Queensland 4130 International +61 7 3287 6444 Freecall 1800 077 744 Facsmile 07 3287 6445

\UGUST 2006


Journal of the Australian Water Association


both the pipeline contracts and Thomsons Reservoir modifications. Gordon March is the Project Manager for the N icholson Road Pump Station , both being components of the Perth Seawater Desalination Project w ith rhe Water Corpo ration. Email: desalination@warerco rporation.com.au, web : www.watercorporation.co m.au

Water Advertising To reach the decision-makers in the




ISO 9001

The Perth Seawater Desalination P roject will boost rhe water supply to the IWSS by 17 per cent, supplying 45 gigalitres of water per year or up to 140 millio n litres of water per day. I r will be the biggest single water source feeding into the IWSS and rhe largest reverse osmosis seawater desalination plan t in rhe southern hemisphere. It is a key part of rhe Water Corporation's Security th rough Diversity in itiative and, importantly, will provide a secu re sup ply o f water that is nor d ependent on rainfall.

The Authors Mark Oliver is the Project Manager for

San d, Gravel, Coal, Ga rnet, Manganese Greensand


Sy11t:m Serpentine - Oold l>vk


water field, you should consider advertising in Water Journal, the official journal of Australian Water Association. For information on advertising rates, please contact Brian Rault at Hallmark Editions, Tel (03) 8534 5000 or email brian.rault@halledit.com.au

Vi~ Systems & Solutions

p,cuisons have been based on Vinidex Vinyl Iron pipe and Supermain pipe.



Comoa"¡ 190 , I

RENEWAL OF PIPELINE PROTECTIVE COATING: ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PLAN P Chier, S Longmuir Abstract A single Environmental Management Plan was prepared for a fi ve-year painting program fo r trun k sewers and water mains, some of which ran th rough sensitive areas.

Introduction ActewAGL m anage water, sewerage, and power assets in the A ustralian Capital Territory (ACT) . While most of these assets are located within rhe built up area of Canberra, some major assets such as certain major trunk sewers and bulk water transm ission mains are located in environmentally sensitive areas outside the ciry. AcrewAGL d eveloped a program for the repainting of a number of these major assets over the period of July 2004 to June 2008. In the ACT, Enviro nmental Management Plans (EMPs) are usually required fo r C lass A or B activities (such as sewage treatmen t, abattoirs and major land development or construction) due to their potential fo r causing signi ficant environmental harm. However, under Section 43 o f ACT's Environment Protection Act (1 997), Environment ACT has che power co require an environmental authorisation, and therefore an EMP, for ocher activities they suspect may cause serious harm to the environ ment. The proposed asset painting program was determined to fall into the "other activities" category. AcrewAGL commissioned Ecowise Environmen tal to prepare an Environmental M anagement Plan for the program. A master document was to be created which covered all of the proposed projects in rhe five year painting program.

A pipe bridge on the MVIS.

The environmental impact ofActewAGL's pipe bridges painting program was found to be broader than expected. This approach avo ided the need for individual EMPs to be prepared for each p roject, saving rime and lowering the cost of each individual projects.

Assets and Sites The assets included in the painting program included: • overhead pipe bridges along the Molonglo Valley Interceptor Sewer (MVIS);

• overhead water pipe bridges from the Bendora Dam; • 60 0 mm and 900 mm d iameter water mains from Cotter d am; • clarifiers at the Googong water treatment plant; • the incinerator at the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre; • the ou tlet cower at Goo gong D am; and • the pump station at Googong Dam. T he MVIS is a 2,200 mm diameter gravity sewer. There are six pipe bridges on chis system which typically span 100 m to 250 m over gullies with heigh ts ranging from 8 m to 25 m above ground. Vegetation beneath and adjacent to rhe pipes bridges is mainly grassland with some small shrubs as many areas had recently been degraded by fire. T he gullies contain small streams which fl ow into rhe nearby Molonglo

With six of the best brand names in municipal and industrial water and waste water treatment, and over 100 years of experience, it is clear that we can find a solution for you. Tel: 02 4320 4755 e-mail: mark.houghton@glv.com find it all @www. glv.com

72 AUGUST 2006


Journal of the Australian Water Association




F/One Sewer Systems can make tough sites buildable - and, cut your sewering costs up to 50%. With F/One Sewer systems, you can develop parcels where gravity sewers are too expensive - or simply impossible to put in. No massive trenches. The F/One low pressure system uses a small main in a shallow trench that follows the contour of the land.

Easy in -

at half the cost.

You can sewer virtually anywhere. Including sites where old septic systems may be dying and polluting. And, F/One systems are totally reliable - no preventive maintenance, all but invisible.

Let us prove it - free. Send us the topo map for your next challenging project. We'll show you how an F/One system can make your project viable - and save you up to 50%over a conventional gravity system. Call, write, fax, or visit us on line. Environment One Corporation, 49n6 Bayview Street, Runaway Bay, Queensland, Australia 4216 Voice (07) 5537 8807 Fax (07) 5537 8809 www.eone.com/au A PCC Flow Technologies, Inc. Company

The Googong Clarifiers.

River. Two smaller pipe bridges, located in suburban Canberra were also included in the program with the Latham pipe bridge located in the Umbago ng District Park and the Woden pipe bridge located above a small tributary of the Molonglo River. The Bendora 1,400mm to 1,560mm diameter gravity pipeline is mostly buried but incorporates pipe bridges to cross gullies. The main is located in the Namadgi National Park which is nor only significant as a native flora and fa una sanctuary but is of great importance to the local Aboriginal people. The Bendora pipe bridges range from 50m to 60m in length with a height from the ground of 5m co 20 m. A 600mm above-ground pipeline runs along Corter Road from Cotter Pump Station down to rhe Strom lo Junction. A portion of chis main comprises cwo aboveground pipelines (600mm and 900mm diameter) . Both mains travel above-ground through grassland on Crown land and terminate at a major pipe junction known as Srromlo J unction. Access to rhe pipes was nor an issue as Cotter Road is a majo r thoroughfare. However, some sections run through or are directly adjacent to pastoral leasehold land. In common with most of che sites outside of che treatment plants, there was no access co electricity however water was available from fire tanker filling poin ts. The clari fie rs and pu mp station at Googo ng are located below rhe dam catchment, while the outlet cower is situated in the dam. The ; L,rifiers' mechanisms had been coated with lead-based paint which meant chat any :O"Haminated water and paint scrap ings ·e classified as a hazardous waste. All ' ,;UST 2006


drainage from the Googong Water Treatment Plant and rhe outlet rower discharged co the Queanbeyan River making captu re of all wash water important. T he incinerator at the LMWQC is located within a six storey building in che treatment plant complex, with all sire drainage discharged to the Molonglo River. The enclosed nature of rhe sire meant char spray application were co nsidered suitable in place of roller or brush application.

Study Design Major painting projects, such as repainting bridges, will typically have stringent

Limited access at a Bendora pipe bridge.

Journal of the Australian Water Association

environmental protection measures in place. H owever, a more comprehensive assessment of the environmental impacts and mitigation actions, in the form of an environmental management plan, was required in chis case because the pipe bridges traverse areas chat are ecologically sensitive. The study developed the environmental control measures using a risk-based approach. Each sire was inspected and assessments made of the condition of the surfaces to be repainted, the likely method of access to the structure, and the surrounding environ ment. Following this, all potential risks to the environmen t were identified and their likelihood and conseq uen rial severi cy assessed. A series of measures were then developed to manage each of the identified risks at each sire. The project was also required co identify the various permits required for the co nduce of the pai nting project and co obtain these permits. This avoided the need for individual contractors to apply for permits and was expected to shorten proj ect duration . Permits were sought and obtained for the: • removal of native timber; • use of a public place; • use of un-leased territory; • permission to access a gate or power box; and • permission to use a nature strip. The study was also required ro develop a comprehensive pre-commencement checklist together with a daily check list for use by contractors to ensure all

technical features

environmental controls are in place prior to commencement of work.

operations could also contaminate the soil and damage flo ra.

Environmental Issues

A number of the pipe bridge sites were in steep gullies with no sui table platforms to locate the cranes and other high-access equipment needed to reach the structures. T he construction of temporary access platforms was another cause of soil disturbance.

A sec of generic environmencal issues was identified which were each evaluated at each site. Noc all issues were relevant at each site with che painti ng projects at the Googong Water Treacmenc Plane and che Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre having a markedly differenc environmental risk profile to chose in che park and fo rest land surrou nding Canberra. T he following were considered the key areas of environmental risk associated with the project: • damage or destruction of flo ra and fauna; • damage or destruction of wildlife habitat; • weed infestation; • disturbance of heri tage sites; • co ntamination of soi l and waterways by painc, chemicals or fuel; • causing accidental fire; • so il compaction ; • so il erosion; • dust generation; • causing turbid runoff; • air poll ution fro m vehicular exhaust; and,

Heritage Namadgi National Park is of great importance to rhe local Aboriginal people and Aboriginal arti facts can still be found in this park. With the pipeline from Bendora Dam located in the park, procedures fo r handl ing any aboriginal artifacts needed co be incorporated into the EMP. Noise

The destruction of flo ra through vehicular movemenc, site establishment and general movement withi n the site could impact on fauna habitat. In pa rticular, the pipe bridges in the Molonglo Valley are located in the habitat of the pi nk-tail worm lizards (Aprasia parapulchefla), which are listed as vulnerable.

Och er than vehicular noise pollution, noise can also come from high-pressure hoses and generators. The remote location of the most pipe bridges meant chat noise problems were not envisaged at these sites although it was an issue at some locations along the Cotter pipeline where the pipe passed close to farm houses and at the Woden pipe bridge which is located close ro houses.

T he Nature Conservation Act 1980 mandates chat the removal or damage of native timber greater than 2 m in height will require a licence from Environment ACT. Such a licence was required at one of the pipe bridges in the Molonglo Valley where several significanc trees have branches in close proximity to the pipeline and would interfere with access for pai nting.

Waste and energy All waste generated on the job sires needed ro be removed ro avoid polluting the ground and waterways as well as ro maintain the aesthetics of the sites. Fuel usage on-site was an issue as spillage can contam inate the soi l and poll ute the waterways. There is also the potential of starting a bushfire if fuel usage and storage

Flora and fauna

• diminished aesthetic value of the site.



Vehicular movemenc to and from the site has a potential to cause noise and air poll ution chat can disturb nearby residents. In the parks where roads or cracks to the painti ng sites are not availab le, vehicular movement can damage flora, which may lead to the exposure of bare soil with subsequenc erosion, and dust generatio n. Access to the Bendora pipe bridges is by a rugged, narrow four- wheel drive crack. This raised issues creating parki ng areas for construction vehicles to allow ocher pipeline maintenance traffic to pass the site unhi ndered. Soil and water

All structures to be painted req ui red surface preparation in varying degrees. This generally involved removal of some or all of the existing coating, dependi ng on its condition, by manual washing or high pressure hosing. These processes generate wastewater chat is co ncaminated with paint. As some pipe bridges are situated close co waterways, it was imporcanc to co ncain the runoff The concrol of the washwacer from some of the very high pipe bridges was a particular challenge due to the possibility of wind moving the contami nated water over a large area. Spillage and dripping of paint and ocher chemicals during recoati ng

"More UFRVs for your money, and better quality water"

C&S BRAND GRANULAR & POWDERED ACTNATED CARBONS JAMES CUMMING & SONS PTY LTD 319 Parramatta Rd AUBURN NSW 2144 Phone: (02) 9748 2309 Fax: (02) 9648 4887

Email: jamescurnming@jamescumming.com.au

Journal of the Australian Water Association




technical features

Table 1. The overa ll ri sk level for an activity at a si te.

an activity at a site was determined using the matrix show n in T able l .

Consequences Likelihood (score)

Insignificant (1)

Almost certain

moderate (5)

(5) Likely

Extensive sire-activity specific risk cables were prepared chat d efin ed each of the activities char would occur at the sire and identified the associated h azards. For each of the associated hazard s a number o f risks were identifi ed and each was ranked using the methods described above.


moderate (4)

(4) Possible (3)


An example of a typical outcome for painti ng a pipe bridge is shown in Table 2.






low (4)

Rare (1)









moderate (5)

N o r surprisingly, the pipe bridges at Bendora had the highest risk levels and the controls adop ted fo r these sites were ad opted across all project activities .

Conclusions on -site is not co ntro lled. The fire issue was critical as memo ries of the recent devastating C anberra fi res were fresh .

Social environment

• traffi c to and fro m th e sire; • upgrade of tracks; • sire esrablishmen t; • surface preparation for painting;

Norwirhsranding the environmental man agement issu es, it was important to consid er the so cial impact char the maintenance works would have on the surrou nd ing neigh bourhood and com m unity at large. T he project needed to be conducted in a manner char any noise, air pollution and visual impact are reduced and that the ameni ty of the locality be maintained .

Risk Assessment In order to determ ine the level o f risk of the activities on each sire, a thorough risk assessment was co nducted. Based on th e environmental management issues mentioned earl ier, the main activities that may impact on the enviro nment were fou nd to be:

• painting of structures; • use of sire amen ities; and, • worksire demobilisatio n and site restorat1on. A standard risk assessment protocol was used with each activity being allocated scores fo r likelihood and consequences. Likelihood scores ranged fro m 1 to 5 and were allocated using a combinat ion of probability and frequency. A score of I related to a prob ab ili ty of less than 2% with a freq uency of o nce in fi ve years, while a sco re o f 5 related to a probability of greater than 98 % and an almost continuous frequency. Consequen ce racings ranged from insignifican t to catastroph ic with four intermed iate levels. The overall risk level for

Table 2. Typical outco me for painting a pipe bridge. Activity - Painting of Structures Hazards

Use of paint


Paint spills on soil

Ri sk

Ri sk





Suggested Controls

Have spill kit available


Paint spills on flora/fauna



Cover ground with protective sheet Have spill kit available


Use non -toxic paint. Have spill kit available Use brush or roller in preference to spray

Vandals access paint

Paint spills on soil


Paint spills in waterways


Paint spills on flora/fauna


76 AUGUST 2006



Have spill kit available Store paint in locked shed


Have spill kit available Store paint in locked shed


The Authors Patty Chier is an Environmental Engineer with Ecowise Environ ment and was p roject manager for the study, email: p chier@ecowwise. co m. au; Stuart Longmuir is a Princip al Consul rant with Ecowise Environmental and was Project Director for the study, email: slongmuir@ecowise.com.au .

Cover ground with protective sheet Avoid painting on windy days

Paint spills in waterways

The environ mental impact o f ActewAGL's p ipe b rid ges painting program was found to be broader than expected , particularly in areas where pipes o r bridges are located in sensitive ecological environments. T h e EM P enab led AcrewAGL to have a consistent plan, policy and proced ures to ensure chat all sites are treated with the righ t level of care. The risk assessment helped AcrewAG L understand which sires were more environmentally vulnerab le to the maintenance activities and how the environ mental impacts can be reduced. O verall savings in cost and time are expected by prepari ng a master document applicable to all proposed projects in the program. It is also expected chat the report will provid e a valuab le temp late for the d evelopment of EMPs fo r fu ture p rojects.

Have spill kit available Store paint in locked shed

Journal of the Australian Water Association

Water Advertising To reach the decision-makers in the water field, you should consider advertising in Water Journal, the official journal of Australian Water Association. For information on advertising rates, please contact Brian Rault at Hallmark Editions, Tel (03) 8534 5000 or email brian.rault@halledit.com.au

technical features

DELIVERING SAFE WATER AND SANITATION: WORKING WITH AND FOR THE POOR D Jackson In Australia, Darryl Jackson works mostly w ith Water Companies on a broad range of "mainstream" engineering projects. Darryl is a member of WaterAid Australia's Project Advisory committee and assists several non-government aid agencies in the water sector. Introduction Nearly one fifth of rhe planer's population sti ll lacks access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation (1.1 bill ion for water and 2.4 bill ion for sani tation) . T his situation is technically unnecessary as well as morally unsupportable. Bur what can we do? How can we ensure char scare reso urces are used efficiently? What so re of interventions work best? Ir is important fo r us Austral ian water professionals to appreciate and understand what effective water aid is, and how it works. T his app reciation helps us to better con tribute our skills and experience (and $!).

•• •• •• • I

Large infrastructure National/Regional Grassroots

Figure 1. Four levels of water and sanitation development.

The technical narn re of rhe work is generally nor complex. On rhe contrary, in many cases it appears to be qui te "simple". What is di fficul t is gaining an insight into the complex social, economi c and culrn ral circumstances. The key ro understanding comes from looking at water and sanitation in development contexts th rough the lens of rhe poor. Of course, we can't co mpletely enter into their experience, but we can only begi n to help when we have a learn ing attitude. Successful and effective aid and development in the water sector has many simi larities to effective co mmuni ty consu ltation in the Australian water industry. One needs a world view which rejects "the illusion chat

This article follows the author's presentation made at WaterAid Australia's AGM in April 2006.


..... [engineers/planners) .. dispense nuggets of truth to a needy populace" (Ravitz 1986, p 427). We are nor Gods gift to che poor unless we work in partnership with chem and respect their world. Four Levels of WatSan W ork Effective water and san itation (WarSan} development projects involve working with and for the poor at several differe nt levels. Ac a local/regional level, we wo rk with the poor, understanding their context and standing alongside chem in their struggles. At other levels (see Figure 1), we may work fo r the poor, advocating pro-poor policies, helping to put in place infrastructure and governance chat will benefit the poor di rectly or ind irectly. Ac all levels, however, we must never loose the poverty alleviation focus. The grassroots work foc uses on small scale WacSan projects at a local level. This is often (but not always) the main domain of Non-Government O rganisations (NGOs) . Although the infrastructure oupucs may be individually small, such proj ects often impact on scores of thousa nds of people. Agencies like WarerAid Australia (WM) generally have co mmunities as their key or

grassroo ts beneficiary. Ar chis level we supplement the poor's resources and complement their knowledge with ou r technical skills. This is necessary as, typically, these people are not being reached by government services.

The seco nd level seeks ro coordinate and influence local and regional WacSan efforts in order to make the greatest gains to the beneficiaries. Typical activities include research (e.g. techni cal and communi ty process) and policy development (e.g. national or regional water quality policies). Players more frequently include government agencies and international Aid Agencies or govern ments, bu t NGOs also play key roles in many aspects. WacerAid partners in many countries have influenced a county's or region 's warer strategy and continue to do so. T his work typically encou rages a more even distribu tion of resources away from the rich towards the poor. The third level in Figure I focuses on providing the necessary water and sanitation/sewerage infrastructure. O ften chis component has an urban focus or supplies a large num ber of ru ral communities with a piped warer supply system. Ir is relatively expensive and therefore fundi ng is more typically from govern ments, banks like the World Bank or Asian Development Bank, or bi-lateral aid from developed countries. Australian water professionals generally feel at home in rhis type of work (once we've learned to adjust from some of our "norms" to rhe local context) . Providing rhe infrastructure also entails institutional strengthening co mponents. Whilst rhe technology level may be similar to what we use in the west, connecting the poor to services involves extensive community development components, nor just service delivery.

Journal of the Australian Water Association


AUGUST 2006 77

technical features

The fourth level is similar to rhe second level bur has a more global focus. United Nations agencies (e.g. WHO) play key roles bur International NGOs often have significant advocacy influences (e.g. Drop rhe Debt campaigns, Make Poverty History and WarerAid UK's Private Sector Participation reports). This article discusses rhe grassroots level in more derail. This is nor to dimi nish rhe necessity of the other intervention levels. Each has its place. Together all four interventions form part of an effe ctive fight against global poverty in the water and sanitation sector. WatSan Development

In the WarSan field, development is "increasingly understood to be a process whereby people learn to rake charge of their own lives and their problems. Helping people to solve their p roblems by givi ng chem things and doing things for them makes them more dependent and less willing to solve their own problems. [Givi ng things] .. . can nor be called development: on rhe contrary, it is the very op posite o f development" (Kerr et al 1996). This develop ment approach is very d ifferent from the fee for service or infrastructure d elivery approach chat rends to dominate the water industry in countries like Australia. Introductio n of inappropriate tech nology or inappropriate introduction of appropriate technology is often the cause of new problems rather than creating a solurion. For us Australian water professionals, chis may mean changing our perspective. Water professionals (in both the first and third worlds) rend to have an infrastructure-centric view of the urban environment as Figure 2 illustrates. Grassroot WarSan issues, however, need to be viewed from the householder's perspective. Figure 3 illustrates how urban dwellers have a household-centric perspective. Seeing problems through the eyes of the poor is crucial to effective WatSan development.

Rural/Urban WatSan work Most NGOs rend to focus on the grassroots development. This is simply because this is where the poverty burden lies. The vast majority of poor people who lack suitable water and sanitation are rural dwellers. WarSan work therefore fo cuses on rural com munities.

what happens on their very small plot of land (if they do own land ). T h e support services for even th e simplest p iece of equipment can be minimal or non existent. U rban work is also important, particularly in p eri-urban areas and in slum areas of mega cities. This is likely to be a growing focus for WarSan work. The tech nical support services fo r these urban areas is better than for rural areas bur the particular issues to be dealt with are high densities and affordability.

3-Legged WatSan Stool Regardless o f wh ether a WarSan project is working in urban or rural contexts, or regardless of wh ich of the fou r levels it is operating, good WatSan p rojects rend to have three main legs chat support a project's overall goal. While o ne can sir on a one-legged stool, it isn't very comfortable and quickly becomes unstable. Go od WarSan projects need to have all three sup ports - otherwise the gains made in the short term will be lost in 4- 5 years (i.e. rhe development work would be unsustainable). The three supports are: infrastructure, management, an d behaviour change (see Figu re 4).

Infrastructure: Making Things As water p rofessionals and especially engineers, we rend to focus on the infrastructure leg - its what we feel most comfortable with, and often where we fee l we can better contri bute. We need however, to bear in mind the differences in o ur infrastructure and what is ap propriate in development contexts. The infrastructure can vary from the most simple (e.g. dug well or simple pit latrine) to more complex issues like developing strategies. These policies, migh t, for example, mitigate the likely effects of high naturally occu rring arsen ic, o r develop a sustainable





io <D 0,


Being rural brings a lot of challenges to us Aussie. In Australia, our rural/ urban split is of the order of 10/90, It is roughly the inverse ratio in most developing countries. As a tourist, life can look quite idyllic in rural areas, bur rural life in developi ng cou ntries is quire different to our Australian rural life. The livelihood of a typical fa mily in a developing country is directly and solely dependent o n Figure 2. Typical engineer's a nd planner's perspective.




io <D 0,

River alld Environs

Community participation - women carrying gravel for village water system in Tanzania.




Journal of the Australian Water Association

Figure 3. Typical householder's perspective.

small village level warer creacmenr facility. All infrascruccure, however, muse be appropriate and sustainable.

Management: Keeping Things Going

T he seco nd suppo rt aims co maximise rhe successful selfmanagement of rhe water or Appropriate technology sanitation system. !rs effectiveness is related ro rhe ~ ,.,,.,oo"'""" In simple terms being Management choice of, and introduction of, appropriate means char the appropriate and sustainable I infrastru cture technology muse be able co be tech nology as discussed above run by the people themselves e.g. in making sure rhe system is (as govern ment services usually Figure 4. Three p illars of WatSan p rojects. affordable, acceptable and run our before they reach th e technically sou nd. T he focus of maintained by rhem. !rs introd uction will poor) with licrle input from outside their rhis management support, however, is on normal "world" and be replicable. When a require substantial traini ng as part of che empowering the local community co run a WatSan project is visited a few years after program. le is important nor co make scheme themselves. direct input has ceased, we don' t wanr co assumptions based on our public knowledge We've learned a lot of lessons about discover char the villagers have reverted co and culcu ral practices. Ma ny WacSan an unsafe warer supply because rhe "simple" develop men t over rhe years. A key lesson is projects have failed because they haven't rhat giving rh ings has Iimired usefu lness valve broke and rhey did n't have rhe money raken into accou nt diffe rent cultural co fi x it, it wasn' t available in rhe marker, or (e.g. Kerr et a/ 1996). Whar really counts is practices - e.g. separati on of latrines for they d idn't know what co do. empowering people co make changes in women and men in some cultures. their own lives. Projects have co fi nish some "Simple technology" does not mean rhar it In rhe Australi an water industry today, we rime. Project sraff move on co orher areas. does not require carefu l planning and acknowledge that sustai nability covers many When projects leave behind people who carefu l choices between options. John iss ues bur rhere is often a general association know how co maintain and continue rhe of rhe term wirh "environmental Pickford, a veteran practitioner and changes, char makes fo r lasti ng di ffe rences. researcher in WacSan work, comments rhar sustainability" . From rhe infrasrruccure Some key questions that need co be "appropriate techno logy for wa rer supply perspective, WarSan practitioners add ressed in rhis support include: and sanitation is nor someth ing any idiot understand rhar while enviro nmental can do as some soph isticated technologists sustainabi lity is needed and desirable, rhe • Is rhe warer comm irree active and able? realities of rhe developi ng wo rld mea n rhac imply. Ir is, in fact, much more demand ing Are rhe costs affordable, achievable and than conventional work". Even rhe humble we can't always provide rhe "besr" so lution. recoverable? pit latrine has a wide variety of optio ns co We learn ro identify rhe primary purpose of • Do rhey have proven skills co keep co nsider and maki ng a good choice ca n be any inrervenrion and ini tially focus on rhar, account books properly? very sire specific. someti mes compromising on orher issues. • Are plans are in place fo r short & long Box 1 highlights some of rhe choices co be T hese complications are well illusrrared by term ma.intenan ce and breakdowns, and made in appropriate technology. rhe choices facing WarSan practitioners rhey are realistic and achievable? when deciding appropriate arseni c removal Box 2 shows rhar inrrod ucrion of new • Do they have cools and spares fo r technologies ar a household or vi llage level. techn ology considers many factors outside ca retakers and how quickly can rhey be T he fi nal so lution may be "simple of the technology itself. accessed? technology" from an Australia warer Sustainable technology • Does rhe scheme serve all members of rhe engineer's perspective bur only works co mm unity - especially wo men and rhe Sustainable technology is technology rhac because he/she has understood rhe realities disadvantaged, elderly and disable groups? not only achieves irs intended technical of rhe techn ica l and social issues and has pu rpose, but also is likely co be acceptable sought co choose appropriate and • ls the project likely co be environmentally co rhe commu nity and wi ll be able co be sustai nable technology. sustainable?



Box 1. Appropriate technology should :

Box 2. People will use an

• Be as inexpensive as possible wirhou r jeopardising the effectiveness of rhe inrervenrions sought

interventi on if they:

• Be easy to operate and main rain ar village or community level, or municipal level and not demand a high level of technical skill or a massive deployment of professional engineers • Rely on locally produced materials rather than on externally provided equipment and spares parts, where this is practical • Make effective use of local labour, especially in areas where there is a surplus of labour

• • • •

know abou t it can easily access ir feel ir will do them some good think friends and neighbours would approve • see their friends and neighbours using It

• Facilitate the participation of village communities in its operation and maintenance • Be compatible with local values and preferences

• understand how ro use it • feel able to, and comfortable using it • will nor lose whar rhey have by adopting it

Source: WHO 1987

Source: UNICEF

• Facilitate and encourage the local manufact ure of equipment and parts

Journal of the Australian Water Association


AUGUST 2006 79

technical features

Behaviour Change: Making Good Use of Things WatSan p rojects a re essentially health projects. Providing effective water a nd sanitation systems is really about improvi ng the health of people. In Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia it is estimated chat each child under 5 years of age suffers, on average, th ree episodes of diarrhoea per year. (UN, 2006). G iven the links berween poor water a nd sanitation facilities and health , diarrhoea is generally used as an indicator of the success of water/sanitation projects - similar to how E Coli is used as an indicator organism for bacteriological conta mination of water sup ply. Toilets are therefore an integral part of any WatSan project. WatSan projects focus one's attention on the fundamental environm ental sanitation a nd water supply principles. Austral ia's alm ost universal coverage of safe water supply and sanitation systems can allow water professionals in Australia to forget these basic principles. In emergency and development contexts, research has clearly shown the relative importa nce of various W acSan interventio ns in red ucing diarrhoea. As T able 1 shows, the rwo most importa nt practices to red uce diarrhoea a re safe excreta disposal and appropriate domestic hygie ne practices. In contrast, water quality has much less impact. T he research doesn 't say we should ignore water quality. Water quality becomes more important as water coverage increases. In Australia, of course, we have achieved very high water coverage rates and th erefo re water quality has become a ch ief m a nagement and technical issue. Australia's attention to HACCPs and risk management is therefore justi fi ed. In d evelopment con texts the same principles apply (e.g. see d iscussion of Water Safety Plans in Nabedaum 2006) but the application is carried out in a very different context. So what does this mean for WatSan development projects at the grassroots level? It means that WacSan p rojects often focus on the humble pit latrine and simple roilets. To make th is technology effective in imp roving people's health and sustainable, peop le need to know the how and why of using "things". Education and participatory learning therefo re become major activities of good WatSan p rojects. T hese are so •11etim es referred to as the "sofrware" w·nponents to d istinguish these activities ,,m the " hardwa re" or infrastructure ,mponents. Participatory learning tries to achieve changed behaviours in water ·andl ing and in person al hygiene.

<Ul AUGUST 2006


Projects using the PHAST (Pa rticipatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation, WHO 1998) approach for example, help people to feel more con fide nt about themselves and their ability to take action and make improvements in their communi ties. A project buil t around a PHAST approach seeks to help communities improve hygiene behaviours, prevent d iarrhoeal d iseases and encou rage community managem ent of water and sanitation facilities. Achieving lasting changed behaviours is not easy or predictable. It takes time and trust on both sides . It also takes money and resources and often forms a major part of WatSan projects. It is the third leg of o ur three legged WatSan srool but som etim es the most neglected leg. When it is neglected, projects often fai l in th e medium term.

Conclusion WatSan proj ect are not just directly health related. Time saved by villagers in collecting safe water allows much more ti me to be spent on a wide vari ety of livelihood activities. Safety a nd d ignity is given co women , the aged and disabled. Education for boys bu t especially for girl students increases. People are empowered to take control of their own lives. T h ese are all achieved only when the three supports of infrastructure, m anagem ent a nd behaviour change are provided. Together these m ake for effective water a nd sanitation proj ects .

The Author Darryl Jackson

is a Senior Engin eer with M WH (formerly of Earth Tech), working on a broad range of "m ainstream" engineering projects. H e also has several years experience in the water developm ent secto r in third world countries. Email da rryl.j ackson@mwhglobal.com

References DIFID 1998 Guidance manual on water supply a nd sanitation programmes. Prepared by Water and Environmental H ealt h (WELL). Published by WEDC (Water Engineering and D evelopment Centre) for Department for International Development, Loughborogh,UK.

Toilets and handwashing - key elements for healthy outcomes in Kenya. Esrey, S., and H abicht, J., ( I 986) Epidemiological evidence for health benefits from improved water and sanication in developing countries, Epidemiological Reviews, 1, I 17-128 in Ferron, 2., Morgan, J., and O'Reilly, M., 2000, Hygiene Promotion, A practical manual for relief and development. lTDG Publishing, London. Kerr, J.M. Shangi, N.K. and Sriramapopa, G ( 1996). Subsidies in watershed development projects in India: Dist ractions and opportunities. Gatekeeper Series No. 6, IIED in Lovell, C. (2000). Productive Water Points in Dryland Areas: Guidel ines on integrated planing fo r rural water supply lTDG London. Nabedaum, P., & Baker, A., Rural water supplies in Bangladesh. An AusArD project. Water Vol 33 No. 2 pp 60-72 Pickford, J. (1982), People and the D ecade technology and commun ity, in Waterlines Vol I No. 2 published by l nrermediate technology Publications, London Ravetz, J.R. (l 986). Usable knowledge, usable ignorance: incomplete science with policy implicat ions, in Sustainable development of the biosphere, W.C. Clarke and R .E. Munns (eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 415-434 UN, 2006, T he United Nations World Water Development Report 2 Water a shared responsibility. Available at http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/ 0014/00 I 444/ I 44409E.pdf UNICEF - internal document source unknown W H O (1987) Technology fo r water supply and sanitation in developing countries. Technical Re po rt Series 742, World Health Organisation, G eneva in Lovell 2000

Productive Water Points in Drylnnd Arens. G uidelines on integrated planning for rural water supply, !TOG Publishing, London WHO (1998), PHAST step-by-step guide: A participatory approach for the control of d iarrhoeal diseases, World H ealth Organisation, Geneva, available at www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/ hygiene/ en vsan/ phasrep/en/

Table 1, Effectiveness of WatSan interventions in d iarrhoea reduction. % reduction of diarrhea lnterventian Safe excrete disposal Domestic hygiene/water handling Water quantity/ accessibility Water quality

Source - Based on Esrey and Habicht {1986)

Journal of the Australian Water Association

Intervention focuses on



30 20 15-20

Changed behaviours Infrastructure WQ mgt - collective or ho usehold