Current Magazine May 2018

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THE AUSTRALIAN WATER ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE May 2018

Volume 2 No 2

Urban HOW GREEN-BLUE INFRASTRUCTURE CAN MITIGATE A CHANGING CLIMATE

A booming blockchain movement in the water industry

The role of water for an emerging Space Agency

The deal with digitally connected water meters


Are you in the dark about your data? You don’t have to be. See the light at servelectechnologies.com/data

RTU HARDWARE

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|

TELEMETRY / SCADA

|

O P T I M I S AT I O N S O F T WA R E

23/4/18 9:59 am


Making Making data data work work for for the the water water industry industry World-class World-classtelemetry telemetrysolutions solutionsthat thatsave save time timeand andmoney moneyby bysimplifying simplifyingautomation automation and andexploiting exploitingdata datain inreal-time. real-time.

Plus Plus

Kingfisher KingfisherPlus Plusisisaamodular modularautomation automationplatform platformfor forcritical criticalSCADA SCADAapplications applications that thatminimises minimisesthe theoverall overallcost costof ofownership ownershipfor forwater watercompanies. companies. Kingfisher KingfisherPlus PlusCP-35 CP-35 The Thebrand brandnew newprocessing processingmodule moduleprovides: provides: •• 1GHz 1GHzprocessing processingpower power •• Enhanced Enhancedcyber cybersecurity securityfeatures features •• Immediate Immediateon-site on-siteaccess accessto toinformation information via viaon-board on-boardOLED OLEDdisplay display

Optimal Optimaloperational operationalresource resourceplanning planning

PIONEER PIONEERisisweb-based web-baseddecision decisionsupport supportsoftware software which whichdelivers deliversoptimal optimalasset assetmanagement management planning planningand andoperational operationalstrategies strategiesthat thatdeliver deliver service serviceand andperformance performanceimprovements. improvements.

MISER MISERisisaawater waternetwork networkmanagement management advisory advisorytool. tool.MISER MISERhelps helpswater watercompanies companies make makeinformed informedoperational operationaland andinvestment investment planning planningdecisions. decisions.

D DA AT TA A O OP PT T II M M II S SA AT T II O ON N

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Optimal Optimalasset assetmanagement managementplanning planning

DA AT TA A A AC CQ QU U II S S II T T II O ON N A AN ND D C CO OM MM MU UN N II C CA AT T II O ON N D

Proudly Proudlydesigned, designed,manufactured manufacturedand andsupported supportedatatour ourMelbourne Melbournefacility, facility,our our Kingfisher KingfisherPlus Plusremote remotetelemetry telemetryunits unitsenable enableour ourcustomers customersto tocollect collectand and communicate communicatedata datafrom fromremote remotelocations locationsand andthe theharshest harshestenvironments. environments.

27/4/18 2:43 pm


Eliminate last minute maintenance emergencies. Predictive Diagnostics System

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Nutrients

Oxygen

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Current CO N T EN TS

M a y 2 0 18

T H E AU ST R A L I A N WAT E R A S S O C I AT I O N M AG A Z I N E

FEATURES

20 26 30 38 46 56 62 70 78 84 90 96

SELLING WATER INITIATIVES David Littleproud on efforts the government should take to improve water issues in Australia. BUILDING ON WATER RESEARCH Professor Zhiguo Yuan on his efforts to continually bring positive change to the industry. MENTORING DUO This mentoring pair keep challenging each other through listening and idea sharing. URBAN HEAT Challenging conventional thinking around the role of water in mitigating urban heat. AGRIBUSINESS GREENHOUSES Identifying the shift in agricultural production as a result of modern greenhousing methods. DRONES IN WATER Assessing developments in unmanned aerial systems and vehicles to streamline and enhance water infrastructure processes. AUSTRALIA’S HYDROPOWERED FUTURE Is pumped hydro energy storage the potential saviour of Australia’s energy grid? THE QUEST FOR WATER EFFICIENCY The pursuit of water efficiency solutions in the face of the challenges of expanding populations, economic growth and shifting climate. BLOCKCHAIN IN WATER This distributed ledger system paves its way into the water industry, ensuring transparency in some systems and privacy in others. THE IOT OF WATER METERS With narrowband IoT enabled smart water meters becoming a reality for utilities, is Australia ready for this wave of tech? SWIMMABLE WATERS Much has changed and more needs to be done to make Parramatta river swimmable by 2025. LOOKING DOWN FROM SPACE The newly created Space Agency could hold the answers to some of Australia’s water problems.

www.awa.asn.au

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Current CO N T EN TS

T H E AUST R A L I A N WAT ER ASSO C I AT I O N M AG A Z I N E

90

46

20

30 96

NEWS

TECHNICAL

10 12 14 16

From the Chief Executive

107

Water quality

From the President’s desk

108

Water quality, regulation &

Association news What’s online?

INDUSTRY 26

110

Wastewater treatment & sustainability

113

Wastewater treatment & energy

114

Water treatment & membrane

20

David Littleproud

26

Professor Zhiguo Yuan

30

Mentoring spotlight

116

Remote indigenous water

Liquid labs

118

Policy & regulation

The last drop

121

Hydrology & groundwater

122

Data analytics & visualisation

124

Public private partnerships

102 138

EVENTS

6

interpretation

34

Australian Water Awards

130

Social pages

systems

(in Vietnamese)

126

Customer engagement

www.awa.asn.au

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Current

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T H E AUST R A L I A N WAT E R ASSO C I AT I O N M AG A Z I N E

CHIEF EXECUTIVE Jonathan McKeown Email: jmckeown@awa.asn.au National Manager – Events and Marketing: Kirsty Blades Email: kblades@awa.asn.au TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Dr Robbert van Oorschot (Chair), GHD; Ted Gardner, Frank R Bishop (rtd), GHD; Chris Davis (rtd), Australian Water Association; Dr Andrew Bath, Water Corporation; Michael Chapman, GHD; Dr Dharma Dharmabalan, TasWater; Robert Ford (rtd), Central Highlands Water; Dr Lionel Ho, Allwater; Karen Rouse, Water Research Australia (WaterRA); Dr Tim Muster, CSIRO Land and Water; David Power, BECA Consultants; Dr Ashok Sharma, Victoria University. Technical Co-Ordinator: Natalija Gagic Email: journal@awa.asn.au

Current is the official quarterly magazine for members of the Australian Water Association. 655 Pacific Highway, St Leonards, Sydney, NSW 2065 Phone: (02) 9436 0055 Email: info@awa.asn.au

369a Darling St, Balmain, Sydney, NSW 2041 Managing Editor: James Chalmers Email: james@mahlab.co Editor: Hafizah Osman Email: hafizah@mahlab.co Graphic Design: Matt Caulfield, Gary Humphrys and Liam Gardner Senior Account Manager: Ella McGuire Email: ella@mahlab.co Advertising Manager: Val Glendinning Email: val@mahlab.co

EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS: Acceptance of editorial submissions is at the discretion of the editors and editorial board. TECHNICAL PAPERS: Submissions should be 3000–4000 words long and accompanied by relevant graphics, tables and images. To submit a paper or for more detailed submission guidelines, please email journal@awa.asn.au NEWS AND FEATURES: News tips, submissions and press releases should be sent to hafizah@mahlab.co COPYRIGHT: Current is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced in any format without the written permission of AWA. Email hafizah@mahlab.co DISCLAIMER: The Association assumes no responsibility for opinions or statements of fact expressed by contributors or advertisers. Mention of particular brands, products or processes does not constitute an endorsement.

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www.awa.asn.au

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ADVERTORIAL

Next-gen urban drainage keeping cities safe As global climates become increasingly unpredictable, authorities are turning to smart urban stormwater management solutions to better anticipate and manage the risk of flooding and untreated water discharge. SUEZ’s innovative AQUADVANCED® Urban Drainage technology is leading the charge.

The port city of Bordeaux’s hydrographic situation makes it particularly susceptible to flooding. Built on a bend of the Garonne River in France’s southwest, it is vulnerable both to the river’s recurrent water level rises and a local climate highly conducive to storms. In rainy seasons, the volume and quality of water discharged into the local environment can have a devastating impact on infrastructure and on the public health and safety of the city’s 200,000 inhabitants. Rainy period urban discharge quality has been directly linked to negative environmental impacts in the region since the late 1990’s. A volume of 11.2 million cubic metres had been discharged into the receiving environment as recently as 2012, and the looming threat placed regional water policy at the fore for Bordeaux Métropole. The solution lay in AQUADVANCED Urban Drainage, a technologically advanced sewer and stormwater management solution developed by SUEZ. “AQUADVANCED Urban Drainage offers an integrated solution to monitoring, predicting and ultimately managing stormwater networks in real time,” explained General Manager Business Development for SUEZ, Stuart Gowans. “From this detailed monitoring comes a unique ability to anticipate flood risks both accurately and well in advance, preventing overflows into streets, rivers or harbours. It also allows us to analyse water quality at outlets such as rivers and oceans to avert potential environmental harm.” SUEZ worked with the municipality to map the deployment of AQUADVANCED Urban Drainage across its

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assets, including 3,000 kilometres of rain and wastewater mains. Working with Bordeaux’s existing assets, SUEZ adapted equipment designed to combat flooding to build in capacity to minimise pollution, manage 260 devices and 11,000 settings, and monitor 41 rainfall recorders with 211 levels and 22 flow rates. Bordeaux’s AQUADVANCED Urban Drainage system was fully operational in December 2012. Within one year of operation, the city experienced an impressive 30 per cent reduction in discharge volume. “This meant that Bordeaux could respond to the July 2013 forecasts for heavy rain, emptying the system in anticipation of the volumes it would need to absorb and managing controlled structures in real time,” said Stuart. “Today, Bordeaux’s system functions at near to full capacity in wet weather. Optimised storage in retention structures and better management of treatment facilities has also saved the city €30 million.” AQUADVANCED Urban Drainage is a powerful tool for water utilities here in Australia to enhance operational efficiency, public safety and environmental protection in stormwater and wastewater networks. “SUEZ has put a great deal of research and development into creating smart digital solutions that protect cities and the environment,” he said. “AQUADVANCED Urban Drainage is a significant part of our investment in transforming the water management sector across the globe.”

23/3/18 11:39 am 26/4/18 2:35 pm


From the Chief Executive

EVOLVING OUR DIGITAL PLATFORM TO SERVICE MEMBERS This month’s Ozwater Conference and Exhibition provides opportunities to meet face-toface about technical advances in operations and management, new market and customer trends, and the latest technology and scientific developments affecting the water sector. The event is entirely managed by our dedicated staff and volunteers. What this means is that the industry’s financial contributions to Ozwater are returned to the water industry via the services and activities offered by the Association. Whilst Ozwater shall remain the premier event of the Association’s calendar, we are continuing to evolve our digital platform to enable the vast knowledge and expertise from events like Ozwater to be shared as widely as possible. This requires us to provide access to our digital platform to not only our members, but also other sectors of the Australian economy, and the fast-developing markets of the Asia Pacific. Through the agreements between the Association and our counterpart national water organisations across Asia, the digital content of the Association has a potential reach of more than 45,000 water professionals and more than 20 million people directly linked to water projects across Australia and Asia. Our social media platforms continue to engage new people each month and lead them to our digital platforms. In addition, the continued decline of printed publications in favour of more up-to-date, online publications is changing the way our society consumes and disseminates information. The move to more accessible digital information is what our industry wants and what the industry’s customers now expect. The Association’s digital communications continue to demonstrate industry leading engagement with 35% open rates and 28% click rates for our weekly national e-newsletter, Source. The Association’s Podcast Series, launched last year, offers water sector information, project updates and the latest research from professionals working in Australia and abroad. Currently our channel has 10 podcast interviews, with 2170 unique downloads. Members and the wider water sector will see an increase in podcast interviews appearing on our channel with interviews from Branch events, the Channeling Change Program, International activities, and Ozwater’18. The Association’s video library continues to grow with content from Ozwater, Branch events and technical seminars, our Water Utility Improvement Program, Channeling Change interviews and State conferences now available for people to watch on any device. Since the start of the year we have had an additional 82 videos added to our YouTube channel, bringing the total videos up to 161. With this increased video content we have seen 92 subscribers sign up to our channel and 55,574 unique views of video content this year alone. Currently we have over 1460 technical papers from the online Water e-Journal, past conferences, previous Ozwater conferences, and other technical papers for members to access. In water-related Google searches, the Association’s website continues to appear on the first page, demonstrating our strong search engine optimisation strategy. These digital changes are evolving quickly. Our own ‘jobs platform’ for the water industry, H2Oz, has seen considerably more traffic since we streamlined the platform with more user-friendly resume and job search features. Our QLD Branch also developed a new student engagement portal for this site. Since the beginning of last month, the H2Oz website has received more than 7400 unique page views. With the move of the Water Journal online and the increasing use of the digital version of our Current magazine, the Association has come a long way since it printed eight editions of the Water Journal per year and monthly printed newsletters – only three years ago. We are now working on the best way to integrate all these different types of content from videos, podcasts and articles into a single ‘info hub’ that members will find easy to use and search. The Association looks forward to announcing further digital advances over the next few months. Our digital capabilities will continue to shape how the Association delivers information, networking, and recognition to our members.

THE MOVE TO MORE ACCESSIBLE DIGITAL INFORMATION IS WHAT OUR INDUSTRY WANTS AND WHAT THE INDUSTRY’S CUSTOMERS NOW EXPECT.

Jonathan McKeown Australian Water Association Chief Executive

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www.awa.asn.au

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27/4/18 4:47 pm


Every year during Stantec in the Community Week, we come together across Australia to give back to the communities we call home.

5 offices 78 staff

Planting, weeding, garden care, litter collection and harvesting fresh produce.

Stantec.com/Australia

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From the President’s desk

A MEETING OF MANY GREAT MINDS Ozwater’18 brings together the greatest of minds in the water industry to discuss the issues and trends currently impacting the water sector. It’s a fantastic opportunity for professionals to network with industry experts from across the country in a space where attendees are encouraged to think big, ask questions and share their knowledge. Change brings opportunity and the overarching theme of Ozwater’18, Evolution Revolution, encourages us to evolve and adapt to the opportunities facing our industry, and to be revolutionary as we work together with each other and the wider community to embrace these changes. This year’s program is packed with a diverse range of topics from operational excellence and asset management, to public health and global perspectives. There is also a greater focus on industry safety and wellbeing with a new dedicated stream. No matter what your interest, each stream offers a range of presentations that are both informative and thought-provoking. We have had an extremely positive response to Ozwater this year, with year-to-date delegate registration numbers exceeding those of last year. This demonstrates the value that our industry professionals place on Ozwater and the commitment they have towards sharing knowledge, recognising the work that has been done and continues to be done in the industry, and connecting with each other. In addition to building the industry’s collective know-how, Ozwater remains the greatest platform for professionals from across the water sector to network and meet. With delegates hailing from more than 25 countries, Ozwater offers the best opportunities for delegates to expand their personal and business networks, form partnerships for future collaborations, and connect with thousands of experts, potential clients, and businesses to increase their connections within the water sector. There are also specific opportunities for young and emerging water professionals at Ozwater, particularly with the integration of an emerging water leaders’ forum and workshop into the main Ozwater’18 program. I had the privilege to attend and speak at the recent AWA/IWA Young Water Professionals Conference in Melbourne and it was encouraging to see how committed and passionate our young professionals are to carry our industry into the future. On 19 April, we held a special meeting with representatives from our Young Water Professionals community to further expand the relevance of the Australian Water Association to our young and emerging leaders. We look forward to the ideas they will put forward during Ozwater’18 and trust they will make the most of the networking opportunities. If water is your passion, there really is no better place to keep up with the latest trends and information, enjoy a world-class trade exhibition, learn solutions to current and potential opportunities and challenges, and create partnerships for future collaborations at Ozwater’18.

CHANGE BRINGS OPPORTUNITY AND THE OVERARCHING THEME OF OZWATER’18, EVOLUTION REVOLUTION, ENCOURAGES US TO EVOLVE AND ADAPT TO THE OPPORTUNITIES FACING OUR INDUSTRY.

Francois Gouws Australian Water Association President

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www.awa.asn.au

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26/4/18 2:35 pm


100 YEARS EXPERIENCE 100 YEARS OF CERTAINTY For over 100 years Steel Mains and its forerunners have manufactured Mild Steel Pipes. We have been involved with Australia’s largest water infrastructure projects. Over that time, we have continued to develop and improve the quality of our steel pipes offered, with the introduction of technologies like Sintakote® coating and Sintalock® and Sintajoint® Rubber Ring joint steel pipe. It is our history of development and service to the water industry that has allowed us to succeed in offering the market products of the highest quality with unique features that separates us from the competition. When investing in Mild Steel pipes, you can be certain in the knowledge that Sintakote Mild Steel pipe will provide a secure future for the service life of your asset, rated to at least 100 years. 100 years of certainty and experience is what makes Steel Mains Sintakote Steel pipe the ideal pipeline material for your next project.

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Association news

SENDING

EXPERTISE ABROAD

A

t a time of unparalleled economic ties between Australia and Vietnam following the Vietnamese Prime Minister’s visit to Australia in March, Australian water innovation is rolling out across the provinces of Dong Thap, Khanh Hoa, Nam Dinh and Son La in rural Vietnam to increase access to safe drinking water as well as private sector engagement. The Australian Water Association, with support from the Australian Government, Government of Vietnam and ANZ Bank, has continued to build on previous investments by facilitating technology demonstrations including, most recently in March, additional training in the operation of water treatment technology and use of water quality analytical equipment, enabling each province to measure and manage future water quality risks. A workshop was also held in the Son La Province to educate customers around the technology being applied and benefits of safe drinking water. The Association is grateful for the time and technical expertise provided by its members including Arthur Kokolekos of Luminultra; Allan Hughes of Hydramet; Tan Do Duy of Hach Pacific; and Cristiano Carvalho, Matthew Bowman and Jessica Le of Water Corporation during this trip. The Association will also be supporting a delegation of Vietnamese water professionals to Ozwater’18 to facilitate commercial opportunities with Australian technology providers and promote existing partnerships including the Australia-Vietnam Water Utility Improvement Program. To read more about the Association’s International Program, visit bit.ly/awa_international.

THE WATER INDUSTRY’S MOST EXTENSIVE JOBS PLATFORM

T

he Australian Water Association has relaunched its H2Oz Careers in Water website, enabling its users to keep their fingers on the pulse of the water industry’s jobs and opportunities. By streamlining the website for a more user-friendly experience and introducing many new elements, the Association has changed the way organisations, job seekers and students interact. Users can upload their resumes, search for jobs based on different categories, and sign up for job alerts. The Association has also introduced a student engagement portal, helping organisations and students connect through the one central portal and making the H2Oz Careers in Water website the water industry’s most extensive jobs platform. Special thanks goes to the Association’s QLD Branch Committee for developing this student engagement portal initiative.

Visit bit.ly/awa_h2oz for more information.

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www.awa.asn.au

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ANNOUNCING THE SPECIALIST NETWORK COMMITTEES

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he Association is pleased to announce the formation of 14 new Specialist Network Committees. Each network has a dedicated group of individuals who are passionate about sharing their water expertise with the rest of the Association membership. Over the next two years, these Specialist Network Committees will get involved with technical content across the Association’s activities. Each member can receive updates from a network/s by updating their member profile online. More information about the Specialist Network Program can be found online at bit.ly/awa_networks.

GET INVOLVED WITH THE WATER E-JOURNAL

K

now a water professional, academic or expert with experience in technical reviewing, editing or writing a paper? Interested in helping the Association produce or deliver high quality technical content and insights to members and the wider water community?

Current

THE AUSTRALIAN WATER ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE February 2018

WATER WARs The tech-savvy future of water leak detection

Volume 2 No 1

CLIMATE CHANGE AND POPULATION PRESSURES COULD MEAN MORE CONFLICT OVER WATER

Beyond the duels of the Murray-Darling Basin

Making water more appealing for gender diversity

AWA_NOV17_Cover_CONCEPTSV5.indd 1

8/2/18 1:50 pm

Getting involved with the journal is rewarding on so many levels: 1. Be recognised for technical contribution on the Association’s website and in published papers. 2. Help peers get published, and spread their work and knowledge to benefit the sector. 3. Help maintain the quality of work and research in the sector. Expertise and knowledge can elevate the levels of technical discussion about water in Australia. To get involved, contact the Association at journal@awa.asn.au.

GET INVOLVED WITH ANZBP

T

he Australian & New Zealand Biosolids Partnership (ANZBP) is a division of the Australian Water Association that specifically seeks to support sustainable biosolids management in A/NZ. The partnership has been in operation since 2008 and members benefit from member events and roadshows, the biannual conference, support on technical and regulatory policy matters, advocacy, and research that fills key gaps in understanding of the sustainable use of biosolids. The Association welcomes involvement at the joint AWA/ANZBP biannual Biosolids Conference, to be held in Brisbane from 21-22 February 2019. More information about the ANZBP, subscription benefits and prices, are available at www.biosolids.com.au.

New Staff Appointments

In February 2018, the ANZBP welcomed a new Project Manager, Aislinn Batstone, who can be reached at abatstone@awa.asn.au. Batsone’s hire comes as the Association looks to shift its communications in 2018-2019, from a responsive to proactive mode to celebrate more than 10 years of beneficial biosolids use in Australia. The Association has also welcomed Elana Huthnance as its Membership and Sponsorship Manager. Her role will focus on assisting organisations maximise the value of their membership

and explore ways to partner with the Association on the various national and local events, activities and initiatives, reaching potential clients, collaborators and professional networks within the membership. Contact Elana at the National Office of the Association. Connect with her on LinkedIn at bit.ly/awa_elana.

www.awa.asn.au

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WHAT’S

NLINE?

Keep up to date with the latest industry and Association developments at: awa.asn.au

JOIN THE CHANNELING CHANGE PROGRAM

CONVERSATION STARTERS Right now the most-read news articles online are:

1

SA Water empties Kangaroo Creek dam for upgrades

security lessons Australia can 2 Water share with Cape Town tech makes Internet of Things 3 Telstra water meters a reality To stay up to date and impress your colleagues around the water cooler with your water knowledge, head to bit.ly/AWA_latest_news

The Association has launched an interview series as part of its Channeling Change Program, where interviews with industry players on how their workplaces are addressing diversity, inclusion and equality are available. Find out more at: bit.ly/awa_ channelingchange

ALMOST LIKE BEING THERE… Haven’t been able to make it to any Association events and have a fear of missing out? Fret not. Head online to view pics and see if you can spot someone you know: Find out more at bit.ly/AWAimages

E AZIN MAG ION CIAT 2 ASSO Volume 18 ATER No 1 ary 20 AN W Febru RALI AUST THE

Current WATER WARs of avvy future The tech-s detection water leak

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reading Thumb through the digital editions of Current, past and present.

AND CHANGE RES SSU CLIMATE TION PRE POPULA MEAN MORE COULD WATER T OVER CONFLIC

of the the duels Beyond ling Basin Murray-Dar

appealing water more Making r diversity for gende

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AWA_NO

WHAT WE’RE

8/2/18

1:50 pm

You can find them at bit.ly/Currentmag

WHAT’S WORTH CHECKING OUT A new suite of technical podcasts will be released shortly thanks to the Association’s Ozwater’18 podcast partner Unitywater. Subscribe to be notified of when new podcasts are added. Subscribe now at bit.ly/AWAps

www.awa.asn.au

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26/4/18 3:07 pm


Current THE AUSTRALIAN WATER ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE

I N D U S T R Y F E AT U R E S INSIGHTS INTO AND ANALYSIS OF THE FORCES SHAPING THE AUSTRALIAN WATER INDUSTRY.

20 26 30 38 46 56

SELLING WATER INITIATIVES David Littleproud on efforts the government should take to improve water issues in Australia. BUILDING ON WATER RESEARCH Professor Zhiguo Yuan on his efforts to continually bring positive change to the industry. MENTORING DUO This mentoring duo keep challenging each other through listening and idea sharing. URBAN HEAT Challenging conventional thinking around the role of water in mitigating urban heat. AGRIBUSINESS GREENHOUSING Identifying the shift in agricultural production as a result of modern greenhousing methods. DRONES IN WATER Assessing developments in unmanned aerial systems and vehicles to streamline and enhance water infrastructure processes.

62 70 78 84 90 96

AUSTRALIA’S HYDROPOWERED FUTURE Is pumped hydro energy storage the potential saviour of Australia’s energy grid? THE QUEST FOR WATER EFFICIENCY The pursuit of water efficiency solutions in the face of the challenges of expanding populations, economic growth and shifting climate. BLOCKCHAIN IN WATER This distributed ledger system paves its way into the water industry, ensuring transparency in some systems and privacy in others. THE IOT OF WATER METERS With narrowband IoT enabled smart water meters becoming a reality for utilities, is Australia ready for this wave of tech? SWIMMABLE WATERS Much has changed and more needs to be done to make Parramatta river swimmable by 2025. LOOKING DOWN FROM SPACE The newly created Space Agency could hold the answers to some of Australia’s water problems.

www.awa.asn.au

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26/4/18 3:07 pm


David Littleproud

The

power water of

As told to Hafizah Osman

AS THE MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND WATER RESOURCES AND MEMBER FOR MARANOA, DAVID LITTLEPROUD HAS MADE A STEADY START IN HIS NEW ROLE. AUSTRALIAN WATER ASSOCIATION: What are some of your aims as the new minister for water? DAVID LITTLEPROUD: I know well what power a gigalitre of water has. I have seen it firsthand as I sat at farmers’ kitchen tables while helping to keep the debt collectors at bay. I have seen the fortunes of farmers and their families turn when drought breaks. Delivering the Murray-Darling Basin Plan on time and in full is my priority. This needs

WE CANNOT LET THE WATER DEBATES DESCEND INTO A WAR BETWEEN INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT.

20

to be done in a way that doesn’t hurt people living in Basin communities, instead it should give them certainty. This plan will give water users across the system the confidence of knowing they will have a secure water supply. I also want to add to the positive water reforms Australia has seen in the past 20 years. That has seen a real value applied to water. The Productivity Commission Final Report on National Water Reform will be made public soon with opportunities to add a renewed impetus to national water reform. I will work with the states to address recommendations that come from the report. AWA: What sort of changes or support will you be providing for local water initiatives and why? LITTLEPROUD: My job isn’t just about getting water to where it’s needed. It’s also about making sure we have good water.

www.awa.asn.au

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David Littleproud

I’m working with the Kiwis, as well as the states and territories on a plan for clean waterways. The Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality will be adaptable, so it works well anywhere, ensuring good water for drinking and farming while helping protect aquatic ecosystems. I am also determined to give irrigators confidence in the water market. I want to make sure everyone who trades water has the best and most up-to-date information, so they don’t have to take a punt. Water supplies in our towns and cities also need our attention. Many parts of the country are facing difficulty sourcing water due to drought, while our population is growing. At the same time, much water is allowed to wash out to sea. The Coalition Government is supporting local water projects such as water recycling, desalination, stormwater harvesting and urban water upgrades.

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DELIVERING THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN PLAN ON TIME AND IN FULL IS MY PRIORITY. AWA: How are you and your government helping sell that expertise, and what are some success stories? LITTLEPROUD: The rest of the world looks to Australia as a global leader in water efficiency. The 2004 National Water Initiative laid out a blueprint for the management of water and helped us all through the Millennium Drought. That experience is now being shared and has created opportunities for Australian businesses. Recently, the International Organisation for Standardisation adopted Australia’s Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) as a starting point for a global standard. This will see more efficient toilets, showers and washing machines produced around the world. Sharing this knowledge will make water go further where it is scarce and take pressure off strained utilities across the globe.

AWA: You’ve previously taken a stand on issues surrounding the MurrayDarling Basin. What do you think are some outstanding issues now and how can they be rectified? LITTLEPROUD: Compliance is now a big challenge, but there is no point in having a plan if it’s not being followed. We need all states on board if we are going to make this happen. The Coalition Government made it very clear from day one that it takes allegations of water theft very seriously. All Australians should have confidence that the rules are fair and are being followed by everyone. That is why we ordered an independent, Basin-wide review of compliance. The review, completed in November last year, has seen all states agree to the development of a series of plans tailored to individual regions, to police water use.

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David Littleproud

A RUN-DOWN OF THE AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND GUIDELINES FOR FRESH AND MARINE WATER QUALITY

WHAT:

MY JOB ISN’T JUST ABOUT GETTING WATER TO WHERE IT’S NEEDED. IT’S ALSO ABOUT MAKING SURE WE HAVE GOOD WATER. AWA: What do you think industry, academia and government needs to do better to improve water issues in Australia? LITTLEPROUD: I am determined to bring the whole community together to address national water issues. It’s important we consider how our actions will affect others. I respect the scientific community and its contribution to the water debate. But at the same time, I respect the communities out there doing the heavy lifting by putting water policies in place. The problem we often face is that not all sides agree. We cannot let the water debates descend into a war between industry and environment. Water is scarce and if we want the best for everyone we need to work together. As Minister, I will look at the evidence and I will balance that against the needs of the community. If we collaborate and commit to our plans we will have stronger communities and healthier waterways delivered sooner. Fighting will see our waterways degraded and our communities suffering.

The Guidelines have been prepared as part of Australia’s National Water Quality Management Strategy and relate to New Zealand’s National Agenda for Sustainable Water Management. They provide government, industry, consultants and community groups with tools to facilitate the assessment and management of water quality in a range of water resource types.

HOW:

WHY:

The vast range of environments, ecosystem types and food production systems in A/NZ require a critically discerning approach to setting water quality objectives. As such, the Guidelines aim to provide recommendations that water managers can use to guide practice and formulate policy, taking into account local conditions and associated costs and benefits.

THIS IS DONE THROUGH A FOUR-STEP STR ATEGY THAT INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING.

VOLUME 1: The Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality provide a framework for recognising and protecting water quality for the full range of existing environmental values. They provide an authoritative guide for setting water quality objectives required to sustain current or likely future environmental values for natural and semi-natural water resources in the region. VOLUME 2: Aquatic ecosystems focuses on the issuebased management of water quality and the measurement of biological parameters and related physical and chemical parameters, in both water and sediment. Guidelines have been developed for indicator types (e.g. biological assessment, sediment quality and environmental flows). In addition to this, the volume specifically addresses biological indicators, physical and chemical stressors, toxicants, sediment quality guidelines and priorities for research and development.

VOLUME 3: The Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality have amalgamated agriculture, aquaculture and human consumption of aquatic foods into one environmental value called ‘Primary Industries’. In keeping with the principles of ecologically sustainable development, this volume considers not only productivity issues but also the possible adverse impacts of primary industries such as agriculture and aquaculture and the protection of human consumers of food products on downstream water quality. DOCUMENT 7: The Australian Guidelines for Water Quality Monitoring and Reporting has been developed as a benchmark document of the National Water Quality Management Strategy (NWQMS). It relates to the revised guidelines for fresh and marine water quality and provides the guidance necessary for designing monitoring programs with which to assess water quality in freshwater, marine waters and groundwaters.

For more information on the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality, visit the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources webpage. 24

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Prof Zhiguo Yuan

WE MAY NEED SOME REVOLUTIONARY IDEAS TO ENSURE WATERFOOD SECURITY AND SUSTAINABILITY GOING INTO THE FUTURE. 26

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Elevating

WATER research AS ONE OF THE MOST ESTEEMED ENGINEERS IN AUSTRALIA, THIS RESEARCHER HAS TAKEN GREAT STRIDES IN THE WATER SECTOR AND IS BRINGING POSITIVE CHANGE TO THE INDUSTRY. As told to Hafizah Osman

AUSTRALIAN WATER ASSOCIATION: As the University of Queensland’s Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC) director, what are some of your areas of focus? PROFESSOR ZHIGUO YUAN: My research focuses on the development of innovative solutions for urban water management through effective integration of fundamental science and applied engineering. It’s specifically around energy recovery and infrastructure protection – having developed a suite of technologies to enhance energy recovery from wastewater, and to manage sewer corrosion and odour problems. The potential and impact of these is huge, for utilities to achieve sustainable wastewater management. AWA: What made you switch to a future in the water sector after pursuing a PhD in aeronautical engineering? PROF YUAN: I changed my area of research to wastewater management as there was a disconnection between my research and industry application in the aeronautical sector some two decades ago. There was not much money to put aeronautical theory into practice during that time. I saw more value in a future in water, so environmental engineering became my choice. Since then, over the last 24 years or so, my research has shifted into many areas within water. I now lead a team of more than 100 people across various water projects and some of the technologies developed have been licensed or are now being tested on a pilot scale. AWA: Having been in the water industry for a significant amount of time, what are some areas that need focus?

PROF YUAN: Water security is one of the biggest concerns, alongside sustainable wastewater management. Wastewater collection infrastructure is also something that needs to be focused on, with many pipes collapsing prematurely as a result of corrosion, and this issue will become more serious with more pipes reaching the end of their designed lives. AWA: What steps have you taken to engage with government and industry to improve water issues? PROF YUAN: It’s one of the most important things for researchers, having to reach out to these people and talk in a language that we all understand. In saying that, the Federal Government, through the Australian Research Council and other funding bodies, and the state governments have some great schemes that encourage collaboration between research organisations and industry partners. I have been using this mechanism to make sure that the fundamental research we do is applicable to industry problems and deliver solutions. Such collaborations enable us to identify fundamental research questions relevant to industry, work closely with industry partners to apply these theories or fundamental discoveries, then make sure these problems get solved. AWA: You’ve founded three biotechnology companies. What do they bring to market? PROF YUAN: I founded three biotechnology businesses, namely SeweX, Cloevis and Lodomat. SeweX and Cloevis

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Prof Zhiguo Yuan

in the market and in response to demand in the industry. Through establishing these businesses, we reach out to the global industry to achieve wider uptake of the innovative technologies we developed.

are related to sewer corrosion and odour management in sewers. SeweX is a mathematical tool that supports proactive sewer management. We do consulting services to water utilities for this. Cloevis removes the biofilms that adhere to the inner surfaces of wastewater force main walls and also removes the underlying sulfate reducing bacteria that produce hydrogen sulphide – targeting the very source of the sulphide problem. Lodomat is different from the other two – it is a suite of technologies that aid utilities to recover more energy from wastewater. It helps utilities meet their pollutant removal targets but at the same time, maximise energy production from wastewater. I started these businesses to address gaps

AWA: You’ve won a few accolades in the industry. What do they mean to you? PROF YUAN: I have won over $40 million in competitive research funding since 2001, including over 20 ARC Discovery and Linkage grants as a Chief Investigator. I have also been an Executive of the $117 million Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities and Leader of the Future Technologies Program. I am an IWA Fellow and was named as one of Engineers Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Engineers for 2015. I am also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) and was awarded the very prestigious ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship in 2017, which only 17 people in the nation get in the year. It’s a pinnacle in one’s academic career and I feel very privileged to have been awarded this Fellowship. My Laureate Fellowship project builds upon and extends to what I’ve been working on for the past 10 to 15 years. My previous work in bioenergy recovery focused on the production of biogas from wastewater as a renewable energy source. My Laureate Fellowship project aims to convert biogas to some forms

THE NEXT GENERATION OF SOLARPAK

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of liquid chemicals. This adds more value to biogas in comparison to the current practice to convert it to electricity or heat energy. All of the above honours were earned through team efforts – they are indeed recognitions of the wonderful team I have been leading throughout. AWA: How has your work driven support for the Australian water industry? PROF YUAN: My research has delivered documented savings of over $400 million to the Australian water industry. My achievements and leadership have been recognised through national and international awards, with the most recent being the 2015 ATSE Clunies Ross Award and the International Water Association (IWA) 2014 Global Project Innovation Award (Applied Research Category) – as Project Leader. All this has given the work that I’ve done some coverage but that also means that the industry is more aware of these solutions and the work that my team is doing to improve issues within the water industry. It also opens up many avenues for the industry to uptake these technologies. AWA: Having done a wide spectrum of work in the water industry, what are some things Australia should watch out for?

PROF YUAN: Our population is growing, we’re facing climate changes, and there’s continuous urbanisation. These three major things bring about ‘big picture’ questions such as: how do we more efficiently manage our water resources? We need to make sure that our cities have enough water to make up for these three changes. And with problems happening on a global scale, as seen in Cape Town, it’s evident that cities may run out of drinkable water. We don’t want that to happen here and we have to make sure we can cope with another 10-year drought. Australia is already becoming much more well-equipped with alternative infrastructure, such as water recycling schemes, desalination plants, in place to enhance water security. There is also an increasing emphasis on water demand management through water sensitive urban design and development of water sensitive communities. Population growth and increasing living standards mean more demand for food, the production of which means more water – massive amounts of water – is needed for agriculture. Keeping that in mind, we may need some revolutionary ideas to ensure this water-food security and sustainability going into the future.

Prof Yuan will be a keynote speaker at Ozwater’18 on Thursday, 10 May, where he will share more insights from his unique leadership journey.

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Mentoring

Mentor

Mentee

Richard

Alana

GHD

Jacobs

Age:

Age:

Savage,

Scott,

57

27

Time in industry:

Time in industry:

31 years

6 years

Industry experience gap

25 years

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RICHARD ALANA A MENTORING RELATIONSHIP IS A TWO-WAY EXCHANGE AND THIS PAIR HAS PROVEN THAT KNOWLEDGE CAN NOT ONLY BE IMPARTED BUT ALSO RECEIVED. As told to Hafizah Osman

G

ood communication is the foundation of any relationship, and mentoring is no different. At its best, mentoring is not a one-way street where one person advises while the other learns. Both parties should exchange opinions and insight, and this pair has grown together doing just that.

Mentor

I HAVE READ AND HEARD TIME AND TIME AGAIN THAT GAINING A GOOD MENTOR IS IMPORTANT FOR CAREER GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT. ALANA SCOTT

RICHARD SAVAGE, WATER AND WASTEWATER SYSTEMS PRINCIPAL ENGINEER FOR GHD Alana and I were paired up as part of the 2016 AWA Queensland program and have been meeting ever since, generally monthly. Prior to the matching process, we submitted a summary of our personal interests and background, emphasising the areas in which we work. Although I am a ‘strategy, planning, pipes and pumps’ type of engineer, I do have a passion for water stewardship issues, which must have resonated with the organising committee to match me with Alana, who works in the ‘surface water world’. Alana has greatly demonstrated to me that humility and honest endeavour will endure. In this world of dominant materialism, we are often tempted to pretend we are more than we are. Alana has always been true to herself and backed by incredible ability and talent, can achieve anything she sets her sights on. She also proves the theory that the more you reach out to engage with and help those around you, the more you will grow yourself.

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Mentoring

Mentee ALANA SCOTT, A/NZ INFRASTRUCTURE AND ENVIRONMENT SURFACE WATER ENGINEER FOR JACOBS As a mentee, this my first “real” experience (I’m also a mentor with the Griffith University Industrial Mentoring Program). I’ve previously signed-up for mentoring programs through work, but sadly my past mentors (soon after matching) all moved on from the company and we lost contact. I have read and heard time and time again that gaining a good mentor is important for career growth and development and despite my past unsuccessful attempts, decided to give mentoring another go when I heard about the Young Water Professionals (YWP) program. YWP then matched Richard and myself based on our mutual interests from the program. Richard and I primarily interact through morning catch-ups over tea. However, in the middle of the formal YWP mentoring program, I gained a placement through Jacobs to our Atlanta office in the US. Richard was incredibly excited by this opportunity for me and was keen on maintaining our dialogue while I was away. In my six months overseas, we had semi-regular phone conversations. Richard is an incredibly insightful and giving person. Working in a consultancy for all my career, it has been emphasised to me that time is money. I am so heartened My time with Alana has endured because I think we both to think that engineers willing and interested enough to spend value the time together. I find myself significantly enriched their valuable time on early-career professionals exist. by the mentees I have had the privilege of working with – Richard’s “big theme” is about reading widely and constantly this is my second formal program. I have taken a keen challenging myself to think how the knowledge gained could interest in mentoring young(er) professionals for many years. be applicable to or interact with my work. Essentially, he has Alana, particularly, has been an inspiration in her very opened my eyes to how innovation and step-changes can underplayed, but significant contribution to her life, outside occur in the workplace, and about how to make myself the of her various day-to-day projects – Engineers Without valuable employee that brings a bigger picture or new ideas Borders, Jacobs Young Professional Group, etc. to my projects. I am now more relaxed about my thoughts The best engineering comes from people that on what mentoring entails. My initial preconceived idea was have a broad and varied experience of life and that mentoring might allow me to gain Alana is rapidly developing those building special industry insight or knowledge about blocks of life in wonderful ways. market trends that would be immediately The old adage of successful applicable to my work practices and communication – ask and listen – career, and I was anxious about correctly is a fundamental part of what makes implementing changes to advance myself. a successful mentoring relationship. While we have often discussed industry Although the superficial context for trends, it has been from a higher level and mentoring is for an information flow from big-picture perspective, which has enriched mentor to mentee, it is much more about my view on my and my company’s role in the the mentee being free and encouraged world. I’m less concerned about identifying to express themselves on a wide range immediate changes and actions for myself, of subjects, thereby ensuring a rich RICHARD SAVAGE and much more interested in just listening exchange of opinion and insight, and absorbing the wisdom I’m fortunate to hear; I’ve found the underpinned by mutual respect and a mutual whole process mind-expanding. desire to learn. For me, being a mentor is an initiative Finding a mentor on one’s own can be challenging, as it’s that I lean to without thinking, more so for what I know I will often recommended to find someone who is a couple of steps learn from the interaction than what I might be able to offer in front of you in terms of career progress. It can take a while the mentee. I see any relationship, professional or personal, to build a network inclusive of such persons. AWA already has as a two-way exchange. the ability to reach-out to a fantastic group of professionals in the I have been hugely impressed by many young professionals water field, so I was fortunate enough to gain a mentor like this. entering our industry, and if there is one bit of wisdom or one I would recommend to others thinking of entering a mentoring new perspective I can add to their outlook on life and their profession, then that would make the mentoring time worthwhile. program to sign up with enthusiasm and approach the relationship with positivity. It may not work out the way It is also important to recognise that a mentor can learn you expect, but you’ll definitely learn something! a lot from being equally honest about shortcomings and vulnerabilities. So, to discuss our respective journeys and to listen to the response of my mentee to issues I raise, To get involved in the Australian Water Association’s mentoring is a great opportunity for me to grow. program, contact your local branch.

MY TIME WITH ALANA HAS ENDURED BECAUSE I THINK WE BOTH VALUE THE TIME TOGETHER.

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Australian Water Awards

2018 THE AUSTRALIAN WATER AWARDS REWARD THE OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT OF INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANISATIONS IN THE WATER SECTOR, AND IDENTIFY THOSE WHO HAVE DISPLAYED EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE IN WATER MANAGEMENT. HERE, THE ASSOCIATION ACKNOWLEDGES THE OUTSTANDING NATIONAL FINALISTS.

RESEARCH INNOVATION AWARD ● ATUM: Advanced Tertiary Ultrafiltration

Management – Allwater, SA Water and SUEZ (SA) ● Emerging Contaminants: Innovative

Technology for Treatment and Removal – Arup (VIC) ● Enlarged Cotter Dam Fish Monitoring

and Research – Icon Water (ACT) ● Implementation of the Anammox

Process at Dardanup Butchering Company – Environmental Engineers International (WA) ● Purple Phototrophic Bacteria for

Resource Recovery from Wastewater – The University of Queensland and CRC for Water Sensitive Cities (QLD) ● Success in Data Analytics, Sydney

Water and Data61 Collaboration – Data61, CSIRO and Sydney Water (NSW)

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PROGRAM INNOVATION AWARD ● Adelaide Services Alliance Advanced

Customer Complaint Mapping Program – Allwater and SA Water (SA) ● Ballarat City Integrated Water

Management Plan – Central Highlands Water, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, E2Designlab & RMCG (VIC) ● Community Leak Program

– Living Water Smart – Power & Water Corporation (NT) ● Cyanotoxin Based Recreational

Water Quality Management Program – Seqwater (QLD) ● Kimberley Projects – Water

Corporation (WA) ● System Blueprints Program – Sydney

Water, AAJV: AECOM-Aurecon Joint Venture and ENSureJV: GHD-Jacobs Joint Venture (NSW)

INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT INNOVATION AWARD ● Googong Township Integrated

Water Cycle – Stantec (NSW) ● Kingaroy Wastewater Treatment

Plant Upgrade – Aquatec Maxcon and South Burnett Regional Council (QLD) ● Mt Todd Discharge Plan – GHD (NT) ● Rottnest Island Wastewater Treatment

Plant Upgrade – Guidera O’Connor & Permeate Partners (WA) ● Sundrop Farms Project –

John Holland Group (SA) ● Using Optimisation Models for

Sewer Investment Planning – Icon Water and AECOM (ACT) ● Warrnambool Roof Water Harvesting

Project – Wannon Water (VIC)

www.awa.asn.au

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Australian Water Awards Major Sponsor

WATER INDUSTRY SAFETY EXCELLENCE AWARD ● FCD Skyhook Mark 4, Fremantle

Commercial Diving (WA) ● Mental Health Initiative, Icon

Water (ACT) ● North West Region Safety Leadership

Framework, Water Corporation (WA) ● Under Bridge Inspection Unit

modification, Icon Water (ACT)

SPONSORED BY WSAA

AUSTRALIAN STOCKHOLM JUNIOR WATER PRIZE ● Investigating the effectiveness

of cyclodextrin as a basis for the development of a host molecule capable of removing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other halogenated, endocrine disrupting, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from contaminated water systems - Ethan Bryant, Queensland Academy of Health Sciences (QLD) ● NO3 – Free: Low voltage, low

current electro-reduction of aqueous nitrates via single cell electrolysis and subsequent observations of gas-particle phase equilibria - Logan Howell, Don College (TAS) ● Recycling Waste into Biochar: A

sustainable wastewater filter and fertilizer for the agricultural industry - Minh Nga Nguyen, Sydney Girls High School (NSW)

STUDENT WATER PRIZE ● Defining risk-based odour buffer zones

for Darwin’s wastewater treatment facilities: odour dispersion modelling and field olfactometry – Themeli Mousellis, Charles Darwin University (NT) ● Identifying Critical Natural Resource

Management Regions For Public Health – Aparna Lal, Australian National University (ACT) ● Investigation of Bore Condition

Assessment Methodologies and Determination of Remaining Service Life – Sean Ding, University of Western Australia & Water Corporation (WA) ● Quantifying Wastewater Dewaterability

for Improved Water Recycling – Samuel Skinner, The University of Melbourne (VIC) ● Robust Sensor Technologies

Combined with Smart Predictive Analytics for Modelling Concrete Corrosion in Sewers – Karthick Thiyagarajan, University of Technology Sydney (NSW) ● Smart Monitoring for Microbial

Risk Assessment – Sarah Aucote, Flinders University (SA) ● Understanding the ecological basis

for human health risks associated with drinking water drawn from a subtropical freshwater catchment – Adam Rose, CQUniversity (QLD)

YOUNG WATER PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR ● Adam Medlock, Operations Manager,

Riverland Region, TRILITY (SA) ● Bianca Petrevski, Previously Acting

Senior Stakeholder Engagement Officer, Icon Water (ACT) ● Casey Magee, Senior

Process Engineer, GHD (NSW) ● Isabel Caballero, Hydrodynamic

Modeller, Tropical Water Solutions (NT) ● Katrin Doederer, Research Fellow,

The University of Queensland (QLD) ● Priyani Madan, Water

Consultant, Arup (VIC) ● Rebecca Sayles, Asset Strategy

Engineer, TasWater (TAS) ● Renee Blandin, Environmental

Hydrologist, Hyd2o (WA)

SPONSORED BY TRILITY

WATER PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR ● Ciara Sterling, Head of Community

Inclusion, Yarra Valley Water (VIC) ● Colin Hester, Manager Commercial

Water & Trade Waste, Queensland Urban Utilities (QLD) ● Daniel Lambert, Australasia

Water Leader, Arup (NSW) ● Dr Raj Kurup, CEO, Environmental

Engineers International (WA)

● The Ultra Violet Clean Water Kit - Lalli

Kirby, Izzy Bennett, Tam Davies, Sandringham Secondary College (VIC)

SPONSORED BY XYLEM

Winners to be announced at Ozwater’18 Gala Dinner on Wednesday, 9 May 2018, in Brisbane.

www.awa.asn.au

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Urban heat

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L O O C AVERAGE TEMPERATURES ARE RISING AROUND THE GLOBE, BUT CITIES ARE FEELING THE MOST HEAT. SO HOW CAN WATER CHALLENGE CONVENTIONAL THINKING AROUND THE ISSUE AND MITIGATE URBAN HEAT? By Elle Hardy

H

otter cities are now becoming the daily norm, with global mercury levels spiking by as much as four degrees celsius in recent years thanks to factors such as the buildup of greenhouse gases and the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. The UHI effect, where air and surface temperatures are significantly higher than in rural areas, is largely the result of a shift away from natural, vegetated landscapes to urbanised spaces. That cities absorb and release more heat than country areas has been known for over a century, but only recently have we come to understand its dire consequences – contribution to extreme weather events, demand on utilities and increased mortality during heatwaves – and sought ways to mitigate it. “Urban Heat Island is the most documented phenomenon of climate change,” UNSW High Performance Architecture professor and lead researcher of the Cooling Western Sydney study Mattheos Santamouris said.

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Urban heat

WATER IN COOLING Water has a large capacity to absorb heat and cool down the urban environment. This occurs through evapotranspiration, where water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere through evaporation from soil and plants and is the most critical factor in mitigating urban heat. Evaporative cooling systems in public places provide thermal relief on hot days, even in more humid climates. Active systems, such as misting fans, sprinklers and water curtains, work by mixing fine particles of water with the airstream, absorbing ambient heat which is then evaporated. Passive water installations such as pools, fountains and wetlands can cool the air temperature in dry climates by using ambient heat for evaporation with the aid of natural wind flow. The other critical role for water is as a utility, used to irrigate vegetation and provide moist soil environments for greenery cooling. While greenery has a cooling effect on urban environments, a number of recent studies have shown that the most effective urban heat mitigation strategies use a combination of water-based technologies in conjunction with man-made materials such as cool roofs and permeable pavements.

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THE MESSAGE WE’RE TRYING TO GET ACROSS IS DON’T USE MORE BUT BE SMARTER IN WHERE AND WHEN YOU USE YOUR WATER. GREG INGLETON, SA WATER Conventional wisdom has held that planting more trees was the solution, but Professor Santamouris’s study showed it to be more complex, requiring a multi-faceted approach that includes the use of water technology and high solar reflectance materials on roofs, building facades and pavements. Professor Santamouris said the recent discovery that heat waves are associated with precipitation of previous months has furthered the need for research and development around large-scale mitigation projects. “When the moisture content of the soil is low, we don’t have evaporation, and so we have a stronger heat wave,” Santamouris explained. “But once we are using water to increase the humidity of the soil, then we may decrease the strength of heat waves.” “Water technologies have a very high potential and a big advantage, that when used in the proper way may decrease the ambient temperature, not just the surface temperature,” he said. “When there is a radiant temperature of urban surfaces, this has a huge impact on comfort that can be felt immediately.”

JUST ADD WATER

Comfort is key to the vision of Alan Hoban, a director of engineering firm Bligh Tanner, that is part of the Greater Parramatta to the Olympic Peninsula

(GPOP) project that is moving a new CBD to Parramatta. Here, the number of days seeing temperatures soar to over 35 degrees has increased 250% in the last 50 years due to climate change and urbanisation — a perfect UHI storm, resulting in maximum summer temperatures up to nine degrees more than coastal suburbs. “We are looking at a range of schemes which would tap into the sewer network, draw that water up and treat it to standard, and then supply that to streetscape planning and to green systems on the facades of buildings,” Hoban said. “You are getting water cycle benefits, using up some of the wastewater load, and creating greenery. The irrigation demands become quite significant.” Hoban said the challenges and opportunities of urban cooling will change the way that we see water utilities. “Rather than simply being the provider of clean water and treating wastewater, water suppliers are increasingly going to be seen as a provider of urban amenities.” With this in mind, Hoban said it is important to think about features such as shade and water more holistically to optimise cooling, and the particular demands of climates in individual Australian cities when it comes to having a mitigation strategy. “As you reach more humid climates, like Brisbane,

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s 8

2

Urban heat

USING GREENERY FOR COOLING Greenery cooling consists of green living walls and roofs, enclosed tree canopies on streets, and green urban spaces. Aesthetically pleasing green wall systems, also known as vertical landscaping, can reduce building envelope surface temperatures between five and 15 degrees, which can lead to a significant reduction in energy consumption, particularly for large commercial and residential buildings. They can also reduce air temperature in the adjacent areas; however, their cooling effects are highly dependent on their orientation, plant density, and water content.

RATHER THAN SIMPLY BEING THE PROVIDER OF CLEAN WATER AND TREATING WASTEWATER, WATER SUPPLIERS ARE INCREASINGLY GOING TO BE SEEN AS A PROVIDER OF URBAN AMENITIES.

ALAN HOBAN, BLIGH TANNER

the shade becomes more significant than evaporative cooling, which is key in places like Melbourne and Adelaide.”

READY FOR TAKEOFF It was flying into Adelaide that SA Water Environmental Opportunities Business Development Manager Greg Ingleton had an idea for a world-first trial using the wastewater facility next door to irrigate the land surrounding the airport. “We irrigated every second or third night, using the same amount of water as you would use to keep your backyard green over summer,” he said. “We were getting a three degree or more difference between the irrigated and unirrigated areas.” With planes unable to take off in very high temperatures, he said such a reduction could be the difference in both the ability to fly and the amount

of fuel consumed, on top of reducing energy use in airport cooling towers. Ingleton then took the program to the next level, transforming the newlyirrigated buffer land into productive land by growing the crop lucerne, a common livestock feed. “You can’t just throw water on an area in most situations if you want to get the maximum cooling effect,” Ingleton said. “Utilising crops with a high density and leaf-space is the better way to go. And it even pays for the cost of water.” “The message we’re trying to get across is don’t use more but be smarter in where and when you use your water.” Domestically, Ingleton recommended increasing education on how houses work, such as growing gardens near air conditioning units and windows, watering grass after work and opening windows, and irrigating at night ahead of hot weather conditions.

Trees help to mitigate UHI by using the energy from the sun for evapotranspiration, and as natural shade barriers by reducing the exposure of urban surfaces to solar radiation by up to 90%. Just a 10% tree canopy coverage increase in cities could see surface temperatures reduced by 15%, lowering the overall air temperatures by 1.5 degrees. Water supply is the main obstacle for cooling through urban greenery, as the peak demand for water during heat waves is similar to that of electricity. In extreme temperatures, trees also enter survival mode to keep themselves cool and conserve water when subjected to extreme heat stress, meaning they cannot sufficiently secure human thermal comfort.

www.awa.asn.au

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Urban heat

AN INITIAL BARRIER TO ACTION... [IS] QUANTIFYING THE IMPACT OF URBAN HEAT AND THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MITIGATION MEASURES. DAN O’HALLORAN, ALLUVIUM

LIFE AND DEATH

Hot weather conditions resulted in Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, killing 173 people. But few realise that the extreme heat wave that ushered in the bushfires resulted in the deaths of a further 432 people. “A recent report suggests that extreme heat is Australia’s deadliest form of natural disaster, and is responsible for more deaths than cyclones, floods and bushfires combined,” explained Sydney Water Research Direction and Value Manager Dr Michael Storey. “It adds a large burden to our healthcare system

and presents a wide array of socioeconomic challenges,” Dr Storey said. Aged care facilities, in particular, are rushing to incorporate green design to mitigate risk and improve amenities, but the cycle of strain on existing infrastructure during hot weather is less easy to fix. “Energy consumption nearly doubles in western parts of Sydney when compared to cooler eastern parts of the city, and peak energy demand also doubles when temperatures rise from 20 degrees celsius to 40 degrees celsius,” Dr Storey said.

“As we prepare for an increasing population and a drier and more variable climate, we need to look at ways of mitigating urban heat beyond conventional approaches currently used.”

GREENER PASTURES While the benefits of urban cooling are clear, the question of how to articulate its value, and who will pay for it, has been less apparent. “An initial barrier to action and implementation is measurement: quantifying the impact of urban heat and the effectiveness of mitigation measures,” Alluvium Consulting Engineer Dan O’Halloran said. “The CRC has developed a GIS based tool to help designers measure heat within the urban environment and select and locate interventions. As more Venturi-Aerator of these type of tools and the research

and Gorman-Ru pump being set up to replace existing systems.

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BATTLING THE HEAT The 2009 heatwave that hit Victoria and South Australia killed 432 people – two and a half times the number of people killed in the Black Saturday bushfires that followed. Since 1950, the annual number of record hot days across Australia has more than doubled. At this year’s Australian Open tennis tournament, one 39-degree day saw an on-court temperature of 69 degrees. Reducing the average peak ambient temperature by 2.5 degrees in Sydney could reduce heat-related deaths in the west from 14 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants to 7.5. Implementing urban cooling could drop peak electricity demand by 5%, the equivalent of removing more than 200,000 averagesized cars from the roads each year.

Source: Risk Frontiers, Climate Council, News Corp, Sydney Water and UNSW

behind them grows, designers like us can mainstream them into the development plans we provide to councils, authorities, and land developers.” The investment required for action on urban heat is significant, but the weight of inaction is far greater. O’Halloran said businesses should be applying this knowledge immediately to avoid future costs of retrofitting. Given the febrile climate when it comes to the issue of climate change, public engagement on the consequences of urban heat and the benefits of mitigation is also critical. One project giving hope to experts is the Citizen Science Project, a collaboration between RMIT and UNSW, which is using citizens to help measure urban heat islands, overheating, and local climate change. In asking some 12,000 members of the community to gather the data, it aims to help others understand, mitigate and adapt to extreme heat, and assist policymakers in predicting future health and utility needs as they plan the cities of the future. AWA_HALFPAGE_AD_GENERATORS_PR.pdf 1 19/04/2018 10:33:42 AM

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Agribusiness greenhouses

THE

GLASSHOUSE MODERN GREENHOUSING IS CAUSING A PROFOUND SHIFT IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION, INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY AND THE EFFICIENCY OF WATER AND FERTILISER USE, AND OPENING UP THE POTENTIAL FOR AUSTRALIA.

A

re climate-controlled, LED lit, super-sized glasshouses the future of Australian horticulture? “Absolutely,” enthused Industry Consultant and Chair of the International Society for Horticultural Science’s Hydroponics Working Group, Graeme Smith. “The water industry needs to engage with this because it’s on a fast track.” CSIRO Research Director of Integrated Agricultural Systems Dr Graham Bonnett, however, is “healthily sceptical at the moment”. “People will make money out of these systems where they can, but one thing we’re quite passionate about is not trying to link this to food security,” he said. What’s indisputable is that the days of mum-and-pop structures cloaked in shade cloth are gone. “We’re talking very sophisticated systems – modern glasshouses with screens, fogging, heating and CO² enrichment systems,” said Smith, a former president of the Australian Hydroponic and Greenhouse Association and former Chair of Protected Cropping Australia. “In Australia, there are already around 170 hectares of those. In the next 18 to 24 months, there are plans for another 75 hectares.”

46

EFFECT By Thea Cowie

Last year, in a landmark for the sector, Sundrop Farms opened its 20 hectare, state-of-the-art $200 million greenhouse complex in Port Augusta, South Australia. The project relies on seawater pumped from the Spencer Gulf and then desalinated using solar power. That energy is generated by 23,000 mirrors aimed at a solar tower. University of Melbourne Plant Physiologist and Agricultural Scientist, Professor Snow Barlow, said: “It’s a very ambitious thing to do. We’re all very excited by it; maybe it is the future.”

WE’RE GROWING MORE WITH LESS INPUTS – WITHIN A PROFESSIONAL GREENHOUSE ALMOST EVERYTHING IS RECYCLED, INCLUDING YOUR RUN-OFF WATER AND FERTILISERS. MARK MASSEY, PROTECTED CROPPING AUSTRALIA

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Agribusiness greenhouses

MODERN UPRISE

A LOT OF HORTICULTURAL INDUSTRIES, BY TRADITION, MOVE WITH THE URBAN FRINGE. BUT IF YOU’RE GOING TO INVEST IN A MAJOR GLASSHOUSE FACILITY YOU NEED STABILITY IN PLANNING LAWS.

Much of modern greenhousing technology can be traced back to northern Europe – the Netherlands, in particular – where climate imperatives have long underpinned a tradition of indoor farming. More broadly, the rise of modern greenhousing has been driven by a range of factors, according to Dr Cathryn O’Sullivan, Research Scientist in Integrated Agricultural Systems within CSIRO Agriculture and Food. “If you look to Asia, there has been a really big expansion of enclosed growing, particularly in Japan in the last decade. It’s partly driven by this consumer desire for a clean, green product that’s very consistent and consistently available,” O’Sullivan said. “In North America the social food movement has driven the demand to some degree: people want low food miles." In Australia it’s a combination of these factors, plus pure agronomics, O’Sullivan said. “Some companies are tapping into the export market and the desire for a clean, green product. Some see a niche where they can optimise their production and increase their yield, because they’ve got complete control of their environment,” she said. For Smith, there are environmental factors at play, too, including water shortages, urbanisation and climate change. “The increasing frequency and intensity of weather events will impact legacy open field production more and more,” Smith said.

SNOW BARLOW, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE

OPEN FIELD VS. GREENHOUSE

Proponents of protected cropping, such as Protected Cropping Australia Deputy Chair Mark Massey, say it’s much more efficient and reliable than open field farming. “Obviously we’re growing more with less inputs – within a professional greenhouse almost everything is recycled, including your run-off water and fertilisers,” he said. “There are also definite increases in product quality because you’re taking out most of the weather influences – there are less blemishes, damage and misshaped produce.” Take Nectar Farms, a start-up with plans to build 40 hectares of hydroponic greenhouse facilities powered by wind energy in multiple locations around Australia, for example.

Comparing tomatoes with tomatoes The difference between open field and glasshouse production The factor measured

Open field

Glasshouse

% increase

Land size

1ha

1ha

0

Plant density (ave/m²)

1.1

2.2

100

Annual production increase (kg)

69,231

585,000

845

Water use increase

8ML

9.6ML

17

Conversion rate increase (grams fruit per litre water)

7.4

38.2

519

Production per megalitre (tonnes)

8.7

40.2

465

Market returns increase (gross)

$82,385

$1,667,250

2024

Crop length increase (months)

7

11.5

164

Equivalent field production increase (ha)

1

9.4

944

Source: Graeme Smith in his report for the Australian Hydroponic & Greenhouse Association (AHGA) in 2006 (now Protected Cropping Australia – PCA). Direct comparison between Goulburn Valley field grown tomatoes and tomatoes grown in a modern glasshouse situated only a few kilometres away.

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Agribusiness greenhouses

Its Managing Director and CEO Stephen Sasse said this model was better than traditional horticulture in terms of yield, taste, quality, shelf life, energy efficiency and pesticide usage, while producing zero nitrate run-off and acting as a CO² sink. “We’re producing 20 times the product per square metre of land than open field farming,” he said. “Each plant has its own supply of water and nutrients. Evaporation gets collected from grow gutters, cleaned up and recycled. It’s a closed system – our water efficiency is about as high as it can get.” But O’Sullivan cautioned that not all projects stack up. “If you take what these companies claim on face value, there are a lot of benefits,” she said. “Water claims certainly seem to hold up – they do seem to be very efficient compared to field-grown crops. “But some of the claims around energy are more borderline; if you look at the life-cycle analyses, it’s really very dependent on how much heating, cooling and water purification you have to spend energy on.” O’Sullivan also suggested the viability of these systems was limited to high-value leafy greens and vegetables. “They’re not really growing staples. So if they’re to meet

the promise of some of the claims around improving food security and protecting from climate variability, then they’re going to need to produce much more,” she said.

WHAT NEXT?

Sasse agreed that the future is in fast-growing, higher market value crops. “At the moment, about three quarters of high-end horticultural produce is grown open field. But within a decade, I think that will swing around so that 75% will be grown in protected cropping environments,” Sasse said. That increase in production will no doubt be aided by technology, such as advancements around supplementary lighting. “That’s the leading edge at the moment,” Sasse said. “Most plants will put up with 18 hours of light a day. You can change the light spectrum mix, which has an effect on plant production, shelf-life and taste.” Many observers are also closely watching to see if advancements in vertical farming technology might make indoor growing of lower-value crops viable. As Smith reasoned: if you took a hectare of wheat

A NETHERLANDS CASE STUDY The Netherlands is smaller than Tasmania. Yet, it’s one of the world’s biggest exporters of food, second only to the US. Much of the Netherlands’ success has grown out of vast greenhouse complexes, some spanning 2.5 square kilometres. Aalt Dijkhuizen, the former president and chairman of one of the world’s top agricultural universities, Wageningen University, said heavy investment in these high-tech complexes had been driven by geographic imperatives. “The ‘secret’ is the large competition for land in the Netherlands,” Dijkhuizen told Cultivate quarterly. “To stay ahead of competitors, we need to be productive and efficient, which requires smart and significant investments.” The industry had also been supported by an “excellent research and development base” and “extensive knowledge in the areas of management, production, smart marketing and sales”. For instance, there’s the so-called ‘golden triangle’ of innovation – a sector platform called Food Valley NL, which brings together business, government and science.

50

“In the Netherlands we take this type of approach for granted, but most other countries do not have such a platform. Through the golden triangle we are able to innovate more quickly than other countries,” Dijkhuizen said. The development of the sector has also been underpinned by a strong commitment to sustainability, marked two decades ago by a national pledge to produce “twice as much food using half as many resources”. The results are particularly impressive in the case of tomatoes. The Netherlands boasts the world’s

highest tomato yield per hectare of land. Yet, it has one of the smallest water footprints – it uses about 8L of water per kilogram of produce, compared to the global average of 194L. Now the nation is looking to make advancements in genomics, bio-refinery technology and smart farming, in a bid to help feed the world’s rapidly growing population. “A two to three percent increase of productivity is necessary each year [to feed a larger world],” Dijkhuizen said. “Therefore, we need to constantly work on solutions and search for new opportunities.”

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Agribusiness greenhouses

A BOUNTY IN THE DESERT

1 4

HOW IT WORKS:

 un is captured by S thousands of computercontrolled mirrors and reflected to a central 115m concentrated solar tower.

2

 olar also powers most S of the facility’s growing systems, heating and cooling systems.

3

 he concentrated T solar power is used to heat boilers and generate electricity.

 lectricity powers the E thermal desalination unit which treats seawater pumped from the Spencer Gulf. Desalinated water is used for irrigation in greenhouses.

SUNDROP BY NUMBERS:

23,000

=

the number of computer controlled heliostats, which collect sunlight and reflect it to the concentrated solar tower.

1700

250

solar electricity produced each year to desalinate seawater, power greenhouses, and heat and cool crops.

amount of fresh irrigation water produced annually by desalinating seawater pumped from Spencer Gulf.

MWh =

ML =

700

ML =

amount of freshwater usage avoided annually.

14,000 15,000

TONNES =

TONNES =

amount of CO tomatoes Sundrop ² emissions Farms will supply avoided annually. to Coles over the next decade.

www.awa.asn.au

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Agribusiness greenhouses

today and grew it in a greenhouse, that wouldn’t make economic sense. “But what if you get breeding right and optimise the climate so you can grow three crops a year? That’s interesting, but would it make money?” he questioned. “Then what if we put a second layer in there under LED lighting – now that one hectare with three crops becomes the equivalent of three hectares outside. “Then we take away the greenhouse and put in a climate control box with 10 layers or 100 layers... it could be possible to produce the equivalent of 3000 hectares of grain crops on a relatively small footprint.” Urban vertical farming is something CSIRO is also keeping an eye on closely. “We’re seeing enough data points around the world to know that people will be exploring this,” Bonnett said. “As a government agency, we’re interested in understanding: what are the benefits? "Should this be encouraged or supported? How might we do that? Are there social reasons why you might get people involved in food production in cities?”

SUPPORT NEEDED

Smith claimed he would like to see more government support sooner, rather than later. He’s calling for training and demonstration centres around the country, so growers aren’t “reinventing the wheel all the time”. “Growers are relying on overseas advisors and I think it’s high time that we developed our own expertise,” Smith said. Barlow added that planning regimes needed to better accommodate climate change and economic considerations. “A lot of horticultural industries, by tradition, move with the urban fringe. "But if you’re going to invest in a major glasshouse facility you need stability in planning laws – big controlled environment production facilities can’t just be picked up and moved 50km out of the city,” Barlow said. "You also need to take climate change into account in the planning,

54

WE'RE SEEING ENOUGH DATA POINTS AROUND THE WORLD TO KNOW THAT PEOPLE WILL BE EXPLORING THIS. AS A GOVERNMENT AGENCY, WE'RE INTERESTED IN UNDERSTANDING: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? DR GRAHAM BONNETT, CSIRO

both in terms of water supply and locating facilities where they’ll have a climate they can operate in for the next half century.”

WATER WOES

But where does this leave the water industry? According to Sasse: “When land and water resources become more scarce, and issues like nitrate run-off become increasingly difficult to manage, [hydroponic greenhousing] is the future.” As such, Massey said the industry’s needs and concerns went “hand in hand” with those of the water industry. “In many cases our farmers already have a shortage of water – so there’s a high demand for expertise in the water treatment and monitoring space,” he said. “There’s also a more conscious approach to not only how clean the water is, but to diversifying water sources and ensuring supply.” Smith suggested the water industry should be ready to engage “at a higher level”. “Come along to our biennial conferences, understand the need for high-quality water, the volume of water,” Smith said. “Engage with the industry because it’s not stopping. Buckle up!”

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Drones in water

INSPECTING ASSETS MANUALLY HAS BEEN KNOWN TO BE TIME-CONSUMING, LABOUR-INTENSIVE AND EXPENSIVE. BUT DEVELOPMENTS IN UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS AND VEHICLES STREAMLINE AND ENHANCE THIS PROCESS AND OTHERS. By Martin Kovacs

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D

rones have become synonymous with technology disruption in recent years, transforming operations and enhancing capabilities across a range of industries. The perspective provided by these “eyes in the sky” is proving invaluable, but determining how drone technology can best be incorporated into workflows demands consideration. Also referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), drones have for some time been gaining prominence in the broader water industry toolkit, being deployed across varied asset management applications, as those within industry explore how the technology can be utilised. Seqwater Project Definition Planner Julian O’Mara observed that “exciting new opportunities” are emerging amid ongoing development of the technology. “For Seqwater, the use of drone technology is steadily becoming part of normal work, with different departments within the organisation exploring their application and looking to equip different employees with drones as part of their toolkit,” O’Mara said. Seqwater engages consultants to undertake asset management activities, and is focused on growing its internal program, as it develops an understanding of how different areas of its business may benefit from adoption of the technology. This is a trend observed at a global scale, with research firm IDC forecasting that utilities are poised to book the largest individual sector share of worldwide enterprise drone spending this year, at US$912 million (around $1.16 billion).

EXTENDING FRONTIERS

The safety benefits of deploying drones to assist with asset management are an immediate attraction of the technology. Drones reduce many of the inherent risks associated with field operations, and logistically can provide significant advantages over traditional inspection methods. The twin potential to reduce costs and bolster productivity, and the evolving capacity to acquire data for increasingly targeted applications, is spurring innovation and uptake.

DRONE CAMERA AND SENSOR TECHNOLOGIES Drones are being outfitted with a range of camera and sensor technologies, being utilised by industry to assist with different field operations, helping to provide detailed asset insight from above, including: High-resolution cameras – providing for up-close visual inspection via detailed video and images of assets, capable of capturing minute details. LiDAR surveying – assisting in the creation of digital 3D models. Multispectral imaging – aiding crop management and monitoring, including collecting NDVI data. Thermal imaging – creating images using infrared radiation, used for applications like detecting leaks in pressurised irrigation systems.

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Drones in water

IDC expects that global enterprise drone spending will record a five-year compound annual growth rate of 36.6%. “The industry is evolving extremely rapidly, and new improvements and applications are being developed every day,” UNSW School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Water Research Laboratory Senior Research Associate Dr Mitchell Harley said. “Drones are being used for a wide range of purposes. In their simplest form – for example, a quadcopter drone equipped with a high-resolution video camera – they are extremely practical for close visual inspection of water assets, such as pipelines, sewage treatment plants and breakwaters.” Geomatic Technologies Innovation and Solutions Manager Gary Butcher observed that drones have become both cheaper and increasingly capable. He attributed this to advances in camera technology occurring in concert with other recent innovations, such as real-time data transmission. “The drones themselves are more stable, they’ve got more sensors to avoid objects, which means you can get them into tighter places, get them closer to things and get better outcomes,” Butcher said. “You’re not so reliant on GPS any more, which means you can be flying under things.” Butcher, however, emphasised that drones are just the “capture platform”, effectively providing a means to an end. As industry explores different applications of the technology, it is the value of the data acquired that will ultimately determine how drones are deployed.

WE ARE NOW SEEING MANY IRRIGATION MANAGERS, FOR INSTANCE, USING THEIR OWN DRONES FOR MONITORING CROPS AND FIELDS. JOHN HORNBUCKLE, DEAKIN UNIVERSITY

DRONE APPLICATIONS

Development of drones with enhanced battery life, capable of longer flight times and sporting greater payload capacity, has complemented integration of more advanced applications, such as thermal and multispectral imaging, and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) surveying. Deakin University’s Centre for Regional and Rural Futures Associate Professor John Hornbuckle said the technology is being used in a “broad cross-section of ways” in water management. Hornbuckle stated that drones capable of acquiring high-resolution images can provide advantages over satellite remote sensing, also offering benefits in conditions where cloud cover may be an issue. “We have trials and projects, from looking at using drones for detecting leaks in pressurised irrigation systems using thermal cameras, to using multispectral cameras for monitoring aquatic weeds, which retard flows in irrigation delivery channels and reduce water-use efficiencies,” he said.

CASE STUDY SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS IRRIGATION SCHEME Preparation was key for Tasmanian farmer and drone operator Will Bignell ahead of 2017’s Southern Highlands Irrigation Scheme commencement, with water management planning undertaken to determine how his Bothwell property could best benefit. Bignell said the planning has paid off since water deliveries commenced last November. “It has added about $100,000 to the gross returns on my crops this year, through reduced risk of rain damage,” he stated. Bignell explained that a 400-hectare digital surface model of the site was created ahead of the scheme commencing, put together with the assistance of drone-acquired data. “It’s all about creating the digital surface models that are valid and accurate; that’s the first step,” he explained. “The full surface flow analysis, showing where the pooling is and wetness index

u

modelling, is then used for designing and implementing the drainage. In addition, designing the VRI model, planting model, based off wetness indexes – again, uses the digital surface model to do that. “This is then followed by in-crop, in-season, using airborne Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), ordinary infrared and red edge and red spectrum for variable rate spraying, variable rate fertiliser and tuning the variable rate irrigation.” However, Bignell emphasised the importance of the quality of the data and its application, with the process in its entirety comprising a multi-linked chain, from acquisition of data to determining how to act on it. “The problem is poor data in, poor result out,” he commented. “To me it’s all about the sensors and the quality of the data. When I’m marking a drain out I don’t want it out by a couple of metres, I don’t want it being set up on false data.”

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Drones in water

TECHNOLOGY TESTING Drone testing is being undertaken across varied applications. Harley, for instance, said testing is being undertaken to get bathymetric information in coastal areas, which has presented challenges due to extreme wave energy in surf zones. “The drone is able to hover above the surf and, by collecting information about the patterns of wave breaking, estimate what the underlying bathymetry looks like,” he explained.

“I see this technology being used in future, for a number of applications, such as monitoring a major beach nourishment project, managing the dredging of coastal inlets or port entrances, or obtaining bathymetric information from areas.” Seqwater has been exploring a variety of drone applications, including data acquisition for a dairy agricultural practice improvement program, aimed at reducing risks

“We are now seeing many irrigation managers, for instance, using their own drones for monitoring crops and fields.” O’Mara said Seqwater’s drone program has, to date, primarily focused on assisting water catchment protection planning, with the sheer scale of over 17,000 km of waterway spread out over south-east Queensland presenting significant logistical issues. Seqwater has been drawing on the technology to aid remediation planning and monitoring. “Drones significantly assist our planners in gathering timely, high-quality data at a low cost, empowering the decision-making process,” O’Mara said. “With the drone technology available, each trip into the field now results in the acquisition of data that has much greater value to the immediate planning process, as well as future assessments of investment.”

EXTREME EVENTS

Drones can also be deployed to assist with emergency management during extreme events. In the past, information has typically been difficult to obtain during events such as flooding and coastal erosion, with hazardous conditions, including blocked-off roads, hindering efforts to access impacted areas. Drone technology can, however, aid emergency operations, via acquisition of potentially critical data in difficult-to-reach areas. Harley observed that drones can be deployed both during and immediately after events, pointing to use of the technology during an extreme storm along the south-east Australian coastline in June 2016. “We were able to launch our drone well away from the impact zone and capture incredible high-resolution information about the magnitude of damage caused to the beach and adjacent houses,” he said. “This simply would not have been possible with traditional technology.”

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associated with pathogen pollution in source waters. Under the initiative, Seqwater has been assisting with improvements to effluent management systems, reducing farm run-off to waterways feeding water storages. Drone technology has been employed to capture aerial imagery and elevation data during farm visits, which Seqwater advised has assisted in planning for the construction of a new effluent system.

IT’S OFTEN YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE ASSET, OR THE SITE, OR THE OBJECTIVE, THAT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE DRONE. GARY BUTCHER, GEOMATIC TECHNOLOGIES

CHALLENGING FUTURE

Among the issues industry will need to address as drone technology is incorporated into workflows is the potential for limited battery life to inhibit applications – as noted by Butcher, the “technology is improving, however constantly having to change batteries as you do things is a challenge”. Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations also need to be considered before undertaking any sort of activity and in determining the value of different applications, those within industry will need to weigh up the benefits of developing internal programs as opposed to engaging consultants. Butcher said collision detect-and-avoid and traffic management systems are future areas of focus as drone technology evolves, while identifying beyond visual line-of-sight, flying outside of the operator’s physical vision as the next big push. “What a lot of people learn very quickly is that flying the drone is kind of easy – you need to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and it’s often your knowledge of the asset, or the site, or the objective, that is more important than the drone,” he observed. “It will really narrow down in coming years as to where drones really provide value and save time and money – and I think that’s probably the next level of maturity.”

K S P S A

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Hydro energy

ADVANCED STORAGE WITH THE RAPID GROWTH IN RENEWABLES, THERE IS AN INCREASING NEED FOR ENERGY STORAGE LIKE PUMPED HYDRO. THE WATER SECTOR WILL NEED TO KEEP UP IF IT WANTS TO MAKE THE MOST OF ITS OPPORTUNITIES. By Joshua Hoey

P

umped hydro energy storage (PHES) is potential energy. It works like regular hydro-electricity: falling water spins a turbine and generator, producing electricity. But PHES closes the loop by pumping water uphill to be stored as potential energy, ready to flow down through a turbine and produce more electricity. “Rather than just waiting for dams to fill up, what you can do is pump water from a low level to a high level to store, as we do in Snowy Hydro, and then release that water to produce electricity when we need it,” the Grattan Institute’s Energy Program director Tony Wood said. Australia currently has three PHES plants (Snowy Hydro, Wivenhoe Dam, Shoalhaven – together generating 2.5 GW of electricity generating capacity) despite having over 22,000 potential PHES sites. “It’s actually quite a bit of pumped hydro,” ANU Research Fellow at the College of Engineering and Computer Science Matthew Stocks said. The three plants account for around 8% of Australia’s national energy mix and as renewable generation continues to grow, there will only be an increasing need for pumped hydro storage.

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Hydro energy

PUMPED HYDRO OF ITSELF DOESN’T ACTUALLY PRODUCE MORE ELECTRICITY. YOU HAVE TO GET THE POWER FROM SOMEWHERE TO PUMP THE WATER UP IN THE FIRST PLACE. TONY WOOD, GRATTAN INSTITUTE In 2017, with the prices for wind and solar continuing to drop, 155 GW of renewable generation capacity was added globally, outstripping new coal development. “We’re now seeing more than 50% of the energy in South Australia coming from wind and PV [photovoltaic],” Stocks said. Victoria has committed to 40% renewable generation by 2025 and Queensland is looking at a 50% target by 2030. Nationally, the Clean Energy Regulator expects Australia will meet the energy target of 33,000 GWh of renewable generation by 2020, up from 17,500 GWh in 2016. This significant growth in renewable generation means increasingly intermittent energy supplies and a need for storage like pumped hydro. “As we put more wind and PV into the system, it’s going to be important that we store some of that energy to help smooth out the variation in the generation,” Stokes said.

BOLSTERING PHES

A report from Snowy Hydro Limited on Australia’s National Energy Market found that without large-scale pumped storage hydro, energy would be wasted on days with high renewable generation, and that increasing renewable generation capacity beyond the minimum targets wouldn’t be economical. Snowy Hydro 2.0, with its addition of 2000 MW of generating capacity, has been the big pumped storage hydro announcement of late, but a number of other projects are also in the works. Hydro Tasmania is conducting feasibility studies into its Battery of the Nation project, which it estimates would provide at least 2500 MW in pumped hydro capacity. Genex expects to begin construction later this year on its 250 MW Kidston pumped hydro project in North Queensland. In South Australia, Tilt Renewables has announced its 300 MW Highbury project in South Australia is at the

THE SCIENCE BEHIND PHES Here’s how pumped hydro works: 1. By pumping water between two reservoirs at different altitudes, pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) uses potential energy to spin turbines and generate electricity.

2. When electricity demand drops and prices are low, excess energy from the grid is used to pump water to the higher reservoir. 3. When demand increases or renewable generation drops, water flows downhill. 4. Falling water spins a turbine connected to a generator, producing electricity.

High-level reservoir

5. By storing surplus and generating when demand is high, or when renewable production drops, PHES creates more stable, consistent energy supply.

P.E.=mgh

6. The head, or difference in altitude between the reservoirs, determines generation capacity. The bigger the head, the bigger generation capacity (the ANU report used minimum head of 200-300m). 7. The size of the reservoir determines for how long power can be produced. The bigger the reservoir, the longer the output. 8. The inertia from a pumped hydro’s heavy spinning turbine means it can go from zero to maximum generation in less than a minute.

Flow of water during pumping (low electricity demand)

Head of water

Low-level reservoir Station

Flow of water to generate electricity

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“South Australia is the state with the least potential sites, there’s only 10 times more than it actually needs. Most of the other states have got a 100 or 1000 times more sites than they need,” Blackers said.

THE WORKS

approvals phase, and feasibility studies are continuing at the 90 MW Iron Duchess project and the 225 MW Cultana pumped seawater project. But all these projects are just a fraction of Australia’s PHES potential. A 2017 report from ANU identified over 22,000 potential pumped hydro sites around Australia, each with between 1-300 GWh of potential storage. ANU Professor Andrew Blackers led the research, working with Stocks and PhD candidate Bin Lu. Blackers said the total capacity of the potential sites is over 100 times more than Australia’s estimated storage needs.

Comparing pumped storage hydro-electricity to other forms of renewable energy is misleading. “Pumped hydro of itself doesn’t actually produce more electricity. You have to get the power from somewhere to pump the water up in the first place,” Wood said. By using excess electricity from the grid at times of low demand to pump water to a high reservoir, pumped storage hydro-electricity plants release water and energy at times of high demand. It’s why such plants work best in tandem with intermittent sources of energy like solar and wind. Essentially, PHES functions as an energy warehouse or battery that stores and releases energy on demand, but on a much larger scale. “Nobody’s building battery systems that are remotely close to the scale of a pumped hydro,” Blackers claimed. “Batteries are very good for small scale energy storage, if you want a lot of power, but you don’t get a lot of time operating at that power.” The Tesla battery facility in South Australia can generate around 100 MW over an hour and 17 minutes, storing 129 MWh of electricity. On the other hand, Snowy Hydro 2.0

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Hydro energy

would generate about 2000 MW over seven days and store 350,000 MWh. Compared to batteries, PHES plants have longer lifespans and low-self discharge rates: when the water is stored, it can remain in a reservoir for a long time before releasing its potential energy. Unlike fossil-fuel power plants, pumped storage hydro also has black-start capability, “If the grid goes black, you just open a valve, the water runs through the turbine and you can get your system back up,” Blackers said. Many energy experts agree that a combination of small scale battery and larger pumped hydro storage is needed to meet Australia’s energy demands. “Batteries are much better at short-term requirements: the wind dies down, clouds go over the sun, a disruption causing a spike in the power system,” Wood added. Batteries react in milliseconds, covering such spikes, whereas hydro storage can provide sustained output during peak demand at short notice.

HONING HYDRO PROJECTS

While pumped storage hydro-electricity is typically on the 100s to 1000s MW scale, Melbourne Water has built a network of 14 small-scale hydro-electric plants, with capacities ranging from 0.09 to 7.4 MW. The plants are traditional hydroelectric plants rather than pumped hydro, but cumulatively generate 65,900 MWh per year. “Melbourne Water’s system is gravity-fed, so as we transfer

water through the system, we’ve got hydro generating plants that harness the energy,” Melbourne Water Senior Project Manager Ian Royston said. “Basically, hydraulic head and flow gives hydro power. It actually offset all of what we consumed from our water supply services in 2015-16.” The small hydro units cost Melbourne Water between $1 million and $3 million to install. “Each site has some different constraints as to the hydraulic head and the flow. “Is there an electricity connection nearby? Is there other assets that we have to avoid? It differs on a case by case basis and is not a one-size-fits-all,” Royston said.

CELEBRATING CELEBRATING YEARS OF UPP YEARS OF UPP

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FUTURE ENERGY MIX

With the latest series of plants installed in 2017, Melbourne Water was able to reduce costs by relying on a containerised format that could be lifted into place ready for connection. The hydro units are automatically controlled through Melbourne Water’s Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. “From the large perspective, they’re essentially just like valves that give us energy,” Royston mentioned. Another five to 10 additional sites are currently undergoing feasibility studies, and the utility has been approached by others about the project. “We’ve had lots of inquiries. We’ve shown people around and explained how we do it, and every city supply system is different.”

While some have expressed concern about ensuring water supply for PHES plants in Australia’s dry climate, Stokes said there are solutions; “You don’t need very much evaporation suppression to ensure that rainfall exceeds evaporation across the vast majority of Australia.” More importantly, by moving away from fossil fuel generation, there would be an overall reduction in the water demand for energy production with PHES, even including evaporation. “It’s probably about three or four times less water required for electricity generation, if we have wind, PV and pumped hydro, than our existing coal and gas thermal plants,” Stokes said. Rather than competing for water resources, Blackers and others see Australia’s pumped hydro storage as a natural fit for the water industry. “Anyone who owns pipes and reservoirs will be looking to see whether they can have a second reservoir at the top of a hill somewhere and make use of their existing infrastructure,” Blackers said. The Shoalhaven and Wivenhoe PHES plants are at reservoirs that supply municipal water to Sydney and Brisbane, so dual use isn’t without precedence. “If a utility has a reservoir that they’re happy to have for dual use, then there’s an opportunity for them to have a head start in terms of the asset value,” Stocks added.

CASE OF KIDSTON

With construction slated to start later this year, the 250 MW Kidston project will be Australia’s next PHES facility to come online. The project, developed by Genex Power, will eventually see a disused goldmine converted to a pumped hydro facility and teamed with a 270 MW solar panel array to supply energy to North Queensland. “As you get a greater penetration of renewables, you tend to get more volatility in energy markets,” Genex Power Executive Director Simon Kidston said. “The focus now is on the need for reliable energy and pumped-storage hydro is one of the best and most proven technologies to turn intermittent generation into reliable generation.” The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funded the permitting and approval stages of the project. Stage one of the initial 50 MW solar farm came from commercial banks and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. For the PHES plant, it’s expecting funding from the same sources, as well as the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF).

“The Queensland Government declared the project critical infrastructure and that’s enabled it to be fast tracked through the permit and approval stage,” Kidston said. The project will use two of the former mine’s pits for reservoirs and a variable head of 195m-240m to provide 2000 MWh of generation: eight hours at 250 MW. “The project will have a pumped generation cycle every day, with generation focused more towards the morning peaks and the evening

peaks,” Kidston said. Construction costs of the pumped hydro energy storage plant are estimated at $330 million. The disused mine also came with a pre-existing water supply contract that Genex was able to secure when it acquired the site; it allows the company to draw up to a quarter of Kidston’s capacity (4.65 GL) annually from a connected dam for recharge if required. “[In the event of] a prolonged drought, we’ve got that full security of water supply,” Kidston mentioned.

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Hydro energy

AUSTRALIA, AGAINST THE WORLD A SNAPSHOT OF THE PROMINENT HYDRO STORAGE LANDSCAPES INTERNATIONALLY. FULLY ELECTRIFYING AUSTRALIA STATE/ TERRITORY

1

NUMBER OF SITES

STORAGE CAPACITY (GWH)

NSW/ACT

8600

29,000

VIC

4400

11,000

TAS

2050

6000

QLD

1770

11,000

SA

185

500

WA

3800

9000

NT

1550

5000

TOTAL

22,000

67,000

2 3

1 2 3

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NSW: The greatest density of pumped hydro storage sites, with a potential to build 29,000 GWh worth of storage capacity across 8600 sites. VIC: An estimated 4400 potentially suitable sites capable of storing 11,000 GWh capacity.

TAS: Could theoretically support 2050 sites, adding 6000 GWh of storage.

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MEANWHILE, IN EUROPE...

6924 GWh

Three areas comprise 72% of the potential capacity:

of substantial (and more than 1 GWh storage) theoretical new pumped hydro power storage available, of which 2291 GWh was classified as realisable.

54%

Southern Norway

714

13%

The Alps (Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany)

117

5%

paired water bodies identified as theoretically feasible, with

being chosen as realisable.

Pyrenees (France and Spain)

MEANWHILE, IN THE US...

IN JAPAN...

IN CHINA...

There are now 60 pumped hydro involving 51 GW of power in the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) queue for permits and licensing.

Okinawa Yanbaru pumped hydro facility, built in 1999, is the world’s first system that uses seawater as the lower reservoir.

Two large-scale opportunities in California have permits, but have been under development for a very long time as they are struggling to raise capital.

Had the world’s largest installed pumped hydro capacity of 27.4 GW in 2014.

● With 21.5 GW pumped hydro, eclipsed the US (20.9 GW) in 2014. ● Interesting things are happening in coupling hydro power with renewable energy capital.

350

PHES SITES ACROSS AUSTRALIA

300

250

200

150 GWh

Largest identified off-river PHES sites across Australia in terms of energy storage potential. Also shown for comparison are the Tesla battery and the solar thermal systems to be installed in SA, and the Snowy 2.0 system.

● Plans to have 100 GW pumped hydro by 2025.

100

50 12 0

Snowy 2.0 NSW

Qld

NT

Vic

Tas

WA

SA

1.5

1.1

Genex Solar Kidston thermal

0.13 Tesla battery

SOURCES: ABC, THE CONVERSATION, RENEWECONOMY

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Water efficiency

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Valuing what matters WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO SOLVE THE ISSUE OF WATER SCARCITY, AND TO MORE EFFICIENTLY MANAGE WATER AS A RESOURCE?

T

he general usage of water is far more than the average person realises, with global water availability issues now ramping up the pressure for water efficiency on a local level. Faced with issues such as the dual challenge of climate change and rapidly growing populations, securing water supply for the long-term has become an imperative that’s ever more pressing. Technology-based treatment and storage solutions may provide part of the solution to water availability but determining the optimum combination is no simple matter, nor is harnessing the political landscape and community to see them implemented. With a wide-spread view that new dams are off the agenda around the country, authorities have little choice but to turn their focus to desalination, recycling and water reduction initiatives, according to Dr Ian Wright, Senior Lecturer in Natural Science at Western Sydney University. “We store massive amounts of water for domestic supply, in comparison to other parts of the world because our [water] flow is so variable … more than any other country,” Wright said.

By Sylvia Pennington

“So, the trouble is, we’ve dammed all the rivers we can without a community outcry.” With desalination becoming a more acceptable solution, plants are now in place in all capital cities, bar Canberra and Hobart. For example, Perth’s two desalination plants can supply about half the city’s drinking supplies – around 150GL a year. “I think there’s more [desalination] on the cards, particularly for the smaller centres,” Wright said. Recycling schemes such as Sydney Water’s Rouse Hill Water Recycling Plant project may also form a greater part of the puzzle in the future. Established in 2001, the plant treats and purifies wastewater from surrounding suburbs and supplies 27GL of recycled water a year to 32,000 properties in Sydney’s north west. Households in the catchment area use 40% less drinking water than other customers in greater Sydney. Investment in similar schemes could lead to a significant reduction in demand for potable water nationwide but the high costs associated with treatment and supply make it an uneconomic proposition for utilities, Wright observed.

BALANCING APPROACHES

So what should be done to ensure Australia doesn’t reach levels of water scarcity? A greater focus on demand reduction and decentralised solutions would make for a more balanced and efficient ecosystem and allow utilities to defer spending on large-scale infrastructure, AWA Water Efficiency Network member and Kingspan Technical and Sustainability Manager Michael Smit suggested. “When you mix a decentralised source, like rainwater harvesting and water-efficient appliances with a central source, you’re getting that combination of very efficient local measures backed up with the security of a big system,” Smit said. “You get a solution that is much more efficient than either of those systems on their own. It’s not

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Water efficiency

sufficient to just have rainwater tanks because you need enormous tanks at every house to provide enough water but it’s also not efficient to just have a central supply. The combination is what gives you a better overall solution.”

DETAILS MATTER

A rainwater tank can reduce drinking water use by around 40%, or 96,000L a year, according to Sydney Water. And just over 2.3 million households used tank water in 2013, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. A greater reliance on locally stored water can also mean reduced or deferred spending on centralised solutions, Smit pointed out. “You don’t need to switch on a desalination plant, you don’t need to build another desalination plant and you don’t need to expand the size of your system to include another dam or huge treatment plants as the city gets bigger because you’re taking the heat out of the system by increasing your savings. “And a permanent reduction in demand is exactly the same as an increase in supply.” Meanwhile, disruptive new technologies are promising and delivering new options for conserving and increasing water supply. They include the Swedish developed Watreco Vortex Process Technology, a whirlpool-style method of processing water which alters its properties, making it more efficient across a variety of commercial applications.

WATER’S SUCH A CRITICAL THING FOR EVERYBODY – WE HAVE TO HAVE MULTIPLE BARRIERS TO RISK, SO TO TAKE ON A NEW TECHNOLOGY INCREASES THE RISK. JETHRO LAIDLAW, NORTHERN TERRITORY POWER AND WATER CORPORATION Closer to home, CSIRO scientists hit headlines in early 2018 with a new graphene filter coating that makes the process of water purification simpler and faster. The introduction of monitoring technology to provide consumers with more immediate feedback could also be an effective way to further cut household usage, according to Wright. “It’s worked well in the energy sector. Having that monitoring technology on an individual basis shows people what they’re doing at ground level,” Wright pointed out. “You look at your water meter and it’s a lot harder [to derive value from feedback], so not many people monitor it. If people got that feedback, they would. I can imagine people with a smartphone or a watch showing how much water [they’ve] used and getting proud about getting close to 150L a day.”

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IMAGE: © ATLANTIS CORPORATION PTY LTD

WA WATER CORPORATION – KEEPING WATER EFFICIENCY ON THE AGENDA

Consistent decline in rainfall over the past 40 years has been the spur for WA Water Corporation to develop a long-term strategy to ensure water supply for the two million individuals it services in Western Australia. Since the 1970s, rainfall in the south west of the state has reduced by around 19% and stream flows to dams have declined even more

dramatically. Before 1975, Perth’s dams received about 394GL of stream flow annually, but significant drying of catchment areas has seen the volume plummet to 11.4GL in 2015. Water Corp then delivered its 50-year Water Forever plan in 2009 and a 10-year plan in 2011, calling for new water sources development, usage reduction and increased recycling. Two desalination plants added almost 150GL to the region’s supply in 2016-17,

while a new Groundwater Replenishment Scheme, in which secondary treated wastewater is treated to produce recycled water, could add 28GL to Perth aquifers when complete. Educating the community has been a crucial part of the strategy too. Water Corp spokeswoman Clare Lugar said most people in Perth understand the need to invest in new water sources that don’t rely on rainfall. Lugar added that waterreduction initiatives have also been well received.

“Reducing water use is a cost-effective and environmentally responsible option to reduce demand on water supplies and potentially defer major capital expenditure,” Lugar said. “The Perth community is well aware that it lives in one of the driest cities in the world. Saving water is the right thing to do – so even though Perth is not experiencing a water crisis, customers will continue to find ways to save, like they’ve done in the past, successfully.”

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Water efficiency

WHEN THE WELL RUNS DRY – THE CAPE TOWN WATER CRISIS THE TROUBLE IS, WE’VE DAMMED ALL THE RIVERS WE CAN WITHOUT A COMMUNITY OUTCRY. IAN WRIGHT, WESTERN SYDNEY UNIVERSIT Y

SLOW CHANGE

Public awareness of the need to be water smart has risen significantly in recent times, according to AWA Water Efficiency Network member and environmental consultant Reid Butler. “Every person has to understand in their daily life how to use water and I know that’s becoming part of the norm,” Butler said. But, in the absence of a pressing threat to supply, more rapid introduction of new technologies is unlikely to occur, given the water sector’s deep-seated conservatism, Northern Territory Power and Water Corporation Living Water Smart program manager Jethro Laidlaw said. “Water’s such a critical thing for everybody – we have to have multiple barriers to risk, so to take on a new technology increases the risk,” he said. “There’s nothing like a good crisis for people to find the money and be willing to take on a bit more risk.” While dams and bores are the backbone of the water system in the NT and across Australia, the future will see the country relying on a broader medley of solutions, Laidlaw said. “We have to look to demand management, we have to look to new technologies, smart metering, smart irrigation controllers and, further down the track, it’ll be water recycling and water sensitive urban development – but, certainly in the Territory, those [last] two things are quite a long way down the track.”

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9 July is D-Day (or Day Zero) for Cape Town, as it’s been dubbed. Unless there’s significant rainfall in the interim, that’s when taps will be turned off and the 3.78 million residents of South Africa’s second-largest city will be forced to queue at one of 200 collection points to receive a daily ration of 25L of potable water. The Day Zero date has been pushed back several times following residents’ water discipline adoption and water donations, leading to claims that Day Zero many be avoided altogether in 2018.

But rapidly declining dam levels following three dry winters have left reserves in Cape Town in a dire state. About 70% of the city’s water is used in homes and a raft of restrictions are already in place, including daily limits for individuals and a moratorium on discretionary activities such as car washing and garden watering. Households that exceed their quotas can be fined or have water management devices installed on their properties. Meanwhile, agricultural users have been asked to cut their usage by 60%, compared with the same period in 2014, and commercial users by 45%. While the measures have resulted in a 50% water usage reduction, authorities expect they will be insufficient to stave off Day Zero, without an intervention from nature.

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Water efficiency

SAVING WATER:

A LOOK AT THE GOVERNMENT’S WATER EFFICIENCY LABELLING AND STANDARDS (WELS) SCHEME.

WATER EFFICIENCY ADOPTION:

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

SAVINGS OF WELS:

AIMS OF WELS:

-

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www.awa.asn.au

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1 $

BN

The amount Australians will save in water and energy bills by 2021 if more efficient products are used.

6L

150

The amount of water the scheme will save yearly in Australian homes (fills 60,000 Olympic swimming pools).

GL

7L

per min on a water-efficient showerhead vs. 25L per min on a standard one.

for a full flush and 3L for a half flush on a modern dual-flush toilet vs. 12L on an older-style single flush toilet.

2/3

less water on a waterefficient washing machine.

62 75 79 %

of Aussies live in dwellings built within the past five years, with water-efficient showerheads.

of Australian households have water-efficient showerheads at their dwellings.

IN THE LAUNDRY:

%

IN THE BATHROOM:

IN THE GARDEN:

%

of Aussie households took at least one step to save water inside or outside their homes.

IN THE TOILET:

OUTSIDE OF HOME:

(EXCLUDING GARDEN)

54% 64% 34% 66% 33%

use the machine only when fully loaded and 24% adjusted water levels in the machine.

take shorter showers and 45% turn off the tap while cleaning teeth or shaving.

only water when needed and 29% water at cooler times of the day.

use the half flush on a dual-flush toilet and 29% flush only when needed.

use a commercial car-washing facility and 29% wash the car less often.

Sources: CHOICE, AWA, Plumbing Connection, ABS

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Blockchain technology

The NEW

VALUATION of WATER

AS BITCOIN LEADS IN FAME, GET READY FOR BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY, THE NEW WAY OF PUTTING A VALUE ON BUSINESS ASSETS. By David Barbeler

I

t’s just hours out from what Professor Greg Morrison from Curtin University’s School of Design and the Built Environment in Perth, WA describes as a “huge meeting” with stakeholders for Australia’s most advanced waterrelated blockchain project. A worrying thought crosses his mind: “I don’t think we’ve got enough food for everyone”. Such is the interest in the Fremantle blockchain project at present (see case study on page 82) that Morrison’s concerns don’t lie in whether key potential stakeholders such as the Water Corporation WA will jump on board with the consortium; it’s catering. Because, as far as he’s concerned, blockchain technology will complement the water industry in a number of different ways in the near future. It’s just a matter of exactly how. “That’s not my opinion. That’s a dead certainty,” Morrison said. “The important thing is to enable utilities to be involved in our project and hopefully they have foresight and can see where the business opportunities lie.”

LET’S BACKTRACK

But what is blockchain? Everyone’s heard of bitcoin, but let’s put that aside for now. The applications of blockchain technology extend far beyond cryptocurrencies. As Ryan Wavish, CEO of Marchment Hill Consulting, explained it, blockchain is a form of distributed ledger technology (DLT). “It’s useful to record the transfer of assets within a business network in a shared ledger that provides a single ‘source of truth’ for the participants in the business network,” Wavish said.

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Essentially, blockchain is a decentralised database shared among a network of peer-to-peer computers. All computers in the network must approve an exchange before it can be recorded and all computers are connected. It’s a little bit like double entry accounting; just with a lot more computers confirming each exchange. What makes it so special, however, is that it’s extremely secure. As yet, no one has been able to crack it. This means data stored in the blockchain is resistant to modifications or tampering. “It has a certain inherent safety which provides trust. It’s a very safe ledger,” Morrison said.

IMPROVING THE INDUSTRY

The technology is great at cutting out the middleman. It makes transactions and exchanges faster without the need for oversight. This equates to savings in both time and resources. Jason Lee, Strategic Advisor at the Blockchain Centre, said it can be used to facilitate water transactions. It can also be used to track and record water quality through each stage – from the source to the consumer. Wavish added that blockchain could act as a “trusted source” for various stakeholders, including auditors and regulatory bodies. He said potential applications of the technology included water rights trading (providing additional security and efficiency in regulatory compliance processes), smart contract payments and settlements (reducing transaction

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Blockchain technology

THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO ENABLE UTILITIES TO BE INVOLVED IN OUR PROJECT AND HOPEFULLY THEY HAVE A BIT OF FORESIGHT AND CAN SEE WHERE THE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES LIE. PROFESSOR GREG MORRISON, CURTIN UNIVERSIT Y settlement time), and peer-to-peer trading (energy-intensive water treatment could be used in peer-to-peer trade in energy). And while you were told to forget about cryptocurrencies just a little earlier, capital raising using blockchain technology isn’t out of the question through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), Wavish said.

USE CASES

So that’s the theory out of the way. But what are some tangible, practical examples of blockchain being put to good use in the water industry? Well, the good news is that “Australia is actually relatively advanced when it comes to trials of blockchain technology in the water sector,” according to Wavish. First off the bat is blockchain energy trading company Power Ledger’s project to integrate distributed energy and water systems in Fremantle (of which Morrison is the lead researcher). This project received over $2.5 million in Federal Government funding in late 2017. Then there’s marketing company Civic Ledger, which received $80,000 in government funding to develop a blockchain enabled peer-to-peer trading platform that leverages smart contracts and token management systems to monitor water trading. “Civic Ledger has also reportedly secured a contract with South East Water [in Victoria] to explore the potential of a blockchain based micro-trading platform for the trading of rainwater,” Wavish mentioned.

HOW TO CAPITALISE?

As there are a number of blockchain projects and trials already started in the energy sector, Wavish said utilities and companies should consider taking part. “Getting involved in subsidised trials is a good place to start,” Wavish suggested. “With a strong energy-water nexus, there would be scope for more blockchain projects involving both energy and water, like the one underway in Fremantle.” When looking to be involved in a project, Morrison said firms shouldn’t necessarily think about overhauling their existing systems to incorporate blockchain. Instead, they need to figure out how it could improve existing systems. “I would argue we’re not challenging the system; we’re complementing it,” he said.

BARRIERS AND RISKS

One of the biggest barriers for companies looking to adopt blockchain technologies will be ensuring necessary health standards and regulations are adhered to. The high start-up cost of developing a blockchain project is another potential

GROWTH OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES

2007

Satoshi Nakamoto, the name used by the unknown person who designed bitcoin, begins working on the concept – the original blockchain database.

DEC 2010

The first purchase is made using bitcoin. Two pizzas were bought for 10,000 bitcoins. That amount is worth AUD$250 million at bitcoin’s peak.

DEC 2013

Australian Jackson Palmer, creates Dogecoin to lampoon cryptocurrencies. By 2018, it reaches a market capitalisation of US$2 billion.

JULY 2015

Ethereum goes live. The open-source blockchain-based distributed computing platform allows users to build their own decentralised applications and create ‘smart contracts’.

NOV 2017

Federal Government announces $2.57 million in funding for the Fremantle blockchain trial project spearheaded by Power Ledger and Curtin University. A further $5.68 million is to be indirectly funded through the project’s partners.

DEC 2017

The Australian stock exchange (ASX) announces it will move to blockchain, the first global market to do so.

DEC 2017

The price of one bitcoin peaks to more than AUD$25,000, up from about $1000 just a year prior.

MAR 2018

The number of blockchain projects around the world now numbers well into the thousands, with a large number of them raising millions of dollars in funding and capital.

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Blockchain technology

AUSTRALIA IS ACTUALLY RELATIVELY ADVANCED WHEN IT COMES TO TRIALS OF BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY IN THE WATER SECTOR. RYAN WAVISH, MARCHMENT HILL CONSULTING

barrier, according to Lee, who is also the Director for Australia and New Zealand for NEM.io Foundation. “Also, it may require a level of expertise. You’ll need to source talent to manage this technology. For example, engineering, computer science and cryptography.” Another issue, added Wavish, was raised in a recent study conducted with AGL and IBM into the applicability of DLTs to track peer-to-peer trading in electricity. “The study found that DLTs are currently not suitable for high-frequency and very high-volume transactions,” Wavish said. And just like all projects involving new and

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innovative technology, there is risk that it won’t provide the benefits expected. “And you have to get it right from day one as it may affect communities,” Lee said, “ensuring that it works with existing IT systems may be a challenge.”

THE FUTURE

Still, where there’s risk there’s reward. And the big benefit for utilities, according to Lee, would be cost efficiency over the long run. “Blockchain can be a cheaper alternative to the current system of allocation and distribution that water energy currently has if it’s able to track the effectiveness of how water is distributed and avoid wastage,” Lee said. Wavish added that the more the sector explored this technology the more it would learn. “It is still very early in the evolution of the technology and breakthrough applications of blockchain are likely to occur in other sectors first,” he said. “Keeping an open mind and looking for the opportunities that emerge in other sectors will be key to transitioning the benefits to the water sector.” The moral of the story? Those late to the party may miss out on more than just canapes.

[CASE STUDY ONE]

[CASE STUDY TWO]

FREMANTLE BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY TRIAL

CIVIC LEDGER PROOF OF CONCEPT

Blockchain technology is underpinning a two-year project that aims to deliver renewable energy and sustainable water supply across Fremantle, WA. The $8.4 million project garnered worldwide attention when it won $2.57 million in funding from the Federal Government. The project will use Power Ledger’s locally-developed blockchain ledger to integrate distributed energy and water systems. Distributed systems in the project include a large solar photovoltaic plant, distributed rooftop solar, a large precinct-sized battery, an electric vehicle charging station, and precinct water treatment and capture systems. Curtin University will undertake the research underpinning the project, while Power Ledger’s blockchain platform will facilitate the transactional aspect for the solar assets. “The blockchain trading algorithms allocate energy and water to each dwelling based on the assets’ output,” Power Ledger Analyst Meagan Cojocar said. Current project partners include LandCorp, Murdoch University, CISCO, Data61 and Synergy. Morrison said contracts with the government were signed in February, with the rollout to take place until the end of June 2019. The trial is expected to take place on a small site that’s medium density apartments over one hectare, before ramping up the scale of the project. “By the end of the project we’ll link up to another 12 to 14 developments across Fremantle that we are negotiating at the moment,” Morrison said.

Blockchain market solution specialist, Civic Ledger, recently received $80,000 in Federal Government funding after completing a proof of concept for a blockchainbased application that aims to increase the transparency and capability of water market trading across Australia. It also formed a partnership with the Australian Water Partnership, which came after the City of Melbourne engaged Civic Ledger to use blockchain technology to allow citizens to trade parking entitlements in a peer-to-peer marketplace. “The Australian water market is highly complex with four state registries and many brokers and exchanges,” Civic Ledger Chief Executive Grantly Mailes said. “If we can improve the transparency and reliability of water market information, we boost confidence in the market, which will lead to increased participation and better use of this precious resource.” Civic Ledger’s technology is readily transferable to other water products such as urban, industrial and environmental and has global market application.

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Water meters

RIVERS OF

DATA

A REASONABLY NEW STANDARD FOR MACHINE-TO-MACHINE COMMUNICATION IS CATCHING ON IN AUSTRALIA, AND WATER UTILITIES ARE CERTAINLY TAKING NOTICE. By Brent Balinski

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T

he past few years have seen excitement around the Internet of Things, with research conglomerates releasing reports showcasing promising predictions and numbers. There’s Cisco’s forecast of 50 billion connected devices by 2020 and there’s General Electric’s 2012 paper, calculating a boost to global GDP of between US$10 trillion and US$15 trillion by 2030 from the industrial internet. In 2015, McKinsey modelling showed that the IoT could create between US$4 trillion and US$11 trillion of impact annually by 2025, with cities – including through resource management – contributing between US$0.9 trillion and US$1.7 trillion. But, to realise the predicted value of all those connected devices, however much value and however many devices, new infrastructure and new approaches to data transmission need to be created. This was highlighted in January when Telstra announced its narrowband coverage in major Australian cities and a number of regional towns to service low-power devices, creating very small amounts of data. “These devices will be the centrepiece of the Internet of Things,” its Chief Operations Officer Robyn Denholm said at the launch, at CES

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Water meters

WE ARE ACTIVELY CONSIDERING THE USE OF IoT COMMUNICATIONS FOR BOTH FUTURE AND EXISTING MONITORING EQUIPMENT. MARK GOBBIE, SA WATER in Las Vegas, adding that the company now connects two million devices and expects to quadruple this within five years. Named Narrowband IoT (see sidebar) or NB-IoT, this new standard for low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) radio communications has many industries excited. This excitement is shared by those in the water management sector, believes WaterGroup Managing Director Guenter HauberDavidson. “NB-IoT water meters are to water utilities what the latest iPhone is to us; everybody wants them,” he said. With networks run by major carriers, utilities are expected to connect to existing telecommunication networks to deploy smart water meters with unprecedented speed and ease.

Comparing old and new

CHEAPER, LIGHTER, LOWER-POWERED A standard optimised for a particular set of needs, NB-IoT was finalised by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project in mid-2016. Devices operate in a licensed spectrum using 200kHz bandwidth, more securely than with proprietary low-power wide-area network solutions and communicate only a few bytes a day. Transmission is under 100Kb/s and latency is high – about 1.5 to 10 seconds – but battery life is 10 years. As well as catering to the limited processing power, connectivity and battery capabilities of constrained devices, the

SIZE MATTERS

Narrowband exploits the idea that smaller is better: smaller data packets, lesser energy costs and sensors with a small, basic range of functionality. It is exceptionally useful for simple sensors that don’t need to transmit rich information at regular intervals, and is appealing for applications such as precision agriculture, smart city infrastructure, and facilities management.

waves used offer wide coverage and are good at going through walls and floors. Some of the earliest, most interesting applications for this machine-to-machine standard have included smart car parks, facilities management and metering.

At the same time, narrowband is said to accommodate an impressively large number of devices at a base station and travel surprisingly well. “NB-IoT gives extended long-range coverage and deep penetration to get to hard to reach places like in pits (even under steel lids), basements, apartment buildings, and even rural zones,” Hauber-Davidson mentioned. In addition, small upload rates aren’t an issue – making smart use of them is. The processing of collected data is important, stressed HauberDavidson, whose company began in 2006 to focus on integrated water conservation solutions for larger users. He believes that take-up will be brisk, expecting to connect 10,000 units by the year’s end, and cloud-based analytics tools will be vital for creating the most value out of installations. The NB-IoT standard was only established in 2015 and has since rapidly gained in global popularity. Huawei, a leader in Chinese development, has predicted that connections will reach 150 million across more than 100 networks.

AUSTRALIAN ADOPTION Within Australia, three Melbourne utilities – City West Water, South East Water and Yarra Valley Water –

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Water meters

NB-IoT WATER METERS ARE TO WATER UTILITIES WHAT THE LATEST IPHONE IS TO US; EVERYBODY WANTS THEM. GUENTER HAUBERDAVIDSON, WATERGROUP

are currently investigating Narrowband and other protocols in the viability of digital meter fleet upgrades. Trials are still in progress, with the decision to deploy smart water technology across the network delayed by 18 months to allow for additional research. When asked what was needed, City West Water Strategy and Planning General Manager Cameron FitzGerald said the joint program needed to include a detailed, thorough and end-to-end examination of communications and metering. “Before deciding to roll out digital meters on a broader basis, each utility is seeking to have a clear business case... and will need to gain the support of its customers, as well as the Victorian Government.” According to SA Water General Manager of Asset Operations Mark Gobbie, the availability of NB-IoT in Australia is only recent and, despite the interest in it, adoption by utilities companies might require more trial time for further research, as with any new technology. “We are actively considering the use of IoT communications for both future and existing monitoring equipment,” he said, adding that there’s a lot of obvious value in NB-IoT’s features. “Like any communications network, the ability to communicate can be impacted by network traffic. “However, this can be somewhat mitigated by using a licensed bandwidth, such as that utilised for the Adelaide CBD smart water network. We are still assessing the current limitations and capabilities.”

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PROGRESSION EFFORTS The ability of a newly available NB-IoT-enabled metering solution to connect to existing telco networks helps do away with old installation issues, according to WaterGroup. The company introduced ultrasonic water meters from HZ Metering, using the emerging standard, last year. Hauber-Davidson said, “it’s a simple swap; take out the old meter and replace it with the new meter,” and likens ease of integration to connecting a new mobile phone. “The only difference is that the installer has a small infrared adapter that needs to be used to ‘start-up’ the meter and register it on the network. Of course, this is assuming the required cellular NB-IoT network architecture is in place, i.e. Telstra, Vodafone, or Optus coverage.” Lifespans of around 10 to 15 years are similar, though accuracy is vastly improved compared to older meters, Hauber-Davidson added. “A fully integrated electronic meter also does away with the need to attach a logger to an existing mechanical meter and the under registration of water use by older meters expected to be close to 4%.” This precision is important in improving the 10 to 12% of water lost through leaks and other issues, as are features such as near-real-time updates by mobile phone, integration with cloud-based IoT platforms and the data analytics-based applications this enables. Melbourne and Adelaide, like many other cities, are trialling the next generation of promising technologies for water asset management. Utilities South East Water, Yarra Valley Water and City West Water have collaborated on a digital metering joint program, investigating Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN), NB-IoT and LoraWAN (a type of LPWAN) protocols, and involving “a range of communications providers as well as laboratory testing in partnership with RMIT” on battery life, FitzGerald said. SA Water has been trialling smart meters with large businesses in the state since November 2014. Its

multifaceted smart water network trial in Adelaide’s CBD includes installation of smart meters at 100 of its customers, along with three water quality and 11 mass flow meters; 305 acoustic, 11 mass pressure, and 23 pressure transient/hydrophone sensors. According to Gobbie, customers have been alerted to problems due to the new meters that may have otherwise been missed. Data from one meter “helped identify a faulty float valve that was causing an already full water tank to constantly refill,” he explained. “Resolving this issue represented a cost saving for the customer of around $15,000 a month, excluding the electricity used to operate the water pumps.” The network uses both cellular phone networks (for more data-heavy sensors) and solutions from Taggle for communications. The CBD customers’ meters, for example, communicate data through Taggle’s HP-1 Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum tags, a “high-power general-purpose transmitter” operating at 922MHz frequency, and with a range of 4km in urban settings (10km in rural). Meanwhile, the three utilities in Melbourne are “working towards making a decision” on whether or not to upgrade their meter fleets early next year. “Each utility is undertaking trials in different types of areas,” FitzGerald said, allowing collection and comparison of results across Melbourne.

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GlacierA


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Swimmable waters

SWIMM I with A WORLDWIDE TREND TO RECLAIM URBAN WATERWAYS COULD SEE AUSTRALIA’S OWN PARRAMATTA RIVER READY FOR SWIMMING BY 2025. By Thea Cowie

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L

ondon’s Thames River was declared partially “biologically dead” by the Natural History Museum in 1957. Boston’s Charles River, known as ‘The Dirty River’, was notorious for turning up more than its fair share of dead bodies. Waterways in Paris, Zurich, Berlin, Copenhagen and New York had similarly chequered histories as “open sewers” and “industrial waste dumps”. Yet each is being cleaned up, opened to recreation and – in some instances – declared swimmable. Australia’s own Parramatta River is part of this global

trend to reclaim urban and suburban waterways. The Parramatta River Catchment Group’s (PRCG’s) ‘Our Living River campaign’ aims to make the waterway swimmable by 2025. And it’s a target that’s within reach, if overseas success stories such as Boston’s were anything to go by, said University of New South Wales Water Expert Dr Stuart Khan. “It shows us you really can generate community support for transforming a polluted urban river into something that people can enjoy – Boston’s a lot colder than Sydney and doesn’t have nearly

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FOLLOWING NEW ZEALAND’S LEAD

M ING as many nice swimming days,” Khan said. “Boston also shows us it’s technically possible – there are major challenges but it’s a question of how willing are you to do it?”

A SHORT HISTORY

The Parramatta River runs some 222 km from Blacktown Creek to Lane Cove River. It’s fresh water up to the Charles St Weir in Parramatta, after which it becomes estuarine and gradually saltier closer to the ocean. The catchment takes in 257 square kilometres and is home to almost 1 million people. Traditional landowners and European settlers regularly swam in the river until the 1960s when bathing facilities were closed due to water quality issues associated with run-off, effluent and industrial pollution. Sydney Water’s Service Planning Lead, Phillip Birtles, said: “It’s well known that

the past history of the river included some very toxic chemicals that are still in the river sediments.”

TIDE OF CHANGE

Efforts to improve water quality began in earnest in 2008 when the PRCG was established, bringing together community groups, local councils and state government agencies. By 2015, all 11 councils within the catchment area had joined the PRCG, along with the Environment Protection Authority, the Department of Planning and Environment, and Sydney Water. Birtles said residents and developers were placing increasing value on the social and health benefits of high-quality open spaces. Currently, however, there are just four safe sites for swimming in the Parramatta River: Cabarita Beach, Dawn Fraser Pool, Chiswick Baths and Lake Parramatta.

“New Zealanders have a birthright to swim safely,” the nation’s new Labour government has declared. It’s committed to making its inland water bodies “truly swimmable within a generation” by implementing a 12-point plan for freshwater quality. Environment Minister David Parker said in 2017 that the plan would regulate clean up of the nation’s rivers to “enable Kiwis to swim in their local river in summer, without getting ill and without getting out covered in slime”. Despite New Zealand’s clean and green image, over 60% of monitored river sites have been graded poor or very poor for swimming, and 72% of fish species are threatened or at risk of extinction, Labour’s policy document stated. The 12-point plan includes introducing a freshwater royalty for large commercial water users, and a crack-down on so-called ‘spray and pray’ practices of unmonitored intensive farming. It also aims to implement new freshwater quality standards, in addition to fencing and riparian planting standards near intensively stocked waterways. The former National government had also committed to cleaning up waterways and pledged to make 90% of New Zealand’s rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040.

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Swimmable waters

MAKING PARRAMATTA RIVER SWIMMABLE 2008 The Parramatta River Catchment (PRCG) Group is formed with the purpose of restoring and protecting the Parramatta River.

2014

PRCG launches Our Living River Campaign to make Parramatta River swimmable by 2025.

IT’S WELL KNOWN THAT THE PAST HISTORY OF THE RIVER INCLUDED SOME VERY TOXIC CHEMICALS THAT ARE STILL IN THE RIVER SEDIMENTS. PHILLIP BIRTLES, SYDNEY WATER “As development has moved west and Parramatta has been identified as the second CBD, the desire for landscape features and recreation space has become more important and more urgent,” Birtles said.

CALCULATED MOVES

In a bid to expand the number of safe swimming sites, numerous water quality improvement measures have been deployed by the PRCG’s members, said the group’s Chair, Councillor Mark Drury. “Measures include installation and maintenance of stormwater harvesting and re-use systems, gross pollutant traps, bio-filtration systems along roads and constructed wetlands,” he said. Sydney Water owns and operates 13 of these traps along the Parramatta River and in 2016-17 these traps collected 168 cubic metres of litter and 85 tonnes of sediment.

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Another powerful tool has been the Get the Site Right campaign – a crackdown on erosion and run-off from building sites that has seen councils and the EPA issue penalties of between $8000 to $15,000 per incident since 2016.

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES Today, the key sources of pollution in the Parramatta River come from wet weather overflows from the sewer system and stormwater. “Stormwater carries bacterial contamination – for example, from dog faeces and wet weather overflows – and chemical contaminants from industry and business, roads, and other hard surfaces,” Drury said. Khan added that the key to reducing the inflow of these pollutants was Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD). “The only way we’re going to keep a river clean is if we can ensure that rain arrives clean at the river,” he said. “We need state government-led strategy to implement WSUD in the way we design our cities as a whole, rather than just a hodgepodge of random developments.” Environmental chemist and adjunct professor at the University of Sydney, Gavin Birch, has been studying the Parramatta River for 25 years. He said the second major issue with water quality in the catchment was “the possibility of legacy contaminants,

2015

NSW EPA’s Hey Tosser campaign launched in collaboration with local councils to help reduce litter from the environment.

2016

Inaugural Get the Site Right blitz launched, with 202 sites inspected, and just 49% of these sites found to be compliant.

2017

Two more Get the Site Right blitzes were held, with a total of 1330 inspections made and a 9% improvement in compliance found.

2017

NSW Container Deposit Scheme commences in a bid to reduce the amount of litter from the environment.

2018

Launch of the Parramatta River Masterplan, as the roadmap to making the Parramatta River swimmable again.

2025

New sites along the Parramatta River to be opened for swimming, with monitoring and reporting via a new Riverwatch program.

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Swimmable waters

SWIMMIMG SITES

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09. Kissing Point Park 10. Cabarita Beach 11. Quarantine Reserve 12. Bayview Park 13. Henley Baths 14. Chiswick Baths 15. Callan Park 16. Dawn Fraser Pool

PARRAMATTA

02

RYDE

03 04

06 07

05 08

HUNTERS HILL

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13

10 01. Lake Parramatta 02. Little Coogee 03. Parramatta CBD 04. MacArthur St Bridge 05. Silverwater Park 06. Meadowbank 07. Putney Park 08. Brays Park

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AUBURN

such as dioxins from Homebush Bay, and chrome from the upper part of the estuary”. Birch suggested wider usage of stormwater infiltration basins could help deal with this legacy, as well as overflows and issues associated with high-turbidity. “Sediments remain a problem – the water is very dynamic and changes very rapidly spatially and temporally,” he said. “SIBs [Stormwater Infiltration Basins] would take water from canals entering the Parramatta River and capture quite a significant part of the contaminants, including nutrients, at a reasonable cost.”

FUTURE PLANS

While Parramatta River has been the subject of numerous water quality monitoring projects over the years, there has never been a catchment-wide, holistic monitoring program. Khan has been building a business case for such a program, which could also aid the creation of national

WE NEED STATE GOVERNMENTLED STRATEGY TO IMPLEMENT WSUD IN THE WAY WE DESIGN OUR CITIES AS A WHOLE, RATHER THAN JUST A HODGE-PODGE OF RANDOM DEVELOPMENTS.

CANADA BAY

14 16

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LEICHHARDT

recreational water quality guidelines that are appropriate for rivers. “We have guidelines that work very well at beaches and in unpolluted environments, but are they equally appropriate for rivers? I’d suggest the answer is no,” he said. Then there is also the issue of accommodating 11 different local government areas, plus state authorities and the wider public. The PRCG’s recommendations on governance moving forward will be unveiled in the Parramatta River Masterplan, which is currently in the final stages of drafting, Drury said. “It will outline a sustainable governance structure... including a lead coordinating agency and accountabilities for each state and local government agency.”

MOVING BEYOND THE CURRENT One common barrier to change isn’t an issue here as there’s positive, meaningful and sustained community and stakeholder engagement in abundance. In the summer of 2014-15, when Lake Parramatta opened to swimming for the first time in 72 years, more than 12,000 people leapt at the chance. By 2016-17, the swimming site attracted more than 40,000 visitors. Recent PRCG survey results show 68% of residents who swim are interested in taking a dip in designated areas along the river. It’s this kind of community support that makes Drury believe that: “Sydney could become a leading global river city, with a world class Parramatta River that feeds our worldclass Sydney Harbour”.

SEQWATER INITIATIVES Three million people: that’s about how many people swim, boat, camp and picnic around Seqwater’s dams and lakes in Queensland, and the number of people Seqwater provides safe drinking water to. So how does it do both at scale? When Seqwater was established in 2008, it inherited different water bodies, all with various historical community expectations around the kinds of recreation to host. Between 2012 and 2014, it undertook a review, developing guidelines for each of the 21 water bodies that allow for recreation, including the nine that have designated swimming areas. “The key was making sure we understood the impact of any requested recreation to ensure whatever activities we considered did not increase the risk to our drinking water,’’ Seqwater Manager of Water Source Services and Operations Rob Drury said. “We have good water quality monitoring systems so that when our lakes are affected by inflows or blue-green algae, we have a process to advise the community and safely manage access.’’ He admitted the region benefits from a set of circumstances. “As recreation has always been allowed on drinking water dams in SEQ, our treatment plants are constructed to manage the impact of recreation on our lakes,’’ he said.

STUART KHAN, UNSW

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Space agency

VIEW

FROM SPACE AUSTRALIA’S LONG OVERDUE SPACE AGENCY MAY HAVE MORE THAN A TRICKLE-DOWN EFFECT FOR THE WATER INDUSTRY.

By David Barbeler

U

pon hearing the words ‘space agency’, most people probably conjure up thoughts of moon walks, Mars expeditions and asteroid mining. The reality for Australia will be far different, and far closer to home. Think along the lines of improved water and resource monitoring, hydrology and weather monitoring. That’s because, according to the experts, the restricted budget that’s predicted for Australia’s first space agency likely means we’ll be looking back towards earth rather than exploring the solar system. That, however, spells good news for Australia’s water industry. “At the moment Australia is at the mercy of other countries when it comes to what type of remotely sensed data

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we can use, and those sources are likely to become less available or more expensive,” explained UNSW Professor and Director of the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) Andrew Dempster. “Why not design our own systems to solve our own problems?”

HOW IT WILL WORK

Last September, the Federal Government unveiled plans to establish a national space agency. Details on timing, funding and practicalities are yet to be revealed, but the Space Industry Capability Review was released in March, with a remit to outline the National Space Agency’s charter. Among the many arguments in favour of the agency was the use

of satellites to collect local data and help solve local problems.

THE BUDGET

Funding details are due to be unveiled in the May Federal Budget. However, expect the space agency’s annual budget to be more in the ball park of Canada ($430m), the UK ($660m) or South Korea ($755m), rather than the US ($25bn), Russia ($4.2bn) or France ($3.2bn). Even still, a budget on the smaller end of the scale could pay big dividends, according to Dr Brad Tucker, astrophysicist at the Australian National University. “A small satellite can be built for under $10 million, be designed and built in less than a year, and revolutionise a sector,” he said.

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THIS TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP FIND SCARCE WATER RESOURCES, HELP MONITOR CROP HEALTH AND CORAL REEF HEALTH AND PROVIDE MORE ACCURATE WEATHER MODELS. DR BRAD TUCKER, ANU

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Space agency

REAPING BENEFITS

So, what water sector problems could Australia’s space agency help eliminate? We could build satellites that were dedicated to monitoring Australian resources – such as weather, water and crops – instead of having to share and pay other countries for usage. “In due course, an Australian space agency may contribute more directly to international satellite missions,” CSIRO Digital National Facilities and Collections Executive Director Dr David Williams said. “A tangible contribution by Australia towards international research programs would improve and accelerate our access to these vital space-derived data streams and influence technical specifications for Australian conditions.” That said, Australia is already undertaking valuable work in this space. In September last year, for example, the CSIRO secured access to one of the world’s most sophisticated high-performance satellites, the NovaSAR satellite, which will give Australian scientists direct control over which data the satellite collects over the country after it’s launched in April 2018. With a space agency, it’s anticipated that more of these opportunities will arise.

THE GARADA IDEA

For example, in 2013, Dempster developed a system called Garada, which could detect overuse of water in the Murray-Darling Basin as it was occurring. The system would use a synthetic aperture radar satellite that

could map Australia at 10-metres resolution every three days for soil moisture. But the idea “was stopped dead” for being too big and expensive, at $800m. A space agency might just be the catalyst to advance the project. “In a country with such low rainfall and exposure to climate change, it makes a lot of sense to be as well informed as we can when it comes to water,” Dempster said. “A system like that can be used to track water theft in the Murray-Darling.”

CLIMATE CHANGE

Williams said Australia’s space agency could also possibly invest in relevant climate forecasting programs. “It could use satellite data to improve current seasonal climate predictions that are used to improve water management,” he said. Tucker added that a space agency could also advance hyper spectral imaging in Australia, which would have flow-on effects for the water industry. “This means being able to look at multiple wavelengths (colours) simultaneously. This would allow us to see different elements and compositions at the same time, instead of requiring multiple images or satellites,” he said. “This technology can help find scarce water resources, help monitor crop health

and coral reef health and provide more accurate weather models.”

THE NEED

Australia is one of only two OECD countries without a space agency, the other being Iceland. The other 33 countries – including New Zealand, Estonia, Latvia and Portugal – already have one. “It’s all about having ‘a piece of the action’,” Williams said. “End-user communities in the agriculture or water management sectors in these countries would likely have more direct influence on designing and prioritising satellite missions that serve their needs.” And until now, explained Tucker, Australia has simply had multiple groups here and there, all doing a variety of space-related activities. “However, these have been uncoordinated and hindered by a lack of cross-group cooperation,” Tucker said. “Space is such a huge market, soon to be half a trillion dollars globally annually, we do not want to miss this.”

MARS ONE PROJECT Dr Adriana Marais, a theoretical physicist, Head of Innovation at multinational software company, SAP Africa, and aspiring martian, is an Ozwater’18 keynote speaker and one of the final 100 candidates for the Mars One project. This project aims to establish the first human settlement on Mars in 2032. Marais said the project’s plans for water usage involves the first four people to go to Mars to take 3000L of water – about 3.5L per person, per day for the 200 day journey. “On the way there, water will not be recycled because the equipment needed to recycle water is too heavy – every gram adds cost,” she said.

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“But the water will have a dual purpose – it will absorb radiation particles to protect the crew and distribute heat. “Then, when we arrive on Mars, the rovers will have already spent two years digging up sand, extracting ice crystals, and using solar power to purify the water.” Marais mentioned that a trip to Mars can teach people and companies valuable lessons back on earth. “A big motivation for me is to inspire a perspective shift to become more resource

conscious and efficient. “If we can survive in the harsh conditions on Mars then there’s no longer an excuse for poverty on earth. “Hopefully the technologies we develop on Mars will gain traction here too, so that we can support our seven billion people and counting,” Marais said. And going on a one-way trip isn’t going to faze or scare Marais. “I’m prepared to live out the rest of my days on Mars and spend my energy developing the first off-earth settlement.”

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Australian water sector supports improvements in Vietnamese water utility performance Political and economic reforms launched in 1986 have transformed Vietnam within a quarter of a century from one of the poorest countries in the world to a lowermiddle income country. Water, and the efforts of many to reform its management, has played a vital role. However, water infrastructure and services have often not kept pace with economic development, threatening to hold back further equitable growth and sustainable development. Ageing water supply systems struggle to cope with rapid growth in demand, and environmental management services are not adequately dealing with the final treatment and disposal of liquid or solid waste.

Rising sea levels and new extremes in drought and flood events are compounding the challenges facing the Vietnamese water sector. These challenges have also been faced by the Australian water sector and the purpose of the Australia-Vietnam Water Utility Improvement Program (WUIP) has been the transfer of expertise and technological innovations to deal with these challenges between: •

Saigon Water Corporation – Seqwater

Binh Duong Water Company – Wannon Water

Phu Tho Water Company – Coliban Water

Hue Water Company – Western Australia Water Corporation

The WUIP program has been supporting the increasing expansion of water and wastewater management facilities in Vietnam through the transfer of skills for business planning, finance and contract management, as well as technical skills essential for operation and maintenance of new and existing facilities.

Operationalising water safety plans – transfer of knowledge to enable development and implementation of risk management approaches

Business management and customer engagement – transfer of knowledge and tools to ensure customer and community engagement

The overarching benefit for the Vietnamese water sector will be improved water services for over 16,850,000 customers.

Outcomes achieved include: •

Asset management – deliver practical approaches to support asset management capabilities

Water technology – implementation of new and efficient approaches to introduce innovative drinking water technologies

Minimising non-revenue water - introduction and trialling of technologies to reduce non-revenue water

Through the ongoing support of the Australian Water Partnership, the participating Vietnamese utilities are now able to share their experiences with other Vietnamese water utilities who deliver water services to over 60 million customers across Vietnam.

Find out more about the Australian Water Association’s international work at bit.ly/awa-wuip.

THE WATER UTILITY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM IS PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY

Son La Water Company – Cairns Regional Council, Water and Waste

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CHILLAGOE ARSENIC F

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SPONSORED FEATURE

C FILTRATION PLANT Introduction Mareeba Shire Council engaged Amiad Water Systems to design, construct and commission a 6 to 10 L/s Arsenic Filtration Plant for the township of Chillagoe in far North Queensland. The town sources its water from a local bore field, which suffers from Arsenic levels in the range of 0.010 to 0.020 mg/L; exceeding the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. The contract specified that the plant must achieve a target level of Arsenic of less than 0.005 mg/L in the product water. To achieve the target, Amiad proposed a system of Chlorination, Ferric Chloride Dosing, DMI-65® Catalytic Media Filtration and Cartridge Filter Polishing. The supplied plant is fully automatic and controlled by an Allen Bradley PLC with a Schneider PC / Touch Screen loaded with Citect Software, for local and remote operation.

Treatment process Chlorination: In ground water, Arsenic occurs predominantly as Arsenite As (III), and requires conversion to Arsenate As (V) by chlorination to enhance the effectiveness of the filtration process. Chlorine also acts as a catalyst for the DMI-65® media, and is required for its regeneration to re-establish the oxidising environment on the surface of the media. Ferric Chloride Dosing: Arsenic can bond with iron salts in the water and with metal based coagulants such as Ferric Chloride. Ferric Chloride is dosed such that there is a sufficient reservoir of iron for arsenic to form complexes and precipitants with the iron salts via the chemical processes of precipitation, co-precipitation and adsorption, which can then be filtered. DMI-65® Catalytic Media Filtration: DMI-65® is a manganese dioxide (MnO2) coated media. Its surface acts as a good oxidant and is effective in removing both Arsenite and Arsenate, as well as iron, arsenic complexes and precipitants. The DMI-65® Media Filters are periodically backwashed and rinsed based on either pressure differential across the media filters or on time, whichever occurs first. Cartridge Filters: One micron cartridge filters was installed to polish the product water and provide a final barrier to the precipitated arsenic.

Conclusion The Arsenic Filtration Plant, designed and constructed by Amiad utilising DMI-65® Media, was commissioned in March 2015, and has been successfully reducing the Arsenic to 0.001 mg/L, making it suitable for consumption by the community of Chillagoe, Queensland.

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Liquid labs

INSTALLING WALLS

RAIN GARDENS MAY BRING GREENERY TO DENSE CITIES, BUT GREENBLUE WALLS ARE A NEW WAY OF ENGINEERING THAT TAKES WATER INTO CONSIDERATION. By Hafizah Osman

A

ustralia is known to be one of the driest countries on earth and sprucing up its concrete jungles with greenery has been important aesthetically and to bring other benefits. But with water being a key concern when it comes to these green infrastructures, one researcher has taken great strides in alleviating this problem. UNSW Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Ana Deletic has been passionate about green water infrastructure, also called Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD), having extensively worked in that field. This involves the use of plants, soils and natural processes to treat water. “These nature-based solutions are now implemented quite widely across Australian cities, especially Melbourne. “My team has worked extensively on the development of rain gardens, which led to us creating the design guidelines, which underpin their adoption,” Deletic said. But rain gardens still take land and plants could suffer during dry weather spells, leading to system failures.

CREATIVE EXPERIMENT

In solving this problem, Deletic has been working on green-blue walls – vertical biofilter gardens in urban areas that use greywater or stormwater instead of potable water for their irrigation. “These vertical landscapes are not

only beautiful, they also provide multi-functional benefits like insulating buildings and improving micro-climates in dry and hot cities – plants pump water into air, achieving the same effect as evaporative coolers. “And instead of using potable water, they also filter greywater and stormwater, producing clean water for further use,” she said. Deletic’s main concern is that Australia doesn’t have an abundance of water and shouldn’t be using whatever precious water available on green infrastructure. “Imagine you live on a higher floor of a building. Every time you shower, your shower water gets collected and delivered to a green-blue wall installed at the outside of the lower floor. Your water then gets treated using the green wall media and plants, and is then collected at the bottom of the wall to be used for things like flushing toilets or garden irrigation,” she explained, describing one of the potential solutions. Deletic added that nitrogen and phosphorus found in soaps, toothpastes and shampoos work as fertiliser for plants. Otherwise, they create algae that choke rivers and bays. In retrospect, water treatment plants remove these nutrients from wastewater, but Deletic said it is an energyintensive process in comparison to this sort of biofilter.

GETTING AHEAD

But research into green-blue walls is only in its infancy, having been around for less than five years and requiring far more time, exploration and investment to make the technology more robust. “Although they are recognised as beautiful multi-functional urban infrastructure, green-blue

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walls are in their early days and are very different in their design, operation and maintenance from rain gardens, constructed wetlands or other WSUD forms.” Deletic also said more work needs to be done on the engineered media as they need to not only support plants but also enable enough water flow and treat water to a high standard. “It’s not easy to make it work, but it is feasible as it is low tech, low energy and has a low environmental footprint.” Governance also has a crucial part to play in the rollout of greenblue walls and other WSUD infrastructure across Australia. Deletic said its uptake has not been as successful as WSUD systems are multi-functional technologies requiring coordination of investments from state governments, councils, water corporations, developers and households as they are all benefiting from these systems. “It is about who benefits and who pays. In Australia, since the governance of creating WSUD infrastructure is multi-layered, getting the investment from the many players can be tricky.” Deletic also warned of companies “blindly” super imposing WSUD design guidelines developed in one climatic region to other regions. “Countries like China are now focusing on ‘sponge city’ concepts, but our WSUD guidelines are being misused in such countries by some businesses. These guidelines were created with Australian conditions in mind and shouldn’t be implemented without the relevant modification,” she said. Professor Ana Deletic is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at UNSW and has done extensive work around green-blue infrastructures.

HOW IT WORKS

1

Ornamental plants are put in small pots with filter media and suspended on a vertical surface, creating green-blue walls.

2

Pants and soils used in greenblue walls have to be effective for pollution removal and cooling of over-heated urban centres.

3

The greywater generated within the building, or rain/stormwater is treated by the green-blue walls.

4

The treated water is then used for irrigation of urban gardens or toilet flushing (with some additional disinfection).

5

Apart from their capacity to treat water, they are living art pieces that add to a city’s aesthetics.

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AUSSIE WATER INNOVATION INCREASING ACCESS TO SAFE DRINKING WATER IN VIETNAM The Australian Water Association, with support from the Australian Government, is delivering a program of technology transfer, capacity building and facilitation of commercial partnership to increase access to safe drinking water in the provinces of Son La, Khanh Hoa, Dong Thap and Nam Dinh in Vietnam. During March, an Australian delegation travelled to Chieng Mai Commune in the remote north west of Vietnam for the installation of drinking water treatment technology, training on the use of water quality analytical equipment, and the development of business partnerships. “The highlight was the integration of drinking water quality science with the social aspects of community awareness, including source protection and the grassroots example of gender diversity with the Australian – Vietnamese water professionals commissioning the new treatment unit,” said Cristiano Carvalho, Team Leader Asset Requirements Planning, Assets Planning Group, Water Corporation.

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“This project addresses a critical issue facing Vietnam – getting appropriate low cost and easy to maintain technology that can deliver drinking water to remote communes where piped water is not feasible,” said Dr Van Anh, Director of the National Centre for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation. “Through this project we have learnt many innovative lessons we wish to apply in other locations, especially the fact that technology and commercial partnerships exist that can provide an affordable source of drinking water to remote communes.” The Association is grateful for the time and technical expertise provided by its members during this mission including Arthur Kokolekos of Luminultra, Allan Hughes of Hydramet, Tan Do Duy of Hach Pacific, and Cristiano Carvalho, Matthew Bowman and Jessica Lee of Water Corporation to support the project. “As a graduate engineer this was such an amazing trip both personally and professionally,” said Jessica Lee, Chemical Engineer, Water Corporation. “Being able to do hands-on engineering through the installation of the Calgon unit was a good challenge, and getting the results we wanted was even more rewarding. Hopefully with this installation we can help to build the Chieng Mai commune’s confidence in drinking water from the tap.”

“As a partner of the Association’s projects in Vietnam, it was with great pleasure to join the Australian delegation to provide monitoring equipment, training and education to the local water authority staff and customers of the kiosk,” said Arthur Kokolekos, Regional Business Development Manager Asia Pacific, LuminUltra. “The water quality tests confirmed the delivery of safe drinking water to the local communities.” “The additional treatment will assist with the mitigation of calcium build-up and compliment the safe drinking water currently offered in the commune,” said Allan Hughes, National Products Manager, Hydramet. “On behalf of the People of Chieng Mai Commune, we would like to thank the Australian Government, and the delegation of Australian experts for providing safe drinking water to over 900 school children and the population of the Chieng Mai Commune,” said Mr Thuat, Director of the Son La Rural Water Authority.

Find out more about the Australian Water Association’s international work at bit.ly/awa-international. THIS PROJECT IS PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY

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T H E AU ST R A L I A N WAT E R A S S O C I AT I O N M AG A Z I N E

T E C H N I C A L PA P E R S SUMMARIES OF THE LATEST TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES AND INSIGHTS FOR WATER PROFESSIONALS.

107 108 110 113 114 116

A NEW APPROACH A case study of a regional chloraminated distribution system. BACKWASH PERFORMANCE A method developed in Sydney Water and applied at water treatment plants. GREENHOUSE GASES The energy versus nitrous oxide emissions nexus. BENCHMARKING ENERGY A summary of the 2015-16 benchmarking study. PEAK PERFORMANCE Evaluation of the performance of the new Whitemark WTP. WATER NEEDS A scan of needs of water sanitation and hygene for Indigenous remote communities.

118 121 122 124 126

BEST PRACTICE Risk minimisation versus regulation for disinfection by-product control. UNCERTAINTY ANALYSIS Uncertainty analysis and communication for water resource management in practice. DATA DRIVEN Exploring social-hydrology with advanced analytics to advance regional water security. PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS Private sector participation in the water sector and optimal allocation of risk (in Vietnamese). ENAGAGING CUSTOMERS Tasting water to improve customer outcomes.

To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal www.awa.asn.au 105

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RESEARCH LABORATORY SERVICES PTY LTD PO Box 50, Eltham, Victoria, AUSTRALIA Phone: +61 3 9431 2595 Email: peta@researchlab.com.au www.researchlab.com.au

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executive summary water quality

A new approach for water quality network modelling A CASE STUDY OF A REGIONAL CHLORAMINATED DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. S Moradi, C WK Chow, D Cook, M Drikas, P Hayde and R Amal

C Â

hloramine is commonly used as a disinfectant instead of chlorine to meet regulations regarding formation of disinfection by-products in drinking water, particularly in Australia. The chloramine dose ensures the water is safe to drink, but needs to be considered based on taste and odour problems arising from use of high chloramine doses. In chloraminated drinking water systems, monochloramine decay occurs due to chemical and microbiological reactions. Modelling of disinfectant residual in treated water distribution systems creates a better understanding of the effect of water quality on the disinfection consumption and can be a decision-making tool for effective water quality control.

NEW DIRECTION

This study developed a new approach for water quality network modelling (WQNM) to enable estimation of monochloramine residual in real drinking water distribution systems using a Bentley commercial hydraulic package called WaterGEMS. It is based on using chemical and microbiological factors that affect chloramine decay rate. The model is based on an organic character (specific UV absorbance or SUVA) as a chemical factor, a laboratory measure of the microbiological decay of monochloramine (Fm) as a microbiological factor, initial monochloramine concentration to the network and hydraulic retention time (HRT) of the water samples

through the distribution systems. The applicability of the model for estimation of monochloramine residual was tested on a large regional chloraminated water distribution system (WDS), from Tailem Bend to Keith (TBK) in Australia through statistical test analysis between experimental and estimated data. Water samples were collected at 12 different locations from the TBK WDS and distribution system sampling sites focused on major tanks located at varying distances in the distribution system. Electronic Geographic Information Systems data was used to develop the hydraulic water network model of the TBK WDS in WaterGEMS.

A DEEPER LOOK

To develop a WQNM into an EPANET Multi-Species Extension (a software tool recently added in WaterGEMS), chloramine decay was assumed to be described by the sum of two firstorder equations, in which the first part describes a rapid decay and the second simulates a slower decay. It was also assumed that the monochloramine demand after two days for water samples from the TBK WDS can be expressed by chemical (SUVA) and microbiological (Fm) parameters. After calibrating the model parameters based on 70% of water samples from the TBK WDS, all the equations were solved via a fifth order Runge-Kutta method with automatic time step control to estimate monochloramine residual through different sampling

locations. The developed model was able to identify locations where nitrification occurred in selected WDS in Australia, and therefore has the potential to be used by water treatment operators as a decision support tool to manage chloramine disinfection. This approach can be considered as a pre-warning method to control disinfection dosing process in drinking water systems. Sina Moradi is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the School of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, UNSW. Christopher WK Chow is the Professor of Water Science and Engineering, School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia. David Cook is a Senior Scientist in the Water Science Team at SA Water Corporation. Mary Drikas is the Manager of the Water Science Team at SA Water. Patrick Hayde is Manager for Water in the Treatment and Network Planning team at SA Water. Rose Amal is an ARC laureate fellow and Scientia professor in the School of Chemical Engineering, UNSW. To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal

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executive summary water quality, regulation & interpretation

A novel method for filter backwash performance assessment A METHOD DEVELOPED BY SYDNEY WATER AND APPLIED AT WATER TREATMENT PLANTS AT SYDNEY WATER. A Smith, H Botham and A Mohiuddin

W

ater Filtration Plants (WFPs) at Sydney Water use dual media filters to remove coagulated particles and pathogens from raw water. These filters require regular cleaning through backwashing to maintain filtration performance and achieve target drinking water quality and quantity. Historically, operators would assess filter backwash performance by visual inspection of the filter during air scour, low and high rate water backwash and media bed surface post backwash. The operator would then make any process adjustments as required, and record observations. The novel method developed at Sydney Water combines existing visual inspections with empirical analysis of certain parameters during a backwash to gain understanding of filter backwash performance. The parameters include: • Water drain down level before air scour; • Media bed expansion and fluidisation; • Backwash flow rate/meter verification;

• Media bed depth and uniformity of bed surface; • Media bed expansion profile over a range of wackwash water flow rates; • Inspection of media condition and presence of mudballs; and • Backwash effluent water turbidity profile every minute over the period of the backwash. The method also includes assessment of all filters at a treatment plant across a number of conditions, including a baseline condition assessment, and after any process adjustments to the backwash. Stepwise testing assists with root cause analysis and gives a measure of improvement after process changes. Implementation of this method also required development of a tool – a modified secchi disk on a telescopic pole of robust construction – to perform measurements and collect samples of media.

NOVEL METHOD

The method was first implemented at Cascade WFP, where significant

Appearance of filter bed after a backwash during baseline testing. The orange colour is a layer of sludge and mudballs on the surface of the bed.

mudballs and poor filter runtimes had been observed by operators. The Baseline condition assessment confirmed these, finding very large mudballs and thick layers of sludge on top of the filter media. The filter bed expansion was found to be 5-10% of the bed depth, well below the target of 20%. The water drain down level before air scouring was also found to be high and variable between all filters, which can lead to ineffective air scouring. To improve the backwash, the drain down level was reduced and the backwash flow rate increased (to increase expansion). A few weeks after each process change, the complete condition assessment was conducted to identify any improvements with each change.

KEY FINDINGS

Increasing the backwash water flow rate, and hence the media bed expansion, gave the greatest improvement in filter bed condition. Minimal improvements were observed after reducing the drain down level, however, it is expected that this may take longer to see an effect. A follow up

Appearance of filter bed after a backwash for the final testing.

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assessment conducted a few months after all changes were implemented by the plant team identified a significant reduction in the amount and size of mudballs present on the media bed after a backwash. More effective washing at the higher flow rates also allowed the backwash duration to be decreased resulting in a net reduction in water loss due to backwashing. Planned replacement of filter media was also deferred as a result. Application of this novel method allows physical/empirical measurement of backwash performance following process changes. This improves understanding of the factors influencing filter backwash and identifies opportunity for improvement. At Cascade WFP, implementation of the method led to significant improvements in the backwash performance and filter condition with a reduction in water loss due to backwashing and also led to deferring filter media replacement.

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Ashley Smith has been a Chemical Engineer for Sydney Water since 2012. Ashley currently works in Treatment in Sydney Water as Process Engineer and provides technical support to drinking water and recycled water treatment plants. Heath Botham is a Production Officer at Cascade Water Filtration Plant in Sydney Water. He has about 20 years’ experience in various water treatment plant operations in Sydney Water. ASM Mohiuddin is a Process and Technology Manager in Customer Delivery, Treatment in Sydney Water. He has 15 years’ of process engineering experience in petroleum, water and wastewater industries.

Implementation of the method led to significant improvements in the backwash performance and filter condition with a reduction in water loss.

To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal

27/4/18 3:24 pm


executive summary wastewater treatment & sustainability

Greenhouse gases from wastewater treatment systems THE ENERGY VS. NITROUS OXIDE EMISSIONS NEXUS. DW de Haas

U

RISKY BUSINESS

Paradoxically, some of the ‘novel’ wastewater treatment processes, which are currently receiving a lot of attention for reasons of cost, energy and/or effluent nitrogen (N) reduction, have a significantly higher risk of N O emissions. ² These include processes with ‘nitritation’ (partial nitrification to deliberately form nitrite), followed by deammonification (anaerobic ammonium oxidation or anammox processes), as well as more conventional activated sludge processes with high ammonium oxidation rates and/or low internal recycle rates, for example, step-feed systems. Engineering WWTPs by using such processes to promote N removal and/ or reduce electrical energy use, may be misguided in terms of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions. Without active mitigation measures, it is likely that increased N O ² emissions will cancel out (or exceed)

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Greenhouse gas emissions vs. electrical energy self-supply 360 120%

280

100%

240 80%

200

²

GHG Emissions Intensity (kg CO -e/ML treated

320

160

60%

120

40%

80 20%

40 0 Total GHG (N O + Scope 2) ²

1

2

3

4

5

6

214

98

181

126

101

86

101%

81%

76%

81%

64%

% Elec. Energy 116% Self Supply

0%

Model results of flow-specific total greenhouse gas emissions, compared with extent of electrical energy self-supply, for six WWTP configurations studied. Values plotted are predicted means. Error bars indicate the predicted range from 5th to 95th percentile.

the benefits of reduced Scope 2 (indirect) emissions associated with lower use of grid electricity. If renewable energy continues to replace fossil-fuel based sources of electricity production in future, the apparent greenhouse benefit of these processes related to energy savings could be cancelled out if they have an increased N O emissions profile. ² At the very least, the determination of N O emissions under the NGER ² scheme, should make provision for one or more alternative methods, such as direct measurement of emissions (where feasible), or a range of emission factors according to types of nitrogen

processes used, based on information that is periodically updated from the literature. Dr David de Haas is a Principal Professional at GHD with over 30 years’ of experience in wastewater treatment, including research, planning, design and operations. He has specialised in biological nutrient removal systems and greenhouse gas emissions from wastewater collection and treatment systems.

To read the full article, visit the Water

Electrical Energy Self-Supply (%)

nderstanding of greenhouse gas emissions related to wastewater handling has improved a lot in the last 10 years, but the existing National Reporting and Energy Reporting (NGER) scheme in Australia for reporting nitrous oxide (N O) emissions from ² wastewater handling is flawed and needs updating. It provides no incentive to design and operate wastewater treatment processes (WWTPs) that produce less N O. It makes provision for ² one fixed emission factor for wastewater treatment with origins in an estimation method that is more than 10 years old. Compared with the factor for wastewater treatment in the NGER (2016) guideline, the actual N O emission factor ² (if measured) might range from a much smaller value (around half or less) to much larger value (around five times greater).


Greenhouse gas emissions, relative to plant inflow with energy self supply from co-generation 400 350

The existing NGER scheme in Australia for reporting nitrous oxide (N ² O) emissions from wastewater handling is flawed and needs updating.

Emissions Intensity kg CO -e/ML

300

²

250 200 150 100 50 0

Variable EF Total (N20 + Scope 2) Fixed EF Total Fixed EF Scope 1, N 0 ²

1

2

3

4

5

6

214

98

181

126

101

86

73

73

94

92

87

110

73.3

73.0

72.8

71.7

71.7

72.6

Model results of flow-specific greenhouse gas emissions for the six WWTP configurations studied. Values plotted are predicted means (or calculated fixed values). Where applicable, error bars indicate the predicted range from 5th to 95th percentile.

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executive summary wastewater treatment & energy

Benchmarking energy use for wastewater treatment plants A SUMMARY OF THE 2015-16 BENCHMARKING STUDY. D de Haas, G Appleby, G Charakos and N Dinesh

U

nderstanding energy use of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and benchmarking it against other similar plants, is an important step to reducing energy-related costs and greenhouse gas emissions. In 2013-14, the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) conducted a first-round of energy benchmarking for 142 WWTPs across Australia. A second-round benchmarking exercise was performed by WSAA and the Intelligent Water Network (IWN) for the 2015-16 data period, which included 243 WWTPs in Australia and two WWTPs in Auckland, New Zealand. It represents a 73% increase in WWTP participation from the previous round. This paper summarises the findings of the second benchmarking round by WSAA-IWN and compares the results to those of the previous round. In both rounds, the primary benchmark applied was specific energy use (kWh) per unit of equivalent population (EP) per year (based on raw influent loads).

SECONDARY BENCHMARK A secondary benchmark of energy self-supply was applied for plants with onsite renewable energy, predominantly co-generation from biogas. Alternative benchmarks of specific energy use per unit of pollutant removed were also investigated. The benchmarking results represent the consolidation of outputs

from a large database of discrete and time-series data submitted by 31 water utilities that participated in the study. Of these, around half (17 utilities representing 121 WWTPs) had also participated in the previous benchmarking round (in 2013-14). Within that subset, slightly more than half of the WWTPs showed some improvement in energy efficiency, and a third showed an improvement of more than 10%. The secondary benchmark of self-supply of energy improved by 7% on average for applicable WWTPs, compared to the first round. These reflect efforts of water utilities to improve energy efficiency and demonstrates the value of benchmarking as a tool in continuous improvement.

ANALYSING RESULTS

The results found that metrics based on removal of organics offered little or no advantage over the primary benchmark adopted here – of kWh/(EP.y), where equivalent population is derived from raw wastewater loading. Reasonably reliable conversion between these metrics is feasible since the removal of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) or Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) is typically nearly complete for most plants, with the exception of lagoon-type plants with lower removals. However, nitrogen (N) removal varies more widely, being more heavily dependent on WWTP type, configuration and loading. So, when comparing different plants, applying alternative metrics for specific energy use

Understanding energy use of a WWTP plant, and benchmarking it against other similar plants, is an important step.

that include kWh/kgN removed may be more useful. Areas for future improvement include: data collection; data handling and sharing for benchmarking purposes, particularly in the context of big data; data validation and security around shared information and future legacy. This study also highlighted the need to better systematise the distinction between wastewater pumping versus treatment, which presents challenges to the way in which energy and related parameters are measured or sub-metered, and reported for benchmarking purposes. There also remains opportunity to improve energy efficiency and/or lower energy use. Dr David de Haas is a Principal Professional at GHD, with over 30 years of experience in wastewater treatment, including research, planning, design and operations. Greg Appleby is a Senior Resource Management Advisor in Sydney Water’s Resources and Environment Team. George Charakos is an Energy Advisor in Melbourne Water’s Operational Technology Team, with 10 years’ experience in energy management. Nirmala Dinesh is a Principal Process Engineer (Wastewater) at SA Water. To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal

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executive summary water treatment & membrane systems

Assessment of the First Year of Operation of the UF/NF Whitemark WTP EVALUATION OF THE PERFORMANCE OF THE NEW WHITEMARK WTP. R Tarr and P Kafieris

W

hile low pressure membrane processes are increasingly being used in water treatment for particulate and pathogen removal, removing dissolved contaminants such as NOM, iron and manganese is commonly addressed with physiochemical processes including coagulation and oxidation. For applications where chemical dosing and sludge production is undesirable, nanofiltration can be a viable alternative. Nanofiltration (NF) membranes are capable of selectively removing problem compounds or ions, while retaining some hardness and most monovalent ions. Large molecular weight organic compounds are readily rejected while lower rejection of monovalent ions provides moderate permeate TDS levels and lower concentrate salinity for environmental discharge. At Whitemark on Flinders Island, Tasmania, a new water treatment plant (WTP) combines ultrafiltration (UF) with spiral-wound NF membranes without the need for chemical pretreatment or oxidative processes. The UF provides particulate and pathogen rejection and feeds low SDI water to the NF system, achieving near-total colour and NOM removal. The NF also eliminates lead from the treated water, where levels previously exceeding ADWG health limits led to a public health alert to not consume.

PROCESS SCRUTINY

The Whitemark WTP process consists of raw water straining, UF, NF, pH/ alkalinity adjustment via calcite filters, GAC adsorption, UV and chlorination. A 70% NF recovery rate, with no pretreatment chemicals resulted in chemicalfree waste returned into Pats Creek. The WTP recently completed its first year of operation. Moderate raw water quality provided for stable initial performance; however, over the summer/ autumn 2017 period, prolonged lack of rainfall, combined with major network leaks, resulted in a water shortage crisis. With insufficient storage to see out the annual dry period, concentrate discharge was redirected to Pats Weir for blending and retreatment. Water cartage also commenced from the Lady Barron WTP (the only other WTP facility on Flinders Island). The feed TDS increased from around 700mS/cm to over 1400mS/cm over a two to threemonth period. These measures, with late autumn rainfall and a leak repair program decreased network consumption by more than 50%. From March to May 2017, the impact of NF concentrate recycling became noticeable both in terms of EC and normalised DP. The NF recovery rate was decreased to 67% as the raw water quality and NF performance continued to deteriorate, until improvements began in May 2017. An intensive cleaning cycle further improved NF performance.

For applications where chemical dosing and sludge production is undesirable however, nanofiltration can prove a viable alternative.

The NF membranes provide complete removal of true colour and DOC and the downstream GAC media only encounters trace levels of organics, prolonging the expected media life and preventing the formation of THMs or DBPs. Dissolved metals are similarly eliminated without the need for oxidation or chemical dosing. Following network cleaning and WTP commissioning, no pathogens have been detected in the network following commencement of supply. The Public Health Alert – Do Not Consume notice was lifted in November 2016, marking the first-time water was deemed suitable for consumption in Whitemark. Over the first year the Whitemark WTP averaged 198kL/d treated water at a WTP recovery of 63.8%. UF recovery was 92.4% while NF averaged 69.2% recovery. Specific energy consumption was 1.24kWhr/kL and chemical consumption was far below expectations.

Richard Tarr is a senior process engineer specialising in low and high-pressure membrane treatment processes. He was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2003 to investigate new developments in desalination and wastewater recovery membrane treatment techniques. Peter Kafieris is a Process engineer with Laurie Curran Water with five years’ experience in the water industry which included design, project engineering and commissioning roles on a number of water and wastewater projects. To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal

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executive summary remote indigenous water

Australian Indigenous remote communities and water, sanitation and hygiene A SCAN OF NEEDS. NL Hall

T

his research sought to identify the priorities of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) within remote communities on mainland Australia. The exploration of WASH access within remote, Indigenous communities was undertaken due to the social and environmental determinants of health and wellbeing inequalities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, which are widely documented and are acknowledged as being particularly challenging in more remote and isolated communities Health and wellbeing is influenced by access and quality to safe drinking water, wastewater treatment and waste removal and hygiene practices and settings. The global burden of disease from poor WASH access and services can be measured in part by the impact of diarrhoea, which constituted 2.9% of the global burden of disease (considered as disability-adjusted life years) in 2015. Yet, it can be significantly prevented through safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene, and is also treatable.

promote wellbeing for all ages. Therefore, Australia has a commitment to ensure that access and quality of these resources is attained for Indigenous Australians living in these remote communities. Interviews were conducted with representatives from 17 organisations providing water, sanitation and/or hygiene to three or more communities. The results found that drinking water supplies can be contaminated by microbes or naturally occurring chemicals. Wastewater treatment can be poorly maintained with irregular monitoring. The hygiene-related health of residents can be negatively impacted by overcrowding in houses, which affects the residents’ ability to maintain healthy hygiene levels of people, clothing, bedding and infrastructure.

UN RECOGNITION

SYSTEM RESULTS

This is recognised in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for water and health. The Australian Government is one of the 196 signatory countries to the UN Agenda, and is committed to progress the SDGs within and beyond its own borders by 2030. Of particular relevance to water and health are SDG 6, to ensure access to water and sanitation for all, and SDG 3, to ensure healthy lives and

The results can be most effectively considered as a ‘system’, with each aspect representing concentric layers within a system. Healthy behaviours in the home are influenced overwhelmingly by the layer regarding the effects of overcrowding. In turn, the functionality of the heath hardware influences whether the house’s residents can routinely perform these desirable health behaviours.

Surrounding these inner layers is the availability of water and wastewater services to the community. These four interlinked levels of WASH services operate in the context of two important foundations: a strong desire to live on their traditional lands in these remote settings, known as country, and the persistent traumatic legacy of colonisation, which continues to offer Western-style solutions and services. Effective responses have demonstrated a collaborative and systems-wide response by the various government and other agencies responsible, conducted with an emphasis on cultural appropriateness and long-term partnership with Indigenous Australians. Dr Nina Lansbury Hall is a researcher on environmental health within The University of Queensland’s School of Public Health. Nina has worked on environmental and social sustainability issues in research and non-government organisations and she aims to create and contribute to high-impact research in Australia and globally.

To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal

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Concentric layers within a water system Strong desire to live on country

facilities Healthy hardware in the home (taps, toilets, washing facilities)

bedroom house)

to

History of trauma and colonisation

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Australia has a commitment to ensure that the access and quality of these resources is attained for Indigenous Australians living in these remote communities.

27/4/18 3:53 pm


executive summary policy and regulation

Are current guidelines best practice for disinfection by-product control? RISK MINIMISATION VS REGULATION. M Drikas and R Fabris

C

hemical disinfection of drinking water has been the single most important reason for improved public health by preventing disease caused by pathogenic microorganisms. However, potential chronic health impacts that may be associated with the consumption of disinfected water require health regulators and water utilities to consider the overall safety of drinking water. Throughout regulated jurisdictions worldwide, control of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water guidelines is currently managed by setting guidelines for (or regulating) specific compounds. This is based on, and limited by, identification of formed compounds, development of analytical capability and available toxicological data. For most DBPs all this information is not available, leading to extrapolation of potential health impacts from incomplete data. This lack of data delays guideline development and implementation and can potentially result in DBPs with greater health impact not having guidelines. Currently regulated DBPs do not adequately account for the potential health impacts, and identification of the responsible compounds is proving difficult. Therefore, alternative approaches to disinfection management are warranted.

ALTERNATE APPROACHES A possible approach to address the total risk would be to include a more comprehensive measure of the DBPs that are being formed. One such technique is total or absorbable organic halogen concentration, referred to as TOX or AOX. More information on the extent of total DBP formation would be of value both in terms of informing utilities regarding their overall DBP production and as a potential regulatory or compliance approach. However, the introduction of additional DBP guidelines may not necessarily be the best approach in encouraging proactive and effective management of water treatment processes and distribution systems. As seen from establishing Trihalomethanes (THM) guidelines in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, this can encourage operational practices, which may achieve compliance with the

A more effective approach would be to establish regulations that encourage changes to operational practice.

regulations, but that do not necessarily improve overall water quality or reduce health risk. A more effective approach would be to establish regulations that encourage changes to operational practice to reduce overall risk. This could occur by selecting regulations that target water quality prior to disinfection. This paper discusses potential alternative approaches that could be implemented, in the short and longer term, to reduce DBP formation and improve overall public health associated with disinfected drinking water. Mary Drikas is the Manager of Water Science at SA Water Corporation. She has been leading water treatment studies in SA Water since 1987, has over 35 years’ experience in this field and has co-authored over 100 scientific papers. Rolando Fabris is a Senior Scientist with SA Water Corporation, with 20 years of water industry experience. He is a specialist in water treatment processes and characterisation of natural organic matter (NOM), but has also been involved with online monitoring, distribution systems and disinfection by-product research. To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal

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executive summary hydrology and groundwater

The importance of being uncertain UNCERTAINTY ANALYSIS AND COMMUNICATION FOR WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN PRACTICE. LJM Peeters, RS Crosbie, BH Henderson, K Holland, S Lewis, DA Post and RK Schmidt

W

ater resource managers need to make decisions, be it on flood prevention, climate adaptation or coal resource developments. Scientists strive to inform decision-makers about uncertainties in a comprehensive, unbiased and transparent manner. This paper discusses some of the challenges and approaches used to communicate uncertainty during contributions to the Bioregional Assessments Program, a federally-funded research project to assess the direct, indirect and cumulative potential impacts of coal resource development on water resources and water-dependent assets in eastern Australia. A first step in analysing potential impacts is to identify the causal pathways that detail how development activities can possibly affect the groundwater and surface water systems and how these changes might affect the economic, social and ecological functioning of a region. This conceptual model provides the framework for detailed geological, hydrogeological, hydrological and ecological modelling.

A NEW APPROACH

Predictions have traditionally been made using a single deterministic model, a calibrated model that best fits the available observations. However, to assess the likelihood of potential impacts, a stochastic approach was used to create an ensemble of possible predictions that are consistent with the available observations. This results in a range or distribution of predictions. But communicating the range of model results, as well as the complexities and underlying assumptions in a way that is relevant and accessible to

decision-makers is very challenging. For Bioregional Assessments, we have worked with decision-makers to improve communication of uncertainty using a consistent, calibrated language, tables, plots of the range of predictions and maps designed to convey probabilistic information in an intuitive manner. Further, model details and assumptions are documented in technical reports, and the data, models and predictions are made publicly available to increase transparency and reproducibility. The amount and technical detail of that information can be challenging for decision-makers to identify what is important and what is not.

THE SUPPORT

To support decision-makers, a qualitative uncertainty analysis was used to summarise the rationale for and effect on prediction of each major assumption. This allows readers to rapidly appreciate the limitations, as well as opportunities for further data collection or modelling. Bioregional Assessments have highlighted the importance of early consultation with target audiences, which has enabled the tailoring of uncertainty around communication products to decision-makers, as well as avoid the potential for biased interpretation of results, where decision-makers are drawn to the extremes.

Dr Luk JM Peeters works at CSIRO Mineral Resources. His research focuses on modelling groundwater dynamics. Dr Russell S Crosbie is from CSIRO Land and Water and his research spans water resources, climate change, salinity and water in the resources sector. Dr Brent H Henderson works at CSIRO Data61, at the interface of statistical science and risk analysis. Dr Kate Holland works at CSIRO Land and Water and her research addresses significant natural resource management challenges in Australia. Dr Steven Lewis works at Geoscience Australia as a mineral exploration geologist. Dr David A Post works at CSIRO Land and Water and his research focuses on the impacts of land use and climate change on water resources. Dr Rebecca K Schmidt is with CSIRO Land and Water as a scientific integrator with expertise in developing, integrating and delivering information that can bridge the gap between science and policy. To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal

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executive summary data analytics and visualisation

A novel data driven approach to ensuring water security, via data analytics and visualisation EXPLORING SOCIAL-HYDROLOGY WITH ADVANCED ANALYTICS TO ENHANCE LONG-TERM REGIONAL WATER SECURITY. D Baker, M Blumenstein, J Li, J Sayers, S Gosh, R Mahendran, Y Zheng, S Fogelman and C Ferguson

The project developed a smart decision support tool based on data analytics and data mining, incorporating datasets currently maintained by DoI Water and other government departments. It was an interdisciplinary project that combined the emerging field of socialhydrology with advanced analytics

Government Authority (LGA) through a Catchment Needs Assessment Framework (CNAF).

STELLAR BENEFITS

The CNAF Digitised System enabled the NSW Government to easily look across the state and identify regions that would collectively benefit from infrastructure upgrades and therefore rationalise the economic costs associated. It prioritises areas for building essential water infrastructure, based on changes in water supply/demand availability due

PROCESS OF THE NSW DOI WATER BIG DATA PROJECT

DoI Water

Department of Infrastructure

ABS

Feature Selection

PROJECT DEVELOPMENT

and machine learning to deliver a world-first government technology solution of its type. As governments are now required to do more with less, it provides the NSW Government with a higher level of business intelligence to improve water resource management. It rapidly processes data such as hydrological, climate change, future population growth and industry, social, health and economicrelated dynamic information to identify issues, insights and risks to each water source and Local

Pre-processing

T

he NSW Government has a strong position on data-driven leadership and this also applies to managing water security and its associated infrastructure. To align with the NSW Government objectives to become a world leader in whole-of-government data analytics and insights, the NSW Department of Industry (DoI) Water embarked on a big data project to provide the NSW Government with a more comprehensive picture of water demand requirements to ensure water security for the population/industries dependent on this essential service. It partnered with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to provide more advanced and faster data insights to deliver better government and business outcomes to address the complex problem of ensuring future water security for a large economic region 809,444 square kilometres in size, with a growing population (currently 7.779 million) and a $500 billion plus per annum economy with competing challenges and priorities.

Economic ID

Data Inputs 122 www.awa.asn.au

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to climate change, industry use and changing population dynamics. This includes ensuring available water supplies for high security and productive economic sectors of NSW and the Australian economy. Through this process the NSW Government can ascertain the environmental, economic and social risks to the community if water demands are not satisfied and pre-emptively mitigate this occurring. Danielle Baker is a Principal Water Resource professional with over 15 years of experience in the water industry. Baker currently works at DoI Water as the Director of Water Analytics. Professor Michael Blumenstein is currently the Associate Dean Research Strategy and Management and Head of School, Software in the Faculty of Engineering and IT at UTS. Blumenstein has been involved in a number of digital transformation research projects at UTS in the area of artificial intelligence and data science.

Data Outputs

Output Tools/Models

Data Analytic Tools/Models

Professor Jinyan Li is the Bioinformatics Program Leader at the

Advanced Analytics Institute and Centre for Health Technologies, Faculty of Engineering and IT, UTS, with expertise in data mining algorithms and new machine learning methods. Jon Sayers has worked for over 20 years informing water planning processes, by providing analysis of demands for water in NSW rivers, both consumptive water demands and ecological water requirements. He is now with the science team in NSW DoI Water, as a Senior Ecohydrologist. Dr Shameek Gosh is a Data Scientist with a Bsc (Computer Science) and is currently finalising his PhD at UTS. His experience spans across research and development of machine learning and predictive technologies. Roobavannan Mahendran is a PhD candidate in Centre for Technology in Water and Wastewater (CTWW), UTS. In his master thesis, he analysed the future changes of flood risk on a global scale. Yi Zhang is currently finalising his PhD at UTS, in the area of data analytics.

Parallel Coordinates (2D)

Leaflet Maps (2D)

Geometry Spheres (2D)

He has a solid IT background and his research focuses on data mining, which is to discover hidden useful patterns and rules from different kinds of data. Dr Shoshana Fogelman is an Industry Project Manager for the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology. Her key role at UTS is to drive and build strategic research partnerships with industry, government and community organisations that will enable them to access skills and expertise of UTS researchers to develop innovative solutions. Dr Christobel Ferguson is an Industry Advisory Board Member of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology UTS with over 30 years’ experience leading industry and government departments in the area of water resource management, water quality, microbiology, technology transfer and business innovation.

To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal

The NSW DoI Water embarked on a big data project to provide the NSW Government with a more comprehensive picture of water demand requirements.

Data Visualisation Outputs www.awa.asn.au 123

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executive summary Hợp tác đối tác công tư

Sự tham gia của khối tư nhân trong ngành nước PHÂN BỔ RỦI RO TỐI ƯU M Woolston, S Saris and P Smith

C

hính phủ các nước trên thế giới đã sử dụng hình thức đối tác công tư (PPP) trong hơn 20 năm qua bởi ba lý do chính. Thứ nhất, hình thức PPP rất hiệu quả trong việc giúp chính phủ đáp ứng nhu cầu đang gia tăng trong lĩnh vực cung cấp dịch vụ liên quan đến cơ sở hạ tầng. Thứ hai, bằng cách chuyển đổi gánh nặng tài chính sang cho nhà đầu tư tư nhân, PPP có thể giúp chính phủ làm được nhiều việc hơn mà không tốn nhiều nguồn lực. Thứ ba, PPP góp phần thúc đẩy hiệu quả trong cung cấp dịch vụ. Tuy nhiên, PPP không phải là câu trả lời cho tất cả yếu điểm trong việc xây dựng cơ sở hạ tầng hoặc cung cấp dịch vụ công. Những mô hình PPP thành công đòi hỏi việc phân bổ rủi ro hết sức cẩn trọng và môi trường tạo

điều kiện, mà những điều này thì rất khó đạt được. Thêm vào đó, phần lớn các mô hình PPP không thành công là do thiếu sự chuẩn bị kỹ càng khi làm hợp đồng, phân bổ rủi ro không hợp lý, thiếu quy trình đấu thầu cạnh tranh và minh bạch, và hệ thống thực thi và giám sát hợp đồng lỏng lẻo. Rất nhiều cách tiếp cận để thu hút sự tham gia của khối tư nhân đã được áp dụng ở nhiều nước trên thế giới. Kinh nghiệm rút ra khá đa dạng: Có nhiều mô hình mang lại thành công đáng kể, những cũng có nhiều trường hợp không đạt được kết quả như mong đợi. PPP là hợp tác. Theo kinh nghiệm của chúng tôi, nếu chính phủ hay cơ quan quản lý cố tình đẩy hết rủi ro cho nhà đầu tư tư nhân thì không nhà đầu tư nào chấp nhận dự án và khả năng thất bại là rất cao. Cuối cùng, môi

Ngắn đến trung hạn

Cam kết của chính phủ Những cam kết dài hạn của chính phủ (ví dụ như biểu giá nước, nhượng quyền, phí quản lý, v.v.) sẽ củng cố lợi nhuận cho khối tư nhân, cùng với bản ghi nhận các cam kết của chính phủ sẽ thu hút đầu tư của khối tư nhân. Cần thiết phải phát triển một khuôn khổ vững vàng, tạo thuận lợi về mặt pháp lý, luật pháp trong phân bổ rủi ro để thu hút đầu tư vào cơ sở hạ tầng vì hiện nay nhiều quốc gia đang cố gắng

Trung đến dài hạn

Dự án mới

Thiết kế - Xây dựng

trường tạo điều kiện đóng vai trò rất quan trọng. Quy định rõ ràng hoặc hệ thống pháp lý minh bạch là điều kiện tiên quyết và giúp củng cố lòng tin của nhà đầu tư. Mô hình PPP lý tưởng là các bên đầu tư tư nhân tham gia cạnh tranh nhau trong thị trường nợ và vốn, đưa đến việc cung cấp dịch vụ công chất lượng cao với mức chi phí thấp nhất có thể.

Thiết kế - Xây dựng - Vận hành

Trách nhiệm của chính phủ

Xây dựng - Vận hành - Chuyển giao (BOT/BOOT)

Xây dựng - Vận hành - Sở hữu (BOO)

Trách nhiệm của tư nhân

Hợp đồng dịch vụ HĐ Quản lý/Vận hành và Bảo dưỡng

HĐ Thuê và Khai thác

HĐ Nhượng quyền

Dịch vụ và công trình sẵn có 124 www.awa.asn.au

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This paper is in Vietnamese as an Ozwater’18 special.

• Tái cơ cấu công ty • Tập đoàn kinh tế nhà nước • Phi tập trung hóa

• Công trình dân dụng • Hợp đồng dịch vụ

Khối tư nhân sở hữu và vận hành công trình

Hợp tác đối tác công tư

Chính phủ sở hữu và vận hành công trình

• Hợp đồng quản lý và vận hành

Thấp

• HĐ Nhượng quyền • BOT, BOOT, BOO, DBO, DBL

• Hợp đồng thuê và khai thác

• Liên doanh / chuyển nhượng một phần

• Chuyển nhượng toàn bộ

Cao

Mức độ tham gia của khối tư nhân

gia tăng cạnh tranh với khối tư nhân để phục vụ các nhu cầu về cơ sở hạ tầng. Mục đích của bài báo này là đề ra phạm vi và quy mô của các loại hình PPP, hỗ trợ việc lựa chọn các loại hình PPP phù hợp và cung cấp các lựa chọn cho việc phân bổ rủi ro tối ưu để thúc đẩy sự tham gia của khối tư nhân. Từ khóa: Sự tham gia của khối tư nhân, nước

terial bac ing nt on manag terr we n ete an alia g and re pe strrali ust elopin m the ineer ies au dev g. fro hnolog ning eng ning luding testin Tec missio missio ts, inc llenge Water com com projec us cha qua s and sign and evo vir water ble and proces s de in the waste responsi as a work proces and ce to for en r, t offi pleted le water has be sioning er Mb e projec he com nag potab nts. he commis ere r of ct Ma pla wh /or . be du ion and num logies ORS es, pro filtrat design e in of a s rane AUTHGerin JamWater Techno experiencstralia, eing memb ial proces e Ag rs’ au THE qua ts. d in s mbran l in Full 10 yea evo for init . “Me g thi projec over water fiel ova has durin roles (2016) en Rem Water ltiple ste h rin ca. mu ES wa of ge & an hog T. Trin and nce ameri variety ning fere RENC es and act on Pat2016 Americ water north Con d in ts missio and the – Imp logy REFE, A., G. Jam worke ply, com on projec asia ment dings of e Techno ent e d Branch Replace he has n, sup atm mbran Procee mbran focuse ter tre time sig and on Me ycled wa d, de MBR”, ation Me rk has ort ste le r& wo wa g: Sca “A Rep Head Rec . Associ ical passin sales. his 06), rth nce Works tion. biolog . l (20 – No fere encom hnical brie osi ting Con logies ranes, Exp eer I. Ga formance tec Opera 6 iro ’06 and memb techno engin ies S and Per from the 200 ing ion gs Env cess log ces pman, r (MBR) of involv reduct Cha ceedin cto perien dings er, pro Techno ids Pro rea un , “Ex sol cee Bio Za Water Plant” and (2006) R)” Pro Peter nce. qua Water water fere evo r (MB Zauner alia thogen the . “Pa with G., P. Bioreacto erator Con ing austr g in s, , 10) join ltd (20 Op l of the workin or to Lander mbrane pty lson and uring Journa been 04. pri N. Ne a Me ineers has ctor.” 20 Eng nufact sydney s and 51. A ter rea ce ma gle pe AW bio An r® d at 6): 44ry sin rane L., M. n 37( eMco he worke d in the d indust ew, memb ociatio rte ns (M use 06, by a Pettigr l sta Ass me foc 20 ova ter sie in peter ere he rem ian Wa cer. nsW) wh o dule Austral ndsor ction offi division, r mo he als , Wi e™. du d ’s Mb facility as a pro rane r& Mcor earch mpuls Me as Me ration res Water or memb ent of wn filt pm n - kno rane MeMc develo desig memb on the n system l other era aeratio ted sev ple com

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Mike Woolston is the leader of Frontier Economics’ Water Practice. Stella Saris is the Director of Resources Energy and Infrastructure at SEAI A/NZ Banking Group. Paul Smith is the International Manager at AWA.

To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal

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y an securit 4, ng and worthy water ply y 201 planni issues ncy, in ma ation. eful sup 2015, ta efficie water e key rted s car ee lement hre d. ember ol da bend sta sep rt. thr ing imp reased costly require epttem avoide contr of inc roach e and effo ed dur tree t its d in ilable while ayed or the app result shared ter ating h 2s at ti ing starte a was ava sioned. withou ter s for ically of tim encoun as a of the be del of mis is not that wa dos s are dat orithm a are typ ment re may ring com h 2s ntrol mical n we ciency ing benefit ntations ate alg se dat invest was monito ed che ry co tion erable ory ial and ex for hese tem cussio to cre a. the iso ive effi Well me sid cau r n d rvis soc t dis ind sys ues pac erv cat e aug con use of We nee atio upe ing , allo flow (2013) not tak as an se val m. al dat h as sup ore, is a dess gers, of ede whole al dos lement ing the ds of ime Kiem st this him ration as the role the to act theref : there the may ur log rch to the s suc arc h imp 2 ppm with and ed dur the nee also ent chemic again ed” ount cted first, of ope system luding vIew hts the ed the of ± utility for thods h s odo ntifi ), wit the tors, stru a), ent d. h h-valu s into acc to repres nal costs pared, o analys from one e reted highlig ter use, incerred to s con rneys ide satisfying create d Me 50 ppm 2 accuracy tP in the oug detrac to “hig before com (scaD g from treatm table data ors als ctio e e wa ’ g ible ter wa was en two ed thr nsf iga aspect or act h 2s 0– r jou and then Atur ials an ly sui pag sition pag were WW was transa tive . 2015 report cient ter is tra movin mental er ds was ing wa netary defens h betwe differin ediate invest manag ta acqui this le use hops. a mean sets y the ing duc effi e, Mater le app-tek of 0.1 ppm the ttb ur survey s lity err fun a and on t ies sib LIt ure e rne urr 4 the pro wa nsf dat mo Da pos at site ropriat ded. suc be imm variati not occ environ to hav noted tha and tra ter qua literat supporting ereby t works user jou y 201 hnolog isfied the 2015 ay and 2010); Portab resolution ile the uce ere s ive to talled torical odo o main the nce ) g not wh s any and ng wa to be sat in se tec a may not refore app y be nee nifican (P for ma e of tead, a re ins ns, wh e for tend incent ing wa s no sig ing wh re re wa y red nt (2006 2014 drinki ts. tw and the al rkets efficiency s (olms experie jor typ nsactin a his a ail of the ma gai the an dat with , we iall pag lud on the a dos ily ter tan tra ma ger e tion dat det ere if he ncy inc ent ma me el wa we dat ‘Da the win ppm ns wh , and vid ive use lysis’ (na ine with while ther el log hodgs 2015 result, consul chann ses each efficie g can pot there use next. g the erm ations at 20 orting ciency environ in the value ves to pro ated iods ed: the ng fur allocat may ring atio limited ter ana ernal chann nnel uce rks proces ative of Well the nd to det able per din uts to amic effi through hest in rep for treatin l with situ e loc associ can red includ ser 4 and was also d, Wet requiri ; the ‘wa n monito drinking by ext inlet Wo Works inlet cha use le for sam where nt at inp be fou sets. ter tra its hig ger that goo par dyn y 201 dea dess resent e ut these ay ety ede atio hms aken inlet those the ma herre ncy ime ll log data com er wh and of wa ter availab rier can a public estme the trades him ed and not rep rch verific ‘facts abo should ter saf e for algorit values stions; undert ntified, Well. the site at the Wet We arc ives 2015 efficie en the table 1). wa consid on, 2011); s and inv 8). ng pag r bar record erwise cific hms ; ide tural t and s ew ng wa ed que tem’ incent ount of at the ces betwe efully the issi tion s are losed himede furthe water bei and cul oth , 200 s scr (see s We d to were algorit 2014 drinki ding a spe ry or use nly ask sys of car a t for nce nal ics ova mm enc e are am 10) ede of ede ter lyse of sig 2). ent Co ch an nts arc ers. s inn the the win ana nee marke differe ; df – 416 data indust commo nagem , 201 tion the eptanc approa econom archim archim ated in faulty was eleme ject to Water ourage n on atic those , a niche en the custom 06 or the e acc (Young lic percep g visual clim situ 2015 the ontier enc ing and e of the ter ma having rmatio d to – 0.3 ter betwe and was be sub 2006). achiev offline n (Fr that pub utility. rational ensure itu for say for those nking wa uire info screen the bas t well. nce prisin uld not g, 2014 ry d to supplie ng wa on a al be petitio s. to ’ water com dri ber we req ger in-s differe ope before ated at a nee drinki water ng eve Sundin com politic sho the also g can water ‘our who erence ults, the tion losed ur log re is the is of novem and us on that oss situ was cy bei ed and tradin , the . those tory bas vatisa an diff ong res r foc lie in y. from was y acr an enc tly data ter nd, vic the odo frequen y pri me nce ta ond for ate in (Ch the adl s re utin wa m ite can ser of ma eco da ps gre sec d scr bro ple t wa y be tely, and regula lity assura ine the affect peratu signifi pum ct ted fro es a a kin ific ons llenge reased sam roach ily h 2s ich ma areas in conten ultima ed as qua ibrated collec with the artefa determ nts a cha app provid did not bient tem scient in situ s wh e of inc g. ard atory for the ‘Da was 4; reases rain eve ugh ons re cal ntly is an am hin ved lity flow lan som reg Fisher rs, with inc diti tho ere lity basis gers we , o cei nce data re abi and ter for exp inh con rm qua uw 200 tem ped ter flus htly rato ature log mance l accept resista of the per . an of wa peratu d. h wa ed sys opriate yngedo by the by ope develo ng water due to the fortnig . Odour such ults perfor nageria temper as tem combin require to fres e inappr rld (Sw rnal winter intained is adigm ring res t any drinki ma ’ pag elty of wo pared. ent as minute during ur due of inte in the analys le tha and ect par nito the com re ma odo ly 2010). lacem report ical nov ction (in during arguab g, incorr ation mo ses and . istics rease annual which we filter rep statist bakker gram. It is data introdu ive Board sed) relative racter s ws hlighted increa iations bly dec existin of verific H2S and Ie the dev means tware pro cha res h era cut an logger the rd of ons rv wit the me add n of exe ess rati s ) sof ed. consid TTB standa y be roach Inteinterviews hig or to pariso p (°C nitiven itab ement recalib e n of report with Tem a com ng min sIon defiremental appfrom operat y issues ma pariso improv in eptanc ety the on chemical situ dosing us sI al com Inacc ncy anOV aken usi idit ing ad saf mic inc the 1: A us val the efficie jor driver dIsc australian and 0.9 t and al bro data report Table water no che undert ant dIsc n before ine the mg/l ma 15.1 ± any s of marke water (ppm) ccp was eventu as a major utilities by the is import erm 5 time H2S up a And ertake period ed ted aly/ for the ± 1.1 which 6), it lts ts were undsioned to det ined to bethe ratio 1 µD water lly setting a reveal arking ± 3.1 suppor 14.2 ortant m h the ng er, 201 2.30 . ass for chm tes rEsu mis s. determ tically . is imp lication typica ent a for in usi 1.4 (walk liance wit trigger y jar s com ich was ition for ben rnative a failure cept ± 2.9 11.7 ± . theore 2014 initiall unit wa add alte implem quality as a d as for pub um con value 2.27 -comp e, wh May ter 2014). rous iron ic demand ment arily s t non considere 1.4 er dosing l dose rat 1.8 of wa ement 15 rnett, invest it wa continu riate tha necess h fer 11.7 ± be g -2 (ba iometr cted consid 1.13 ± ver, y 20 not oug din get nag to s ich rop Ma reo e thr er optima tra tar and ma /l sto Mo app 14 tinu guided be affe and oth oval that -2 :1 mg mote based /year planning 1.3 r 20 to the rem also Fe uld con healthsystem aDwg 1.01 ± argued unities pro Winte person phide ording en iron the io can the ement ry sho for ort 15 ong for sul be 1:1 acc dose rat ns betwe ons, as by the ating method 7.2 opp indust a r 20 improv logy work, ani lity am water ses, 8.2 ± munic water Winte should , the iron e reactio h other of ana s e frame or the -used capabi decrea use All nerally itiv ver t the rd,, the ch for com monly p, wa lbourn hird e the tha thi cc 2014 Me howe h compet ctions wit centration uired. ge es roa v ha com fit com and the olv 00 No app in t. a req rea 6.2 e out e. to a pro ities, 220 n inv the h tion de con throug due to io is 2.5 ± . Iso concep nicatio make eptabl cas author data . ctive rd. eac sulphi dose rat concentra 0.5 – 1.0 All ovation ive to target commu an acc d in this anions residual of perspe tors tion standa include 2015 e phide incent ulate inn into tho phide n, but range fac se centra d Nov 7.4 scienc gets target iron to sul idual sul hin the stim of the risk pariso h this me senior ding of the 8.6 ± de con uire one may com ed tar ), select res lia in ing to as data , a tra is wit al sulphi io is req and ed wit No higher ievable all, as lth-bas and ent ced austra report argued the 2014 achiev put hea all in odu alth e in ach residu dose rat ement treatm tor not Nov wees ove the y 6.8 nts of he en intr of diseas subt for manag ant fac water reduce the higher 3.1 ± entiall ers (wh n Eve intervie would rem dable titute ial hB ort den h 2s ch h Rai Ins pot waste-2 to voi rob the e lic mu bur No imp the sum lian a una d wit mic an pub g to the s /l, vey 2015 the schem s-2 /l the utin austra mg for con ble to ociate to the ich , was Nov and ur sur , as nts 0.1 mg es ass odo site contrib urance Well itics by the 2010). pared res wh ement ributa wever n Eve pol ed to < com this att asu ass Wet com nag ho , initial in Rai et al., s and me l out link the ede identifi 16) were nt 1). refore h 2s ter ma ant role ent overall quality, and me (Zhang em from it, the 2011 optima m wa es ple ort archim sites, the potential ppl ccp ter ntation guage r to e (20 fro sites sup lfarre elfa of the an imp augme le. of wa outcom bulent n other itics es the ter (su olves lan unfamilia e we g all tur lth pol wa lud yin ary Of inv inc se ng sca hea tha t. the entativ y pla highly and necess each drinki cipline g for tho nce and higher be repres concep in this ort. . thereb in the time next lth dis frontin cantly the of lic rep forma similar cribed right dosing d to hea nifi or efit per ts ine pub ting the sig des sal ben get be con atment e at new determ m iron roach ises the may the lbourn was app quality en tre ed in ogn ion fro in Me the d betwe describ er rec ing on reduct pap m use its not r report the for was in licly monito ation pub water ter to ent nking ney wa Implem of dri syd ption. lly by sum interna lic con for pub safety

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As a special feature for Ozwater’18, this tech paper is a Vietnamese translation of the Private sector participation in the water sector piece that ran in the February 2018 edition of Current.

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Submit your technical paper for the Water e-Journal, the Association’s online repository of water-related papers. Visit the Association’s website and look under the Publications tab or email journal@awa.asn.au for more information.

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executive summary customer engagement

Tasting water to improve customer outcomes A CASE STUDY. P Prevos and MK Goetz

C

ustomer perceptions of water quality hide a paradox. Even though water might be perfectly safe to drink, some of the chemicals that utilities add to safeguard public health can erode the customer’s perception of quality. This paper discusses how water tasting by employees and the public can illuminate this tension, beyond what is learnt from laboratory testing. Gaining customer approval requires more than a government-stamped certification that water is “safe to drink”. The water also cannot be brown or smell. It certainly should not catch fire when you set a match to it. Above all, water has to taste refreshing. Customers do not just want safe water; they want good water that meets their aesthetic preferences. Water utility professionals excel at minimising contaminants in tap water to make it safe. Scientists have also done great work on the relationship between laboratory testing and the taste experience. None of these laboratory tests can, however, reliably replicate the customer experience. For many water utilities, customer complaints and surveys are the only gauges of the perception that customers have of tap water. This information is valuable, but utilities need more

Customers do not just want safe water; they want good water that meets their aesthetic preferences.

detailed intelligence about how customers perceive their water to understand the customer experience fully.

NEW DEVELOPMENT

Coliban Water developed the Tap Crawl, a tongue-in-cheek name for a formal water quality monitoring activity. This taste testing method does not follow the conventional flavour profile analysis techniques but closely replicates the customer experience. Instead of using a few people formally trained in tasting water, the Tap Crawl employs a large number of ‘naïve’ customers. The survey question is simple: “How pleased are you with the taste of this water?” In addition, subjects also used the water flavour wheel to describe the taste of the water. The Tap Crawl transported the experience of customers in the systems managed by Coliban Water to the head office. These events provide actionable intelligence about the customer experience and make the taste of water a topic of conversation in meeting rooms and around water coolers. The next step was to bring the taste testing to its customers. Coliban Water organised a public event in Bendigo as a method to obtain intelligence about customer perceptions and to build the

Coliban Water brand within the community. Coliban Water has used the information gleaned from these events in its current pricing submission. The utility has proposed to provide customers in water systems that experience consistent taste problems a rebate to compensate their negative experience. This case study explains how to use taste testing to obtain intelligence about water quality and as a tool for strengthening customer focus and community engagement. Peter Prevos is a civil engineer and social scientist with a PhD in marketing. He manages the data science team at Coliban Water where he analyses data to create value, from SCADA to the voice of the customer. Peter also occasionally lectures marketing at La Trobe University. Melanie K Goetz is an international speaker, consultant and author. For over three decades she has been a driving force behind gaining public support for rate increases and building the consumer’s trust during and after a crisis.

To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal

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AWA_H


T H E A U S T R A L I A N W A T E R A S S O C I A T I Oexnate N MA G A enestiby ZINE nobis

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THE AUSTRALIAN WATER ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE November 2017

Reach industry decision makers using the Australian

Volume 1 No 8

Water Association member communication platforms

The Australian Water Association provides members with a range of resources, tools and information to assist them in their day-to-day roles and long-term professional development. Advertisers can use the quarterly print magazine, weekly enewsletter, Solus EDM and the website to reach a highly relevant, engaged and targeted audience.

3D flow THE 3D-PRINTING REVOLUTION IS CHANGING WATER LAYER BY LAYER Here’s how to hit the science-policy sweet spot.

What’s behind India and China’s looming water crises?

Mining makes moves to be more water-conscious.

AWA_NOV17_Cover_CONCEPTSV4.indd 1

Print magazine

Current circulation 3,895

Enewsletter Source Circulation: 9,300 37% open rate

Website

www.awa.asn.au

117,000 impressions per month and 9,000 unique visitors

2/11/17 1:21 pm

Solus EDM

Direct to inbox Distribution 4240

To talk to the sales team about the print and digital packages, please call Val on (02) 9556 9118 or email val@mahlab.co www.awa.asn.au 127

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T H E AU ST R A L I A N WAT E R A S S O C I AT I O N M AG A Z I N E

A S S O C I AT I O N E V E N T S SHARING EXPERTISE ACROSS THE WATER INDUSTRY

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EVENTS PLANNER Plan your continuous learning with the latest listing of the Association’s events calendar. PROUD PEDIGREE The NSW Heads of Water Gala Dinner celebrated the achievements of the NSW water industry. HEADS OF WATER FORUM Leading heads of water brought perspective and insight to the key issues facing NSW. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT Mentors and mentees prepare for the year ahead at this VIC Mentor Program launch. GENDER DIVERSITY The TAS Gender Diversity is Good for Business event promoted innovation and increasing employee engagement.

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A POLITICAL CONVERSATION Ahead of the 2018 election, this breakfast joined both sides of politics in conversation about SA’s water industry. CONNECT, COLLABORATE, ACCELERATE The National YWP Conference stressed the importance of connections, collaboration and accelerating creativity. WOODMAN POINT TECH TOUR AND SEMINAR Water and wastewater considerations were top of mind at this event, along with the challenges around growth. FOOD FOR THOUGHT The QLD Young Water Professionals Committee held a discussion around water resource management.

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Association events

EVENT CALENDAR

JUNE

M AY

06

WA: 2018/2019 MENTORING PROGRAM LAUNCH

WA: SUNDOWNERS

07

VIC: BRANCH TECH EVENT: FUTURAMA

17

VIC: BRANCH TECH EVENT: Lessons Learnt

13

QLD: TECHNICAL TOUR

21

SA: NETWORKING NEXUS

24

WA: POLICY FORUM

25

VIC: YWP ANNUAL BALL

29 30

TAS: MINISTERIAL BREAKFAST

08-10 16

NAT: OZWATER’18 Evolution Revolution NT: BREAKFAST WITH THE MINISTER

QLD: WOMEN OF WATER NETWORKING EVENING

WA: RECONCILIATION WEEK WORKSHOP NSW: SEMINAR – ADAPTIVE PLANNING & PLANNING IN UNCERTAINTY

ACT

VIC 25 May VIC: YWP Annual Ball

21 June ACT: Water Matters Conference

A highlight on the social calendar for the Victorian Young Water Professionals. The night of all nights for the young, and young at heart, to celebrate with colleagues in the water industry. Dust off your dancing shoes, dress up in our theme of Winter Wonderland and get ready to party!

Building momentum every year, the ACT Water Matters Conference offers technical, regulatory and policy components, attracting close to 100 people from Canberra and surrounding regions. The theme for this conference is “A changing tide - opportunities and trends in water”.

19

WA: ANNUAL WATER INDUSTRY BREAKFAST Transitioning to a Water Smart City and Community

WA

QLD

19 June WA: Annual Water Industry Breakfast

26-27 July QLD: North Queensland Regional Conference

The annual WA water industry breakfast will focus on transitioning to a water smart city and community. With the urban form of cities changing, what will future cities look like in 20 years? By 2037, the City of Perth will be larger than the size of the entire population of WA today. The aim is to build the city to become more vibrant, liveable, resilient and sustainable, with a supportive economy and adaption to a drying climate, so people enjoy living and working in it.

This exciting conference will focus on “A Region of Extremes – Resilience and Innovation in the Face of Change” with presentations relating to the unique environment of the region including, but not exclusively, the reef. The region is subject to cycles of boom and bust in terms of economy, development and climate. This, together with the region’s remoteness and diversity, creates a unique background for managing the water cycle and the associated assets in northern Australia.

FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO REGISTER, VISIT BIT.LY/AWAEVENTS 130 www.awa.asn.au

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FROM NETWORKING TO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, THE AUSTRALIAN WATER ASSOCIATION’S CALENDAR IS OVERFLOWING WITH EVENTS FOR EVERY TYPE OF WATER PROFESSIONAL.

J U LY

JUNE

20

SA: TECH EVENT: Asset Management Pipe Renewals

13

QLD: WATER AWARD SUBMISSIONS DUE

WA: SUNDOWNERS

18 19

WA: SUNDOWNERS

21

ACT: WATER MATTERS CONFERENCE A Changing Tide - Opportunities and Trends in Water

22

TAS: STORMWATER SYMPOSIUM

23

26-27

ACT: WATER AWARD SUBMISSIONS DUE QLD: NORTH QUEENSLAND REGIONAL CONFERENCE

Cairns VIC: YWP & BRANCH VOLUNTEER DAY

27

TAS 16 August Where the Waters Meet 2018 Conference

The Tasmanian Branch annual conference “Where the Waters Meet” will be held at the Wrest Point Conference Centre. The annual Tasmanian State conference promises to be a sell-out this year, following the success of last year’s event. Keep an eye out for the conference theme launch and call for papers in May, with delegate and trade exhibitor registrations due to open in late June. Networking opportunities will be plentiful at the event and limited sponsorship opportunities are still available.

QLD: WOMEN OF WATER NETWORKING EVENING

AUGU ST

02

VIC: 55TH ANNUAL DINNER Sofitel, Melbourne

15

WA: SUNDOWNERS

16

TAS: WHERE THE WATERS MEET 2018 CONFERENCE

VIC: YWP PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR

SAVE THE DATE

17

NT: WATER AWARD SUBMISSIONS DUE

07-09 NOVEMBER

22

SA: TECHNICAL SEMINAR

27

WA: WATER AWARD SUBMISSIONS DUE

Fifth Australian Delegation to Vietwater Conference and Expo

FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO REGISTER, VISIT BIT.LY/AWAEVENTS www.awa.asn.au 131

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Out and about

HEADS OF WATER GALA DINNER | NSW

T

he Australian Water Association NSW Branch Awards promoted the outstanding work by individuals and organisations in the water industry and recognised innovation and excellence in the technology, business and delivery of water projects. Winners of a number of the NSW Water Awards are also automatically entered into the equivalent Australian Water Awards category, presented at Ozwater.

AWA Staff: Katie Trevor, Natalija Gagic and Tanya Cameron

2018 NSW Water Award Winners: Saravanamuth Vigneswaran (UTS), Glen Hadiardja (Stantec), Karthick Thiyagarajan (UTS), Daniel Lambert (Arup), Casey Magee (GHD), Fang Chen (Data61), Anil Jaiswal (Sydney Water)

The GHD team with Casey Magee, Young Water Professional of the Year winner

The team from Stantec celebrating their win of the Infrastructure Project Innovation Award

Pramod Kumar (SMEC), Thiru Waran (SMEC), Ian Rowbottom (SMEC), Andre Pereira (Taylor Thomson Whitting), Ana Barradinhas (AECOM), Chris Jack (SMEC)

NSW Branch Committee in attendance: Tanya Cameron (AWA), David Nixon (Connectix Technologies), Katherine Marshall (Marshall Enterprise Solutions), Emma Pryor (Sydney Water), Ian Chase (WSP), Darren Romain (Jacobs), Clarissa Phillips (DPI Water), Tony Cartwright & Lee-Anne Sylva (GHD)

Welcome to Country provided by Gadigal Elder, Uncle Charles ‘Chicka’ Madden

Carmel Krogh (Shoalhaven Water), Kathy Thomas (UGL), Ashley Terechovs (Shoalhaven Water) and Karen Eldridge (RCR Tomlinson)

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HEADS OF WATER FORUM | NSW

EVENT | STATE

A

Carmel Krogh (Shoalhaven Water), Adam Lovell (Water Services Association of Australia), Bileen Nel (Central Coast Council), Kevin Young (Sydney Water), David Nixon (Nixon Clarity)

Sean Gilchrist (AECOM), Jim Livas (John Holland), Matthew Renshaw (AECOM)

James Iddon (Aerotek), Jim Wilford (Aquatic Informatics), Grace Lindner (Aerotek)

handful of NSW heads of water convened at this event to provide attendees with perspective and insight to the changes affecting all in the NSW water industry. The forum also brought together the leaders of utilities, government, suppliers, contractors and consultants to discuss the key issues across the state.

Damion Keasey (KPMG), Joseph Couch (KPMG), Jessica Ngui (KPMG), Paul Freeman (Sydney Water Corporation), Curtis Davies (KPMG)

Peter Haylock, Haylock, Zoe Zoe Wood Wood (Arcadis (Arcadis Australia Australia Peter Pacific), c), Stijn Stijn Sampermans Sampermans (Monadelphous) (Monadelphous) Pacifi

MENTOR PROGRAM LAUNCH | VIC

Charmaine Quick (Melbourne Water) and Celeste Ward (Stantec)

MC Celeste Ward (Stantec) with panel: Soyun Punyadasa (CMP consulting), Ali Rahimi (Aqua Metro), Amanda Hazell (Melbourne Water) and Lydia Wong (Jacobs)

M

entors and mentees met at this launch breakfast and explored career development and leadership skills. Attendees also heard from two successful mentoring pairs about how the Australian Water Association mentoring program made a difference to their personal development.

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BREAKFAST BRIEFING | SA Rachel Barratt (Water Industry Alliance and Ian Hunter (former Minister for Water)

I

n partnership with the Water Industry Alliance, this event joined Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, and Minister for Climate Change Ian Hunter and Shadow Minister for the Environment David Speirs to discuss critical issues and opportunities facing the state’s water industry.

AWA Chief Executive, Jonathan McKeown Benjamin Ernst (Optimatics), Samantha Webb (KBR) and Philip Kuhn (SA Water)

Rachel Barratt (Water Industry Alliance) and David Speirs (Minister for Environment and Water)

GENDER DIVERSITY IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS | TAS

M Lindsey Brown (Foundrey Associates) Sally Darke (non-executive Director), Chris French (GHD), Donna Brown (Hydro Tasmania) and Catherine Wheatley (Water for a Village)

Tim Overland (TRILITY), Peta Forster (TasWater), Caroline Kerkhof (TRILITY) and Sven Rand (Pitt & Sherry)

ore than 60 members and guests of AWA Tasmania enjoyed the Gender Diversity is Good for Business lunch at Cataract on Patterson in Launceston. The event stimulated some thought provoking discussion on diversity and inclusion in the water sector. The highlight of the event was the panel discussion and individual gender diversity stories of the panellists.

Catherine Wheatley (Water for a Village) and Donna Brown (Hydro Tasmania)

134 www.awa.asn.au

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IWA / AWA YOUNG WATER PROFESSIONALS CONFERENCE | NAT

T

he fifth National Young Water Professionals Conference built on a conference theme of Connect, Collaborate and Accelerate – connecting and collaborating with industry, research and government, as well as accelerating ideas into action for a sustainable water future.

Mark Pascoe (International Water Centre), Lachlan Guthrie (Centre for Sustainable Water/RMIT), Tony Slatyer (DFAT) and Rosie Wheen (WaterAid)

Francois Gouws (National President, AWA) opening the 2nd day of the conference

Winston Li (AECOM), Luke Walsh (Sydney Water), Elise Trask (Department of Industry – Land & Water) and Jeffrey Chan (AECOM)

Kelly Tadiar (Water Research Australia), Michael Webber (SA Water Corporation), Timothy Ong (RMIT), Casey Huang (Water Research Australia) and Ivan Fan (UniSA)

Keynote speaker Kathryn Silvester (Sydney Water)

The 2018 YWP Conference Committee: Gabby Butera (Arup), Emma Plant (Water Corporation), Felicity Gould (Yarra Valley Water), Ella Gross (Yarra Valley Water), Ben Thwaites, Madeline Rincheval (Sydney Water), Diana Gonzalez (International Water Centre) and Sarah Ivanoff (AWA)

2018 YWP Conference Committee: Gabby Butera, Emma Plant, Felicity Gould, Ella Gross, Ben Thwaites, Madeline Rincheval, Diana Gonzalez and Sarah Ivanoff

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Thank you to our generous sponsors PRINCIPAL SPONSOR

MAJOR SPONSOR & EXHIBITION THEATRE

MAJOR SPONSOR & EDUCATION PROGRAM

GALA DINNER SPONSOR

WELCOME NETWORKING SPONSOR

INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM & AUSTRALIAN WATER AWARD SPONSOR

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT & CHANNELING CHANGE PARTNER

WATER LEADERS FORUM SPONSOR

TECHNOLOGY PARTNER

ASSOCIATION PARTNER

YWP PROGRAM SPONSOR

CLUB HOUSE SPONSOR

DELEGATE LOUNGE SPONSORS

PODCAST PARTNER

PRESIDENT’S DINNER SPONSOR

KEYNOTE SPEAKER SPONSOR

ENERGY REVOLUTION SPONSOR

STREAM SPONSORS

PARTICIPATING SPONSOR

SESSION SPONSOR

MEDIA PARTNERS

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Out and about YWP DISCUSSION PANEL | QLD

T Â

he QLD Young Water Professionals Committee recently held its annual Discussion Panel & Networking Event covering Water Economics, at the Fortitude Valley SMEC office. Over 90 professionals attended from engineering, science and economics fields. The informative and engaging discussion covered pricing, privatisation, and the (macro) goals of water resource management.

Networking over nibbles at the panel discussion

Panel members (not in order) Leith Boully (Sunwater), Ian Hall DeGa. Andi ut essequiam (Queensland laut et et quoUrban eni conseri onsecup conessit AM) and Utilities), Christatatur, Adam (Strategic dolorum, sus eatur ma ipsanihita into et, Cameron Murray (University of Queensland)

DeGDeGa. Andi ut essequiam laut et et quo eni conseri onsecup tatatur, conessit dolorum, sus eaturlistening ma ipsanihita The crowd to the into et, panel discussion

WOODMAN POINT TECH TOUR AND SEMINAR | WA

T Â Steve Jamieson (TRILITY), Marc Griffiths (WP 180 Alliance), David Barnetson (WP 180 Alliance)

Simon Fletcher (Odatech), Marius Wieczoek, (Odatech), Peter Spencer (WaterCorporation), Chris Oughton (KIC)

he theme through the tour and seminar were holistic views on resource utilisation, specifically in the Kwinana Industrial area, needs to drive decision making within organisations. Starting the day at the Woodman Point WWTP, attendees were shown around the upgrade works being undertaken by the WP180 Alliance and progressed on to the seminar, addressing topics such as water and wastewater considerations and the challenges around growth of the sector.

John Egan (WP180 Alliance Commissioning Manager) with tour group in front of the odour control facility

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The last drop

AN ADVOCATE OF CHANNELING CHANGE, ELSPETH MORONI’S DEDICATION TO WORKING WITH DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES LOCALLY AND GLOBALLY IS WHAT LED TO HER CHOOSING A CAREER IN CIVIL ENGINEERING. ELSPETH MORONI

SUPPORTING PEOPLE LESS FORTUNATE than myself both locally and across the world has always been my interest – and is one of the reasons I took up civil engineering. When I went to Thailand in 1992 for four weeks to work in a World Vision slum, I met a doctor who said something I have never forgotten, “I know people think doctors save lives, but I think engineers are amazing because they ensure we have safe water which supports life and keeps people from getting sick in the first place”. This stuck with me through my career, starting in 1994 when I worked at the Launcestion City Council as a design engineer in the Sewerage and Combined Drainage department of the Technical Services Division, which I did for five years. I then spent the next 17 years at Sinclair Knight Merz and Jacobs as a senior civil engineer and project manager. I am now Manager of Asset Services at the City of Hobart. In my career, I also spent four weeks in Cambodia on an Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Dialogue for Development course, with the costs sponsored by my then employer, Sinclair Knight Merz. I have also supported at least one child in the Philippines since I started my first job as a student in 1988. This continues today, and my husband and children now also support a child each.

SUPPORTING DIVERSITY I’ve also been passionate about championing gender diversity in Tasmania. Since graduating, I have been asked to speak at schools and

groups to encourage girls to study engineering or other STEM type careers. I’ve also had the opportunity to mentor several young female engineers as they start their careers. During my time at Sinclair Knight Merz, because it was a major supporter of the Beacon Foundation, I have spoken to groups of high school children who were thinking about their career options. I want to encourage all young people, both male and female, to study hard, look for opportunities, and achieve.

I want to encourage all young people, both male and female, to study hard, look for opportunities, and achieve. For the past 12 years, I have also had several opportunities to speak about balancing work and family life as a professional. I have two children (now 11 and 13), have taken maternity leave, worked part time, travelled, used family and paid childcare, and balanced my parenting role with my professional work. I share my experience to show how it can be achieved and highlight things parents should consider. I have seen several younger female staff take up some of the options that I took once they became parents, and also seen them return to work. I’d also like to think that some of the kids I have spoken to have been encouraged to continue studying maths and science and look at taking up a career in STEM.

OUTSTANDING ISSUES

But, there are plenty more issues within the water industry that need addressing. Some key ones are: raising awareness of the impact of poor sewerage and sanitation on water supply in developing countries and increasing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) training; increasing the understanding of the impacts of climate change on existing infrastructure, and likely coastal inundation; understanding changes in rainfall patterns due to climate change; and increasing understanding and engagement with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The industry as a whole can do its part to solve the issues through knowledge sharing and engagement with industry bodies like AWA and Engineers Australia, to benefit from each other’s experiences and ensure that businesses engage with customers and suppliers to discuss and highlight these issues and incorporate them into annual plans. Further industry and academic research is also needed into these issues, including collaboration with the private sector plus local, state and federal governments for funding and project identification. Corporate and individual involvement in organisations like EWB and RedR Australia will also support developing countries improve their water and sanitation. Elspeth Moroni has been involved with the water industry for about 25 years and is now the Manager of Asset Services at the City of Hobart. Moroni is passionate about supporting disadvantaged communities across Australia, as well as international aid in developing countries.

138 www.awa.asn.au

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WaterAid / Tom Greenwood

It all starts with water Interested in supporting the delivery of water to the world’s poorest people while improving your own company’s productivity? WaterAid can help drive your business, your staff productivity and support those truly in need.

AWA10_138_140_Last Drop.indd 139

WaterAid transforms lives by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in the world’s poorest communities. Partner with WaterAid on a state, national or global level to benefit your business and improve lives. Memberships and sponsorships are available.

Call 1300 858 022 Email info@wateraid.org.au Visit www.wateraid.org/au

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