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J O U R N A L O F T H E AU S T R A L I A N WAT E R A S S O C I AT I O N
PLENTY MORE FISH IN THE SEA? After centuries of human impact, how do we sustain our vital resources for the next thousand years? See page 42 for the first of a two-part feature
SUSTAINABILITY • SMALL WATER & WASTEWATER SYSTEMS • OPERATIONS
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Journal of the Australian Water Association ISSN 0310-0367 Volume 39 No 8 December 2012
contents REGULAR FEATURES
From the AWA President From the AWA CEO
Lucia Cade 4
View From The Top
A Time For Giving (Or Selling) Water Tom Mollenkopf 5
My Point of View On-Site & Decentralised Wastewater Report Card Joe Whitehead
Crosscurrent 8 Industry News 18 An East African community pools resources to build a perimeter wall around a new WATERBANK school. See page 20
Young Water Professionals 20 Years From Now: A YWP’s View
Mike Dixon 30
AWA News 32
feature article Walking the Talk: Securing Another Thousand Years 42 Andrew Hodgkinson and Sejla Alimanovic from CH2M HILL reflect on past human endeavours and how we can plan for a more liveable planet (Part 1 of a two-part feature)
SPECIAL REPORT State of the Water Sector Survey 2012
A rundown of the key points by Andrew Speers, AWA National Policy and Programs Manager
CONFERENCE REPORTS 3rd Annual National Water Leadership Summit 15th International Riversymposium 2012 Small Water and Wastewater Systems Workshop 2012 National Operations Conference AWA CONTACT DETAILS Australian Water Association ABN 78 096 035 773 Level 6, 655 Pacific Hwy, PO Box 222, St Leonards NSW 1590 Tel: +61 2 9436 0055 Fax: +61 2 9436 0155 Email: email@example.com Web: www.awa.asn.au
DISCLAIMER Australian Water Association assumes no responsibility for opinions or statements of fact expressed by contributors or advertisers.
COPYRIGHT AWA Water Journal is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced in any format without written permission of the AWA. To seek permission to reproduce Water Journal materials, send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org WATER JOURNAL MISSION STATEMENT ‘To provide a journal that interests and informs on water matters, Australian and international, covering technological, environmental, economic and social aspects, and to provide a repository of useful refereed papers.’ PUBLISH DATES Water Journal is published eight times per year: March, April, May, July, August, September, November and December.
EDITORIAL BOARD Chair: Frank R Bishop; Dr Bruce Anderson, AECOM; Dr Terry Anderson, Consultant SEWL; Graham Bateman, CH2M HILL; Dr Andrew Bath, Water Corporation of WA; Michael Chapman, GHD; Wilf Finn, Norton Rose Australia; Robert Ford, Central Highlands Water (rtd); Ted Gardner (rtd); Antony Gibson, Orica Watercare; Dr Lionel Ho, AWQC, SA Water; Dr Brian Labza, Dept Health WA; Dr Robbert van Oorschot, GHD; John Poon, CH2M HILL; David Power, BECA Consultants; Dr Ashok Sharma, CSIRO.
EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS & CALL FOR PAPERS Water Journal welcomes editorial submissions for technical and topical articles, news, opinion pieces, business information and letters to the editor. Acceptance of editorial submissions is at the discretion of the Editor and Editorial Board. • T echnical Papers and Technical Features Technical Editor, Water Journal – email@example.com
49 52 58 60
Egypt’s ancient culture still brings benefits such as tourism. See page 42
P apers 3,000–4,000 words and graphics; or topical articles of up to 2,000 words relating to all areas of the water cycle and water business. Submissions are tabled at monthly editorial board meetings and where appropriate are assigned referees. Referee comments will be forwarded to the principal author for further action. Authors should be mindful that Water Journal is published in a three-column ‘magazine’ format rather than the fullpage format of Word documents. Graphics should be set up so that they will still be clearly legible when reduced to two-column size (about 12cm wide). Tables and figures should be numbered with the appropriate reference in the text (eg, see Figure 1), not just placed in the text with a position reference (eg, see below), as they may end up anywhere on the page when typeset. • General Feature Articles, Industry News, Opinion Pieces & Media Releases Anne Lawton, Managing Editor, Water Journal – firstname.lastname@example.org • Water Business & Product News Kirsti Couper, National Relationship Manager, Water Journal – email@example.com
UPCOMING TOPICS FEBRUARY 2013 – Wastewater Management & Treatment, Water Education, Groundwater Management/Aquifer Recharge, Water In Mining, Innovation APRIL 2013 – Catchment Management, Carbon Footprint/GHG Emissions, Water Skills, Green Cities/Future Cities/Integrated Planning, Automation & Telemetry/Remote Monitoring MAY 2013 – Water Treatment, Water Efficiency, Safety, Rural Water Issues, Water Resources – Planning & Management
ADVERTISING Advertisements are included as an information service to readers and are reviewed before publication to ensure relevance to the water sector and the objectives of the AWA. Contact Kirsti Couper, National Relationship Manager, AWA – firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +61 2 9467 8408 or 0417 441 821.
PUBLISHED BY Australian Water Association (AWA) Publications, Level 6, 655 Pacific Hwy, PO Box 222, St Leonards NSW 1590; Tel: +61 2 9436 0055 or 1300 361 426, Fax: +61 2 9436 0155, Email: email@example.com, Web: www.awa.asn.au
DECEMBER 2012 1
Journal of the Australian Water Association ISSN 0310-0367
Isatomae DWTP after the tsunami in Japan. See page 74
TECHNICAL FEATURES (
Volume 39 No 8 December 2012
Kalkallo Greenfield Site in Victoria. See page 84
INDICATES THE PAPER HAS BEEN REFEREED)
SMALL WATER & WASTEWATER SYSTEMS A Decentralised Water Master Plan For The City Of Sydney Identifying decentralised water supply and stormwater pollution reduction opportunities
M Healey, S Tyrrell, D O’Halloran & B Devi
How Sustainability Assessments Using Multi-Criteria Analysis Can Bias Against Small Systems Comparing areas of bias in small recycled water systems
R Watson, S Fane & C Mitchell
R Rootsey et al.
M Mukheiber, R Stewart, D Giurco & K O’Halloran
Approaches To Efficiency And Intelligent Water Networks At Yarra Valley Water A proof-of-concept trial of the TaKaDu system K Thompson, J Sorbello, H Dang & D Snadden
OPERATIONS Earthquake And Tsunami Rescue Effort In Japan Lessons learnt from emergency response measures in Minamisanriku City Aeration Cost Savings Using Dynamic Pressure Setpoint Control A case study of a new control concept at Glenfield WRP SUSTAINABILITY Creating A City Of The Future Demonstrating the contribution a water utility can make ASSET MANAGEMENT Taking Control Of Odours And Corrosion In Sewers A review of published and grey literature and early findings and knowledge gaps in the SCORe Project NON-REVENUE WATER Understanding Non-Registration In Domestic Water Meters Implications for meter replacement strategies INTELLIGENT WATER NETWORKS
WATER BUSINESS New Products and Business Information
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from the president
View From The Top Lucia Cade – AWA President In November we held our 4th National Water Leaders’ Summit in Canberra. The day really delivered on AWA’s vision of bringing together people and organisations to create a sustainable water future. Guests and speakers included leaders from politics, utilities, research, Australian and international private sector leaders, banking, water trading and publishing.
While the speaker line-up was impressive and interesting, it was the contributions from all the industry leaders attending that made the Summit such a success. The formal questions and panel discussions were lively – and, importantly, the conversations and debates over dinner, lunch and in the breaks provided great opportunity for sharing ideas.
The Summit was topped and tailed by mechanisms for delivering the Murray–Darling Basin Plan – from the Hon Craig Knowles sharing the story of gradually getting approval for the Basin Plan to the last session of the day on water trading and market development. Tom Rooney and Mark Siebentritt’s presentations resulted in a great discussion of water trading mechanisms and how they work. The result of well-operating markets is that they enable water to be traded to its highest value use – in consumption, production or for environmental purposes.
I left the Summit feeling optimistic about the industry and our ability to adapt to and meet the ever-changing challenges in ensuring our water supplies in rural and urban areas meet the economic, social and environmental needs of our country.
From the political arena Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Urban Water, and Greens Senator Scott Ludlam gave different perspectives that put water issues into a policy context. A lot has been achieved in the last 12 months. Our urban utility leaders’ panel generated spirited discussion around the themes of economic regulation, productivity and customer value. Another strong focus of our three speakers was developing efficient water businesses. One of the biggest challenges will be achieving this in a climate of scarce capital and operating funding. This panel was engagingly led by three presentations from Sue Murphy from Water Corporation in WA, Tony Kelly from Yarra Valley Water in Victoria, and Kevin Young from Sydney Water. The private sector investment perspective was provided by Rosemary Bissett from NAB and Chris Herbert, Victorian desalination company AquaSure’s CEO. Rosemary’s insights into how the banking sector considers the views of its customers and how this leads its decision making throughout the business gave us all a picture of what a truly customercentric decision-making process looks like. Mr Chew Men Leong, CEO of Singapore PUB and Christopher Gasson, Publisher of Global Water Intelligence, provided a welcome international perspective. As always, the integrated approach to water cycle management in Singapore provided many interesting and thought-inspiring ideas. Christopher offered a different interpretation of the strengths of the Australian water market and the value that this can provide in the export of expertise.
4 DECEMBER 2012 water
On an AWA leaders front, next year will see a change in the AWA Board at the end of the Ozwater’13 conference in May. This is also when I will step down as President and hand the reins to President Elect Graham Dooley. I am pleased that we will also welcome three new directors to the Board at that time: Carmel Krogh, Director Shoalhaven Water; Mark Sullivan, CEO Actew Water; and Mal Shepherd, Manager Water at John Holland. I would also like to take this opportunity to formally and publicly thank Peter Burgess who retires this month as an AWA director due to significant new work commitments. Peter has been a great advocate for our grass roots members in particular, and has made a significant contribution to the debate on training, industry participation in waterAustralia and the future direction of the Association. Peter, I wish you well in your new role at IPART. On a personal note, as President of AWA I have had the privilege of working with a great team of directors, management and Branch Presidents and their committees. It has been a wonderful 50th birthday year and we have achieved much – a new three-year strategy, a successful Ozwater Conference and Exhibition, a year of great issues of Water Journal, the establishment of a joint venture to undertake water industry training and our 2012 State of the Water Sector Survey, to name a few. I hope you too have had an interesting 2012 and go into the holiday season with a sense of a year well lived. All the best and see you again in 2013.
from the chief executive
A Time For Giving (Or Selling) Water Tom Mollenkopf – AWA Chief Executive This past month has been a big one both in politics and in water. AWA’s Annual National Water Leadership Summit in Canberra on 31 October and 1 November could not have come at a better time. The nation’s capital was abuzz with the legislation to implement the Murray-Darling Basin Plan finally introduced into Parliament. We were pleased to be in the box seat with the Hon. Craig Knowles – Chair of the MDBA – as our Summit Dinner Speaker and Senator Don Farrell – Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water as our special guest. The outcomes of the Summit are detailed elsewhere in this edition (see page 49), but it is worth noting just what a momentous piece of legislation has been presented. It is clearly too much to hope that all parties with an interest in the Basin Plan will be happy – indeed, it’s possible none of them may be happy. But what we must do is reach agreement and move forward. The notion that the most precious water resource in the land can be effectively managed without a clear and binding plan in place is not worth thinking about. The Summit was also the occasion for the release of the 2012 AWA Deloitte State of the Water Sector Report. This is the third such report based on the views of those who work within the water sector. This year there were nearly 2000 respondents, who provided outstanding insights into the big issues confronting the sector as well as attitudes to desalination, regulation, the price of water and more. The Report may be accessed on the AWA website. The most important issue currently facing the sector was seen as Maintaining and Augmenting Infrastructure (listed by 42% of respondents.) No surprise then, that in October, Infrastructure Australia had water (and other government assets) in its sights. The government body identified AU$96 billion (US$99 billion) of water and wastewater assets that it believes could be transferred to the private sector to generate cash to help bridge the country’s infrastructure gap. The water assets form part of a larger list containing over AU$200 billion of public sector infrastructure. According to Infrastructure Australia, among the assets that could qualify for transfer are bulk water suppliers in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, water distribution networks such as the SEQ Water Grid, and wastewater treatment plants.
Although the long-term lease of the Sydney desalination plant proves that such deals are feasible in the water sector, Infrastructure Australia observes that for the majority of metropolitan water and wastewater assets, “further price and regulatory reform is required before any possible transition to private sector ownership”. Price reform may not be the only impediment. The suggestion of asset sales tends to draw an angry crowd – and no more so than with water and its perceived “privatisation”. In Victoria, public sentiment was so strong that in 2002, the Victorian Constitution was amended to entrench the role of public authorities in the provision of water services in that State. But this is not about privatising either water or water services. It’s about who owns some very expensive capital assets. There are many examples around Australia and the globe where assets are owned by one party and operated by another. Moreover, ownership of a treatment plant or major pipeline has no bearing on state control of the underlying water resource. I don’t know whether asset sales make the best economic sense, but I suggest we should be interested to do the sums. As I come to the end of my last Water Journal contribution for 2012, I cannot avoid the thought of the impending festive season any longer. Many of you “know” intuitively (even if it’s not a scientific fact!) that with each passing year, the apparent length of the year shortens. This being the December edition of Water Journal, I am compelled to offer Seasons Greetings to all our members – even though by my estimation, we should still only be in September! Seriously, however, Christmas is a time to share with friends and family. More seriously, it is a time to reflect on those less fortunate than ourselves. For those of us in the water sector, it might be a good time to think about the billions of people around the world without access to clean water and sanitation. If the thought takes you, why not make a gift this Christmas to the water industry’s own charity, WaterAid? WaterAid transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities. Giving water. Now that’s something to celebrate.
DECEMBER 2012 5
my point of view
On-Site and Decentralised Wastewater Report Card: “Could Do Much Better!” Joe Whitehead – Director of the Centre for Environmental Training & Principal of Whitehead & Associates Environmental Consultants Joe Whitehead is an Environmental and Engineering Geologist with over 35 years’ experience in consulting and professional education in Europe, North America and Australasia. His first septic tank, constructed in 1968, continues to function satisfactorily! A fair report card for the On-Site and Decentralised Wastewater sector in Australian states would read “could do significantly better”. Why should this be so? And how might “significantly better” be realised?’ The on-site wastewater industry commonly has something of a ‘poor relation’ image among the wider community and, indeed, the wastewater sector. It is a Cinderella area where the accent in the past has very much been on a “cheap solution”, often accompanied by its twin, “nasty”. The legacy of investing little in the on-site wastewater sector is that significant numbers of systems do not work well or, indeed, fail. To a large degree, what we have done in the past does not meet current community expectations of public and environmental health, and amenity. This underperformance has inhibited the development of a more robust and sophisticated decentralised wastewater industry, which could capture the benefits of cluster scale reuse of suitably treated wastewater close to the point of generation, and significantly reduce the energy and infrastructure footprint of wastewater servicing.
Little Government Input The Federal Government has little involvement in on-site wastewater both from a management and regulatory perspective, as it neither conducts nor funds substantial research in the sector, although CSIRO is one of only two Federal Government representatives on the Australian/New Zealand Standards Committee for On-Site Domestic Wastewater. I suggest we could take a lead from the United States, where the USEPA has been significantly involved in developing and disseminating high level technical information and educational resources to help raise industry standards. Their research funding has also helped to significantly advance the scientific and engineering understanding of on-site wastewater management in recent years. Back in the Antipodes, the Australian/New Zealand Standard 1547 has recently been revised (2012), but it suffers from trying to cover too wide a geographic area and cater for a diverse range of State and regional practices. The revision had been a long time coming and reflects the voluntary contributions of some 35 representative bodies.
6 DECEMBER 2012 water
Not surprisingly, it has many of the hallmarks of a horse designed by a committee, and sadly relies to only a limited degree on the peer reviewed scientific literature. While the Standard is largely a technical document, its presence often complicates the regulatory environment as it sits (often uncomfortably) beside separate and quite different State and Territory guidelines. These guidelines provide the basis for Local Government implementation, which often varies hugely between Councils as each presents their own interpretation. At Local Council level it is commonly the responsibility of just one member of staff to look after all on-site wastewater matters, including approvals of new systems and the ongoing management of often several thousand existing systems. These obligations have been cost shifted from the state governments, while the local ratepayers resent a levy for on-site systems they paid for themselves. Thus, very limited resourcing at all levels of government has done little to promote high treatment standards and associated rigorous performance monitoring and maintenance. Largely under-resourced Local Government staff, often wearing a range of regulatory hats and usually with no more than limited specialist on-site wastewater training, have struggled to establish and maintain high standards of design – and this applies even more so to issues of installation and maintenance. Of course, it has also not been in the interests of the wastewater system manufacturing and plumbing industries to promote higher standards, as they fight to compete on price to satisfy the expectations of homeowners that on-site wastewater management will be a low cost solution, of the order of $10 to $12,000 per allotment, compared with $25,000 or more for a conventional reticulated sewerage connection. The opportunities for cluster scale decentralised wastewater servicing to offer economic and environmentally attractive alternatives to increasingly expensive “large pipe” traditional solutions, especially in sewerage backlog areas, have been hampered by a lack of both Australian demonstration sites and well-established technology providers. This has been due in part to the limited number of industry players and their lack of economic depth, which itself is a symptom of lack of spending in the on-site sector. The reluctance of wastewater authorities to move away from traditional heavily engineered solutions is reinforced by risk aversion to be the guinea-pig and a disinclination to accept the role of champion to see if, and hopefully show how, things can be done for the better.
my point of view You Get What You Pay For In this industry, as in many other aspects of life, one very much gets what one pays for. Technologies such as the humble septic tank and soil absorption trench are relatively simple, but when appropriately designed and installed for local site conditions are often very robust. Nonetheless we recognise that a lack of in-depth understanding of the science behind wastewater treatment and soil water interactions has sold us short in the past. Social expectations too have changed, and now society demands higher standards. No longer can we sacrifice an area of the backyard to a weed-infested and boggy wastewater disposal system, nor can we allow the discharges to contaminate surface and groundwaters. So the bargain basement mentality must change. There is a pressing need to promote the concept of a fair price for a good job, rather than for most players to continue on with a race to the bottom by subscribing to cost- and corner-cutting measures. If we take heed of what two keynote speakers at the recent AWA Small Water and Wastewater Systems conference have to tell us, the capacity for the industry to address these historic shortcomings is available from the findings of well published overseas research; by funding more substantial research within Australia, and by implementing more rigorous regulations that are founded on sound science. The Sydney Catchment Authority has taken a lead in this latter regard with the publication of a substantial technical document on the design and installation of on-site wastewater systems. In their related policy, they call to account designers
Higher regulatory expectations and property owner costs are required for onsite wastewater systems to consistently achieve acceptable environmental standards. and installers who must now warrant their work, and they provide for Local Government regulators the wherewithal to strengthen their implementation of the guideline; something that needs to be more widely followed in Australia. These changes for the better will not come without cost – cost that the property owner will have to bear. Until we can take that bold step forward of increasing local rates to permit professional management of on-site and decentralised wastewater systems and clearly demonstrate that they are not nil-cost alternatives, it is likely to remain a slow road to realise the environmental benefits. But once that corner is turned, the wider community will be in a position to both reap significant environmental benefits and a healthy return on a modest investment. Remember that report card – across the board, “the industry could do significantly better”.
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National The National Measurement Institute (NMI) has produced an update paper on the proposal that the date for lifting the exemption for certain classes of water meters be revised to 1 July 2014. Currently certain types and classes of utility meters, including water meters with a maximum continuous flowrate of greater than 4000L per hour, are exempt from the operation of the National Measurement Act, meaning that there are currently no requirements for these water meters under the Act.
After three years’ work, the first ever comprehensive picture of Australia’s groundwater dependent ecosystems has been developed and can now be accessed online. Funded by the National Water Commission, the Atlas of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems is hosted by the Bureau of Meteorology, with project consultancy services being provided by Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM), CSIRO and Cohga with substantial inputs from water and environmental agencies across Australia.
The Australian water industry has launched a new project that will support teachers in delivering water education in schools across the continent. The Australian Curriculum Project – Water Education in Schools aims to coordinate existing efforts in water education across Australia in order to update and develop new resources that are digital, interactive and aligned with the Australian Curriculum. Once complete, all resources will be free and accessible for use by all teachers across the country.
AWA has released a new position paper on water efficiency. The position paper has been developed by some of Australia’s leading water sector experts under the auspices of the AWA Water Efficiency Specialist Network. The paper has been published to ensure that those who make decisions on how water is delivered, used and managed do so on the basis of sound data, and specifically understand that water efficiency is an effective measure to achieve water security.
A joint report between Deloitte and AWA analysing the 2000 responses to the State of the Water Sector Survey has been released. The State of the Water Sector 2012, has found that the sense of crisis engendered by long-running drought conditions in the eastern states has abated and the industry’s top five concerns in 2012 are seen to be managing and augmenting infrastructure, ensuring water supplies are secure, managing catchments effectively, reducing the skills shortage in the water sector, and responding to community concerns over rising costs.
The Gillard Labor Government has announced this week that the Government will deliver an additional 450GL of water to achieve greater environmental outcomes to the Basin through water recovery projects that minimise the impact on communities. The Government said the additional environmental water will benefit major wetlands across the Basin and the lower lakes in South Australia and help ensure the system never again goes into a period of drought lacking the resilience it needs to survive.
8 DECEMBER 2012 water
The ANZBP has launched its Biosolids, Carbon and Climate Change Discussion Paper. This research was initiated by ANZBP members due to uncertainty surrounding the impact of the Carbon Pricing Mechanism (CPM) on biosolids management practices of Australian water utilities. The paper examines the impact of the CPM on biosolids producers, outlines critical issues concerning the application of the CPM to biosolids of which operators should be aware, and explores opportunities for lower carbon outcomes to be delivered through effective biosolids management.
Macleay River Meats, trading as Eversons Food Processors, has won the 2012 Prime Minister’s Water Wise Award. The Prime Minister’s Water Wise Award showcases commercial and industrial innovation in water efficiency. Outstanding achievements in water efficiency by business, schools, individuals, Government and community sectors were also recognised at the event.
Tony Burke, Minister for the Environment, has announced the establishment of a National Sustainability Council for Australia. Mr Burke said the Council would provide independent advice to the Government on sustainability issues and produce public reports against a set of sustainability indicators. “It was clear from the Sustainable Population Strategy that we need better information about how our economy, environment and society interact to inform better planning and decision making,” Mr Burke said.
The Bureau of Meteorology has launched the Australian Water Accounting Standard 1. The Standard provides a cross-disciplined approach to water information reporting and guides the preparation and presentation of general purpose water account reports.
Increasing the use of water recycling in food production and manufacturing is among new research being undertaken by the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence. Led by CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences, the project will collaborate with industry to demonstrate higher-value water recycling opportunities that deliver economic, environmental and social benefits to the agri-food industry and community. The research will examine opportunities for water recycling across the agri-food chain, with particular focus on food manufacturing, dairy and meat industries.
More than $200 billion of “lazy” assets owned by Federal and State governments should be sold to plug the nation’s infrastructure gap, reduce debt and lift productivity, according to the Gillard Government’s top infrastructure adviser. A report from Infrastructure Australia identifies 82 profit-making government assets that could be sold relatively quickly – including $96 billion in water assets.
SEWPAC has released Australia State of the Environment 2011, a comprehensive and independent national review of the state of Australia’s environment, the pressures upon it, how effective we are at managing it and how it is likely to fare in the future. For the first time in national environmental reporting, Australia State of the Environment 2011 includes graded ‘report-card’ style assessments of condition, pressures and management. It also includes discussions of the drivers of environmental change, resilience, risks, and future projections or ‘outlooks’.
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DECEMBER 2012 9
A $30 million upgrade and expansion of Southern Water’s Huon Valley water supply infrastructure will provide a reliable and sustainable drinking water supply to local communities. The Australian Government has invested $12 million in the Huon Valley Regional Water Scheme, which will significantly improve the region’s long-term water security and return nearly one billion litres of water to the environment.
The opening of Whitfield’s $2.2 million Water Treatment Plant marks a new beginning for a town that previously endured regular water restrictions, water carting and boil water notices. Minister for Water Peter Walsh, said the new treatment facility would bring significant improvement to the reliability and quality of water supply in an important Victorian tourism hub.
Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, and Senator for Tasmania, Carol Brown have announced the Australian Government’s $2.9 million funding contribution to the Integrated Water Cycle Management Project at Nyrstar Hobart. Nyrstar Hobart is a large-scale zinc smelter that has been operating on the banks of the Derwent Estuary for almost 100 years. “The project will save up to 869 megalitres per year of potable water using treated stormwater, offsetting more than 30 per cent of the current potable water usage within the smelter,” Senator Farrell said.
Legislation to establish a single, statewide water and sewerage entity has been tabled in Tasmania’s State Parliament. The Tasmanian Minister for Finance, Scott Bacon, said the bill would allow for reform of Tasmania’s water and sewerage businesses.
Queensland The Queensland Government has announced the first round of projects under the pilot Royalties for Regions initiative, with the majority of the funding targeting road infrastructure. Royalties for the Regions is about reinvesting a share of royalties in resource regions to help build new and improved community, road and floodplain security infrastructure. Business cases are due on 17 December 2012, with a final go-ahead for the projects early in the New Year.
Engineers Australia has responded to recent media comment surrounding the cost of ‘drought-busting infrastructure’. “Securing a long term cost effective source of potable water is critical for the future development of South East Queensland. This is particularly challenging in our variable climate where drought and flood conditions both need to be catered for”, said Steven Goh, Queensland President of Engineers Australia.
Queensland’s first water and sewerage benchmarking report has now been completed using 2010/11 data. It is the result of a collaborative project between several of Queensland’s Service Providers and qldwater over the last 12 months to determine the appropriate indicators to include and display. In total, 16 service providers decided to participate in the public release of their data in the report.
10 DECEMBER 2012 water
A new public awareness campaign is encouraging Melburnians to build stormwater-filtering ‘raingardens’ to prevent pollution from entering rivers and creeks. As part of Melbourne Water’s ‘10,000 Raingardens’ campaign, commuters will sit among larger-than-life raingarden displays at bus shelters and tram stops across Melbourne, showing how easily they can help protect local waterways at home.
A recently completed review into the floods that swept through North East Victoria earlier this year highlights opportunities to improve emergency management arrangements and community resilience during flood events. Emergency Services Commissioner, Michael Hallowes said feedback from affected residents and emergency service personnel was integral to preparing the 2012 North East Victoria Flood Review. “Reviews are a great opportunity to look back with the benefit of hindsight and determine what can be done differently in the future to improve emergency management arrangements including preparedness and response,” he said.
Western Australia The Western Australian Government has announced a new plan to ensure the maintenance of the high quality of Esperance’s drinking water. State Water Minister, Bill Marmion, said the plan was crucial to maintaining water quality throughout the region. The Esperance Water Reserve drinking water source protection plan is part of a strategy that aims to protect drinking water sources throughout Western Australia.
Water Minister Bill Marmion has welcomed to the Water Corporation three new board members and appointed a new deputy chairwoman. “Vanessa Guthrie, Peter McMorrow and Tony Iannello have been appointed to the Water Corporation board from January 1, 2013,” Mr Marmion said. “The new members have a wealth of experience which will enhance the boards effectiveness.” Karen Field has been appointed deputy chairwoman of the Water Corporation board. Mrs Field was appointed to the board in 2006 and has extensive experience as a board member on a number of listed and unlisted Australian companies.
The WA Department of Water has released its first draft allocation plan for the Pilbara, outlining how groundwater resources will be managed to support industry and towns in the region. The plan covers a 200,000 square kilometre area that includes the coastal towns of Port Hedland, Karratha and Onslow and inland to Marble Bar, Paraburdoo and Newman.
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crosscurrent Projects involving desalination, residential developments, beverage packaging and a water efficient nursery are among the finalists for this year’s AWA WA Water Awards. The 29 finalists, in 10 categories, were short-listed from 46 nominations and represent projects involving multi-national and specialist organisations, State Government departments, local governments, schools and individuals. WA Water Minister, Bill Marmion, said the Water Awards program aimed to showcase Western Australia’s leaders in innovation, leadership and achievements across a range of water industry activities.
Northern Territory The Northern Territory Government has announced a review of Power and Water Corporation which will examine the Corporation’s structure and governance; the regulatory environment in which its operates, including economic and environmental regulations; public sector policies such as procurement, community service obligations and Indigenous Essential Service arrangements and the Corporation’s operations.
AWA has formed the Water in Mining Specialist Network in consultation with representatives from key organisations in the mining industry. By working with both the water and mining industries, we are able to advocate for the protection of our precious water supplies, while still getting the most out of our natural resources. If you work within the mining sector, or are just interested in water in mining, make sure you join the new network by changing your account details through the AWA website.
The first newsletter of AWA’s Water Retail Network is now available on the AWA website. The network is AWA’s newest specialist network and has been created primarily for those working in the areas of water retailing, billing and customer communications, but also those in other functional areas of water businesses.
New South Wales The New South Wales Irrigators Council is pleased that the Federal Government has agreed to amend its Bill to change the Water Act so that the Murray-Darling Basin Authority will not have sole power to set Sustainable Diversion Limits. Council Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Gregson, says that Federal Water Minister, Tony Burke, amended the Bill subsequent to approaches from a range of industry groups, including NSWIC.
Five creators of winning designs are sharing their sustainability stories as part of the Sydney Water tap™ bottle display held at the Powerhouse Museum until 6 November 2012. The winning designs were selected from 57 submissions by 37 entrants in the tap™ bottle design competition, which included artists, designers and the general public. A panel composed of representatives of Sydney Water and the Powerhouse Museum judged the entries and the top 20 entrants were invited to share their story about sustainability.
NSW Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce has used National Water Week to highlight the NSW Government’s $720 million investment in water infrastructure across Sydney, the Illawarra and lower Hunter regions. Mr Pearce said the NSW Government is committed to ensuring residents have access to a clean, high quality and sustainable water supply. “This year’s theme for National Water Week is ‘valuing our water,’ and NSW is leading the way by investing more than $720 million in infrastructure to ensure a reliable water supply and improve waterways,” he said.
Sydney Water has made a call for tenders to naturalise a one-kilometre stretch of river bank along the Cooks River as part of a multi-million dollar project to improve stormwater management in the area. “The riverbank naturalisation project presents a historic opportunity for Sydney Water to replace the deteriorated concrete channel with riverbanks that are more natural,” said Sydney Water’s Managing Director, Kevin Young.
12 DECEMBER 2012 water
Earlier this year, AWA received a great response to a call for Expressions of Interest in joining the committees for AWA’s 18 Specialist Networks. The committees have now been appointed and can be viewed on the AWA website. The committees will soon be meeting to discuss planning for the next two years. If you have any suggestions or comments for activities the networks might include in their plans, please email email@example.com
Grant Leslie is leaving the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) after six years to start up his own consultancy specialising in Workforce Development, Strategic Planning, Trade Waste Consulting and Project Management. Grant can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through www.futureresource.com.au
Water Quality Research Australia has dedicated its pinnacle of scholarships in honour of microbiologist Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis AC MBE. Professor Millis, who passed away in September 2012, was an eminent Australian microbiologist who created the first applied microbiology course taught in an Australian university and an ardent supporter of WQRA. The Nancy Millis Memorial PhD Scholarship is offered annually, awarded to a student with demonstrated research excellence. WQRA PhD Scholarships are open to domestic and international students enrolled at Australian universities.
eWater and the International Centre of Excellence in Water Resources Management (ICEWaRM) have formed a new alliance to offer high quality water management and modelling training courses to Australian and international water-focused organisations. Upcoming courses include Climate Change Adaption: Impacts on Water Management and Introduction to Source: Australia’s national hydrological modelling platform.
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crosscurrent AWA would like to congratulate the new and returning appointments to its Board, as elected last week at the AGM. The positions will take effect from the end of Ozwater’13 next year. The new Board is comprised of Graham Dooley (President Elect), Lucia Cade (Immediate Past President), Jodieann Dawe, John Graham, John Howard, Carmel Krogh, Peter Moore, Mal Shepherd, Mark Sullivan and Helen Stratton.
Tyco’s Flow Control business, which includes Tyco Water, merged with Pentair on 1 October. The new company, called Pentair, will focus on providing a wider range of solutions to manage, secure and advance the world’s most essential resources, equipment and infrastructure.
Geoff Whellum from Hunter Water Australia, who has been with the organisation since its inception, has announced his retirement. Geoff has been an integral part of the process engineer team and a tremendous supporter of the AWA, for which we are very grateful. We wish Geoff all the best.
Mr Michael Hannon has been appointed Chair of Power and Water Corporation following the resignation of Judith King. Ms King has been Chair since 2009 and a director since 2000. Ms King, who was previously a director of Melbourne Water, is highly regarded in the industry and leaves a strong legacy at Power and Water. Mr Hannon was appointed to the Power and Water Corporation Board in August 2009 and is the Chairman of the Hannon Group of Companies.
There is a new opportunity to undertake postgraduate legal research in the recently established Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities. The project focuses on better regulatory frameworks for water sensitive cities.
East Gippsland Water has appointed Bruce Hammond as its new Managing Director. Bruce will commence duties with East Gippsland Water in early December, returning to the organisation he worked for some 15 years ago. Bruce has been a long-standing member of AWA and we congratulate him on this appointment.
It is with regret that we advise that Brian Davis passed away on 16 October after succumbing to a prolonged fight against pancreatic cancer. Brian was a longstanding member of AWA and was prominent in water education for many years. Brian was a natural teacher, renowned for his engaging and educational staff presentations on water management topics. He knew how to make technical information accessible and interesting to all, his presentations usually incorporating quirky visuals from his vast photo library and even reference to the occasional pop song.
In a move to streamline its business development and client engagement programs within the communications and utilities industry globally, Aurecon has appointed Colin Dominish as Industry Director and Baholo Baholo as Industry Leader.
Mark Trembath, Sydney Branch Manager and former Brisbane Sales Manager for Xylem, has accepted the position of Asia-Pacific Sales Manager for Johnson Screens. Mark can be contacted on 0448 100 996 and at mark.trembath@ johnsonscreens.com
The Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence has announced further funding for applied and strategic research projects that quantitatively demonstrate and/or enhance the social, economic or environmental value of water recycling in Australia. If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please visit the Centre’s website to download the proposal template, detailed technical scope and the revised Strategic Research Plan.
URS has named Jim Mantle as Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand. In this position, Dr Mantle is responsible for leading URS’s engineering, environmental and construction management services across all business lines, including mining, oil & gas, water/wastewater, transportation, government, power and international development. He is based in Melbourne.
A big thanks to all members who participated in the 2012 AWA Specialist Networks and Training Survey. This year’s Survey received record numbers, more than doubling the response rate compared to past surveys. Congratulations to Gareth Evans, from the Water Corporation of Western Australia, who has won two movie tickets for participating in the Survey.
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Tenix has designed and built, and is now operating, Victoria’s largest standalone underground Water Recycling Facility - in Yarra Park, adjacent to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The $22m scheme, funded by the Melbourne Cricket Club ($16 million) and the Victorian Government ($6 million), treats sewage from the local sewerage network to ‘Class A’ recycled water standards to irrigate the heritage-listed park and nearby Punt Road Oval, as well as for cleaning and toilet-flushing at the MCG. The plant is able to produce over 600 kilolitres of recycled water per day. As one of the first of its type in Victoria, the Tenix-designed recycling facility has been built underground, out of public view, without taking way from valuable surface land use or park amenity. Key Features The recycled water treatment process consists of screening and grit removal, biological treatment of the sewage and chemical addition for phosphate removal, filtration via membrane bioreactor (MBR) and ultrafiltration (UF) membrane systems, and disinfection via ultraviolet (UV) and chlorination. The underground plant has a trafficable roof, and architecturally designed entry and egress with a box lift and chemical unloading area. Associated infrastructure on
the inlet side includes the sewer connection, diversion structure/chamber, a 13-metre by 4.8-metre (diameter) pumping station and a rising main. Other infrastructure includes the connections into the MCG under the concourse to a pre-existing storage tank, and to Punt Road storage as well as a pump station and sludge return gravity line downstream of the sewerage take-off. The MCC and their partners were keen to ensure that the design, construction and operation of the plant minimise any impact on the park, its users and other stakeholders including residents, regulatory authorities and members. The MCC also wished to retain the aesthetics of the existing parkland and maintain the availability of parking.
Sustainability The recycled water will be used for cleaning and toilet flushing at the MCG and will reduce its reliance on potable water by 50 per cent and remove it from the list of Melbourne’s top 100 water users.
Our Role Tenix’s in-house engineering team worked collaboratively with the MCC and their partners to ensure that all project requirements were met and also developed a number of technical and operational improvements to the original plant concept. Tenix provided the process, mechanical, civil, electrical, instrumentation and control design (including 3D modelling), and construction (including earthworks), commissioning, coding for plc/SCADA, and validation for Class A.
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Innovation Tenix introduced a number of technical and operational improvements to the original plant concept and employed innovative construction techniques to improve safety and minimise disruption to stakeholders and the environment.
industry news The WSAA Asset Management Program The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) is the peak body representing the nation’s urban water industry. Through WSAA, members enjoy facilitated collaboration and coordination as well as access to leading national and international research, as well as a range of subscription-based projects. The longest running and most successful of these in terms of participation rates and industry uptake are those that make up the Asset Management (AM) Program. Since its inception in 2008 the AM Program has delivered 12 projects comprising up to three stages per project worth approximately $4.7 million. Every dollar contributed to the AM Program goes towards the successful completion of the projects as well as funding for AM meetings, workshops, teleconferences and networking events. Subscription costs are based on membership fees and are calculated on the size of a utility and number of its connections. Large members such as Sydney Water, Water Corporation and SA Water pay a significant proportion of a project fee, enabling smaller members such as Cradle Mountain Water, Wannon Water and Mackay Regional Council to get involved in the multi-million dollar program for a fraction of the cost. Sizeable members participate not only to further their knowledge in a specific area, but also to pass on learnings and raise the level of understanding in the urban water industry as a whole. Smaller members have the benefit of a subsidised subscription fee, but with all the responsibility and influence their larger peers enjoy. Interestingly, according to WSAA, as smaller members often have to do more with less money and
Figure 1. AM Program participation across Australia and New Zealand. resources, they are often able to pass on innovative solutions to everyday AM challenges. The AM Program has seen participation rates grow significantly since 2008, from eight utilities signing up for project outcomes, to an average of 20 utilities per project in 2012. Over its five-year duration 36 members have contributed both cash and in-kind to the AM Program.
As the urban water industry has changed and evolved, so too has the focus of the WSAA AM Program. Members initially sought to fill their AM knowledge gaps with projects geared towards pressure water pipes and gravity sewers. Project deliverables came in the form of best or current Table 1. Past, current and future projects in the AM Program. practice guidelines, process methods, investigative Past Projects Condition Assessment Guidelines/ Condition Assessment Selection Tool reports or software tools. Capital Prioritisation: A Practices Review, Principles and Guideline Members now seek outputs Review of Risk Management for a broader range of classes Review of Leakage Reporting and Management Practices including civil, mechanical, electrical and SCADA assets, Review of Linear Polarisation Resistance and future projects fall into Condition Assessment of Water Main Appurtenances these focus areas (Table 1). Sewer/ Water Rehabilitation Although a large Decision Frameworks for Gravity Sewers proportion of projects is International Water Mains Failure Database now complete, deliverables are still available for new Management of Sewer Blockages participants to get involved. Current Projects Asbestos Cement Pipes Participants should be a Asset Management Process Benchmarking using the Aquamark framework public or private agency/ utility providing water Cathodic Protection services and/or sewerage Water Main Renewal Planning services, or bulk water Asset & Asset Performance Data suppliers and sewage treatment operators Infiltration and Inflow providing services to Sewer Rising Main Condition Assessment and Risk Management agencies/utilities. Future Projects Business Case Development for Critical Assets For more information Ensuring a Consistent Approach to Risk Management and Prioritisation please visit www.wsaa.asn. Identification of Current Practice Systems for Capturing Asset Register au or contact Dr Jaimie Information (Project Handover) Hicks, Program Coordinator – Asset Management (email: Identification of Common Analytical Methods and Evaluation Tools to email@example.com), or Assess Asset Performance David Cox, Manager – Mechanical and Electrical Benchmarking Technical Services (email: SCADA Standards firstname.lastname@example.org).
18 DECEMBER 2012 water
industry news Winning Alliances Creating Value
An innovative school designed to ease water shortages in a semi-arid region of East Africa is planned to open by the end of the year. The WATERBANK™ School, conceived and designed by US based nonThe community pools resources to dig profit PITCHAfrica, foundations for the perimeter wall. demonstrates the dramatic potential of rainwater harvesting in semi-arid regions and aims to put an end to water wars. Enabling schools to harvest, store and filter water in large quantities as part of a community-integrated approach to rainwater harvesting is a powerful concept, particularly in regions where ground and surface water resources are already under stress, says PITCHAfrica’s Founder and Director, Jane Harrison.
Four of Australasia’s most outstanding projects and maintenance alliances won awards at the region’s peak alliance contracting event in Melbourne in October. Alliancing Association of Australasia (AAA) Acting CEO Ron Quill said 2012’s Alliancing Association of Australasia’s Excellence Awards included road and water sector projects and maintenance programs that have delivered cost-efficient, high quality, timely and innovative results through team collaboration.
The school is being built by PITCHAfrica in collaboration with The Zeitz Foundation, a locally based NGO. In a region with an annual rainfall of 600mm, the WATERBANK School’s 600m2 roof catchment area can harvest more than 350,000L annually and will mean that the 200-plus students who will attend the school will receive 5L a day year round. This access to clean water will mean a reduction in illness and malnutrition, fewer school absences, improved study results, encourage development and lead to a reduction in youth unemployment in the future. But, most importantly, the school will achieve greater gender equality as the girls in the community who typically spend hours collecting water will be able to attend school and do homework instead. Every child will be able to learn about economically and environmentally sustainable rainwater harvesting, water filtration, sanitation and agricultural practices while at school. In addition to four full-sized indoor/outdoor classrooms the WATERBANK School includes protected vegetable gardens for the children, teacher’s rooms, community spaces and workshop, a courtyard theatre and a 150,000L water reservoir with integrated water filtration.
Photo credit: Njenga Kahiro, Zeitz Foundation
School Design to End Water Wars
New South Wales’ $640m, 12km Ballina Bypass Alliance won the Alliance Team of Excellence Award – Project Alliance by generating value for the New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and community. The project managed significant technical complexity and left a positive technical, safety, community and value-for-money legacy for future projects. New Zealand’s four-year, $166m Auckland Motorway Alliance won the Alliance Team of Excellence Award – Long Term Alliance for managing and maintaining 240 centreline kilometres of motorways and State Highways in the Auckland region. Two projects won Highly Commended awards in these two categories based on their outstanding accomplishments on difficult projects with diverse complexities. Queensland’s $1.95b, 8km Origin Alliance was Highly Commended for the Alliance Team of Excellence Award – Project Alliance. It delivered one of South-East Queensland’s most significant and complex road projects six months early and under budget, despite numerous challenges including project site inundation during the January 2011 Brisbane flood. Victoria’s five-year, $380m Barwon Water Alliance was Highly Commended for the Alliance Team of Excellence Award – Long Term Alliance. It is delivering 140 water infrastructure projects for Victoria’s largest regional urban water corporation to meet the needs of the rapidly growing Geelong and Bellarine region. Mr Quill said the alliance is exceeding expectations, delivering the largest annual program of works in Barwon Water’s 100 year history, meeting tight timeframes and completing designs at least six months before required construction start dates – unlocking procurement efficiencies and savings. For more details go to: www.AAAconvention.org
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industry news Lessons Learned from an Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Rating Journey Earlier this year the Australian Green Infrastructure Council (AGIC) launched its Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating scheme to foster the development of sustainable infrastructure in Australia. The scheme evaluates the sustainability of infrastructure assets and/or projects across their design, construction and operational phases and assesses their sustainability performance across the six broad themes of management and governance, innovation, using resources, people and places, ecology and emissions, pollutions and waste. Tenix and Whitsunday Regional Council are seeking a rating under the IS scheme for the Proserpine and Cannonvale sewage treatment plants in Northern Queensland, which Tenix is designing, constructing and will operate and maintain on behalf of the Council. An important part of the IS rating scheme is to share the learning from infrastructure projects with the broader market to help accelerate the advancement of sustainability across the industry and avoid “reinventing the wheel”, says Tenix. A recurring major theme in project learning to date is that “earlier is better” when planning sustainable projects. The earlier that sustainabilityrelated issues are identified in the project development, the greater the potential is to maximise sustainable outcomes. For example, early engagement with potential suppliers – to get them engaged on the sustainability agenda – encourages thinking about potential innovations and provides longer lead times that are often needed to realise innovation. Early identification of potential renewable energy options allows for the design to facilitate retrofitting in the future, even if the project budget does not allow for it in the initial build. Similarly, prior understanding of climate-change risks and adaption strategies makes it easier to address the more significant projectspecific risks when they are identified. It is also good to get everyone involved ‘on board’ at the earliest opportunity. Including sustainability in the induction process ensures that all stakeholders, including subcontractors, are on the same page when it comes to delivery. Timing is also critical. For example, if the project team had better understood energy tariffs
22 DECEMBER 2012 water
earlier in the design stage, they could have investigated the viability of using holding tanks to store effluent for treatment at the times of day when tariffs were lower. Involving the wider community in the early stages of the project around sustainability brings about a number of intangible benefits. Collaborating and engaging with representatives from the local community to identify sustainable opportunities not only increases community buy-in and goodwill, it also improves local engagement around the benefits of the project and increases general understanding of the project and its aims – such as sustainable wastewater treatment. The IS scheme has been a great mechanism to further focus the project team’s sustainability efforts, enforcing the need for the project team to consider the sustainability implications of everything it does. Many of the initiatives that have grown from the sustainability focus have been cost-neutral, or in some cases delivered improved value over the asset life cycle. An example is the use of ‘green concrete’. Apart from the more obvious environmental benefits, the concrete is stronger, more durable and more resistant to chemical attack than conventional concrete, and no more expensive. AGIC is a not-for-profit industry association formed with the express purpose to establish a rating scheme to enhance sustainability in Australian infrastructure. Tenix is an active member of AGIC and believes the IS scheme has the potential to create a step change in sustainability and the Infrastructure arena.
New Appointments for Parsons Brinckerhoff In Perth, Parsons Brinckerhoff welcomes Barbara Pedersen as Principal Environmental Consultant. Parsons Brinckerhoff Environment, Planning and Stakeholder Engagement Section Executive Brian Ashcroft said Ms Pedersen’s diverse skills and experience added depth to the firm’s environmental capability. “Our environment team offers quality advice to clients across Australia, and
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Barbara’s expertise further strengthens this service,” said Mr Ashcroft. “Ms Pedersen has more than 17 years’ experience in coastal and port projects – both in the public and private sector.” Prior to joining Parsons Brinckerhoff, Ms Pedersen’s leadership roles included managing the team of coastal planners at the Department for Planning and Infrastructure in Western Australia. Under her leadership, the coastal team won a Planning Institute of Australia National Award in Environmental planning for its coastal planning program, and was a finalist in the WA Premier Awards for sustainable environments for the Coastwest grants program.
“Changes or disturbances to patterns of expected behaviour and connections between plants and animals are noticed and queried immediately, potentially alerting us to more serious higher-level problems,” Emma said. Each calendar depicts between four and 13 seasons in an annual cycle of climatic and ecological understanding. Focusing on river systems, they follow the activities of plants and animals that are driven by the monsoon in northern Australia. Emma says her work taps into a previously underutilised resource.
Meanwhile, Parsons Brinckerhoff has appointed Greg Milford to the new role of Director of Sales for its AustraliaPacific operations. In this new position Mr Milford will provide leadership and strategic direction with a focus on winning new work, expanding the firm’s profile, enhancing relationships with clients and developing new markets. Mr Milford returns to Australia after a five-year assignment to the United Kingdom, where his most recent position was as the Strategic Initiatives Director for Europe, Middle East and North Africa. In this role he was responsible for Parsons Brinckerhoff’s entry into new geographies and markets – Scandinavia, Saudi Arabia, Libya and offshore wind projects in the United Kingdom.
“Aboriginal knowledge is different and adds to Western science. It can make a unique and important contribution to the problems of managing the Australian environment,” she says. “Aboriginal people have a deep understanding of the connections between everything in the environment. Their observations have revealed relationships and links between plants, animals, water and climate that we weren’t aware of before.”
Mr Milford is now based in the firm’s Sydney office. He holds a Bachelor of Town Planning from the University of New South Wales.
With increasing pressure on northern Australia’s water resources, Emma says, it is crucial to draw on the best information available when making decisions about water management.
Crocodile Eggs Measure River Health
“Aboriginal people are key water users and bring valuable knowledge about these important resources, including detailed information about fish behaviour and habitats within the rivers,” she says. “Indigenous ecological knowledge is being used in other countries for environmental monitoring and management, but it is still very early days in Australia. The calendars are the first step in facilitating this process.”
Ngan’gi speakers know it’s time to look for freshwater crocodile eggs when the red kapok trees near the Northern Territory’s Daly River burst into flower. This can occur at a different time each year, but the environmental link is solid. A Darwin-based scientist has converted this link and other intimate Aboriginal knowledge of Australia’s landscape into an environmental management tool. CSIRO’s Emma Woodward worked with Aboriginal elders as part of the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge research program to develop six seasonal calendars from six different language groups from the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The calendars provide early warning signs of environmental change, which will help scientists manage water use and monitor the impacts of climate change.
Emma has captured Indigenous ecological knowledge from the Ngan’gi, Malakmalak, Gooniyandi, Walmajarri, Wagiman and Larrakia Aboriginal language groups across Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Schools and universities have shown interest in the calendars as an educational resource. For instance, the Larrakia calendar, from the Darwin region, is being converted into an interactive online educational version. For more information please go to: www.freshscience.org.au/ embargoed/indigenousecology
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Photo: Emma Woodward, CSIRO.
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industry news New Appointments for Aurecon Aurecon has appointed Colin Dominish as Industry Director and Baholo Baholo as Industry Leader. Colin and Baholo will focus on bringing a wide range of solutions and offerings to clients in the Data and Telecommunications, Energy and Water markets. “Colin has played a key role in helping to set up our key client program and brings to his new role a wealth of experience in client engagement leadership and business development,” said Aurecon Colin Dominish CEO Paul Hardy. Most recently Colin was Client Relationship Manager at Aurecon, and was previously Hewlett Packard’s South East Asia Client Director working for a range of utility companies. As a highly experienced electrical engineer, Baholo has a wealth of valuable knowledge in industrial electrical engineering. He has gained practical experience in most Baholo Baholo industrial engineering applications through his long-term involvement in the Lesotho Highlands Water Project in Southern Africa. “Baholo’s reputation precedes him in the Africa and Middle East markets – his ability to develop client relationships will serve him well in this exciting and challenging role,” said Colin. In the role, Baholo will have responsibilities for sales and client satisfaction targets for African and Middle Eastern clients in the Industry.
Water Industry Scholarship Water Quality Research Australia has dedicated its pinnacle of scholarships in honour of microbiologist Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis AC MBE. Professor Millis, who passed away in September 2012, was an eminent Australian microbiologist who
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Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis with the award.
26 DECEMBER 2012 water
created the first applied microbiology course taught in an Australian University and was an ardent supporter of WQRA. The Nancy Millis Memorial PhD Scholarship is offered annually and is awarded to a student with demonstrated research excellence. The scholarship includes: • Stipend of $10,000 per annum • Up to $10,000 operating allowance • $5,000 for national and international conference attendance • $10,000 to attend an additional international conference with a WQRA member. Additional benefits include professional development opportunities; networking opportunities with key leaders within the national and international water community; attendance at the student Orientation Day (O-Day); mentoring support; AWA membership and an introduction to Young Water Professionals networks. WQRA PhD Scholarships are open to domestic and international students enrolled at Australian universities.
Pentair Merges With Tyco Flow Control Pentair has merged with Tyco Flow Control to form a new combined company called Pentair. Mike Keegan, Managing Director of Pentair’s Water and Environmental Systems global business unit, said the new Pentair will provide significant benefits for Australian customers. “Pentair’s global strength and expanded product range will help us to continue our leadership role in the water industry. It will enable us to build on our trusted water and environment brands such as Tyco Water, Goyen, Greenspan, Southern Cross, Water Dynamics and Water Infrastructure Group. “Pentair Water and Environmental Systems will leverage knowledge and expertise across a broader spectrum of local and global products, solutions and applications. We will continue to develop new products for the Australian market. We will continue to work closely with our customers to deliver services that add value and address the key issues facing us in securing the country’s water future.” Pentair is currently working on some Australian projects including the country’s largest thermal drying biosolids facility. Located near Geelong in Victoria, the facility is a key innovation for the customer’s long-term
DECEMBER 2012 27
industry news The research will examine opportunities for water recycling across the agri-food chain, with particular focus on food manufacturing, dairy and meat industries. Project director Jay Sellahewa said the project will focus on current industry challenges, including regulatory and policy pressures, and the value proposition (an analysis of all factors to determine if water recycling stacks up as the best option). It will also develop strategies to increase acceptance by consumers and enhance the sustainability positioning with customers.
Pentair Water & Environmental Systems Managing Director Mike Keegan (centre left) takes a delegation led by Chief Operating Ofﬁcer Mike Schrock (centre right) through the company’s Ductile Iron Pipe Manufacturing Facility at Yennora, NSW. goal to operate a ‘no waste’ sewerage system. Pentair’s Water & Environmental Systems division is also involved in the burgeoning coal seam gas industry in Queensland. Pentair is involved in treating, moving, storing and reusing groundwater as well as helping mining companies achieve environmental compliance through intelligent monitoring systems. Pentair has 30,000 employees worldwide, revenues of $8 billion and provides solutions for a full range of filtration, processing and flow management applications, thermal management solutions and equipment protection.
Water Recycling: A Key Ingredient in Food Production and Manufacturing? Increasing the use of water recycling in food production and manufacturing is among new research being undertaken by the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence. Led by CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences, the project will collaborate with industry to demonstrate higher-value water recycling opportunities that deliver economic, environmental and social benefits to the agri-food industry and community.
“The ultimate goal is to reduce the reliance of fresh water throughout the agri-food supply chain,” Mr Sellahewa said. “This could be achieved by increasing the amount of water used for irrigation of crops by treating effluents from food processing plants and by increasing the amount of water recycled within food manufacturing plants”. “Outcomes of this work will include the development of fit-for-purpose water recycling guidelines for industry, a tool to enable industry to make decisions on recycling water based on the value proposition and available technologies, and communicating positive messages in consuming foods associated with recycled water to help increase consumer confidence”. The Centre’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Mark O’Donohue said the project was a good example of the multi-disciplinary work being done by the Centre. “This project is using rigorous science-based research in partnership with some of the biggest and most credible industry organisations in Australia such as Meat and Livestock Australia, Dairy Australia and the Australian Food and Grocery Council,” Dr O’Donohue said. “As a centre focused on water security the applications of this research for food security are very exciting.” The Australian Government has committed $20 million in funding over five years to the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, through the Water for the Future initiative. For more information on the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence visit www.australianwaterrecycling.com.au.
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28 DECEMBER 2012 water
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DECEMBER 2012 29
young water professionals
20 Years From Now: A Young Water Professional’s View Mike Dixon – AWA YWP National Committee President When I look back 20 years, I knew even then I wanted to be a scientist. I remember learning about the water cycle and that we shouldn’t waste water. Now, when I look forward 20 years, I see limitless opportunities in the water industry... As young water professionals many of us have our careers ahead of us, or are just starting to craft an area of expertise or build a reputation. At any point in your career it’s easy to slip into the humdrum of the day-to-day world, forgetting to take the time to step back and see the big picture. This is why I believe it’s so important to look forward regularly and recognise opportunities, even create opportunities for yourself to further your career and further our industry. Some of you may be wondering what are these opportunities. They are current challenges around the world that the Australian water industry can offer much towards solving through our expertise in research, water asset management and creativity. Our country’s extreme climates, environment and high urban population have forced us to recognise and deliver flexible, sustainable water management. This makes the Australian water industry a global leader in many areas, something we can preserve and capitalise on in the future.
Water Challenges of the Future To further set the scene, here are some predictions of water challenges in the future: 1.
Due to climate change, Himalayan snow and ice, which provide vast amounts of water for agriculture in Asia, are expected to decline by 20% by 2030 (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations).
By 2025, 1,800 million people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations).
India will run out of water by 2050 (World Bank Report on Water in India).
With these and countless other challenges, including those we still have in Australia, I don’t see doomsday predictions or a space in the “too hard basket”. I see the opportunities we have to provide alternatives to traditional supplies, to avoid resource misuse and to offer innovative systems to ensure people can have the water and wastewater facilities they need to live and function. The answers may not be the same as we’ve adopted in our own backyard, but our experience and knowledge could be critical to finding and delivering the right solutions.
30 DECEMBER 2012 water
It’s important to note that these opportunities do not only lie in developing nations. Moving to California I have now recognised the leadership of Australian utilities, governments and the private sector in water management. We are years ahead in education and recognising the value of diverse sources for water. Living in Los Angeles, drinking water delivered from open aqueducts travelling hundreds of miles across a desert, it’s a little hard to swallow at times after so many successful recycled water and desalination projects down under.
Time to Consolidate Our Skills Australia’s industry may have a lull for a while after the valuable investments in our infrastructure, however it will pick up again. Now is a time for consolidating the skills learned during our period of diversification and considering how we can best market our abilities internationally. Looking at previous examples, Spain learned from its water crisis of the 1980s and 1990s and turned it into strong expertise. It now markets and uses its desalination skills worldwide with plants in Australia, India, Chile, China and a score of other places. As a young water professional some of these opportunities are going to be difficult, requiring gigantic projects by governments, utilities and international agencies. Looking at the other end of the spectrum, some of them lie in simple innovations for individuals or positive changes in technology to help protect our most valuable resource. I believe the key is seeing these challenges as opportunities for us, the water industry; those with the knowledge, the expertise, the experience and the skills to solve these problems. I also ask you how fulfilling it is to work in an industry that eventually, in the future, could become a commodity more valuable than oil? You may not have wanted to be a scientist when you grew up; you may not want to dive into the challenges of the world’s water supply; you may not want to lead the way; but what you do want is a rewarding, challenging and valuable role – and of all the industries I can think of, the water industry delivers that. The demand for our skills as young professionals will only continue to grow as our careers do and I think it’s hard not to be excited when we look to the future. Finally, this is my final article for AWA Water Journal as Young Water Professionals President; a new Australian-based President will be announced shortly. In closing I would like to sincerely thank the YWP committees around Australia for their support, and AWA for the opportunity to serve as President.
Course Calendar The National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training’s Industry Training Program is delivering courses that respond to a range of needs for groundwater professionals across Australia. The Groundwater Industry Training Program is extending education beyond professional development for groundwater industry staff to include: technicians specialists, environmental community groups and those who are working in land and water management.
AUSTRALIAN GROUNDWATER SCHOOL
Melbourne, 18-21 March Brisbane, 24-27 June
AUSTRALIAN GROUNDWATER SCHOOL: ADVANCED Adelaide, 21-24 October
UNDERSTANDING GROUNDWATER LEGISLATION Sydney, 6-7 August
FRACTURED ROCK HYDROGEOLOGY
Brisbane, 15-16 April Perth, 18-19 April
GROUNDWATER IN MINING Adelaide, 20-22 May
BEST PRACTICE IN GROUNDWATER MODELLING Sydney, 27 May
A VARIETY OF OTHER COURSES Melbourne, 28 May THAT ARE DELIVERED BY THE Perth, 30 May CENTRE BUT ARE NOT BEING RUN THIS YEAR INCLUDE: COAL SEAM AND SHALE GAS: ‘THE SCIENCE’ • Well Design • •
Groundwater Essentials Soil & Groundwater Pollution
We can also work with you to tailor programs that meet your unique requirements. Our education unit can adapt any of our high quality courses to suit your needs or develop an entirely new program specifically for your organisation.
NATIONAL CENTRE FOR G ROUNDWATER RESEARCH & TRAINING GPO Box 2100 Adelaide SA 5001 Australia p: +61 8 8201 5632 f: +61 8 8201 5635 firstname.lastname@example.org www.groundwater.com.au
Brisbane, 6-8 March
Perth, 12 August Adelaide, 14 August Brisbane, 16 August
MANAGED AQUIFER RECHARGE Perth, 18-19 November
Australian Research Council
DECEMBER 2012 31
awa news My Samoan Secondment “Good luck in Somalia” was the level of understanding I received from some people when I said I was moving to Samoa. I am currently an AWA employee on a one-year secondment with the Pacific Water and Wastes Association (PWWA). Twelve months on and I am still enjoying the education and facilitation of relationships between Australians and our Pacific Island neighbours.
• Encourage Australian utilities to be matched as twins with Pacific utilities. PWWA with ADB funds is striving to form 10 partnerships over the next three years; • Establish the Pacific Secondment Program, which will enable individual Australian and Pacific water professionals to participate in development opportunities overseas; • Liaise with Australian research organisations to submit and deliver on joint Australian funding proposals. This has commenced with CSIRO and University of South Australia;
The connection to PWWA commenced in 2010 when I met Latu Kupa, PWWA’s Executive Director. It was then that I learnt about PWWA, a not-for-profit industry membership organisation for the region that services 21 countries and is supported by a voluntary secretariat from KEW Consult in Apia, Samoa. Latu told me about PWWA’s need to grow and sustain the Association to become independent and requested any assistance that AWA could offer. With AWA’s support I proposed a four-month analysis of PWWA through the former Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations’ (DEEWR) Endeavour Executive Award program. On receiving the Award, I was able to fulfil these plans by conducting a review of the Association, then developing a Recommendations Report and a Memorandum of Understanding between AWA and PWWA. As a tangible commitment to the PWWA MoU and to assist with these new action plans, AWA sponsored a Samoan-based shared secondment arrangement. AWA is leading by example through this twinning style relationship and is credited as a valued partner for demonstrating solidarity and connecting Australian–Pacific enterprises. Over the last nine months both Associations and members have benefited from a joint resource. Some of the achievements to date include: • Successfully applying for and delivering $45,000 AusAID funding for travel costs for 15 participants from 10 countries to attend a two-day Wastewater and Sanitation Seminar; • Successfully applying for PWWA to have a one-year volunteer under AusAID’s Australian Youth Ambassador Development (AYAD) program. AWA is the Australian partner organisation; • Sharing of twinning contacts and facilitation of Australian/ Pacific utility partnerships; • Enhanced awareness and cross promotion of news, tenders, jobs and events; • Capacity building and improved PWWA procedures in order for them to demonstrate their value and also returns from members and stakeholders; • Significant improvement to the Pacific Association’s financial position with the value estimated to be $100,000 across the year. In the next three months there are plans to: • Extend the PWWA secondment;
32 DECEMBER 2012 water
The Volunteer Secretariat.
• Increase the number of Australian PWWA members and, consequently, the opportunities for Australian businesses to be involved in the Pacific region. This is an exciting development phase for the Association. It is anticipated that with continued and new Australian water sector support, PWWA will become independent and sustainable, which will galvanise a stronger Pacific water industry. How can you play a role? There are four ways to liaise with PWWA and its members: 1.
Become a PWWA member
Share expertise and resources
Become a twinning partner
Attend the Pacific Water Conference (PWC’13) in the Cook Islands.
If you would like more information, why not visit us in our tropical paradise, Samoa – or you can go to our new website: www.pwwa.ws or contact Fiona Mackenzie: email@example.com or +685 30326.
2012 AWA Training and Professional Development Over the last 12 months, AWA has continued to build on its well-established reputation as a provider of quality water industry training and professional development. This year’s activities have focused on two key areas: Advocacy and Information, and Delivery:
Advocacy and Information Key achievements include: • Strong representation on key skills-related bodies and committees: eg Water Industry Advisory Committee (WIAC), which advises Government Skills Australia, the Industry Skills Council responsible for ensuring that the Australian Qualification Framework keeps up with the skills needs of the water industry. One example of an outcome from this forum was ensuring that the excellent work of one of our members, City West Water, in designing an accredited training program to build engineering skills in the technical workforce was nationally endorsed and is now available in the National Water Industry Training Package NWP07 v3. • Ongoing management of the Water Industry Skills Taskforce (WIST): Key achievements include a revision of the existing Business Plan outlining recommendations for the future, implementing and reporting on a National Water Industry Skills Audit, proposing and undertaking a review of the WIST Charter to ensure that this industry body maintains its authority as a high level industry voice on matters relating to skills, and convening a National Water Industry Skills
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awa news Trade Waste Training Evaluation Results
• Enrolment processes were cumbersome and took some time.
Over a year ago, a small team from WSAA and AWA Source Management Specialist Network, concerned with the difficulties industry was facing in accessing trade waste training, developed a nationally coordinated approach to the delivery of NWP 40107 Certificate IV in Water Operations (Trade Waste). Two RTOs were selected to participate and undertook to develop the necessary learning resources. The process, managed by the AWA Training team, resulted in 87* expressions of interest being received from all states and territories. Currently 29* of those have translated into full enrolments in the qualification and 23* responses to a recent evaluation of the program have been received.
• Almost 50% of respondents thought induction into the course could be improved.
The course can take up to two years part-time, so although there is still a long way to go and there have been some teething problems for both RTOs and candidates, feedback so far is largely promising:
• Once enrolled, respondents thought trainers generally responded to enquiries in good time. • 65% of respondents thought the course materials were good. However, some comments also suggested that course materials were outdated compared to advances that have been made in modern workplaces and that trainers could be more flexible in adapting activities and assessments to suit high-tech modern capabilities of the modern workplace. • An overwhelming majority of participants (78%) believed the course was helping them do their jobs. • 91% would recommend the course to their colleagues.
Some comments include: • I now have a nationally recognised qualification, not just years of experience • As the council I work for is now responsible for water and wastewater, this qualification has been very useful in developing compliance. • The Trade Waste qualification has provided me with some key insights relating to how customers affect the treatment process. • The Trade Waste qualification has provided more detail regarding how other sectors in the workplace function alongside the trade waste sector. • I am now better equipped to evaluate risk with respect to Trade Waste Discharge. To enroll in this program please go to: www.awa.asn.au/Certificate_IV_Water_ Operations_Trade_Waste/ * At time of going to print
Forum to identify current and emerging skills and workforce development needs across the water sector. Further details and reports are available on the AWA website. • Support for and participation on the Steering Committee for the National Certification Framework for Operators working within Drinking Water Systems, which is likely to result for the first time in the water industry in the establishment of minimum qualifications for water operators. • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Resources for the water industry. AWA, together with the NSW Public Sector Industry Training Advisory Body (ITAB), initiated and managed a project funded by the NWC, the NSW Department of Communities and Chisholm TAFE to develop RPL resources for 54 water treatment units of competency across Cert II, III and IV level NWP07 qualifications. These resources, which include an Assessor & Candidate Guide, are available online for free from early December 2012. Please see the AWA website for further details. • Attendance at various regional and interstate skills related forums as requested.
Delivery AWA’s aim is to support areas of the market that are not well served, or are areas of AWA strength or where there are clear benefits for our members. Importantly this year, we have also responded to the strategic intent to offer our members programs that reflect a better balance between vocational and higher education and between accredited and non-accredited training programs. The diagram (above right) summarises a broad range of ways in which AWA delivers training and professional development. Key achievements include:
34 DECEMBER 2012 water
• Establishing the AWA Opus Water Industry Training Institute (WITI), a Joint Venture with Opus International Consultants to deliver nationally accredited water industry training through a partnership with The Learning Collaborative (RTO No 32350). WITI was established as the result of concerns expressed by AWA members over increasing skills shortages in the Australian water industry, and the lack of access to quality water operations training in regional Australia. Through this venture, WITI can now deliver NWP20107 Certificate II in Water Operations and NWP30107 Certificate III in Water Operations. One of WITI’s key features is that trainers are constantly stepping in and out of industry roles, thus ensuring they remain up to date with ‘real world’ industry knowledge. With its high level of face-to–face training in the workplace, the WITI delivery model is attracting high levels of interest across rural and regional areas. • AWA Master Classes: Master Classes provide the latest high-quality information to participants in an intensive twoday format. They allow for high levels of interaction between
awa news experts and participants and provide an environment where real workplace problems can be solved. A successful Master Class, Troubleshooting Fouling on Water and Wastewater Treatment Membranes, was run in Sydney in early November. More Master Classes are planned for 2013. • Online lecture series: Online lectures provide members with 24/7 access to high quality professional development delivered by leading experts in their field. Two online courses, Integrated Water Recycling and Water Industry Risk Assessment, are already available while a new one, Asset Management: Leaks, Smells & Corrosion, will be arriving soon. • Partnerships: AWA has established a broad range of partnerships and relationships with other industry bodies and training providers, all aimed at giving our members better access to timely, quality information, training and professional development opportunities. Achievements this year include: * National Centre of Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT): An MOU with NCGRT has resulted in five Coal Seam Gas information sharing and training events being successfully delivered across three states. More joint AWA and NCGRT events are planned for 2013. * Brokering the delivery of NWP40107 Cert IV in Water Operations (Trade Waste) through partnership arrangements with SkillsTech Australia (Qld) and Riverina Institute of TAFE (NSW). See box (opposite) for results of a recent evaluation of this program. * Brokering the delivery of accredited Vocational Graduate Certificate training in Asset Management through a partnership arrangement with an RTO, IQ-AM (Vic). * Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) Exciting plans are underway to work with IPWEA to contextualise some of their successful training programs for the water industry. • 2012 AWA Training Survey: To ensure AWA keeps abreast of water sector training needs a survey was undertaken in August 2012 asking members to rank their interest in particular training types and topic areas. This year’s survey received record numbers, more than doubling the response rate compared to past surveys, and has given us some good insights into what types and topics of training people are interested in. • Our 2013 Training and PD Calendar is now available on the AWA website. It outlines the broad range of training and professional development programs planned for 2013. Check regularly for updates.
New Water in Mining Specialist Network AWA has formed the Water in Mining Specialist Network in consultation with representatives from key organisations in the mining industry. This Network will provide you with tailored, unbiased and technical information and events that promote and cultivate greater understanding of water management in the mining industry. Relevant water issues and challenges in the mining industry will also be explored, while highlighting best practice case studies. Participation from all individuals and organisations (AWA members) within the mining sector, or anyone with an interest in mining is welcomed. Visit www.awa.asn.au/water_in_mining to read more.
Specialist Network Committees 2012–14 At the core of AWA’s reason for being is the involvement of water professionals; while we pride ourselves on the many member services that we offer, the true value of AWA comes from active engagement of members in branch, network and program activities. The networks have continued to grow since their evolution from Special Interest Groups in 2006, and there are now 18 networks with which members can engage. Earlier this year, AWA made its third biennial call for expressions of interest in becoming a Specialist Network Committee Member. An overwhelming number of members nominated themselves, which provided an opportunity to put together committees that fully represented the make-up of the AWA membership. For those committee members who are stepping back from their formal role, we would like to sincerely thank them for their energy and enthusiasm in taking a position of responsibility within the Association and making their contribution to sustainable water management. Special recognition for their outstanding contributions goes to: Chris Adam, Ramafin, Qld; Geoff Hales, Barnewall Resources, Qld; Steve Paradiss, UGL Infrastructure, WA; Nancy Penney, Water Corporation, WA; Susan Kitching, Aurecon, NSW; Deb Pritchard, Curtin University, WA; Damien Batstone, Queensland University, Qld; Christobel Ferguson, GHD, NSW; James Patterson, University of Queensland, Qld; David Sheehan, Department of Human Services, Vic; Deb Nias, Murray Wetlands Ltd, SA; Lance Lloyd, Lloyd Environmental Pty Ltd, Vic; Cheryl Marvell, Sydney Water, NSW; Tony O’Neill, CH2MHill, Qld; Duncan Griffin, Power & Water Corporation, NT; Lindsay Smith, Power & Water Corporation, NT; Joe Whitehead, Centre for Environmental Training, NSW; Ben Kele, Central Queensland University, Qld; Kurt Dahl, Permeate Partners, NSW; Ben Asquith, BMT WBM Pty Ltd, NSW; Linda Brook-Franklin, MidCoast Water, NSW; Ray Borg, Ecological Water Solutions, Vic; Asoka Jayaratne, Yarra Valley Water, Vic; Kathryn Green, Power & Water Corporation, NT; Dale Young, GHD, Qld; Reid Butler, BMT WBM Pty Ltd, NSW; Mark Rubarenzya, GHD, ACT; Julian Gray, Smart Approved Watermark, NSW; Jennifer McKay, University of Adelaide, SA; Anne Pye, Department of Land Resource Management, NT; Marco van Winden, AECOM, Qld; Deanne McDonald, OptaMAX Pty Ltd, WA; Peter Dillon, CSIRO, SA; Daryl Stevens, Atura Pty Ltd, Vic. The newly formed committees are listed below and will serve from 2012–14. They will be meeting this month to put together action plans for the next two years. If you would like to input to this process or have any comments, please get in touch with the committees via firstname.lastname@example.org • Asset Management Geoff Hales, Barnewall Resources, Qld; David Hope, David Hope and Associates, NSW; Alexander Muir, Odysseus-imc Pty Ltd, Vic; Norbert Schaeper, Sydney Water, NSW; Thomas Kuen, Melbourne Water, Vic; Glen Harsh, Unity Water, Qld; Keane White, QUU, Qld; Mel Lutton, Parsons Brinckerhoff, SA; Michael Bendeli, Sinclair Knight Merz, Vic; Michael Thurner, GHD, WA. • Biosolids Nancy Penney, Water Corporation, WA; Susan Kitching, Aurecon, NSW; Damien Batstone, Queensland University, Qld; Jean Davis, Sydney Water, NSW; Paul Darvodelsky, PSD Ltd, NT; Diane Wiesner, Science Plus, NSW; Justin Watts, Monadelphous, Qld; Martina De Zilva, AECOM, Vic.
DECEMBER 2012 35
awa news • Catchment Management David Sheehan, Department of Human Services, Vic; James Patterson, PhD at UQ, Qld; Karla Billington, Naturallogic, SA; Andrew Bath, Water Corporation, WA; Danielle Baker, GHD, NSW; Elisa de Wit, Norton Rose, Vic; Ines Zegoulli, BG&E Pty Limited, WA; Pat Feehan, Feehan Consulting Pty Ltd, Vic; Paul Hart, Royal HaskoningDHV, NSW; Rhys Blackmore, Hunter Water, NSW. • Environmental Water Management Robyn Loomes, WA Dept Water; Lance Lloyd, Lloyd Environmental Pty Ltd, Vic; Rebecca Sheldon, SKM, Tas; Dr Satish Choy; Qld Dept of Environment and Resource Management; Melissa Debnam, ALS Global, Vic; Paul Wettin, Consultant, NSW; Mel Lutton, Parsons Brinckerhoff, SA; Melanie Sutton, ESP Management, Qld; Paul Yacobellis, The Balmoral Group, NSW. • Membranes & Desalination Neil Palmer, National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia, WA; Adam Ansted, AECOM, WA; Hiep Le, Osmoflo, SA; Robert Heilbronn, Hatch, WA; Sjoerd Sibma, Water Corporation, WA; Rhett Butler, Skyjuice Foundation Inc, NSW; Gary Crisp, GHD, Qld; Con Pelekani, SA Water, SA; Geoffrey Frost, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Vic; Peter Hillis, AECOM, Vic. • Operations Cheryl Marvell, Sydney Water, NSW; Duncan Griffin, Power and Water, NT; Matthew Bowman, Water Corporation, WA; Richard Scott, SA Water, SA; Tony O’Neill, CH2M HILL, Qld; Iain Fairbairn, Sydney Water, NSW; Stephen Little, Water Corporation, WA; Martin Murray, Transfield Services, Qld; Peter Vogelaar, SPIRAC Pty Ltd, NSW; Sally Rewell, Sydney Water, NSW. • Small Water & Wastewater Systems Joe Whitehead, Centre for Environmental Training, NSW; Ben Kele, Central Queensland University, Qld; Kurt Dahl, Permeate Partners, NSW; Tim Woods, Hydroscape, SA; Lyn Richardson, Rosewood Environmental Services, NSW; Ben Asquith, BMT WBM, NSW; Amy Dysart, Power and Water Corporation, WA; Gary Thorne, Parsons Brinckerhoff, WA; Stephen Purvis, Centre for Appropriate Technology, NT; Stuart Banks, GE, Vic. • Source Management Travis Richards, Townsville City Council, Qld; Ray Borg, Ecological Water Solutions, Vic; Gary Dean, Moreton Bay Water, Qld; Martin Connolly, Wastelink, NSW; Linda Brook Franklin, Mid Coast Water, NSW; Bruce Sinclair, Gosford City Council, NSW; Susan Cassar, ALS Environmental, Vic; Paul Hudson, Mackay Regional Council, Qld. • Sustainability David Nixon, Better Managed Pty Ltd, Qld; Gloria Vega, Accenture, Qld; Dr. Bob Humphries, Water Corporation, WA; Dr. David Marlow, CSIRO, Vic; Lynne Powell, Cairns Regional Council, Qld; Peta Maddy, SKM, Vic; Rebecca Connell, Melbourne Water; Tim Clune, North East Water, NSW; Marcia Dawson, Sydney Water, NSW; Lisa Ehrenfried, Yarra Valley Water, Vic. • WEN Michael Fiechtner, SEQ Water, Qld; Emily Rockwell, Water Corporation, WA; Gina Harvey, Cradle Mountain Water, Tas; Jenifer Simpson, Sunshine Coast Environment Council Qld; Louise Roberts, Sydney Water, NSW; Jenny Hiller, Yarra Valley Water, Vic; Charles Lemckert, Griffith University, Qld; Emma Juricin, SA Water, SA; Miranda Welch, Power and Water Corporation, NT. • Water Efficiency Damien Connell, City West Water, Vic; Reid Butler, BMT WBM, NSW; Julian Gray, Smart Approved WaterMark, NSW; Mark Henry Rubarenzya, GHD, Qld; Goen Ho, Murdoch University, WA; Sally Armstrong, Sydney Water, NSW; James Marshall, SKM, WA; Melanie Sutton, ESP Management, Qld; Michael Gelman, Tenix Australia, Vic.
36 DECEMBER 2012 water
• Water Management Law & Policy Jennifer McKay, University of South Australia, SA; Deanne McDonald, OptaMAX Pty Ltd, WA; Marco van Winden, CDM Smith, Qld; Rod Williams, Gosford City Council, NSW; Dale Chapman, Norton Rose, NSW; David Bristow, Simmonds & Bristow, Qld; Erin Cini, Element Solutions, NSW; Jim Grayson, Gladstone Area Water Board, Qld; Michael Sinclair, Stanwell Corporation Ltd, Qld; Paul Yacobellis, The Balmoral Group, NSW. • Water in Mining Dale Chapman, Norton Rose, NSW; Doug Brown, Fortescue Metals, WA; Adrian Howard, Sinclair Knight Merz, Qld; Darryl Abbott, Atlas Iron, WA; Damien Barrett, CSIRO; Brett Goebel, GHD, Qld; Mike Harold, Rio Tinto, WA; Timothy Routley, URS, Vic; Malcolm Spears, SMEC, Vic; Nicole Jacobsen, Rio Tinto, NT; Steve Paradiss, UGL, WA; Neil Easton, Abi Group, NSW; Peter Fagan, MWH, NSW. • Water Quality Monitoring & Analysis Christopher Chow, Australian Water Quality Centre, SA Water & University of South Australia, SA; Nicholas Crosbie, Melbourne Water, Vic; Roger O’Halloran, CSIRO Land and Water, Vic; Jeremy Lucas, SA Water, SA; Luke Zappia, Water Corporation, WA; Simon Wilson, WQRA, Vic; Alex Mofidi, AECOM, Qld; Ataur Rahman, University of Western Sydney, NSW; Corinne Cheeseman, Sydney Water, NSW; Sally Williamson, CH2M HILL, NSW. • Water Recycling Stuart Khan, UNSW, NSW; Rod Williams, Gosford City Council, NSW; Mark O’Donohue, Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, Qld; John Radcliffe, CSIRO, SA; Peter Dillon, CSIRO, SA; Ines Zegoulli, BG&E Engineering, WA; Daryl Stevens, Atura Pty Ltd, Vic; Erik Tynes, GHD, WA; John Poon, CH2M HILL, Vic; Matt Shanahan, RMCG, Vic. • Water Retail Alex Coe, Marchment Hill Consulting, Qld; Helen Harding, Queensland Urban Utilities, Qld; Tony Holmes, Shoalhaven Water, NSW; Scott Emmonds, Allconnex Water, Qld; Margaret Haynes, Allconnex Water, Qld; Eleanor Bray, Promontory Consulting, Qld; Sophie Murphy, Ben Lomond Water, Tas; Gabe Scarmozzino, Gentrack Pty Ltd, Vic; Deb Caruso, Unitywater, Qld; Stephen Lennox, Yarra Valley Water, Vic. • WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene in Developing Communities) Nicole Teo, SKM, Vic; Andy Sheehan, Victoria State Emergency Service, Vic; Rowan Barber, Queensland Urban Utilities, Qld; Dale Young, GHD, Qld; Asoka Jayaratne, Yarra Valley Water, Vic; Kathryn Fuller, Power and Water, NT; Jessica Littlejohn, Halcrow, Vic; Adam Pearce, MWH Global, Qld; Andrew McMillan, Equatica, NSW; Avanish K Panikkar, SMEC Australia Pty Ltd, NSW.
Registrations Now Open for Ozwater’13 Early bird registration is now open for Ozwater’13, Australia’s international water conference and exhibition. The event will be held in Perth and is a ‘must attend’ if you are working or have an interest in the water industry in Australia or globally. By attending, you’ll be part of the ‘who’s who’ in water, gathering to discuss the latest technical information in water. It’s also a great platform to foster valuable relationships and business opportunities, while hearing from renowned keynote speakers and experts from across the globe. And remember, you’ll get to peruse the extensive trade exhibition, boasting the largest dedicated showcase of water industry products and services ever seen in Australia. Visit www.ozwater.org to register or for more information. Stay updated by following @Ozwater on Twitter.
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DECEMBER 2012 37
awa news National Water Education, Water Efficiency and Water Skills Conferences (Register for One and Attend All Three!) Early bird registration has opened for the National Water Education, Water Efficiency and Water Skills Conferences, which will be held together, allowing you to access all events, streams and social functions with one ticket. These conferences will bring together those working in the water industry to discuss the latest technical information, issues, achievements and ways to overcome common challenges in water education, water efficiency and water skills. Register now at www.awa.asn.au/eecd
Call for Papers: Membranes & Desalination Conference and Asia Pacific Recycling Conference AWA is now calling for abstracts to present at the Membranes & Desalination Conference, to be held in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Conference in July 2013. Speaking at an AWA conference is a great way to build on your personal and corporate profile, while contributing to the professional development of the industry. Please submit your abstract by 25 January, 2013. Interested in presenting? To view the themes and submission guidelines, visit www.awa.asn.au/md13 AWA is also calling for short abstracts to present at the Asia Pacific Recycling Conference. Submit yours by 25 January, 2013. To view the themes and submission guidelines, visit www.awa.asn.au/recycling13
AWA Welcomes New Board Members and Farewells Old AWA would like to congratulate the new and returning appointments to its Board. These positions take effect after the Ozwater’13 Conference and Exhibition in May 2013. The new Board consists of: Graham Dooley (President Elect); Lucia Cade (Immediate Past President); Jodieann Dawe, CEO WQRA; John Graham, Business Development Manager, Water, Monadelphous Pty Ltd; John Howard, Head of Water Quality & Environment SA Water Corporation; Carmel Krogh, Director, Shoalhaven Water, Shoalhaven City Council; Peter Moore, COO, Water Corporation, WA; Mal Shepherd, Water Manager, John Hollands Water & Enviro Division; Mark Sullivan, Managing
Director, Actew Corporation; and Helen Stratton, Microbiologist & Program Leader for Smart Water Research Centre, Griffith University, Queensland. Sadly, Peter Burgess will retire early from the Board due to significant upcoming work commitments with a new role at IPART. Also retiring will be Paul Freeman and Mark Bartley, who will come to the end of their term in May 2013. AWA would like to formally thank Peter, Paul and Mark for their contributions to the Board.
AWA Annual Review Available Online Take a look at what AWA has been up to in 2012. From industry programs and the release of position papers through to events and professional development, the Annual Review 2011–12 is a great snapshot of what your Association has been up to. View it at www.awa.asn.au/Annual_Reports.aspx
Branch News ACT On Thursday 25 September the ACT Branch held an event titled ‘The Impact of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan on the ACT’, which covered the need to improve catchment management in the region. It was an evening of networking and discussion as the presenters, Stewart Chapman and Michael Ross from the Environment and Sustainability Directorate, discussed the likely implications. We would like to thank both our speakers and all those who attended for supporting this event. The ACT Branch also organised a technical tour on Thursday 1 November to demonstrate the design, construction and maintenance of Canberra’s integrated waterways wetlands. Attendees were shown around various wetlands including O’Conner Wetland, Lyneham Wetland and Dickson Wetland by Tour Leader Edwina Robinson – Urban Waterways Coordinator, from the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate. The tour concluded at the Dickson Wetland with networking drinks.
NSW The 2012 NSW Regional Conference was held on the 15–17 October in Coffs Harbour, continuing the North Coast theme that proved popular with attendees the previous year in Byron Bay. The theme of ‘Turbulent Times – Challenges and Achievements of Regional Water’ was thoroughly explored by keynote speakers Ian Dunbabin (Southern Water) and Andrew Bath (WA Water Corporation), who both impressed the assembled mix of private and public sector water professionals with their inspired approach
Master Class -
Odour, Septicity and Corrosion Management Don’t know where to start when procuring odour control consultants? Want to build internal capacity in the management of odours? Don’t miss the Odour, Septicity and Corrosion Management Master Class to ensure you know how to quantify and address odour problems on site and in your network. This course is limited to 25 participants. Where: Sydney When: 26 - 27 February 2013 Price:
AWA member: $1,150* (incl. GST) Non–member: $1,300* (incl. GST)
*thanks to support from MWH, we have been able to confirm reduced registration prices for this Master Class
www.awa.asn.au/Odour_Management 38 DECEMBER 2012 water
awa news to the unique challenges of their authorities; by Jill Kilby, who spoke with first-hand knowledge of approaches required for successful regional engineering; and Tim Muster (CSIRO) on intelligent networks. The event was hosted by the multi-talented Adam Wilson (Coffs Harbour City Council), who displayed his mastery of water, wastewater, public relations, golf and logistics and kindly arranged tours of the infrastructure under his portfolio. The event was well-attended by a substantial cross-section of professionals working with regional water who shared their experiences, displayed their golfing prowess and stole memorabilia from family members for the Olympic-themed Gala Dinner. Meanwhile, the Young Water Professionals organised a site tour of the Manly Hydraulics Laboratory on Thursday 25 October. Attendees were welcomed and given a site induction by Manly Hydraulics Laboratory Principal Engineer, Ed Courier, then given a tour of the facility including some of the physical models. The tour concluded with a BBQ and networking session at the site. We would like to thank Manly Hydraulics Laboratory for giving us the opportunity to tour the site.
WA The WA Water Awards, presented by the Water Corporation and the Department of Water, recognise the outstanding contributions that individuals and organisations make across Western Australia in the management of our most valuable resource. Congratulations to the 2012 winners: Infrastructure Innovation Award: Recognises significant and innovative infrastructure projects and initiatives within the water industry: Verve Energy, Collie Desalination Plant Program Innovation Award: Recognises significant and innovative environment or sustainability programs within the water industry: Water Corporation, Integrated Regional Water Efficiency Program Research Innovation Award: Recognises clever, innovative ideas in enhancement of knowledge, water resource management or service provision: Urimat Australia, New Valve Technology for Waterless Urinals Resource Management Award: Recognises excellence in managing one or more components of the water cycle: LWP Property Group, The Glades at Byford
Conservation and Efficiency Award: Recognises excellence of new products or systems to improve and encourage water conservation: Eclipse Soils, Water Retentive Aquamor Soils and Mulches Waterwise Business: Recognises the achievements of organisations who have demonstrated a commitment to improved Water Management, demonstrated effective Waterwise practices and displayed initiative in educating their staff and the community: Central Park Management Waterwise Council: Recognises an endorsed Waterwise Council participating in the Department of Water and Water Corporation’s Waterwise Council program. The recipient of this award will demonstrate initiative and innovation in their contributions to the sustainable use of water: Shire of Capel Waterwise School: Selected from schools that are participants in the Water Corporation’s Waterwise Schools Program and awarded to the school which best displays the practice and promotion of water use efficiency: Lynwood Senior High School WA Young Water Professional of the Year: Recognises professionals under the age of 35, who have had an outstanding career achievement to date and the potential to play a large influential role in the water industry in the future: Danielle Brunton, Emerson Stewart/PDC Group Water Professional of the Year: Honours individuals who have displayed a sustained passion and continued commitment to the water industry, and who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and influence in the water sector: Grahame Heal
Queensland On Friday 5 October friends and colleagues gathered at a farewell function for Greg Claydon, a well-respected leader in natural resource management and water reform, with a 38-year career in the public service. Most recently he has led the Water Resource Strategy branch as Executive Director within the Department of Natural Resources and Mines. Greg’s wealth of water industry knowledge and experience will continue to be of significant value through his active membership of the AWA Strategy and Policy Committee and numerous other Board, Council and Committee positions. We wish Greg all the best in his future endeavours.
There are surprising opportunities when you work in water
Search no longer! Searching for the beSt S St candidateS for your company?
Searching for the late lateSt job opportunitieS in the water Sector? opportunitie
Visit waterwww.h2oz.org.au DECEMBER 2012 39
awa news New Members AWA welcomes the following new members since the most recent issue of Water Journal:
NEW CORPORATE MEMBERS NSW
WA Corporate Gold Quantum Filtration Medium Pty Ltd Corporate Bronze WISE Water Infrastructure Science & Engineering
NEW INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS
Corporate Silver Redox Pty Ltd Projex Group Pty Ltd Corporate Bronze Solid Dynamics Pty Ltd
X. Liu, J. Garriock, A. Barclay, B. Trewarn, J. Mantle, A. Fennessy, B. Ross, P. du Plessis, E. Morrison, L. Holmes, C. Cussen, Y. Adhikary, M. Sathiyendra, WA J. Rawlings, R. Walker, C. Stone, M. Boshoff, J. Glaskin, L. Mascaro, R. Holmes-Aldridge, G. Edwards, H. Merrett
NEW OVERSEAS MEMBERS N. Ashbolt, C. Tagle
QLD Corporate Bronze CIRS Pty Ltd T/A Creteleak Solutions Pty Ltd
VIC Corporate Silver Smart Water Fund Corporate Bronze EnviroRisk Management Pty Ltd
ACT J. Webb, J. Moore, L. Regan NSW R. Blackmore, D. Morris, J. Jetten, S. Dickins, G. de Leeuw, A. Daza, I. Estrada-Subirats, T. Halligan, J. Suhartono, H. Savage, C. Bezuidenhout, D. Rodriguez, S. Thacker, A. Hidayat, D. Dick-Smith, L. Pontey, M. Foster NT P. Darvodelsky, J. Van Rensburg QLD L. Gibson, V. Kumar, M. Kadhir Raju, A. Steinfort, K. Pearce, P. McPhee, J. Ward, K. Wolff, C. Carr, C. Dann, D. Moore, M. Phillips, M. Vis, D. Smith, T. Victor, G. Walls, SA D. Howie, P. Leadbeter, C. McInnes, D. Steele, T. Sanim TAS C. Miller VIC M. Pendergast, C. O’Brien, M. Conway, I. Serra,
YOUNG WATER PROFESSIONALS QLD C. Spliethoff VIC S. Milburn, F. Robertson, A. An, J. Hiller WA G. Edwards
If you think a new activity would enhance the AWA membership package please contact us on our national local call number 1300 361 426 or submit your suggestion via email to email@example.com.
AWA EVENTS CALENDAR This list is correct at the time of printing. For up-to-date listings and booking information please check the AWA online events calendar at: www.awa.asn.au/events
Tue, 04 Dec 2013 – Thu, 06 Dec 2013
Australian Odour and Air Emissions Conference 2012, Sydney, NSW
Thu, 06 Dec 2013
Vic Branch – A Celebration of Excellence, Docklands, VIC
Sun, 09 Dec 2013
Women in Water Winery Tour, Richmond, TAS
2013 EVENTS CALENDAR February
Mon, 04 Feb 2013
ACT Technical Seminar, Canberra, ACT
Thu, 21 Feb 2013
NSW Awards Presentation Evening, Sydney, NSW
Tue, 05 Mar 2013 – Thu, 07 Mar 2013
Water Education, Water Efficiency & Water Skills National Conference, Sydney, NSW
Wed, 13 Mar 2013
NSW Seminar Series – Seminar 1, Hunter Region, NSW
Thu, 14 Mar 2013
ACT Branch – Cotter Dam Tour, Canberra, ACT
Tue, 30 Apr 2013
NSW YWP Site Tour, Sydney, NSW
Tue, 7 May 2013 – Thu 9 May 2013
Ozwater’13, Perth, WA
Wed, 15 May 2013
NSW Seminar Series – Seminar 2, Sydney, NSW
Wed, 29 May 2013 – Thu, 30 May 2013
ACT Water Matters Conference, Canberra, ACT
Wed, 12 Jun 2013
NSW Seminar Series – Seminar 3, Sydney, NSW
Tue, 25 Jun 2013
NSW Women in Water Breakfast, Sydney, NSW
Wed, 24 Jul 2013
NSW Seminar Series – Seminar 4, Regional, NSW
40 DECEMBER 2012 water
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‘Walking The Talk’: Securing Another One Thousand Years Thousands of years of human civilisation have impacted significantly on the environment and on available resources globally. But is it all bad news, or have we also contributed many positives for future generations? In the first of a two-part article, Andrew Hodgkinson, Senior Principal Technologist, and Sejla Alimanovic, Environmental Engineer, both at CH2MHILL, Melbourne, reflect on past human endeavours, and how we can plan for a healthier, more liveable planet. Thousands of years ago Egyptian culture thrived and survived through many dynasties. Despite any critique applicable to it in its heyday, this ancient civilisation (and others of similar antiquity) still bring direct economic and social benefits (for example, tourism) to their present day custodial nations. This begs the question: what benefits will the Western world’s present industrial era bequeath to our distant future? Will these benefits outweigh and outlast the negatives? Or will our era be seen as one that caused mass extinctions, made the seas barren, melted the icecaps, used up all the oil and minerals and, in many other ways, ‘cursed’ the future? The question many are asking these days seems to be: how do we even begin to ‘walk the talk’… to start living in a way that no longer jeopardises all the things we need to maintain a decent living standard, such as biodiversity, healthy waterways, clean oceans, and the atmospheric balance of greenhouse gases which keep the planet habitable? And what about intergenerational equity? How do we protect the future, not just for next week, or next year, but for next century and beyond? In the first half of this two-part feature article, we look backwards a thousand years or so to take stock of where we are. In the second half, which will appear in the next issue of Water Journal, we look ahead to see what people a thousand years hence might thank us for having accomplished when they look back at our era.
The Past One Thousand Years Some ancient civilisations evolved from the smallest collection of people and expanded into enormous, complex societies, only to eventually come crashing down. Jared Diamond (2005), in his book Collapse – How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, reviewed many of the reasons for the disintegration of ancient cultures. For example, the Anasazi of the Americas failed because of human impact on the already harsh environment of the Southwest (US), coupled with drought and poor water management practices. The Mayans failed due to overpopulation, deforestation (which caused anthropogenic drought), soil nutrient depletion and conflict over diminishing resources, all while their kings and noblemen were fighting for personal and short term gain. Sound familiar?
Even today, Egypt’s ancient culture brings economic benefits such as tourism to the country. Humans as a species have many distinctive features; however, one of our most striking characteristics is our adaptability. In the most remote, adverse and unexpected locations, humans have survived and even thrived. Suzuki and Dressel (1999) discuss in their book, From Naked Ape to Superspecies, how we have not only adapted to multitudes of environmental conditions, but have also reached a stage where we can satisfy our needs and our desires. In many parts of the world, our ingenuity has enabled us to stop worrying about life’s necessities such as food, water and shelter, allowing us to turn our gaze towards more complex issues. Technological advances, from social media to robotic probes to explore Mars, illustrate our ability, once freed of the need to find food, to reach a very long way – even if it’s only to share a joke on Twitter. A common theme in these technological achievements is that they have emerged from large communities of people who are not engaged in food production and who typically live in cities. Nowadays, even the city has expanded to include the entire planet via the internet, and the scale of collaboration and rate of advancement this enables is accelerating. By comparison, changes that occur naturally on a geological timescale are generally vastly slower. For example, Simkin et al. (1994) report that the movement of continental plates roughly matches the rate of human fingernail growth. By this
Satellite images of the Aral Sea, once the world’s fourth largest lake at 68,000 km2, about the same size as Tasmania. Its loss has been called one of the great engineering disasters of the 20th century. This satellite photo sequence depicts its disappearance due to human agriculture and river diversion, from left to right: 1973, 1987, 1999, 2006 and 2009. Source: www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/07/aralsea
42 DECEMBER 2012 water
Electricity generation by fuel
25 000 000
20 000 000
15 000 000
Phosphorus production (mT P/Yr)
Statistics on the Web: http://www.iea.org/stats/index.asp
IEA Energy Statistics
Peak phosphorus curve
10 000 000
10 5 000 000
1971 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009
1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100
Biofuels & waste
For more detailed data, please consult our on-line data service at http://data.iea.org.
Peak phosphorus curve (Cordell et al., 2009).
World electricity generation by fuel.
scale, human impacts on geology are fast; it could be said that processes equating to millions of years of geological time were accomplished in just a few years with projects such as the Panama Canal. But humans have not only changed the surface of the planet; we are also altering the atmosphere, the hydrologic cycle and ecosystems (Wohl, 2006).
the US in 1609, reported that while exploring the bay in a small boat his vessel became surrounded by schools of fish so dense that the crew resorted to catching them with frying pans.
This is not to say that natural planetary processes don’t impact quickly; for instance, the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland in 2010 (Petersen et al., 2012), has been linked with unusual weather conditions prevailing in the aftermath. Having said that, however, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) states that although volcanoes globally contribute approximately 20 million tonnes per year of greenhouse gases, this is dwarfed by the emissions from human fossil fuel use, which contributed around 20 billion tonnes in 2007 alone (USGS, 2007).
So what else can we say about the last 1000 years? Unfortunately there is not enough space here to present a detailed history, but it’s a fact that on every continent huge changes have been wrought by humanity. For example, the vast boreal forests of the northern hemisphere that inspired so many of the legends and folk tales of European culture, the forest covering most of the eastern coast of Australia and, more recently, the Amazon have either gone, or are in rapid retreat. In our oceans fish are now so scarce that ever-larger trawlers are needed to catch those that remain. The easy fish, the best fish, are gone and fish once considered inedible are sometimes now the target catch. It was not always this way: Captain John Smith, exploring Chesapeake Bay on the north-east coast of
(Source – see image)
To find such bounty anywhere but in the most remote regions of the planet is now inconceivable.
Resource Constraints The same trend is emerging in regard to physical resources. The concept of ‘peak oil’ was first proposed by US geologist M King Hubbert in 1956, and tends to be the most common resource graph discussed on various websites and blogs, with many attempting to ‘debunk the myth’. However, it is difficult to deny that crude oil will eventually either be too expensive to consume, or too difficult to extract, for it to be as widely used and plentiful as it is at present. Alternatively, political tensions and supply risks may provide incentives for new fuels (Hubbert, 1956). Perhaps this partly explains why Germany has striven so hard recently to develop a renewable electricity supply to augment its existing power supplies. Looking back a thousand years, hardly any oil at all was used until the late 19th century, and now after little more than a century we are approaching a time when we must learn to live without this resource again. Known oil and gas reserves are predicted to deplete to a level approximately matching 1960–1970 levels by 2080. How can we continue like this, even for 50 years, let alone one thousand? Modern society depends on many resources including phosphorus (for food security), zinc (which has many uses including alloys, industrial compounds, biological processes Oil and Gas Production 60.00
Gas Non-Conventional Gas Conventional NGL Gas Plant Polar Oil Deep-water >500m Heavy Oil Regular Convention Oil
0.00 1930 1935 1940 1945 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050
The Mayan civilsation failed because of overpopulation, deforestation, soil depletion and a range of other factors.
Global oil and gas production.
DECEMBER 2012 43
feature article The past thousand years, in particular the last 200 years, have seen the rise of global trade. This has either been driven by, or has led to, the rise of capitalism which, when working well, creates prices for commodities that reflect the cost of production, alternatives, demand and scarcity.
World Zinc Extraction 10 9 8
7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1900 1925 1950 1975 2000 2025 2050 2075 2100 2125 2150 2175 2200 year Zinc (10^6 tonnes)
Fit to Energy
World zinc extraction curve showing expected peak.
such as dietary supplements etc), oil (with its plethora of uses), and water (on which life literally depends). Other metals, such as lithium, are relatively scarce (more than half of the world’s easily obtainable supply is in Bolivia) and yet lithium is the basis for a rapidly growing new energy storage technology for use in electric vehicles (Witkin, 2011). With peak lithium already predicted and the global market for batteries barely established, there is an urgent need for innovation both in lithium recycling, and in alternatives. Importantly, unlike oil, which is usually destroyed in the course of its use, other resources such as lithium or phosphorus are not. The key issue is not that our civilisation consumes these resources, but rather that they are utilised in a onedirectional manner. Simply put, most non-renewable resources, with the exception of a few metals, are not re-used or recycled, largely due to the apparent short-term abundance. It has not always been this way. Many readers may recall tales from their parents or grandparents of the Second World War, when meticulous recycling of almost everything was practiced in many countries. Over the last 10 centuries it is only the last century that has seen the wholesale wastage of manufactured items after one cycle of use. However, now, as the ‘peak’ curve of many resources passes, recycling on a grand scale will become an essential feature of the global economy.
At present about 40 per cent of the world’s zinc supply is derived from recycling (IZA, 2011). Over time the demand, scarcity and price of zinc will continue to rise and the recycling proportion must increase. Eventually most of the world zinc supply will not exist in mineral deposits, but in circulation. There is no alternative. In this regard zinc is probably more advanced than other metals in that it offers an instructive model for how most resource systems will function in future. Most, but probably never quite all, of a given resource will eventually reside within the ‘techno-sphere’ used by humans and repeatedly recycled as required. Large-scale phosphorus recovery and direct return to the human food chain seems the most likely next major development for this commodity. Today, phosphorus is derived mostly from non-renewable mineral resources, with an estimated 50 to 100 years of known reserves, largely located in China, the US and Morocco (Cordell, 2009). Prior to the use of mineral-derived phosphorus, the main source of nutrients for crops was human and animal wastes. Many cities have biosolids recovery programs underway, but unlike the practice of previous centuries where ‘night soil’ was used as fertiliser for food production, few modern biosolids reuse schemes return phosphorus to the human food chain. However, as the scarcity and price of phosphorus increases, this will change. While zinc and phosphorus offer examples of how elemental resource systems may develop into essentially closed loops, resources such as energy and water are different. Energy, for example, cannot be captured and recycled in the same manner as zinc. Water can be recycled like other substances, but the current planetary water cycle is vastly larger than human assisted water cycles, and the global water inventory is unlikely to ever be managed within a closed loop system in the same manner as zinc or phosphorus. The quantities we need, together with the inherently closed nature of the global water cycle, have meant that we have long had to find ways of effectively protecting and/or treating water supplies. Traditionally protecting water supply quality was achieved by means of distance and/or time. Ideally, water discharged somewhere would not be re-used until it had again fallen as rain in the catchment. However, there are now many supplies globally delivering treated wastewater almost directly into drinking water supplies. This approach is very likely to proliferate in the future, with major reuse schemes under consideration in many countries.
An ‘Empty’ vs. ‘Full’ World These material or resource loop closures will become more intense as global population and demand for resources grow (Boyle, 2004). In many countries the time has long passed when a given unit of water was only used once in its path along a river from high mountain stream to the ocean.
Recycling of our resources will become a vital survival strategy in future.
44 DECEMBER 2012 water
Such changes are signs of a widespread transition from ‘empty world’ behaviour, to ‘full world’ behaviour (Daly, 2005). In an ‘empty’ world, resources could be considered as limitless, while human ingenuity, technical capacity and innovation were often scarce. Conversely, in a ‘full’ world,
feature article resources have real physical (and in many cases imminent) limits, while capacity for ingenuity and technological growth – especially in cities – is plentiful and growing quickly. The answer must lie in realising that the game has changed. No longer is the world ‘empty’; humans and human impacts are so numerous that many resources including water, zinc and phosphorus are becoming scarce and expensive. At a basic level, most nations have long since run out of ‘new’ land. Even if the world is not yet ‘full’, it seems that our resources paradigm is changing significantly, permanently, and in a way not previously seen. This is no longer a world where bounties and new resource opportunities can be considered limitless. As appealing and romantic as this notion might be, it is no longer possible to treat the world as though it is a wilderness waiting to be tamed and deployed without cost for human development. We must, therefore, change our resource focus from competing for increasingly scarce resources, to nurturing those that increase, as population increases and physical resources decrease.
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We are now at a point where new opportunities must lie within our ingenuity, innovation, technology, and capacity for positive collaboration in all its forms. This is where it gets interesting! (Part 2 of this article will be published in the February 2013 issue of Water Journal).
References Boyle C (2004): Sustainability – A Task for Engineers, The Institution Of Professional Engineers New Zealand Incorporated (IPENZ), viewed 16 October 2012. www.ipenz.org.nz/ipenz/practicesupport/Sustainability-
Micron W autoMated Filters Micron W automated filters are wound with precision by Waterco’s digital filament winding machines, for refined consistency and superior quality. • Easy user-friendly programming • Service and self diagnostic indicator • Filter bed depths of up to 1000mm • Pressure rated at 700 kPa (102 psi)
combined.pdf Cordell D, Drangert JO & White S (2009): ‘The Story of Phosphorous: Global Food Security and Food for Thought’, Global Environmental Change, Vol 19, pp 292–305. Daly HE (2005): Economics in a Full World, Scientific American, Vol 293, No 3, pp 100–107. Diamond J (2005): Collapse – How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Penguin Group, USA. Hubbert MK (1956): Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels, Drilling and Production Practice – American Petroleum Institute, viewed 16 October 2012. www.energycrisis.biz/hubbert/1956/1956.pdf International Zinc Association (IZA) (2011): Zinc Recycling, viewed 16 October
triMline cartridge and bag Filters Trimlines have been designed as versatile, modular housings for residential and commercial applications, designed for ease of use and servicing. • UV and corrosion resistant polypropylene construction • Granular media, pleated cartridges and filter bags • No tools required for servicing • Pressure rated at 600kPa (87 psi)
2012. www.zinc.org/basics/zinc_recycling Petersen GN, Bjornsson H & Arason P (2012): The Impact of the Atmosphere on the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 Eruption Plume’, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol 117, pp 1–14. Simkin T, Unger JD, Tiling RI, Vogt PR & Spall H (1994): World Map of Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Impact Craters, and Plate Tectonics, United States Geological Survey, viewed 16 October 2012. www.usgs.gov/science/citeview.php?cite=647 Suzuki DT & Dressel H (1999): From Naked Ape To Superspecies, Stoddart
Multicyclone centriFugal Filters Based on the principals of centrifugal water filtration, MultiCyclone is capable of filtering down to 30 microns and has no filter media to clean or replace. • 3m3/hr to 30m3/hr • Easily manifolded for higher flow rates
Publishing, Toronto, Canada. United States Geological Survey (USGS) (2007): Which Produces More CO2, Volcanic or Human Activity?, viewed 16 October 2012. hvo.wr.usgs.gov/ volcanowatch/archive/2007/07_02_15.html Witkin J (2011): A Second Life for the Electric Car Battery, New York Times, viewed 16 October 2012. green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/a-secondlife-for-the-electric-car-battery Wohl E (2006): Human Impacts to Mountain Streams’, Geomorphology, Vol 79, pp 217–248.
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VIC / TAS 03 9764 1211
WA 08 9273 1900
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DECEMBER 2012 45
State of the Water Sector Survey 2012 Andrew Speers, National Manager – Programs and Policy, gives a rundown of some of the key insights from the latest State of the Water Sector Survey. The 2012 State of the Water Sector Report, based on analysis of a survey of almost 2,000 water industry professionals, was released at the National Water Leadership Summit held in Canberra on 1 November, 2012. This is the second time AWA and its partner, Deloitte, have surveyed the industry to identify key issues facing the sector, and participants’ attitudes towards them. According to AWA Chief Executive, Tom Mollenkopf, and Michael Rath, national leader of Deloitte’s Energy and Water practices and lead partner of the Energy, Infrastructure and Utilities Consulting practice, the Survey has collected the views of those who best understand the sector. “These are the people who know if a system is well managed or not, is being maintained properly or is being allowed to run down, is performing to specifications or is at risk, is financially sound or is costing the community more than it should.” . In 2010, 1,164 individuals responded to the Survey – a significant sample set that provided robust data. This year, 1,944 responses were received – a 67% increase. Respondents included AWA members, government employees and Deloitte clients.
Not very sound
The three issues referred to above – maintaining and augmenting infrastructure, ensuring water supplies are secure, and managing catchments effectively – are followed closely by ‘reducing the skills shortage in the water sector’ and ‘responding to community concern over rising prices’.
Not at all sound
Not sure/don’t know 0%
Figure 1. How sound is the water sector in your state/territory?
Priority Issues Since 2010, there have been some significant changes in the circumstances surrounding the water sector. The most important of these is the drought-breaking rain that has been received over much of the country. However, the persistent dry conditions in most of Western Australia and parts of South Australia and the Northern Territory have also been significant. It is perhaps because water security concerns have been alleviated, particularly in the east, that respondents feel that it is now time to ‘stick to the knitting’. Whereas the problem of ageing infrastructure was considered the fourth most important issue facing the sector in 2010, in 2012 “Maintaining and improving infrastructure” is cited as the most important issue. It is also expected to be the second most important in five years’ time. While such a focus will be welcomed by many, it
46 DECEMBER 2012 water
In 2010 ‘Sustainability’ was considered the most important issue. In the subsequent qualitative analysis undertaken through interviews with water sector leaders and reported in the AWA/ Deloitte report A View from the Top, released in November 2011, those interviewed wondered why respondents ranked sustainability so highly as an issue, but so poorly in terms of how well it was being dealt with. Consequently, the 2012 report broke ‘sustainability’ down into a number of separate, but related, issues.
Notwithstanding these results, 85% of respondents believe climate change poses a significant or moderate risk to the sustainable management of water. Encouragingly, 50% believe the sector is responding to the effects of climate change very well or quite well. This compares favourably to the results in 2010, when only 36% held this view.
Water supply security has not, however, disappeared from the list of major concerns. It is seen as the second most important issue nationally, with 36% of respondents describing it as a priority. It must be acknowledged, however, that this result is skewed by the very high priority given to water security by respondents in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory where drought has not broken; those in other states and territories that have experienced heavy rains ranked supply security significantly lower than maintaining and improving infrastructure. Respondents nevertheless clearly consider respite from drought to be only temporary, as the issue re-emerges as a priority nationwide in five years’ time.
Accordingly, concern about the long-term environmental impact of the water industry (an aspect of sustainability) was ranked as only the seventh most important issue nationally, while ‘Managing Catchments Effectively’ – another aspect – is considered the third most important.
In 2010, 62% of respondents thought the sector was ‘very sound’ or ‘quite sound’. The industry should be pleased that despite persistent drought in the west, catastrophic floods in many other areas, and controversy over rising prices and the value of desalination plants, in 2012 66% of respondents believe the sector is sound (Figure 1).
is of some concern that system maintenance is one of the issues respondents feel is being dealt with least effectively.
Addressing industry skills shortages rose from the sixth most cited issue in 2010 to the fourth in 2012. This is surprising in one way, as respondents don’t believe it is more difficult than it was two years ago to recruit staff. However, it may be explained by respondents’ views that the skills shortage is being addressed particularly poorly by the sector: only 9% said it is dealt with effectively in their state or territory. Respondents also expect the skills shortage to be a priority issue in five years’ time, ranking it as the fourth most important concern. There is a more significant gap between the priority afforded skills shortages and the degree to which respondents believe the issue is being dealt with effectively than there is with respect to any other issue. The issue of community concern over rising prices has arisen almost from nowhere over the past two years. The 2010 Survey asked only about water prices rather than community concern over price increases, with the issue not rating highly. In 2012, the issue was divided into ‘community concern’ and ‘setting prices at levels that fully cover costs’. The latter is still
special report Maintaining and augmenting infrastructure
42% 35% NT
Ensuring water supplies are secure
36% 27% TAS/QLD
Managing catchments effectively
29% 24% TAS
Reducing the skills shortage in the water sector
28% 20% VIC/TAS
Responding to community concern over rising prices
Mitigating extreme weather event impacts 11%
Other (e.g. community engagement, managing contaminants, nutrient recovery, mitigating emissions, treating/disposing of sewage, allocating water to meet irrigator needs) Improving the functioning of water markets 0%
27% 24% 23% 22%
Improving the functioning of water markets
Mitigating extreme weather event impacts
Ensuring water supplies are secure
Figure 2. What are the three most important issues the sector currently faces? seen as a minor concern, possibly because respondents feel it is being addressed effectively. However, respondents feel that community concern about prices is being addressed with only moderate effectiveness – for now. It appears, however, that respondents believe this issue may be transient, and rank it as one of the least important issues in five years’ time. Respondents may feel that the pain of cost pass-through associated with new infrastructure, notably desalination plants, will have abated by that time. With sector leaders expecting a significant reduction in capital expenditure over the next three years, there may also be an expectation among industry figures that future water price rises will be more moderate. Figures 3 and 4, respectively, show the issues respondents believe are being addressed most and least effectively. There appears to be little direct correlation between respondents’ views of program effectiveness and the priority they give the issue today or in five years’ time. Thus, water security is viewed as a high-priority issue but one that is being addressed effectively, whereas skills shortage is a high-priority issue that is seen as being less effectively handled. Other issues considered poorly addressed included ‘Responding to Community Concern Over Rising Prices’, ‘Improving Governance’ and ‘Maintaining and Augmenting Infrastructure’, perspectives that will be of interest to sector managers.
Other Key Issues Explored Meeting supply requirements The 2012 Survey also asked respondents what they thought were the most important measures to meet the water supply requirements of rural and agricultural users, urban users and the environment. Respondents suggest that rural and agricultural supplies might best be secured through improved water efficiency, with the top two responses being ‘facilitate transition to more water-efficient or higher value crops’ and ‘repair irrigation infrastructure’. Only 29% would select a supply side option (that is, increasing storage capacity) and just 4% suggest that water allocated to the environment should be reduced.
Ensuring sewage is effectively treated and disposed of
Including carbon costs in the evaluation of operations/supply options
Including carbon costs in the evaluation of operations/ supply options
Managing catchments effectively
Improving the way in which water sector institutions are governed
Reducing the long-term environmental impact of the sector
Ensuring sewage is effectively treated and disposed of
Responding to community concern over rising prices
Setting prices at levels that fully cover costs
Reducing the long-term environmental impact of the sector Setting prices at levels that fully cover costs
39% 31% SA
Maintaining and augmenting infrastructure
Improving the way in which water sector institutions are governed
Reducing the skills shortage in the water sector
Other (e.g. community engagement, managing contaminants, nutrient recovery, mitigating emissions, treating/disposing of sewage, allocating water to meet irrigator needs)
Figure 3. Issues dealt with most effectively. In its 2011 report on the urban water sector, the Productivity Commission argued that investment in irrigation system upgrades is an inefficient way to provide additional water to the environment and suggested that buying back water would be more cost-effective. However, survey respondents believe there should be a mix, with a preference for more investment in infrastructure repair than water buybacks. On the other hand, respondents believe urban water supply is best secured through the use of innovations such as recycling and capturing stormwater. Improved water efficiency is the second most popular option, while the use of rainwater tanks is supported by only a moderate number of respondents. Greater exploitation of traditional supply options (for example, raising Ensuring water supplies are secure
64% 36% Tas
Ensuring sewage is effectively treated and disposed of
43% 36% SA
Maintaining and augmenting infrastructure
33% 26% NSW
Managing catchments effectively
Setting prices at levels that fully cover costs
Reducing the long-term environmental impact of the sector
Responding to community concern over rising prices
Mitigating extreme weather event impacts
Improving the way in which water sector institutions are governed
Improving the functioning of water markets Reducing the skills shortage in the water sector Including carbon costs in the evaluation of operations/supply options Other (e.g. community engagement, managing contaminants, nutrient recovery, mitigating emissions, treating/disposing of sewage, allocating water to meet irrigator needs) 0%
13% 9% 7%
Figure 4. Issues dealt with least effectively.
DECEMBER 2012 47
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dam levels) is favoured by only 18% of the sample, placing it on par with ‘allowing greater rural/urban water trades’. Further analysis suggests that while innovative sources are preferred to secure urban supply, their use for drinking water purposes does not have majority support: for example, only 44% of respondents believe recycled water or stormwater is suitable for drinking. In terms of the water needed to preserve the environment, respondents said this could be best provided by repairing or upgrading infrastructure to reduce water loss. Respondents feel the environment’s high-security water entitlements should be respected, but they also believe that the provision of water for the environment must be understood and targeted to ensure efficiency. While the effects of drought have disappeared from most of the nation’s heavily populated areas and its most productive agricultural districts, respondents are not inclined to cut conservation and efficiency programs. More than two-thirds of respondents believe such programs should not be curtailed at all or should be curtailed only marginally.
Debate about desalination and pricing In the past five years, significant investments have been made in desalination plants in coastal areas around the country. It is concerning, then, that 67% of those surveyed believe such investment has been not very, or not at all, costeffective. Delving deeper into this issue, a majority believe the construction of desalination plants was timely, but 29% believe the plants were too large or costly. A further 30% believe their construction was ill-advised or occurred too soon. That said, 69% of respondents believe water prices are about right or too low. Only 22% believe they are too high, although many also feel it is important to respond to community concern over the rising price of water (an issue that was not mentioned at all in 2010). The idea of increasing water prices when water is scarce is supported by 42% of respondents, while 53% believe this approach would not be beneficial.
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Qualiﬁed support for the Murray-Darling plan Progress in developing the Murray-Darling Basin Plan was also explored. There is strong support among urban and rural water professionals for finalising the plan within existing timeframes – or within slightly extended timeframes to enable further research and consultation to be carried out – notwithstanding the easing of drought conditions in the Basin. Very few respondents feel the plan should be abandoned. There is uncertainty among both urban and rural respondents, however, about the level of water allocation reductions proposed in the plan. Forty per cent said the reductions are about right or too low, while 44% did not feel able to express a view.
Regulation One notion that appears to have strong support within the industry is that of a more ‘light-handed’ approach to regulation, an idea recently put forward by the Productivity Commission. Sixty-eight per cent of respondents would prefer regulators to review prices periodically to ensure monopoly power is not abused, compared to 14% who believe economic regulators should set prices. The full State of the Water Sector Survey can be downloaded from www.awa.asn.au/State_of_the_Water_Sector_Survey
48 DECEMBER 2012 water
conference reviews 3rd Annual National Water Leadership Summit The 3rd Annual National Water Leadership Summit was held in Canberra from 30 October–1 November and once again brought together sector leaders from across the country to listen to, network with and debate some of the most influential people in the industry. Andrew Speers, AWA National Policy and Programs Manager, reports. Beginning with a dinner presentation by Chair of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Mr Craig Knowles, delegates were provided with insights into topics as diverse as the finalisation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, critical issues facing urban utilities, financial and operational risk associated with major capital projects, and water trading and the future of water markets. Two keynote presentations by the new Chief Executive of Singapore Public Utilities, Mr Chew Men Leong and the Publisher of Global Water Intelligence, Mr Chris Gasson, provided, respectively, an update on developments in one of the world’s centres of water management, and an external perspective on the value of investments in desalination in Australia. Discussions were enthusiastic and the presentations lively, provocative and astute. At the breakfast session sponsored by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, delegates heard from Professor Tony Wong, CEO of the CRC, about the integration of water into the form and function of urban areas. Explaining issues such as the benefits to be achieved in the form of reduction of urban ‘heat-island’ effects, making cities more liveable and aesthetically pleasing, restoring habitat, reducing energy consumption and integrating food and energy production into the fabric of cities, Professor Wong highlighted advantages available to all through investment in development of more sustainable urban environments. Professor Wong’s speech was complemented by an address by Senator Scott Ludlam, Senator for Western Australia and Greens’ spokesperson on sustainable cities. Senator Ludlam noted that 80 per cent of Australians live in cities, but planning and governance has long been fractured and market driven. He argued for better coordination and also spoke about issues related to recent investment in desalination. The Summit was then formally opened by Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Urban Water and Sustainability. Aside from some wry comments about recent political shenanigans, Senator Farrell expressed his pleasure about the progress that had been made on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, noting the effort that had gone into listening to the community and responding to concerns. He reminded delegates of the importance to Australia of effective water management – urban and rural – and urged all present to recommit themselves to delivering sustainable water services. The first session of the day provided three different state perspectives on key directions in urban water from the Chief Executive of the Water Corporation, Sue Murphy, the Managing Director of Yarra Valley Water, Tony Kelly, and the Managing Director of Sydney Water, Kevin Young. Sue Murphy began by focussing on the need for productivity improvements. Sue explained that the Water Corporation faced a number of challenges, not least of which are the effects of climate change and a more stringent regulatory environment. The role of dams in supplying water to Perth has declined significantly. In fact, the loss of available surface and groundwaters over the past decades has been almost
equal to Perth’s entire water supply and the Corporation had invested significantly in supply diversification. Such large capital expenditures are, however, not sustainable, particularly given other commitments the Corporation must meet, including: • Securing supplies for the north-west of the state – an extremely arid environment but one whose economy is expanding rapidly; • Maintaining the integrity of existing infrastructure and the quality of water services; and • Meeting new regulatory requirements. These needs alone will drive a capital investment program of $1 billion. Against this background is the State Government commitment to maintaining its AAA credit rating, yet revenue – 70 per cent of which comes from mining – has been declining due to the dip in the commodities market. Cash is short and the Water Corporation accounts for one-third of the State’s debt. One response is to privatise. The Western Australian community is not, however, enthusiastic about privatisation of the reticulation network, although people might be more sanguine about selling off wastewater treatment plants. Future investments, privatisation and resource use efficiency are all part of the future strategy of the Water Corporation, but so too must productivity improve. Strategies such as the development of two ‘alliance contracts’ between the private sector and the Water Corporation – where both collaborate to develop strategies, mitigate and share risks and maximise and share returns – have been implemented. So too have a number of management steps including fostering the development of small teams with short control lines, ensuring that front-line personnel have the opportunity to stimulate improvements, and reducing costs. Tony Kelly also spoke of the challenges facing Yarra Valley Water, many of which were not dissimilar, albeit climate variability had produced different outcomes in Melbourne. Having suffered years of drought and responded by building the nation’s largest desalination plant, Melbourne is now effectively ‘drought-proofed’. Because of heavy rain, however, dams are now fuller than they have been for many years, meaning that
Chair of MDBA, Mr Craig Knowles.
DECEMBER 2012 49
PHOTO: COURTESY OF AQUASURE
A view of Wonthaggi Desalination Plant. although the desal plant will be effectively mothballed, price rises of 34 per cent are proposed to cover the cost and customers are not perceiving the value. One of Tony’s particular concerns is that there is a lack of clarity in accountability. He called for a number of reforms including the creation of a national regulator and a Shareholder Monitoring Unit to oversee behaviour of governments and shareholding owners. Tony argued for a renewed focus on asset maintenance to ensure that the standard of living of current and future generations does not diminish. Tony’s objective is for customers to see Yarra Valley Water as a good provider that is sustainable. Kevin Young from Sydney Water also commented that while the breaking of the drought on the east coast had reduced the prominence of water as an issue, making sure that existing systems continue to run efficiently and effectively is essential. As with Western Australia, there is pressure to reduce the State’s liabilities and make sure that its AAA credit rating is preserved. Part of the strategy pursued has been to privatise – the sale of the desalination plant in Sydney being a key example. But the issue is not just one of selling the plant; it is ensuring it is removed from the balance sheet. In Sydney there has been a significant move to enhancing competition and under the sale arrangements, the desal plant can supply customers other than Sydney Water. This means that it is not considered a Sydney Water liability as it would be if Sydney Water were the plant’s only customer, improving the Corporation’s balance sheet. Opportunities to sell wastewater and water treatment plants under similar arrangements are now being made, but the fundamental issue is not merely selling assets but driving value; Sydney Water’s balance sheet must be healthy, but so too must the return on investment it achieves and the quality and consistency of product delivered to customers. The next session dealt with the attitudes of financial institutions to the funding of urban water infrastructure in the face of emergent risks such as climate change, and community expectations that companies will behave responsibly with respect to the environment and communities. Delegates heard from Rosemary Bissett, Head of Sustainability Governance and Risk at the National Australia Bank. Rosemary’s presentation covered the issue from two perspectives: risks associated with water as an input to other processes seeking funding; and risks associated with funding of water infrastructure itself. The risks with respect to the former are clear: power stations can’t run without water, nor can crops grow; human health is affected by poor water quality, affecting productivity. Similar issues arise with respect to the latter, but from a funder’s perspective there is particular concern to ensure that infrastructure that is funded is able to demonstrate a benign or positive impact on the environment, and its role in enhancing community wellbeing.
50 DECEMBER 2012 water
Rosemary made particular note of the importance of natural capital (the stock of environmental assets within a nation’s borders or over which it has an impact) to economic sustainability. In this respect, protection of a nation’s water resources is fundamental. Diminution of land, water or air quality, or of ecosystems on which life depends, will increase a nation’s sovereign risk. Major financial institutions have recently committed to a Natural Capital declaration. Rosemary’s speech was followed by Mr Chris Herbert, Chief Executive of AquaSure, the company that built and operates the Wonthaggi Desalination Plant. Chris explained the lengths to which plant management had gone to in responding to community concerns and to ensuring that the plant had minimal environmental impact, and minimal impact on farmland neighbouring the plant itself, or the pipeline/electricity corridor that services it. These efforts, he noted, had significantly reduced community concern and led to the establishment of a plant that is world class. He noted that such initiatives come at a cost, but also noted that Melbourne would be served by a state-of-the-art plant which was as environmentally benign as such a facility could be for many decades. The morning’s sessions concluded with release of the 2012 State of the Water Sector Survey (see page 46 for a rundown of the survey). The after-lunch spot is always a tough one. Audience attention may lag, although not if speakers of the calibre and enthusiasm of Mr Chew Men Leong, new Chief Executive of Singapore PUB and Mr Christopher Gasson, Publisher of Global Water Intelligence are presenting. As well as providing an overview of PUB’s responsibilities and approaches, Mr Chew outlined three challenges facing urban utilities: • Increasing urbanisation, which means there is more competition for space, including space underground in which to place services; and greater density, which may increase run-off and place strain on stormwater infrastructure. • Increasing energy dependence and costs. Among Mr Chew’s examples was the changing nature of Singapore’s water supply mix, which will rely in future on more energy-intensive production techniques in an era of rising energy costs; and • Evolving populations with different needs and wants, including a burgeoning and more highly educated middle class, who will demand improved services and employment that better meets their skill sets.
Increasing density means there is competition for underground service corridors.
conference reviews Mr Gasson was blunt and direct, but made a strong case. He noted that Australia’s desalination plants were large, expensive and had not led to the development of Australian expertise that could be exported to the world. Then he told us what he really thought… which, in fact, was not at all negative. He echoed some of the remarks of Rosemary Bissett and Chris Herbert.
The day’s final session dealt with the development of water markets, and so the switch was made to a more rural focus, albeit considerable reference was made to the opportunity for rural-urban trades to exist, particularly by Tom Rooney, CEO of Waterfind.
Christopher Gasson, Publisher, Global Water Intelligence.
Melbourne, for example, has a world-class plant that will protect the city against future drought for a relatively inexpensive price of 36 cents per day per resident. Moreover, the plant protects Melbourne’s water-dependent industries and, therefore, its economic base. Additionally, as one of the series of plants around Australia that are carbon neutral, Australia has a capability that can be exported, if effort is put into exploiting this knowledge. Australia also becomes a place which, with sustainable supplies of water, is attractive to businesses that do not want to face the risk that water shortages will emerge, or that want to make sure the water they use does not have an unacceptable impact on the environment.
Mark Siebentritt, Chair of Healthy Rivers Australia, spoke at a more intimate level about the involvement of the local communities in environmental watering initiatives. After providing an overview of the development of markets, Mark discussed the benefits and disadvantages of NGO involvement in water purchases for environmental purposes. He explained that while the market provided advantages, there was a disconnect between environmental need and community involvement. Certainly, he said, water markets enabled local communities to make small strategic water purchases and demonstrate their commitment to the river and its ecosystems, but money to make such purchases and donations is unreliable. Further, he explained, the financial instruments available did not always suit the needs of local, committed communities (water donations, for example, are not tax deductable). He called for new mechanisms including, but not limited to, options contracts, that might provide more ﬂexibility and enable better tailoring of available resources to environmental need. The 4th National Water Leadership Summit will be held in Canberra from 20-21 November, 2013. See the AWA website for more details.
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DECEMBER 2012 51
conference reviews 15th International Riversymposium 2012 Managing “Connections” – An Evolving Key To River Management Managing the connections between the physical, the functional, the policies, the programs and the players is becoming an increasingly important key to successful river management, according to participants of the 15th International Riversymposium, which recently wrapped up in Melbourne. At least, that’s the view of Greg Claydon, representative of the Australian-based International WaterCentre, manager of the international event, which ran from 8–11 October, 2012. In his closing summary of the conference, Claydon observed that the participants and papers for the International Riversymposium had been evolving since its inception in 1998. “At the earliest conferences, there was often an ecology, technology and/or planning focus with the provision of information and new knowledge mostly on individual topics or problem areas,” he said. “However, participants repeatedly said at the 2012 Conference that, while these individual elements were important and contributed to the solution, they were not the whole solution. Rather, what prevailed this week has been an emphasis on new and innovative ideas in relation to managing the connections between many areas, and sharing the many good news stories from successes around the world.” Under the overarching theme of “Rivers in a Rapidly Urbanising World”, the 15th International Riversymposium drew over 400 participants from around Australia and more than 30 other countries to network, build capacity, share knowledge and experiences, as well as undertake vigorous and uplifting discussions about river and water management. The importance of recognising, making and managing connections (or interactions) was a major topic of the discussions. Participants at the conference cited many examples of the connections to be managed, including: • Within river systems – from the mountains to the sea, rivers and their floodplains, rivers and their estuaries; surface and groundwaters, rivers providing for cities and other habitats; • Between functional areas – water, energy, food, land use, population and biodiversity; • Between the social/cultural, economic/financial and ecological/environmental objectives and outcomes;
Delegates workshopping collaboration and partnerships.
52 DECEMBER 2012 water
Keynote Dr Klement Tockner presenting his keynote address. • Between disciplines – scientists, planners, engineers, agriculturalists, social workers, health professionals, economists, financiers, policy makers, legislators, regulators and politicians; • Between science and management – including indigenous knowledge and local management; and • Between policy, planning and service delivery. Dr David Molden, Director-General of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), based in Kathmandu, Nepal, outlined the significance of physical, functional and policy connections in his keynote address about finding water security in a time of change and uncertainty. Urbanisation, population and diet change, gender migration, climate change (rainfall patterns, increasing temperatures and glacial melt), and heightened hydropower energy and irrigated agriculture demands are impacting both land and water use, and flood and drought incidences in the Himalayan water tower area and below it. However, Dr Molden also noted that these changes are also offering new opportunities. For example, climate change impacts and natural disasters such as floods have opened doors to increased regional cooperation and greater international attention. Floods, droughts and the need for biodiversity conservation corridors provide entry points to the sharing of knowledge (similar problems, similar solutions), to scientific collaboration and reducing data and information gaps, and to the undertaking of good investments for food, livelihoods and for the environment. There is a growing market for niche and high valued products (with urbanisation) and it is becoming increasingly recognised that mountains (and rivers) are providers of ecosystem services and that compensation policies and programs can assist solutions. Dr Klement Tockner, from the Leibnitz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Germany, in his keynote address about the need to rethink science and management, among other things, provided a fascinating outline of connections between artificial light pollution and ecological and human health effects. Globally, artificial lighting is increasing on average at a rate of six per cent per annum (ranging from 0–20 per cent). Dr Tockner described the so-called “loss of the night” project, including work on impacts of lighting on nocturnal species and
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conference reviews involved. “While the extent of technical fixes are important and necessary, it is the way we work together and craft innovated agreements that will deliver success and sustainability,” she said.
International delegates at the Welcome Function. fish biology. He noted the impacts of increasing “domestication” of rivers and associated management options, recognising that rivers and associated freshwaters are unique ecosystems, being hotspots of biodiversity and production and providing disproportionately more functions and services by connecting terrestrial, subterranean, aerial and marine systems. There was also considerable commentary at the conference about the importance of communication and conversations in managing the connections. This included the need to get the narrative right, to have compelling and engaging “stories” to tell, to seek a common language, and to be prepared and committed to “take journeys of joint discovery” and to “embrace continuous learning and adaptive management” with partners and collaborators. These matters were engagingly covered by Celeste Cantú, of the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority, based in southern California, USA, in her keynote address about watershed-based management, integrating people, resources and policy. Ms Cantú’s message is that the answers to meeting our water and related challenges are in the ability and resolve of the people
Together with population growth pressures, California’s hydrologic cycle is likely to be influenced by climate change in ways that lead to scarcer and more variable water supplies, David Molden outlines the including (i) reduced significance of physical, functional snow accumulation and and policy connections. changed melt patterns, (ii) reduced precipitation, (iii) changed seasonal runoff, (iv) increased evapotranspiration, (v) reduced stream flow, and (vi) increased stress on groundwater and receiving water bodies – “the whole enchilada” as they say in California. The implications are that California’s water management plans need to be revised and updated to better deal with a higher level of water scarcity. In addition, 19% of all energy in California is used to transport, treat and heat water. To conserve water is to conserve energy. The USA also generates a lot of hydro-electrical power, and as river flows and dam levels shrink so does the region’s ability to generate electricity. But water scarcity is not the only driver. Budget limitations are changing how goals are fulfilled. Because of financial limits, citizens and stakeholders have increasingly been called upon to help craft responsible, sustainable solutions. The fiscal crisis will also drive policy. Ms Cantú stressed, “We need to look to our rates to support our investments and this means we need to include our consumers as key stakeholders. We need to
The exhibition area at the conference.
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conference reviews engender a water ethic, meaning each person knows where their water comes from, how much they use, what they put into it and where it goes when they are done with it.”
Understand your target politician and the political life cycle
Collaborate – come as a team
Timing is everything: Carpe Diem – be an opportunist
Further to this, Ms Cantú contends that conflict management is key to watershed and water resources management, challenging conventional practices, attitudes and Celeste Cantú shares her “Four professional certainties. Horsemen of the Apocalypse” It confronts entrenched adoption on climate change. sectoral interests and requires that water resources be managed holistically for the benefits of all. “The conflict management process does not begin with the identification of a particular conflict. It fits in the planning stage of a project or program of water resource development, anticipating conflict among stakeholders. There are tools and methods. This work is just as important as the skill sets that we have used for the past decades,” she said.
Send in your best players
Say something new, clear and interesting
Building on these views, Claydon observed in his conference summation: “To be successful at this may require new approaches to leadership and management, new visions and new attitudes, enhanced skills and abilities in communications and delivering clarity of message, in addition to new technologies. It may also require new organisational structures and cultures and smarter ways of interacting in political processes.” Emphasis on the latter was a clear message in the keynote address from Professor John Thwaites from the Monash Sustainability Institute in Melbourne, and a former Deputy Premier and Minister for the Environment, Minister for Water and Minister for Planning in the Government of Victoria. In an insightful and entertaining presentation, Professor Thwaites painted a clear picture of the present-day political decisionmaking landscape and proposed these “Ten Commandments of Influencing Governments”: 1.
Know what you want to achieve
Know what the Government wants to achieve
Delegates speaks with principal sponsor Melbourne Water at their exhibition booth.
Finally, several International Riversymposium 2012 participants spoke about seeking multiple outcomes in river management, to benefit not only the river, but also to provide economic and social benefits. With the theme of the conference recognising that the world is urbanising rapidly, and looks set to continue to do so, several papers and discussions explored concepts of “liveability” in addition to productivity, sustainability and resilience. The current tight and difficult fiscal environment has again directed attention to achieving more outcomes, more efficiently for any given level of investments – “more bang for the buck”. Claydon concluded his conference summation by noting that, over the last decade or two, crises of flood, drought and/ or looming ecological degradation had provided unprecedented opportunities for advances in the policies, programs and practices of river and water management – changes have been made that would never have otherwise gained the support of the community, industry or politicians in “normal” circumstances. He closed by posing the question: “What opportunities does the current global financial crisis provide to seek out alternative, cost-effective, productive, resilient, economically affordable, culturally appropriate, socially acceptable and ecologically sustainable solutions for rivers in a rapidly urbanising environment?” The International WaterCentre, as manager of the International Riversymposium, is committed to continuing this dialogue and is seeking input on key messages for the future. Please go to www.riversymposium.com for more details on how you can contribute. The 16th International Riversymposium will return to Brisbane from 23–26 September 2013 and will focus on the role of rivers in linking water, energy and food – and, no doubt, on how to manage the connections. Details are available on the website.
Dr Jayasuriya Dasarath from the Bureau of Meterology launches the Australian Water Accounting Standard 1 at the Welcome Function.
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conference reviews Conference Highlights
Australia-Netherlands Water Challenge
2012 River Management Young Achievers Award The River Management Young Achievers Award (RMYAA) identifies and rewards individuals under 35 who have demonstrated innovation and excellence in river and waterways management. The River Management Young Achievers Award is proudly sponsored by Thiess Services and managed by the International WaterCentre Alumni Network.
The 15th International Riversymposium featured the firstround final of the Australia-Netherlands Water Challenge. Five Australian students competed in a poster presentation session, showcasing innovative ideas to enhance flood resilience in their country. While all presented ideas will be taken forward for further development in the coming months, it was Kevin Loh, an International WaterCentre candidate of Masters in Integrated Water Management, who was announced the winner.
The three award finalists, Mark Bachmann (SA), Virgilio Hermoso (Qld) and Celine Steinfeld (NSW) had the opportunity to present their work during a session at the 15th International Riversymposium. The 2012 RMYAA was awarded to Celine Steinfeld for the development of her hydrologic model and for championing its uptake to improve river management.
Kevin’s proposal for a smartphone app that would greatly expedite the handling of insurance claims after a flood event, reducing both psychological and economic damage, was judged to have great potential. Kevin was invited to further develop his app in the Netherlands and was presented a return ticket, sponsored by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
The International Thiess Riverprize and Australian Riverprize were once again awarded at the 15th International Riversymposium. Managed by the International RiverFoundation, Riverprize is the world’s most prestigious environmental award, giving recognition, reward and support to those who have developed and implemented outstanding, visionary and sustainable programs in river management.
Thursday saw Riversymposium delegates departing on the Yarra River Study Tour, hosted by the principal sponsor, Melbourne Water. Delegates visited four sites across the catchment where Melbourne Water is carrying out various catchment and river management activities:
Australian Riverprize The 2012 Australian Riverprize, funded by the Australian Government’s Water for the Future initiative through the Water Smart Australia program, was awarded to the Condamine Alliance of Queensland, for demonstrating excellence in restoring native fish populations to the Condamine River. Determined to ‘bring the fish back’, the Alliance developed a strategic plan for river rehabilitation in the catchment and has been leading a revival mission along sections of the Reach since 2006. Underpinning this strategy was a commitment to strong community and indigenous engagement and a shared a vision with partners to increase native fish populations to 60% of preEuropean settlement levels by 2050. The other finalists were the Georges River (NSW) and the Swan & Canning Rivers (WA). This diverse geographic spread of finalists is indicative of the high commitment to river restoration all across Australia.
International Riverprize The 2012 Thiess International
1. Dights Falls • Dights Falls weir and fishway replacement project • The Yarra River’s importance to Melbourne – historical and present day, environment and social • Wurundjeri culture and cultural values of the Yarra River 2. Glen Iris Wetlands • Challenges of urban waterway management • Melbourne Water’s role in stormwater treatment, including wetlands • Melbourne Water’s role in flooding and drainage, impacts of flooding and prioritising works 3. Domaine Chandon • Victoria’s water entitlement and allocation framework/ licensing legislation and Melbourne Water’s licensing role in the Yarra catchment
Riverprize was awarded to the Willamette River Initiative of Oregon, USA, for excellence in river management. The Willamette River Initiative is implemented by the Meyer Memorial Trust, an organisation made up of dozens of stakeholders jointly involved in the planning, management and regulation of activities that affect the river.
• Melbourne Water’s River Health Incentives Program and partnerships with communities to improve river health
The Willamette River Initiative was chosen for its effective, collaborative approach that has resulted in marked improvements to the health of the river over the past decade. The project tackled a range of challenges including toxic chemical threat, high water temperatures, a confined channel, dam-altered flows, loss of floodplain forests, population growth and climate change.
• Domaine Chandon Australia’s involvement in Melbourne Water’s Stream Frontage Management Program to revegetate the stream frontages and a billabong
The other finalists were the Okavango River Basin (Angola, Botswana & Namibia) Prespa Lakes (Greece) and the Nushagak River (Alaska, US), which was Highly Commended by the judges.
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• Helping landholders better manage run-off from farms to reduce the amount of sediment and nutrients that enter our waterways through the Rural Land Program
4. Maroondah Reservoir • Sharing water within the Yarra catchment (Melbourne customers, the environment and irrigators), and environmental values of the catchment • Connecting local communities with river health and sustainable water issues through Waterwatch Victoria’s community engagement program.
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conference reviews Small Water and Wastewater Systems Workshop 2012 Rachel Watson, Institute of Sustainable Futures Distributed (i.e. small scale) recycled water systems have plenty of potential, but there are currently significant limitations to investing in such systems. Which limitations matter most, and to whom, was the subject of a highly interactive workshop at the Small Water and Wastewater Systems Conference in Newcastle from 26–28 November 2012. Some innovative elements in the workshop design ensured strong participation and valuable outcomes. The workshop was hosted by Professor Cynthia Mitchell and PhD candidate Rachel Watson from the Institute of Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney. Cynthia began by reflecting on the fantastic range of presentations throughout the previous two days, which focused on the successes of small solutions, their benefits, and their economic, environmental and societal value. She also noted that different examples discussed at the conference encompassed diverse exposure pathways and enormously diverse levels of risk acceptance. However, even though there is a range of good examples of small recycled water systems there is still a range of cost, risk and institutional barriers that make it difficult for small recycled water systems to compete against other traditional water services. It is only by understanding what these limits are, who they affect and how they limit effective investment that we can begin to take action that will allow small-scale systems to reach their full potential as a valuable part of urban integrated water management. Rachel then used Sydney as an example to discuss some of the more challenging barriers to an efficient and competitive local recycled water market that exist in the short to medium term. These included limited commercial opportunities for recycled water to be price competitive due to centralised water supply being secured through large-scale supply options (such as desalination), large wastewater networks having existing capacity and centralised ocean discharge of primary treated wastewater with limited environmental impacts. However, she also identified that these barriers can be seen as creating a perfect environment to test, monitor and develop the capacity of both the systems and the private sector operators, without placing unacceptable impacts on the existing system, the environment or the community. This introduction provided the background for an interactive debate on the topic: ‘We don’t invest in small systems because they are too risky’. The purpose of the debate was to encourage participation, stimulate structured conversations, and acknowledge the wide range of different perspectives that co-exist). The debate was structured to allow time after each speaker for people from the floor to interject and provide their perspective on what had just been said. This format successfully encouraged participation from most of the workshop participants. It also provided participants with time to reflect on alternative perspectives and provide back-up or counter arguments. The debate also highlighted the value in getting groups from very different perspectives to come together in a neutral and supportive space – one where there was definitely space for a diversity of viewpoints. The group agreed that more opportunities for this type of debate to occur would be a positive initiative.
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Figure 1. Examples of the voting sheets, colour-coded as follows: Blue: regulators/planners; Yellow: private service providers; Red: Public service providers; Green: advocates/researchers. The final half of the workshop focussed on articulating key limiting factors (both those identified through the debate and others) and ranking their importance from different perspectives. The first step was for participants to identify all the key limitations from their perspective. Each limitation was then categorised as either limits relating to relative cost and centralised pricing; limits relating to risk and uncertainty; or limits regarding institutional and regulatory frameworks. The limitations were then put up on boards and participants were given 10 votes each to use in whatever combination they chose, to vote for what was most and least important from their perspective (see Figure 1). Voting dots were colour-coded so that different perspectives could be tracked in the voting process. Using a voting process that included both the positive and negative position and reflected the different perspectives within the group provided some interesting and useful distinctions.
Key Outcomes The following key observations can be made from the debate and voting processes: Overall: • The economics of small systems is a function of the institutional arrangements and the rules that are associated with them. • As with any emerging industry the uncertainty that exists within so many areas (particularly cost, benefits, public health risks, ongoing performance management, benefits and costs to existing centralised system infrastructure and customers and long-term markets for recycled water) can create barriers and increase risk perceptions. Planning and Regulation: • The lack of a coordinated process for identifying opportunities for small systems in advance of centralised investment was seen as very important by regulators and private investors in particular, but it scored votes from all groups. • Private investors also thought the efficiency of small system investment could be improved by a better process for identifying what scale of system was appropriate in what circumstances. This would support the most efficient mix of small and large systems within an urban area. • Regulators, utilities and private investors suggested small recycled water investment would benefit from a consistent approach to regulation.
Costs and Price: • The cost of regulation, both from a regulatory oversight and resourcing perspective and from a system validation and auditing perspective, was seen as important by all groups.
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• The limitations of an inflexible price regulation system was seen as important by regulators/planners, sustainability advocates and public utilities, but was not a high priority of private investors.
• Knowing how to allocate and share costs and risks and rewards was a high priority for everyone.
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Risk and Uncertainty: • Unsurprisingly, the planners/regulator group was particularly concerned with clearly identifying and understanding how to manage the risks. • The private industry rated capacity building and having a minimum or accepted level for operators and training as highly important; however, this area also received votes from every sector as being important. The process for ranking both in the positive and the negative provided some useful distinctions. In general there was limited voting in the negative. One of the main areas to attract a negative vote was the potential of the private sector cherry-picking profitable schemes and leaving the expensive ones to the general customer base. This category clearly demonstrated the difference in perspectives because only the private investors rated this as not important, and only the public utilities rated it as important. Using different colours for the different perspectives was also a useful exercise, as it was very valuable to see where an issue was seen as important from a range of perspectives, and where it was the focus of only one or two groups. Overall the workshop provided a great opportunity for a range of participants from different backgrounds, interests and perspectives to engage in open and robust discussion on the key limiting factors for investment in small systems. It was agreed that having the opportunity to engage in these forums is rare, but very valuable. As this workshop was held at the Small Water and Wastewater Systems Conference most (but not all) of the participants were advocates of small systems. In this context it was useful for participants to clearly identify what could limit investment in small systems and for whom these limits were most important. This will prove extremely useful in guiding work to overcome these limitations.
Acknowledgements The Author would like to take the opportunity to thank all the workshop participants for their input, which will be integrated into the findings of her PhD. A big thank you to the kind volunteers who each took on a particular role for the debate and provided great points from a particular perspective. Our volunteers included: Kurt Dahl (Permeate Partners – private investor perspective), Bhakti Devi (City of Sydney – sustainability advocate perspective), Simon Fane (Metropolitan Water Directorate – urban planners perspective), Ted Gardner (Central Queensland University – health perspective), Cynthia Mitchell (UTS – researcher) and Django Seccombe (Sydney Water – utility perspective)
The Author Rachel Watson is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Sustainable Futures investigating ‘the full range of costs and benefits of distributed recycled water systems’.
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conference reviews National Operations Conference 2012 Cheryl Marvell, Co-Convenor – Operations Specialist Network The second AWA National Operations Conference was held from 11–13 September in Darwin. This conference was the brainchild of the Operations Specialist Network and had been two years in the planning. We were thrilled to hold it in the Top End and greatly appreciated the fantastic support that Power and Water Corporation provided us. The aim of the conference was to come together, provide learning and knowledge-sharing opportunities for all areas of water industry operations, and last but not least, to enjoy one another’s company in the laid-back environment that only the Northern Territory can provide. The event kicked off with opening drinks, held jointly with the Northern Territory Branch’s Water in the Bush Conference closing drinks. Many of us attended Water in the Bush as well, and heard about the enormous challenges that Power and Water face in their day-to-day operations. It makes some of the urban water problems that most of us face pale into insignificance. Drinks were sponsored by Ivan Reolan from Aquatec-Maxcon, a great supporter of the network.
Day One On the first day, AWA’s President, Lucia Cade, not only officially opened the Conference but set the scene by talking about intelligent assets and where Operations may be heading in the future.
Keynote speaker, Carl Devereux, from Aurecon, New Zealand.
Tying in with one of the conference’s themes, Disaster and Recovery, our first keynote speaker was Carl Devereux from Aurecon, New Zealand. Carl works as an engineer, but is also an active member of his community and volunteers for Fire and Rescue. He spoke about his experiences during the recent Christchurch earthquakes and the rescue work that followed. He was not only able to save lives, but also worked on the recovery of people from some of the worst-hit buildings. The enormity of the problems faced, and the ongoing issues, were eye-openers to us all. The ditch that separates Australia and New Zealand got noticeably smaller the longer Carl spoke to us. We would like to thank Aurecon for sponsoring Carl’s trip to Darwin and allowing him to speak to us, and wish Carl and Christchurch all the best for the future and the ongoing rebuilding effort. What followed on Day One were fascinating talks on remote water operations, emergency preparedness and response, biosolids management and water/wastewater quality issues.
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Young Operations Professional award winner, Michael Boyes, from Water Corporation.
Our Young Operations Professional award winner, Michael Boyes from Water Corporation, spoke to us about why he is passionate about the water industry, and some of the things that keep him busy working remotely in the Pilbara in WA. Michael did a great job and managed to impress us all with his frank account of life in the top of WA. Michael is a great ambassador for Water Corporation and had everyone wanting to go to the Pilbara – until he mentioned the man to woman ratio was 4:1! Well done, Michael – and good luck for the future. Dinner that night was kindly sponsored by the local GHD office and was held in the Conference Centre, in a great spot that allowed us all to enjoy a beautiful view of Darwin’s waterfront. The local entertainment was just right and the evening allowed for some great networking opportunities.
Day Two Our keynote speaker on Day Two was Scott Hastings from CH2MHill US; we were indeed honoured to have Scott join us at the conference. Scott spoke on worldwide issues including the economy, Keynote speaker, Scott Haskins, CH2MHill, US. ageing water infrastructure, shifting water demands and rising energy costs. He also spoke on strategies to optimise maintenance, operations and systems using quality principles and frameworks. Following Scott was a presentation given by Toshio Kyosai from Veolia Water, Japan. Toshio spoke on the tsunami, the aftermath, what happened to one city’s water supply and how Veolia was able to help. To say we were all moved is an understatement. To have the disaster and the aftermath presented by someone who was there deeply affected us all and there were many watery eyes in the room, including mine. Toshio made many friends with the style of his presentation and how well he delivered it. He was unanimously awarded a prize for his presentation and you can read his paper in this issue of Water Journal (see page 74). Day Two papers covered topics such as operations optimisation, training, asset management and synergies in the mining and water industries. This year, we worked with the Minerals Council of Australia to assemble a panel of great practitioners from both the Water and Mining industries, to talk about synergies in our industries, and where there are opportunities to assist one another in shared learning. This has certainly started the dialogue between our two groups and we hope to be able to build on that in the future. The standard of presentations at the conference was outstanding, so the organising committee decided to award prizes to three winners: • Northern Territory – Bridget McDowall, Power & Water Corporation, NT; • Interstate – Gavan Inkster, GWM Water, VIC;
conference reviews AWA’s Operations Specialist Network committee is made up of people who volunteer their time and effort to ensure the area of Operations is profiled on the national water industry stage – Jim Pruss (my Co-Convenor, SEQ Water), Tony O’Neil (CH2M Hill – co-organiser of the Mining Workshop), Richard Scott (SA Water), Matthew Bowman and Steve Little (Water Corporation), Iain Fairbairn and John McKeon (Sydney Water), Geoff Watson (GHD) and, of course, the local Darwinites and our hosts, Lindsay Smith and Duncan Griffin (Power and Water).
The Operations Specialist Network Committee. From left to right: Matthew Bowman (Water Corporation), Cheryl Marvell (Sydney Water), Richard Scott (SA Water), Lindsay Smith (Power & Water Corporation), Iain Fairbairn (Sydney Water), Tony O’Neill (CH2MHill) and Duncan Griffin (Power & Water Corporation). • International – Toshio Kyosai, Veolia Water, Japan. After the award ceremony, it was time for a well-earned closing drink, courtesy of WorleyParsons and held in the Medina Vibe overlooking the wave pool.
Acknowledgements We would like to thank our sponsors: Transfield Services; Degrémont, Hatch, Aquatec-Maxcon, GHD, CH2M Hill, Aurecon and WorleyParsons. We could not hold an event such as this without your support and it was gratefully received – we hope we will see you return to help again next time.
The strength of the conference program is due to the hard work of the Committee members and the staff at AWA. In particular I would like to mention Michael Seller, who always does his best to help wherever he can, and Laura Evanson and Sarah Masters, who did the leg work to produce the look, feel and ambience of this event. In this Olympic year, can I steal the words of the great Juan Antonio Samaranch – we had the best Conference ever! Until the next one, of course – watch this space!
Attendees at the Welcome Reception.
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small water & wastewater systems
A DECENTRALISED WATER MASTER PLAN FOR THE CITY OF SYDNEY Identifying decentralised water supply and stormwater pollution reduction opportunities M Healey, S Tyrrell, D O’Halloran, B Devi Abstract The City of Sydney is working to realise its vision to become a ‘Green, Global and Connected’ city, a vision articulated in its Sustainable Sydney 2030 strategy. The Decentralised Water Master Plan (DWMP) is one of five green infrastructure plans supporting this strategy. The DWMP incorporates water into the City’s sustainable vision by identifying decentralised water supply opportunities that combine with traditional water sources to create an integrated, adaptable and resilient network. The DWMP constitutes a suite of plans including a Water Efficiency Plan, Stormwater Infrastructure Improvement Plan, Water Sensitive Urban Design Plan and the Decentralised Recycled Water Plan. This paper describes: 1. The
process of developing the baseline for the Decentralised Water Master Plan and how spatial and temporal mapping can be used to simplify baseline development and communication of results; and
the results from the baseline analysis were used to identify decentralised water supply (and stormwater pollution reduction) opportunities.
The key outcome from the baseline analysis shows an abundance of water within the City that can be harnessed at various scales considering the ‘nature’ of demand, environmental impacts and community expectations. The baseline analysis also identified stormwater pollution loads for each sub-catchment and water quality and flooding hotspots across the city. The baseline analysis provided relevant and detailed information for city planners, architects and developers and is transferable to other localities. The opportunities analysis illustrated the potential volumetric yield of each supply option and assessed those options according to cost, social and environmental criteria.
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Significant consultation was undertaken to ensure the community and other stakeholders had opportunities for input. It is intended that the final plan is not a fixed document but will evolve, taking into account changing data and contexts.
Introduction Sustainable Sydney 2030 articulates the ‘Green, Global and Connected’ vision for the City of Sydney. Central to this vision was the aim of becoming internationally recognised as an environmental leader, with economic growth driven by green industry. The DWMP is one of five integrated green infrastructure plans supporting the Sustainable Sydney 2030 strategy (with others considering waste, renewable energy and combined heat and power generation).
• Retain water within the urban environment where possible, enhancing Sydney’s liveability. The plan does not attempt to identify solutions for all of the existing and anticipated opportunities within the city over the coming 20 years. Rather, it demonstrates the abundance of water resources within the urban environment and provides the visibility of opportunities that could be readily matched with existing and future non-potable demands. The plan also provides a baseline and opportunity information that can be leveraged by Government agencies, urban planners, developers and architects, and commercial partners in moving towards the Sustainable Sydney 2030 vision.
The DWMP supports the Sustainable Sydney 2030 vision by identifying decentralised and integrated water supply opportunities that: • Provide fit-forpurpose water; • Reduce reliance on the city’s traditional water supply network; • Identify potential demand reductions through water efficiency; • Reduce pollution to receiving environments as a result of wastewater overflows and stormwater discharges; and
Figure 1. The City of Sydney LGA and catchments.
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The City of Sydney The City of Sydney Local Government Area (LGA) covers an area of 2,660ha and is home to over 180,000 people. This number is expected to grow to 243,000 by 2030. The City’s economic activity represents 8% of the national Australian economy with over 20,000 businesses providing jobs for over 340,000 people today, with this expected to grow to approximately 440,000 by 2031, with Barangaroo redevelopment area expected to account for 23,000 of those alone. The city is an international tourist destination with over four million visitors per year. Figure 1 shows the three receiving water catchments – Sydney Harbour, Cooks River and Centennial Park – and the 11 sub-catchments. The City is bound to the north by Sydney Harbour and to the south by Botany Bay (both Cooks River and Centennial Park catchments ultimately drain to Botany Bay).
Figure 2. Location of water use within the City of Sydney.
Developing the Baseline The baseline mapping stage of the DWMP estimated current and future potable and non-potable water demands, potential decentralised supply sources within the city and how these may be linked. Baseline information was concurrently developed for the WSUD plan, identifying stormwater pollution loads for each sub-catchment within the city. Spatial analysis tools were critical in synthesising and communicating the scale and location of the opportunity, water quality and temporal information.
Demand Existing metered water demand data (on a building level) was correlated with a three-dimensional highly detailed floor space model for the City. By simplifying floor space by sectors and statistical analysis, reliable estimates of water use by sector were developed. Further analysis of end-use data for each sector provided an estimate of the volumes that could potentially be supplied by alternative water sources. The analysis indicates that the City of Sydney accounts for approximately 7% of Greater Sydney’s water demand with approximately 80% of that consumed within the CBD. The analysis of sector end uses indicates that 50% of the current potable water demand could be substituted with alternative waters. Notably, irrigation accounts for less than 3% of the current demand, with the majority of non-potable water uses associated with toilet and cooling tower demands.
Figure 3. Water end use analysis by sector. Future demand analysis was undertaken using Local Environmental Planning (LEP) guidelines and capacity analysis to estimate growth in each sector out to 2030. Sector growth represented additional opportunities to incorporate innovative alternative water use designs into building and landscape renewals and refurbishments. Based on this growth analysis, it was estimated that greater than 54% of potable water demand could be substituted with alternative water supplies if available, with growth accounting for 18% of forecasted alternative water demand in 2030. Specific sector buildings and floor space water use intensities were compared with industry best practice benchmarks to understand the opportunity for increased end-use
efficiency. The granularity of the data provides an opportunity to engage directly with building occupants and owners to reduce water use through efficiency measures. This analysis formed the basis of a separate water efficiency plan completed by project partners, the Institute of Sustainable Futures.
Alternative Water Supply and Demand Opportunities Having identified current and future non-potable water demands across the LGA an analysis of potential supply options was undertaken. In summary this included: • Stormwater generated within the city and transferred via the stormwater system to receiving waters; • Wastewater that was generated within, and transferred through, the city;
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small water & wastewater systems • Groundwater from the Botany Sands aquifer located within the southern part of the LGA (including seepage water evacuated from the railway tunnels); and • Seawater from Sydney Harbour.
Stormwater Since white settlement, the surface water hydrology of the city has been completely altered, from natural running creeks to piped and combined wastewater and stormwater systems, to separated stormwater pipes and channels designed to efficiently convey water away from the City. In doing so the stormwater system also conveys nutrients and pollution to receiving waters and environments. In order to better understand the complex interactions of stormwater conveyance, flooding, pollution loads and stormwater harvesting opportunities, a Stormwater and WSUD Plan was developed. This plan modelled and mapped the potential stormwater harvesting resource across the city and the stormwater pollution baseline using land use planning information and MUSIC modelling software. Having established the City’s pollutant load baseline, opportunities to reduce that load were categorised according to the “four R’s” of: • Redevelopment: incorporating WSUD initiatives into major and infill redevelopments; • Retrofitting: incorporating WSUD and stormwater harvesting initiatives into existing major and minor public open spaces and private residential and non-residential properties;
• Renewals: installing WSUD infrastructure with planned road, footpath and drainage infrastructure renewals; and • Reuse: where stormwater is treated and transferred to a decentralised water network for non-potable uses beyond open space irrigation.
Wastewater The City of Sydney generates approximately 27GL of wastewater each year that is transferred to one of two primary treatment plants at North Bondi (to the east) and Malabar (to the south). An additional 4GL generated in external Figure 4. Proposed tri-generation network. catchments also harvested within the city, although further passes through the LGA. This resource work is required to confirm the feasibility (which is currently wasted and discharged of this option. to the ocean) is expected to grow by A large proportion of the aquifer 6.4GL per year (to 33.4GL/year) by 2030. situated within the Cooks River Groundwater catchment is currently under a ‘domestic The City of Sydney lies atop the Botany ban’ due to contamination issues and Sands aquifer. This aquifer has an area this is likely to be an enduring barrier of 91km2, 14% of which is situated within to groundwater use in this area. the LGA at a depth of between 2m and Seawater and thermal distillation 10m. The aquifer is potentially a source of water and a storage for alternative water The consideration of seawater as a potential resource is related to the development of a tri-generation network plan for the city. Therefore, the proximity and abundance of seawater to the city presents an opportunity to provide cooling water and to use the waste or excess heat to distil salt water, producing an additional alternative water resource. Figure 4 illustrates the location of the tri-generation plants planned for Sydney, with their associated thermal networks. A review of the demand and supply opportunities across the City was undertaken and summarised according to Figure 5, illustrating: • Volume of non-potable demand (by City sub-catchment); and
Figure 5. Summary of non-potable demand and supply opportunities across the LGA.
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• Potential non-potable supply opportunities (by City sub-catchment).
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Figure 6. Spatial analysis summary.
Baseline Analysis Outcomes Spatial planning enabled the mapping of metred water demand and floor space data, allowing for future growth in the LGA, with sub-catchment, catchment and citywide water balances developed to assist future decision-making. The results showed: • Existing potable water demand (by building and floor) to identify key water users by sector (e.g. multi-residential, single residential, food and beverage etc.). Consumption results were then assessed against industry benchmarks to identify efficiency opportunities. • Future water demand forecasts (2030). • Non-potable demand at a building and floor level for 2030. • Potential volumes and locations of alternative source waters. • Synergies with other water systems and Green Infrastructure Strategies (e.g. trigeneration). • Issues and opportunities associated with climate change impacts including flooding, groundwater levels and sewage overflows. • The impact of demand density on stormwater and rainwater storage
requirements and, therefore, volumetric reliability of those sources. The analysis provided a baseline rich with detailed information that could be overlayed and analysed simplistically to assist in identifying the opportunities of integrated water management beyond the baseline. Figure 6 summarises the spatial analysis approach in preparing the baseline.
Opportunities Analysis Using the baseline data and water balance information, a rigorous process of matching supply with demand was commenced, incorporating network and pumping requirements (topography), indicative water balances and stormwater quality improvements to identify over 300 small-scale opportunities. These opportunities could theoretically be provided independently (at a lot or precinct scale) or together as part of a decentralised water network. The Recycled Water Plan focused on precinct scale and larger opportunities, assuming that lot scale solutions are available with or without a decentralised network. Stormwater harvesting opportunities incorporated into the decentralised water network included larger harvesting opportunities with potential to provide a water supply to a decentralised network.
Refining the opportunities GHD, together with partner, The Institute of Sustainable Futures (ISF), developed a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) process, including draft decision criteria, that was used to prioritise and consolidate the long list of opportunities from 300 to approximately 34 prioritised schemes. The preliminary decision criteria or “practical considerations” were designed to ensure that those schemes that performed well were more likely to be consistent with the city’s sustainability goals and feasible for potential investors. Examples of preliminary decision criteria adopted include: • System effectiveness: more water delivered per length of pipe and pumping required was preferred; • Pumping energy: lower energy was preferred based on topographical differences between supply source and demand location; • Uptake risk: the number of different properties included within a scheme compared to total demand; • Plumbing complexity: for example, schemes requiring retrofitting of ‘twoway’ pipe networks within existing buildings would be less likely to be undertaken;
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Figure 8. Total suspended solids rainfall chart. therefore, smaller schemes were consolidated to improve economies of scale. By applying these criteria the 34 ‘refined’ opportunities were identified. Figure 7 locates these opportunities and illustrates the relative (potential) supply contribution of each opportunity category (in GL/year). The figure also defines recycled water precincts, according to the pink boundaries shown.
Figure 7. Recycled water demand opportunity by supply type. • Source water quality: with better quality source water and, therefore, reduced treatment requirements prioritised; • Proximity to known tri-generation water demands: water sources close to trigeneration plants were prioritised; • Synergies with existing infrastructure: including sewer mining options that could be located with an existing sewer pump station were preferred; • Synergies with energy and waste systems: systems that had potential for co-location with tri-generation plants and major sewer pumping stations were prioritised; and • Treatment scale for sewer mining: sewer mining treatment becomes more cost effective at a certain scale,
The following key opportunities were identified: • Sewer Mining: Nine main localities were identified that captured both local wastewater and other wastewater that passes through the LGA from upstream catchments. •T hermal Desalination: Opportunities close to Sydney Harbour and proximate to proposed tri-generation plants. • Stormwater: Approximately 20 stormwater harvesting opportunities were included within the refined opportunities category. They represented locations where large stormwater mains converged with medium to large open space areas such that reasonable storages could be located there.
WSUD and stormwater opportunities Stormwater pollution reduction opportunities were assessed according to the categories of Redevelopment, Renewals, Retrofitting and Reuse, for stormwater volumes supplied to the decentralised network. MUSIC modelling was undertaken for each category in the context of the land use within their sub-catchment to determine the pollutant benefit associated with each. Unit costs were applied to the application of WSUD initiatives, including rain-gardens, wetlands and stormwater storages and treatment, to get a cost per unit weight of key pollutants including nitrogen and phosphorus. One output of this analysis was ‘rainfall diagrams’ illustrating the contribution to pollution reduction of each WSUD category. Figure 8 illustrates that existing WSUD and trapped gully pits, as well as projected infill development, will contribute significantly to reducing total suspended solids loads against the assessed baseline.
Opportunity Assessment In preparing the Decentralised Water Master Plan, there was not an intention to ‘pick winners’, as there are a number of factors that could influence the priority and cost effectiveness of opportunities
Table 1. WSUD opportunity category summary. Category
Incorporating WSUD initiatives into major and infill redevelopments
Known major redevelopments within the City and infill development areas based on residential and commercial growth estimates
Installing WSUD infrastructure with programmed road, footpath and drainage works
City of Sydney capital infrastructure renewal programs
Incorporating WSUD and stormwater harvesting initiatives into existing major and minor public open spaces and private residential and nonresidential properties
Treated stormwater transferred to a decentralised water network for non-potable uses beyond open space irrigation
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Major and minor open space areas across the city (with minor public spaces being less than 400m2) Lot scale retrofits of residential and non-residential properties Large stormwater harvesting schemes proximate to network demand centres.
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Table 2. Case study summary. Name
Sewer Mining 1.1b
1.2ML/day wastewater treatment plant
Sewer Mining 1.2b
3 advanced wastewater treatment plants with a combined capacity of 22ML/day
Sewer Mining 1.2e
8.5ML/day advanced wastewater treatment plant
Sewer Mining 1.2h
2.2ML/day advanced wastewater treatment plant which may be co-located with the proposed trigeneration plant
Sewer Mining 1.5c
5.7ML/day advanced wastewater treatment plant which would be co-located within the Green Square development.
Stormwater Harvesting 2.3a
12ML surface storage pond with treatment suitable for internal and external use
Stormwater Harvesting 2.7a
8ML sub-surface storage with treatment suitable for internal and external use
Stormwater Harvesting 2.8a
Existing and proposed storages with treatment suitable for supplying the surrounding Alexandria Canal area.
Roof Water Harvesting 3.2a
8.5ML sub-surface storage main running the length of the facility providing both storage and pre-treatment and distribution of the harvested roof water.
Thermal Desalination 5.1a
Extraction of raw seawater from Sydney Harbour and delivery to a 5.6ML/day thermal desalination plant
during the life of the Master Plan. Instead, 10 case studies were selected from the 34 filtered opportunities for more detailed analysis to represent a crosssection of sources and project scales. Multi-criteria analysis was undertaken to assess each case study scheme according to financial and other criteria, both quantitative and qualitative.
Financial analysis Financial analysis estimated the cost of building, operating and maintaining each case study scheme from the perspective of both a water service provider and whole of society perspective. A comparison of estimated capital costs, operating costs and business costs was summarised within preliminary business case analysis undertaken for each case study, with the results presented in Figure 9.
Figure 9. Case study cost comparison.
The costs are compared against the potential recycled water supply capacity of each scheme. Figure 10 compares estimated levelised costs (i.e. the present value of recycled water in cost per kL). It is important to note that levelised costs for the purpose of comparing the case studies in the MCA are whole-of-society costs, but exclude business costs and revenue as these were difficult to estimate accurately.
Multi-criteria analysis The City of Sydney invited a range of stakeholders to participate in the development of assessment criteria and weightings for Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) to be used to compare conceptual options. The MCA results clearly show the need to consider multiple supply sources
Figure 10. Levelised cost (whole of society perspective). and local considerations. Sewer mining and stormwater suggested preferences are comparable, however, for very different drivers. For example, carbon intensity values support stormwater
and thermal desalination, and network intensity supports sewer mining and thermal desalination (due to the volumes of demand that can be satisfied).
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Figure 11. Multi-criteria assessment summary (the higher the score the better the option). Key observations include: • Thermal desalination, performs well against all criteria, particularly levelised cost, carbon intensity and network effectiveness; • Sewer mining and stormwater harvesting options perform similarly and particularly well against the reliability and network effectiveness criteria; • The stormwater harvesting options perform well particularly in terms of carbon intensity; and • The roofwater harvesting option performs the worst of the options assessed (predominantly influenced by economies of scale, network/ storage effectiveness and reliability), but roofwater harvesting performs well in terms of carbon intensity.
Results summary The results from the case study analysis don’t point to one supply type or scale as providing an ideal decentralised strategy solution. However, what can be concluded is that: • There is an abundance of local and variable supply sources within the city that are suitable for recycled water supply; • The Master Plan supports supply diversity, adaptability and environmental benefit in identifying recycled water demand opportunities; and • The analysis is designed to support and assist urban planners, architects and developers in achieving sustainable alternative water supply outcomes.
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Conclusions The analysis demonstrates an abundance of available water for capture and use as an alternative to current potable water. While no single entity can realise the opportunities identified, an across-Government approach is required to realise the alternative ways in supplying water back into the landscape and to replace potable water. Private industry (urban planners, architects and developers), along with Government, will play a key role in delivering these plans, with an across-organisation approach likely to identify cross-subsidies and avoided costs in making this strategy more financially effective.
Acknowledgements GHD would like to recognise the contributions made by the City of Sydney, ISF and Sydney Water in delivering this study.
The Authors Mike Healey (email: Mike. Healey@ghd.com) is a Civil Engineer with over 20 year’s experience in the water and wastewater industry, including master planning, integrated water management planning, modelling and design of water, recycled and wastewater networks, water use audits, leakage analysis and water pressure management. He leads a group of Water Systems planning engineers developing integrated water servicing strategies for growth and infill development and water and wastewater system performance assessments, using various modelling and analytical and options analysis tools. Mike is Water Systems Planning Manager with GHD in Sydney and was project manager and technical lead on the Decentralised Water Master Plan for the City of Sydney.
Shane Tyrrell (email: Shane.Tyrrell@ghd.com) is an environmental engineer and integrated water management specialist with over seven years’ experience in the water industry. His experience includes integrated water management, strategic planning of water and wastewater systems, water sensitive design, hydraulic modelling and simulating the urban water balance. Shane has experience in the application of decision support systems to assess alternative options incorporating both financial and non-financial criteria. He was also involved in the development of GHD’s award winning Integrated Management Toolkit and was the technical lead on the City of Sydney’s Decentralised Water Master Plan. He is currently Water Systems Planning Technical Lead with GHD Sydney. Dan O’Halloran (email: Dan. OHalloran@ghd.com) is GHD Global Service Line Leader for Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) and is responsible for leading and co-ordinating GHD’s technical response to IWCM. Dan’s background is in strategic water and wastewater infrastructure planning and the analysis of related sustainability issues. In 2007 he completed a Master’s in “Strategic Leadership toward Sustainability” in Karlskrona, Sweden to further his understanding in the field. Dan’s recent work has involved the preparation of IWCM strategies on lot, development and city scales in Melbourne and Sydney using GHD’s Integrated Water Management toolkit, triple bottom line frameworks and life cycle assessment software. Dr Bhakti Devi (email: email@example.com. gov.au) has over 15 years of experience working in the field of sustainable water management. She has assisted water utilities across Australia to develop sustainable water management strategies and demand management programs. She has also worked with local government agencies across the Sydney Metropolitan area to develop decision-making frameworks and policies for total water cycle management. As Water Strategy Manager for the City of Sydney, She managed the development of an innovative and comprehensive Decentralised Water Master Plan. She has been instrumental in transforming the City of Sydney to a water-sensitive Council in alignment with Council’s Sustainable Sydney 2030 long term community strategic plan.
small water & wastewater systems
HOW sustainability assessments using multi-criteria analysis can bias against small systems
Identifying and comparing areas of bias in small recycled water systems and suggestions for minimisation R Watson, S Fane, C Mitchell Abstract Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) has emerged as a popular decision-making tool in the water industry. However, there are some restrictions with the method and its practical application that can bias against smaller systems in relation to larger centralised alternatives. This paper specifically identifies these biases in relation to small recycled water systems and suggests ways to account for the bias. This will aid in the fair and robust comparison of smaller alternatives in relation to larger centralised options.
Introduction For over 100 years centralised water and wastewater services have been best practice across urban Australia and, indeed, throughout the world. However, continuing to maintain and expand the capacity of systems to manage and respond to ageing infrastructure, demand growth, and shifting expectations in terms of sustainability, resilience and security, is proving both expensive and technically challenging. To meet these challenges, a broader range of options is being proposed, which require broader assessment frameworks. One of the more popular frameworks is multi-criteria analysis (MCA). MCA can help decision makers balance multiple objectives from multiple viewpoints. Although MCA provides a range of benefits it can bias against small systems, particularly in relation to the larger and better understood centralised alternatives. This paper demonstrates how MCA can bias against small systems. It compares the areas of bias to the cited benefits of small systems and notes the similarities between the two. Suggestions are then made on how to acknowledge or minimise these biases to help make MCA
assessments of small systems in relation to larger systems more balanced.
What Are Small Systems and Why Do We Consider Them? Until recently small water and wastewater systems have generally been reserved for locations that were remote and difficult and/or too costly to service. In recent times, the cost effectiveness, sustainability and resilience of single large systems has been questioned. This has led to utilities and developers considering the use of small systems in conjunction with the existing centralised system, or instead of extending the existing centralised systems (Etnier et al., 2007; Mitchell et al., 2010; Mitchell et al., 2008; Nelson, 2008; Pinkham et al., 2004; Willets, Fane and Mitchell, 2007). These small systems working with or near the centralised system (called distributed systems in this paper) can be diverse in their source, treatment methods, discharge locations, end uses and management models (Gikas and Tchobanoglous, 2009; Watson, 2011; WSAA, 2010). Distributed water systems can cover the entire range of water services, including: • Smaller water sources such as rainwater tanks and local groundwater extraction; • Local wastewater treatment including a range of different small wastewater treatment technologies; • Non-potable water supply including greywater diversion or treatment, stormwater harvesting; and • Wastewater recycling and groundwater recharge. This paper focuses on the last two types, although some arguments would hold for all four.
Benefits of Small Systems It is difficult to define distributed systems, and this generally reflects their flexibility and adaptability to local needs, including demand, available end uses, regulations, reliability of other supplies, costs of discharge, topography and population density. In addition to their flexibility and adaptability, other benefits of small systems include the following (Gikas and Tchobanoglous, 2009; Pinkham et al., 2004): Environmental benefits such as: • Opportunities for local integrated water solutions; • Reduced resource intensiveness; • Reuse potential g reduced environmental extractions and discharges. Risk and reliability benefits such as: • Risk reduction – safety, security and disaster mitigation; • Risk reduction – avoiding excess capacity or underused capacity; • Risk reduction – reliability and redundancy for the centralised system. Economic benefits such as: • Reduced financial burden, smaller units of investment; • Reduced reliance on networks (which show diseconomies of scale); • Efficiency by matching of treatment to waste stream and end use requirements; • Efficiency by matching of investment to demand in space and time; • Reduced planning and construction timeframes.
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small water & wastewater systems Social benefits such as:
• Reduced issues with network expansion in built-up areas;
these issues can have a greater effect on less well-understood alternatives, such as using small systems to complement larger centralised systems. These general issues include:
• Common decision-making pitfalls;
• Equitable cost distribution – shifting of the financing burden to direct beneficiaries (user pays).
• Including risk and uncertainty;
• Treating waste locally;
What is Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) and Why Use It? Decisions in the water industry are often complex and require decision makers to consider a wide range of perspectives and alternatives. The range of options and the complexity of tradeoffs have increased as principles of integrated water management, water-sensitive urban design and liveable cities have evolved. There are many methods available to compare sustainability impacts of different urban water options, and different decision makers prefer (or require) different methods (Fane, Blackburn and Chong, 2010). One method that has gained popularity in the water industry and is supported by the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) is multicriteria analysis (MCA) (Lundie et al., 2008). MCA is a decision-making framework designed to help decision makers balance multiple objectives and multiple viewpoints, particularly when impacts are difficult to value in dollar terms (Asafu Adjaye, 2005). MCA ranks options based on a set of criteria developed in conjunction with stakeholders and the relative importance of criteria is represented by weights. A way of measuring against each criterion is agreed, but this does not have to be a dollar value. In fact, it does not have to be a value that can be quantified directly; a subjective, or qualitative assessment can be made. This allows decision makers to consider externalities even when the impacts cannot (or are too difficult to) be measured (Asafu Adjaye, 2005). MCA also makes it possible to include impacts that are outside the strict economic definition of externalities.
How Do the Elements of Multi-Criteria Analysis Bias Against Small Systems? MCA is a tool to aid complex decisions. However, like all tools it is only as good as the data used and the way it is applied. Limited data availability, limited knowledge on how to include the measures, or common decision-making pitfalls can all affect the fair assessment of options in an MCA process. However,
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• Incorporating and valuing flexibility; • Ensuring consistent assessment boundaries in terms of e.g., level of service provided, population served, timescales considered, components of infrastructure lifecycle considered, etc; • Identifying, selecting and valuing benefits and externalities; • Choosing the most appropriate metrics.
Common decision-making pitfalls Several common decision-making flaws can particularly affect the fair assessment of small systems when using MCA. It is recognised that, in general, decision making has a strong bias towards preserving the status quo, seeking out evidence that confirms the current norms and making choices in ways that justify past choices (Hammond, Keeney and Raiffa, 1998). In the Australian water industry the current planning framework often preferences large centralised solutions (LECG Limited Asia Pacific, 2011).
than they are. This also negates the flexibility and modular benefits of decentralised options.
Including risk and uncertainty MCA can explicitly deal with risk and uncertainty through sensitivity analysis where key weights or scores are changed to see how the final decision may be affected (Mukheibir and Mitchell, 2011). However, perceptions of risk and uncertainty may also be implicitly included in MCA analysis through the early exclusion of options in the screening process, the way options are valued, and the inclusion of criteria such as customer acceptance, and this can lead to biases against small systems. Both federal and state treasury agencies (Commonwealth of Australia, 2006; Office of Financial Management, 2007) suggest pessimistic values should be used in options evaluation. Using pessimistic scenarios is a particular issue for small systems and newer technologies as there is more uncertainty surrounding their performance, full lifecycle costs and acceptability.
Most of the urban water planning is undertaken by the centralised utilities. The planners and engineers in these organisations have a large ‘intellectual capital’ in centralised systems management, and in the engineering community at large there is a lack of technical knowledge on the implementation and performance of smaller systems and limited education or training available (Etnier et al., 2007). For small systems being evaluated against large centralised options through an MCA process, this means that the criteria is more likely to be developed thinking about how it applies to large options. The risk and uncertainty of the smaller options will tend to be over-emphasised, while there will be over-confidence in the performance and value of larger options.
Small systems reduce the consequences of failure and, when used in conjunction with centralised systems, could help to reduce vulnerability to natural shocks (Gikas and Tchobanoglous, 2009; Pinkham et al., 2004). However, small systems are also more vulnerable to misuse and shock loads (Etnier et al., 2007; Pinkham et al., 2004). Due to the public health aspects of water and wastewater services, decisions tend to avoid risk (Nelson, 2008; Productivity Commission, 2011; Water Corporation, 2011). This risk adversity affects smaller, less well-understood options and is compounded as decision makers commonly recall and place more emphasis on dramatic or bad outcomes (Hammond, Keeney and Raiffa, 1998). This can lead to the positive risk benefits of small systems being negated by the negative risks and results in the early exclusion of potential small options, or poor acceptability or protection of public health scores.
It has been shown that in infrastructure decisions the benefits are often overestimated and the costs are often underestimated (Commonwealth of Australia, 2006a). One study of transport alternatives found that costs were 20–45% higher than originally estimated and benefits were 20–51% overestimated. Similar results were found in other areas of major infrastructure investment (Office of Financial Management, 2007). This bias can make large options look better value
Selecting lesser-known (and potentially more risky) technology could also lead to decisions requiring review by Treasury departments under government procurement guidelines (see, for example (NSW Government, 2010). As identified by ACTEW, the more layers of uncertainty added to the process (in this case an extra approval authority) the less likely it is to be favoured (Productivity Commission, 2011). This again can lead to the early exclusion of options or poor acceptability scores.
small water & wastewater systems Under current regulatory and institutional frameworks the responsibility for the installation and operation of small systems can be the responsibility of private parties, rather than the utility doing the planning. This can lead to uncertainty regarding the ongoing capacity and capability of the systems, leading to pessimistic demand, revenue or performance scores.
Incorporating and valuing flexibility Flexibility is a key benefit of decentralised systems (Pinkham et al., 2004). Flexibility is not just about investment in time but also technology choices and treatment levels better matching discharge, end use or waste contamination level. Using small systems allows the best technology and option to be used at each location at different points in time. This can allow the inclusion of integrated solutions, recycled water of different standards, and different sources where appropriate. However, in an MCA process it is difficult to describe, cost and score a non-uniform and adaptable option. This often results in a generic small system option being selected or a series of separate options (e.g. demand management option, decentralised recycled water option, stormwater recycling option) being scored, which loses many of the flexibility benefits. The issues associated with rolling-up options into generic bundles are discussed in more detail later. If demand or growth profiles are slower than expected, distributed systems are favoured as they use smaller amounts of capital spread over time. This moves capital costs to the future and lowers net present value (Mitchell et al., 2007). There is also a poor understanding of how to value the flexibility and lower levels of risk associated with shorter asset lives (Office of Financial Management, 2007). Although there are methods to include flexibility into the assessments (Mukheibir et al., 2012), the less well understood the methods and the benefits are, the more likely they are to be ignored or undervalued. This will lead to poorer scores for small systems in cost as well as flexibility.
Ensuring consistent assessment in terms of boundaries In almost all circumstances the costs and benefits will vary depending on the system boundaries used, both in space and in time, and whose perspective is used to determine costs or benefits (Mitchell et al., 2007). Clearly defining the project objectives is critical to setting boundaries for analysis. For small systems, too narrow a focus will limit the potential benefits, particularly benefits associated with
integrated water solutions. For example, if a project objective is to increase water supply the benefits of a distributed recycled water system on the wastewater network, treatment and disposal will not be taken into account. Alternatively, if only a new development is considered in the analysis benefits from providing nearby existing customers with recycled water may be excluded.
Identifying and including benefits and externalities It is difficult to identify externalities, let alone measure and value them. While there is extensive information on how to evaluate sustainability impacts, there is little information on how to value sustainability impacts in the urban water industry (Fane, Blackburn and Chong, 2010). Although this issue is common to all options it can particularly disadvantage small systems and distributed recycled water options, as they are likely to have external benefits such as social learning and improved conditions of open space. As it is unlikely that resources will be available to evaluate every externality for every option value, judgements may be used to identify the externalities that are significant and important (Etnier, 2005). This means the choice of which stakeholders get to determine these values becomes pivotal to the outcome, and may introduce bias towards betterunderstood solutions and benefits. Often in water-planning assessments, the stakeholders are industry and sectoral representatives. Their perspectives on these value judgements are likely to be rather different from representatives of end-users, particularly local end-users.
Choosing the most appropriate metrics and values How to measure against criteria, and how to combine the scores in a fair and robust way, is the subject of much debate for MCA. However, the choice of unit for water savings and the choice of demand values used and the number of criteria selected can particularly bias against small systems. For water savings a common metric is unit costs of water supplied to water conserved. The three most common techniques to calculate this measure (annualised unit cost, present value per total volume saved or supplied, and average incremental cost) can give quite different results (Mitchell et al., 2007). Annualised unit cost has difficulty accounting for options where yield changes over time, which is the case for staged decentralised options. It also tends to favour large-scale options, as the
ultimate yield (at full demand) is often used rather than some average over time, providing a low annualised unit cost, even though there will be many years of idle capacity. Mitchell et al. (2007) recommend using average incremental cost or levelised cost. However, levelised cost still favours water supplied in earlier years, i.e. the large, lumpy investments. Some measures use a water demand value in their calculation (for example, levelised cost, net present value). Results can vary substantially depending on whether average or peak demand or even ultimate capacity is used. The variation in these numbers is greatest for large centralised investments, and the use of ultimate peak capacity can greatly favour centralised investments over smaller decentralised ones. Finally, there can be a tendency to use a large number of criteria in MCA. The more criteria that are used, the less impact each criteria is likely to have on the outcome and the more likely criteria will overlap or double count to some extent (Ferguson and Gough, 2011).
How the MCA Method Can Bias Against Small Systems The discussion above examines decisionmaking and MCA application issues that can bias results against small systems in comparison to larger centralised alternatives. There are also some inherent issues with the MCA method that can bias against small systems including: â€˘ Missing distribution of impacts; â€˘ Grouping distributed options to realise comparable scale loses the value of individual advantages.
Missing impact distribution The distribution of impacts for small systems and centralised alternatives is often different, and this difference is unaccounted for in many types of analysis. MCA assumes the distribution is the same, yet many small system alternatives rely on individuals or smaller groups for funding and ongoing management. By ignoring the distribution of impacts MCA does not allow the consideration of important differences between the options. The influence of distribution can sometimes be implicitly included through increased risk profiles or additional criteria to understand willingness to pay or acceptance. However, the introduction of extra criteria increases the chance of double counting, or diluting the importance of other relevant criteria.
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small water & wastewater systems Grouping distributed options for evaluations There are often a large number of options that will meet the project objectives. To make the assessment more manageable, options are sometimes grouped into representative categories for the initial evaluation (Office of Financial Management, 2007). Centralised options often stand alone, but less well understood decentralised options may be lumped into a generic ‘decentralised’ option. For example, in the City of Sydney strategic servicing strategy, developed by Sydney Water and government stakeholders, the ‘decentralised’ options were not specific about whether they included stormwater reuse, rainwater tanks, sewer mining or only in-building blackwater. Each of these kinds of options has different benefits and limitations, and these differ further according to the context (scale and timing) of each option. Lumping a non-specific group together means that their performance cannot be assessed in a meaningful way against key criteria. The outcome is that at a strategic level, groups of distributed/decentralised options cannot easily be costed, or any specific conclusions be made about benefits or the scale of the benefits.
Why Are These Biases Important?
How Can We Manage Them?
The ways that MCA can bias against small systems either through application or process are all important on their own. However, the factors discussed previously rarely act independently. They often combine to compound the influence of the individual biases. For example, if there is difficulty accounting for flexibility in treatment type and investment timeframe this bias is likely to be compounded by grouping options to hide the flexibility small systems provide. As another example, demand estimates and growth profiles are often overestimated for centralised systems, making them appear more financially favourable than small systems. This financial advantage is compounded by poor cost estimates for small systems due to lack of knowledge and understanding, and potentially greater safety factors due to the uncertainty that surrounds the installation and management of small systems in urban environments.
Despite the previous discussion, MCA is an effective and useful tool to consider complex options for sustainable integrated water solutions.
However, perhaps even more significantly, the way MCA can bias against small systems matches closely to the benefits of small systems, as shown in Table 1.
There are several good guidance documents for applying MCA, setting boundaries, specifying the base case, selecting criteria and effective measurement parameters, and conducting sensitivity testing (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2009; Fane, Blackburn and Chong, 2010; Ferguson and Gough, 2011; Lundie et al., 2008; Mitchell et al., 2007; Mukheibir and Mitchell, 2011). By applying good practice, many of the application biases can be minimised or managed. The consequences of changes in impact distribution can be assessed once the final options have been identified and can be part of a risk assessment process. Further biases identified in this paper can be minimised during sensitivity testing and risk assessment. By understanding how the methods and application can bias against small systems and how those biases can compound, decisions of how and what to test can become clearer.
Table 1. The benefits of small systems and how they can be negated by biases in MCA process and application. Benefit of small systems
Summary of the influence of biases against small systems
Sustainability – integrated water solutions
• Roll-up of options loses value of location-specific solutions
Sustainability – reduced extractions and discharges
Reduced risk – human health, supply and security
• Value can be minimised by too narrow a boundary focus • Value of environmental and social benefits minimised because difficult to identify and measure • Poor choice of demand metrics can undervalue small solutions in relation to larger centralised alternatives • Negated by over-cautiousness and influence by poor past experience and bad outcomes • Negated by focus on bad outcome of one system failure, rather than reduced consequences of failure and small probability of all systems failing concurrently
Reduced risk – providing robustness and reliability for centralised system
• Negated by uncertainty of approvals process, timing of investments and ongoing maintenance
Economic efficiency – flexibility in investments in time, space, technology and treatment
• Negated by lack of techniques to identify and measure the value of robustness and flexibility
Economic efficiency – smaller investment units spread over time
• Negated by optimistic demand estimates favouring large solutions
Social benefits – education, equity and greening
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• Negated by lack of techniques to identify and measure the value of robustness and flexibility
• Generic options reduce the economic and flexibility benefits • Single preferred option negates flexibility/fit-for-purpose benefits
• Risk adversity and lack of experience with small systems results in higher cost estimates • Difficult to identify and value, values are dependent on people not included in the process • The effect of changes in distribution of impacts often is translated to increased risk and reduced acceptability
small water & wastewater systems Finally, further research is currently underway which should help improve the way we value recycled water (‘The Economic Viability of Recycled Water Schemes’ – Marsden Jacob Associates), incorporate flexibility, reliability, risk and uncertainty into assessments (‘Planning for Resilient Water Systems’ – ISF) and improve the way we identify opportunities for viable small systems in an urban redevelopment (City of Sydney Decentralised Master Plan – GHD; Building Industry Capacity To Make Recycled Water Investment Decisions – ISF). However, forewarned is indeed forearmed. By identifying and understanding the way both the MCA process and its application can bias against small systems, practitioners can look for ways to minimise the influence of biases on their decisions.
Conclusion Multi-criteria analysis is a valuable tool for making sustainable decisions in the water industry. However, there are some restrictions with the method and its practical application that can bias against smaller systems in relation to larger centralised alternatives. Current research will help assess the value of the flexibility of small systems and the complementary value they can provide to centralised system robustness when used as a complement. Meanwhile, specifically acknowledging these biases and taking them into account when undertaking sensitivity testing will aid in the fair and robust consideration of smaller alternatives in relation to larger centralised options.
The Authors Rachel Watson (email: Rachel.Watson@ uts.edu.au) is a PhD student at the Institute of Sustainable Futures, UTS, Sydney. Rachel is supervised by Professor Cynthia Mitchell and Dr Simon Fane. Rachel’s PhD is titled: ‘The full range of costs and benefits of decentralised recycled water systems’ and is kindly sponsored by Sydney Water. Rachel is currently seeking sites to be involved in her study. If you are interested, or would like to know more, please contact Rachel via email. Professor Cynthia Mitchell (email: Cynthia.mitchell@ uts.edu.au) ‘fell into’ sewage treatment in the early ’90s and never really recovered from all the bad joke possibilities. She was appointed Professor of Sustainability at The University of Technology Sydney in 2009, and has
been the recipient of various national and international awards from industry and academia for her interdisciplinary work for the environment.
Dr Simon Fane (email: Simon.firstname.lastname@example.org) has been a researcher and consultant on water and wastewater issues for over 15 years. This year he finally left University and now works for the NSW Government planning for a secure and sustainable water supply for Sydney.
Mitchell C, Fane S, Willetts J, Plant R & Kazaglis
References Asafu Adjaye J (2005): Environmental Economics for Non-Economists: Techniques and Policies for Sustainable Development, 2nd edn, World Scientific Publishing Co, River Edge, NJ, US. Commonwealth of Australia (2006): Handbook of Cost-Benefit Analysis, DoF Office of Best Practice Regulation. Department for Communities and Local Government (2009): Multi-criteria Analysis: A Manual, London, UK. Etnier C, Pinkham R, Crites RW, Johnstone DS, Clark M & Macrellis A (2007): Overcoming Barriers to Evaluation and Use of Decentralised Wastewater Technologies and Management, WERF. Etnier C, Willetts J, Mitchell C, Fane S & Johnstone DS (2005): Decentralised Wastewater System Reliability Analysis Handbook. Project No. WU-HT-03-57. Prepared for the National Decentralised Water Resources Capacity Development Project, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri, US. Fane S, Blackburn N & Chong J (2010): Sustainability Assessment in Urban Water IRP, in, Integrated Resource Planning for Urban Water Resource Papers, Waterlines Report, National Water Commission, Canberra. Ferguson M & Gough D (2011): Applying Sustainability to Servicing Strategy, Water Asset Management International, 7(4), pp 8–12. Gikas P & Tchobanoglous G (2009): The Role of Satellite and Decentralized Strategies in Water Resources Management, Journal of Environmental Management, 90(1), pp 144–52. Hammond JS, Keeney RL & Raiffa H (1998): The Hidden Traps in Decision Making, Harvard Business Review, 76(5), pp 47–58. LECG Limited Asia Pacific (2011): Competition in the Australian Urban Water Sector, National Water Commission, Canberra. Lundie S, Ashbolt N, Livingston D, Lai E, Kärrman E, Blaikie J & Anderson J (2008): Sustainability Framework – PART A: Methodology for Evaluating the Overall Sustainability of Urban Water Systems, Centre for Water and Waste Technology, University of New South Wales. Mitchell C, Abeysuriya K, Willetts J & Fam D (2010): Enabling Decentralized Urban Sewage Infrastructure By Facilitating
Successful Organisations to Provide LongTerm Management. Paper presented to the Cities of the Future 2010 Conference, Boston, US. March 7–10, 2010.
A (2007): Costing for Sustainable Outcomes in Urban Water Systems – A Guidebook, no. Research Report 35, CRC for Water Quality and Treatment. Mitchell C, Retamal M, Fane S, Willetts J & Davis C (2008): Decentralised Water Systems – Creating Conducive Institutional Arrangements. Paper presented to Enviro 08, Australasia Environmental & Sustainability Conference & Exhibition, Melbourne, May 5–7, 2008. Mukheibir P & Mitchell C (2011): Planning For Resilient Water Systems – A Water Supply and Demand Investment Options Assessment Framework [prepared for the Smart Water Fund], University of Technology, Sydney. Mukheibir P, Mitchell C, McKibbin J, Ryan H, Komatsu R & Fitzgerald C (2012): Adaptive Planning for Resilient Urban Water Systems Under an Uncertain Future. Paper presented to the Ozwater’12 Conference, Sydney, 8–10 May. Nelson VI (2008): New Approaches in Decentralized Water Infrastructure. Coalition for Alternative Wastewater Treatment. NSW Government (2010): NSW Government Procurement Tendering Guidelines, NSW Treasury. Office of Financial Management (2007): NSW Government Guidelines for Economic Appraisal, New South Wales Treasury. Pinkham R, Hurley E, Watkins K, Lovins A, Magliaro J, Etnier C & Nelson V (2004): Valuing Decentralised Wastewater Technologies: A Catalogue of Benefits, Costs, and Economic Analysis Techniques. Prepared by Rocky Mountain Institute for the US Environmental Protection Agency. Productivity Commission (2011): Australia’s Urban Water Sector. Water Corporation (2011): Microeconomic Reform in Australia’s Urban Water Sector – Water Corporation Submission to the Productivity Commission. www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/ pdf_file/0017/105803/sub078.pdf. Watson R (2011): Wastewater Systems: Decentralised or Distributed? A Review of Terms Used in the Water Industry’, Water Journal, 38(8), p 5. Willets J, Fane S & Mitchell C (2007): Making Decentralised Systems Viable: A Guide To Managing Decentralised Assets and Risks, Water Science & Technology, 56(5), pp 165–73. WSAA (2010): Privately Owned Recycled Water Systems. www.wsaa.asn.au/Publications/ Documents/Privately%20Owned%20 Recycled%20Water%20Systems.pdf. Viewed October 2010.
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EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI RESCUE EFFORT IN JAPAN Lessons learnt from emergency response measures in Minamisanriku City T Kyosai Abstract In March 2011, water supply infrastructure in many cities in the coastal area of Japan were devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Minamisanriku City was one of the hardest hit, as well as being the slowest to recover with temporary water supply taking a few months to be recovered. To combat this unprecedented catastrophic event, municipalities and private companies collaborated to recover the city’s necessary basic infrastructure. As private water operators in Minamisanriku City, this paper highlights the rescue efforts contributed by Veolia Water Japan, its subsidiaries, Veolia Headquarters and other Veolia entities worldwide (Veolia Water).
Minamisanriku, a coastal city with a population before the catastrophe of approximately 17,666 (February 2011), was among the areas most devastated by the tsunami. Located only 80km west of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake, the city was the first to be hit. As Figure 1 shows, Minamisanriku is located 390km north of Tokyo, and is 150km away from the Fukushima nuclear power plants.
Table 1. Summary of the city’s five DWTPs. Maximum Capacity (m3/day)
Location (Impact of Tsunami)
Near the sea (inundated)
Near the sea (inundated)
High on a hill (minor damage)
Near the sea (inundated)
High on a hill (minor damage)
Surrounded by mountains and the Pacific Ocean, with fishery as the main industry, the city’s population is concentrated in the flat area near Introduction the sea, which was entirely inundated On 11 March 2011, Japan was hit by by the tsunami. On 11 March, waves a major earthquake of the magnitude measuring 16m or higher swept away 9.0, and aftershocks, triggering a huge almost everything in the city, including tsunami. These events destroyed its water infrastructure. Only the tallest many cities in the area of Tohoku in buildings remained and roughly half the north-eastern Japan as well as heavily population was unaccounted for during damaging the nuclear power plants the days following the disaster. Only 9,700 in the Fukushima prefecture. people were confirmed alive and evacuated in the first week. Today, a year and six months on (as of 30 September, 2012), about 842 people are still identified as Minamisanriku missing or feared dead. Great East
Japan Earthquake’s Epicentre
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants Tokyo Figure 1. Location of Minamisanriku City
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This paper provides a background to the city’s water supply system, the damages to the water infrastructure and outlines Veolia Water’s rescue efforts. It also discusses the challenges that were encountered in deploying
emergency units, and reflects on lessons learnt for future emergency strategies.
Minamisanriku’s Water Supply System Prior to the earthquake, the city’s water bureau supplied an average of 6,092m3/day to 17,071 people in 5,077 households, which was about 95% of the city’s total population (average of the Japanese fiscal year 2009. Source: Minamisanriku’s Water Quality Analysis Plan, 2011). Table 1 summarises the basic information of the five Drinking Water Treatment Plants (DWTPs) of the city. About 98% of the water supply came from the three largest DWTPs, which used groundwater as their raw water source. Due to the high quality of the groundwater, they did not require additional treatment, other than adding sodium hypochlorite as disinfectant. Since April 2009, the city had outsourced part of its water management to two Veolia Water subsidiaries, whch were responsible for operating drinking water facilities, customer services and network leakage and detection. In this role, Veolia Water offered various support systems to the city immediately after the catastrophe.
Figure 3. Sukezukuri DWTP after the tsunami.
Destruction of the Water Supply System Legends Water distribution network Area inundated by tsunami Facility inundated by tsunami Facility not damaged by tsunami
Figure 2. Aerial photo of the Shizugawa area and water infrastructure.
The city’s water infrastructure system suffered extreme damage from the tsunami. Three DWTPs, providing about 98% of the city’s total production volume, were completely destroyed. A large portion of water distribution pipelines were either destroyed or disappeared, and the quality of the groundwater resources deteriorated to such a level that more sophisticated and expensive treatment was required. Figure 2 is a Google Earth aerial photo of the Shizugawa area, previously the most populated area in the city, showing the areas of tsunami inundation and the locations of important water infrastructure. Due to the high elevation of the distribution reservoirs, they were saved from the tsunami. However, almost all the water distribution network and the DWTPs were situated in areas that were inundated by the tsunami.
Destruction of the DWTPs Figure 4. Isatomae DWTP after the tsunami. Table 2. Raw water quality analysis results (selected parameters one month after tsunami). Sukezukuri DWTP raw water (11 April sample)
Japanese drinking water standard
Less than 0.5 degrees
Less than 5
Less than 0.1 degrees
Standard bacteria (plate count)
Less than 100
Anaerobic spore-forming bacteria
Less than 200
Less than 0.005 mg/L
Less than 0.05
Chloride ion (Cl-)
Less than 200
Less than 300
Less than 500
Note: (1) Japanese water quality standard does not use NTU.
Less than 2
Figure 3 shows Sukezukuri, the city’s biggest DWTP representing about 58% of total water production capacity, immediately after the tsunami. Only the concrete structure on top of the groundwater well remained. Everything else disappeared, including all the equipment inside. Figure 4 shows the remainder of Isatomae DWTP, the second biggest DWTP representing about 27% of the city’s total water production capacity. Similar to the Sukezukuri DWTP, only the concrete structure remained after the tsunami.
Damages to the Distribution Network As a country with frequent seismic events, Japan’s water industry has for some time been promoting earthquake-resilient pipes such as earthquake-resistance ductile iron pipes with earthquake-proof joints.
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operations dramatically after the earthquake. Table 2 shows the partial results of the water quality analysis of a sample taken on 11 April at Sukezukuri DWTP.
The chloride ion (Cl-) concentration level greatly exceeded the level specified by the Japanese national drinking water standard of 200mg/L. Similar results were also found from samples taken at other shallow wells in the city, such as at Isatomae DWTP.
Figure 5. A road destroyed by the tsunami. However, the strength of the tsunami was much greater than these pipes could resist. Before the earthquake, the total length of the water distribution network in the city was about 230 kilometres. Approximately 164km remained after the earthquake and tsunami devastated the city. Near the coastline, the water distribution network was completely destroyed and much of it entirely
disappeared. The tsunami was so powerful that it moved roads under which many of the water supply pipes were buried. Figure 5 shows an example of the destruction of a road by the tsunami.
Deterioration of Raw Water Quality The water quality at the wells relied on by the three largest DWTPs deteriorated
Table 3. Summary of the water supply recovery work (summarised from the city’s press announcements). 2011
Events related to water supply On 11 March, the Great East Japan Earthquake hits the city and disrupts the water supply.
Tons of bottled water arrive as emergency relief supplies. Water supply mainly relies on transported water from the neighbouring city (about one hour’s drive each way) by water carrier trucks by the national self-defence force and cities around the nation. Veolia Water sets up two Aquaforce 5000 units (temporary treatment plants) and provides about 80m³/day of non-potable water. The city starts sending non-potable water to limited areas (water with high chloride ion concentration exceeding drinking water standards).
The city decides to drill new wells with high raw water quality and starts building temporary pipelines to connect with existing pump stations. Veolia Water adds a microfiltration membrane treatment process to one Aquaforce 5000 unit and starts providing about 40m³/day of potable water. Local Japanese company constructs and starts operating a small membrane facility, bringing the water recovery rate to about 7%.
Out of 2,100 households that need water, about 1,600 households (about 75% of total) receive non-potable water with high chloride ion concentration. Veolia Water decides to deploy desalination units at Isatomae DWTP to remove chloride ion from the treated water.
With the new wells and temporary pipelines, the city starts supplying potable water to Shizugawa and Iriya areas (about one-third of the city’s population).
With the improvement of the raw water quality, the new wells, and the desalination units, potable water goes to about 99% of the population.
Typhoon destroys the temporary pipelines causing water disruption to about 340 households.
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As it was suspected the deterioration of water quality was caused by the intrusion of tsunami water (seawater) into the ground, the groundwater was continuously pumped out to remediate it. However, water quality improvement was slow, and the chloride ion concentration even increased after rainfall. It was not until September, five months after the tsunami, that the water quality of the wells improved and stabilised at treatable levels.
Water Supply Rescue Effort Shortly after the earthquake, tons of bottled water arrived in the city as emergency relief supplies from all over Japan and abroad. Neighbouring cities helped transport water by water carrier trucks. However, there was a clear shortage of water available for citizens. The water supply rescue effort was a collaborative effort by the city, other Japanese cities, the national government and private companies. Besides Veolia Water, a number of local companies also provided support. Table 3 summarises the main activities concerning water infrastructure recovery. To coordinate everyone’s rescue efforts, the water supply recovery team was set up and meetings were held regularly. As shown in Table 3, 99% recovery of the water supply was not achieved until early August 2011. Of all the cities devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake, the water supply of Minamisanriku City was among the slowest to recover. This was because the raw water quality of the wells that the city almost entirely relied on did not improve quickly, while in other cities groundwater quality improved much faster or they had alternative sources of water. Another factor that made the recovery difficult was that the office of the water bureau was swept away by the tsunami. While all the staff and contractors survived the devastation, many lost family members and about 70% of all staff and contractors lost their homes. Electricity and telephones stopped working for a number of days after the earthquake and
operations this left staff to rely solely on face-to-face communication. It took four days until the safety of every staff member and contractor was confirmed.
homes. People started moving from the group evacuation centres to more private individual temporary houses where they could cook, wash clothes and take showers. Accordingly, the volume of water consumption increased. The city needed a stable water supply system to distribute water to these houses.
Aquaforce 5000 Units Deployment In early April, as the city’s water supply relied mostly on emergency bottled water and water transported from the next city, Veolia Environment Foundation provided two temporary water treatment plants. The Aquaforce 5000 is a temporary treatment system that consists of coagulation, settlement, filtration and disinfection steps, and is specifically designed for emergency situations (see Figure 8 for the process diagram). Each Aquaforce 5000 treated about 5m3/hour of water. One Aquaforce 5000 unit was constructed in the central part of the city and the other in the northern part. Both units used water from small rivers as a source. Fuel generators were used to run the units, as electricity was not available when Aquaforce 5000 was first deployed. About 20 volunteers were sent from Veolia Water and its subsidiaries to set up and operate the units. Figure 6 shows the constructed Aquaforce 5000 unit in the northern part of the city.
Figure 6. Deployed Aquaforce 5000 unit. Both units started providing nonpotable water to residents on 13 April, 2011. In line with Japanese regulation, the produced water had to be tested before it was considered drinkable. It took seven days before the water quality analysis was complete. During this time, many people still came to fill the tanks in their small trucks with non-potable water. Figure 7 shows people distributing water from tanks loaded on their trucks. While the test results for the water quality analysis were being conducted, a further analysis showed the possibility of pathogenic contamination (anaerobic spore-forming bacteria) in the raw water being fed to the Aquaforce 5000 units. Anaerobic spore-forming bacteria is used in Japan to indicate the possibility of Cryptosporidium contamination. It was
Figure 7. Emergency water supply being distributed by truck. suspected that, due to the poor sanitation situtation, domestic wastewater was being discarded directly into the river, thus having a detrimental effect on the water quality. According to Japanese drinking water standards, turbidity generally has to be two degrees or lower. However, once the possibility for pathogenic contamination with Cryptosporidium is suspected, the turbidity standard becomes much stricter and decreases to 0.1 degrees or lower. Unfortunately, the Aquaforce 5000 units that were deployed in the city were not designed to produce water with such a low turbidity. By fine-tuning the treatment, the treated water from Aquaforce 5000 reached about 0.15 degrees, but it was difficult to consistently meet the target of 0.1 degree. After several more trials, the team decided to add microfiltration membranes, provided by Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, to the Aquaforce 5000 unit to consistently produce safe drinking water. Figure 8 shows the new process of the Aquaforce unit with the microfiltration membrane. From May, with this additional step, the system was able to produce water with turbidity of less than 0.01 degree.
Desalination Unit Installation In May, construction began on temporary housing for those who had lost their
In August 2011, two mobile seawater desalination units with a combined capacity of 1,300m³/day were installed to combat the salt concentration of the groundwater and enable water distribution to a wider population.
One Year and Six Months After the Catastrophe As the situation in the city improved, Aquaforce units ended their operations in August 2011, five months after the tsunami hit. Desalination units were removed from the city in July 2012, 17 months after the tsunami. With the improvement of the raw water quality of the shallow wells and with temporary pipings, the Minamisanriku residents currently have a constant water supply. However, the measures that have been put in place are not long-term solutions. Much of the equipment and pipelines that have been built after the earthquake are still temporary due to the immediate need to supply water to citizens as quickly as possible. More importantly, the city’s reconstruction plan has not yet been developed. Approximately 60% of Minamisanriku’s buildings were destroyed by the tsunami and the population has decreased to about 15,000 people with close to 5,000 people still living in temporary housing. One of the main reasons for the delay in developing the city’s reconstruction plan is due to the lack of safe locations for rebuilding infrastructure. As the city is surrounded by mountains and the
River water Disinfection
Raw water tank
Treated water tank
Water distribution by buckets and trucks
Figure 8. Aquaforce 5000 unit’s process and the addition of microﬁltration.
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operations recovery work, staff were required to respond to inquiries from concerned citizens. It is, therefore, very important to form agreements with neighbouring cities and companies to effectively handle the workload presented in emergency situations. Such agreements should be made prior to the occurrence of disasters and should be accompanied by regular audits of whether these cooperation commitments can be met in times of need. 4. Securing cars and heavy machinery
Figure 9. Mobile desalination unit. sea, there is not much available land for reconstruction besides the flat area near the coastline, which was inundated by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The reconstruction plan for water infrastructure cannot be developed while the overall master plan for the city’s reconstruction is still being decided.
Lessons Learnt Since the Great East Japan Earthquake hit Japan last year, many water agencies are now reviewing their emergency response manuals. Besides earthquakes, there have been typhoons, floodings and electricity shortages due to the stoppages of almost all the nuclear power plants around Japan caused by strong anti-nuclear sentiments among Japanese people.
Many cars were swept away by the tsunami and it was difficult to conduct work without them. The importance of heavy machinery to move debris from the street and conduct repair works is also evident in emergency situations. Again, the availability of heavy machinery on short-term notice should be considered prior to the event of an emergency. 5. Securing generators and fuels As the electricity was out for more than one month after the earthquake, most of the recovery work relied on fuel-powered generators. Also, due to weather conditions, including snow in March and April, fuel for heaters was important in the city. 6. Securing communication tools
Through the experience of the rescue effort in Minamisanriku, nine suggestions for consideration have been made for the preparation for future emergencies:
With telephone lines destroyed by the tsunami, both mobile phones and landlines were not functioning. The only communication tool that worked was a satellite phone.
1. Strong leadership
7. Securing emergency water tanks
The strong leadership of the water bureau’s general manager was indispensable. Many decisions had to be made quickly under extraordinary circumstances with a lack of information. It was often difficult to identify what was right and wrong, and the ability to make decisions under these stressful conditions and lead people through these decisions was invaluable.
As the water distribution network was destroyed, the distribution of water had to rely on the manual transportation of water to people. However, not many people had the necessary tanks to carry water. Water carrier trucks, water storage tanks and emergency drinking bags were necessary.
2. Preparation of an emergency office
All the computers and stored data were swept away. This is one of the reasons that made the recovery process difficult and slow. It is, therefore, important to store data and have data backups in remote servers.
In Minamisanriku, the office of the water bureau was swept away by the earthquake and tsunami. Computers, documents and historical data were completely destroyed. A temporary prefabricated container house was used as the emergency office as a mutual coordination point. 3. Securing staff Fortunately, all staff survived the catastrophe, but the workload during this time was proportionately larger than ordinary operations. Besides the
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8. Resilient IT system (data storage and management)
9. Good partners It is important to have emergency support agreements with neighbouring cities and companies with financial and technical strengths to assist in times of need. These relationships should be developed and nurtured on an ongoing basis in order to receive the best help in times of need.
The Veolia Foundation In future, in the unfortunate event of another natural disaster, Veolia Water has an in-house body, the Veolia Foundation, which has financial and human resources, as well as an international team of volunteers coordinated by a dedicated central team (the VeoliaForce) that are ready to be deployed and have readilyavailable equipment. While the magnitude of the Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting tsunami meant that deploying these units was difficult, the Veolia Foundation and its people can help with displaced people and the delivery of emergency food and water, as has been demonstrated in Sichuan, China and Haiti, for example.
Acknowledgements I would like to thank all those in the Veolia Environment and Veolia Water group who supported this project, including Nishihara Environment, Fuji Subsurface Information and Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies. In particular, I would like to express sincere gratitude to the residents of Minamisanriku; even in the midst of their own personal hardships, they always made sure we had adequate accommodation and food. We are deeply grateful for their warmth, kindness and generosity.
Toshio Kyosai (email: toshio.kyosai@ veoliawater.co.jp) received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Waseda University in Japan, and his master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from University of California at Berkeley. He joined CH2M HILL in 2001 and worked on various water resources projects in California. In 2006, he returned to Japan and joined Veolia Water Japan. He is registered as a professional engineer both in the USA and Japan.
References Minamisanriku City (2011): 2011 Minamisanriku City Water Quality Analysis Plan (in Japanese), Minamisanriku City, Japan. Minamisanriku City (2011): Mayor interviews (in Japanese), Minamisanriku City, Japan. Minamisanriku City official website, as of 19 July 2012 (in Japanese). www.town.minamisanriku. miyagi.jp/
AERATION COST SAVINGS USING DYNAMIC PRESSURE SETPOINT CONTROL A case study of a new control concept at Glenfield WRP A Kapocius Abstract Aeration is the largest energy-consuming process in wastewater treatment. It is accountable for approximately 40% of total electricity usage in a typical activated sludge plant. Traditional aeration controls maintain aeration tank dissolved oxygen (DO) levels through a fixed main header pressure while adjusting airflow to subheaders with throttling valves. As air setpoint pressure is manually altered higher energy costs are faced, especially during low or dilute inflows. Dynamic air pressure setpoint control (DPC), together with optimised blower scheduling and valve characterisation, was introduced to optimise energy consumption.
In 2011, the new control concept was implemented at eight secondary and tertiary wastewater treatment plants in Sydney Water. The implementation included customisation for each plant and training of staff. A power saving of 3% for each kPa reduction in operating aeration air pressure was predicted based on fan affinity equations. The new control strategy at these plants achieved a projected full year saving of $230,000 in electricity cost together with a number of spinoff benefits. A case study of implementing the new control concept at Glenfield WRP is presented in this paper. The case study also introduces a useful indicator for assessing and benchmarking aeration efficiency of wastewater treatment plants.
Figure 1. DPC setup pop-up.
Figure 2. Typical operator DPC feedback pop-up.
demand. Valve characterisation was implemented to tighten up control loops.
Dynamic Pressure Setpoint Control In essence, DPC is a control strategy that attempts to maintain at least one aeration subheader air throttling valve effectively fully open. As the most open valve starts to throttle, the pressure setpoint is decremented. If the aeration tank DO setpoint cannot be maintained with the most open valve fully open, the main header pressure setpoint is automatically incremented. The pressure balance equation representing a typical aeration treatment process is as follows:
P =P +P
In 2009, Sydney Water commissioned an energy benchmarking investigation which reported that by improving aeration efficiency by 10%, $350k could be realised in savings. In the same year a program was developed to introduce demand-based or dynamic pressure control to optimise the efficiency of the aeration system.
where P is the pressure produced by the B blowers; P is the pressure lost across PF the piping and fittings; P is pressure lost CV across the throttling air control valves; P D is the pressure lost across the diffusers; P is the aerated water head the air has H to push through. DPC minimises P and CV thereby minimises P .
To be suitable for DPC, a treatment plant should have a common aeration manifold supplied by one or more blowers with an air distribution system utilising throttling valves to maintain desired DO levels. In addition to DPC, automatic blower scheduling optimisation was implemented to minimise the number of online blowers at any one time required to meet
+P +P D
The pressure setpoint is adjusted by means of a modified deadband control strategy. The first step is to identify which valves are the most critical to DO control within an aeration tank system. The valve control loop outputs (in percentage open), which actuate these valves, are then used in determining whether the pressure setpoint is to increment or decrement. Figures 1 and 2 show typical DPC operator setup interfaces. In summary the operators are provided with an interface that allows the following adjustments: 1. Selection
or deselection of any DO control loop in the strategy;
of the current pressure setpoint, which also allows for operator overwriting;
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operations Table 1: Realised or predicted power savings. kWh/day saving
Plant Cronulla Hornsby Heights Rouse Hill (IDAL Process) West Hornsby Shellharbour Glenfield Warriewood Liverpool St Marys TOTALS
(In excess of) 400 100 1200 800 600 700 600 800 2000 7200
time between increments or decrements of the pressure setpoint;
of the pressure setpoint increment and, separately, size of the decrement step;
position limit above which a control loop will be counted as requiring an increment in pressure setpoint;
position limit below which a control loop will be counted as requiring a decrement in pressure setpoint;
number of control loops required to be calling for an increment before the wait timer is started (and, separately, an indicator for the number of loops instantaneously meeting this criteria);
number of control loops required to be calling for a decrement before the wait timer is started (and, separately, the number of loops instantaneously meeting this criteria);
and maximum pressure limits which restrict the dynamic pressure setpoint;
All operator set parameters have low and high limitations for safety.
Figure 3. Typical operator blower duty/duty assist setup pop-up.
Optimal Blower Scheduling The first step in blower optimal scheduling is to record output capacity in terms of flow vs blower speed and, if available, flow versus kW. Typical blower curves are outlined in Figure 4. It can be seen that Blower 6201 is more efficient than 6203 and, as such, should be scheduled to run in preference to 6203. Figure 3 displays an example of a typical blower scheduling pop-up. The pop-up is also used for cases where two different size blowers are installed. Blower duty references are selected via a duty table. Start speeds are also provided for operator adjustment. In summary, the operators are provided with a table which allows the following adjustments: 1. Delay
time before an assist blower cuts in or, alternatively, a larger blower is brought on-line and the currently operating smaller blower stops;
time before an assist blower cuts out or, alternatively, a larger blower is switched off and a smaller blower starts;
pressure deviation from setpoint before above cut-in timer starts;
pressure deviation before the above delay timer starts;
may also be an option to transfer to flow mode should a pressure transmitter failure be detected. DPC is disabled should this occur.
Realised and Predicted Savings Table 1 outlines the power savings that have been realised or are predicted from DPC implementation together with blower scheduling optimisation and valve characterisation.
Other Findings In the course of this project the following issues were encountered and addressed: â€˘ Pneumatically modulated aeration control valves were found to have inappropriate characterising cams in their positioners for the valve styles; â€˘ Electrically actuated valves were not characterised at all, in any modulating application. Characterisation curves were determined using flow versus opening position and implemented in the SCADA; â€˘ Pneumatic digital positioners were found to perform best as, unlike electric actuators, they are not limited in the
Figure 4. Blower curves.
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operations number of movements per hour. Masking of DO sensor air scouring for cleaning purposes was generally found to be inadequate. Without masking control stability can be affected; • DO loop tuning generally required high gain, very little integral action and no derivative action; • In a number of instances minimimum and maximum blower speed limits were found to be inappropriately set. Greater operating range allowed for fewer starts of the assist blower; • Modulating valves were required to be added to ancilliary fixed flow users of blower air such as grit systems. Manually set-andforget valve positions are inadequate in situations where pressure constantly varies; • Numerous instances of mismatches between VSD signal transducer settings were found;
Table 2. Glenfield Water Recycling Plant raw data. The colour code for the table is shown at bottom. DATE
L Sewage Inflow.day
L Sewage Inflow.day
• Fallback control strategies based on diurnal air flow requirements were retained and are invoked when a significant number of DO elements are faulty.
A number of spin-off benefits were quickly realised after implementation.
• Perennial foaming problems caused by wide swings in aeration levels in any 24-hour period all but disappeared at every site;
Green: Pre DPC data points used to calculate savings Yellow: Post DPC implementation data points used to calculate savings No highlight colour indicates irrelevant data (Blower other than No. 1 operating, data affected by other factors
• With no foam, water sprays not such as rain events) only on the aeration tanks but • Allowing blowers to operate up to also in the clarifiers could be their mechanical limits also provided for turned off. This is a substantial saving greater turndown as well as in reclaimed effluent chlorination, higher efficiency. pumping power and general internal plant recirculating water costs; • With better DO control, operators are able to lower the DO setpoints to achieve licence ammonia levels. This provides additional energy savings; • A number of previously unnoticed maintenance problems (DO air scouring masking, grit air control, VSD transducer mis-matches) were solved as part of the implementation;
Glenfield Water Recycling Plant – A Case Study
DPC was implemented at Glenfield Water Recycling Plant (WRP) in May 2011. It was the first implementation site and was the focus of scrutiny into the viability of rolling out the strategy in other appropriate plants. Glenfield WRP is a secondary plant, treating an average daily dry weather flow (ADWF) of 30 to 40 million litres.
The aeration process consists of 12 aeration tanks, each with an anoxic zone and two aeration zones. A month of relevant aeration system data before and after DPC implementation was downloaded from the SCADA system and analysed (Table 1). All data affected by wet weather events was excluded in the analysis, leaving approximately 15 days before DPC implementation and 16 days post-implementation. Also, due to power transducer discrepacies between blowers, only data from the same operating blower was used.
DECEMBER 2012 81
Tank DO – 1.6mg SP
Valves characterised and
Pre DPC and valve characterisation
Green Trace: Tank 1 aeration air control valve position (%) Black Trace: Tank 2 aeration air control valve position (%) Red Trace: Tank 1 dissolved oxygen level (mg/L) Blue Trace: Tank 2 dissolved oxygen trace (mg/L) Brown Trace: Aeration air pressure (kPa)
Post DPC and tuning
DPC partly enabled
Figure 5. Two aeration valve positions and two resultant DO trends at Glenfield WRP.
Interpretation of Glenfield WRP’s Aeration Data (Table 3) The fact that average post-DPC implementation power usage went up instead of down meant that reasons had to be found as to the causes. The average pressure setpoint decreased by 3kPa after DPC implementation, which theoretically should give a 9% energy improvement. On analysing the air production as measured by a single mass flow meter, it was clear the process had increased demand of 17.6% more post-DPC implementation. On comparing unit energy per unit air volume produced for pre- and post-implementation periods, there was an 18.3% improvement in air production efficiency.
It is likely much of this efficiency gain came from the centrifugal blower operating with greater polytropic efficiency as it neared optimum design production levels due to greater output. Certainly there were gains made due to better control of air pressure and flow. Figure 5 demonstrates the DO control improvements due to optimum pressure control and valve characterisation.
changed. Reviewing the laboratory results for Glenfield revealed that chemical oxygen demand (COD) had substantially risen by 26.6% between the two periods.
Investigating further as to why the power consumption went up instead of down, unit power per unit sewage flow was analysed. Surprisingly, this revealed that more power was being used to treat each litre of sewage by an average of 8.4%.
In summary, the explanation of a 19% increase in the aeration efficiency of treating COD was due to:
As sewage flow decreased while air requirements rose, this indicated that the sewage characteristics between the preand post-DPC implementation must have
Table 3. Summary of key aeration efficiency parameters for Glenfield WRP. Data kW.day
Pre DPC (Daily average)
Post DPC (Daily average)
3.4 x 10-6
2.77 x 10-6
ML Sewage Inflow.day
kW.day/ML Sewage Inflow.day
15.1 x 10-4
13.1 x 10-4
NkL Air.day kW.day/NkL Air.day
kW.day/NkL Air.day/ML Sewage Inflow.day Average mg/L COD kg COD.day kW.day/kg COD.day
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On calculating the unit power per unit mass of COD for both periods a substantial saving in energy of 19% was found.
• Lower power requirements due to lower output pressure according to the fan affinity equations (approximately 9%); • The blower’s operating point moving into increased polytropic efficiency according to the blower curves; • Greatly improved DO control to the aeration tanks due to optimum operating pressure and valve characterisation.
Conclusion The implementation of DPC together with optimal blower scheduling and valve characterisation has resulted in substantial energy savings. A detailed analysis of the power, air production figures, sewage flow, sewage characteristics, and even where on the blower efficiency curves the blower is operating, is necessary to calculate the relative savings.
operations Acknowledgements The Author wishes to thank all the plant teams that assisted in providing plant-specific information which was incorporated in strategy customisation. The Author also acknowledges the input of highly professional programmers: Mile Valceski and Domenic Liberatore of Sydney Water; and Kieran Pinni, Steve Cornale and Ron Young of Schneider Electric. The programmers built confidence among the plant teams; allowing unhindered access to optimising the aeration processes.
Figure 6. Comparison between Liverpool and Glenfield WRPs utilising energy per unit weight COD. Following the experience of determining the efficiency gains of implementing DPC at Glenfield, it was found that Equation 1 provides the best guide to how efficiently an aeration system is operating: kW.day/CODkg.day ……………… Equation 1 This equation has now been used to compare all of Sydney Water’s activated sludge plants that utilise aeration blowers. Figure 6 shows the results of the equation applied to Liverpool vand Glenfield.
In power usage reports Liverpool is consistently more efficient than Glenfield. Both plants use centrifugal blowers. These plants in turn are more efficient than plants that use positive displacement blowers. The trended results of Equation 1 have been found to give consistent results. Plants with positive displacement blowers are less efficient than plants with centrifugal blowers as an example. Plants with the same efficiency blowers such as in Figure 6 can be directly compared for causes.
National Water National Education Water Conference Skills Conference National Water Efficiency Conference 5-7 March, Brighton Beach, Sydney Register now at: www.awa.asn.au/eecd
Al Kapocius (email: aqk@ sydneywater.com.au) has nearly 30 years’ experience as a Chemical Engineer specialising in process design and control. His current role as Senior Specialist – Process Control, Sydney Water Corporation (SWC) is to identify and project manage energy efficiency improvement opportunities. Al previously managed the SCADA group and prior to joining SWC in 2007 he worked for various companies including BHP, CSR, ABB, Yokogawa, Invensys and Alstom.
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Dinner Sponsor DECEMBER 2012 83
Creating a city of the future
Demonstrating the contribution a water utility can make F Pamminger Need for change Melbourne has just experienced a 13-year climatic sequence where the city’s water demand could not be met without imposing restrictions. Nitrogen discharging into Port Phillip Bay has had to be reduced by 1,000 tonnes per year, based on mid-1990 levels, and increasing greenhouse gas in the atmosphere could potentially reduce future catchment yield by as much as 35%. We have constraints, yet are still required to cater for a growing national population, which the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates will reach 33.6m, 44.7m, or 62.2m by 2010 (ABS, 2008), depending on three possible growth scenarios. It is the first time in history that half of the world’s population is living in cities, and this is forecast to increase to 80% by 2050 (UNEP, 2012). The challenge of servicing more people in a constrained environment is not unique to Australia or Melbourne alone, but is replicated in many cities around the world. Recognising that the major infrastructure designed and built today is actually shaping our cities of the future, it is important to consider how they contribute to addressing the needs of the future. Specifically considering that existing population numbers have reached the environmental limits in terms of water supply, greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient discharges in many cities, and population numbers could still increase by the order of 1.5- to three-fold, we need to design all of our infrastructure to be in the order of 33% to 67% more efficient with regard to water use, greenhouse gas emission, and the nutrients discharged. This article has been specifically written to translate the concept of a ‘city of the future’ from an abstract concept into one where water utilities can clearly see the change that is required, and what they have to do.
Examples of What Can be Done Faced with these environmental constraints and increasing population, Yarra Valley Water investigated what it would have to do to provide its services within these constraints, and accordingly deliver its services in a more environmentally sustainable way. It did this by first identifying that it had four
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Figure 1. Kalkallo is an example of how a greenfield site can be serviced using 90% less reticulated water, discharge 45% less stormwater, discharge 25% less nutrients and use 75% less energy. different infrastructure challenges. These included: how it serviced greenfield sites, which make up 70% of development; how it serviced infill development, which make up the remaining 30% of development but could potentially increase up to 50% over time; how it serviced backlog areas, where it has about 17,000 properties that need to have their existing septic tank systems replaced; and ‘the elephant in the room’ – what to do with its existing developed areas. Examples demonstrating how each of these challenges were addressed follow:
Greenfield sites: Kalkallo Yarra Valley Water will need to provide water and sewerage services to about 90,000 new homes in the northern growth corridor of Melbourne, spread over an area of about 16,300ha, within the next 30 years. This is located approximately 28km north of the Melbourne CBD. Hydraulically, this region is remote from both Melbourne’s existing water source and major sewage treatment plants. Both require four pump lifts to deliver the water and equally remove the sewage, which translated into energy requirements equates to 1,460 KWhr/ML, relatively high when compared to the average of Melbourne, which is in the order of 1,000 KWhr/ML. Recognising that this large growth corridor represented a unique opportunity to investigate whether a utility could
provide its services in a more sustainable way, Yarra Valley Water engaged CSIRO and RMIT Centre for Design to help with the investigation. A range of alternative servicing options was considered, including a fully self-sufficient system on each property, a decentralised system with a local treatment plant, and a number of hybrids, with each compared to extending the existing centralised system. This early work in 2005 was formative in proving that it was theoretically possible to achieve improved environmental outcomes if an alternative servicing arrangement was chosen, rather than continuing with traditional method of just extending the existing infrastructure (Grant et al., 2006). So accordingly, when a 730ha land package came up for development in Kalkallo (Figure 1), the business embarked on a more detailed investigation. Key to that was working together with Hume City Council and Melbourne Water, the two key stakeholders in developing urban water services in the region. GHD was then engaged to undertake a feasibility study of this specific region. Options analysed included adding a 3.5KL or 10KL rainwater on each property, 40KL rainwater tanks shared among four joining properties, stormwater harvesting at the local and suburb scale, and conveying collected rainwater to Yan Yean Reservoir for subsequent treatment to drinking water standard some 21km away.
After considering the sustainability of each option, the relative risk, the community cost, and sensitivity of critical assumptions to alternative scenarios, collecting stormwater from a 160ha portion of the total development and treating it locally to potable standard came up most favourable (Wilson, 2010). A challenge with this project, and common to most projects aspiring to deliver better community outcomes, is that one entity may have to spend more than they would normally have had to, for others to realise these community benefits. In this case, the project only progressed because the Federal Government’s National Urban Water and Desalination Plan – Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Projects Fund paid this difference. The scheme is presently being constructed at a cost of $21.3m and will be completed by June 2013. It will involve stormwater being harvested from the local urban catchment area via the conventional drainage system. Through the processes of natural filtration and bio-remediation, the wetlands will reduce nutrient and suspended sediment loads. Stormwater will flow by gravity from the wetlands into a 5m deep, 65ML raw water storage. Water balance modelling using the computerised hydraulic modelling software, InfoWorks, showed that the storage size will enable the potable water treatment plant to operate with an average reliability of 90%. Water will then be pumped to a nearby 1ML/ day water treatment plant designed to produce drinking standard water. It includes powdered activated carbon (PAC) dosing and coagulation, dissolved air filtration flotation (DAFF), ultra filtration (UF), advanced oxidation, granulated activated carbon (GAC), and chlorination.
service area that accordingly will need to be serviced in the future. Doncaster Hill is one of the first infill sites to be developed. The proposed Doncaster Hill Development Precinct is located approximately 20km east of the Melbourne CBD and is spread over an area of 58ha. Currently, the Doncaster Hill area is dominated by Doncaster Shopping Centre and has several other low-rise offices and retail outlets. The planned redevelopment of the region will see a number of high-rise apartment buildings constructed, increasing densification and adding up to 4,000 new dwellings.
The desire for a more sustainable
Water had to fund an option that was more expensive to them than a traditional service – in this instance the business selected to fund the additional works. This was possible because the alternative option still returned a positive Net Present Value (NPV) (Mathieson, 2011). Sewer mining was finally selected as the preferred servicing strategy, as it provides a source of water that is not dependent on rainfall. A centralised sewer mining facility will treat sewage from a large sewer to a Class A recycled water standard and then supply it to developments via a third pipe reticulation system. Based on estimated demand and growth projections, the recycled water treatment plant will have a capacity of 35KL/day. Sewage will be sourced from the 825mm sewer from the Koonung Creek main sewer located about 1km away. A membrane bioreactor (MBR), ultra filtration (UF), ultraviolet (UV) and chlorination are being used to treat the wastewater.
urban water solution was shared by Manningham City Council, Melbourne Water and Yarra Valley Water, and was consolidated in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Having set the conceptual objectives the collective group engaged MWH and Bonacci to analyse all potential urban water solutions to determine which was the most sustainable for this location. A number of alternative servicing strategies were considered, including the use of rainwater tanks, stormwater capture and re-use, and the supply of Class A recycled water from treated sewage (Coombes et al., 2010). The selection of the recommended option was assessed against the sustainability objectives established in the MoU.
Backlog areas: Kinglake
Output from the options analysis was then used by Yarra Valley Water to develop a business case. The challenge with this project was that Yarra Valley
Yarra Valley Water has about 17,000 properties that currently have failing septic systems that require upgrading. Many of these are located in peri-urban
The Doncaster Hill project will demonstrate how a new development at in infill site can be constructed to reduce the net volume of imported water by up to 64%, decrease the urban stormwater runoff into the local stream by 42%, discharge 53% less wastewater, and use 54% less energy than desalination.
The Kalkallo project will demonstrate how a new development can be constructed in a greenfield site to reduce the net volume of imported water by up to 90%, decrease the urban runoff and nutrient discharged into the local stream by 45% and 25% respectively above existing best practice, use 75% less energy than desalination, and can recover the upfront capital and ongoing operational costs within a 25-year period.
In-fill sites: Doncaster Hill Melbourne has designated a number of high-density infill sites across the city. The intent is to encourage infill development at transport hubs and commercial centres. Thirty-three high-density infill sites have been identified within Yarra Valley Water’s
Figure 2. Doncaster Hill is an example of how an infill site can be serviced using 64% less reticulated water, discharge 42% less stormwater, discharge 53% less wastewater and use 54% less energy.
DECEMBER 2012 85
sustainability areas that do not have a sewerage outlet nearby, requiring a localised or decentralised solution. Traditionally, the solution would have been to build a local sewage treatment plant and install a gravity sewer. At a forecast cost of $315m, this is a large expenditure making searching for cost savings an important imperative. Translated across the state of Victoria, which is estimated to have in the order of 250,000 septic systems, and assuming they had a similar failure rate as Yarra Valley Water, it is estimated that there could be about 100,000 septic systems in a similar predicament. Hence, the challenge is magnified. Collectively, we have a strong need to find a cheaper solution. In addition to finding a cheaper solution, Yarra Valley Water was also interested in exploring whether a more environmentally sustainable solution could be found. To help with this, CSIRO and RMIT Centre for Design were engaged to undertake a study of the Kinglake West region of 74 households. The area was selected as it could be isolated and studied as a unique separate system, and because it abutted the environmentally sensitive Kinglake National Park. Kinglake is located approximately 50km north of the Melbourne CBD. A range of possible options was identified, includind on-property options, conveyance options and treatment plant options. The on-property options consisted of urine separation toilets, a greywater system and septic tank. Urine is a source of phosphorus, a key ingredient in fertiliser. The urine, or ‘yellow water, once it is diluted with water’, was used in a nearby turf farm, exploring the potential use as a resource. The greywater systems take shower and laundry wastewater and treat it onsite, allowing residents to re-use it for non-potable purposes such as toilet flushing, clothes washing and garden watering. This assists them to reduce water consumption and conserve rainwater (their primary source of water) for drinking. Conveyance systems consisted of a gravity sewer, septic tank effluent pump (STEP) and septic tank effluent gravity (STEG) system. A STEP and STEG system provides the first stage of sewage treatment at the property, settling out sludge like a typical septic tank. The liquid effluent is then conveyed to a pressurised sewage system at a local treatment plant. A range of alternative treatment plants was also investigated, includind a natural system, living machines, and package plants. The CSIRO and RMIT study by Sharma et al. (2006) and Grant and Opray (2006)
86 DECEMBER 2012 water
Kinglake West – Sustainable Servicing Project Sustainable servicing option
1. Greywater S This unit is ins and treats gre laundry) to a h The water can irrigation, toile washing. toilet flushing
urine collection truck
urine separating toilet
water from laundry and shower
1 greywater system
wastewater from kitchen and ‘blackwater’ from toilet (excluding urine) sewer pipe pump
Figure 3. Kinglake West is an example of how a backlog site can be serviced increasing reliability from 90% to 100%, discharge 80% less nutrients, and discharge 30% less greenhouse gas at a 20% lower community cost. using life cycle assessment, identified that an alternative servicing configuration could deliver better environmental outcomes than a traditional servicing configuration consisting of a gravity sewer and local treatment plant. A multi-criteria analysis incorporating social and economic parameters was then used to determine the optimal solution. Finally, a community cost assessment was completed to select the best community cost solution. The option finally adopted for construction consisted of an onsite greywater treatment system to recycle water for use in toilet flushing and garden irrigation at each house, a rainwater tank for all other uses, and a urine separation toilet in each household to collect and store urine in an onsite tank. Urine is collected by truck from each household for reuse on a turf farm (Figure 3). Collection of blackwater is via a pressure sewer system utilising septic tank effluent pumps (STEP). A packaged recirculating media filter plant with ultraviolet disinfection was selected for end-of-line treatment with the final effluent reused for agricultural irrigation. Project deliverables transferrable to benefits outside the study area, such as greenhouse gas reduction and nutrient discharge reduction, were converted into monetary external benefits and included in the community cost analysis. In this instance, external funding was obtained from the Victorian Water Trust
to fund these benefits to ensure a viable business case. The Kinglake West project is designed to demonstrate how a backlog area can be serviced to increase reliability in water supply from 90% to 100%, decrease the urban runoff of nutrients into the local stream by 80%, decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 30%, and deliver the solution at a 20% lower community cost. Assessment of this project has also included a social perspectives analysis (ISF, 2011) and an agronomic trial (Wriggley and Bannan, 2012). CSIRO has also been engaged to evaluate the effectiveness of the project against the original theoretical forecasts. This is planned for completion by the end of 2012.
Existing development: Blackburn Yarra Valley Water has an existing reticulated network of over 9,000km of both water pipes and sewers. The average age of these assets is about 50 years old, while the design life is about 70 years. Renewal, therefore, offers another potential opportunity to re-evaluate the possibility of delivering a more sustainable system. Looking at it from another perspective, if we do not incorporate our existing infrastructure when seeking a more sustainable future, and end up just replacing like with like when we renew our system, we will arrive in the future with a system predominantly no more sustainable than it is today.
2. Urine Separ Allows urine to storage tank o toilet paper ar interceptor tan
3. Urine Storag This is installed underground urine from the it is collected b the pipework tight seal.
4. Interceptor Consists of a s tank which are This collects w and kitchen pr to the reticula
Recognising this as the ‘elephant in the room’, Yarra Valley Water worked with AECOM to investigate if it was possible to deliver a more sustainable outcome in existing development. The Blackburn region, located approximately 13km from the Melbourne CBD, was selected as an ideal site, if there were any. It had an existing lake that could be used as a storage reservoir, a large percentage of existing infrastructure near the end of its life, access to both stormwater drains and large sewers for alternative water sources, and the existing system required a large amount of energy to operate (1,700 kWhr/ML). Eleven alternative infrastructure options were studied. These included centralised improvement options using demand management strategies and/or the use of a buffer tank to manage peak demands, decentralised in-house options for the harvesting of roof runoff and/or reuse of greywater, and precinct and/or catchment infrastructure options that involve sewer mining and/or stormwater harvesting options treated to non-potable or potable standards. All analyses compared each alternative option against the existing base case service in place at the moment. The eleven infrastructure options were all designed in sufficient detail so that they could be modelled to size the required infrastructure. An economic NPV was undertaken. It included all of the costs borne by all of the infrastructure
elements, independent of who incurred the costs, which was termed the community cost. And finally, an analytical hierarchal process (AHP) multi-criteria analysis was used to bring together all of the contributing variables so that the most promising solutions could be identified. Three were found to deliver more sustainable results and be economically viable (Lloyd et al., 2012). Stormwater treated to potable standards to supply all demands required a service area of 2,200 residential properties. Sewer mining to supply non-potable demands requires a larger service area of 4,100 properties to return a positive NPV or a nitrogen price increase of 17%, which equates to an increase from $2,200/kg to $2,560/ kg. And finally, stormwater to supply potable demands combined with sewer mining to supply non-potable demands became viable when the area serviced was 6,000 properties – or alternatively, as was the case in this study area, where the number of properties serviced was limited to 4,100 (set by the extraction threshold from the sewer to maintain cleaning velocity) combined with an 8% increase in the price of nitrogen from $2,200/kg to $2,370/kg (Figure 4).
Levers for Change Additional to the engineering investigations assessing options, Yarra Valley Water has also done a lot of other work that has assisted in the delivery of
these projects. The additional work answers the uncertainty as to why a business would ever do such projects, and then accepting this, how they can be delivered. It covers integration of sustainability principles into business strategy, changing the business culture, and developing specific tools to overcome hurdles. Yarra Valley Water has integrated environmental sustainability into its core strategic operating principles. A business policy defines what it is, targeted actions exist in the business strategy, responsibility is allocated to business groups and individual performance plans, and performance is measured monthly and reported to both the Executive and the Board. Business culture has been improved by using the Human Synergistics process, which allows a preferred business culture to be identified, individual performance to be measured, and improvement actions to be identified (Jones et al., 2006). Yarra Valley Water has done this since 2001, over which time it has recorded a significant change, which has translated into individuals working more constructively together across the business and with other organisations. This is considered an important attribute to realising more sustainable outcomes, as sustainability essentially is seeking better outcomes across a broader scale of analysis, e.g. assessing the best outcome across the water cycle needs people to work across organisational work groups, different professions, and multiple organisations. It requires collaboration, which the change in organisational culture has provided individual enhanced skills to achieve. Seeking the most sustainable outcome has also thrown up many new challenges – for example, how to select the option that has the best environmental outcome, how to determine which option is the most sustainable, and how to ensure that the recommended option does not shift costs onto others and delivers the best community cost. For each of these Yarra Valley Water has developed and adopted specific tools and quantifiable methodologies. It uses life cycle assessment to determine the best environmental outcome; it has developed a multi-criteria analysis to assess sustainability, and has developed a community cost model to identify the best community outcome (Pamminger, 2009; Mathieson, 2011).
Figure 4. Blackburn is an example of what is required to service an existing development in a more sustainable way; 2,200 properties are required if using stormwater for potable, 4,100 properties if sewer mining for non-potable, and 6,000 properties if sewer mining and stormwater were to be selected.
outcomes Water utilities around the world today face a common challenge: how to provide water services to a growing
DECEMBER 2012 87
sustainability population while retaining, and ideally improving, the amenity of their cities. Forecasts predict that our Australian population could increase 1.5 to threefold over the next 100 years (ABS, 2008). Faced with this, our water utilities will need to find ways to overcome the environmental constraints of providing existing infrastructure services to existing population numbers that already do not have enough water, discharge too much nutrients, and emit too much greenhouse gas. These challenges require water utilities to change how they provide their infrastructure services to deliver more sustainable results. The challenges are not insurmountable. Fundamental to bringing about change is an awareness of the magnitude of change that is required. This paper proposes that the water industry needs efficiency improvements in the order of 33% to 67% in water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and nutrient discharges to meet the needs of growing cities over the next 100 years. Examples have been provided demonstrating how such magnitudes can be achieved at a greenfield site at Kalkallo, at an infill site at Doncaster Hill, in a backlog area at Kinglake West and with existing development in Blackburn. Individual projects are the manifestation of a business commitment. Fundamental to bringing about such a change is to embed sustainability into the very DNA of a corporate culture so that it can routinely deliver innovative projects that have a lower environmental impact, improve the service offering to the community, and have a lower community cost. So how are we going in achieving our long-term goals? Looking back on the last 15 years, Yarra Valley Water provides an example of what a water utility can achieve, having reduced its water consumption by 40%, reduced net greenhouse gas emissions by 100% (through efficiency improvements
and offsetting), and reduced nutrient discharges from our operations (as measured by the nitrogen load passing to Port Phillip Bay) by 57%. Much of the infrastructure designed and constructed today will be around in 50 to 100 years, a time when we will face ever-increasing environmental constraints. It is, therefore, imperative that water utilities understand that the decisions of today are creating the cities of the future, and that we incorporate appropriate efficiency goals that are congruent with future needs.
the author Francis Pamminger (email: Francis.Pamminger@ yvw.com.au) is the Manager of Research and Innovation at Yarra Valley Water. Career highlights include integrating sustainability into the business, having a lead role in one of Melbourne’s first third pipe systems, investigating urine separating toilets, and setting up a stormwater harvesting trial in an urban area to achieve potable quality.
references ABS (2008): Population Projections, Australia, 2006 to 2101. www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/abs@. nsf/mf/3222.0 (Accessed 8 October 2012.) Coombes P, Bethke K, Cullen A, Allan A, Comley J & Pamminger F (2010): A Water Smart Plan for Doncaster Hill – Transforming a Principal Activity Centre into a Key Component of a Sustainable City. National Conference for the Stormwater Industry, Stormwater10, Sydney, 9–12 November 2010.
Institute for Sustainable Futures (2011): Mutual Learning for Social Change. Using social research to support the introduction of urine diverting toilets in the Kinglake West Sewerage Project. Jones Q, Dunphy D, Fishman R, Larné M & Canter C (2006): In great company: Unlocking the secrets of cultural transformation. Sydney, New South Wales: Human Synergistics Australia. Lloyd S, Pamminger F & Wang J (2012): Integrating alternative water sources into the urban fabric of existing suburbs. World Water Congress & Exhibition. Busan, Korea, 16–21 September 2012. Mathieson B (2011): Doncaster Hill Integrated Water Strategy – A Case Study for Least Community Cost Servicing. Ozwater’11 Conference, Adelaide, 9–11 May 2011. O’Connor N & Pamminger F (2011): Characteristics of Stormwater Quality to Inform the Design Of The Merrifield Stormwater Harvesting Scheme. Ozwater’11 Conference, Adelaide, 9–11 May 2011. Pamminger F & Bismark M (2012): Kalkallo stormwater harvesting project. AWA Stormwater Victoria Stormwater Seminar, titled ‘What makes a successful stormwater harvesting project?’. Melbourne, 29 May 2012. Pamminger F (2009): Advancing the Infrastructure Selection Process. A case study. www.yvw.com.au/Home/Aboutus/ Reportsandpublications/Researchreports/ index.htm (Accessed 5 October 2012.) Sharma A, Grant A, Tjandraatmadja G & Gray S (2006): Sustainability of Alternative Sewerage Servicing Options – Yarra Valley Water. Stage 2 – Backlog Areas. CSIRO. www.yvw.com. au/yvw/groups/public/documents/document/ yvw1001676.pdf (Accessed 8 October 2012.) UNEP (2012): Sustainable Resource Efficient Cities – Making it Happen. www. unep.org/urban_environment/PDFs/ SustainableResourceEfficientCities.pdf (Accessed 8 October 2012.)
Grant T & Opray L (2006): Sustainability of Alternative Water and Sewerage Servicing Options. Life Cycle Assessment. Stage 2 – Pheasant Creek (Kinglake West). RMIT University Centre for Design.
Wilson G, Pamminger F, Narangala R, Knight K, Tucker S & McGrath J (2010): ‘Stormwater for Potable Reuse Can Be Part of a Greenfield Urban Water Solution – Kalkallo Case Study’. Ozwater’10 Conference, Brisbane, 8–10 March 2010.
Grant A, Sharma A, Mitchell VG, Pamminger F & Grant T (2006): ‘Designing for sustainable water and nutrient outcomes in urban developments in Melbourne’. Australian Journal of Water Resources, Engineers Australia, 10(3), pp 251–260.
Wriggely R & Bannan C (2012): ‘Results of Trials Commissioned by Yarra Valley Water of Yellow Water versus Conventional Kelp Based Growth Promotant for Turfgrass Production at Kinglake West’. Internal report to Yarra Valley Water.
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88 DECEMBER 2012 water
TAKING CONTROL OF ODOURS AND CORROSION IN SEWERS A review of published and grey literature and early findings and key knowledge gaps in the SCORe project R Rootsey, R Melchers, R Stuetz, J Keller, Z Yuan Abstract Optimal corrosion and odour management has been hindered by limited understanding of several key in-sewer processes contributing to the problems, and the lack of tools and reliable technologies to support strategic decisions and cost-effective sewer operations. A major step forward to fill these gaps is being taken in Australia with a $21 million collaborative research project funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Program, 15 water industry partners and five university partners. The project is called the Sewer Corrosion & Odour Research (SCORe) Project. In this paper, the state-of-the-art knowledge and practice based on both published and grey literature is reviewed and key knowledge gaps and challenges to be addressed in the SCORe Project are identified. Some of the early findings from this initiative are presented.
Introduction Sewer corrosion and odour problems are spread worldwide, particularly in countries with a warm climate. It is estimated that concrete sewer pipes in many areas of Australia are being corroded at an average rate of 1–3mm per year. Internal surveys by several major water utilities in Australia show that the abnormally fast depreciation of assets and the mitigation of corrosion and odour problems are costing the Australian water industry hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The operations of sewer systems are experiencing significant changes at present, posing further challenges to corrosion and odour management. Restricted water use in many areas caused by climate change results in considerably reduced flow within the sewer systems. This has resulted in more concentrated sewage and increased hydraulic retention time in sewers. Also, the changing demographics within major cities have caused concentration of commercial and industrial discharges in specific areas resulting in significant impacts on sewage characteristics.
Control of corrosion at an acceptable rate and odour management require a good understanding of key in-sewer physical, chemical and biological processes to support strategic decision-making, and reliable tools and technologies to enable cost-effective sewer operations. The last comprehensive compilation of knowledge on odour and corrosion in sewers in Australia was prepared in 1989 under the title “Hydrogen Sulfide Control Manual” (MMWB, 1989) and is herein referred to in this paper as the “1989 H2S Manual”. Several key knowledge and technology gaps have been identified which hinder the optimal management of sewer corrosion and odour problems. These challenges should be addressed through the use of multi- and inter-disciplinary approaches that encompass material sciences, microbiology, chemistry, advanced instrumentation including sensor technologies, as well as mathematical modelling, among others. It is also essential to achieve effective integration of field investigations and laboratory studies. Strong partnerships and collaborations between researchers and industry are critically important for success. Integration of this knowledge with a strategic set of tools will be the key challenge to improve the management of sewer systems.
In an effort to address these challenges most of the major water utilities in Australia are, along with the Australian Research Council (ARC), jointly funding a major project – the Sewer & Corrosion & Odour Research (SCORe) Project, which started in late 2008 and will run for five years with a total budget of around $21 million. The project comprises four themes, which are: • Theme 1 – Corrosion processes; • Theme 2 – Gas phase technologies; • Theme 3 – Liquid phase control; and • Theme 4 – Knowledge management. Nine inter-linked sub-projects (SP) have been designed under these themes; each has distinctive foci and is being undertaken by a dedicated research team that is located at one or more research centres around Australia. An overview of the project design is shown in Figure 1. The SCORe Project is approximately 80% complete but is progressively delivering outcomes for application by the Water Industry. Feedback is being provided to industry partners on a quarterly basis and a web portal (www. score.org.au) has been established to make this information readily available.
Figure 1. An overview of the SCORe Project.
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asset management Identification of Knowledge Gaps The fundamental processes of odour and corrosion occurring in sewers as presented in the 1989 H2S Manual are basically unchanged, as shown in Figure 2, which has been reproduced from the 1989 H2S Manual. However, there are many practical questions where there is inadequate fundamental knowledge to provide robust solutions to water practioners, including the following: • Corrosion Processes & Control: The estimation of the corrosion rate and the life expectancy of pipes are very difficult to predict and are almost entirely based on empirical data about the past performance of pipes under similar conditions. • Liquid Phase Technologies: There is a lack of understanding of the chemical and biochemical transformations that occur in wastewater and the impact of variables such as flow velocity, sediments, and changes in wastewater
composition. This makes it difficult to predict the impact of chemicals commonly used to control H2S in sewers such as O2, NO3-, Mg(OH)2, FeCl3, etc. Without closing these knowledge gaps it is not possible to optimise dosing systems for the control of odours in the liquid phase or to reliably predict the impact of dosing systems on the receiving wastewater treatment plants. • Gas Phase Technologies: It is difficult to quantify and characterise odours from sewers without relying purely on costly, problematic and time-consuming human olfactory systems. In addition, applications of odour abatement systems rely on empirical data, with little fundamental understanding of the processes occurring for the removal of the odour. Areas where the SCORe Project is achieving significant advances in knowledge leading to improved control of odour and corrosion in sewers are covered in the following sections.
New Developments Prediction of sulfide generation in sewers Prediction of sulfide generated in sewers in the 1989 H2S Manual relied on empirical equations such as: • Pomeroy’s Equation (Pomeroy, 1959); • Boon and Lister’s Equation (Boon and Lister, 1975); and • Thistlethwaite’s Equation (Thistlethwaite, 1972). These equations, such as Pomeroy’s Equation: G = 0.0013 x BOD5 x 1.07(T-20) continue to be used by water practitioners today (Dack, 2011; Shammay, 2010). This equation uses just two parameters, BOD5 and temperature for the prediction of the sulfide generation rate, G, while Boon and Lister’s equation uses COD rather than BOD5, and Thistlethwaite adds a third parameter, sulfate concentration. There has been considerable research into the parameters affecting the sulfide generation rate (Hvitved-Jacobsen et al., 2002; Freudenthal et al., 2005) and these provide significant improvements over previous equations as more biological, chemical and physical processes have been included. However, the kinetic expression for sulfide production still used an empirical approach limiting these models to steady-state conditions. Improved understanding through the SCORe Project of physical, chemical and biological processes occurring within sewers has led to the development of an advanced mathematical model that is capable of predicting both spacial and temporal variations in sulfide concentration as well as other sewer parameters including GHG emissions (Sharma et al., 2011). This sulfide generation model, the Sewex Model, has been linked to sewer hydraulic models such as MOUSE to provide a dynamic model of sewer networks to predict the dynamic changes in sulphur compounds within the sewer system as a result of changing sewer characteristics such as diurnal variations (Wang et al., 2010).
Bacterial activity and the rate of corrosion It has been known for some time (Parker and Beer, 1965; MDWB, 1989) that the rate of corrosion depended on: • Sulfide concentration (H2S);
Figure 2. The Sulfide Corrosion and Odour Problem (from 1989 H2S Manual).
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• Temperature; and
• Relative humidity (RH)
chemical and biological processes involved with each chemical to enable:
and that the corrosion of concrete sewers involved a succession of chemical and biological processes as the pH of the concrete surface is progressively lowered. Further, it was understood that Thiobacillus concretivorus (now known as Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans) was responsible for the generation of sulphuric acid when the pH of the concrete surface dropped below pH 4, and that an RH of greater than 87% and a concrete moisture of greater than 4% was needed for the bacteria to be active. The highest rate of activity was understood to be at approximately 30°C.
• Optimal dosing rates; • Appropriate dosing locations; and • Mathematical modelling of the processes. Development of the Sewex model for predicting sulfide generation in sewers can now be used to do desktop evaluation of the performance of various chemicals with various dosing locations to optimise the control method selected (Sharma et al., 2008). To further optimise the dosing of chemicals, on-line control strategies have been developed for the five popular chemicals using a level of sophistication of sensors appropriate to the application (Ganigue et al., 2012). Savings in chemical use of up to 50% have been achieved with the use of on-line control.
The SCORe Project has used newly developed genomic analytical methods (Cayford, 2012) to identify the microbial communities present during corrosion of concrete sewers below pH 4. These studies have identified a far greater diversity of microbes, which suggest that A. thiooxidans may not be the sole microbe responsible for corrosion of the sewers at low pH and that other processes may also be involved. This research is continuing and promises to reveal a far greater fundamental understanding of corrosion processes at low pH.
In addition to optimising the use of the popular chemicals for control of odour and corrosion, the SCORe Project has developed two new methods: • Free Nitric Acid (FNA); and • In-sewer electrochemical generation of chemicals for control of sulfide.
Also, a better understanding of concrete corrosion processes at neutral and high pH is being developed (Joseph, 2012). The role of carbon dioxide in the early corrosion processes has been found to be far less important than previously thought and H2S concentration is the far more dominant factor in the early corrosion processes. Temperature and RH also influence the rate of corrosion at these neutral and high levels of pH. Concrete corrosion in sewers is being studied both in the field, with specially prepared coupons in six locations in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, and under controlled conditions in 36 corrosion cabinets in a laboratory (Figure 3). In addition, historic records of corrosion and environmental conditions are being analysed with the objective to develop a new fundamental process-based corrosion model to be able to accurately predict concrete corrosion rates in sewers under all conditions (Wells et al., 2011).
FNA has a strong biocidal effect on the biofilm in sewer pipes that generate the sulfide (Jiang et al., 2011). This control method is very cost effective, as the FNA can be dosed intermittently as the biocidal effect has been found to reduce sulfide generation by more than 50% for up to 14 days.
Figure 3. Laboratory Corrosion Chambers (a) and Field Corrosion Coupon Installations (b), (c) and (d). A recent survey carried out by the SCORe Project (Ganigue et al., 2011) identified that there are five chemicals that are now popularly used by the Australian water industry: • Magnesium hydroxide; • Sodium hydroxide;
Corrosion and odour control methods
The methods for controlling odour and corrosion in sewers has not changed significantly since the 1989 Manual, as shown in Figure 4, which is reproduced from the 1989 Manual. Although the methods have not changed, the popularity of various chemicals used by the water industry in Australia to control odour and corrosion has seen some changes.
• Iron salts; and • Oxygen. Detailed laboratory and field testing has been conducted with these five chemicals (Gutierrez et al., 2008; Zhang et al., 2009; Jiang et al., 2009; Gutierrez et al., 2009; Pikaar et al., 2011) to gain a better understanding of the physical,
An exciting new method for control of odours in sewers is by generation of chemicals such as sodium hydroxide and oxygen within the sewer by electrochemical process to control the generation of sulfide (Pikaar et al., 2012). This method has enormous potential, as the overall cost is much less than traditional chemical dosing methods and avoids the transport and storage of large amounts of hazardous chemicals. A laboratory method used in the SCORe Project, called the SCORe-CT method (Gutierrez et al., 2011) can now be used to evaluate prospective odour control additives for sewer. This allows new odour control additives (chemicals or biological agents) to be evaluated under controlled laboratory conditions where one wastewater line has the additive dosed and the other wastewater line is used as a control. This removes the natural variations that occur in the field that make evaluation of additives open to interpretation.
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LIMIT DISSOLVED SULPHIDE GENERATION
WASTEWATER HAS HIGH D.O. CONC. AND LOW H2S CONC
PRETREAT INDUSTRIAL WASTEWATER
GRAVITY SEWER DESIGN • Maintain dissolved oxygen using drops and turbulence • Maintain slime control velocities
PUMPING STATION DESIGN •M ake inlet turbulent for oxygenation •M inimise wet well surface area for slime control • Vent well • Minimise settled solids • Minimise detention time
PRESSURE MAIN DESIGN: • Minimise detention time •M aintain slime control velocities
WASTEWATER HAS LOW D.O CONC AND INCREASED H2S CONC.
ALLOW FOR HYDROGEN SULPHIDE RELEASE, AND REAERATE WASTEWATER LIMIT HYDROGEN SULPHIDE GAS RELEASE
LIMIT TURBULENCE • Minimise gravity sewer drops • Provide sweep bends in gravity sewers • Provide smooth discharges from pressure mains • Provide smooth inlet to treatment works
CONTROL WASTEWATER pH • Dose with alkalis •R estrict low pH trade waste entry
OXIDISE DISSOLVED SULPHIDE • Inject air • Inject oxygen • Dose with hydrogen peroxide • Dose with chlorine • Dose with potassium permanganate • Dose with ozone
OTHER MEASURES • Biocultures • Metal salts to precipitate sulphide • Nitrate to prevent reduction to sulphide
MITIGATE EFFECTS OF HYDROGEN SULPHIDE RELEASE
DISPERSE ODOROUS AIR: • Use stack dispersion
CORROSION RESISTANT CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS
GENERALISED APPROACH TO HYDROGREN SULPHIDE ODOUR AND CORROSION CONTROL IN SEWERAGE SYSTEMS APPENDIX 1
Figure 4. Control of Odour and Corrosion in Sewerage Systems (from 1989 H2S Manual). Ventilation of sewers The objectives of ventilation systems in sewers, as stated in the 1989 H2S Manual are to: • Maintain zero relative velocity between wastewater and ventilating air to minimise the rate of H2S emission and evaporation from the wastewater surface; and/or • Change the air sufficiently to maintain dry sewer structures at all times (i.e. never allow the air dew point to exceed wall temperature); and to minimise the build-up of H2S in the sewer air. Achieving these objectives with natural ventilated systems has always proven very difficult to predict. The natural forces influencing ventilation are a fine balance between: • Relative density between sewer air and outside air; • Wastewater flow induced drag; • Changes in barometric pressures along a sewer; and • Wind velocities over ventilation stacks. There have been several empirical algorithms proposed for predicting natural ventilation air movements, the most popular being the Pescod & Price Equation (Pescod and Price, 1982), but these have not been widely used for the ventilation of sewers as the results have been unreliable. Design of natural ventilation systems has generally been based on practical measures such as
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A comprehensive odour sampling and analysis campaign is being undertaken in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney to get a better understanding of the chemical and biological transformations that occur in sewers and where various odorous compounds may be expected within a sewer system. In conjunction with the field testing campaign, various popular odour abatement systems within the sewer system are also being monitored to determine their effectiveness in removing various odorous compounds.
WASTEWATER IS ANAEROBIC AND HAS HIGH H2S CONCENTRATIONS
COLLECT AND TREAT ODOROUS AIR: • Ventilate – Natural system – Forced system • Treatment processes – Adsorption – Gas phase oxidation – Combustion – Wet chemical scrubbers – Biological
an organic nature arise from anaerobic decomposition of compounds containing nitrogen and/or sulphur. These include mercaptants, indoles, skatoles and other organic nitrogen and/or sulphur compounds.
alternating short induct vents followed by tall educt vents. However, these systems have often failed to protect nearby residents from escaping odours and, in many cases, the vents have been either closed or forced ventilation systems installed. In association with the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) in the US, the SCORe Project has developed a new algorithm based on the conservation of momentum (Ward et al., 2010; Hamer et al., 2012), which has proven in field testing in Adelaide and Perth to be much more reliable than previous models. A spreadsheet-based tool has been developed based on the conservation of momentum algorithm, which can be used to predict both natural and forced ventilation air movements in sewers. This SCORe Ventilation Tool is now being used by many of the water utilities involved in the project. The new ventilation algorithm is also being used in a supplementary component of the Sewex Model to provide a virtual dynamic (time-stepped) prediction of air movements and gas phase H2S concentrations within a sewer network.
Deodorisation of Foul Air The odorous substances in sewer air have long been known to consist of a wide range of compounds that can be classified as either inorganic gases or organic vapours. The odorous inorganic gases common in wastewater which arise from biological activity are H2S and ammonia, while the principal odours of
Standard sampling and analysis techniques are being developed to provide consistent odour analysis results across Australia. A survey conducted by the project (Sivret et al., 2010) revealed that there is currently a wide range of practices employed by different water utilities in Australia.
Rehabilitation of sewer pipeline Methods for rehabilitating sewers that have been compromised by corrosion have developed rapidly since the 1989 H2S Manual was prepared (US-EPA, 2010). Many of these systems are proprietary relining systems, with each system requiring individual assessment for each particular application depending on such things as ease of access, control of wastewater flow, etc, as much as the lining material’s corrosion resistance. Rapid development has also been made in coating systems, which are applied to the internal surface of concrete sewer pipes and/or manholes to protect them from further corrosion and extend their useful life. Extensive laboratory and field testing has been conducted as part of the SCORe Project on the following popular coating systems: • Epoxy resin coatings; • Sacrificial coating – Calcium Aluminate Cement (CAC), Gunite and Calcareous Aggregate Concrete. The field testing has included installation of coated coupons in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth (Figure 3), as well as many in-situ cores of coatings applied up to 15 years ago. Considerable variation has been identified in the performance of each brand of epoxy resins in terms of
resistance to acid permeation and effective life expectancy (Valix et al., 2011). Further studies are being conducted on these epoxy resins to identify performance and causes of delamination of these products. Similarly, the effective life expectancy of various sacrificial coatings has been determined and parameters affecting this performance identified. Predictive models to determine effective life expectancy of various coating systems are being developed as part of this project, which will allow industry to optimise their use of these coating systems.
• Yarra Valley Water, Victoria • District of Columbia Water, USA. The Authors also acknowledge the work done by the Research Partners led by the following Chief Investigators and their teams: • Prof Zhiguo Yuan, University of Queensland • Prof Jurg Keller, University of Queensland • Prof Rob Melchers, University of Newcastle • Prof Richard Stuetz, University of NSW • Dr Phil Bond, University of Queensland
• Dr Marjorie Valix, University of Sydney
Approximately four years into its fiveyear lifetime, the SCORe Project has achieved many milestones and has been able to provide to industry partners many valuable deliverables, some of which have already caused major changes to industry practices and decision making.
• A/Prof Jeffrey Charrois, Curtin University
By developing a greater fundamental understanding of the processes involved in various aspects of odour and corrosion, the water industry will be able to move from a reactive approach for the control of odour and corrosion to one of being pro-active, and take control of odours and corrosion in sewers.
Acknowledgements The Authors acknowledge the Sewer Corrosion and Odour Research (SCORe) Project LP0882016 funded by an Australian Research Council Industry Linkage Project Grant and supported financially and in kind by the following key members of the Australian water industry: • Sydney Water Corporation, NSW • Water Corporation, Western Australia • Allconnex Water, Gold Coast, Queensland • South East Water Limited, Victoria • Melbourne Water Corporation, Victoria • Hunter Water Corporation, NSW • South Australia Water Corporation • Barwon Regional Water Corporation, Victoria • CH2M Hill Australia • Water Quality Research Australia • Veolia Water, Australia • ACTEW Water, ACT • Queensland Urban Utilities, Queensland
For more details see: www.score.org.au.
The Authors Ray Rootsey (email: R.Rootsey@awmc.uq.edu. au) has worked in the water and environment sectors for over 30 years and is Project Manager of the Sewer Corrosion & Odour Research (SCORe) Project. Prior to joining the Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC) at the University of Queensland, he was Design Manager of the Pimpama WW & RWTP for Gold Coast Water and then Design Manager of the Gibson Island AWTP for Queensland’s Western Corridor Recycled Water Project. He has worked with Sydney Water as Odour Control Program Manager, Hunter Water as Hunter Sewerage Project Preconstruction Manager as well as many local government and other water authorities.
Professor Jurg Keller (email: email@example.com. au) (IWA Fellow, FTSE) is Director of AWMC. He has over 20 years’ experience in water industry research, particularly in biological wastewater treatment, environmental biotechnology, microbial fuel cells and resource recovery concepts. He aims to combine leading edge of research and development with effective industry-relevant collaborations. Professor Zhiguo Yuan (email: z.yuan@awmc. uq.edu.au) received his PhD in 1992 from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China. He spent four years at Ghent University, Belgium, before joining the Advanced
Water Management Centre in 1998. He has been the Deputy Director of the Centre since 2001. His core set of skills includes mathematical modelling involving both process and metabolic modelling, process optimisation including process control, and project leadership. He has published more than 250 papers, including more than 150 fully refereed journal papers/book chapters. Professor Rob E Melchers (email: Rob. Melchers@newcastle. edu.au) is Professor of Civil Engineering and Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow at the University of Newcastle. He has a BE and MEngSc from Monash University and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK. He was awarded the 2004 TP Hoar Prize (Institute of Corrosion, UK), 2007 Guy Bengough Award (Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, UK) and the Marshall Fordham prize (Australasian Corrosion Association) in 1999, 2002 and 2007 respectively. His research interests include structural reliability and marine corrosion. Professor Richard Stuetz (email: R.Stuetz@ unsw.edu.au) received his PhD in Environmental Biotechnology from UNSW and spent four years in the UK as a lecturer at Cranfield Hertfordshire Universities. He has 20 years’ experience in water and wastewater treatment and environmental biotechnology, with specific research interests in process monitoring and control, bioprocess dynamics and characterisation, and fate of micropollutants in biological systems. He has also made a significant contribution to the application of gas phase analysis techniques for monitoring wastewater and odour abatement systems.
References Boon AG & Lister AR (1975): Formation of Suphfide in Rising Main Sewers and its Prevention by Oxygen. Progressive Water Technology 7(2), p 289. Cayford BI, Tyson GW, Keller J & Bond PL (2012): Novel Xanthomonadales Involved in Sewer Concrete Corrosion. Applied & Environmental Microbiology. In publication. Dack P & Finke G (2010): Practical Guide to Odour Control in Sewage Transport Systems. Water Industry Operators Association of Australia, First Edition, September 2011. Freudenthal K, Koglatis J, Otterpohl R & Behrendt J (2005): Prediction off sulfide formation in sewer pressure mains based on the IWA Anaerobic Digestion Mode No. 1 (ADM1). Water Science and Technology, 52, pp 13–22.
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asset management Ganigue R, Gutierrez O, Rootsey R & Yuan Z (2011): Chemical Dosing for Sulfide Control in Australia: An Industry Survey. Water Research 45, pp 6564–6574. Ganigue R, Chen J, Vuong L & Yuan Z (2012): On-Line Control of Magnesium Hydroxide Dosing for Sulfide Mitigation in Sewers. AWA Ozwater’12 Conference Proceedings, May 2012. Gutierrez O, Mohanakrishnan J, Sharma KR, Meyer RL, Keller J & Yuan Z (2008): Evaluation of oxygen injection as a means of controlling sulfide production in a sewer system. Water Research, 42, pp 4549–4561. Gutierrez O, Park D, Sharma KR & Yuan Z (2009): Effects of long-term pH elevation on the sulfate-reducing and methanogenic activities of anaerobic sewer biofilms. Water Research, 43, pp 2549–557. Gutierrez O, Sudarjanto G, Sharma KR, Keller J & Yuan Z (2011): SCORe-CT: A new method for testing effectiveness of sulfide-control chemicals used in sewer systems. Water Science & Technology. In publication.
main sewers receiving nitrate dosage. Water Research, 43, pp 4430–4440. Joseph AP, Keller J & Bond P (2012): Surface Neutralisation and H2S Oxidation at Early Stages of Sewer Corrosion: Influence of Temperature, Relative Humidity and H2S Concentration. Water Research. In publication. Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (1989): Hydrogen Sulfide Control Manual. Melbourne. Parker CD (1945): The corrosion of concrete 1. The isolation of a species of bacterium associated with the corrosion of concrete exposed to atmospheres containing hydrogen sulphide. Australian Journal of Experimental Biology and Medical Science, 23, pp 81–90. Parker CD & Beer AD (1965): Relative Humidity, Moisture Content of Concrete Surfaces and Bacterial Activity. Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works. Internal Paper. Pescod MB & Price AC (1982): Major Factors in Sewer Ventilation. Water Pollution Control Federation Journal, 54(4), pp 385–397.
Hamer G, Cesca J, Bustamante H, Vitanage D, Ward M, Parker W & Witherspoon J (2012): Water Industry Collaboration to Improve Sewer Ventilation Knowledge and Planning. AWA Ozwater’12 Conference Proceedings, May 2012.
Pikaar I, Rozendal RA, Yuan Z, Keller J & Rabaey K (2011): Electrochemical sulfide removal from synthetic and real domestic wastewater at high current densities. Water Research, 45, pp 2281–2289.
Hvitved-Jacobsen T (2002): Sewer Processes: Microbial and Chemical Process Engineering of Sewer Networks, Washington DC, CRC PRESS, Boca Raton.
Pikaar I, Rozendal RA, Yuan Z, Keller J & Rabaey K (2012): Electrochemical caustic generation from sewage. Electrochemistry Communications. In publication.
Jiang G, Gutierrez O & Yuan Z (2011): The strong biocidal effect of free nitrous acid on anaerobic sewer biofilms. Water Research, 45, pp 3735–3743.
Pomeroy RD (1959): Generation and Control of Sulphide in Filled Pipes. Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 31, No.9, pp 1082–1095.
Jiang G, Sharma KR, Guisasola A, Keller J & Yuan Z (2009): Sulfur transformation in rising
Pomeroy R & Bowlus FD (1946): Progress report on sulfide control research. Sewage Works Journal, 18(4), pp 597–640.
Pomeroy R & Parkhurst D (1976): The Problem of Hydrogen Sulfide in Sewers. Cross Courtenay Ltd, Manchester, UK. Shammay A, Bates R, Kynaston P, Kennedy C, Evanson I (2010): How to Eliminate Odour Complaints in New Schemes Involving Pressurised Sewer Systems. Proceedings of AWA Specialty Conference: Odours 2010, Sydney. Sharma KR, Yuan Z, De Haas D, Hamilton G, Corrie S & Keller J (2008): Dynamics and dynamic modelling of H2S production in sewer systems. Water Research, 42, pp 2527–2538. Sharma KR, Gutierrez O, Corrie S, O’Halloran K, Capati B, Yuan Z & Keller J (2010): Integrated Modelling of Biotransformation Processes in Sewer Systems and Wastewater Treatment Plants for Optimising Chemical Dosing to Sewer Networks. IWA SPN6 Conference Proceedings. November 2010. Sivret E & Stuetz R (2010): Sewer Odour Abatement Practices – An Australian Survey. AWA Water Journal. November 2010, pp 77–81. Thistlethwayte DKB (1971): The Control of Sulfides in Sewerage Systems, Butterworth, Sydney. US-EPA (2010): State of Technology for Rehabilitation of Wastewater Collection Systems. US Environmental Protection Agency. EPA/600/R-10/078, July 2010. Valix M & Bustamante H (2011): Sulfuric Acid Permeation in Epoxy Mortar Coatings. AWA Water Journal, 38(1), pp 74–77, March 2011. Wang YC, Nobi N, Nguyen T & Vorreiter L (2010): A Dynamic Ventilation Model for Gravity Sewer Networks. IWA SPN6 Conference Proceedings. November 2010. WERF (2007): Comprehensive Literature and Research Needs Survey Associated with Wastewater Collection Systems. Report for Project 04-CTS-1. Ward M, Hamer G, McDonald A, Witherspoon J, Loh E & Parker W (2010): A Sewer Ventilation Model Applying Conservation of Momentum. IWA LET 2010 Conference Proceedings, June 2010. Wells PA & Melchers RE (2011): Microbial Corrosion of Sewer Pipe in Australia – Initial Field Results. 18th International Corrosion Congress Proceedings, November 2011. Zhang L, De Gusseme B, De Schryver P, Mendoza L, Marzorati M & Verstraete W (2009): Decreasing sulfide generation in sewage by dosing formaldehyde and its derivatives under anaerobic conditions. Water Science and Technology, 59, pp 1248–1254. Zhang L, Keller J & Yuan Z (2009): Inhibition of sulfatereducing and methanogenic activities of anaerobic sewer biofilms by ferric iron dosing. Water Research, 43, pp 4123–4132.
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UNDERSTANDING NON-REGISTRATION IN DOMESTIC WATER METERS
Implications for meter replacement strategies P Mukheibir, R Stewart, D Giurco, K Oâ€™Halloran Abstract Understanding elements of non-revenue water (NRW) has become more critical in an era where urban water has a rapidly increasing value. Meter under- and over-registration of flows has received considerable research attention over the years, but there has been limited focus on non-registration, particularly for domestic water meters over their life cycle. This paper presents empirical estimates on nonregistration for typically installed domestic water meters and emphasises that both under- and non-registration should be considered for any meter replacement assessments and associated policies. Economic modelling showed that domestic water meters should be replaced at lower throughput volumes when considering both of these meter inaccuracy categories. The key value of the paper is that it provides a methodology for determining nonregistration for a fleet of domestic meters.
Introduction Most Australian utilities have meter replacement programs, but the criteria for replacement vary. It is argued that different operating conditions, pipe materials, the condition of the network and water quality affect meters differently. However, there is still limited understanding of meter accuracy performance with in-situ age, particularly when considering its starting or minimum registration level (Qs). Theoretically, water with a flow rate less than the Qs flow rate of a meter (< 15L/hr) cannot be measured and
represents lost revenue. In this paper the term non-registration refers to the failure of the meter to register accurately the volume of water passing at flow rates below the meterâ€™s specified minimum registration rate (Qs). The significance of this unread volume is not yet well understood. In the past, much work has been done on meter accuracy, with utilities testing batches of meters in accordance with the NMI R49-2 (2009b). However, the low flows at which the meters are tested are usually not low enough to measure the actual minimum registration level for each meter. So traditionally under-registration at the various standard flow rates has been assumed to be the primary contributor to non-revenue water attributable to meter inaccuracy. The research reported here will show that nonregistration could be more significant than under-registration and should be considered together with under-registration when estimating the non-revenue water (or the unregistered volume) and for determining replacement intervals for a fleet of meters.
Research has also shown that a fleet of water meters can become less accurate with age and usage (i.e. under-registration of flow) and, as will be shown, non-registration of the meter can also increase with usage, resulting in higher volumes of unaccounted for water (Arregui et al., 2005; 2006). This paper provides a summary of the results of analysing the impact of meter usage and age on the starting registration flow of meters, albeit based on a small sample size. It proposes a methodology (based Billed Metered Consumption Billed Authorised Revenue on the available Consumption Water Billed Unmetered Consumption Authorised research) for Unbilled Metered Consumption Consumption Unbilled calculating the nonAuthorised Unbilled Unmetered registration volume Consumption Consumption of a suite of meters Unauthorised Consumption System and scheduling the Apparent Losses Customer Metering Input NonInaccuracies replacement of a Volume Revenue Water Leakage on Transmission and meter based on non(NRW) Distribution Mains Water and under-registration Losses Current Annual Leakage and Overflows at calculations. The Real Losses Storage Tanks study was conducted (CARL) Leakage on Service on a common brand Connections, up to Customer Meter of 20mm meter used Figure 1. IWA Water Balance (Alegre et al., 2006). in Australia.
Customer Meter Inaccuracies Component of Non-Revenue Water As illustrated in Figure 1, customermetering inaccuracies, together with unauthorised consumption, account for the apparent losses when undertaking a water balance of the system input volume (Alegre et al., 2006). Since this value cannot be precisely measured or determined, the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) has provided a default value for the purposes of preparing the water balance. The WSAA (2010) default value for average non-revenue water based on an under-registration of residential meters is 2.0% of recorded residential metered volume. In earlier versions of the WSAA Handbook (2006), the default value for residential meters was 1.5% for underregistration, with an additional 0.5% being added to the residential meter error to account for meter non-registration. This change results in a simplification of the sources of meter error and, therefore, lacks focus on non-registration as being a key source of non-revenue water, as is demonstrated in this paper. This paper advocates that the unregistered consumption of domestic customer meters comprises the sum of the non-registered and under-registered volumes and should be expressed as: unregistered volume = non-registered volume + under-registered volume The total unregistered volume is significant when estimating apparent losses for a meter, and the fleet of meters should, therefore, be disaggregated into the registration groups when calculating the water loss due to meter error, as will be further shown in this paper.
Understanding Non-Registration of Domestic Water Meters To gain a better understanding of nonregistration of water meters, this research combines three components. The first estimates the extent of non-registered water at low flows for new and aged
DECEMBER 2012 95
non-revenue water meters. The second seeks to quantify how prevalent ‘low-flow events’ are in daily household water use. The third component considers the role that usage has on the Qs and, hence, the non-registration volume. These three pieces of information are then used to estimate non-revenue water attributable to non-registration (rather than under-registration) and are discussed in the next sub-sections.
Table 1. Non-registered water for a new meter as a percentage of the daily consumption. Interval category (L/hr)
Meter testing at low ﬂows Using a device called an UnmeasuredFlow Reducer (UFR) a study was conducted to show that non-registration below 5L/hr is apparent (CIEM, 2011a). The UFR is designed to reduce the amount of water that flows below the flow meter measurement threshold by changing the flow regime through the meter at low flow rates. For the standard new meter used in this study, the Qs (i.e., minimum flow rate) was specified as 2L/hr (or 0.033L/min). Theoretically, therefore, water with a flow rate less than the Qs flow rate of a meter cannot be measured. Figure 2 details the flow rate recording accuracy for the new Qs = 2L/hr water meter, pre- and post-implementation of a UFR device. A summary of key findings from the study (CIEM, 2011a) are detailed below and are shown in column C of Table 1: • The new water meter (DN20) demonstrated a poor water recording accuracy less than 3L/hr. • The new water meter displayed accurate measurement after 6L/hr, with or without installation of UFR. • For flow rates from 0–2L/hr, there were significant under-registration of flows without the UFR, with only 14% and 36% recorded from flow rates of 0–1L/hr and 1–2L/hr, respectively; whereas, with the UFR, the measured flows improved to 55% and 85% respectively, indicating that
Flow rate interval (L/hr)
Proportion of interval volume in each category
Recording accuracy of meter per interval
Nonregistered water per interval (%)
D=A*B*(1/C - 1)
0 to 1 1 to 2 0≤5
5 ≤ 10
3 to 4
4 to 5
2 to 3
5 to 6
6 to 7
8 to 9
9 to 10
7 to 8
Total percentage non-registered water for a new meter
measurement in these lower flow rate intervals improved with the UFR by 41% and 49%. • From 2–3L/hr, with the UFR, there was almost 95% flow recording accuracy, compared to 61% without the UFR (i.e. 33% more accurate than without UFR); • From 3–6L/hr, the meter with UFR was considered accurate. The UFR contributed to 5%–11% improvement in the measurement recording accuracy of the new meter. • The reason for some degree of nonor under-registration at these very low flow rate levels when using the UFR could not be established. • Based on the recorded accuracy with and without UFR, the average accuracy for flows recorded below 5L/hr was
Figure 2. Flow rate registration accuracy for new meter with and without UFR.
96 DECEMBER 2012 water
Percentage of daily consumption per category (%)
57%. This inaccuracy was attributed to non-registration. This phase of the research gave an estimation of the magnitude of nonregistration. The next section explores how prevalent low flow rates are, which could give rise to significant nonregistered volumes.
Consumption ﬂow rate proﬁle: prevalence of low-ﬂow events Smart meters enable high-resolution flow data to be captured remotely and used for a range of urban water planning purposes (Stewart et al., 2010) such as demand management (Willis et al., 2010; Willis et al., 2011a), scheme evaluation (Willis et al., 2011b; Talebpour et al., 2011) and demand forecasting (Makki et al., 2011). To determine how often low flow events occur in a day, data was analysed from a sample of smart meters drawn from the South-East Queensland and Melbourne regions. High-resolution smart metering technology (i.e. 0.014L/pulse at 5-second intervals) enabled flow data from over 400 households to be classified into the flow rate categories shown in Figure 3. The results are summarised as follows (CIEM, 2011b): • The first 11 flow rate categories shown in Figure 3 (i.e., from ≤ 5L/hr up to the 91–100L/hr category) generally showed low flow events. Sources include leaks, internal taps, toilets, dishwashers, and some part of shower and clotheswasher events. Data collection does not include volumes of consumption in flow rates less than 2L/hr, as the minimum registration of a new meter is 2L/hr in
Proportion of total consumption (%)
16 100 14 12
10 60 8 6
4 20 2 0
1.31 1.29 2.32 1.49
0.64 0.57 0.66 0.67 0.55
0 - <5 5 - <10 Prop of T Con(%)
Cum Prop of T Con(%) 1.31
80 - 90 - 100 - 200 - 300 - 400 - 500 - 600 - 700 - 800 - 900 - 1000 - 1100 - 1200 - 1300 - 1400 - 1500 - 1600 - 1700 > 1800 <90 <100 <200 <300 <400 <500 <600 <700 <800 <900 <1000 <1100 <1200 <1300 <1400 <1500 <1600 <1700 <1800 0.6
4.99 8.39 11.28 15.38 8.6
9.01 7.14 6.17 6.43 2.89
Cumulative proportion of total consumption (%)
0.92 0.67 0.51 0.43 0.26 1.92
4.92 6.41 7.11 7.75 8.32 8.98 9.65 10.2 10.8 15.79 24.18 35.46 50.84 59.44 68.45 75.59 81.76 88.19 91.08 93.98 95.28 96.2 96.87 97.38 97.81 98.07 100.00
Flow rate category (L/hr)
Figure 3. Proportion and cumulative proportion of total water consumption (%) in each flow rate category (SEQ and Melbourne region combined sample, n = 406). specification and potentially higher in practice, as illustrated above. Therefore, the 0 ≤ 5L/hr category essential has flow recorded in the 2 to 5L/hr range. • The middle flow rate range made up the majority of total water use (i.e., from 100L/hr to 1200L/hr), especially the 300–600L/hr interval. Sources include showers, clothes washers, irrigation and external taps. • The rest of the range (i.e., from 1200L/ hr to over 1800L/hr) can be attributed to showers, clothes washers, irrigation, external taps and uncommon water usage (e.g., service break leaks). The first three flow rate categories shown in Figure 3 are the most important for estimating non-registered volumes. Therefore, the following values were applied in conjunction with the above meter-testing results to provide a robust estimate for non-registered flow: • 0 ≤ 5 ﬂow rate interval category: 1.31% of total residential consumption; • 5 ≤ 10 ﬂow rate interval category: 1.29% of total residential consumption; and
To address this knowledge gap a small sample of meters from across the three Melbourne urban water utilities’ jurisdictions, with differing registration volumes, were tested to determine their Qs (WBW, 2011). The meters were assembled in batches of three meters in series with similar usage registration. The worst case for each batch was recorded, i.e. the flow at which the last meter in the testing batch started to register water flow. Ideally, individual meter testing should be conducted to obtain a more accurate relationship between meter age and Qs instead of this adopted sampling approach; however, the testing time for each test (i.e. 6–8 hours per test) and the rig’s limited availability for research testing activities, meant that this alternative testing approach had to be adopted. Nonetheless, the results and trend established would closely resemble that obtained if the ideal testing procedure was followed and individual meters were tested. The results are illustrated in Figure 4, where it can be seen that older meters (3000+ kL) exhibit a Qs that is more than double the Qs of a newly installed meter – i.e. 7.26L/hr and 3.4L/hr respectively.
Therefore, the decreasing accuracy of the meter not only results in underregistration of usage volume but also results in higher non-registration thresholds. As such, any estimation of non-registered water must take account of a region’s meter age and type profile.
Understanding Components of Unregistered Water Determining under-registered volumes All meters have specified ranges of accuracy and must comply with the NMI R 49 specifications for maximum permissible error for domestic flow meters, as shown in Table 3 (NMI, 2009a). The under-registration of a fleet of meters is best determined by annual random sample testing of the fleet to take into account the specific network operating conditions, and the registered usage of the meters. To obtain the average error for a meter across a range of flows, the meters are tested against the flow rates shown in Table 4, and the errors weighted according to the flow profile (similar to the one shown in Figure 3) of an average domestic consumer. The first line of Table 5 provides the average percentage error in the meter registration for a representative sample from two Victorian water utilities of 660 20mm meters of the same brand and model. As can be observed, the results fall well within the NMI specifications. Also, the registration begins as an overregistration when the meter is relatively new and under-registers when the meter has registered greater than 2000kL. This result may vary from utility to utility and between brands and models.
Calculating non-registered volumes This section combines the above empirical findings to develop an estimate of nonregistered water in residential households.
• 10 ≤ 20 ﬂow rate interval category: 2.32% of total residential consumption.
Impact of usage on non-registration It is well known that meter ageing, or more correctly meter usage, affects meter accuracy for flow rates above Qs (Arregui et al., 2005). To date, there has been little reported on the relationship between non-registration of meters (i.e. below Qs) and age due to the cost of this type of testing and, historically, a low level of concern for this type of water loss. The escalation of water tariffs in the past five years and a heightened expectation of better accounting of system input volumes has emphasised the need to provide sound estimates of citywide non-registration volumes.
Figure 4. Average starting flow rate (Qs) of tested meters.
DECEMBER 2012 97
non-revenue water The recording accuracy of the meter in column C of Table 1 is based on the non-registration determined by using the UFR device. The allocation of average volume per flow rate interval below 5L/ hr is not known; therefore, a distribution for this range has been estimated as shown in column B. For the other ranges, the proportion of flow-per-litre interval has been assumed to be equal. Column A represents the percentage of daily consumption per interval category, eg. 0 ≤ 5L/hr flow rate interval. In Figure 3 of this paper, it is illustrated that for a meter registering in excess of 3000kL, the Qs can be expected to be no worse than 7.4 L/hr. Given that for a new meter the Qs was 3.4L/hr and this equated to 85% average non-registration (see Figure 2), the same logic was applied to the well-used meter. It was found that 85% average non-registration for the well-used meter was associated with 7.3L/hr, and a similar linear curve was applied back to the flows of less than 1L/ hr to assign the percentage of recording accuracy in column C of Table 2. The non-registered water can be calculated by multiplying columns A and B together with the factor representing the unrecorded volume. Based on the research reported in this paper, the nonregistered water is, therefore, calculated to be 1% of the average daily registered consumption. Using the same approach for a well-used meter (of the same brand and type) that had registered in excess of 3000kL, the estimated total non-registered volume is 3.5% of the average daily registered consumption (see Table 2). Based on the percentage of nonregistration for the two ends of the usage spectrum, the percentage of nonregistration for the range of registered volumes was linearly interpolated (this is shown in line two of Table 5). When compared with the non-registration, it is clearly demonstrated that, for the chosen brand of flow meter in this study, the under-registration is much less and, hence, both sources of error should be taken into account when considering the effectiveness of the meter – as is shown in the next two sections.
Considering both nonand under-registration The unregistered volume is made up of both under-registration and nonregistration, as explained previously, and therefore both should be considered when determining the optimum replacement interval of a suite of meters. According to Table 5, the average non-registration increases threefold from
98 DECEMBER 2012 water
Table 2. Non-registered water for a used meter that has registered more than 3000kL, as percentage of the daily consumption. Interval category (L/hr)
5 ≤ 10
10 ≤ 20
Percentage of daily consumption per category (%)
Proportion of interval volume in each category
Recording accuracy of meter per interval
Non-registered water per interval (%)
D=A*B*(1/C - 1)
0 to 1
1 to 2
3 to 4
4 to 5
5 to 6
6 to 7
Flow rate interval (L/hr)
2 to 3
7 to 8
8 to 9
9 to 10
10 to 11
11 to 12
12 to 13
13 to 14
14 to 15
Total percentage non-registered water for a used meter
Table 3. Permissible meter registration error (NMI 2009a). Class 1 Class 2
Lower range (<32 L/hr)
Upper range (>32 L/hr)
Lower range (<32 L/hr)
Upper range (>32 L/hr)
1.0% for a new meter to 3.5% for an aged (3000+ KL) meter. The average underregistration determined from the sample of meter testing discussed above falls within a range between -0.4% and +0.1% and changes on average from being positive when relatively new to being negative for higher registration volumes. Australian standards (NMI, 2009a) permit new meters to over-register (provided they are within the specified upper and lower limits shown in Table 3) and this now occurs with popular types of new positive displacement meters. When combined, the over-registration for the new meter slightly offsets the non-registered volume, whereas for older meters the two combine to produce a higher unregistered volume (as shown in the last row of Table 5). This brings into question the focus on under-registration as the indicator for poor performance of the meter and potential loss of revenue, whereas in this study non-registration has been illustrated to be more significant and becomes progressively worse with usage.
Table 4. Meter testing flow rates and weightings. Flow rates L/Hr
Informing Better Meter Replacement Policies Current meter replacement policies NMI R-49 specifies the maximum permissible error for domestic flow meters and recommends that tested meters falling outside this range should be replaced (see Table 3, NMI, 2009a). There is a wide range of replacement policies within the water industry, which use a combination of the age and the total registration of the meter. Based on the age of the meter, the policies reviewed specify meter replacement within 10 to 15 years, while based on registration volume, the range is from 3500–7000kL.
Table 5. Percentage of non-registration associated with each range of total registered volume. Meter registration (kL)
Under/over -registered % (results from meter testing)
Non-registered % (extrapolated from Tables 1 & 2)
Unregistered % (Combined)
Implications for meter replacement As demonstrated, it would be prudent to base meter replacement timing on the combined impacts of both under-registration and non-registration over its life cycle. Economic modelling was conducted to determine the cost-effective time to replace a meter, considering the under-registration and non-registration percentages of total consumption detailed in Table 5. Optimum timing for replacing domestic meters was calculated using the net present value (NPV) of the cumulative value of the lost water to the utility and the meter replacement cost for a range of annual consumption volumes. The analysis was based on: • A meter replacement cost of $95.00; • A discount rate of 7%; • A 20-year analysis period; and • A rising block tariff structure of the following:
<440 L/d (<161 kL/yr) = $1.80/kL
<880 L/d (<321 kL/yr) = $2.10/kL
>880 L/d (>321 kL/yr) = $3.10/kL
For consumption greater than 3000kL, the annual increase in percentage of unregistered volume was considered to be at the same annual rate used to reach 3000+kL. For example, an annual consumption of 250kL would take 12 years to reach 3000kL, therefore the annual increase in percentage unregistered volume for the combined losses would be calculated as (-4.0 less -0.9)/(12-1) = -0.28%/yr (assuming a linear relationship). The results indicate that for the unregistered percentages presented in this paper, it is not cost effective to replace domestic meters unless they register more than 250kL/yr. While some utilities base their replacement on age, total registration or a combination thereof, the loss incurred by the utility is a percentage of the annual volume. For example, if a meter registers only 150kL/ yr, then even after 20 years and a total registration of 3000kL or 40 years and a total
registration of 6000kL, the loss of revenue is less than the cost to replace the meter. By contrast, for an annual consumption of 250kL/yr, the economically optimum time to replace the meter would be in year 11. This is based on the combined effect of the non- and under-registered volume. As seen in Table 6, the two types of unregistered volumes on their own, however, indicate that a better NPV is achieved by not replacing the meter with a lower annual registration. For even higher consumption volumes between 300kL/year and 400kL/year, the losses resulting from non-registration are high enough to warrant the meter to be replaced, whereas basing the replacement solely on under-registration would indicate that the meters do not need replacing, since it would cost the utility more to replace the meter than the value of the lost revenue through under-registration. The inclusion of non-registration in the consideration for meter replacement has the effect of bringing forward the replacement date based on registered volume. Depending on the meter replacement cost, batch meter test results and the price of water for a specific water utility, slightly different results will be obtained. By continually updating the replacement policy based on up-to-date meter test data and water demand modelling, a more accurate replacement policy can be developed based on the optimum NPV of the lost revenue.
Recommendations When considering unregistered metered volumes for domestic meters, it is recommended that both forms be considered together, viz: unregistered volume = non-registered volume + under-registered volume This will have implications for both nonrevenue water accounting and for setting guidelines and policies for the replacement of domestic meters. The percentages for each registration group will vary for each utility based on meter type, network and operating conditions, and annual volumes passing through the meter. Utilities wanting to assess the implications of the findings in this paper for their asset management policies and non-revenue calculations should conduct testing on the brands and models in their fleet to determine the relevant percentages of losses.
Non-revenue water considerations The research presented in this paper, therefore, suggests that non-registration is more significant than under-registration in understanding non-revenue water; i.e. it could account for a larger percentage of the non-revenue water passing through a meter. The additional volume associated with the percentage of non-registration can help further explain the apparent losses (customer metering inaccuracies) when calculating the water balance and the overall water loss. In order to fully account for the non-revenue water due to errors in the registration of domestic water consumption, both the non- and underregistration of the meters should be considered. As has been illustrated, the volume of unregistered water increases with increased meter use. Therefore, using an average for a fleet of meters is not reliable enough, and improved estimates can be achieved by assessing the losses per registration group.
Table 6. Outcome of meter replacement analysis. kL/yr
Year for meter exchange based on NPV Under-registration
DECEMBER 2012 99
non-revenue water Meter replacement guidelines
Based on these loss percentages and the costing assumptions, it would appear that it is not cost effective to replace the meter solely based on the registration age. When preparing a meter replacement policy, consideration of both the non- and under-registration components of the unregistered volume should be made. As has been illustrated with the available data, the percentage of non-registered volume increased more significantly with higher total registered volumes as compared with under-registration. Therefore, non-registration should not be neglected.
Dr Pierre Mukheibir (email: pierre.mukheibir@ uts.edu.au) is a Research Director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney. His research is focused on Urban Water Planning & Management, Water Supply Demand Strategies and Water Loss Reduction.
The replacement interval will vary between brands and sizes of meters and will also depend on the operating conditions of the meter. Lastly, given that variable water charges are often increasing at rates greater than inflation, thus implying a greater value of non-registered water, there may be greater justification for reducing meter replacement intervals in the future.
Further Research Opportunities The research in this report is based on a limited sample size. To better understand the implications of nonregistration for assessing non-revenue water and developing meter replacement guidelines to assist non-revenue water calculations and meter replacement policies, further work is required to: 1. More
rigorously test a statistically relevant sample of meters at very low flows (i.e. flow rates below 5L/hr) for a range of brands with differing levels of registration, to improve the confidence associated with the non-registration percentage losses.
and test both non- and underregistration for statistically significant samples of different water meter types in varying water distribution areas in order to provide default values for meter replacement assessments.
smart metering technologies and advanced customer demand profiling techniques to improve the present understanding of domestic user profiles.
Associate Professor Rodney Stewart (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Director of the Centre for Infrastructure Engineering & Management at Griffith University. His research is focused on Urban Water Planning, Smart Metering and Residential End Use Studies. Associate Professor Damien Giurco (email: Damien.Giurco@uts.edu. au) is a Research Director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney. His urban water research focuses on Integrated Resources Planning, Smart Metering and Industrial Ecology. Kelvin O’Halloran (email: email@example.com. au) is an Adjunct Associate Professor, Infrastructure Engineering & Management, Griffith University. He has held research positions at UNSW, UQ and UCL (London) and has worked for Gold Coast Water, Thames Water, Wide Bay Water and, currently, Seqwater. He specialises in bringing together universities and industry for mutually beneficial projects.
References Alegre H, Baptista J, Cabrera E, Cubillo F, Duarte P, Hirner W, Merkel W & Parena R (2006): Performance Indicators for Water Supply Services – 2nd Edition. IWA Manual of Best Practice, IWA Publishing. Arregui F, Cabrera Jr E, Cobacho R & GarcíaSerra J (2005): Key Factors Affecting Water Meter Accuracy, Proceedings of Leakage 2005 Conference, Halifax.
Arregui FJ, Cabrera E, Cobacho R & García-Serra J (2006): Reducing Apparent Losses Caused by Meters’ Inaccuracies, in Water Practice & Technology, Vol 1, IWA Publishing.
This project was funded by the Victorian Smart Water Fund. Thank you to members of the Steering Committee and Henry Friese from Barwon Water (Geelong) for meter testing. The contributions of other members of the project team are also gratefully acknowledged.
CIEM (2011a): Experimental Study on Meter Registration Accuracy at Low Flow Rates and Benefits of UFR Implementation, Technical Report 2, Understanding Apparent Water Losses Through Non-Registration of Domestic Water Meters [prepared for the Smart Water Fund], Centre for Infrastructure Engineering and Management, Griffith University.
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CIEM (2011b): Determining Average Volumes of Residential Water Consumption in Flow Rate Interval Categories, Technical Report 1, Understanding Apparent Water Losses Through Non-Registration of Domestic Water Meters [prepared for the Smart Water Fund], Centre for Infrastructure Engineering and Management, Griffith University. Makki AA, Stewart RA, Panuwatwanich K & Beal C (2011): Revealing the Determinants of Shower Water End Use Consumption: Enabling Better Targeted Urban Water Conservation Strategies, Journal of Cleaner Production, inpress, doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2011.08.007. NMI Recommendation R 49-1 (2009a): Water Meters Intended for the Metering of Cold Potable Water and Hot Water, Part 1: Metrological and Technical Requirements, National Measurement Institute, Sydney, April 2009. NMI Recommendation R 49-2 (2009b): Water Meters Intended for the Metering of Cold Potable Water and Hot Water, Part 2: Test Methods, National Measurement Institute, Sydney, April 2009. Stewart RA, Willis R, Giurco D, Panuwatwanich K & Capati G (2010): Web-based knowledge management system: linking smart metering to the future of urban water planning. Australian Planner, Vol 47, pp 66–74. Talebpour M, Stewart R, Beal C, Dowling B, Sharma A & Fane S (2011): Rainwater Tank End Usage and Energy Demand: A Pilot Study. Water Journal, Vol 38(1): pp 85–89. Water Services Association of Australia, National Water Commission and the NWI Parties 2006, National Performance Framework: 2005–06 Urban Performance Reporting Indicators and Definitions Handbook. Water Services Association of Australia, National Water Commission and the NWI Parties 2010, National Performance Framework: 2009–10 Urban Performance Reporting Indicators and Definitions Handbook. WBW (2009): Understanding Apparent Water Losses Through Non-Registration of Domestic Water Meters [prepared for the Smart Water Fund], Wide Bay Water, November 2009. WBW (2011): Understanding Apparent Water Losses Through Non-Registration of Domestic Water Meters, Stage 2: Refining the Predictions from Stage 1 [prepared for the Smart Water Fund], Wide Bay Water, July 2011. Willis RM, Stewart RA, Panuwatwanich K, Jones S & Kyriakides A (2010): Alarming Visual Display Monitors Affecting Shower End Use Water And Energy Conservation in Australian Residential Households. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Vol 54 (12), pp 1117–1127. Willis RM, Stewart RA, Giurco DP, Talebpour MR (2011a): End Use Water Consumption in Households: Impact of Socio-Demographic Factors and Efficient Devices, Journal of Cleaner Production, in-press, doi:10.1016/j. jclepro.2011.08.006. Willis RM, Stewart RA, Williams P, Hacker C, Emmonds S & Capati G (2011b): Residential Potable and Recycled Water End Uses in a Dual Reticulated Supply System. Desalination Vol 272 (1–3), pp 201–211.
intelligent water networks
Approaches to Efficiency and Intelligent Water Networks at Yarra Valley Water A proof-of-concept trial of the TaKaDu system K Thompson, J Sorbello, H Dang, D Snadden Abstract
Water utilities have more data than ever before to help manage and operate their network. The challenge is to make sense of this sea of data and harness the potential that comes from turning it into information and, ultimately, knowledge. In late 2011 Yarra Valley Water (YVW) completed a proof-of-concept trial of the Intelligent Water Networks (IWN) system called TaKaDu on a third of its water network. The aim was to establish if these systems, which are becoming more prominent in use, are suitable for the Australian water utility environment. The trial’s focus was to test the capabilities of the selected IWN system to find efficiencies, save water and assist in locating leakage.
Since 1995, Yarra Valley Water (YVW) has undertaken a comprehensive suite of programs to improve the efficiency of its operations. Identifying and resolving system-wide leakage – non-revenue water (NRW) – has been a more critical driver, especially in times of drought and as the price of water increases. Moreover, YVW maintains a strong commitment to its customers and the environment, which further drives sustainable performance. Yarra Valley Water services a population of 1.6 million people in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne via a complex water supply network comprising 9,825 kilometres of mains and has an NRW performance of approximately 12%.
The results of the trial confirmed the system’s potential to identify, classify and detect various system events, as well as demonstrated potential to help save additional water, time and costs. The system was able to detect bursts on average 1.5 hours before customer notification, detect various types of meter failures, locate leakage down to 25% of a distribution zone, and help save additional water on top of YVW’s already high standard of practice. As a result, YVW has engaged in a further 12-month evaluation on its entire network to further understand benefits and the range of efficiency savings. IWN shows a lot of promise, and YVW is committed to evaluate and guide the development in the Australian setting.
To achieve this improvement, a number of large programs were undertaken, including technological solutions and operational changes (as shown in Figure 1). The Zone Metering program (begun in 2001), laid the foundation for quantifying the operations of the water network. Once zone metering was implemented, a clear picture of the network performance changed the way the business identified and responded to issues.
Pressure Management programs reconfigured how we supply water to our customers, with further improved network reliability and resulting improved leakage performance. This pressure management program has reduced YVW’s average operating pressure from approximately 73 metres to 63 metres. The Water-Chasers leak detection program involves YVW’s approach of using field staff to monitor and follow water flows in drainage points then trace leakage back to its source. The impact of these programs has helped Figure 1. Yarra Valley Water’s Non-Revenue Water (NRW) journey.
improve and maintain a high standard of NRW. In 2010–2011, the National Water Commission figures showed YVW with the lowest level of real losses in utilities of over 100,000 connections, equalling 51L per connection per day lost, compared to the median of 66L/con/day (NWC, 2012). In recent years, the focus has been to identify technologies to better manage, integrate and improve the outcomes of the foundations programs as shown in Figure 1.
The Rise of Intelligent Water Networks Advances in metering technologies and the increasing costs associated with the scarcity of water present distinct opportunities for water utilities. As the cost of metering, measuring and monitoring technologies decreases, more and more utilities are adopting the ‘Smart Network’ approach. This is resulting in a rising tide of information being available for operators. The challenge is to then effectively and efficiently transform this information to business intelligence to better inform operational, maintenance and planning decisions and actions. This is a key driver for the field of Intelligent Water Networks (IWN). The recent drought experienced across Australia has highlighted the challenge of the scarcity of water for utilities and the community at large. Tied to this is the increase in the cost of water itself, which provides a cost driver to improve system performance. Reducing system leakage and increasing operational network optimisation has been an industry-wide trend with both hardware and software solutions. As economic conditions tighten, the search for efficiency improvements is well underway (Cutler, 2011). Reviews of the operations of Yarra Valley Water highlighted challenges and areas of opportunity for improvement, particularly in operational optimisation, leakage reduction and knowledge management using automated systems.
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intelligent water networks Efficiency and network optimisation has long been a challenge for the power industry and can provide a useful starting point to look for methods that provide tangible outcomes. The integration of large numbers of different types of metering from the customer level to generation monitoring provides operators with the ability to optimise and find efficiencies using automated software analysis technologies. This ‘Smart Grid’ concept extends beyond the power industry to other industries where real-time analysis and understanding of a complete network’s operation is paramount. While there are some technical similarities between utilities, water networks do not face the same challenges of requiring second-to-second management and optimisation as seen in electrical networks. Water planning and optimisation tends to be long term, and based on ensuring requirements meet key peak demand conditions, as opposed to finely tuned minute-to-minute optimisation. The much slower transport speeds and ability to store the product means that there has been no historical need for fast-paced data tracking systems. The challenge in ensuring consistently calibrated and accurate metering technologies has also limited the extent of using the information to make such tight decisions. The rollout of individual ‘smart meters’ to individual customers, which provide information directly back to the operators, has already begun in the power space, and ultimately this will be the reality in water networks in the medium to long term (Marney & Sharma, 2012). With all this additional information the challenge is to use it intelligently. Combine this with more reliably accurate network meters and advancements in modelling technologies, and the technical foundations to build IWN solutions are well established.
provide a base line for any intelligent water networks system. Yarra Valley Water employs a variety of metering device types connected to its SCADA system, from its permanent distribution zone metering to temporary loggers for hydraulic modelling. Remote acoustic logging devices have also been trialled by Yarra Valley Water in cooperation with the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment. This trial was to investigate capabilities of analytical software, but the analysis software was segregated from SCADA and thus the other metering technologies. A primary lesson for Yarra Valley Water from this was the importance of unifying available information sources. Isolated sources and technologies that require their own software have costs associated with set-up, retraining and changeover time between them. Instrumentation sources are only as good as the overview and aggregation system set atop them. Modern SCADA systems are suitably advanced, and the packages or add-ons that connect to them (such as OSI-PI) have a wellunderstood benefit. These systems take incoming instrumentation information and present alarms based on thresholds or pre-configured rules for an operator to respond to. The more information that can be integrated into these systems, the better a system can be monitored and optimised. There are, however, limitations in the current analysis systems, as at their core they still present instrumentation information for operators to interpret. The systems themselves are not able to directly understand or interpret the behaviour. The ability to look forward and predict system behaviour with hydraulic models
presents another area of opportunity. Systems from MWSoft, Bentley and Aquis provide the ability to model and predict the behaviour of water networks. This modelling can predict system response to valve configuration changes or new infrastructure and identify optimisation approaches and points (Wu, 2008). However, the challenge remains to have accurate models that represent the realities of the network. Calibration testing is periodically used to verify hydraulic models, and some modelling systems are now developing methods of integrating directly into SCADA to automatically calibrate the model. Ultimately, however, the challenge is still to have information that ‘makes sense’ and presents useful advice or comments that can be acted upon.
Industry Progress and Leaders The next stage is to combine the data from various information sources and make the most of the improvements in the technology layers. The Smart Water Networks forum (SWAN) highlights the benefits of what it refers to as a layer of Data Fusion and analysis (Smart Water Networks Forum, 2012). Technologies in this space are developing quickly, but the field is by no means mature. Broadly speaking there are a few major players such as IBM, Siemens and TaKaDu that are developing solutions to fill this gap. The principle, as outlined by SWAN, is to synthesise raw inputs from a variety of sources for analysis and then enable either automatic response or produce actionable advice to a human operator. The benefit here is nothing new; it is simply performing the work that an experienced operator would do. The difference is the speed and number
The Layers of Technologies at a Water Utility In the water industry, metering and instrumentation technology has been a critical area of development. While the development of meters is quite mature, the interconnectivity of the devices has greatly increased in recent years. This connectivity presents opportunities for improvements in using and analysing this data. Ideally instrumentation is both accurate and connects to telemetry or other systems easily to pass along this information. Low-cost and easily installed meters are readily available, and these
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Figure 2. ‘Inbox style’ event view. Incoming events are shown with a classification and a brief description.
of information sources that can be examined. A human operator is limited by the amount of information that they can trawl through, which takes time, whereas software systems can perform this far more quickly and from far more sources. The purpose of this is not to replace human operators, but to increase their efficiency by enabling them to monitor more sources and find the most important pieces in the sea of data. Such a system would scour the numerous information sources and find the significant trends and changes that a human eye could not see and either take action or present them for attention. At Yarra Valley Water, for instance, the data sources include hydraulic models, over 2,000 SCADA data points, works tracking databases, a GIS system covering 9,825km of mains, distribution zone formulae, wholesale water bill information and customer metering. Checking all this information manually or switching between the sources of data presents numerous difficulties. IBM is approaching the problem from a data unification and analysis perspective. The Strategic Water Information System (SWIM) (IBM, 2012) uses the business intelligence and analytics experience of IBM and applies it to water networks. Their SWIM platform includes cloudbased solutions, with dashboards for reporting, modelling and planning inputs. While this is useful from a broad perspective in business planning, at an operational level there is not yet a mature water-specific delivery solution. Siemens approaches this challenge at both the instrumentation and citywide levels. They have experience in developing and deploying metering technologies that are accurate and cost effective with improved meter intelligence. They have sensor packages that are able to detect and correlate leakage and
intelligent water networks systems that integrate directly with pump or station PLC systems (Siemens, 2012). There is a software package that then analyses this, and building on top of this they have a model of a ‘City Cockpit’ (Siemens, 2010). This dashboard view is an approach of providing summarised key information about performance, changes from normal behaviour and significant events. There are layers, which also then present the details of performance and control optimisation right down to the physical asset level. Aside from several small-scale tests for leakage and optimisation, there is still development work to be carried out before this citywide system is commercially available and wide-scale ready.
TaKaDu is an Israeli start-up firm that approaches the challenge from a signal analysis perspective. Their product is a web service portal that synthesises utilities’ information from a variety of sources and presents it back to a user (as shown in Figure 4). Being formed out of a telecommunications and technology background, their basis is to analyse information by time series and build a model or system that understands what is ‘normal’ (Scolnicov and Horowitz, 2010). With this computerised intuition of what types of behaviour are normal, the software presents alerts to users identifying and locating where abnormal issues have occurred and giving it a classification. The models used are based on historical analysis, spatial analysis and constant evaluation for matches of best fit with other similar distribution zones. When a deviation between the meter information and the model is detected using time-series analysis, probabilistic tests are run to classify the event (as demonstrated in Figure 3). This then tests various possibilities to assign a classification that most likely explains the
Figure 3. The TaKaDu interface and detailed information on a particular event. The green line shows the predicted expected normal values for this zone, and the actual data are shown in blue. On the right are details of leakage location using geolocation.
observed behaviour. These are presented in an ‘inbox style’ system summary of events, as seen in Figure 2. The system uses heuristic algorithms where the user’s input and feedback ‘trains’ and adjusts the model, providing a system tuned both mathematically and by users to the optimum state. The full details of TaKaDu’s algorithms are proprietary, but base reference information can be found in their US patent, in TaKaDu’s published white papers, and through discussion webinars with their research team. The benefits espoused by TaKaDu cover a wide range of areas – specifically direct cost reductions and savings in water volumes, early detection, faster repair time, as well as damage reduction (TaKaDu Ltd, 2011). These direct benefits are supported by the ability to prioritise and better manage works, identify and solve network issues and increase meter uptime. Overall they propose to reduce customer impacts and increase regulatory compliance. Though this product has a cost, the TaKaDu’s premise is that it directly makes a strong return on investment on a month-by-month basis. This system has been rolled out to several utilities in Europe, Asia and Latin America, including Thames Water (UK), Aguas de Cascais (Portugal) and Aguas de Antofagasta (Chile). It has also received green technology awards from the International Water Association (IWA), World Economic Forum and many more (TaKaDu Ltd, 2012). Based on this track record and maturity in development, Yarra Valley Water made the decision to trial the TaKaDu system and investigate the benefits in the Australian environment.
Figure 4. Breakdown of the information flow in the TaKaDu system (TaKaDu Ltd, 2012).
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intelligent water networks Table 1. Information sources for TaKaDu proof-of-concept trial. Information
GIS of Yarra Valley Water’s network
For building model of connections and system for analysis
18 months of historical SCADA data
To build a basis for the systems models
18 months of works history
To assist in analysis of the network and tune the models
Flow and Pressure (~ 400 SCADA data points)
For monitoring and alerting. Six-hourly extract of continuous information
Key Trial Results and Findings The proof-of-concept trial between March and August 2011 aimed to provide detailed information about the feasibility of IWN systems. As discussed earlier, TaKaDu claims a wide variety of benefits and Yarra Valley Water sought to confirm these, specifically in five major areas: • Ability of models to accurately interpret and classify system behaviour; • Accuracy of geolocation classifications; • Ability to detect meter issues and failures; • Burst prevention by detecting leakage earlier; • Efficiency savings.
Over the six-month period of the trial,
Figure 5. Flow of information from field sensors to the software interface.
Proof-of-Concept TaKaDu Trial Set-up In late 2010, Yarra Valley Water was approached by TaKaDu to conduct a trial of their system. Yarra Valley Water commenced an initial proof-of-concept trial for six months on a third of its network in March 2011. The purpose of this trial was to assess the feasibility and benefits of an IWN type solution in water operations with particular reference to NRW. For the limited trial, 40 distribution zones out of the total 138 were selected. An emphasis was given to zones with the following characteristics: • The more leak-prone pipe materials, such as 1960s cast iron mains; • Varying topography with strong pressure variation; • Clusters of zones in areas close to reservoirs (zones around Greensborough reservoir, zones around Mitcham reservoir); • A mixture of both metropolitan and regional zones. This diversity in distribution zone selection was to ensure that the results from the trial would encompass a representative sample of the Yarra Valley Water’s network. As a result of the Zone Metering program (commenced in 2001), Yarra Valley Water had implemented metering in these 138 distribution zones across its network. Prior to the TaKaDu trial, the primary method of identifying non-revenue water consisted of Infrastructure Leakage Index (ILI) and night-flow monitoring and analysis of the
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distribution zones using Access and Excel reports based on SCADA. A key test was to investigate the benefit performance of the TaKaDu leakage detection in comparison to prior methods. The following information exchanges and transfers were set up with TaKaDu for the trial (as shown in Table 1). Due to the data extraction limitations of the previous SCADA system at the time of the trial, six-hourly intervals of data for approximately 400 points were extracted and transferred to TaKaDu’s cloud servers. The turnaround time between starting FTP transfer and having the information and alerts visible in the interface was approximately 10 minutes, as shown in Figure 5. This enables almost real-time feedback on the performance of the network.
The inbox style of the software enabled the reviewing user to load and view any changes in the system where it was behaving not as expected. This deviation from ‘expected’ values helped operators make the judgement on what appropriate action should be taken. The user’s information and follow-up response also tunes the system and provides feedback to the models. After tuning, the system learns other expected normal patterns and understands what information is useful to alert on. In the day-to-day operation, event alerts were issued for unexpected flow changes classified as bursts, leaks, abnormal pressure changes and metering errors. These were followed up and actioned by the NRW team, as would have occurred during previous processes.
there were two distinct stages: the initial three months of the trial with its setup, training and tuning of the system, and the second three months where the system was running in close to an optimal state.
Ability of TaKaDu to accurately interpret and classify system behaviour The key concern of Yarra Valley Water in this trial was the reliability of the classifications performed by TaKaDu. The concern from operators and the business was that it would be another source of annoying ‘false alerts’ that actually decrease efficiency by requiring additional work to respond to. The numbers and classifications of the events were recorded, and these were then correlated to the known works, issues and problems in the network. During the initial three months of the trial, 417 events were created with the breakdown of the classifications shown in Figure 6. In the early stages of the trial, flow increase was used as a generic notifier for burst, leakage and small increases. As the system was tuned and calibrated, further classifications as Burst, Leak and Flow increase were used with greater accuracy. The key message from Figure 7 is that only 10% of the events were deemed as non-useful or were not directly attributable to confirmed events in the system. The majority of these were in the initial tuning and set-up stage, and were reduced over time as the integrated learning algorithms improved. In particular, if we observe the second stage, the period from June 2011 to September 2011, we can see a substantial improvement in classification ability, as shown in Figures 8 and 9. The notification and classification turnaround time for events took, on average, two hours. This was in line
with the experiences of other utilities (TaKadu Ltd, 2012). In comparison, the average length of time of a burst before a customer call-in and response is typically three to four hours for bursts in the middle of the night. This represents a substantial
intelligent water networks time-saving opportunity if integrated with a control room that would promptly act on the notice. This initiative would result in reduced water loss as well as reduced customer impacts. Due to the limitations of the SCADA system at the time of the trial, Yarra Valley Water was not able to fully explore and evaluate this. This will be further explored in later trials. These results were encouraging, despite being limited by our legacy SCADA system and a noticeable improvement was seen. Events were classified quickly and accurately, and there were significant time savings for operators in responding to events. The improvements in the system were tangible, and the ability of the system to classify events in a clear manner was proven. Specifically, as the trial progressed the improvement was noticeable and the categorisation of leakage became clearer, enabling greater efficiencies.
Accuracy of geolocation classiďŹ cations Figure 6. Demonstrating the proportion of classifications of the 417 events seen during the initial stage of the trial (March to June 2011).
One of the primary potential value-adding benefits of TaKaDu is the ability to not only identify and classify leakage, but to narrow down the area in which the leakage is located; this is called geolocation. Yarra Valley Water was keen to assess the accuracy, range and success of this locating leakage method. This was assessed by checking the accuracy of the identified leakage with real-world locations. From the six geolocations during the initial trial period, all but one was located in the area of highest probability (an example is shown in Figure 10). In that one outlier case, it was located just on the border of the high probability region. Therefore, the success rate was proven to be very reliable.
Figure 7. The events alerted by the system were then responded to by the operators. This classification shows the confirmed nature of the events generated by the system for the 417 events in the initial stage (March to June 2011).
The resolution of the geolocation algorithm is dependent on the number of metering points. In typical distributions zones, with flow and pressure meters located at the zone inlet points, the system was able to geolocate down to 25% of the connections and area of a zone. In one distribution zone, Doncaster South, six additional low-cost temporary pressure loggers were installed to work alongside the three existing zone inlet sites (with both flow and pressure meters at each). Using this, the algorithm was able to detect down to an area of 13% of the connections in the zone. The geolocation capabilities of the system were apparent, and continual improvements have been made to the algorithms. Currently the system is able to suggest priority on specific pipes, not simply just areas. Increasing metering density greatly increases the resolution of the system.
Ability to detect meter issues and failures Figure 8. Detailing the classification of events for the second stage of the trial from June to September 2011. Unconfirmed leakage and bursts were events identified in the system with a high likelihood of existing, that were not easily identifiable in the field or through existing records.
Although a SCADA system can alarm on meter failure, TaKaDu promoted the idea that they could identify many types of failures and slow degradation of meters much more reliably than SCADA thresholds. This was measured by observing the response times to meter issues and the ability to detect and classify problems compared to historical experience.
Figure 9. Showing the information in relation to the leaks detected by the system in the second stage of the trial from June 2011 to September 2011. Note the increase in leaks found as the trial goes on, and the increased cost savings.
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intelligent water networks
full Network pilot Trial in 2012 and features in Development
Figure 10. Demonstration of the accuracy of the geolocation algorithm for a burst in Glenroy during the 2011 proof-of-concept trial. During the trial period, 26 meter failures were detected and classified, on average six days earlier than previous identification measures. Of these, six were detected from abnormal behaviour, which would have been impossible to detect using thresholds or existing methods. The trial, however, did emphasise the importance of reliable and working meters. The models did not depend on meter ‘accuracy’ or calibration, but rather relative shifts compared to expected prior behaviour. However, meters do still need to be operational for the system to work well.
volumes of water identified and other savings found. This was used to perform cost-benefit analysis on the system.
Burst prevention by detecting leakage earlier
However, given the rapid evolution and development of the tool, and the potential improvements in system performance from a wider scale adoption, a pilot trial was commissioned to gauge more accurately the business benefits.
TaKaDu promotes the idea that the earlier you detect leakage, the more likely you are to identify bursts before they happen, and that abnormal pressure behaviour in a zone can lead to bursts. This common view that unattended leaks can turn into large-scale bursts has recently been seen in the Bellevue main failure in 2009 (Marney and Sharma, 2012). To test this view, burst information was recorded and compared against existing behaviour in a zone. This analysis did not show any conclusive proof of this hypothesis. In some cases, bursts were shown to be preceded by gradual increases in flows (indicated by flow increase alerts). However, this was not a universally seen phenomenon across bursts and the different zones in the system. When analysed, the alerts in the system did show that a burst will often cause subsequent clustering of bursts in a zone. Clear evidence supporting or disproving the hypothesis of unattended leaks turning into bursts in all cases was not seen.
efﬁciency savings TaKaDu alleges to save money by increasing efficiencies in reducing costs, time and losses of water. To assess TaKaDu’s efficiency claims, costing information was recorded against the
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In consideration of the efficiencies gained, Yarra Valley Water assessed the performance of the system in improving the entire Network Operations space. Preliminary results of this trial and sensitivity analysis suggest that a return on investment increase of -10 % to 40% on top of business as usual performance could be achieved, despite the additional expense for the running and operating of the system.
limitations and further investigation While the pilot program of the TaKaDu system identified the potential for significant benefits, the limited size and scope did not allow for the longterm business benefits to be accurately measured due to the following factors: • The trial only covered one-third of Yarra Valley Water’s area, therefore reducing any combined benefits; • The system was not fully integrated into workflow monitoring; • The trial itself was not done in near real time due to SCADA infrastructure delays. The limited nature of the trial also further limited the investigation of wholesale bulk water billing possibilities or valve configuration testing. Therefore, in order to value the long-term benefits of the system and, in particular, to measure additional savings areas in new applications such as wholesale bulk water billing, a further trial was commissioned on Yarra Valley Water’s full network.
To appropriately gauge the long-term business return on investment, Yarra Valley Water adopted the TaKaDu system on the full network. The purpose of this trial was to also expand the assessment beyond leak detection to encompass the impacts on the wholesale water bill estimation, hydraulic model calibration, works management and management of Class A recycled water networks. This trial commenced in February 2012 and will run until February 2013. While this trial has only just commenced, the TaKaDu system has had substantial improvements during this period as the functionality is rapidly developing with bi-monthly updates. This comes at zero impact to Yarra Valley Water. This has included enhanced geolocation features as well as finer event classification and grouping. The trial also coincided with an upgrade to Clear SCADA, enabling events to be issued in hourly intervals. Of key importance to Yarra Valley Water is the ability to capture operations understanding and be able to assist with the estimation of the wholesale water bill.
The future of Intelligent Water Networks at yarra Valley Water Ultimately, Yarra Valley Water supports IWN software solutions for the Australian environment. The experience with TaKaDu demonstrates that it is possible to use IWN software, advanced metering and skilled operators to gain even more efficiency. It was identified that such systems can save time, cost and, importantly, water above and beyond the already high standards of Australian water utilities. Yarra Valley Water’s experience has also shown that reliable metering is essential to any IWN solution, but software can still help you diagnose and identify these issues. If you have sufficient metering deployed and accessible in your SCADA system, then you are really able to make the most of these opportunities. TaKaDu also presents the ability for operators to quickly get a feel for what normal operation of the network looks like. This soft benefit of understanding behaviour and expected operations is quite beneficial. Currently, Yarra Valley Water is working with TaKaDu in applying these methodologies to its wholesale water bill estimation to help assist with the verification of the bill. At this stage this benefit has not been fully proven.
intelligent water networks
Yarra Valley Water has also been working with other utilities in the industry at both a local and national level, to help progress the Intelligent Water Networks area. This includes hosting workshops and meetings to discuss Yarra Valley Water’s operations and trial experience. As an example, a Smart Water Networks Industry Forum day was held in March 2012 with attendees from more than 11 water utilities. The field of IWN is developing at a very fast pace, but Yarra Valley Water is excited to be exploring the various opportunities, trying to use the wealth of data available to make smarter decisions quicker than ever before.
Ken Thompson (email: Ken.Thompson@ yvw.com.au) is Water Quality and NonRevenue Water Team Leader at Yarra Valley Water, TaKaDu trial project leader and driver of the Zone Metering program.
Justin Sorbello (email: JSorbello@ globalskm.com) is Control Systems Engineer Consultant, Sinclair Knight Merz, and implementation and technical lead for TaKaDu trial and evaluation process for Yarra Valley Water. Hieu Dang (email: Hieu.Dang@yvw.com. au) is Manager of Network Operations Division at Yarra Valley Water. David Snadden (email: David. Snadden@yvw.com.au) is General Manager Infrastructure Services at Yarra Valley Water.
References Cutler S (2011): Smart Water Metering Networks, An Intelligent Investment? Water and Wastewater International.
Scolnicov H & Horowitz G (2010): Water Network Monitoring: A New Approach to Managing and Sustaining Water Distribution Infrastructure. Yehud, Israel: TaKaDu Pty Ltd. Siemens AG (2012): SIWA PLAN Leak. Retrieved May Berlin, Germany, 2012, from Water Technologies: www.water.siemens.com/ SiteCollectionDocuments/Product_Lines/SiWA/ siwa_plan_leak.pdf Siemens AG (2010): Real Time Government. Retrieved May 2012, from Pictures of the Future: www.siemens.com/innovation/apps/ pof_microsite/_pof-spring-2011/_html_en/citycockpit.html Smart Water Networks Forum (2012): The Value of Online Water. Retrieved May 2012, from SWAN Forum: www.swan-forum.com/ uploads/5/7/4/3/5743901/the_value_of_online_ monitoring.pdf
IBM (2012): IBM Strategic Water Information Management Platform. Retrieved May 10, 2012, from Advanced Water Management: www-935. ibm.com/services/us/gbs/bus/html/advancedwater-management-platform.html
TaKaDu Ltd (2011): Identifying and Quantifying the Value of Water Network Monitoring. Retrieved May 2012, from TaKaDu Monitoring Water Networks: www.takadu.com/files/ TaKaDu_white_paper_Identifying&Quantifying_ the_Value_of_WNM.pdf
Marney D & Sharma A (2012): The Application and Utility of ‘Smarts’ For Monitoring Water and its Infrastructure. Water Journal, Vol 39, 2, pp 86–92.
TaKaDu Ltd (2012): TaKaDu One Pager. Retrieved May 2012, from TaKaDu, Monitoring Water Networks: www.takadu.com/files/TaKaDu_one_ pager2012.pdf
National Water Commission (2012): National Performance Report 2010–11: Urban Water Utilities. Canberra: National Water Commission.
Wu ZY (2008): Innovative Optimization Model for Water Distribution Leakage Detection. Watertown, USA: Bentley Systems Inc.
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Even though 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, less than 1% is available as useable fresh water to living creatures. It may not sound like much; but thanks to natural phenomena replenishing the water supply, it is quite sufficient. Regardless of the above situation, more than one billion people still do not have access to clean water, and another 2.5 billion people live without basic sanitary facilities. Reasons for uneven distribution of water availability to people around the world are the on-going climate change and associated natural disasters. In 2002 Georg Fischer Corporation established the Clean Water Foundation. The foundation’s primary purpose is to improve access to clean drinking water around the world. Georg Fischer concentrates its efforts on five focus areas: extracting water; transporting water; storing water; distributing water; and aiding reconstruction. The challenge: a person needs 20 litres of water per day and the Clean Water Foundation is helping to make that happen. In the past 10 years, Georg Fischer has completed more than 90 projects in 50 countries through this foundation. To find out more please visit: www.cleanwater.ch. As part of Georg Fischer Corporation, GF Piping Systems supplies a full range of plastic pipe, fittings, tubing, valves, actuators, rotameters, fusion machines, secondary containment, tank linings, heat exchangers, custom products, and sensors and instrumentation for industrial process control. For further information please visit: www.georgfischer.com.au or call our office on 1300 130 149.
BRISBANE’S AIS WATER TREATMENT BUSINESS IS GOING ‘SWIMMINGLY’ IN THE MIDDLE EAST Brisbane based company, Australian Innovative Systems (AIS) is continuing to grow its export business designing and manufacturing chlorine generators for water disinfection to one of the world’s most environmentally challenged and water-starved regions, the Middle East. The company, which celebrates its 20th year in business in 2012, now exports to 53 countries as well as operating its successful Australian business. AIS’s technology has been employed in two high profile Middle Eastern projects, the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai and Al
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Forsan International Sports Resort Lakes in Abu Dhabi. AIS is in further discussion regarding a number of other projects for the 2012–13 Financial Year. In November 2012, as part of the Queensland Government’s Export Week, Abu Dhabi-based Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Susan Rae, and Ray Matta, Queensland’s Trade and Investment Business Manager, Middle East, visited one of AIS’s three manufacturing facilities at Tingalpa. Ms Rae is already familiar with the company’s innovative water treatment technology and manufacturing practices. AIS Directors, Kerry and Elena Gosse, have been visiting the UAE and Saudi Arabia for several years on business, most recently in April 2012 as part of a trade mission led by Ms Rae and Mr Matta. The mission coincided with AIS attending the Project Qatar construction and environmental technology exhibition. Ms Rae said that innovative, environmentally sustainable technology companies such as AIS were well poised to take advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East. “AIS is one of the many Queenslandbased companies that is achieving excellent business outcomes in the UAE,” Ms Rae said. “Trade and Investment Queensland’s Abu Dhabi office has been pleased to support AIS for the past five years, through business matching, export advice and trade missions. As sustainability and innovative water technologies are highly regarded in the UAE, AIS’s award winning products are really hitting the mark. I am pleased to be able to visit the AIS factory with Ray today to see for myself how the products are manufactured.”
Ms Gosse said that in 2007 her company set its business sights firmly on the Middle East, in particular the UAE, in recognition of the critical water supply issues inherent to the region. “Although many people associate the UAE with lavish architecture and luxurious shopping, the reality is that water is the real luxury. Four-fifths of the country is desert and subject to serious water supply and resource issues. “In some areas there is also the problem of poor water management due to overuse by industries such as agriculture. The undersupply and overuse issue is a severe social, economic and environmental threat. For many people there is limited access to sanitary water and for those who do have it, it can be prohibitively expensive. Progressive businesses in the region are looking to countries such as Australia for innovative, cost-effective water treatment solutions. I believe that AIS is leading the way with water technology at present.” AIS’s business journey into the Middle East has been a rapid one. By 2008 they had modified their leading Australian saltwater chlorine generator (marketed as Autochlor) to better suit the harsher environmental and higher salinity water conditions of the region. Autochlor uses only salt, water and electricity to produce sterilised water suitable for use in swimming pools, water parks, water features and the like. The company’s innovation was rewarded that same year with a prestigious Silver International Gaia Award, a Dubai-based awards program that honours environmental sustainability in the construction industry. By 2009, AIS had developed the world’s first in-line, on-site chlorine generator (marketed as Ecoline) capable of producing sterilised, potable water from
new products & services fresh water utilising the minute amounts of minerals and salts already present in the water. Ecoline’s applications include drinking water treatment, food processing plants, water features, cooling towers, freshwater swimming pools and irrigation water. The company took home the 2009 Gold Award Gaia Award, plus a host of other international awards for the product. With the Grand Hyatt and Al Forsan International Sports Resort Lakes projects realised by 2010, in 2012 as part of the Project Qatar trade mission, the company met with several new business prospects. One was PROTEC, a Qatarbased, specialised industrial and technical engineering company offering products and services to a vast array of clients in the Gulf Region. AIS and PROTEC signed an agreement in September 2012 for PROTEC to market and sell AIS’s products. Ms Gosse said that AIS would continue to target business in the Middle East as well as large-scale Australian projects such as chlorine generation for the swimming pools required for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. For more information about AIS please visit: www.aiswater.com.au
XYLEM INC CELEBRATES ITS ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY Xylem Inc celebrates its one-year anniversary as the world’s largest pureplay water technology company after spinning off from ITT Corporation in October 2011. “Xylem‘s first year, guided by its vision of changing the way the world addresses its water issues, was filled with extraordinary achievements,” said Gretchen McClain, president and CEO of Xylem. “Particularly today, as we help our customers in the storm ravaged areas of the eastern US move floodwater and get back to normal, I’m confident that our business strategy, global talent and innovative ideas that focus on creating both economic and social value will lead us to an even stronger future in our second year and beyond.” In its first year as a stand-alone company, Xylem delivered strong operating results, executed its growth strategy and was recognised by industry for high performance, while also increasing its presence and business focus in the emerging markets of Brazil, India, Panama and Vietnam.
Designer and manufacturer of high efficiency, low speed floating and fixed surface aerators from 3kW to 220 kW with an unmatched 5 year, unlimited hours guarantee. By-Jas offers flexible financing and delivery solutions including rental, purchase and fully maintained operating leases. Ring now for a current stock list. Other products in our range include settling tanks (12 designs), packaged sewage and water treatment plants, reuse filters and clarifiers to Class B and Class A standard. For more information, contact: By-Jas Engineering Pty Ltd PO BOX 424, HASTINGS VIC 3915 Tel: (03) 5979 1096 Fax: (03) 5979 1524 www.byjas.com.au
• Xylem completed two acquisitions to bolster its growth platforms in its first year. It acquired MJK Automation A/S, a Denmark-based, privately owned leading manufacturer of flow and level sensors, and measurement and control technology for water and wastewater applications, to complement its existing global analytics portfolio. It also acquired Heartland Pump Rental & Sales, Inc, specialising in dewatering pump rental, services and systems design. This recent acquisition will strengthen Xylem’s dewatering solutions portfolio. • Xylem introduced a number of new products and services to help customers more efficiently transport, treat and test water and wastewater, with a particular focus on energy efficiency, improving water quality and enabling water re-use. • Xylem was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index, a major acknowledgment of the work the company has done to advance sustainable business practices and solutions. • Xylem received the prestigious President’s Excellence Award in
HYDROVAR, the modern variable speed pump drive is taking pumping to a new level of flexibility and efficiency. Call us to discuss your applications: Melbourne 03 9793 9999 Sydney 02 9671 3666 Brisbane 07 3200 6488 Email: email@example.com Web: www.brownbros.com.au DELIVERING PUMPING SOLUTIONS water
DECEMBER 2012 109
new products & services Corporate Philanthropy from the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy in recognition of its Xylem Watermark program, the company’s signature social investment effort that provides and protects safe water resources in communities around the world. For more information, please visit: www.xyleminc.com.
NEW POWER GENERATION AND WATER CONSERVATION INITIATIVE A revolutionary floating solar array that achieves a 40% improvement in energy generation compared to traditional land-based solar installations, while significantly reducing evaporation of freshwater on lakes, dams and ponds, has been released. Developed by HydroSun Holdings Pty Ltd, the new floating solar array offers cost-effective, environmentally friendly and efficient electricity generation and storage while also playing a significant role in combating high evaporation levels of freshwater reserves. “HydroSun Holdings is pleased to provide a solution that meets future electricity generation needs while significantly reducing losses of valuable freshwater in rural environments,” Mr Soren Lunoe, Chairman of HydroSun Holdings said. “As a farmer in Western NSW, I had a major problem of trying to stop the evaporation of water from our dams. We tried almost everything over the years, until finally we found we were able to prevent water evaporation on our dams by one to three metres per year by shading the water surface with floating pontoons that join together a bit like big Lego blocks,” Mr Lunoe said. The innovative idea to design the shading pontoons in such a way that standard photovoltaic solar panels could be mounted on them was the genesis
track the sun, thus increasing efficiency still further.
of today’s system that results in 40% improved efficiency. The significant advances are obtained through addressing overheating by utilising the water underneath the pontoon as a radiator and achieving optimal angles to maximise the conversion of solar rays. In addition, the shading of water and subsequent reduction in water temperature achieved by the floating solar array installation increases oxygen content and reduces the growth of algae. Solar energy from a floating solar array can be stored in lithium-ion, or lithium polymer batteries as well as hydrogen bladder. These solutions deliver scalable storage systems, allowing inverted power to be transformed and fed immediately into the grid or stored for later use. “Through using the latest proven technology the new storage systems provide lower infrastructure costs, longer life and better storage efficiency as compared to traditional lead-acid batteries,” Mr Lunoe said. Such new floating power plants promise to deliver major energy savings to medium and large-scale consumers, especially those in regional Australia or areas facing high-energy charges. Pontoons and panels are easily installed on any body of water requiring no prepreparation and are anchored to provide stability. Maximum efficiency is achieved on bodies of water greater than one hectare. These floating solar arrays that are bottom-anchored can be set up to
HydroSun Holdings Pty Ltd has the global rights to manufacture and market this unique product. For more information on the HydroSun™ system please visit: www. hydroSun.com.au. Solar Inception Pty Ltd, a national solar product distribution and project company, has recently been appointed to distribute the HydroSun product in Australia and New Zealand. Please go to: www.solarinception.com.au for more information.
CARBON DOSING WITH SUCROSE TICKS ALL THE BOXES Wastewater treatment plants that use a carbon supplement to aid in denitrification can now access a product that is safe, sustainable and easy to use. Traditional carbon dosing mediums such as methanol and ethanol are classified as dangerous goods and add a burden in expensive infrastructure costs and ongoing operational requirements. D.NitroTM, part of the SucrosolutionsTM* product range, refined by Sugar Australia from sustainable sugar cane, is delivered to site as a ready-to-use liquid. Existing infrastructure can usually be utilised, but where dosing infrastructure is not in place, the cost of setting up equipment for the use of D.NitroTM is significantly reduced compared with that required for volatile products such as methanol or ethanol (no underground vessels and pipes, double skin tanks or intrinsically safe equipment are required).
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new products & services
D. NitroTM (Sucrose)
Comparison of Carbon Dosing (CD) Sources
Low infrastructure cost (no need for underground tanks/ pipes, double skinned tanks, spark-proof switching)
To demonstrate toughness, this new study used an installation contractor to subject a length of 150mm diameter PN16 PVC-O pipe and PN35 ductile iron pipe to some extraordinary abuse. The full video and testing report can be viewed at www.thinkpipesthinkpvc.com. au/extremefield-testing-of-pvc-o
No risk to operators – OH&S issues
No need for ongoing operational risk assessment and monitoring or procedures for dangerous goods
Site will not be classified as ‘high risk’ (due to CD product)
No stability time required in tanks
The pipe was driven over by a 20-tonne excavator – twice! Although the PVC pipe was severely creased and gouged by the excavator’s tracks, it survived without penetration.
No toxicity (topical and inhalation) problems
No vapour issues
Security of supply (no limited availability)
Supply from local depots (in capital cities)
Consist and available BOD/COD
Minimal viscosity issues
No heat source needed
Produced from sustainable crop
No colour issues
Already used successfully in many wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) around Australia, D.NitroTM can be delivered on time from many of the Sugar Australia sites around the country. The D.NitroTM product is distributed from local sites in major capital cities in either bulk liquid tankers or pallecons. Molasses, a by-product of sugar refining, has been used for many years in WWTPs. While molasses will assist with denitrification because it contains sucrose, it can also provide challenges relating to high colour, high levels of impurities and variability of sucrose content. By comparison, D.NitroTM is a refined sucrose product which is manufactured to a tight specification, has virtually no colour, and is of high purity. Recognising the potential of this product in wastewater treatment, Sugar Australia took the next step to better understand the denitrification kinetics using sucrose and further benchmark the product with another commonly used chemical on the market, namely ethanol. To achieve this, a bench-scale pilot plant study was initiated utilising a batch
reactor to test the denitrification rates of sucrose and ethanol, and the overall efficacy of sucrose in the denitrifying process. The study demonstrated that D.NitroTM works as effectively as ethanol when comparing carbon units, and that there is an acclimatisation period of about 10 days for the sucrose to reach its optimum SDNT performance. Sugar Australia suggests that an inplant trial is an ideal way to demonstrate the effectiveness of D.NitroTM in use for denitrification purposes. For more information please contact Sugar Australia on (03) 9283 4577 or refer to the Sucrosolutions for Water website at: www.sucrosolutions.com.au.
EXTREME FIELD TESTING DEMONSTRATES TOUGHNESS OF PVC PIPES Think Pipes Think PVC, an industry initiative set up to promote and encourage the use of PVC pipes, has released a new study using triple extreme field installation testing to demonstrate the superior toughness and durability of PVC pipes.
Test Two A 250kg rock was dropped from a height of 2.5 metres. The PVC pipe sustained only minor surface markings from the impact and had become slightly out of round at the point of impact, demonstrating the resistance to damage that PVC-O has. The ductile iron pipe suffered a gash approximately 100mm long by 10mm wide. Test Three Pressure testing of the PVC-O pipe from Tests One and Two to identify any splits, tears or weaknesses The PVC-O pipe used in the two tests was filled with water and pressure was applied while the pipe was monitored for leaks. As the handle was pumped, the pressure progressively increased, expanding the pipe and returning it closer to its original circular shape until the pressure reached 1600 kilopascals, the working pressure rating for this PVC-O pipe. The pipe did not burst and, in fact, no leakage was detected during the test. PVC-O has established an enviable reputation as a high performance, durable pipe material that is ideal for pressure pipe and water supply applications. It is light and easy to handle, but tough and resistant to damage. Although PVC-O pipes have been produced and used in Australia for 20 years, recent manufacturing technology advances have seen greater availability in the past few years. The orientation process imparts high strength at maximum material efficiency. It is the
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DECEMBER 2012 111
new products & services most eco-friendly pipe system in the world, as it requires less energy to produce than conventional PVC-U and other pipe materials. It also uses less energy in service than all other pipe types.
GPRS STATIC IP ADDRESSES FOR REMOTE MONITORING & DATA-LOGGING As a result of recent changes made by some of Australia’s mobile phone carriers, Halytech is now offering its Spider range of data-loggers with a GPRS static IP address, a major breakthrough for remote monitoring in Australia. Halytech Spider data-loggers feature an onboard web-server which, combined with a GPRS static IP address, allows the user to connect directly using a smart phone, tablet or laptop with a browser. No software or web-portal is required. Since the advent of M2M communications about a decade ago, there has been a demand for a datalogging unit connected to the mobile phone network that could be addressed directly using a web browser. This was not possible in Australia as mobile phone carriers restricted the issue of the publicly available static IP addresses required to do this. SIM cards with these static IP addresses are now available in Australia and Halytech is perfectly placed to offer its customers a truly online data-logger. To make use of static IP addresses which have been available in other countries for many years, Halytech Spider data-loggers are fitted with an onboard web-server which enables the user to interact directly with the device without requiring an interposing website. Using a smart phone or a laptop with mobile broadband connection, a user can browse directly to their Spider data-logger to get an update or to change settings from anywhere in the mobile-connected world. Spider data loggers are perfect for environmental monitoring, trade waste, condition-based monitoring, energy management, water use tracking or any other activity where one might want to get immediate access to data. They offer configurable I/O combined with Modbus and SDI-12 compatibility to provide great flexibility for use with a broad range of instruments. Configuration is achieved through its onboard web server, avoiding the need for special software or licences. For more information please go to: www.halytech.com.au
112 DECEMBER 2012 water
WIRELESS ULTRASONIC LEVEL MEASUREMENT IDEAL FOR EARLY FLOOD WARNING SYSTEMS Flooding, both predicted and sudden, has become an increasingly common phenomenon in recent years. Many localities have been un- or under-prepared, with little reason to believe they were at risk until it was too late. A reliable and cost-effective advance warning system that continuously monitors rivers, storm drains and overflows for rising water levels can save lives and protect property, alerting authorities and communities to impending danger. The SonicSens 2 battery-powered ultrasonic level and flow sensor, from specialist manufacturer HWM, offers noncontact, accurate, remote and wireless monitoring of water levels and flow rates. The ultrasonic sensor precisely measures the distance to (and therefore level of) the water surface, and can automatically send alerts to up to 16 phone numbers when the level reaches specified thresholds. When an alarm condition activates, it can also provide accelerated dial-in functionality, allowing users to quickly access detailed, relevant and timely new information when they have to. The system is supplied with userfriendly PC-based software that significantly speeds and eases the
installation and setup process. The intelligent sensor features adjustable range settings, a variable dead band or blanking distance, self-diagnostics and an alarm condition in the event of echo loss. Intrinsically safe and ATEX versions are available for use in potentially hazardous environments, and a second channel capability (digital or analogue) allows for additional temperature, pressure (depth) or flow logging via an external device. The SonicSens 2 includes both the intelligent ultrasonic sensor and a Multilog LX telemetry data logger, which transmits the data via SMS or low cost GPRS. Two-way connectivity enables the unit to be reprogrammed remotely without the need for expensive and time-consuming site visits - really improving convenience and cost-efficiency for hard to access locations. For more information please go to: www.hwm.water.com
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