__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

PRINT POST APPROVED PP 100003880

Volume 41 No 4 JUNE 2014

Journal of the Australian Water Association

RRP $18.95

OZWATER’14 HIGHLIGHTS > Best Paper & Runner-Up > Conference & Workshop Reports > Water Leaders Forum > Water Innovation Forum Showcase > National Water Awards 2014

PLUS • Water Quality • Odour Management • Water Policy • Water Systems Operations


A new teAm tHAt wILL deLIver tHe worLd’s best ductILe Iron pIpeLIne system

Pentair Water Solutions has formed an alliance with Saint-Gobain PAM to provide ductile iron pipeline systems with shorter lead times, new products and cutting edge technical expertise for the water industry throughout Australasia. This new alliance will provide over 200 years of experience in cast iron pipe manufacture, supply, construction, operation and maintenance. The trusted brands TYTONXCEL and TYTONXTREME will continue, still featuring the unrivalled TYTON® rubber ring joint. Pentair’s commitment to exceeding customer expectations in delivery are now matched with PAM’s dedication to quality through product excellence. PENTAIR.COM/WATERSOLUTIONS

PAWJ1306


1

Contents regular features From the AWA President

Are ASX-Listed Water Utilities The Way Of The Future? Graham Dooley

2

From the AWA Chief Executive

contents

Time For Industry To Shape The National Agenda Jonathan McKeown

4

Is Australia’s Water Reform Record Under Threat? Dr John Williams

6

AWA WaterAUSTRALIA Update

Australian Delegation To Singapore International Water Week

10

Crosscurrent

14

Industry News

18

Young Water Professionals 27

AWA News

28

Water Business

97

New Products And Services

Advertisers Index

100

12 Panel participants at the 2014 Water Leaders Forum.

special report Highlights From The 2014 Water Leaders Forum

12

ozwater conference reports

volume 41 no 4

Ozwater’14 Creates A Buzz In Brisbane

A Rundown On This Year’s Conference & Exhibition Chris Davis & Diane Wiesner

32

Water Management In The Murray-Darling Basin

A Special Stream Organised By Three AWA Specialist Networks Willem Vlotman

36 39

Business Excellence Through Better Decision Making Workshop Diane Wiesner 40 Membranes In Mining Workshop Diane Wiesner

41

AWA National Water Awards 2014

42

Water Innovation Forum Showcase

44

technical papers

47

PRINT POST APPROVED PP 100003880

Volume 41 no 4 JUNE 2014

Journal of the australian Water association

rrP $18.95

cover Highlights from the Ozwater’14 Conference & Exhibition which took place in Brisbane in late April/early May.

MANAGING EDITOR – Anne Lawton Tel: 02 9467 8434 Email: alawton@awa.asn.au

CREATIVE DIRECTOR – Mike Wallace Email: mwallace@awa.asn.au ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER – Kirsti Couper Tel: 02 9467 8408 (Mob) 0417 441 821 Email: kcouper@awa.asn.au NATIONAL MANAGER – PUBLISHING – Wayne Castle Email: wcastle@awa.asn.au CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER – Jonathan McKeown

A Little Less Conversation... Justin Simonis

Petra Kelly

ISSN 0310-0367

TECHNICAL EDITOR – Chris Davis Email: cdavis@awa.asn.au

My Point of View

National Certification Framework Workshop

water journal

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT – Despina Hasapis Email: dhasapis@awa.asn.au EDITORIAL BOARD Frank R Bishop (Chair); Dr Bruce Anderson, Planreal Australasia; Dr Terry Anderson, Consultant SEWL; Dr Andrew Bath, Water Corporation; Michael Chapman, GHD; Wilf Finn, Norton Rose Fulbright; Robert Ford, Central Highlands Water (rtd); Ted Gardner (rtd); Antony Gibson, Orica Watercare; Dr Lionel Ho, AWQC, SA Water; Dr Robbert van Oorschot, GHD; John Poon, CH2M Hill; David Power, BECA Consultants; Dr Ashok Sharma, CSIRO. PUBLISH DATES Water Journal is published eight times per year: February, April, May, June, August, September, November and December. Please email journal@awa.asn.au for a copy of our 2014 Editorial Calendar. EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Acceptance of editorial submissions is at the discretion of the Editors and Editorial Board. • Technical Papers & Technical Features: Chris Davis, Technical Editor, email: cdavis@awa.asn.au AND journal@awa.asn.au Technical Paper Submission Guidelines Technical Papers should be 3,000–4,000 words long and accompanied by relevant graphics, tables and images. For more detailed submission guidelines please email: journal@awa.asn.au • General Feature Articles, Industry News, Opinion Pieces & Media Releases: Anne Lawton, Managing Editor, email: journal@awa.asn.au General Feature Submission Guidelines General Features should be 1,500–2,000 words and accompanied by relevant graphics, tables and images. For more details please email: journal@awa.asn.au • Water Business & Product News: Kirsti Couper, Advertising Sales Manager, email: kcouper@awa.asn.au 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 AWA. PUBLISHER Australian Water Association (AWA) Publishing, 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: journal@awa.asn.au, Web: www.awa.asn.au COPYRIGHT Water Journal is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced in any format without the written permission of AWA. Email: journal@awa.asn.au DISCLAIMER Australian Water Association assumes no responsibility for opinions or statements of fact expressed by contributors or advertisers.

JUNE 2014 water


2

From the President

ARE ASX-LISTED WATER UTILITIES THE WAY OF THE FUTURE? Graham dooley – awa president

The theme of the Ozwater’14 Water Leaders Forum and several of the streams and keynote speakers was the role that investment capital from non-Government sources can have in our industry in the future. The Federal Government has now incentivised the State and Local Government owners of water utilities with a 15% bonus if they sell utilities to new owners outside the Government sector. The states are definitely in sale mode, at least as far as ports, electricity and other asset classes are concerned. Will they also look at selling water utilities? As far as I can see, several are evaluating options. Having worked for nearly 20 years in a Government-owned water utility and over 20 years in the private sector water industry, I am convinced that the fundamental job of delivering good quality, well-priced water services is not much different between public sector-owned and investor-owned water utilities. Qantas, the Commonwealth Bank, multiple state banks, several small airlines, multiple electricity generators and networks, and several ports are all now owned by investors, having been previously owned by Governments. Water utilities with older infrastructure are particularly capital-hungry businesses that can be owned and operated by any responsible and well-regulated investor. The UK has demonstrated this in spades for 25 years now. Interestingly, the shareholders of the UK water utilities are overwhelmingly super funds, customers and staff. They all appreciate the steady dividend

water JUNE 2014

flow. Australian super funds also like this kind of return and there is an enormous appetite to invest in water utilities among the Australian funds that I talk to. Australian funds are substantial investors in both Thames Water and Anglian Water. The issue for AWA, as Australia’s peak body embracing members from all parts of the water cycle – including investment managers, is how we get the best results of such a transition for urban customers, famers, taxpayers, employees and suppliers of goods and services to the industry. There is almost inevitably going to be vast politicking, but AWA is in a unique position to be able to provide industry-wide, objective and factual advice to our elected leaders and the public. We have good regulators in nearly all states that will ensure that customers pay a fair price, standards are met and infrastructure is properly managed. IPART and its counterparts have given good regulatory oversight to our water utilities for two decades now. Being owned by investors imposes some different dynamics on Boards and CEOs, but the clarity of what is good value for money, and the focus on standards and efficiency, is a pleasure for executives to be part of, I have found. I welcome this issue being raised and believe that AWA can be a voice of objectivity and advocacy of high-quality outcomes for customers, the community and the environment. I look forward to your support of this nationwide discussion and debate.


4

From the CeO

TIME FOR INDUSTRY TO SHAPE THE NATIONAL WATER AGENDA Jonathan mcKeown – awa Chief executive With an economy struggling to kick-start consumer confidence, a lack-lustre vision for the water sector from the Commonwealth Government and slim pickings on new infrastructure projects, it is little wonder that water has sunk below the national radar. The Federal Budget last month further reflected this lack of priority for water with the announced dismantling of the National Water Commission from the end of 2014. The NSW Government also announced last month the abolition of its Water Commissioner position. It is detrimental to allow the water industry and the issues of water management to slip from our national priorities. Australia’s future economic development remains directly linked to our water industry and its impressive expertise. Against this backdrop the Asian markets continue to gather pace, volume and value with concomitant demand for our products – products that are water dependent and well suited for Australia to supply in large quantities. Our nation’s wealth will continue to be driven by our water management skills, particularly in our most productive industries like mining and resources, energy, agribusiness and food production. The need for the water industry to take a strong lead in elevating the national debate on water and setting its own strategy for the future of the Australian water industry has never been stronger. AWA will facilitate more industry engagement to ensure that the importance of water as an economic driver is recognised beyond our own sector. The water industry itself now needs to fill the gaps vacated by Governments and often overlooked by the media to reposition water as a matter of national priority. Specific initiatives that AWA will implement to highlight water as an economic driver include:

water JUNE 2014

• A National Water Conference in Sydney on 15 October 2014 that will present water as a key economic force to expand Australia’s prosperity. The conference will be preceded by extensive industry consultations across several sectors. • An Innovation Forum in February 2015, built on the successful trial at Ozwater’14 in Brisbane. The forum will offer a platform to promote water innovations, technologies, processes and products, and will target the investment sector, end users and water sector participants with a capacity to commercialise and adopt the water innovations on display. Mining & Resources and Agribusiness will form a special focus at the forum. These events highlight the enormous value that Australia’s water sector provides and will showcase our ability to expand and adapt new water technologies and processes to maintain Australia’s competitive edge and develop new industries. The capabilities of the Australian water sector need to be constantly promoted across the emerging markets of Asia. These markets continue to grow and their appetite for water technologies and expertise is second to none. While Australia is ideally placed to service them, competition from Europe and America is consolidating. AWA is working with Austrade and sister industry organisations to identify opportunities that can be delivered by our Australian members. These will become the foundation for a new Export Market Access Program that AWA will offer its members this year. Be sure to register your interest in the program. I encourage all members to support AWA to raise awareness of the role water plays across all sectors of our economy. Please join us in our efforts to promote our capabilities, secure new business opportunities and innovations, and shape the water sector’s strategy for future growth.


Who but Aquatec Maxcon can provide Nereda® technology in a waste water plant? 75% smaller footprint than conventional plants

>

Reduced CAPEX and embodied carbon

Enhanced settling properties

>

No membranes or clarifiers

25% energy reduction & improved dewaterability

>

Reduced Whole of Life cost

Excellent effluent quality

>

Chemical free Bio P and Bio N removal

Nereda® optimised controller

>

Robust, operator friendly performance

Aerobic granular biomass

60,000EP Epe WWTP

Enhanced settleability

The Triple Bottom Line... Reduced capital expenditure. Reduced operating costs. Reduced Carbon Footprint.

AQUATEC MAXCON We treat water properly Ipswich - Head Office 119 Toongarra Road Ipswich QLD 4305 P: +61 (0) 7 3813 7100 F: +61 (0) 7 3813 7199

Adelaide 41-47 Unit 5C O’Sullivans Beach Road, Lonsdale SA 5160 P: +61 (0) 8 7002 6900 F: +61 (0) 8 7002 6999

Be a leader by using world’s best technologies based on proven science & engineering

Sydney 8 Charles Street St Marys NSW 2760 P: +61 (0) 2 8603 5200 F: +61 (0) 2 8603 5299

Melbourne 6/64 Oakover Road Preston VIC 3072 P: +61 (0) 3 9480 8000 F: +61 (0) 3 9480 8099

www.aquatecmaxcon.com.au | enquiries@aquatecmaxcon.com.au Aquatec Maxcon can also look after your Potable Water Treatment needs.


6

My Point of View

IS AUSTRALIA’S WATER REFORM RECORD UNDER THREAT? Dr John Williams FTSE – Adjunct Professor, ANU Crawford School of Public Policy Dr John Williams is a founding member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and holds the prestigious Farrer Memorial Medal for achievement and excellence in agricultural science. He is one of Australia’s most respected scientists, with extensive experience in providing national and international thought-leadership in natural resource management, particularly in agricultural production and its environmental impact. John retired recently after nearly six years as Commissioner of the NSW Natural Resources Commission. He was former Chief Scientist, NSW Department of Natural Resources following his retirement from CSIRO as Chief of Land and Water in 2004. John is currently Adjunct Professor in Public Policy and Environmental Management at the Crawford School of the Australian National University and Adjunct Professor, Agriculture and Natural Resource Management, Institute Water, Land and Society, Charles Sturt University. He is also Director of John Williams Scientific Services Pty Ltd, which provides strategic advice and analysis in Agriculture and the Natural Resource Sciences. At a time when the World Economic Forum is urging that water be given high-level strategic attention as one of five global issues, it appears our Australian Government is walking away from water reform and its strategic management. Yet for over a quarter-of-a-century Australia has been at the forefront of progressive water reform from policy to implementation, and the evolution of institutional governance. Now is not the time to lose the plot. 1

water JUNE 2014

Global pressures on water With global freshwater demand projected to exceed current supply by over 40 per cent by 2030, increasing competition and stress on water poses a significant risk to food, energy and industrial and human security around the world. Australia is not exempt. Here on the driest inhabited continent with the most climatically variable water supply on the planet, future economic development and ever-increasing competition for water will require ongoing commitment to water reform and sustainable operating principles. Water is not only the indispensable ingredient for life, seen by many as a right, but also indisputably an economic and social good. It is a commodity in its own right with no substitute and no alternative, but it is also a crucial connector between humans, our environment and all aspects of our economic system.1 The Global Agenda Council on Water Security1 believes that only far-sighted and collective action can avert future water crises and ensure water security for communities, businesses and countries.

Can Australia afford to retreat? Given this context it is perplexing to see the Australian Government’s Budget announce the abolition of the National Water Commission without any clear indication of how its strategic and knowledge-based leadership, audit and review functions will be maintained. Loss of these high-level independent roles within the COAG arrangements poses a real threat to Australia’s hard-won water reform progress.


7

My Point of View

Wartook Lake in Halls Gap, Victoria, during a drought period. If anything, we should be driving further and faster momentum on COAG’s 2004 National Water Initiative (NWI) – a shared commitment by governments to increase the efficiency of Australia’s water use, leading to greater certainty for investment and productivity both for rural and urban communities, and for the environment. The historic 2004 agreement came alive through significant backing from the then Coalition Government, originally under Prime Minister John Howard and later with Malcolm Turnbull as Water Minister. While this bipartisan agreement is rightly recognised as one of the most globally significant water reforms, its aspirations warrant continued vigilance and action if we are to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. This will be vital to maximise our future productivity and efficiency, especially now as we confront new issues and pursue new opportunities. The NWI reaches its 10th anniversary on 25 June 2014. We should be celebrating this occasion by vowing to build on the landmark agreement’s achievements. Instead, the current Federal Government appears intent on trashing the Howard heritage and retreating from its leadership legacy on national land and water policy. The decision to close the National Water Commission – the custodian of the NWI – reaps a meagre saving of $20.9 million over the next four years. Let’s hope that the cost of this ‘efficiency’ does not compromise and leave unresolved a national leadership framework to maintain progress on water reform. All those with an interest in water will eagerly await the Commission’s final assessment of water reform progress due to be delivered to COAG later this year. In particular, we will watch what it has to say about unfinished business, about new issues and the need to apply the NWI’s tried and tested principles in the context of future development decisions. But how, given the abolition of the Commission and the COAG Standing Council on Environment and Water, will governments respond to the report’s recommendations? In an era when we appear to be moving from cooperative federalism to competitive federalism, should we fear a return to the days when state borders matter more than the rivers that run through them?

Calling governments to account The National Water Commission’s core responsibility is to assess progress by State and Federal Governments under their NWI commitments. While substantial progress in water reform has been made through the Initiative and COAG mechanisms, there is still unfinished business as outlined by the Commission’s comprehensive review of water reform progress undertaken in 2011: • Returning overused and over-allocated surface water and groundwater systems to sustainable levels of extraction. • Unfulfilled commitments to manage water interception effectively. All parties to the NWI need to incorporate significant interception into water plans, otherwise the reform framework is compromised and the security of water rights is eroded. • The lack of clarity regarding the responsibility and accountability for environmental water management decisions; a function of multiple institutions involved in decision making, and the limited scientifically credible monitoring and evaluation of environmental outcomes. • Emerging issues were also flagged by the last assessment. How should we manage competing demands for water from our resources sector? How can we map future directions for water in our cities? But without a commitment to assess the NWI every three years and report on the performance of governments (both State and Federal), will there be sufficient incentive to meet outstanding water reform commitments, let alone tackle the new issues? With the closure of the Commission, this task must now be assigned to another agency to ensure that the unfinished and important aspects of the agreement are completed by all governments. And it needs adequate resourcing. As other stakeholders have argued, it is important that whichever agency inherits the Commission’s functions is at ‘arm’s length’ from administering any water programs. An independent umpire – without vested interests – is essential to give confidence to all interests that future assessments remain fair and impartial. Whether or not other agencies have sufficient in-house expertise and knowledge to perform specialised water management assessments is also cause for concern.

JUNE 2014 water


8

My Point of View auditinG reform investments To support its reform efforts, the Commission was originally given responsibility for managing two programs worth more than $1.6 billion under the Australian Government Water Fund. Later, in the wake of the Millennium drought, the Australian Government committed a further $10 billion to finance the restoration of the Murray–Darling Basin through a plan that was based on NWI principles. With many billions of dollars of public funds committed to water reform by successive governments over the past decade, there must be public accounting for these expenditures. Without an independent auditor, these investments are in danger of withering away with little public accountability on what benefits are actually delivered. That’s why it is critically important that the Commission’s Murray– Darling Basin auditing functions be preserved. We need the ability to properly and independently ensure that effective outcomes are being delivered to Basin communities, the environment, regional industries and Australia’s taxpayers. Again, without the Commission’s expertise in undertaking performance audits of large-scale water plans, this task will need to be undertaken in a way that maintains public trust and confidence.

leadersHip is CruCial With the impending loss of the National Water Commission, who will step up to lead the way on future reform directions, develop innovative policy solutions and shine a light on those emerging issues that are characterised as ‘wicked’ problems? The world has a huge appetite for energy, water and food. The ecosystems and the natural resource base that provide all three are woven together and linked in a way that means we cannot manage one without impacting on one of the others. Water can be seen as the gossamer that links together the web of food, energy, climate, economic growth and human wellbeing2. All these are strongly interdependent. Global primary energy consumption is expected to increase by 39 per cent over the 20 years to 2030. It is expected that natural gas extracted from shale and coal mining, using rapidly developing technology, will be a major energy source. To produce natural gas from unconventional means has immediate and significant impacts on both surface and groundwater resources. In Australia, which has a rapidly expanding coal seam gas industry, this water demand is often in direct competition for the land and water resources currently used for food production. Yet it is the same natural gas that is widely used to power the production of fertiliser for the same food production in modern agriculture. In the face of these complex water-energy-food-climate change interfaces2, Australia will need national leadership to catalyse open and robust enquiry on how best to manage these competing economic pressures on our scarce water resources without sacrificing vulnerable environmental assets. In the past, the National Water Commission has provided this leadership. It made an early call on coal seam gas and water issues. It urged governments to apply tried and tested NWI principles to any decisions on developing northern Australia’s’ water resources. The Commission has also championed Indigenous water engagement and access, bringing together Indigenous leaders and ensuring their voices are heard. Where will this leadership now come from? How will we recreate a forum for bringing together the various governments, along with the industry, environmental and Indigenous leaders, who have a stake in water reform?

water JUNE 2014

We need national leadership to bring the state agencies together, and to bring competing interests to the same table, so that we can look at the whole system. Without the Commission, or an equivalent body, we may well lose what we desperately need at this time of increasing complexity.

ConClusion For many, the recent Budget decision is all the more surprising in light of an independent COAG review of the Commission only two years ago. That review concluded: “The NWI remains a relevant and active reform agenda supported by most stakeholders. … The elements of the NWI still to be implemented are, by their nature, the more difficult ones and the role that can be played by a specialist and independent body like the NWC is likely to be even more important in the future.” Following the review and the subsequent Senate debate on renewing the Commission, Senator Birmingham (then Shadow Parliamentary Secretary) said: “The NWC’s role is integral to getting water reform right in this country at a much broader level… As we go forward, their role in holding the states and the Commonwealth to account for actually delivering on water reform is critical. Their role in providing expert analysis and advice is absolutely critical. “… we need good, credible independent organisations such as the National Water Commission to call it as they see it, to call it based on the facts, to call it based on expert evidence and to hold governments to account for the key policy principles that they have set out.” The Bill passed with bipartisan support in June 2012. So what has changed so much in two years? More importantly, who will now provide national oversight of water in Australia? Are we afraid to audit our water management outcomes and the health of our rivers? When the Commission appeared before Senate Estimates on 26 May following the Budget, Senator Birmingham (now the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment) was unable to confirm which government body would undertake its functions. It is hoped that this situation will be resolved to ensure that our hardwon investments in reform are not squandered. We need to build on our water reform record to prepare for the future with foresight2. Over many years our water industry has generated the imaginative leadership, robust policy, operational principles and frameworks that have underpinned the water reform progress to date. Therefore, I challenge us all not to sit on our hands and see our rich achievement in water reform destroyed. Managing water scarcity will remain a challenge for Australian governments. Whether we are prepared to meet that challenge will shape our economic prosperity, social wellbeing and environmental health.

referenCes: 1. World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Water Security (2011): Water Security: The Water-Energy-Food-Climate Nexus. www.weforum. org/reports/water-security-water-energy-food-climate-nexus 2. Australian Government (2010): PMSEIC Impact Statement, Challenges at Energy-Water-Carbon intersections, Preparing for the Future with Foresight. www.chiefscientist.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/PMSEICEWC-Impact-Statement.pdf


KEEP CALM GO WITH THE FLOW MonoTM is a global manufacturer of advanced progressing cavity (pc) pumps. Our products and quality have set the standards around the world and led the way in pc pump design and technology. We’re particularly proud of innovative new products like our EZstripTM family. Quick, simple, maintain-in-place systems that mean reliability can be measured in years, and downtime can be measured in minutes. Mono Pumps‌

At the heart of Australian ingenuity For more information on the Mono EZstripTM range, visit:

www.monopumps.com.au

EZstripTM Transfer Pump

EZstripTM Widethroat

EZstripTM TR Muncher


10

AWA waterAUSTRALIA Update

AUSTRALIAN DELEGATION TO SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL WATER WEEK From 2–5 June, AWA led the Australian delegation to Singapore International Water Week, as part of its Australian Government Asian Business Engagement Grant. Eleven companies signed-up to be part of the facilitated program, eight of which exhibited on the AWA waterAUSTRALIA stand.

• Star Water Solutions

With more than 750 companies and 19,000 visitors in attendance, the 2014 exhibition was a great opportunity for these Australian businesses to promote their products and services. The Australian stand was well visited, and valuable connections were formed. Through AWA’s established links with the Public Utilities Board of Singapore (PUB) and Singapore Water Association, delegates were offered targeted business introductions, sparking international interest in Australia’s products and services.

GROWING YOUR EXPORTS – ADVICE FOR AUSTRALIAN COMPANIES

AWA also hosted an Australian reception at which His Excellency, Mr Phillip Green, Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, was in attendance. With over 50 people joining the reception, it was a great opportunity for attendees to network and show support for the Australian companies exhibiting.

• SWA Water Australia • Tata Consultancy. To find out more please visit www.awa.asn.au/wateraustralia

On 23 May, AWA and the NSW Department of Trade and Investment hosted a training course on how to “grow your exports” to assist Australian companies joining the Australian delegation to Singapore, or other trade delegations throughout the year. The General Manager of the Export Council of Australia, Peter Mace, led the session working through four separate modules including building an export plan; resourcing for export; export marketing; and visiting your target market. The participants also had the opportunity to participate in a Q&A with AWA and Department and Export Council staff, and provide their own experience in-market.

DOES YOUR BUSINESS NEED HELP TO ENTER THE EUROPEAN MARKET? AWA, in collaboration with IWA, is organising an Australia Pavilion at the IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition in Lisbon, Portugal, from 21–26 September 2014. Every second year the IWA WWC&E draws over 5,000 of the top water, environment and related professionals from more than 90 countries and covers all aspects of the water cycle. Given Australia’s prominent position in the global water market – and as the next edition of the IWA WWC&E (2016) will take place in Brisbane – IWA and AWA will launch an Australia Water Pavilion. The Australia Pavilion will provide an excellent opportunity for Australian companies to be introduced to the most prominent global water leaders and relevant organisations worldwide. The Australian delegation included: • Aquatec Maxcon

The Australia Pavilion package includes:

• Backflow Prevention Association of Australia

• 1 x poster panel (approximately 2m stand space) with uniform design poster;

• BioAction

• Discount on congress delegate ticket;

• Detection Services

• Access to the Australia Pavilion reception area;

• Goyder Institute for Water Research

• Company description in Program Book;

• The Leighton Group

• Company description in Conference and Exhibiton App.

• Nubian Water Systems

For bookings or further enquiries, please contact Amanda White at awhite@awa.asn.au or 02 9467 8416.

• RPC Technologies

WATER JUNE 2014


Composite Know How Use our expertise to meet your challenges

The only Australasian company that offers value added engineered solutions for fibreglass pipes, tanks, ducting and odour control systems

DESIGN ENGINEER SUPPLY MANUFACTURE INSTALL Leading Capablities Low and High Pressure Pipe Systems Large Diameter Tanks & Vessels Small Bore Pipes Cooling Water Piping Ovoid Sewer Pipe Liners Trunk Mains Mine Ventilation Systems Odour Control Systems Jacking Pipes Leading Brands Flowtite® GRP Piping Systems PermaGRE™ Piping Systems PermaGRP™ Piping Systems Permaglass® Bore Casings Permaglass® Pump Columns AMIJACK™

P: +61 2 9624 9800

E: infrastructure@rpctechnologies.com

Australia China Indonesia Malaysia Singapore Thailand

VIS I S

TA N

AT

www.rpctechnologies.com

D

T

R STAN OU

D #2F

20


12

Special Report

Highlights from the 2014 Water Leaders Forum At the recent AWA Water Leaders Forum water industry leaders considered increased private sector investment in water assets and called for consistency of economic regulation across all states and territories. One hundred water leaders from around Australia came together on Tuesday 29 April at the Australian Water Association (AWA) Water Leaders Forum 2014. The Forum provided an expert panel discussion on the conditions for unlocking greater private investment in water assets in Australia and round-table debates on several aspects of private investment. Participants included CEOs and senior executives from the Australian water sector including key government officials, utilities (both public and private), water technology companies, research bodies, large water users, and other suppliers and consultants to the water industry.

Emerging challenges and capital needs AWA Chief Executive, Jonathan McKeown, set the scene, referring to the growing public debate surrounding increased involvement of private companies in the operation and management of water assets. Mr McKeown highlighted the recent developments including Federal Government encouragement for State Governments to sell assets to fund new infrastructure linked to incentives to facilitate this process; the Productivity Commission Draft Report on Infrastructure last month; the Commission of Audit Report that recommends asset sales; and the announcement of the new Ministerial Working Group to address Australia’s future water infrastructure needs. Mr McKeown commented that potential success of Treasurer Hockey’s capital recycling proposal was the direct customer benefits produced in the form of new infrastructure. He said superannuation funds could be preferred investors, as their own policy holders had interests aligned to water customers’ desire to preserve the best water assets to deliver services at reasonable prices. Mr McKeown said that if the superannuation funds did invest in water assets it could drive further reform of the water sector’s

Participants at the Forum included AWA Director John Howard, Mark Pascoe (IWC) and AWA President Graham Dooley. existing governance structures and operating models. With the change in asset ownership, the roles of Governments, regulators and the utilities could be defined and separated from the role of shareholders to better deliver efficient and affordable water services. The Water Leaders Forum articulated that the key issue facing Australia’s water assets over the next five years was balancing price and affordability for consumers against the need to maintain and augment existing infrastructure – which comes at a cost. The extent of capital required to maintain and upgrade assets over the next five years was seen as the major issue by 67.5% of the water leaders. The water leaders believe that private investment could assist in delivering solutions for priority target assets, including large infrastructure assets with proven performance such as wastewater treatment plants and desalination plants.

Government policy and regulation reform There was much discussion about the need for clear and strong policy and regulatory settings to maximise customer benefits and community expectations from additional private sector involvement.

Left to right: Leith Boully, Ger Bergkamp, IWA, Francois Gouws, TRILITY, Kevin Young, Sydney Water, Adriaan Ryder, QIC.

water JUNE 2014

The need for consistency of economic regulation across all states and territories to attract long-term private investment was supported by 95% of the Forum participants. There was strong support from the Forum for a national framework that covers all areas relevant to water and wastewater management – inclusive of environmental, health and pricing aspects. In fact, 71 per cent of Forum participants thought it would be better if there were a single national economic regulator.


13

Special Report Francois Gouws, Chief Executive of one of Australia’s largest private operators, TRILITY Pty Ltd, was very clear on the need for there to be an appeal process that investors could rely on should there be any unfair determinations that arise from any of those processes. “We need clear rules and some form of appeal … some sort of coherency, consistency and the regulators need to be independent. I think a national regulator would sort it out, but it’s not that easy in Australia,” said Mr Gouws.

ways to attract capital investment into regional and rural areas. Incentives for regional and remote investment were also seen as favourable, especially taxation incentives in the development of northern Australia.

Could superannuation investment offer a solution?

Conclusions

The Forum discussed looking beyond the traditional model of Government funding/ownership of water assets. The water industry needs to examine the opportunities to raise additional capital from the private sector, deliver improved customer benefits and meet future growth needs. The Forum’s most preferred source of additional private sector funding was from the superannuation funds. From a poll taken at the Forum, 46 per cent of the water leaders said superannuation funds were the preferred source, with 49 per cent unsure and only five per cent saying that superannuation funds were not the preferred source. During the Panel Discussion, Chief Investment Officer of the Queensland Investment Corporation, Adriaan Ryder, stated that long contract terms, which provided modest but reliable returns that were linked to the CPI in a well-regulated market were the investment criteria to make Australia’s water utilities and/or their assets attractive for long-term investment from the private sector.

Attracting private sector investment into regional and rural Australia The Water Leaders Forum also addressed investment outside the urban sector. It discussed industry-driven private investment, for example in mining, agriculture and regional tourism, as effective

The Forum discussed the need to elevate the community’s perception of water as a commodity worth managing sustainably to one of Australia’s most vital drivers of economic prosperity.

Arising from the Forum’s panel discussion and subsequent debates, three clear conclusions emerged: 1. The Australian water industry is ready to consider alternative funding models and further private sector involvement to meet the demands of customers and future economic development opportunities in urban, rural and remote areas. 2. Consistency of economic regulation across all states and territories that balances the need for reasonable financial returns from assets against the customers’ ability to pay is essential to attract alternative long-term private sector funding solutions. 3. Superannuation funds provide an immediate alternative source of capital that could benefit the water sector and customers through long-term stable investments while freeing-up the balance sheets of State and Territory Governments. AWA will provide further analysis on the issues raised and engage with stakeholders and Governments to ensure the industry continues to evolve in a form that can best meet the needs of our customers and the opportunities of Australia’s future economic prosperity. The Forum was polled on the questions illustrated in the pie charts below.

5.2%

3.9%

No

Yes

Uncertain

No

27.3%

1.3%

Yes

Uncertain

Yes

5.1%

No Uncertain

46.2%

94.8% 67.5%

48.7%

1. Do you see the extent of capital investment 2. Are superannuation funds the preferred type of private investment required to maintain and upgrade assets for water assets? over the next five years as a major issue? 11.8%

3. D  o you think consistency of economic regulation in the water sector is vital to attracting long-term investments? 9.4%

Yes

Yes

No

No

Uncertain

Uncertain

17.1% 37.6%

71.1%

4. Would it be better for Australia if there was a single national economic regulator?

52.9%

5. Is there a role for special incentives to attract private investment in non-urban water assets?

JUNE 2014 water


14

CrossCurrent

National

Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Government has detailed how it will deliver on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan on time and in full, with priority given to water-saving infrastructure investments in a new Water Recovery Strategy. The Government promised to cap the volume of buybacks at 1500 GL and, instead, recover water for the environment via infrastructure investment.

The debt of Government-owned ACTEW Corporation will exceed $2.2 billion after it grows by more than 20% in five years, and the Opposition says the growth is unsustainable. Budget papers show it will push total borrowings against the ACT Government’s name to more than $4.5 billion by 2018. Much of this is due to the water and sewage entity’s borrowings, which will increase by more than $400 million in this financial year and across the Territory Budget’s forward estimates.

The CSIRO will conduct a “rapid’’ study of all water catchments across northern Australia to identify potential new dam sites as part of the Coalition’s plan to dramatically increase the development of the region. Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, has launched a green paper on developing northern Australia that will examine special economic zones, changes to indigenous land tenure to allow communities greater economic use of their holdings, and the potential use of foreign aid to train students from developing countries in northern universities.

New South Wales

The Australian Council of Learned Academics (ACOLA) has launched a new report, which for the first time confirms the importance of innovation, science and research to Australia as critical drivers of productivity and the building of future industries. The role of science, research and technology in lifting Australian productivity makes 25 key findings about Australia’s current performance and outlines opportunities to boost innovation driven productivity.

The Australian Greens have said the future sustainability of Australian water is at risk after questions at Senate Estimates on the transferral of the role of the National Water Commission were left largely unanswered. “As the rampant expansion of the mining industry continues across the nation, an independent commission to oversee the impacts of mining on our water supply is crucial,” said Greens spokesperson for Water, Senator Lee Rhiannon.

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has announced the resignation of Chief Executive Officer, Mr Matt Linnegar. NFF President, Brent Finlay, said that Mr Linnegar has made a significant contribution to the organisation and to Australian agriculture. “Matt has been at the NFF helm for over three years and in that time has successfully guided the organisation through an often tumultuous environment. Matt has provided valuable strategic leadership to the NFF including the far-reaching effects of the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture,” said Mr Finlay.

The Australian Water Occupations Framework is now live. The framework defines 28 occupations linked to vocational qualifications in the water industry and details alternative titles, ANZSCO code, their core function, tasks, skills and knowledge. The framework was developed from the need for national consensus on common roles and provides a guide for their training in nationally endorsed qualifications

water JUNE 2014

Minister for Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts, said the NSW Government is examining two reports it has received from the independent NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Mary O’Kane. Mr Roberts said the first report, Cumulative Impacts on Ground and Surface Water in the Sydney Water Catchment, analysed the impacts of activities in the Sydney Water Catchment, in particular the impact of long-wall mining and coal seam gas activities.

Underground dams offer a promising way to make Australia’s number one food bowl, the Murray-Darling Basin, more resilient against droughts, a leading water scientist says. Professor Tony Jakeman of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training and the Australian National University, says his group’s research in the Namoi River region of NSW shows there is good potential to store water underground during times of flood, for use in drought periods.

Shadow Minister for the Environment, Luke Foley, said the Labor Opposition has called on the Baird Liberal Government to abandon its scheme to abolish the Sydney Catchment Authority, following the NSW Chief Scientist’s call for an increased focus on protecting Sydney’s drinking water.

The NSW Government has announced a range of new measures that will strengthen the state’s environment watchdog, including a proposed tenfold increase in penalties for companies that breach environment protection licenses. Environment Minister Rob Stokes said the changes will provide the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) with the toughest regulatory powers in Australia, which can be used against industries that pose the greatest risk to communities.

The NSW Government has axed the position of Water Commissioner in a restructure that has irrigators unimpressed. David Harriss spent five years as water commissioner and over 25 years with the state’s water department. Richard Stott, chairman of NSW Irrigators Council, says the restructure was badly timed. “I think that with a new minister coming in and a commissioner that’s been there for a few years, you would have a period where you would need both of them there to understand how the Basin Plan is going to be implemented and the difficulties we’ve got going forward,” he said. Jeremy Buckingham, Greens NSW spokesperson, agrees. “With an El Nino on the cards, this is the worst time to re-politicise water decisions and sack someone like David Harriss who has enormous experience and knowledge in this area,” he said.


15

CrossCurrent Irrigators across the state will have important water property rights restored following the introduction of a Bill into NSW Parliament today that will overhaul water management in NSW. Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water, Kevin Humphries, said the Water Management Amendment Bill 2014 is a vital reform that will provide security for holders of supplementary water licences and floodplain harvesting licences.

Farmers on Cape York Peninsula will benefit from the removal of a moratorium by the Queensland Government that blocked new water uses from accessing Cape York’s water resources for irrigation. Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Andrew Cripps, said he had a strong plan for the future of Cape York’s water resources, with the removal of the moratorium creating opportunities for economic development in the region.

Work on the $50 million expansion of Tamworth’s Chaffey Dam will soon be underway following the awarding of the contract to construction firm John Holland. The project will increase the storage’s capacity from 62,000ML to 100,000ML to secure the water supply for the city of Tamworth and Peel Valley Water Users.

New recreational opportunities are being considered at Hinze Dam on the Gold Coast and the community is being invited to have its say. Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle said it was part of the most extensive review of recreation of South-East Queensland dams and catchments ever undertaken. The discussion paper covers the various activities currently available and provides an avenue for the community to formally submit any opportunities they see for recreation at the lake.

Farmers in north-west NSW have launched legal proceedings to force CSG company Santos to produce all of the information it holds relating to possible contamination of two water bores on a farmer’s property south of Narrabri. In 2012, a farmer whose land adjoins a Santos CSG site found that his household drinking bore had turned foul and he has not been able to use it again. Another bore on the property, closer to the CSG site, has also shown effects of possible contamination.

Northern Territory NT Chief Minister, Adam Giles, has appointed three new Parliamentary Secretaries to enhance the Government’s engagement with the community in key portfolios. “The Giles Government has big plans for the Territory’s future and I am keen to ensure that we bring Territorians with us as we pursue opportunities to develop and grow,” Chief Minister Adam Giles said.

Queensland The Australian Government’s drought-concessional loans scheme for Queensland and NSW has been approved by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said farmers in Queensland and NSW will soon be able to apply for a concessional loan to both help them through the current drought conditions and to recover when conditions improve.

New applications for water and sewerage connections must be lodged directly with Queensland Urban Utilities instead of local councils from 1 July 2014. Under the State Government’s new water approvals process, applications for water and sewerage connections will be processed by Queensland Urban Utilities for its five regions including Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Somerset.

South Australia SA water prices for next financial year will be capped at CPI, SA Minister for Water and the River Murray, Ian Hunter, has announced. Minister Hunter said the move was in line with a commitment to ensure water prices rose by no more than the CPI for the next two financial years. “Last year, this Government introduced the economic regulation of SA Water by the Essential Services Commission of South Australia,” he said. “ESCOSA now caps the amount of revenue that SA Water can collect, delivering greater transparency and accountability on water pricing.”

A group tasked with determining the most feasible options to meet the water demands of a growing Cairns will investigate various water supply and storage options, as well as methods of demand management and opportunities for increased use of recycled water. Paul Gregory, Chair of the Water Security Advisory Committee and a former Cairns Councillor, said he was pleased with the general direction of the meetings so far.

Victoria The Queensland Government’s commitment to providing safe, reliable energy and water for all Queenslanders has received a further boost in the 2014–15 State Budget. Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the Budget carefully balanced increases in education, health and community services spending, while not introducing or raising any new taxes or reducing services.

Well-above average rainfall in the northern coastal areas of Queensland has seen drought declarations in Burke, Carpentaria and Doomadgee Shires revoked. However, the Charters Towers Regional Council area would become fully drought-declared as the dry weather conditions continued in the region.

Central Highlands Water customers will receive an average $200 off water bills over the next four years with the Victorian Coalition Government’s successful Fairer Water Bills initiative. Premier Denis Napthine said the savings would be achieved by reducing the Water Access Fee, a fixed charge applicable to all homeowners and businesses that are Central Highlands Water customers.

Victorian Minister for Water, Peter Walsh, has celebrated Nhill becoming connected to world-standard quality drinking water. Mr Walsh said the $9.6 million project meant residents no longer had to rely on rainwater tanks or packaged water for drinking and food preparation.

JUNE 2014 water


16

CrossCurrent Barwon Water Chairman, Dr Michael King, has welcomed the appointment of a new Board Director. Rebecca Leonard, Senior Solicitor, Corporate Legal Services at the TAC, will begin a four-year term at Victoria’s largest regional urban water corporation from October 1 2014. Dr King said Ms Leonard would bring extensive experience and knowledge to the corporation and complement the skills-based Board.

The Environment Protection Authority has released a new online report card on the health of the Yarra, Port Phillip Bay and the rivers and creeks that flow into both. It is the first under the Napthine Government’s plan to improve the environmental health of the city’s most famous waterways. Despite its sometimes mixed reputation, the 2012–13 results find Port Phillip Bay in a generally healthy condition, with 60% of sites monitored recording very good water quality, while 30% were good and just 10% fair. However, the Yarra and many other urban creeks and rivers fare worse, with sites monitored along the Yarra and its tributaries below Healesville almost universally rated fair, poor or very poor.

Western Australia WA Water Minister, Mia Davies, has reminded households across Perth, Mandurah and parts of the south-west that it was time to turn off their reticulation systems as the winter sprinkler ban comes into effect. Since 2010, the winter sprinkler ban has been a permanent water-saving initiative, saving about four billion litres of precious drinking water each year.

Member News With effect from 1 July, Pat McCafferty will be Yarra Valley Water’s new Managing Director. With over 30 years of water industry experience, Pat has had significant operational responsibilities as well as critical strategic accountabilities in senior roles spanning business strategy, regulation, marketing, customer service, finance and information technology. For the last eight years Pat has made a significant contribution as YVW’s General Manager – Strategy and Communications, and has held other senior roles here such as General Manager – Customer Operations.

AWA would like to thank all those who entered the Australian Water Association/Deloitte State of the Water Sector Survey. We had a great response and look forward to sharing the results with you later this year. Meanwhile, congratulations to Ashley Walsh from Yarra Valley Water who won first prize for entering the survey and Ibrahim Jambol from Chem Centre who won second prize.

SMEC Australia welcomes Mr Bob Tilbury, who has been appointed as SMEC’s General Manager of Water and Environment – Australia, based in Brisbane. Bob brings to SMEC more than 20 years’ global experience in the Water and Environment industry and is recognised as a leading executive with a proven record of delivery in environmental studies and design. Having worked extensively throughout Queensland and Australia, Bob has recently focused his energy on developing economies and has held positions and completed projects in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

In September this year, the International Water Association (IWA) will host its 9th IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition in Lisbon, Portugal. The exhibition offers unique business and networking opportunities, playing host to more than 5000 leading water professionals. At the event from 21–26 September 2014, IWA and AWA are organising an Australian Pavilion. The Australian Pavilion will provide an opportunity for Australian companies to be introduced to some global water leaders and relevant organisations in Europe. Register your interest to participate at www.awa.asn.au/wateraustralia_international_missions or contact Amanda White on 02 9467 8416.

AWA welcomes the release of the Green Paper on Developing Northern Australia for comment and congratulates those appointed as Advisory Group Members. The key issues articulated by the Paper, including delivering economic infrastructure, improving land use and access, improving water access and management, promoting trade and investment, fostering education and innovation, and enhancing governance, are aligned with the key areas that AWA believes need to be the focus to develop a prosperous Australia. AWA CEO, Jonathan McKeown, said that ensuring the involvement of the public and industry groups in developing the White Paper is imperative in ensuring the Paper released later this year is evidenced-based and improves the prosperity for all Australians.

Field • Laboratory • Process

• Chlorine • Turbidity

Automatic Titrators

Instruments for up to 40 Other Parameters

For more information call 03 9769 0666 Fax: 03 9769 0699

water JUNE 2014

Email: sales@hannainst.com.au

• pH • DO • EC • Turbidity

Chlorine Analysers

Web: www.hannainst.com.au & www.hannachecker.com.au

pH/ORP/EC Controllers & Probes


REGISTER NOW EARLY BIRD & CORPORATE PACKAGE DISCOUNTS ARE AVAILABLE UNTIL FRIDAY 18 JULY 2014 Water, New Zealand’s key strategic resource will be discussed, debated and dissected over three days in Hamilton New Zealand this September. The revised national policy statement on freshwater management set for publication this year, includes for the first time a national objectives framework. Water New Zealand’s Annual Conference “Implementing Reform”, seeks to build on this, covering every aspect of the water environment and its management. With up to seven streams of presentations, workshops and a panel debate alongside New Zealand’s largest exhibition dedicated to water and its management, make sure you join us for three days of conferencing activity. Register now for the event in Hamilton, New Zealand 17-19 September 2014.

VISIT WWW.WATERNZ.ORG.NZ FOR MORE INFORMATION. PREMIER SPONSORS


NWC CHAIR RELEASES MESSAGE Chair of the National Water Commission Karlene Maywald released the following communication in response to the Budget measures announced in May: “The 2014–15 Budget confirmed the Australian Government’s decision to close the National Water Commission at the end of this year in order to achieve a net saving of $20.9 million over the next four years. The Portfolio Budget Statement relating to the Commission states: The Government has decided to cease the operations of the Commission in 2014–15 and to reallocate its statutory and some assessment responsibilities to other agencies. Legislation to repeal the National Water Commission Act 2004 will be tabled in the Parliament during the Budget sittings for effect from 1 January 2015. In 2014–15 the NWC will focus its activities on the completion of the Triennial Assessment of Commonwealth, State and Territory governments’ implementation of their commitments under the NWI and provide a report to the Minister and the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on progress of reform and on key issues needing to be addressed in the future. The NWC will also undertake administrative action to close its operations by 31 December 2014. Commission functions Some of the National Water Commission’s core functions will transfer to other agencies. In brief, we have responsibility to: • Promote the objectives and outcomes of the National Water Initiative; • Assess progress by all governments in achieving their National Water Initiative commitments; • Audit the effectiveness of the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and associated water resource plans; • Assess the performance of MDB states in implementing agreed milestones under the National Partnership on Implementing Water Reform in the Murray-Darling Basin; • Promote transparency in the water sector – including through reports such as Commission’s series of markets reports and its National Performance Reports for metropolitan, regional and rural water delivery agencies; • Undertake additional functions under the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Regulations 2011. Commissioners have endeavoured to ensure that our core functions are transferred to the most appropriate agencies. At this point, final agreement on all transfers is yet to be reached. We will post updated information on our website as soon as it becomes available. Current priorities Over the next six months, the Commission will deliver on our remaining work program commitments, foremost of which is our National Water Reform Assessment 2014 (Triennial Assessment). This report will present a comprehensive view of progress in the implementation of the National Water Initiative, including subsequent COAG reforms, and make recommendations on actions that governments should take to better achieve national water reform objectives and outcomes. The Commission plans to submit this report to the Prime Minister, as Chair of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), along with State Premiers and Territory First Ministers, in late 2014. Conclusion In light of the Australian Government’s decision, we are now working to ensure that the Commission’s dedicated and professional staff obtain alternative employment opportunities that utilise their expertise and experience. I would like to express our sincere thanks for the support that our stakeholders have offered during recent weeks. We will continue to work with you in coming months as the Commission finalises and delivers our final report on national water reform. Ongoing commitment from all our partners – governments, industries and communities – will be critical to maintain water reform momentum, prevent backsliding and uphold transparent, independent and expert reporting.”

water JUNE 2014


19

Industry News

GREAT BARRIER REEF RESEARCH To mark this year’s International World Turtle Day, eco-wine brand Banrock Station has partnered with conservation organisation, WWF-Australia to help preserve Australia’s World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and its wildlife. Through the Banrock Station Environmental Trust, the company will contribute approximately $750,000 to the Rivers to Reef to Turtles research initiative, a four-year program that will seek to identify and measure the key pollutants in rivers, the Great Barrier Reef and in green turtles themselves. Banrock Station Wetland Manager and Environmental Trust panel member, Dr Christophe Tourenq, says the research will be critical to understanding potential impacts on the Reef and for turtle conservation. Initiatives the project hopes to address include: • Identifying and measuring priority pollutants in rivers, the Great Barrier Reef and turtles; and • Contributing to the understanding of how sources and impacts of pollution are likely to put turtles and wider ecosystem health at risk. ”Our World Heritage-listed Reef has lost nearly half of its coral cover since 1985, and pollution has been a major driver of this decline,” said WWF-Australia’s National Manager for Species, Terrestrial and Indigenous Partnerships, Darren Grover. “This initiative will help us

better understand the links between water quality and green turtle health in the Great Barrier Reef. It will also inform baseline data for turtle health and help to improve efforts to manage runoff into the Reef.”

MSABI RECOGNISED WITH GLOBAL GRANTS A charitable organisation driven by a young Australian engineer that has delivered clean water, sanitation and education to more than 300,000 people in Africa has won a raft of international grants worth more than AU$600,000 to continue its work. MSABI is the largest rural water and sanitation program in Tanzania. It was founded in 2008 by Sunshine Coast engineer Dale Young after he visited the country and identified the need for a simple rope pump to supply safe, clean water to local villages. Since then, MSABI has broadened its programs to include the installation of safe water points, community education, home-based water treatments, and safe sanitation programs in the Tanzanian districts of Kilombero and Ulanga.

DESIGN

Peter Everist Hugh McGinley Ian Blinco Rob Ashton Ian Blinco Nick Day

03 8847 4735 02 9895 1522 08 8348 1606 07 3712 3680 08 8348 1606 08 8935 3325

RELIABILITY

O P E R AT E

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE Safety Water Quality Environment Health

Everything we’ve learned about water technology comes down to one thing: RELIABILITY

MELBOURNE SYDNEY ADELAIDE BRISBANE PERTH DARWIN

BUILD

DESIGN BUILD OPERATE MAINTAIN

MAINTAIN

DELIVERING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

Peter.Everist@pentair.com Hugh.McGinley@pentair.com Ian.Blinco@pentair.com Rob.Ashton@pentair.com Ian.Blinco@pentair.com Nick.Day@pentair.com

CUSTOMER SERVICE Continuity Value Responsiveness Improvement

SYSTEMS EFFICIENCY

COST OF OWNERSHIP

SMART Connectivity Automation Process Control

Whole-of-Life Talent Energy Materials

RISK MANAGEMENT

wigroup.com.au

JUNE 2014 water


20

Industry News During the past six months, MSABI has secured four major grants from international organisations, ensuring its work can continue. These include: • English Family Foundation (a Queensland-based philanthropic

AUSTRALIAN WATER OCCUPATIONS FRAMEWORK

foundation): AU$27,000 for nine water points and education; • Stone Family Foundation (a UK-based philanthropic foundation): AU$300,000 for Pump for Life water point insurance program; • iWASH USAID program: AU$150,000 for integrated water point, sanitation, education and filter pots program; • World Bank/Aquaya: AU$150,000 for a national sanitation marketing initiative.

Government Skills Australia (GSA) has launched a new site, The Australian Water Occupations Framework (AWOF). The AWOF defines 28 water occupations linked to vocational qualifications in the water industry and details their core functions, tasks, skills and knowledge. GSA is a national Industry Skills Council (ISC) for the government and community safety sectors representing the Vocational Education and Training (VET) and workforce interests of Correctional Services, Local Government, Public Safety, Public Sector and Water. GSA provides industry intelligence on skills needs and training solutions to the Australian Government to develop a skilled workforce. It also services industry through the provision of quality training products and qualifications, workforce development and career advice. The AWOF is a high-level guide for employers and the vocational education and training sector in the water industry, providing a guide to qualifications contained within the National Water Training Package (NWP) that address skills for the occupation. The framework was developed from the need for national consensus on common roles to list alternative titles and guide their need for training. The water industry aims to improve national workforce planning and national representation of the industry by adoption of the framework.

Your Partner in Chlorination

Our World Our Water Our Commitment

Gas & Liquid 14 Winterton Road, Clayton, Victoria 3168 P O Box 1105, Clayton South, Victoria 3169 Ph: (03) 9544 7333 • Fax: (03) 9543 6706 Email: chemex@acromet.com.au www.acromet.com.au

Chlorination Systems Metering & Monitoring Polymer Make-up Systems Instrumentation

Our World - AWA Dec 13/Jan 2014 water JUNE 2014


21

Industry News Work commenced in January 2013, with high-level consultation to determine functional groups based on occupations. The functional groups have guided the work with the assistance of technical reference groups (TRGs). The TRGs have assisted GSA to analyse the occupations in each stream. The analysis has been used to validate and develop the existing qualifications. GSA is working to identify any gaps.

Aqualab Scientific is recognised as a leader in the environmental industry, supplying quality brands that customers have known and trusted for years.

Streams identified include: • Source; • Networks;

Water Quality Instruments

• Treatment;

The HL4 is the next generation multiparameter water quality instrument from Hydrolab. Its reliability, ease-of-use, and metadata produce water quality data you can trust. Sensors include; Temp, Conductivity, pH, ORP, LDO (Luminescent Dissolved Oxygen), Depth and self Cleaning Turbidity

• Hydrography; • Trade waste. Benefits for the water industry include: • Defines and clarifies roles within the water industry nationally; • Assists with building the case for expansion and improved representation in the ANZSCO codes and for data collection; • Recognises the skills required of individuals responsible for the provision of drinking water and treatment of sewage in Australian communities; • Highlights gaps for further development and improvement of the national water training package.

Water Level Sensors

Please visit www.governmentskills.com.au/awof for further information or contact Sue Peisley, Industry Liaison Officer, Government Skills Australia at S.Peisley@govskills.com.au

CBS Compact Bubbler Level Sensor Low Maintenance, low power with an intelligent pump strategy, no pump maintenance or lubrication required. SDI-12, 4-20mA.

SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK WATER TREATMENT PROCESS UNVEILED

RLS Radar Level Sensor Contactless and energyefficient water level measurement. Flat antenna and inconspicuous design housing using diving bell principal. 35m range SDI-12, 4-20mA, RS-485.

Almost 14 years after playing host to the ‘best Games ever’, Sydney Olympic Park continues to deal with the legacy of managing the largest environmental clean-up in Australia’s history, aided by an innovative treatment system that breaks down contaminants and releases clean water to the environment. “This advanced bio-treatment process, unveiled on World Environment Day, is a wonderful example of innovative thinking to solve today’s pressing environmental issues” said NSW Sport and Recreation Minister Stuart Ayres. “Not only does it process contaminated water cleanly and efficiently, it does so at a much reduced cost compared to traditional commercial treatment methods.”

Water Level Data Loggers Diver Data Loggers have become an industry standard in the measurement of water level and salinity in groundwater and surface water applications. The pressure transducer, temperature sensor, salinity sensor, data logger and battery are integrated into a single robust device.

JUNE 2014 water


22 CARRY MORE Industry News WATER METHODS WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU NEED THEM MOST.

Contaminants found on site are contained within large mounds across the Park that hold the material in safe storage. These mounds produce wastewater known as leachate that is collected and, until now, has been treated at an industrial waste treatment facility, an expensive process requiring the leachate to be transported off-site for treatment. The Sydney Olympic Park Authority has long sought an environmentally friendly alternative to off-site processing and is today commissioning an on-site bio-treatment process that will allow clean, effective and environmentally sound treatment of these contaminants. This natural treatment system, first installed at Wilson Park Bioremediation Site, diverts waste by-product away from more traditional industrial treatment processes and treats contaminates sustainably onsite, using a series of wetlands that allow natural biological processes to breakdown contaminants into harmless substances. The Authority has worked closely with the NSW Environment Protection Authority to achieve a good outcome for the environment and community. The Sydney Olympic Park Authority intends rolling out the same leachate processing systems across the entire Park, resulting in long-term financial savings and a more sustainable facility.

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES IN WATER MANAGEMENT FROM A LOCAL GOVERNMENT PERSPECTIVE When it comes to best practice water management, it’s vital for decision-makers to communicate with, and be accountable to, their communities. Information sharing by councils’ local water utilities, such as the data included in the annual NSW Office of Water’s Performance Monitoring Report for NSW Water Utilities, is a great way to bolster public accountability and show the achievements of local water utilities in implementing best practice management. Those involved in the decision-making process within the water sector should ensure they stay well informed about the reforms, regulatory frameworks and challenges the industry is facing. A beneficial way to do this is through learning opportunities such as the upcoming Local Government NSW (LGNSW) Water Management Conference. This year’s Conference, which takes place in Port Macquarie from 25–27 August, will cover water management and issues associated with water supply and sewerage services provided by water utilities.

The DR 1900 Portable Spectrophotometer features over 220 of the most commonly tested water methods. 1300 887 735 | hachpacific.com.au

Planned topics of discussion include proposals to reform local water utilities in regional NSW and implications from the recommendations of the Independent Local Government Review Panel; trends in, and the ongoing reform of, the regulatory framework for water recycling, including economic feasibility and direct potable reuse; and the progress and challenges of implementing drinking water quality management frameworks in regional NSW. Professor Graham Sansom, former Chair of the Independent Local Government Review Panel, will attend the Conference as a member of a four-person panel that will discuss structural reform to local water utilities. He will also outline the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s Revitalising Local Government report and its repercussions for the water management sector. The report’s recommendation, that regional alliances exist as subsidiaries of Joint Organisations, and the impact this has on ownership, decision-making and governance will be a key topic.

water JUNE 2014


23

Industry News Concerns shared by Local Government representatives, such as whether the subsidiary system would be too complex and whether the geographical scale of the multipurpose Joint Organisations fit with the best scale for regional water alliances, will also be discussed.

NANOH2O ACQUIRED BY LG CHEM NanoH2O, manufacturer of the most efficient and cost-effective reverse osmosis (RO) membranes for seawater desalination, has been acquired by LG Chem. LG Chem is based in Seoul, Korea, and ranks as one of the leading chemical companies in the world.

The Conference will look at trends in, and the ongoing reform of, the regulatory framework for water recycling including economic feasibility and Direct Potable Reuse (DPR), and will also look at quality assurance programs for drinking water management systems in regional NSW.

“We are extremely pleased to join LG Chem,” said Jeff Green, founder and CEO of NanoH2O. “What began as an innovative idea in a university lab just nine years ago is now part of a $22 billion leading global chemical company with vast manufacturing, R&D and commercial resources. The acquisition will only serve to accelerate the delivery of innovative and energy-efficient membrane technologies to our customers and the desalination industry.”

A safe and reliable drinking water supply is the most essential and critical public health service provided by a local water utility to its community. To this end, the Conference will also include a presentation on the concept of health-based targets for water utilities by Richard Walker from the Water Corporation of Western Australia.

“NanoH2O, with its unique membrane technology, has rapidly established itself as a leading RO membrane manufacturer in the growing desalination industry,” said Jin Soo Park, Vice Chairman and CEO of LG Chem. “We understand the gravity of water scarcity and its importance not just to our business, but across the globe. LG Chem is committed to supporting sustainable, energy-efficient technology platforms that lower the cost and increase the availability of fresh water.”

With 200 delegates anticipated to attend the LGNSW Water Management Conference 2014, it’s important you register at lgnsw. org.au/waterconference by Friday 15 August to secure your place.

NanoH2O will maintain operations from its headquarters in Los Angeles, California, and from its sales offices throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

MCBERNS TRUSTED SUPPLIER OF ODOUR FILTERS & SEALED SAFETY COVERS MCBERNS HAS A LARGE RANGE OF ODOUR SCRUBBERS TO ELIMINATE YOUR ODOUR PROBLEMS FAST & EFFICIENTLY.

LFVP

MCBERNS SEALED SAFETY LIDS WITH 4-SIDE VOID PROTECTION WILL IMPROVE YOUR SAFETY. PRODUCTS YOU CAN TRUST!

JUST RELEASED ZC4000

LFVP

LFPR

ZC4000

TREATS EXTREME H2S LEVELS & AIRFLOWS OVER 200L/S RELOCATABLE RECHARGEABLE

ZC4000

For 23 years McBerns has been a trusted supplier to the Water & Wastewater and Industrial Sectors. We provide Safe, Fast and Economical Solutions for Odour Problems, Maintenance and Workplace Health & Safety Issues. Our products are Designed & Manufactured in Australia.

LFM

MCBERNS PTY LTD

McBerns holds Quality Management Systems Certification meeting the ISO:9001:2008; AS/NZS4801:2001 and ISO14001:2004.

QA CERTIFICATION

MEMBERS OF

Working Towards a Safer Workplace & a Better Environment!

KUNDA PARK QLD 4556 AUSTRALIA www.mcberns.com PH: 61 7 5445 1646 FAX: 61 7 5445 1743

mail@mcberns.com

JUNE 2014 water


24

Industry News

SMEC APPOINTS NEW GENERAL MANAGER SMEC Australia welcomes Mr Bob Tilbury, who has been appointed as SMEC’s General Manager of Water and Environment – Australia, based in Brisbane. Bob brings to SMEC more than 20 years’ global experience

As an operational management executive leading large, multidisciplinary teams on mining, energy, port and water infrastructure projects, Bob has developed and led some of the industry’s strongest water and environment groups through challenging economic conditions and markets. Most recently, Bob spent 11 years with SKM, culminating in being appointed SKM’s Area Manager Asia – Water and Environment, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In taking on the role of General Manager Water and Environment – Australia, Bob returns to Australia attracted to SMEC’s areas of expertise, its projection into new business and geographic markets, and its prospects for growth.

in the Water and Environment industry and is recognised as a leading executive with a proven record of delivery in environmental studies and design. Having worked extensively throughout Queensland and Australia, Bob has recently focused his energy on developing economies,

GOVERNMENT MOVES TO DEVELOP NORTHERN AUSTRALIA

having held positions and completed projects in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. With an emphasis on expanding water and environmental consulting services to power, energy, transport, water utility, mining and government clients, the strategic direction that Bob has pursued as a leader aligns closely with SMEC’s corporate objectives. Bob counts the World Bank, Xstrata, BHP Billiton and the Queensland Gas Corporation (QGC) on his list of clients to whom he has delivered value-for-money projects of the highest quality.

The Australian Government has released a Green Paper on Developing Northern Australia. The paper was released by Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss in Townsville. Mr Truss also announced the members of the Northern Australia Advisory Group. “The development of northern Australia is a priority for the new Australian Government,” Mr Truss said. “Further growth and investment will have direct benefits across northern Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia, but that prosperity will spread to all Australians.

ONLINE TRAINING Professional development options at the click of a button. www.awa.asn.au/online_training

Reduce staff time spent travelling to offsite training.

Help your staff update and upgrade their knowledge and skills.

Minimize the costs involved with sending staff to training outside of the workplace.

Access the learning platform anywhere, 24/7.

You can be sure all courses are led by experienced lecturers.

AWA is pleased to offer our corporate members, a discounted bulk purchase of online training registrations which reduces the water price of most of the programs by up to 50% off their true cost. JUNE 2014


25

Industry News “Farmers and business developers in southern parts of the country will be eyeing the opportunities in the north to expand and diversify their interests. This has been part of our plan to put regional Australia at the heart of a national economic recovery.” Mr Truss said the Government wants to: • Develop a food bowl, including premium produce, which could help to double Australia’s agricultural output;

“The north enjoys geographic advantages from its proximity to burgeoning Asian economies and many natural assets that attract visitors from all over the world. But it is widely accepted that there is more to be done to realise its full economic potential.” The Government’s Green Paper sets out six policy directions to develop northern Australia further, and invites public comment and debate on these by 8 August 2014. The options include: • Delivering economic infrastructure;

• Build an energy export industry worth $150 billion to the economy, with a major focus on clean and efficient energy, providing major increases to resource exports; and

• Improving land use and access;

• Grow the tourist economy in northern Australia to two million international tourists a year.

• Promoting trade and investment, and strengthening

“It’s a vision that is achievable and embraces the north’s strengths and natural advantages in agriculture, cattle production, energy generation, tourism growth and education and health service expansion,” he said. “This was a key election commitment for the Coalition, to allow regional Australia to achieve its full potential through greater investment in infrastructure, jobs and services. It will open the north as a new frontier for Australia – economically and socially. “The Green Paper reminds us that northern Australia is vital to our national economy, with 55% of exports shipped through northern ports and agricultural production in the north worth over $5 billion.

• Improving water access and management;

the business environment; • Fostering education, research and innovation; and • Enhancing governance. The Northern Australia Advisory Group will provide expert advice on developing northern Australia to the members of the Strategic Partnership – the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, the Premiers of Queensland and Western Australia and the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory. For a copy of the Green Paper and to lodge submissions, please visit northernaustralia.dpmc.gov.au. Submissions must be received by 8 August 2014.

Are you up to date in your knowledge of decentralised water systems? Registrations open soon for this Australian Water Association national conference

SMALL WATER AND WASTEWATER SYSTEMS The number and diversity of small water and wastewater systems is on the rise in Australia and today decentralised water systems are re-emerging as long term solutions to water scarcity. This conference will provide a learning, networking and knowledge-sharing opportunity for participants. {H ear from keynote speaker, Laurence Gill, Associate Professor Environmental Engineering, Trinity College, Dublin { Update your knowledge with presentations from experts in environmental and economic sustainability, water recycling, public health and technological innovation { Explore domestic and international perspectives on decentralised water systems { Network, discuss and debate the key issues with professionals in the same field.

SWWS2014

NATIONAL CONFERENCE 13-14 August 2014 Newcastle Panthers

REGISTRATIONS OPEN SOON www.awa.asn.au/swws2014 JUNE 2014 water


AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST FUSION OF BUSINESS AND ENVIRONMENT The event for industry, government and the environmental sectors to gather to shape policy and progress on sustainable enterprise. • 5 renowned keynote speakers plus a massive 3-day program of experts • Professional development workshops and technical tours • Concurrent streams across energy, waste, water and clean air • Facilitated one-on-one meetings with keynotes and sponsors • Networking opportunities with researchers, government, business leaders, practitioners and policy makers KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

Jonathan Trent OMEGA Project Scientist, NASA Ames Research Centre

Richard J. Pope Vice President, ARCADIS, New York

EARLY BIRD CLOSES 31 JULY

Benjamin Hewett SA Government Architect & Executive Director of the Office for Design and Architecture SA

Dr Felicity-ann Lewis, President ALGA, Mayor of Marion

Jon Dee Founder & MD DoSomething! Founder Planet Ark

WASTE • WATER • CLEAN AIR • CLEAN ENERGY

Conference, Expo, Workshops & Tours 17 - 19 Sep 2014 • Adelaide Convention Centre

AYSR www.enviroconvention.com.au W H PATR BETTE FO ESS

BUSIN

www.enviroconvention.com.au A joint venture between:

ENVIRO’14 Partner Organisations:

Government Partner:


27

Young Water Professionals

a little leSS coNVerSatioN... Justin Simonis – AWA YWP National Committee President To some reading the title of this column, it will inspire images of the 1968 Elvis Presley classic. To others it will resonate more vividly with the 2002 remix by Junkie XL. Yet others won’t have a clue that the line came from a song. Music history aside, very few among us don’t know the second half of this famous one-liner: “a little more action”. While writing this column I can’t help but reflect on another Ozwater Conference & Exhibition done and dusted, and what those of us lucky enough to attend may make of the opportunities it presented. In the closing ceremony, Dr Helen Stratton, Chair Ozwater’14 and AWA Board Member, discussed how AWA – as a national industry association primarily focused on the sustainable management of a rare and essential resource – offers incredible value not only to other industries nationally, but also to the management of water internationally. She also noted that we are terrible at selling this fact! The YWP were provided with a chance to correct this as part of their representation during the ceremony. I had the responsibility of delivering this shameless plug and used the opportunity to speak about the good work that YWPs are doing and remind people of the need to support them. My closing address paid tribute to the maturity of our industry as one where colleagues and competitors speak freely together of lessons learnt, and how we can work smarter to achieve more for the industry. I spoke about Ozwater as an amazing learning opportunity and how, with the looming knowledge gap created by the increasing average age of our profession (compounded by the loss of young people from the industry), it must be used as a forum to impart knowledge to experienced professionals and the next generation of water industry professionals alike.

CALL FOR ACTION So I say that it is time for a little more action; time for a little more emphasis on the development of young professionals in our industry; time for a little more encouragement to contribute papers; and time for a little more support for their engagement in the industry. Without corporate support and encouragement from both line and senior managers, most if not all of the YWPs currently engaged in the association would be unable to continue to contribute to the industry in the way we do. But a little more action is required by YWP as well. We must find tangible ways to prove the business case for others to support our involvement in the industry. We cannot expect to be afforded opportunities without providing some form of return on the investment made in us. The presentation of papers at any of the many forums that AWA provides in addition to Ozwater, such as regional, state and specialist network conferences, is just one way we can do this. I would encourage anyone who identifies him or herself as a young professional to proactively engage with AWA. The Association currently supports nearly 20 specialist networks of which the YWP is just one, meaning that there is a network for almost everyone. Active engagement in, and support of, one of these not only enhances professional networks, but the knowledge transfer and mentoring opportunities that are presented through industry leaders who are similarly passionate about a topic cannot be adequately quantified. While there will always be a place for conversation, such as the many had at Ozwater, it is time for a little more action so that we can begin to put in place the many ideas that these conversations have prompted. Don’t sit and wait for change. Inspire it.

JUNE 2014 WAter


28

AWA News

Specialist Network Member Profile We ask Richard Scott, Manager – Learning and Development, Technical and Water, South Australian Water Corporation, what he loves about working in the water industry and what he sees as the key challenges facing the sector in the coming years. What was your first job in the water industry and what has been your career path since? I applied for a position prior to graduating and was subsequently offered a role as a Senior Environmental Health Officer with the then NSW Public Works in the Country Town Water Supply Program. The position involved auditing, troubleshooting, training and regulating small town water supplies schemes in country NSW. My career has followed on from the initial placement mainly in a training, auditing and compliance role. What was it that attracted you to the water industry? I was always interested in the public health aspect of water and wastewater services. When I was offered a position to assist management of the NSW Country Water and Wastewater program I thought this was a good fit for my skills. What does your job entail (please describe a typical working day) and what are your key responsibilities/accountabilities? My current position entails managing training needs across the corporation, whether that be facilitating in-house procedures or sourcing external providers. Staff competency profiles are written, reviewed and upgraded as required and training plans designed and delivered. The job involves close consultation with RTO providers to contextualise learning material to fit national and corporation needs.

getting?” Unfortunately customers don’t relate good public health outcomes to increased costs. The challenge is to provide better or greater service at the same or reduced cost. Research funding is a spend sometimes seen as a luxury; however, if we as an industry ignore building in this section of the business we may as a country start to follow the industry, as opposed to leading it. Why is it important to you to volunteer your time to an organisation such as AWA? Volunteering with AWA special interests groups not only helps to increase your links within a small industry, but also helps you gain valuable insight across the sector. The diverse nature of the group exposes you to different thoughts and needs across the nation. I am of the opinion that if everyone does one voluntary job in their skills area it shares the load for all within the industry. I like the famous quote from John F Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”. What benefits do you receive from contributing your time and expertise? Broad experience – and the opportunity to work with a group of professionals that deal with different issues across the industry and Australia. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? Looking forward to retirement and travelling, either overseas or locally. If I am still at work I will try to stay in the water industry to continue learning and promoting best practice. If you hadn’t chosen to work in the water industry, what alternative career would you have chosen? I think I’d have chosen a role either in the mining or manufacturing industry, where output or results are measurable.

What aspects of your role do you find most challenging – and rewarding?

2014 Election of Directors: Call for Nominations

Identifying training needs and facilitating the delivery to industry and corporation requirements is a challenge. The most difficult aspect is finding appropriate “training windows”. Operational staff are timepoor and finding a time slot that suits everyone is difficult. The greatest reward is always a demonstration or application of training outcome. Also rewarding are receiving a phone call asking for confirmation or clarification of a point, photographs of jobs/tasks undertaken, etc.

In accordance with the AWA Constitution, notice is hereby provided to members of the Australian Water Association Limited (ACN 78 096 035 773) that the election of Directors for the next two-year term of office, beginning May 2015, will take place at the AGM to be held Tuesday 14 October 2014.

How has the water industry changed since you first started working in it, and how do you see it changing in the future? Change to date includes the greater application and use of policy and procedures, with the understanding that the ADWG is not just a large bureaucratic document but one that helps you better guide your business. In future utilities will need to provide equal or better service with fewer people. This may involve greater use of technology to help staff make informed operational decisions, and less internal specialist activities with greater reliance on specialised outside service providers. What do you think are the key challenges facing the water industry today both here in Australia and globally? Ageing infrastructure and costs associated with continued operation of plant and equipment; increased regulation oversight; and how we can continue to function while still providing the best public health outcomes. Delivering value to our customers is another challenge. If we charge more for our service customers ask: ”What extra are we

water JUNE 2014

All retiring Directors (i.e. those completing the current two-year term) are eligible for re-nomination and appointment, unless they will have served three consecutive terms (six years) on the Board. Of the current Board, two members will have completed three consecutive terms of office, not including the current President who is automatically re-appointed in accordance with the Constitution as Past President for one more year. For the available Director positions at least four re-nominating Directors, including the current President and President Elect, must be re-appointed to the board, subject to ratification at the annual general meeting. For the remaining six positions, nominees will be selected by the Strategic Advisory Committee from the remaining nominees for ratification at the AGM. These nominees will comprise the remaining eligible, re-nominating Directors and all new candidates nominating for selection. Due to an existing casual vacancy there will be at least three existing Directors not re-nominating.


29

AWA News All nominees must be members of the Company at the time of nomination. Candidates are required to provide information to support their application for election to the Board on the Director Nominations Forms (2014). These forms and the guidance document Election of Directors and President Elect can be obtained at www.awa.asn.au/AWA_Board_ Documentation.aspx or from the Company Secretary ijarman@awa.asn. au or phone 02 9467 8411. Nominations will close at midnight on Friday 1 August 2014. (Note: Late nominations cannot be accepted).

Congratulations to the Winner of the Best Water Journal Paper This year some 71 refereed papers were published in the eight issues of Water Journal dating from the April 2013  issue until the February 2014 issue. The Journal Committee were responsible for selecting the Best Water Journal Paper (previously the Guy Parker Award) published for the year. The judging criteria were originality, relevance and presentation, with each category of equal weight. All papers were of a high standard but the Committee’s recommendation was the paper published in the February 2014 issue by Michael Blackam entitled “Source, Fate and Water – Energy Intensity in the Coal Seam Gas and Shale Gas Sector”. The paper is significant in covering the occurrence of coal seam gas and shale gas in Australia, which dwarfs conventional on-shore oil and gas resources, and explores the relationship between energy and water with these unconventional energy sources. Regulators have to respond to the challenges of energy and water. AWA would like to congratulate Michael Blackam on winning the award.

Branch News AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY ACT Branch Award Nominations Now Open The AWA ACT Branch Awards are now open. These Awards are an exciting part of the ACT Branch’s annual program and have been developed to promote the outstanding work achieved by individuals and organisations in the water sector, as well as to promote water and environmental sciences as a career choice through the Student Category Awards. The Awards are an opportunity for individuals and organisations to be recognised for innovation and excellence in the technology, business and delivery of water industry projects. Please visit the AWA website for information on categories and criteria.

NEW SOUTH WALES NSW Branch Award Nominations Now Open The AWA NSW Branch Awards nominations are now open. The NSW Branch Awards have been designed to acknowledge the best of the best in the NSW Water Sector, as well as recognise exceptional achievements in a range of industry and individual categories. They have become the vehicle that showcases the outstanding work that is being carried out across the state, including a number of entries from regional NSW. Please visit the AWA website for more information.

Heads of Water 2014 Gala Dinner Don’t forget to book your spot at the NSW Heads of Water 2014 Gala Dinner. This event brings together leading water professionals for an evening of networking with colleagues and peers, enjoying fine food and drinks, and celebrating the water sector. Performer and writer, Jean Kittson, is our Master of Ceremonies for the evening. NSW Heads of Water 2013 was sold out, so get in early.

Water Sensitivity Seminar Sydney’s ‘move towards water sensitivity’ seminar will be held on 23 July. This is the third seminar in the NSW Branch’s series and will focus on Sydney’s gradual transition towards becoming a water-sensitive city. By enhancing the city’s complex interaction with the hydrological cycle, we can deliver benefits in economic prosperity, environmental health, flood mitigation, water security and provide amenable and useful public areas.

VICTORIA 52nd Victorian Branch Annual Dinner If the cold and gloom of winter will be getting you down by August we have the solution: the Victorian Branch Annual Dinner will be held on 7 August at the Melbourne Town Hall. From humble beginnings in the 1950s as a meal shared by a few members after the AGM, the event has grown into the largest water industry dinner in Victoria. Its standing as a key event for the Victorian water industry is reflected by the calibre of the guest speakers, who consistently come from the top levels of industry decision-makers. This year the guest speaker will be AWA President Graeme Dooley. Graeme is also Chairman of Osmoflo, Australia’s largest desalination industry supplier, and has a long and distinguished water industry career. Of course, such a prestigious event is only possible with generous support from our sponsors. We are delighted that Thiess Services will continue its long-term support for the Annual Dinner this year. To book your tickets please contact vicbranch@awa.asn.au

ACT Water Leaders Dinner Registration is now open for the ACT Water Leaders Dinner to be held on Thursday 4 September 2014 in Canberra. This prestigious event is a gathering of ACT business, industry and community leaders, including government representatives and the public sector. The ACT Water Leaders dinner provides opportunities for exchange of ideas and experiences in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Spaces are limited, so book early.

JUNE 2014 water


30

AWA News

New Members AWA welcomes the following new members since the most recent issue of Water Journal

NEW INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS

S Healy, S Walker, J Moffatt, A Zammit, C Jackson, B Jedrej, B McGowan, B Tilbury

SA

NSW

P Witts, M Northcott, P O’Donoghue, S Dai, Y Wang, R Bhavaraju, H Brooks, M Burger, N Brunton, L Currie, T Roubos, A Kilborn, C Wolf, M Romer, D Gooding, I Campbell, M Truong, N Smith, M Maund, T Rannard,

NT

S Tucker, S Popple

QLD

N Purdam, B Steel, L Pearson, P Bierton, K Jeyandran, Q Rider, R Cope, G Kemp, D Hogarth, R Pillar, GP Vega Rodriguez,

NEW OVERSEAS MEMBERS R Zuback, Boston US; J McDermott, Auckland, New Zealand

D Bonini, B Raw

TAS M Abela

VIC J Russell, G Lynch, M Pledge, E Norman, A May, R Alexi, M Carr, K Tasker, L Guthrie, S Cox, B Richens, C Wilkinson, S Hamilton, R Beaton, L Corbett, M Waller, S Kells, S Want

NEW STUDENT MEMBERS

WA

R Ten Cate, N Thatcher

M Braccia, M Ginige, D Nevin, A Marr, D McLean, P McCaffrey, C Davison

NSW VIC

A Reidy

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

July Tue, 08 Jul 2014 – Thu, 10 Jul 2014

Peri-Urban’14, UWS, Parramatta, NSW

Tue, 08 Jul 2014

Vic YWP Seminar – Innovation, Young & Jacksons, Melbourne

Wed, 09 Jul 2014

QLD – Detailed Total Water Cycle Management Planning for Moreton Bay Regional Council – Monthly Technical Meeting, Brisbane, QLD

Mon, 14 Jul 2014 – Fri, 18 Jul 2014

IWES Courses in Water and Wastewater Management, Gold Coast, QLD

Tue, 15 Jul 2014

VIC Seminar – Catchment Management for Water Quality, Melbourne CBD, VIC

Wed, 23 Jul 2014

NSW Branch Seminar 3: Sydney’s Move Towards Water Sensitivity, Office of Finance and Services, Sydney

Wed, 30 Jul 2014 – Thu, 31 Jul 2014

QLD – North Queensland Regional Conference, Mackay, QLD

Wed, 30 Jul 2014

WA Water Industry Lunch, Parmelia Hilton Hotel, WA

Fri, 01 Aug 2014

NSW Heads of Water 2014, Dockside, Sydney

Thu, 07 Aug 2014

VIC Branch – 52nd Annual Dinner, Melbourne Town Hall, VIC

Fri, 08 Aug 2014

SA Branch Conference 2014: Sharing the Successes of the South Australian Water Industry, Serafino Winery, McLaren Vale, SA

Wed, 13 Aug 2014 – Thu, 14 Aug 2014

Small Water and Wastewater Systems National Conference, Newcastle, NSW

Wed, 20 Aug 2014

SA Young Water Professionals – Mentoring Event, Adelaide, SA

Tue, 26 Aug 2014

VIC Seminar – The Victorian Water Company in 2030, Melbourne CBD

Thu, 28 Aug 2014

‘Where the Waters Meet’ – AWA TAS Annual Conference, Wrest Point, TAS

August

September Wed, 03 Sep 2014

SA Technical Seminar, Adelaide, SA

Thu, 11 Sep 2014

VIC YWP Seminar - Paradigm Shift, Young & Jacksons, Melbourne, VIC

Thu, 11 Sep 2014 – Fri, 12 Sep 2014

Master Class: Understanding Groundwater Law, Acton, Canberra

Fri, 12 Sep 2014

QLD Gala Dinner & Awards Night, Brisbane, QLD

Tue, 16 Sep 2014

Vic Seminar – Water Solutions for Emerging Nations, Melbourne CBD, VIC

Wed, 17 Sep 2014 – Fri, 19 Sep 2014

ENVIRO’14, Adelaide Convention Centre, SA

Wed, 30 Jul 2014 – Thu, 31 Jul 2014

QLD - North Queensland Regional Conference, Mackay, QLD

Wed, 30 Jul 2014

WA Water Industry Lunch, Parmelia Hilton Hotel, WA

water JUNE 2014


REPORTS & HIGHLIGHTS FROM AUSTRALIA’S MOST DYNAMIC WATER EVENT OF THE YEAR


32

Ozwater Report

OZWATER’14 CREATES A BUZZ IN BRISBANE Chris Davis and Diane Wiesner provide a comprehensive rundown on this year’s Ozwater Conference & Exhibition, which took place in Brisbane from 29 April to 1 May. OVERVIEW

8.

Charging more for water;

Balmy autumn days, interspersed with rain showers, greeted participants to the Ozwater’14 Conference & Exhibition at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in late April/early May. For the 1,100 plus delegates and 200 exhibitors attending, the buzz of interacting with colleagues was as positive as ever and the mood this year seemed particularly receptive to change and new ideas.

9.

New players and new financing sources for water;

A far cry from the days of the Australian Water & Wastewater Association (AWWA)* Biennial Conventions when the event had just two streams (water and wastewater), the 2014 Conference offered a cornucopia of 10 parallel sessions, with many sessions overflowing. Thanks to the efforts of Ozwater’14 Chair, Helen Stratton, and AWA’s National Manager – Events and Publications, Wayne Castle and their teams, the whole event ran seamlessly. For the geographically challenged, the expanded Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre takes some getting used to, but it handled plenary sessions and the 1,000-person Gala Dinner with ease. Key statistics for content were: Plenary Keynote Speakers – 6; Platform Sessions – 128; Specialist Network Workshops – 6; Affiliate Sessions – 5; and Posters – 39. Ozwater’14 seemed to have the broadest and most eclectic program ever in the 50 years since the first event in Canberra was held and attended by 64 delegates. This report aims to provide a taste of some of the many themes, while the winner of the Michael J Flynn Award (for Best Paper) and the Runner-Up are reproduced in full in this issue, with other selected papers to appear in later issues. Several workshops are also reported separately following this report.

KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS In chronological order, keynote presentations were as follows: Margaret Catley-Carlson – an illustrious member of the global water community who is presently serving on the UN SecretaryGeneral’s Advisory Board on Water – gave the opening address, in which she highlighted 10 key areas for change: 1.

Real economics to value water;

2.

Finding externality values of outcomes;

3.

Harvesting energy benefits of better water management;

4.

Harvesting the nutrient load in wastewater;

5.

Reuse;

6.

Greywater use;

7.

Decentralisation;

* In 1999 AWWA dropped the word ‘Wastewater’ from its name and became simply the Australian Water Association (AWA)

WATER JUNE 2014

10.

Seizing awareness of water.

Cheryl Batagol, Chairman of the Victorian Environmental Protection Authority, drew on her diverse experience in sustainability, waste management and water to identify key common themes relating to restorative justice and environmental equity. She explained how the Victorian EPA applies these principles: holding conferences with offenders and urging them to confront their culpability. An escalating path is adopted, aimed at having offenders make restitution and be accepted back into the community. Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, opened the batting on Day 2. He identified his key personal interest and concerns – water security, the environment and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Policy issues related to water have been a focus for Australian governments over the last 10 years, beginning with the National Water Initiative (NWI). This provided an opportunity to encourage a better understanding by the community of the interdependence of water and the environment. Aims included the assignment of a true value to water, a focus on sustainability, promoting more efficient use, further developing water trading and seeking maximum utility and value from each drop of water. He pointed to the recent sale of water held in reserve by the Commonwealth back to drought-stricken farmers to enable them to finish their crops, thereby providing them with the opportunity to gain a secure return – an economic benefit that might otherwise have been lost. Christopher Gasson, publisher of Global Water Intelligence, introduced a lighter note, with a flowsheet to illustrate how the two sides of Australian politics manage water policy to their best advantage. He then explained how privatisation first hit the headlines in 1989 in England. The regulatory focus was on the

Cheryl Batagol, Chair of the Victorian EPA.


33

Ozwater Report home market, so the businesses invested in developing countries, particularly South America. In 2001, with the Argentinian devaluation and currency conversion policy, the investments became worthless and, with massive unemployment, consumers could not pay for water anyway. Around the same time, the English regulator (OFWAT) had tightened controls and regulations on parent companies based there. The net result has been a cessation of global privatisation. Glasson then turned from history to pose the question most relevant to Australia’s situation today as governments look to sell existing assets to fund new infrastructure. He outlined a notional, partial privatisation concept involving an investor and a utility jointly holding water assets in a specially created holding company. This entity then conducts business by awarding service contracts. Regulation plays an important role, as does the massive appetite of pension funds for modest but reliable returns on long-term investments. Opening keynote on the last day, Karlene Maywald, Chair of the National Water Commission, provided a comprehensive summary of the achievements of the Commission in delivering the goals and priorities as defined by the National Water Initiative. The Commission provides independent and public advice to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the Australian Government by assessing, auditing and monitoring water reform progress. Additional roles relate to the implementation of plans for the Murray-Darling Basin; collection and consolidation of data on Australia’s water resources with a focus on groundwater; refinements to water trading practice; and promoting urban water reform and the sustainable use of water. Victor Javier Bourguett, Director General of the Mexican Institute of Water Technology, provided an insight to water management in Mexico, a country of contrasts with arid but populous northern and central regions, and a south that faces recurring floods and heavy rain. Providing a reliable and secure

water supply and sanitation service to the community is complicated by the wide divergence in socio-economic status of the community. Bourguett summarised his country’s current 2013–2018 Water Strategy and concluded with a video of Mexico’s water resources and challenges, water assets and technologies being used to deliver on the strategy. Helmut Kroiss, incoming President of IWA, spoke to the closing session on Thursday 1 May. His main thrust was the upcoming IWA World Water Congress, to be held in Lisbon 21–26 September this year, then in Brisbane in September 2016.

CONFERENCE SESSIONS The multitude of themes in the sessions offered a broad spectrum to delegates, covering what was probably the widest range yet. At least one technically orientated delegate commented, though, that basic water and wastewater material was quite thin on the ground. In spite of a smaller technical component than usual, there was a lot of energy around emerging themes. In particular, mature discussion was focused on how best to match players to roles. The buzzword was capital recycling, which involves selling assets to investors, then investing the proceeds in new infrastructure. A useful idea was that pension funds have an appetite for secure, long-term investments with modest returns. Water and sewerage networks fit the bill well on those criteria, but would need to be operated and maintained by suitably skilled contractors. The regulatory climate has to be conducive to a good result, with risks being allocated where they can best be managed. This was a far cry from the adversarial climate that used to exist between those who favoured the public sector and those who barracked for private players. Kerry Schott made the point that networks are natural monopolies, while treatment plants are not. In her view, retail functions belonged more comfortably with the network – privately owned but centrally controlled for each system.

Delegates at the Opening Ceremony of the Conference.

JUNE 2014 WATER


34

Ozwater Report

Karlene Maywald, Chair of the National Water Commission. A solid stream throughout the conference was Asset Management, but this in itself was a broad heading, embracing everything from pipe failure prediction to ‘big data’ management. Historically, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems have been either completely isolated from, or only partially integrated with, other corporate systems. Users accessing SCADA were usually limited to plant operators with manual or semi-automatic reports created for others. Advances in technology enable greater interaction between different operational systems and provide the ability to share SCADA data with a wider audience. Wassell et al. described the technical aspects of designing and implementing an example of such an interface for Sydney Water. They explained how SCADA fed an electronic data warehouse (EDW), which underpinned a business intelligence (BI) system; then they identified the benefits already realised as a result of its implementation. Another strong stream was Integrated Urban Water Management, one of those slippery terms that are gradually becoming part of the mainstream. Marlow and Tjandraatmadja began the inevitable journey from business as usual towards sustainable urban water management, viewed through the lens of asset management. They described how adding innovative, decentralised technologies to part of the legacy infrastructure backbone leads to hybridisation. Aspects of that theme popped up in several papers. Water treatment covered a lot of normal ground, with UV, chlorination and so on, but also with plant design subtleties, like computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Haywood et al. outlined how CFD has been used in the design and commissioning of the Adelaide Desalination Plant. It provided valuable insight into the fluid behaviour in the Intake Pump Station and helped to provide a robust and efficient final design. Subsequent measurements in the actual operating facility provided experimental data to validate and improve the modelling.

WATER JUNE 2014

The other Ozwater staple, Wastewater Treatment, had a fair presence. A technology that is, in hindsight, very obvious, but which has taken decades to come to fruition, is aerobic granular sludge. Reid et al. described how the technology has been developed for sequencing batch reactors. The authors investigated whether granular sludge may be developed to treat municipal wastewater under Australian conditions with a focus on identifying the critical operating parameters needed to promote granular sludge formation. Pilot trials were performed in parallel to a full-scale SBR at Bolivar High Salinity WWTP in South Australia, which showed that granular sludge could be readily established by employing an anaerobic feed in plug-flow. They concluded that, owing to the rapid settling time, selection of granular sludge could increase SBR hydraulic capacity by 25%. Biosolids also had its day. In the context of energy efficiency, Barber said that, in most cases, wastewater contains more energy than is required to operate a treatment plant. His paper explored how this energy can be exploited to minimise plant demands. The use of anaerobic digestion was found to reduce energy demands by over a third, and by 60% when combined with enhanced primary treatment. Energy neutrality was potentially achievable by combining these processes with further energy recovery downstream, via burning as a cake. However, Barber’s study revealed the poor energy extraction capability of anaerobic digestion when considered in a plant-wide envelope. A stream for non-urban settings included an eclectic range of topics. Fernando et al. produced a paper about the Kinglake West Sewerage Project, undertaken by Yarra Valley Water (YVW) to determine whether it was possible to deliver a more sustainable sewerage solution in a developed, unsewered ‘backlog’ area, as identified in theoretical studies. Many innovative concepts and products were tested as part of the project including Urine Diverting Toilets, Yellow Water Harvesting, Greywater Systems and STEP Tanks. The post-implementation review found that, although environmental


35

Ozwater Report

Helmut Kroiss, incoming President of IWA. improvements were delivered, they were not as high as predicted and the application of new concepts came at a higher cost. Turning to the stream about private sector engagement, Rymer and Davis concluded that the current political and regulatory governance environment in 2013/14 suggests that cost reduction pressures will continue on Australian water utilities and that, as a result, more will consider large-scale services outsourcing as a strategy to drive cost-of-service reforms. Certainly, the private sector supplier market is well equipped to respond competitively to almost any form of contract, and the return to decade-old (lower) levels of infrastructure spend has made the market much keener and more competitive than it was during the Millennium Drought period – as evidenced in a number of recent tender outcomes. A range of contract models can be effectively utilised. The Sydney Water commercial model is an example of a highly collaborative framework that introduces a field-based decision framework and focuses on improving business outcomes and sharing the benefits. Cultural change is an important element for the success of the contract. All major sourcing strategies for operations or maintenance in water utilities are complex transactions with many facets that require deep understanding of the business; as frequently the business processes and interfaces that are affected by the contract are not well defined by the business and not clearly understood in the context of an external sourcing rather than a ‘business as usual’ rolling internal management environment. A hot topic at present is recycling and regulation, captured in a paper by Anderson et al. The concurrent development of two innovative sewer mining schemes with many similarities, delivered in different locations (Melbourne and London), has provided a unique insight into the impact regulations can have on the treatment process for recycled water schemes. Regulations are, of course, set to ensure public and environmental health. However, the boundaries, form and scope of regulations should be tested to ensure that they do not stifle innovation, or prevent positive sustainability outcomes from occurring due to needless red tape. A STEEP (social, technological, environmental, economical and political) analysis has identified economic and environmental factors as having been significantly impacted by the existing regulations in Victoria and Australia. This has resulted in significant additional costs to the Yarra Park WRF and increased power consumption resulting in higher estimated carbon emissions. Conversely, the development of the regulations and guidelines has established clear frameworks for the delivery, construction, operation and reporting of recycled water schemes.

For non-metro towns in New South Wales and Queensland, dealing with dozens of small but independent water utilities is an ongoing challenge. Fearon’s paper looked at 20 Queensland local governments with responsibility for water and sewerage that agreed to investigate alternative institutional models for collaborative urban water services across their region. The Queensland Water Regional Alliances Program was established by the Local Government Association of Queensland, with funding support from the Queensland Government to develop and facilitate these investigations. The program has been running for two years, with all councils jointly investing in a range of internal and independent studies on the costs and benefits of alternative regional models for collaboration. All participating councils have invested in greater regional collaboration and one region has agreed to trial a Regional Alliance. The program has been successful in generating regional collaboration and institutional change and has been extended to allow participants in the remaining three regions to consider the appropriate institutional model for their communities. In a session on Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR, synonymous with MAR) Vanderzalm noted that it is being increasingly used in water recycling, since it offers many benefits, including increased resilience of water supplies, replenishment of over-exploited aquifers, natural or passive treatment, recovery of throughflow wetlands, and increased public acceptance of recycled water. Two field sites employing novel techniques for MAR with treated wastewater, at Floreat in Western Australia and Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, are evaluating major impediments to the uptake of MAR: clogging and water quality impacts. Clogging leads to reduced infiltration rates, while optimisation of passive treatment can minimise water quality impacts on the receiving groundwater. Evans et al. explained that Northern Australia is climatically characterised by a large seasonal difference in rainfall, rainfall runoff and groundwater recharge, which places significant limitations on development opportunities. MAR, as part of a strategic approach involving conjunctive use, has the potential to deliver new sources of water during the dry season for urban, industrial, mining and agricultural water supply systems and has the potential to play an important role in meeting northern Australia’s future water needs. They discussed the potential for MAR across the region, focusing on three case studies: the Fitzroy River catchment (Western Australia); the Daly River catchment (Northern Territory); and the Gilbert River catchment (Queensland). Dillon et al. outlined the major Managed Aquifer Recharge and Stormwater Use Options (MARSUO) study and concluded, inter alia, that capitalising on the water supply opportunities for stormwater use options may require a more unified form of water governance than exists in most states, which recognises the integration of existing stormwater drainage and mains distribution infrastructure with different ownership and different established financial arrangements. The MARSUO project shows that the technical difficulties and water safety aspects are manageable using established processes under the National Water Quality Management Strategy, and the next step is to build processes that enable timely financial integration so that the highest valued projects are supported.

CONCLUSION This report is more of a random sampler than a full overview of Ozwater’14, given the scope, breadth and sheer numbers of papers, posters, workshops and satellite events. It should, however, be an interesting tour of disparate papers and issues. Ozwater Conference proceedings are available to all delegates who registered and attended the Conference. For access to the proceedings, please email ozwater@awa.asn.au

JUNE 2014 WATER


36

Ozwater Report

WATER MANAGEMENT IN THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN Three AWA Specialist Networks – Rural Water, Catchment Management and Environmental Management – organised a special stream on Water Management in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) as part of Ozwater’14. This stream informed delegates of the complexities, challenges, key issues and opportunities in rural water management, and its interactions with urban communities in and outside the Murray-Darling Basin. Willem F Vlotman, AWA Stream Champion and Chair AWA Rural Water Specialist Network, provides this report.

The Program achieves water savings through infrastructure efficiency improvement projects ($6 billion), purchase of water entitlements ($3 billion) and supply measures that aim to achieve the same environmental outcomes with 30–50 per cent less water. The projects (Figure 2) are delivered through State Government departments, irrigation infrastructure operators, irrigation industry associations, industry commodity bodies (e.g. rice growers, tomato growers), individual irrigators, catchment management (resource management) authorities, local government, water utilities and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) sustainable yields studies.

IMPLEMENTING THE BASIN PLAN The Water Act 2007 is an Act to make provision for the management of the water resources of the Murray-Darling Basin, and to make provision for other matters of national interest in relation to water and water information, and for related purposes. The Water Act 2007 required the MDBA to prepare a water management plan for the Basin; the “Basin Plan”, which was agreed and made into Law in 2012. In March 2014 a milestone was achieved when the Implementation Agreement was signed by all Basin States. Implementing the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is highly complex and comprises many concurrent activities (Figure 1).

Figure 2. Overview of projects of the Government’s investments in the Basin.

VICTORIAN WATERWAY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

Figure 1. Murray-Darling Basin Plan Implementation Road Map (SDL = Sustainable Diversion Limit). The main objective of all this is to find a sustainable balance between consumptive water and environmental water use. To achieve this, research, environmental works and monitoring and evaluation is underway through a range of studies that will improve our understanding of the linkage of hydrology to flora and fauna in the wetlands commanded by the Basin Rivers. Changes in hydrologic management aim to improve the lateral and longitudinal connectivity across the Basin, improve the condition of water-dependent vegetation, as well as bird, fish and macro invertebrate populations in a sustainable manner, with due attention to socio-economic needs and effects.

FUNDING IMPROVEMENT OF WATER MANAGEMENT When the Water Act 2007 came into effect, considerable investments were slated for improving water efficiency in rural areas to generate savings that could be shared between consumptive users and the environment. The Department of the Environment (DoE) initiated the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program (SRWUIP), which in April 2014 is in its fifth round of funding water savings projects. The ultimate objective is to recover 2,750 GL of water of Long Term Average Annual Yield (LTAAY) or water saved for the environment. At the end of March 2014, 70 per cent of the target that is to be met by June 2019 (Figure 1) had been recovered.

WATER JUNE 2014

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) oversees policy development for the management of waterway health in Victoria. The 2013 Victorian Waterway Management Strategy provides a framework for government, in partnership with the community, to maintain or improve the condition of rivers, estuaries and wetlands so that they can support environmental, social, cultural and economic values for all Victorians. This strategy was preceded by the Victorian River Health Strategy of 2002, the first integrated policy framework for managing river health with regional priority setting and decision making for 10 regional areas. A review of the 2002 policy framework identified that rivers, estuaries and wetlands need to be managed in an integrated way and objectives and targets needed to be more realistic, while flexibility in management is essential to cope with climate variability and extreme events. The second-generation strategy for improving waterway health incorporated new legislation, addressed changes in government priorities and involved extensive stakeholder engagement, including a public consultation process (Figure 3). Future challenges are dealing with changes in the political backdrop, deteriorating funding outlook, implementing effective intervention monitoring and demonstrating return on investment to the public.

CLIMATE AND SERVICES OF BOM Australia’s climate variability has been long represented by Dorothy Mackellar’s verse: “… of droughts and flooding rains”. While we are indeed a land of droughts and flooding rains, a century of research has allowed us to better understand the climate, including natural variability. The distinctive element in Australian rainfall is the wet periods. Without these, Australia would be a much more arid climate. Four main climate drivers influence Australia’s climate (Figure 4). Detailed descriptions of these can be found at the Bureau’s website (www.bom.gov.au).


37

Ozwater Report

Figure 3. Locations of Victorian Regional Information Sessions to inform the draft Victorian Waterway Management Strategy. The work of the Bureau of Meteorology consists of forecasting, information provision, assessing water resources, modernising and upgrading weather observation locations, and standardising the data consistent with information and forecasts adding value to decision making for irrigation, operations, policy, environmental flows and emergency response (Figure 5). The Bureau integrates observations and outputs from numerical weather prediction into rainfall-runoff models to produce stream flow forecasts. This is planned to be expanded to all jurisdictions in 2014 and 2015. The Australian Hydrogeological Geospatial Fabric (aka ‘Geofabric’) is a spatial representation of most of Australia’s hydro-features and their connectivity: rivers, lakes, wetlands, reservoirs; catchment, aquifer and management area boundaries; water monitoring points, diversions; off-takes, and return points.

Figure 6. An example of a flow gauging station (NSW 2014). flooding, then predicts from the water surface height at the relevant flow gauges the distribution of water across the landscape using a Digital Elevation Model (DEM). The RiM-FIM method enables the distribution of water to be predicted at flood heights for which there are no satellite observations. Using these models it is possible to predict the distribution of inundation at 5m spatial resolution, for each 1GL increment in average daily flow at the river gauge.

WATERBIRDS – INDICATORS OF RIVER AND WETLAND HEALTH One of the more fascinating ways of assessing the environmental health of wetlands is through the insights provided by 30 years of water bird movement observations in the eastern part of Australia (Figure 7). Every year for the last 30 years, aerial fly-overs of wetlands took place, observing the abundance, distribution and breeding of waterbirds over a swathe 30 kilometres wide. The water birds were arranged in functional response groups: small wading birds; piscivores (fish-eating birds); herbivores (predominantly vegetarian); large wading birds and ducks. The numbers of waterbirds varied from 1.8 million in wet periods to as little as 100,000 during the worst drought periods of 2002–2009. Changes in water bird numbers over time is a good indicator of what is happening in the Basin.

Figure 4. The four climate drivers that influence Australia’s climate. Forecasts: streamflow forecasts, climate outlooks and projections Information: storages, flows, floods, entitlements, allocations, trades, restrictions, groundwater dependent ecosystems Assessments: National Water Accounts, Aust. Water Resources Assessment Modernise • Upgrade • Automate • Standardise • 463 projects

Standards • Measurement • Data exchange • Open licensing • Accounting • Assurance

Enabling • Archiving • Geofabric • Aquifer framework • Water balance

Integration • Observations • Weather • Rainfall-runoff • Climate

Figure 5. Bringing it all together. Elements of the Bureau’s Improving Water Information Programme.

FLOOD INUNDATION MAPPING Flood inundation maps are a useful tool for water managers and the community. They can be used to predict which land and man-made structures will be flooded for particular flow scenarios, allowing people and their possessions, stock and equipment to be relocated safely when floods do occur. MDBA uses flood inundation mapping for these reasons, and also to help us to assess how water will flow through physical constraints as part of our Constraints Management Strategy. The River Murray Floodplain Inundation Model (RiM-FIM) links daily river flow measurements to Landsat satellite observations of

Long-term collection of waterbird data is critical across wetlands in eastern Australia and provides useful indicators at different spatial scales from the wetland to the basin. Collected data also reflects state, national and international commitments to conservation.

RESTORING THE BALANCE: THE HATTAH LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL WATERING PROGRAM The Hattah Lakes system is part of the 48,000-hectare Hattah-Kulkyne National Park in northwest Victoria (Figure 8). The system relies on wet and dry periods to be healthy. River regulation and a changing climate have reduced the frequency, duration and extent of watering events and altered the seasonality; i.e. high flows in summer when they should be low, and vice versa. This resulted in serious degradation of River Red Gums and Black Box trees, native fish populations and rare and threatened species. Emergency action was taken: temporary infrastructure was used for the delivery of water (i.e. moveable pumps). In 2004, the first aqua dam in Australia was imported to control flows in the landscape and pumping rates from the Murray into Hattah Lakes increased from 20 ML/day to 150 ML/day (Figure 8). Watering events will be informed by environmental conditions and be subject to water availability. These events will restore the role of the lakes as a drought refuge for waterbirds and other wetland-dependant species, provide important breeding habitat for waterbirds and support threatened flora and fauna species. Key

JUNE 2014 WATER


38

Ozwater Report

Figure 8. One of the first aqua dams imported in Australia and used at Hattah Lakes to retain water in the wetland. Figure 7. Number of water birds and wetland area index (Kingsford and Porter, 2009). learnings of the project are that strong partnerships and good working relationships across all levels of government and the community can achieve outstanding results and make longlasting, sustainable changes that deliver environmental benefits.

THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE The triple bottom line (TBL) concept provides both a model for understanding sustainability and a system of performance measurement, accounting, auditing and reporting. TBL reporting is also part of a broader framework of change management for integrating sustainability into the business of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). It is generally accepted that the TBL refers to the economic, social and environmental aspects of Integrated Water Resources Management. However, are we getting best value for money with an integrated water resource management approach? There are dangers and limitations of faithfully accepting the merits of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) over approaches that seek disaggregated solutions. IWRM has not delivered good outcomes in some cases. More specifically, our fascination with subsuming all elements of re-allocation decisions into a single planning instrument has led to costly and inefficient results that will continue to haunt water managers and taxpayers. In the case of the MDB, treating the acquisition of water for environmental purposes separately from other social and economic changes could have resolved many of these problems at much lower cost. The deployment of IWRM philosophies in urban contexts shows similar worrying signs. Moreover, in states like Victoria the approach could potentially provide camouflage for decisions that would likely not pass muster if subjected to separate and routine cost-benefit analysis. This leaves observers to wonder if good partial solutions to water policy problems might not be better than bad integrated ones.

across catchments, habitats, down to individual biota level. The model allows users to deal with the effects of land clearing, erosion, sand slugs (sand banks in rivers), habitat loss, salinity, fertiliser and pesticide runoff, stock impacts, degraded riparian habitats, the impacts of dams and other water management control structures on flow regimes, floodplain water harvesting, loss of floodplain, inundation events, low river flows leading to toxic algal blooms and, finally, the Murray River mouth sedimentation and closure. Coastal fisheries depend on river flows, while river and catchment systems are incredibly complex scientifically, socially and politically. The Basin ecosystems require management and trade-offs of multiple objectives across multiple time and space scale. No matter what you know and believe about (computer) models and their accuracy and efficacy, the complexity of rivers and catchments absolutely necessitates modelling approaches to support decisionmaking; tools of trade for water engineers, managers and planners. The MDBA is in the process of codifying the Murray-Darling Basin system in SOURCE and hopes to complete this by mid-2015.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Delegates attending the Ozwater’14 Conference & Exhibition in Brisbane were presented with an overview of water management issues in the Murray-Darling Basin that ranged from a description of the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, to mapping of floods, to funding inputs for restoring river and wetland health, to monitoring of environmental health using birds as indicators while coping with political and economic drivers, and realising that climate change and modelling of weather patterns play an important role. All this can be encapsulated in (computer) models and an example of such a model was presented. Each of the findings in the MurrayDarling Basin applies across Australia and worldwide.

In order to manage waters in the Basin, eWater Ltd has developed a next-generation computer model, SOURCE, which aims at balancing human and environmental uses of land and water. Two Cooperative Research Centres (the CRC for Catchment Hydrology and the CRC for Fresh Water Ecology) merged into the eWater CRC in 2005. In 2012, eWater Ltd was established as a government-owned, not-for-profit company, offering a suite of tools to manage water.

The AWA Rural Water Specialist Network was established in 2013 and intends to stimulate sharing of knowledge of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) among AWA members and provide a national platform for the exchange of Australian and International research findings related to IWRM and promoting sustainable water management in rural and peri-urban regions of Australia. Organising the special stream on water management in the Murray-Darling Basin was one of our first main activities and a similar event may be considered at Ozwater’15. Specific areas of interest of the Rural Water Specialist Network are: irrigation water management; drainage and reuse; water resources management; environmental water management; and flood control. For more information on the Rural Specialist Network, please go to www.awa.asn.au/rural_water

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) was codified in the SOURCE model with multiple issues incorporated in the model

This is an abbreviated version of this report. To view the full version click here.

COMPUTER-MODELLING THE BASIN

WATER JUNE 2014


39

Workshop Reports

NATIONAL CERTIFICATION FRAMEWORK WORKSHOP The National Certification Framework Workshop took place at Ozwater’14 on Wednesday 2 May. AWA National Training Manager, Petra Kelly, reports on the proceedings. A National Certification Framework (the Framework) for water operators aimed at reducing public health risks associated with drinking water supply has been developed. The Water Industry Skills Taskforce (WIST), Australia’s leading water industry skills forum, currently has responsibility for the Framework. Building on the momentum for industry-wide adoption of the Framework, WIST is supporting two formal Pilots: one in Queensland, which is being managed by the Queensland Water Directorate; and one in New South Wales, managed by AWA with the assistance of Atom Consulting. The aim of the National Certification Workshop, which attracted over 45 attendees, was to update industry on the Pilots. The workshop opened with Kerry Olsson, Acting CEO of the National Water Commission (NWC), who outlined the history of certification, from just an idea decades ago through to development via extensive consultation with industry, to where it is today – a set of minimum standards available for the water industry to implement. Kerry acknowledged that given the current absence of a government agency willing to support mandatory implementation of the Framework, its immediate future would depend on industry practitioners voluntarily adopting the Framework. She commended industry on their work thus far. Other key speakers included: • David Sheehan, ex-Team Leader, Water Regulation, at the Victorian Department of Health, now General Manager Water Quality Performance & Regulation at Coliban Water, who spoke of the Victorian experience, which has led to the development of the Victorian Best Practice Guidelines. These are currently being adopted by industry in Victoria on a voluntary basis. David also

spoke about the work he is doing for WIST with regulators from other jurisdictions to try to arrive at a common interpretation of some of the ‘grey’ areas that still remain in the National Certification Framework, e.g. how to interpret System Complexity Rating. • Petra Kelly, AWA National Training Manager, described the guiding principles used to develop the NSW Pilot, the negotiations undertaken with the NSW State regulators and key steps participating employers will undertake for the assessment process. • David Cameron, Acting CEO qldwater, described the broad range of work undertaken by the directorate with detailed reporting on some of the issues emerging from the Queensland Pilot, which is well underway, including how qldwater is providing brokering services to ensure training gaps identified in the assessment process can be met, and how a funded project is providing mentoring services to support skills development. He also shared feedback from Victoria about the benefits of the certification process to businesses and individuals.

INDUSTRY PANEL There was strong consensus across the panel that the introduction of minimum standards was a positive step for industry. Andrew Francis from Parkes, NSW, representing a group of 16 shire councils in the central west of the state (CENTROC), said he saw the Framework as “a big opportunity” and added: “The Pilot has come along at just the right time for us.” The Framework could: • Provide career pathways for young and more experienced older workers;

Andrew Francis

• Enable employers to demonstrate to regulators that they are managing risks in a coordinated systematic way; • Enable smaller water suppliers to band together to gain efficiencies in the purchasing of training.

JUNE 2014 WATER


40

Workshop Reports Adam Wilson, Manager Water Treatment at Coffs Harbour, spoke about older workers showing reluctance to get involved with a certification process that might lead to them having to undertake further training. As the Queensland Pilot is also revealing, he identified this as a real challenge. However, Owen Worrall, a Coffs Harbour water operator, balanced this by saying, “It doesn’t matter where you are these days – you’re expected to take on learning.” Regional Managers John Roworth, Longreach and Sara Lunau, Gladstone, emphasised what an important role the Framework willplay in ensuring the provision of safe and reliable drinking water across regional and remote areas. The Victorian water industry, represented on the panel by WIOA’s George Wall, is well advanced in the voluntary adoption of the standards described in the Victorian Best Practice Guidelines. Positive feedback from both managers and operators has already emerged from the Victorian trials. Emerging issues include: • Does everyone need to be certified or would the Victorian approach suffice – ie, one “responsible person” as opposed to all operators being certified? • The capacity of training providers to meet the needs identified through the assessment process; • Will a national approach be able to survive in the face of varied regulations across jurisdictions? • WIST is providing Framework ownership and AWA (NSW) and WIOA (Qld) are providing certifying body services at the moment. Who will provide these services in the future? • Mandatory vs voluntary – just how will industry move forward with implementation? • Costs: Training funds are usually only available for full qualifications, not for individual units of competency and costs of backfilling for staff being trained from remote areas; • Evaluation of the Pilots: What is the focus of the Pilots? What does success look like? • Certification is challenging to experienced older workers. We need a robust and respectful RPL approach; • Certification: Will it impact on Job Descriptions and therefore put pressure on wages? (There is no evidence of this happening in Victoria.)

CONCLUSION There is great support across industry for the National Certification Framework, with several attendees suggesting that everyone should get on with implementing the Framework, and that this was too important an issue not to resolve in the short term. However, while there is commitment to the implementation of a national model, there is no doubt that the influence of regulators will impact on how certification is implemented across jurisdictions. It remains to be seen how this will play out across the water sector in the future. Both qldwater and AWA will report to WIST on outcomes of their respective Pilots before the end of the year. For further information please contact Pkelly@awa.asn.au or dcameron@qldwater.com.au

WATER JUNE 2014

ACHIEVING BUSINESS EXCELLENCE THROUGH BETTER DECISION MAKING This well-attended workshop was hosted by the AWA Sustainability Network and facilitated by Robert Humphries from Water Corporation. Diane Wiesner reports. Professor Paul Hardisty, formerly with Worley Parsons but now with CSIRO, opened proceedings by pointing to the key problem for decision makers – that is, making long-term decisions under conditions of uncertainty and complexity. He argued that most businesses use deterministic AWA Director Peter Moore financial analysis to calculate net at the workshop. present value (NPV) as the major criterion to choose among competing options. Flaws with this approach lie in its failure to consider and value externalities in the social and environmental domains. Its financial estimates are also vulnerable to changing circumstances. This identifies a need for business decision makers to rethink their processes to acknowledge issues such as the impacts of a decision on the community, natural species and the environment. Trade-offs will need to be made with consideration of relative value with a ranking or scoring of asset values and risks associated with various actions. A life cycle or ‘whole-of-life’ approach needs to be considered. The object of the exercise is to find the economic optimum option in a decision, for example, whether to build a coalfired plant for power or use wind power and/or solar. For coal-fired power stations, decisions need to include consideration of likely impacts on air emissions, health of the surrounding populations, dirt and particulate deposition and so on. Robert Humphries from Water Corporation then recounted the situation in Busselton, which is faced with an explosion in population and plans for apartment developments and hotels along the seafront. The developments had forced the utility to look at providing a sewage treatment plant, previously not needed because local settlements not directly located on the beachfront had relied on septic systems. Dealing with treated wastewater from a sewage plant posed problems for the area and the regulator, because Geographe Bay has already recorded high nutrient levels and shows signs of eutrophication. The Water Corporation would be faced with a potential financial cost of $4 million to appropriately deal with the proposed effluent discharges. Faced with this additional cost, the Corporation did some in-depth research, which revealed that both nutrient loads and eutrophication in the Bay were not from human wastes. They embarked on a major farmer education campaign and assistance package to improve dairy and other agricultural waste management practices, which were very poor. This ended up costing around $1 million. However, the effort and time expended by the Corporation has been well spent. Nutrient loads into Geographe Bay and eutrophication have substantially declined. This case study illustrates how looking deeper into a problem and considering issues other than simple, financial costs can mean that considerable overall savings can be achieved.


41

Workshop Reports

MEMBRANES IN MINING: IDENTIFYING SOLUTIONS TO IMPROVE QUALITY AND SOLVE AUSTRALIA’S UNIQUE PROBLEMS Report by Diane Wiesner Dr Mike Dixon from Nano H2O chaired this workshop and began by briefly alluding to one of the most pressing challenges to water professionals working with the mining industry: the need for treatment of coal seam gas (CSG) water. He identified membranes as the key technology to be used to remediate this produced water and some of the current challenges and weakness in existing mining technology. The CSG issues serve as an example of the growing need for more innovative thinking and applied research as Australia seeks to further exploit its mineral and gas resources without destroying the country’s fragile environment. Neil Palmer, CEO of National Centre of Excellence in Desalination (NCEDA), spoke first by summarising some of his Centre’s funded research projects with particular application to problems encountered in the mining sector and the remote, arid environments where these are sited. A number of these addressed the problems of finding beneficial reuse schemes for receiving treated water resulting from coal, CSG and other mining activities. These range from forestry to citrus agriculture, to alumina production and turf growing. Professor Stephen Gray from Victoria University covered the research activities conducted by his team, with a focus on some of the problems arising from using water or producing it during mining. In mining, the wastewater produced frequently contains lot of hard, particulate material that tears and damages membranes, plant and pipework. Groundwater, often available in arid environments, is frequently limited in quantity and very variable in quality. A high level of silica is common. Recovery is optimised by operating at low pH, which increases the solubility of silica, resulting in improved recovery. Where the water is going to be acidified anyway – for example, acid

leaching in gold mining – this approach is very useful, especially where groundwater is not highly buffered. Other research with potential application to mining industries includes brine management using ceramic membranes that are longer-lasting than polyamid-based ones and more resistant to acid cleaning and particulate attack. Membrane distillation using waste heat generated on site and for solvent extraction, diffusion analysis and electrodialysis is also under investigation. Rob Heilbronn, an experienced hands-on engineer who is used to troubleshooting problems on site at mines across Australia and beyond, then described three separate brownfield operations where he had worked, all with problems where simple adjustments greatly improved their processes. In the course of his talk, Heilbronn provided some invaluable insights to working in the resources sector: • Mining companies tend to underestimate the complexity of water chemistry and often only consider water at the end of the design phase, because water is not assumed to involve huge expense in the context of their massive project expenditures. They also assume that, because the water may appear clear and blue, it is pure and good; • Project design may be assigned 20% of total project time, but it is essential to get the water process and operational criteria optimised at the design phase because casual or inappropriate plant will impact on end costs and operational performance. There must be good characterisation of water quantity and quality at this stage, not later; • Once halfway through a project, there will usually be an opportunity to pilot test or make adjustments to improve operations – especially if the design criteria are not being met in the field. The solution to an underperforming plant may simply be a step-by-step review of all stages to achieve an improvement in treatment plant performance. Heilbronn concluded his informative talk by providing examples of these scenarios from his work in a gold mine, in an antimony plant and in a WA nickel mine. Hiep Le, Senior Wastewater Engineer from Osmoflo, gave the final presentation to the workshop. He focused on the challenges he usually faced in his work at mine sites in Australia and overseas. They centre on the nature of the water source (not always readily available, as in Chile), fouling and scaling, and clients who tend to be very conservative and uninterested in embarking on potential innovative approaches to problems.

Left to right: Neil Palmer with Operations Managers from five of the ‘Big Six’ Australian desalination plants: Chris Young (Perth SDP), Grieg Mercer (Victorian DP), Tom Ransome (Perth Southern SDP), Guillermo Hijos (Adelaide DP) and Scott Murphy (Gold Coast DP) at Ozwater14.

The workshop then broke into cross-disciplinary groups tasked with identifying new directions for investigation that will assist the industry in optimising water strategies. This was a well-attended workshop with interactive and interested participants.

JUNE 2014 WATER


Winners of the AWA National Water Awards 2014

AWA congratulates all the winners of the National Water Awards that were presen ORGANISATIONAL AWARDS

Research Innovation Award Winner: Department of Water (WA)

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award Winner: Interflow

Program Innovation Award Winner: BMT WBM, Moreton Bay Council, Unity Water and Bligh Tanner

Water Industry Safety Excellence Award Winner: Gosford City Council Supported by: Water Services Association of Australia


nted at Ozwater’14 in April. INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

Water Professional of the Year Winner: Professor Graeme Dandy (SA)

Young Water Professional of the Year Winner: Liz Pattison (WA)

STUDENT AWARDS

Undergraduate Water Prize Winner: Anna Wilson, Flinders University Sponsored by: CH2M Hill

Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize Winner: Lewis Nitschinsk Sponsored by: Xylem

To enter the 2014/15 Awards visit www.awa.asn.au/awards


44

Innovation Showcase

2014 WATER Innovation FORUM AWA held its first Water Innovation Forum on Monday 28 April at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. The Forum provided the opportunity for innovators, buyers and investors to meet, learn about new business opportunities, network with peers and potentially new project partners, and meet some of the best water management R&D talent in the marketplace. A panel of leading sector research and development advisors selected key innovators to present their products or services on the basis of their relevance to water management, quality and commercial viability. After an introductory ’quick pitch’ session from the panel, participants took part in a round table on key business structures and characteristics of good R&D partners, expert insight sessions on key aspects of commercialisation covering finance, marketing and legal concerns and targeted business matching. Participants enjoyed informal opportunities to mix and mingle during breaks, at the closing drinks ceremony, and at the Ozwater’14 welcome networking evening.

2. BioGill: BioGill Bioreactors

Meet the Innovators

Designed for remote environments where mobile creation of safe drinking water is critical, Veragon creates drinkable water by replicating the process of condensed atmospheric humidity (rainfall) hitting earth and being enriched by minerals in the ground. Veragon creates the natural process of condensation by simulating dew point conditions, continuously creating water then mineralising it through a unique mineral filtration system. Veragon replicates ozone, a naturally occurring gas that binds with water to eliminate bacteria and other impurities. During the purification process, Veragon pumps ozone through the water as it is collected, leaving no distinct taste of purification such as chlorine. Combined with two UV treatments and a bacteria-static filter, Veragon can create and safely store water for many days, meeting quality certification by APRA, Sincert, CISQ, UNI en ISO, USA Certification Safe Drinking Water Act and the Water Department of Japan Act.

1. Aerofloat: Dissolved Air Flotation System (DAF) Aerofloat is a DAF that uses a sealed hopper bottom and hopper top tank. While ME-TO DAFs flocculate in mixing chambers and use complex mechanical scrapers, Aerofloat flocculates in a coil of pipe and removes the float material by funnelling out the top of the tank using the hydraulics of the inflow. The system uses a single feed pump and single dissolver, and the float material is intermittently funnelled off each tank by sequencing a series of automatic valves. Greywater, trade wastewater and discharges from developing communities contain high levels of FOGs, suspended solids, phosphorus and pathogenic organisms. Aerofloat’s high-quality effluent addresses these issues either alone or when coupled with sand filtration, UV light and chlorination.

water JUNE 2014

BioGills are above-ground, non-submerged bioreactors for wastewater treatment. Their unique design offers a high level of water treatment at low cost and low energy. Microorganisms decompose and recycle nutrients best in a high-nutrient and highoxygen environment, which BioGills provide through a patented, flexible ceramic fabric known as “gills”. These are provided in multiple suspended loops supported vertically with water delivery at the top of each loop. Wastewater flows down the surface of the gills and convective airflow moves upward between each set of loops to provide the oxygen transfer to the attached biomass, delivering a large membrane area with a high-volume treatment capacity. BioGill systems operate in seven different countries, taking care of different types of wastewater in a range of industries from food manufacturing to sewage and aquaculture.

3. BTI Defence Industries: Veragon Air to Water


45

Innovation Showcase 4. CALCLEAR Power & Water: CALCLEAR Water Conditioner

We loved it! It was fantastic to hear about all the different technologies

8. Evoqua Water Technologies: MEMCOR CP II Ultrafiltration System

The patent-pending CALCLEAR Water Conditioner is a pre-treatment for water Evoqua’s MEMCOR® CP II Ultrafiltration processing to prevent and remove adhesive System offers compact and modular scale. This means water systems no longer ultrafiltration for industrial and municipal require chemical dosing and chemical water treatment. The modular, compact Sue Keay, cleaning to maintain and achieve lower UF system minimises footprint, reduces Australian Water Recycling Opex costs in terms of energy, labour, time installation costs and simplifies system Centre of Excellence and chemical descalant. This technology is operations, reduces customer costs with coupled with their EMF water-conditioning a larger surface area module and shorter control system used to generate a drive signal of various resonance duration backwash, and offers easy maintenance access compared frequencies through coils wrapped around pipes carrying the water to previous MEMCOR systems. The system is suitable for new or flow. CALCLEAR Power and Water provides a simple pre-treatment major plant upgrades. for membrane water, filtration and water recycling systems, including 9. Green Wastewater Group: Integrated brackish desalination, wastewater treatment, as well as potable water treatment and industrial water treatment. Transpiration Technology

5. Clean TeQ: Continuous Ionic Filtration (CIF) Clean TeQ developed its Clean-iX™ continuous counter-current ion exchange platform for separation and purification, metals recovery and water treatment. The platform technology has been used to develop their Continuous Ionic Filtration (CIF) process. CIF™ ion exchange platform involves dealkalisation, target ion removal and pre-treatment to membranes, allowing specific targeted ionic species removal. This can include removing scaling ions, fouling species and heavy metals. It can be used in highly alkaline waters to treat and deliver water for beneficial re-use (for example, areas of CSG fields where groundwater requires dealkalisation for agricultural use or in areas where high scaling waters are found prior to RO). TDS differential of approximately 2000mg/l can be achieved using this innovative ion exchange technology.

6. CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship: Sewer Sentinel CSIRO’s ‘Sewer Sentinel’ manifold technology utilises carefully designed fluid dynamics to create high turbulence and velocity in the sample stream which, when directed toward a sensor, effectively scours the sensor surface, preventing build-up of contamination and maintaining data integrity for long periods without technician intervention. The technology provides continuous real-time monitoring and can be used as an early warning and/or process control system whereby toxic flows can be diverted, significantly reducing WTP process costs, minimising downtime, improving output quality and avoiding penalties for out-of-spec discharges.

7. Diagnostic Technology: Phytoxigene Phytoxigene is a molecular (DNA) based technology that detects and quantifies the presence of Cyanobacteria, blue-green algae and their toxin-producing genes in aquatic environments. Not all Cyanobacteria species produce toxins, therefore the presence of an algal bloom does not immediately defer a risk of toxins being present. Additionally the mass of algae does not necessarily correlate to the amount or potential of a toxin event. The Phytoxigene test quantitates both the amount of overall Cyanobacteria present in a water sample, along with the number of genes that are responsible for the production of the toxins. Toxins associated with blue-green algae are split between hepatatoxins (which cause damage to the liver) and neurotoxins (which cause neurological damage). Hepatatoxins include microcystin, nodularin and cylindrospermopsin, while saxitoxin is the primary neurotoxin produced by Cyanobacteria. Both toxins have significant health impacts on humans and other animals. The test is completing its final validation process, with trials underway in the US and Australia.

Green Wastewater Group designs and constructs on-site decentralised wastewater solutions for residential and commercial facilities utilising evapotranspiration and filtration provided by plants. It is a cost-effective wastewater treatment solution with a sustainable carbon footprint. The company’s Integrated Transpiration technology is unique globally in that it utilises broadleafed terrestrial plants in a closed environment to filter and dispose of wastewater on a commercial scale, disposes of a substantial proportion (up to 100 per cent of wastewater in processing), requires a lower total treatment and irrigation area, has low operating and maintenance cost, low risk of failure, and even contributes to the aesthetics of a residential site rather than detracting from it.

10. Helio Pur Technologies: Bio-Solar Purification (BSP) Bio-Solar Purification is a new technology able to remove hazardous compounds and microbial contaminants, paving the way to cost-effective and sustainable water reuse and recycling. Without evaporation, BSP technology combines sunlight effects with microalgae growth and photosynthetic oxygen production to purify wastewaters. These processes intensify ecosystems services occurring at the air-water interface in closed tubular systems. Previous testings on a pilot scale have proved efficiency of the technology to remove inorganic nutrients, dissolved metals, xenobiotics and hazardous microbial contaminants such as coliforms. The main advantages are that CO2 is the only reagent that arises from closed aerobic pre-treatment, and as the system captures CO2 in operation it is carbon negative. First application is domestic wastewater reuse for agricultural irrigation, including microalgae as organic amendment and subsequent aquifer replenishment with nutrient-free freshwaters. Purified groundwater can then be recycled for domestic uses.

11. iota Services: Talking Tanks Talking Tanks monitors water levels in a rainwater tank and automatically releases water at a controlled rate if required. The system pre-empts the release of water from set points that are chosen by the user, according to rain or storm predictions received via a communications link to the Bureau of Meteorology. The automatic release creates storage capacity and prevents overflows of stormwater. The technology has strong potential application for water utilities, local governments, water traders and irrigators. iota forms the commercial arm of South East Water, one of the leading water retailers in Victoria, which promotes innovative ideas and proven technologies for use across a range of sectors.

JUNE 2014 water


46

Innovation Showcase 12. ItN Nanovation: CFM Membrane

I made a number of useful contacts

ItN Nanovation has developed a Ceramic Flat Sheet Membrane (CFM) with applications in deep groundwater filtration and implementation in MBR and MBBR technology systems for urban and industrial wastewater applications. The main advantages of the CFM Membranes vs competitive polymer systems are extreme stability against mechanical and thermal impacts; no change of surface structure by changing of feed condition as pressure; the membrane cutoff with 200 nm remains constant during operation; and ease of cleaning during operation caused by this coated surface, with no stopping of operation required. ItN has executed a successful two-year test trial to separate iron, manganese and radioactive isotopes from deep groundwater coming from the Saq aquifer system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In 2013–2014 ItN was awarded an order to equip a water treatment plant with about 11.000m² CFM Membranes. ItN is now exploring opportunities for application in the Australia.

13. MWH: Microvi Microvi has created a set of innovative technologies to eliminate pollutants in water by enhancing the natural environment of the most powerful natural degraders (microbes), resulting in accelerated biodegradation processes. Microvi has been able to target and remove the most difficult pollutants in water, regardless of their chemical composition and concentration, in a matter of minutes and even seconds. The heart of the technology is low-cost, advanced materials called biocatalysts, which are the result of many years of research and development. Biocatalysts are extremely permeable (85 per cent water), so as polluted water enters them the targeted contaminants are fully degraded by billions of natural organisms into harmless and inert end products (e.g. N2, CO2, H2O) and clean water is then released. The process creates almost no sludge and does not generate secondary waste streams or release the catalyst organisms.

14. Oxyzone: Pipeline Disinfection System Oxyzone’s ozone Pipeline Disinfection System was developed with the collaboration and testing facilities of Sydney Water. An Australian patent has been granted for the product. The PDS provides an eco-friendly disinfection process for underground mains as an alternative to the current chemical process widely in use by water utilities and their contractors. It offers greater efficiency in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the operating cost of the current chemical process. The calculated savings using a PDS would provide a return on investment in less than six months. Even disposal of the finished product is cost effective as it is just clean water. For water utilities the PDS provides an effective, safe, fast method to fulfil customer obligations, while for a contractor the PDS provides increased profits.

15. TATA Consultancy Services: Intelligent Asset Synchronisation Manager (iASM) The Intelligent Asset Synchronization Management (iASM) framework is a product agnostic technology solution framework that can be used in water industry asset management, modelling critical business processes such as water management and leakage management. It provides both a standard out-of-box reports/ analytics dashboard for the themes listed and connectivity with water asset analytics platforms. Standard connectors exist for operational systems such as Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), Geo Spatial Systems (GIS), SCADA/historians, PLC/RTU, and Enterprise systems such as ERP, CRM and Document Management systems.

water JUNE 2014

16. TATA Consultancy Services: Pump System Performance Monitor (PSPM)

TCS’ Pump System Performance Monitor (PSPM) is a framework for improving pump operations, maintenance, energy efficiency and investment decisions by providing timely measurement of complex parameters such as Average Pump Head and Pumping System Efficiency, without the need for any significant investment on infrastructure improvement. The solution is driven by energy efficiency, accuracy, carbon footprint (reduction of carbon footprint by bringing in operational efficiencies as a result of taking timely corrective actions, operation and maintenance), timely intervention when efficiency varies, pump control centre rules backed by data, and instant view on cost savings from interventions. Phil Nelson, UniQuest

17. UniQuest Pty Ltd: Lodomat Lodomat is an environmentally sustainable technology for reducing the high cost of sludge disposal while increasing biogas production at wastewater treatment plants. Using acidified nitrite to activate sludge prior to anaerobic digestion, pre-treatment with our technology is likely to achieve a five to 10 per cent reduction in biosolids, along with a 20 to 30 per cent increase in biogas production. Outcomes are additional to those already achieved by anaerobic digestion without pre-treatment. The technology was developed following a breakthrough discovery by researchers at the Advanced Water Management Centre at The University of Queensland and is easy to implement, requiring only a simple mixing tank. UniQuest will conduct trials in Australia and overseas this year and is looking for additional partners.

18. UVS Pty Ltd: SewerBatt Reliable information on pipe condition is needed to accurately estimate the remaining service life of wastewater collection system assets and target maintenance and repair activities. SewerBatt™ is an innovative technology that uses acoustics to locate defects and blockages in sewers and drainage pipes. The SewerBatt™ inspection system comprises a ruggedised electronic module with notebook, cables, software and an acoustic sensor. The acoustic signatures can be used to locate blockages and structural defects, determine the level of water, pipe length and diameter and the amount of deposited sediment in sewer pipes.

19. Willflow Consulting: Mobile Water Management Reading staff gauges and observation bore or well readings is labour intensive. In many cases the reading is done manually, the observation written down on paper and eventually entered in the user’s database or spreadsheet. MobileLevelTracker, MobileFlowTracker and MobileGroundwaterTracker of Mobile Water Management (MWM) use a mobile phone to take a picture of the reading. When within mobile phone coverage the picture is sent to a central server where it is analysed. A reply with interpreted water level height is returned within 10–15 seconds. The confirmed level will be stored on a central web server from which authorised users can retrieve it with a password at any time. The system is currently operational with Apple iPhones and iPads and an android system is being beta-tested. The app is 90 per cent cheaper than automated monitoring equipment, no trained operator is required and readings can be taken any time.


technical papers

Application Of Sonar Technology For The Profiling Of Sludge In Wastewater Pond Systems

Water Quality When Does The Taste Of Water Become Offensive?

MA Webber et al.

48

D Sheehan

53

A Duncker et al.

59

JE Gonzáles et al.

65

J Cesca & NJR Kraakman

72

AC Turville et al.

80

M Gibbs

87

M Hartley

91

A community engagement exercise to show that customer complaints are not an indicator of water quality

The Evolution Of The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines

The role of the CRC for Water Quality and Treatment and Water Quality Research Australia

Water Systems Operations Realtime Network Operations Optimisation From Source To Tap

A project to build a Distribution Optimisation Tool for SA Water

Odour Management Sydney Water’s Corrosion And Odour Management Tool

A new process for selecting the most cost-effective corrosion and odour control measures

Applying Odour Control Technologies Using Reliability And Sustainability Criteria Examples of full-scale outcomes from three case studies of large-scale odour control facilities

Water Resources Management Planning For The Future: Integrated Water Management In The Ord River Catchment

This icon means the paper has been refereed

A discussion about the new Ord WAP

Water Policy Victoria’s Proposed New Water Act

An overview of the key changes proposed by the Draft Bill and the concerns surrounding them

East Meets West: The Relevance Of Eastern Water Law Reforms For The West

An examination of arguments against the implementation of eastern state water reform measures in WA

NEXT ISSUE

AUGUST 2014

72

• BIOSOLIDS & RESOURCE RECOVERY • CONTAMINANTS OF CONCERN • STORMWATER MANAGEMENT & TREATMENT FOR RE-USE • PROJECT DELIVERY • SMART SYSTEMS FOR COMMUNITIES • REGULATION FOR UTILITIES

An odour treatment facility, consisting of biotrickling filtration (BTF) treating 12.5m3/s.


WATER QUALITY

48

Technical Papers

WHEN DOES THE TASTE OF WATER BECOME OFFENSIVE? A community engagement exercise to show that customer complaints (or the lack of) alone are not a robust indicator of water quality MA Webber, P Atherton, G Newcombe

ABSTRACT In Australia, the three primary sources of drinking water taste and odour complaints are (1) chlorine, (2) geosmin (earthy) and (3) 2-methylisoborneol (2MIB; musty). Powdered activated carbon treatment for geosmin and 2-MIB is expensive and practically challenging. Analysis of 12 years of historical concentration data of these compounds and customer complaints in corresponding distribution systems showed that customer complaints are not a robust indicator of water quality or customer satisfaction. To determine actual customer perceptions of chlorine, geosmin and 2-MIB taste and odour in water, a modified sensory test, the Flavour Rating Assessment, was adopted. Waters supplied to volunteers (n=107) were spiked with chlorine (0–3 mg/L), 2-MIB or geosmin (0–30 ng/L). Sensory test results indicate that chlorine taste and odour acceptance decreases above 1 mg/L but remains acceptable. Results also support the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) recommended 10 ng/L treatment target for geosmin and 2-MIB. Finally, we also used this Flavour Ratings Assessment as a community engagement exercise.

INTRODUCTION The South Australian Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2012, under the Safe Drinking Water Act 2011, stipulates that drinking water providers must adhere to the health-based guidelines of the ADWG (2011) as well as implement monitoring and response programs according to the frameworks described. The ADWG also offers aesthetic guidelines for many components, although limits for these components ultimately remain at the discretion of drinking water providers. The three most frequent sources of taste and odour complaints in Australia

WATER JUNE 2014

are chlorine, 2-MIB (musty flavour) and geosmin (earthy flavour). Chlorine is required for disinfection and the ADWG states that, for consumer safety, chlorine must not exceed 5 mg/L, with an aesthetic guideline of 3 mg/L. Due to the reactivity of chlorine, which makes it favourable as a disinfectant, it must be dosed at a concentration, at the water treatment plant, to maintain a residual throughout the distribution network. Naturally occurring geosmin and 2-MIB are terpenoid secondary metabolites (Gerber and Lechevalier, 1965; Gerber, 1969; Medsker et al., 1969). These compounds are known to be produced by cyanobacteria (Watson, 2003) and actinomycetes (Gerber, 1979) among other sources. The function of these two metabolites is not understood, but their genetic foundation is highly conserved, even across taxonomic kingdoms, which indicates evolutionary importance. There are no direct health effects associated with geosmin and 2-MIB at naturally occurring levels (Nakajima et al., 1996); as a result, these compounds have not received a large amount of regulatory attention. While there are no direct health effects it is noted that the presence of these compounds in drinking water may trigger consumers to seek ‘less safe’ sources of water, or commercial products such as soft drinks that are high in sugars (World Health Organization, 2011). With widespread economic regulation of essential services throughout Australia, water utilities must reduce operating costs while maintaining customer satisfaction. This requires justification of operating costs, especially those that do not directly relate to health. Geosmin and 2-MIB are not readily removed by conventional treatment processes. A number of additional or alternate

approaches for removal are available, including powdered activated carbon (PAC) application, granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration, biolfiltration, or a combination of these treatments. Increasing chlorine dose at the treatment plant may also be performed with the goal of masking earthy/musty flavours (Oestman et al., 2004). However, increasing the chlorine dose may also decrease customer satisfaction. The application of PAC is the most common treatment but it is expensive, operationally challenging and potentially hazardous (Srinivasan and Sorial, 2011; Knoblauch, 2013). The ADWG does not specify a guideline, health-based or aesthetic, for geosmin or 2-MIB. The guideline for overall taste and odour is: “The taste and odour of water should not be offensive to most customers”. This guideline is subjective and does not readily allow specific treatment targets to be set for geosmin, 2-MIB or other ‘nuisance’ contaminants. The ADWG only provides a recommendation for a geosmin and 2-MIB treatment target. This is that water utilities may experience increased complaints at concentrations of geosmin or 2-MIB above 10 ng/L. This recommendation appears to be based on studies that show the odour threshold concentration (when 50% of the population can detect an odour) of geosmin and 2-MIB at 10 ng/L (Young et al., 1996); then applying the assumption that any geosmin or 2-MIB detected by a customer will be considered offensive. The only published study that directly links customer complaints and geosmin concentration documented an increase in complaints when geosmin concentration in drinking water was greater than 45 ng/L. Below 30 ng/L complaints were at background level (Burlingame et al., 1986).


Table 1. Statements used in the modified flavour rating assessment sensory test to rate the hedonic acceptability of samples with associated numerical values used for data analysis. 3-point scale

Acceptable

Indifferent

Unacceptable

9-point scale responses

Value

in product waters from different sources. Sample waters are described in Table 2 and a 10L sample was collected for each. Volunteers were asked to taste each sample and respond to each using the standard statements (Table 1).

I would be very happy to accept this water as my everyday drinking water.

9

I would be happy to accept this water as my everyday drinking water.

8

Table 2. Waters used for community engagement exercise.

I am sure that I could accept this water as my everyday drinking water.

7

Sample

Source

I could accept this water as my everyday drinking water.

6

Regional Town Distribution system

River Murray

Maybe I could accept this water as my everyday drinking water.

5

Metropolitan Distribution system

Desalination/ Reservoir Blend

I don’t think I could accept this water as my everyday drinking water.

4

Commercial

Spring Water

I could not accept this water as my everyday drinking water.

3

Regional Town Distribution System

Groundwater

I could never drink this water.

2

I can’t stand this water in my mouth and I could never drink it.

1

In order to understand what “offensive to most customers” means we used a sensory test based on hedonics, pleasantness, to determine what concentration of geosmin or 2-MIB in drinking water will cause a decrease in customer satisfaction. We also investigated the hypothesis that it is not appropriate to base customer satisfaction on customer complaints. Finally, we attempted to use this method as a community engagement exercise, as we expected a high level of interest and the activity to be a good instigator of discussion.

METHODS SENSORY TESTING

The Flavour Rating Assessment (FRA) Standard Method 2160C (APHA AWWA and WEF, 2000), using a 9-point hedonic scale, was simplified and adopted for this investigation. Water samples supplied to volunteers were tap water with added 2-MIB or geosmin, or tap water passed through a point of use filter with added chlorine. The investigation included chlorine concentrations representative of a metropolitan distribution system of between 0–3 mg/L and geosmin and 2-MIB concentrations of 0–30 ng/L. 2-MIB and geosmin concentrations in sample waters were confirmed by headspace solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS); full details of this method are documented in Graham et al. (1998). Free and combined chlorine concentration in sample water was confirmed using N,N-diethyl-p-

phenylenediamine (DPD) – ferrous ammonium sulphate (FAS) titrimetric procedure (APHA AWWA and WEF, 1998). Overall, 107 volunteers from metropolitan and regional South Australia and regional Victoria participated. These included members of the water industry and the wider public. Volunteers were asked to taste each sample and to select the statement that best matched their feelings about it (Table 1). For interpretation of results each statement was assigned a number between one and nine, with nine being the most acceptable. Data were graphed using Microsoft Excel and analysed by one-way or two-way ANOVA with Tukey multiple comparison of means, after satisfaction of normality and homoscedasticity requirements, using statistical package R 3.0.1 (R Core Team, 2013) and R Commander guided user interface (Fox, 2005). DATA STUDY

Historical distribution system chlorine, 2-MIB and geosmin concentration data for water treatment plant product waters between July 2000 and July 2012 were extracted from SA Water’s water quality database. Customer water quality complaints over the same 12-year period were also retrieved. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

A community engagement exercise was organised at the National Science Week ‘Science Alive’ event in Adelaide. The purpose was to highlight the difference

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION SENSORY TESTING

A summary of responses from 107 volunteers is presented in Table 4. Responses for each of chlorine, geosmin and 2-MIB indicate decreasing acceptance with increasing concentration. The most frequent (mode) response for 2-MIB does not decrease with increasing concentration – this may be an indication of sensory fatigue or sensory confusion among volunteers. Many volunteers commented that chlorine samples were not unusual, geosmin samples had a relatively strong odour and weaker taste, and 2-MIB had little odour but strong taste and mouthfeel. Some volunteers also commented that it was difficult to confidently say whether these samples were acceptable or not because their acceptance would change with different context such as thirst and weather. This observation indicates that customer acceptance, and therefore customer satisfaction, is highly dynamic. It is reasonable to hypothesise that on hot, dry days volunteer tolerance to taste and odour may increase compared to cool, wet days. The range of chlorine concentrations tested is reflective of a metropolitan distribution network. Chlorine overall retained a volunteer rating of ‘acceptable’ for all samples in this range. This indicates that the 3mg/L aesthetic guideline for chlorine allows for adherence to the ADWG overall taste and odour guideline. A statistically significant decrease in acceptance is seen between 0 mg/L and 1 mg/L. However, drinking water at 0 mg/L chlorine is unusual, a high enough

JUNE 2014 WATER

WATER QUALITY

49

Technical Papers


WATER QUALITY

50

Technical Papers Geosmin is rated unacceptable at the 30 ng/L concentration, although 2-MIB is not Sample Type rated ‘unacceptable’ Customer Tap for the range tested. A Customer Tap significant decrease in volunteer acceptance WTP Product is seen for both WTP Product geosmin and 2-MIB Customer Tap at concentrations greater than 10 ng/L. Customer Tap This is in agreement WTP Product with the ADWG WTP Product recommendation, which suggests 10 Customer Tap ng/L or above will WTP Product require attention from WTP Product operators. However, the ADWG general WTP Product taste and odour Customer Tap guideline states that Customer Tap the taste and odour of water should WTP Product not be offensive to Customer Tap most customers. Interpreting these results in the context of the guideline would suggest that 25 ng/L geosmin could adhere to the guideline. It is clear that this subjective guideline is not appropriate for application to geosmin and 2-MIB, as doing so would result in decreased customer satisfaction.

Table 3. Concentration of geosmin or 2-MIB exceeding the ADWG recommended treatment target with no concurrent water quality complaints. Component

Concentration (ng/L)

Geosmin

131

Geosmin

103

Geosmin

81

Geosmin

46

Geosmin

35

Geosmin

30

Geosmin

29

Geosmin

26

Geosmin

24

Geosmin

22

2-MIB

155

2-MIB

109

2-MIB

42

2-MIB

35

2-MIB

25

2-MIB

20

free chlorine concentration is required at the WTP to allow for a residual throughout the distribution system. Therefore, a difference in customer acceptance from 0 mg/L chlorine is not relevant to distribution networks. Both geosmin and 2-MIB are rated as ‘acceptable’ (rating between 6 and 9) up to the 10 ng/L sample (Table 4).

Different trends at different locations appeared to be present in relation to

customer satisfaction. No significant differences between locations were observed for any chlorine, geosmin or 2-MIB samples (data not shown). This is likely due to smaller sample sizes (n=12-21) at locations outside the Adelaide metropolitan area. ADWG have a recommended treatment target of 10 ng/L geosmin or 2-MIB as well as a composite geosmin and 2-MIB treatment target of 10 ng/L. This investigation supports the 10 ng/L recommendation for geosmin and 2-MIB. Achieving this treatment target most commonly requires PAC application, which is expensive and has operational challenges as well as health and safety concerns. This investigation did not include a composite sample – water containing both geosmin and 2-MIB. Anecdotal feedback from volunteers was that geosmin had an earthy odour, whereas 2-MIB had a metallic, dry mouth-feel. This indicates that geosmin and 2-MIB are perceived by different mechanisms of sensory perception. The authors note that flavour perception is complex and interactions often occur. However, considering the different mechanisms of perception for geosmin and 2-MIB we hypothesise that a composite sample of geosmin and 2-MIB will not receive the same hedonic rating as a sample of equivalent geosmin or 2-MIB only.

Table 4. Summary of volunteer responses to sensory test samples showing number of respondents for each sample, average response and average rounded to nearest integer (to correspond with test statements), standard deviation, the modal (most frequent) response, the P-value indicating difference to the control samples only (95% confidence interval), and cumulative frequency of tendency to complain in a social setting and formally to a water utility. Green indicates acceptable, orange indicates indifferent and red indicates unacceptable. Chlorine concentration: mg/L; geosmin and 2-MIB concentration: ng/L. Component Sample

Chlorine 1A 1B

1C

Geosmin 1D 1E

2-MIB

2A

2B

2C

2D

2E

2F

2G

3A

3B

3C

3D

3E

3F

3G

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

100 100

100

100

100

100 100 103

73

103

73

103

73 103

Concentration

0

0.2

1

2

3

Sample Size

75

75

75

75

75

Average

7.8 7.0

6.2

5.8 5.5

6.8

6.3

5.7

5.3

4.9

4.8

4.4

6.7

6.0

5.9

5.1

5.2

4.7 4.9

Standard Deviation

1.5 1.8

1.9

1.9 1.9

2.2

2.2

2.2

2.3

2.2

2.2

2.3

1.9

1.9

2.0

2.0

2.1

2.1 2.2

Rounded Average

8

7

6

6

6

7

6

6

5

5

5

4

7

6

6

5

5

5

5

Mode

8

8

6

7

6

9

8

8

5

4

4

1

8

8

4

4

6

4

6

P-value

-

3.0x10-7

0.0

0.0

-

0.22

Complain Socially

3

6

9

18

Complain Formally

2

2

2

3

0.1 1.5x10-6 0.0 0.0

WATER JUNE 2014

-

0.8 2.0x10-2 8.1x10-5

0.1 6.5x10-6 4.5x10-6 0.0 0.0

22

5

12

19

28

35

41

48

10

20

26

33

34

37

40

5

2

4

11

18

22

24

26

0

0

7

15

19

24

25


B) Metropolitan Drinking Water

A) Murray Sourced Drinking Water 100%

100%

80%

80%

60%

70%

73%

84%

75%

0%

74%

13% 18%

7% 9%

10% 17%

Main + Filter

Main - Filter

Rain Water

8% 17% Bottled Water

20% 0%

14% 5%

13%

21%

Main + Filter

Main - Filter

Rain Water

Bottled Water

D) Groundwater Sourced Drinking Water 100%

100% 80% 64%

80%

60%

76%

92%

15% 21%

11% 14%

Main + Filter

Main - Filter

27%

20%

13%

8%

Rain Water

Bottled Water

33%

45%

44%

43%

20%

15%

10%

36%

41%

47%

50%

Main + Filter

Main - Filter

Rain Water

Bottled Water

60% 40%

40%

0%

25%

23%

People who usually drink

C) Commercial Spring Water

20%

54%

63%

17% 10%

People who usually drink

60%

81%

40%

40% 20%

60%

17%

0%

People who usually drink

People who usually drink

Figure 1. Community engagement responses grouped by the type of water usually drunk (mains water with or without a point-of-use filter, rainwater or bottled water) in response to treated water from: A) a Murray River sourced network; B) a metropolitan network; C) commercial spring water; and D) a groundwater-sourced network. Green indicates acceptable, orange indicates indifferent and red indicates unacceptable. COMPLAINTS AS AN INDICATOR

A study of data indicated 16 instances where the concentration of geosmin or 2-MIB has been greater than the suggested treatment target, but there have been no recorded water quality complaints for those systems (Table 3). Further, the sensory testing investigation included a question asking whether the volunteer was likely to complain about the water in a social situation (to friends, family, colleagues or via social media) or formally to the water utility. For all samples, including zero controls, volunteers indicated a greater tendency to complain socially than formally (Table 4). These indicate that customer complaints are not a robust indicator of aesthetic water quality parameters. It is likely that water quality complaints will indicate a water quality issue. However, it is shown here that a change in water quality does not necessarily elicit complaints that reflect the conditions. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

This sensory test format was also used as a public engagement activity at the 2013 National Science Week ‘Science Alive’ event in Adelaide. The event attracted approximately 17,000 attendees over

three days and 250 formal responses were gained before sample waters were depleted. Total engagement in the sensory test was estimated at least three times the number of formal responses. This activity was primarily for community engagement and to explain the challenges of providing safe, clean drinking water across South Australia. Individuals showed keen interest; many members of the public commented that they had never thought about where their water came from and left better informed. Resulting from the interest in the activity we received an invitation to discuss the exercise on Adelaide talkback radio. Responses from this event produced less robust dataset than the formal study. Factors affecting the dataset may have included ambient noise and odour in the exhibition hall, and the fact that the demographic was skewed to those interested in science and the adolescent age group. However, a large dataset was captured and analysed, noting potential sources of error. Data is presented in Figure 1 for each water sample by the type of water usually drunk by the volunteer. Importantly, most volunteers were from

metropolitan Adelaide. Those people who indicated they usually drank mains water with or without a point-of-use filter or rainwater indicated greater acceptance of metropolitan and regional (River Murray sourced) tap waters over all others. Commercial spring water was the third most accepted, with regional groundwater least accepted. Importantly, none of the volunteers indicated they live in a town/suburb served by a groundwater sourced drinking water system. The only group differing in preference were those who indicated they usually drank bottled water. These volunteers indicated they had greatest acceptance for commercial spring water. This suggests that individuals prefer the water quality they are most used to drinking.

CONCLUSION This preliminary work indicates that drinking water containing greater than 10 ng/L geosmin or 2-MIB will result in a reduction in acceptance measured by a hedonic sensory test. We show customer complaints alone are not a robust indicator of water quality, supporting a notion that customer water quality complaints will indicate a water quality issue, but a lack of customer complaints will not

JUNE 2014 WATER

WATER QUALITY

51

Technical Papers


WATER QUALITY

52

Technical Papers necessarily indicate a sustained water quality. Finally, the sensory test approach was well received as a community engagement exercise. Here, it appeared that individuals preferred the water they are most used to. This activity allowed for two-way discussion with the community about water quality and the challenges associated with delivering safe, clean and aesthetically pleasing drinking water.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The Authors would like to thank the AWQC Water Treatment and Distribution Research team, all individual volunteers, as well as Campbelltown City Council, Volunteers SA and ABC 891 Radio. This paper won Best Paper Award at Ozwater’14 in Brisbane.

THE AUTHORS Michael Webber (email: michael.webber@sawater. com.au) is a Technical Support Officer at SA Water. He is a Biotechnology Honours graduate from Flinders University, has investigated Cryptosporidium risk assessment and has worked with a focus on aesthetic qualities of water at both SA Water and Allwater. Paul Atherton (email: paul. atherton@gwmwater.org. au) is Manager, Project Delivery, GWMWater. He oversees the implementation of GWMWater’s capital infrastructure program and manages the Corporation’s research and development program. He has degrees in Forest Science and Business and has worked

in timber production, export wood chipping, catchment management, natural resources and water management. Dr Gayle Newcombe (email: gayle.newcombe@ sawater.com.au) is Manager, Customer Value and Water Quality Research at AWQC. She has worked in the Australian water industry for 25 years in the area of water quality, in particular the tastes and odours and toxins produced by cyanobacteria. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of South Australia and is the author or co-author of over 150 publications.

REFERENCES APHA AWWA and WEF (1998): Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. Washington, DC. APHA AWWA & WEF (2000): Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. Washington, DC. Burlingame GA, Dann RM & Brock GL (1986): A Case Study of Geosmin in Philadelphia’s Water. American Water Works Association, 78, pp 56–61. Fox J (2005): The R Commander: A Basic Statistic As Graphical User Interface to R. Journal of Statistical Software, 14, pp 1–42. Gerber NN (1969): A Volatile Metabolite of Actinomycetes, 2-methylisoborneol. The Journal of Antibiotics, 22, pp 508–509. Gerber NN (1979): Volatile Substances from Actinomycetes: Their Role in the Odor Pollution of Water. CRC Critical Reviews in Microbiology, 7, pp 191–214. Gerber NN & Lechevalier HA (1965): Geosmin, An Earthy-Smelling Substance Isolated From Actinomycetes. Applied Microbiology, 13, pp 935–938.

Graham D & Hayes KP (1998): Application of Solid Phase Microextraction for the Analysis of Off-Flavours in Water. WaterTECH Conference, Brisbane, Australia. Knoblauch J (2013): Rethinking PAC handling. WaterWorks, May 2013. Medsker LL, Jenkins D, Thomas JF & Koch C (1969): Odorous Compounds in Natural Waters. 2-exo-Hydroxy-2-methylbornane, the Major Odorous Compound Produced by Several Actinomycetes. Environmental Science & Technology, 3, pp 476–477. Nakajima M, Ogura T, Kusama Y, Iwabuchi N, Imawaka T, Araki A, Sasaki T, Hirose E & Sunairi M (1996): Inhibitory Effects of Odor Substances, Geosmin and 2-Methylisoborneol, On Early Development of Sea Urchins. Water Research, 30, pp 2508–2511. Oestman E, Schweitzer L, Tomboulian P, Corado A & Suffet IH (2004): Effects of Chlorine and Chloramines on Earthy and Musty Odors in Drinking Water. Water Science and Technology, 49, pp 153–159. R Core Team (2013): R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Srinivasan R & Sorial GA (2011): Treatment of Taste and Odor Causing Compounds 2-Methyl Isoborneol and Geosmin in Drinking Water: A Critical Review. Journal of Environmental Sciences, 23, pp 1–13. Watson SB (2003): Cyanobacterial and Eukaryotic Algal Odour Compounds: Signals or ByProducts? A Review of their Biological Activity. Phycologia, 42, pp 332–350. World Health Organization (2011): Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality, Geneva, Switzerland, WHO Press. Young WF, Horth H, Crane R, Ogden T & Arnott M (1996): Taste and Odour Threshold Concentrations of Potential Potable Water Contaminants. Water Research, 30, pp 331–340.

There are surprising opportunities when you work in water

Managed by

Search no longer! Searching for the beSt S St candidateS for your company?

Searching for the lateSt late job opportunitieS in the water Sector? opportunitie

Visit www.h2oz.org.au


THE EVOLUTION OF THE AUSTRALIAN DRINKING WATER GUIDELINES The role of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Quality and Treatment and Water Quality Research Australia in the ongoing development of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines D Sheehan

This paper is dedicated to the memory of Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis, whose long-standing and passionate commitment to public health microbiology made a lot of what is described in this paper possible.

INTRODUCTION The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) is the authoritative reference document for the management of drinking water quality in Australia. The ADWG is published by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and is jointly endorsed by NHMRC and the former National Resource Management Ministerial Council (NRMMC). The latest version was released in 2011. The purpose of this paper is to look at the evolution of the ADWG, the significant role that the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Quality and Treatment (CRCWQT) played in that evolution, and the role that Water Research Australia Limited (WaterRA, formerly WQRA) is playing in the ongoing development of the ADWG. The paper is supplemented by several case studies that look at how the ADWG has been implemented by various Australian states.

highlighted the fact that water issues were multi-jurisdictional, and a coordinated national approach was required. In 1992 the then Commonwealth Government launched the National Water Quality Management Strategy (NWQMS). Since 1992, the NWQMS has been developed by the Australian and New Zealand Governments in cooperation with state and territory governments. As noted on the home page of the NWQMS, it was originally endorsed by the two Ministerial Councils operating at the time – the Agriculture and Resources Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (ARMCANZ), and the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC). Ongoing development of the NWQMS is currently overseen by the Standing Council on Environment and Water (SCEW) and the NHMRC. The NWQMS consists of a suite of documents that address water quality issues in various contexts. Quoting the NWQMS home page, the strategy is a joint national approach to improving water quality in Australian and New Zealand waterways. The NWQMS aims to

protect the nation’s water resources by improving water quality while supporting the businesses, industry, environment and communities that depend on water for their continued development. The NWQMS consists of three major elements: • Policy • Process • Guidelines The ADWG is Document 6 in the suite of documents that make up the NWQMS. The other significant policy document at the national level is the National Water Initiative (NWI). As noted on the website of the National Water Commission, the NWI was signed at a meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in June 2004. The NWI continued a water reform journey that was initiated in 1994 with the development by COAG of a Water Reform Framework. It is within these broad water policy initiatives that the ADWG has evolved.

NATIONAL POLICY CONTEXT Under Australia’s constitution, Australia’s states and territories have responsibility for the management of water resources in their jurisdictions, and up until the early 1990s the Commonwealth had little direct involvement in water policy. The catalyst for change was the drought of the late 1980s and early 1990s, in particular the 1000km-long algal bloom that occurred in 1990 on the Darling River, which impacted a large part of the Murray-Darling River system. This bloom

Large cyanobacterial blooms in the early 1990s highlighted that managing water quality was a national issue.

JUNE 2014 WATER

WATER QUALITY

53

Technical Papers


WATER QUALITY

54

Technical Papers It is important to note that the ADWG is a set of nationally agreed guidelines, not a set of national standards, and Australia’s states and territories are free to implement the ADWG in a way that is consistent with local jurisdictional drinking water quality frameworks. How the ADWG has been adopted in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia is described in the Appendix.

A product of its time, the 1996 ADWG was still very much focused on the monitoring of water quality at the point of supply to the customer, but this version of ADWG provided much more detailed advice on the acceptable levels of a greatly expanded range of chemicals in drinking water. The 1996 ADWG also contained a lot of new guidance on the “barrier concept” and other good practice advice with regard to the management of drinking water quality.

COOPERATIVE RESEARCH CENTRE FOR WATER QUALITY AND TREATMENT The Cooperative Research Centre for Water Quality and Treatment (CRCWQT) was established in July 1995 under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Program, as an unincorporated joint venture between 17 original participants, representing government, industry and research organisations. The stated purpose of the CRCWQT was to help the Australian water industry produce high-quality water at an affordable price. This task was accomplished by furthering the understanding of water quality and treatment issues by conducting industry and Government-supported research, developing education and training programs, and commercialising the expertise gained by the CRCWQT. The CRCWQT also provided advice to Government regarding water supply policy and regulatory issues.

AUSTRALIAN DRINKING WATER GUIDELINES PRIOR TO 2004 While there were preceding guideline documents for drinking water quality in Australia, this paper starts with the release of the 1987 version of the guidelines. In 1987, NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) and the Australian Water Resources Council (AWRC) released the Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality in Australia. This fairly slim volume, of 33 pages, primarily provided advice on microbiological and aesthetic aspects of drinking water quality, but was reflective of the time, where the quality or safety of drinking water was largely assumed to be acceptable. The 1987 document replaced the wonderfully titled 1980 document Desirable Quality for Drinking Water in Australia. In 1991–1992 the World Health Organization (WHO) undertook a review of its 1984 Guidelines for Drinking-Water

WATER JUNE 2014

The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines remains the authoritative national reference on drinking water quality. Quality. This review formed the basis of the extensive reworking of the 1987 Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality in Australia into the 1996 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG). Although the 1987 guidelines document was a noteworthy improvement, it had become apparent that it dealt inadequately with a range of water quality issues and problems; the advice that was provided was often vague and, on some issues, it was silent. Water quality had also become a subject of increased interest to the broader community, and Australia’s water utilities played an important role in establishing the case for a comprehensive review. The 1996 ADWG was prepared by a joint committee of the Agricultural and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (ARMCANZ), and the NHRMC. Specialist panels produced sections on micro-organisms, physical quality, inorganic chemicals, organic chemicals, radiological quality and pesticides, and the entire process was overseen by the joint committee. The specialist panels and the joint committee included representatives from the NHMRC, water authorities, private industry, universities, departments of health and departments of water resources, among others. These Guidelines also reflected recent improvements in the understanding of water quality problems. The stated intent of the Guidelines was to define good drinking water quality. This review also expanded the Guidelines from 33 pages to 376 pages.

The 1996 ADWG was also accompanied by a summary document, which abridged much of the advice in the full version of ADWG, particularly the health-based and aesthetic guideline values for parameters. Unfortunately, the summary version proved far more popular than the full version, and much of the additional information on managing drinking water quality in the full version was not as widely used or understood as it should have been. During the development of the 1996 ADWG, it became evident that undertaking a major review of the ADWG in the future would be time-consuming and resourceintensive. Furthermore, the majority of individuals involved in the review of ADWG undertook much of the work in addition to their normal employment in the water and health sectors. The lengthy periods between reviews meant that the task was more difficult for these volunteers. A rolling review process was regarded as being more effective in utilising the expertise available and this was a key recommendation of the 1996 joint committee. To improve development and ensure that the Guidelines continued to represent the latest scientific evidence, the NHMRC and ARMCANZ subsequently agreed to initiate a ‘rolling revision’ process for the ADWG. Through this process, the Guidelines would remain under constant revision, with specific issues identified for review as required. In 1998, NHMRC and ARMCANZ established a joint committee, the Drinking Water Review Coordinating Group, to oversee and manage the process.

CHANGES IN APPROACH FROM THE 1996 TO THE 2004 VERSION OF ADWG In the early 1990s there was ongoing research and discussion as to how to improve the management of drinking water quality. Most guideline documents of the time were based on a set of numerical limit values and, if the results of monitoring indicated that a certain


parameter was above the relevant guideline value, then some form of remedial action would be taken. The problem with this approach was that, by the time results of the monitoring were available, the water had been supplied and, in all likelihood, used by the consumer. Therefore, the consumer was not protected from the consumption of potentially unsafe drinking water. The growing view was to regard drinking water as a form of food, and that lessons could be learnt from the food industry and its regulation. Large sections of the food industry use a proactive management system known as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), a concept that was first presented at the 1971 US National Conference of Food Protection (APHA, 1972). The HACCP system, as applied to the food industry, consists of: (1) an assessment of hazards associated with growing, harvesting, processing/ manufacturing, distributing, marketing, preparing and/or the use of a given raw material or food product; (2) determination of critical control points (CCP) required to control any identified hazards; (3) establishment of procedures to monitor critical control points; and (4) verification that the HACCP system is working (AIFST, 1989). As alluded to earlier, the main difference between the food industry and the water industry is that the water industry pipes its product directly into the homes of customers and, in developed nations, on a continuous basis. This means there is no option to recall the product prior to use, as is possible with foods. The idea being explored by the water industry, and water-related researchers, was whether one could adapt some of the principles of the HACCP system to the supply of drinking water. One of the earliest proponents of this approach was Havelaar (1994), and one of the earliest countries to adopt a HACCP-based approach was Iceland, in 1995 (Gunnarsdottir et al., 2012). At around the same time, several local water utilities (South East Water, Yarra Valley Water and Gold Coast Water) were also exploring how HACCP principles could be applied in their businesses.

It is also worth noting that, around 1995, Melbourne Water was exploring risk assessment on potential catchmentto-tap failures with external partners (Stevens et al., 1995) and around 1997 Sydney Water had initiated a catchmentto-tap risk assessment and management program. Some of the first local papers written on this subject were by Davison & Deere (1998). While the HACCP approach has some applicability to the management of drinking water quality, it only provides a framework to manage points in the process where control can be exerted; that is, the critical control points. This approach has a high level of applicability to water treatment processes, but fails to adequately address issues that may arise in catchment areas and distribution systems. It therefore tends to place a disproportionate focus on managing risks to drinking water quality through the management of CCPs, at the expense of a more holistic view of how safe drinking water can be supplied to the consumer. It was also realised, especially by Gold Coast Water, among others, that applying the principles of a quality management system, such as described in ISO 9001, to the supply of drinking water could provide a robust framework within which water quality issues could be identified and managed. While not the sole catalyst for the need to change the approach to drinking water quality management in Australia, the 1998 Cryptosporidium incident in Sydney highlighted some of the shortcomings in the management approach used at the time, and the need to consider a revised approach. Out of this need for a new approach came the 2004 version of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

2004 VERSION OF ADWG AND THE CRCWQT The most significant change between the 1996 and 2004 versions of the ADWG was the inclusion of the Framework for Management of Drinking Water Quality (the Framework). It creates a system-wide risk-based approach to the management of drinking water quality from the catchment to the consumer. The CRCWQT was heavily involved in the development of the Framework. While the 1996 version of ADWG was released after the commencement of the CRCWQT in 1995, the work of the

specialist panels had been completed in 1994, before the CRCWQT commenced. For the 2004 version, the CRCWQT undertook two pivotal projects that helped shape ADWG. In addition, most of the people working on the ADWG at that time were involved in the CRCWQT. The first was Project 1.1.5 – Drinking Water Quality Management System. The stated aim of this project was to inject knowledge and information from public health risk assessment research into the development of a water quality management system (QMS) for the Australian water industry, and for the QMS to be incorporated into the ADWG. The vision was that the QMS would become the essential tool for ensuring the safety and reliability of Australian drinking water supplies. The project involved close collaboration between water supply companies from around Australia, and subsequently involved four members of CRCWQT (Melbourne Water Corporation, Power and Water Authority (NT), Sydney Water and the Water Corporation (WA)) in pilot trials of the proposed QMS. To oversee the development and introduction of the system into ADWG, NHMRC set up a national working group, chaired by the CRCWQT’s then Director. Significantly, the project also captured the interest of WHO. In May 2001, WHO’s Microbiology and Protection and Control Working Groups held a joint workshop with the CRCWQT and the NHMRC in Adelaide. This meeting occurred at the invitation of the CRCWQT and the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA). The objective of the CRCWQT and WSAA was to gauge the reaction of the WHO experts to the draft Framework. This was one of those pivotal workshops that leave a significant legacy, as it was at this workshop that the soundness of the Framework for Management of Drinking Water Quality, which underpinned the 2004 ADWG, was largely supported by the WHO representatives. Subsequently, WHO sought assistance from NHMRC to develop the Framework for Safe Drinking-Water that underpinned WHO’s 2004 Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality (GDWQ). Although not expressly stated in the 2004 GDWQ, the long list of Australians acknowledged in the document attests to the very close alignment of both riskbased management systems.

JUNE 2014 WATER

WATER QUALITY

55

Technical Papers


WATER QUALITY

56

Technical Papers It is also important to note that, through WSAA’s international contacts and the interest of WHO, the International Water Association (IWA) also became interested in the concept and, through a series of meetings that occurred between 2001 and 2004, the risk management principles contained in the Framework became the basis for IWA’s Bonn Charter. The second project was Project 1.1.6 – Drinking Water Quality Risk Guidance. The aim of this project was to provide water authorities and other organisations with a reference document in the form of risk ‘fact sheets’, which they could use to guide and assist them in their assessment and management of risks to water quality. The output of Project 1.1.6 was CRCWQT Report 11 – A Guide to Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment for Drinking Water Supplies, which became the primary guidance document for water authorities as they began to implement the Framework. While these two CRCWQT projects were the most influential in the development and implementation of the 2004 version of the ADWG, many other research outputs from the CRCWQT assisted water authorities in addressing knowledge gaps and implementing appropriate risk management practices. Additionally, the outcomes of the broader research program of the CRCWQT were able to be used in the drafting of the 2004 ADWG, where they were available during its development and drafting process. Beyond direct involvement in the development of the ADWG, it should also be noted that the CRCWQT created a forum for the exchange of drinking water quality issues and advice between water utilities, health agencies and researchers. The role played by the CRCWQT inspired many individuals to become actively involved in the management of drinking water quality.

NHMRC sought advice from key stakeholders to identify priorities for review. To support the review process, NHRMC established a Water Quality Advisory Committee (WQAC) in 2007. The Chair of WQAC was a former director of the CRCWQT.

• Additional micro-organism fact sheets;

One of the main tasks assigned to WQAC was to oversee the revision of ADWG. Recommendations obtained from the stakeholder consultation process were considered at the inaugural meeting of WQAC in June 2007 and a revision program was developed.

CRCWQT TO WQRA

Due to the breadth of the proposed revision it was decided to form five subgroups, with team leaders appointed from within WQAC. The subgroups collectively formed the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines Reference Group (ADWGR) and comprised eminent Australians with expertise in various water-related fields. The vast majority of these experts were drawn from member organisations of the CRCWQT, or were individuals who were heavily involved in projects that were undertaken by the CRCWQT. Research outputs from the CRCWQT were again a valuable resource for the review process.

WATER JUNE 2014

The 2011 version of the ADWG was released in October 2011. By the 2011 version ADWG was a 1,244-page document. After two rounds of Commonwealth Government funding under the Commonwealth’s Cooperative Research Centres Program, and 13 years, the CRCWQT ceased on 1 July 2008. At the conclusion of the CRCWQT, more than 80 Research Reports had been completed. When the decision was made in early 2006 that the CRCWQT would be wound up in 2008, a significant representative group of Australia’s water industry participants, water research centres and related organisations expressed a strong desire for there to be an independent organisation that could deliver a responsive research agenda to meet the needs of water supply managers in a time of accelerated change. From this expressed need, Water Quality Research Australia Limited (WQRA) was developed.

The major changes and additions to the ADWG that came out this review were:

WQRA was incorporated in 2007 and launched in late 2008 as a not-forprofit, member-funded company, with a representative Board of Directors, led by an independent Chair.

• Additional material on pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors in Chapter 6;

ADWG BEYOND 2011 AND THE ROLE OF WQRA

• A rewrite of the monitoring chapters (9 and 10);

ADWG 2004 TO ADWG 2011 With the incorporation of the Framework and other necessary changes, the 2004 version of the ADWG grew to 615 pages. Given its size it was recognised that undertaking a major review of ADWG in the future would be time-consuming and resource-intensive. To improve the development process, and to ensure that ADWG continued to represent the latest scientific evidence, the NHMRC again initiated an ongoing rolling revision of the Guidelines. Plans to continue the rolling revision were re-established in late 2006.

• An additional 130 pesticide fact sheets.

Water Research Australia contributes to the ongoing evolution of the ADWG by undertaking high quality research.

As with the previous two updates to the ADWG, NHMRC has recognised that the ADWG needs to be under semicontinuous review. To this end, NHMRC continues to maintain and support the WQAC to keep the ADWG under rolling revision. In recognition of the significant role that WQRA plays in high-quality water-related research within Australia, WQRA (now WaterRA) has representation on the WQAC. As part of its consultation on the update to the 2004 version of ADWG, which resulted in the 2011 version, NHMRC released a discussion paper on the proposed introduction of healthbased targets for the microbial quality of drinking water into the ADWG. The ADWG currently lags behind other equivalent international drinking water quality guideline documents in that the ADWG does not set a specific target for the acceptable level of microbial risk that should be achieved for the supply of safe drinking water.


The adoption of health-based targets for the microbial quality of drinking water into the ADWG is a significant change to the guidelines, similar in scale and complexity to the adoption of the Framework for Management of Drinking Water Quality that occurred between the 1996 and 2004 versions of the ADWG. As with any change to ADWG, the proposed changes need to be supported by robust scientific research. Again, WQRA is supporting the proposed changes through its coordination of two major projects. The first project is Project 1004, Establishing Australian Health Based Targets For Microbial Water Quality, which concluded in late 2012. The purpose of this project was to develop a national, evidence-based consensus position on suitable health-based targets for microbial water quality through a process of broad consultation, data collection and analysis, and expert review. The aim of this project was to develop Australia-specific Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY) models for key waterborne pathogens, which can be incorporated into the ADWG and the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling (AGWR). The second project, Project Number 1036, Treatment Requirements For Australian Source Waters To Meet Health Based Targets, was completed in the first half of 2014. The purpose of this project was to bring together, and build on, outcomes from previous projects funded through the CRCWQT (e.g. Research Report 29 – Source Water Quality Assessment and the Management of Pathogens in Surface Catchments and Aquifers 2007; Research Report 78 – Risk Assessment for Drinking Water Sources 2009), to address some of the practical aspects of the implementation of healthbased targets for the microbial quality of drinking water. The outcome was an approach to setting drinking water treatment standards, based on the DALY. While minor updates to the ADWG will continue to occur on an as-needs basis, the incorporation of health-based targets for the microbial quality of drinking water is unlikely to occur prior to 2015. Regardless of when future updates occur, any update needs to be based on credible water quality research, and such research can be sourced from both the legacy left by the CRCWQT, and through its successor, Water Research Australia Limited (formerly Water Quality Research Australia).

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This paper was prepared with the generous support and advice of the following people: Jan Bowman, Don Bursill, Shaun Cox, David Cunliffe, Annette Davison, Dan Deere, Peter Donlon, Tony Priestley, David Smith, Melita Stevens, Heather Uwins, Richard Walker and Simon Wilson. There are many other individuals who worked at NHMRC, the CRCWQT, WSAA, or at water utilities and health agencies, who also made significant contributions to the development of ADWG over the period described in this paper, and who also deserve to be recognised for their contributions. Their names can be found in the various versions of ADWG.

THE AUTHOR David Sheehan (email: davids@coliban.com.au) has recently been appointed to the role of General Manager Water Quality Performance and Regulation at Coliban Water. Prior to that he worked in a regulatory role with the Victorian Department of Health. He is also currently a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Water Quality Advisory Committee. David has been involved with the Australia water industry for 30 years.

REFERENCES American Public Health Association (APHA) (1972): Proceedings of the 1971 National Conference on Food Protection. Food and Drug Administration (USA), Washington DC. Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST) (NSW Branch) Food Microbiology Group (1989): Foodborne Microorganisms of Public Heath Significance, 4th Edition. Cooperative Centre for Water Quality and Treatment (CRCWQT) (2003): Annual Report 2002–2003. Cooperative Centre for Water Quality and Treatment (CRCWQT) (2004): Annual Report 2003–2004. Deere D & Davison A (1998): Safe Water – Are Food Guidelines The Answer? Water Journal, 25, pp 21–24. Gunnarsdottir MJ, Gardarsson SM, Elliott M, Sigmundsdottir G & Bartram J (2012): Benefits of Water Safety Plans: Microbiology, Compliance and Public Health, Environment Science and Technology, 46, pp 7782–7789. Havelaar AH (1994): Application of HACCP to Drinking Water Supply, Food Control, 5, 3, pp 145–152. Nadebaum P, Chapman M, Morden R & Rizak S (2004): A Guide to Hazard Identification &

Risk Assessment for Drinking Water Supplies, CRCWQT Report 11, Cooperative Centre for Water Quality and Treatment. NHMRC, ARMCANZ (1996): Australian Drinking Water Guidelines Paper 6 National Water Quality Management Strategy. National Health and Medical Research Council and the Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra. NHMRC, NRMMC (2004): Australian Drinking Water Guidelines Paper 6 National Water Quality Management Strategy. National Health and Medical Research Council, National Resource Management Ministerial Council, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra. NHMRC, NRMMC (2011): Australian Drinking Water Guidelines Paper 6 National Water Quality Management Strategy. National Health and Medical Research Council, National Resource Management Ministerial Council, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra. Stevens M, McConnell S, Nadebaum PR, Chapman M, Ananthakumar S & McNeil J (1995): Drinking Water Quality and Treatment Requirements: A Risk-Based Approach, Water Journal, 22, 5, pp 12–16.

APPENDIX Case studies on the implementation of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines into state-based legislation. Victoria The impetus for the development of Victoria’s current drinking water quality regulatory framework was a report published in 2000 by Victoria’s Auditor General entitled, Non-Metropolitan Urban Water Authorities – Enhancing Performance and Accountability, which identified that different drinking water quality standards were being applied to non-metropolitan urban water authorities, compared to the standards being applied to those water authorities supplying drinking water to the state capital, Melbourne. In response to the report, the Victorian Government committed to implementing a new regulatory framework for drinking water quality. The result was the Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 (the Act), which commenced on 1 July 2004. The core aspect of the Act was the adoption of risk management plans. The driver for inclusion of water safety plans in the Act was that, during development of Victoria’s regulatory framework for drinking water quality, in the period 2001 to 2003, ADWG was undergoing the review process that resulted in the 2004 revision. The cornerstone of that revision was the adoption of a risk-based approach to the

JUNE 2014 WATER

WATER QUALITY

57

Technical Papers


WATER QUALITY

58

Technical Papers management of drinking water quality, as articulated through the preparation and implementation of risk management plans for the supply of safe drinking water. The Act preceded the release of the 2004 version of the ADWG, but the key risk management requirements in the Act were drawn from the available draft information on the Framework for Management of Drinking Water Quality. Over the life of the Act, the use of a risk-based approach to the management of drinking water quality has led to steady improvement in drinking water quality across Victoria, and the general adoption of a proactive approach to managing risk. Queensland In Queensland, the Framework for Management of Drinking Water Quality is expressed through the state’s Water Supply (Safety & Reliability) Act 2008 (the Act). Prior to the introduction of the Act in 2008, provision of drinking water in Queensland was unregulated, with drinking water provided by more than 79 local councils and water boards managing over 332 drinking water schemes. The legislation incorporates key elements of the ADWG in a riskbased regulatory framework for drinking water quality that focuses on public health, by requiring registered drinking water service providers (DWSPs), predominantly local councils, to develop and implement drinking water quality risk management plans (DWQRMPs). The DWQRMPs were introduced using a phased approach, incorporating transitional arrangements and staged introduction, based on the size of the DWSP. This approach allowed providers to focus on water quality monitoring and reporting, while giving additional time for the development of their drinking water quality management plans. The information contained within the ADWG is used to support this regulatory framework in two ways – through the adoption of drinking water quality standards, and the use of the risk management framework to underpin the DWQRMPs. To coincide with the introduction of the Act, amendments were also made to the Public Health Regulation 2005 to set standards for the monitoring of drinking water quality. To date, standards have been set for Escherichia coli (E. coli) in reticulation and fluoride where it is added to the drinking water supplied.

WATER JUNE 2014

These standards are based on the healthbased guideline values and the E. coli monitoring frequency recommendations detailed in the ADWG, and are called up through the Water Supply Act. The regulator has also set additional drinking water quality standards based on the health-based guideline values detailed in the ADWG. Any exceedances must be reported to the Regulator. The Act sets broad provisions for the content of drinking water quality management plans that align with many of the elements of the ADWG framework The Act does this by requiring that the water service provider develops a drinking water management plan that: • Describes the infrastructure for providing the service, assesses existing water quality data, identifies hazards and assesses the risk of those hazards to drinking water quality – Element 2; • Demonstrates how the provider manages the identified risks through implementation of preventative measures and multiple barriers – Element 3; • Describes any operational monitoring undertaken, including the parameters monitored – Element 4; • Describes any verification monitoring undertaken, including the parameters monitored and the water quality criteria for the service – Element 5. Further, the Act takes in other ADWG elements by allowing the Regulator to require: • Regular reviews of the approved plan – Element 12; and regular audits of the approved plan – Element 11. The Act also allows the Regulator to develop guidelines and a regulatory guideline, the Drinking Water Quality Management Plan Guideline (the Guideline), has been developed that incorporates further ADWG elements. Criteria in the Guideline require drinking water service providers to: • Identify key stakeholders who have a role in the management of drinking water quality – Element 1; • Develop and implement an incident and emergency response plan to manage potential risks to public health – Element 6; • Develop a risk management improvement plan – Element 12;

• Maintain documents and records, and to report on water quality monitoring – Element 10. The regulation of DWSPs in Queensland has resulted in many positive outcomes, not least of which is the improved awareness by DWSPs of issues affecting their drinking water supplies. South Australia In South Australia, the Framework for Management of Drinking Water Quality is expressed through the state’s Safe Drinking Water Act 2011, which was passed by Parliament in May 2011 and commenced on 1 March 2013. The Act is based on the implementation of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, with key components being consistent with interstate and international legislation, including: • Registration of drinking water providers; • Implementation of risk management plans, including approved monitoring programs and incident notification protocols; • Regular audits and inspections of drinking water providers; • Reporting of results to the Department for Health and Ageing; • Provision of results to consumers on request. The Act applies to all drinking water providers who supply water to the public, including SA Water, operators of independent town supplies and supplies in rural and remote communities, water carters and providers of drinking water in facilities including hospitals, accommodation premises, child care and aged care centres. In line with other jurisdictions, risk management plans (RMPs) are recognised as an essential feature of assuring drinking water quality. The design and application of RMPs is the operational focus of the Act. All RMPs must include monitoring plans and incident identification and notification protocols, which require approval by the Department for Health and Ageing. Drinking water providers will need to advise the Department for Health and Ageing where a standard RMP is being adopted. Existing providers are required to develop a RMP by 1 March 2014. After 1 March 2014 all new providers must have a RMP in place prior to commencing supply.


59

Technical Papers

REALTIME NETWORK OPERATIONS OPTIMISATION FROM SOURCE TO TAP WATER SYSTEMS OPERATIONS

A project to build a Distribution Optimisation Tool to help SA Water manage its new highly flexible network A Duncker, D Vogelsang, S McMichael

ABSTRACT Complex problems and cost-intensive networks need optimisation. MWH Global has delivered a realtime Distribution Optimisation Tool (DOT) for the South Australian Water Corporation (SA Water). Using sophisticated optmisation techniques and data processing, the tool has been built to use realtime network data, climate-dependent demand and natural inflow forecasts. Operational and water resource planning for the Adelaide metropolitan network can now be optimised at minimum cost from “source to tap”.

INTRODUCTION Low-cost water source options for the Adelaide Metropolitan water supply network are in short supply. Catchments and large bulk water reservoirs in the Adelaide Hills provide the city with its lowest cost water, but pumping from the River Murray is needed to supplement catchment inflows. The recently constructed Adelaide Desalination Plant adds a new but expensive water source option to the mix. A “source to tap” optimisation tool was needed to solve this complex water balance problem and optimise water source selection, water treatment selection and operational configuration for both the bulk water and metropolitan water supply networks in near realtime.

BACKGROUND The North South Interconnection System Project (NSISP) is an SA Water project that forms a key part of South Australia’s Network Water Security Program (NWSP) aimed at achieving long-term water security for Adelaide and optimal efficiency in its use and management. The NSISP has delivered a number of upgrades to the Adelaide water distribution network

(new pipelines, pump stations and valve stations) and provided interconnection between the northern and southern water supply networks. Interconnectivity has provided considerable flexibility and allowed the new desalination water source to be fully integrated into the metropolitan network.

Figure 1. Suite of decision support tools.

To manage the increased flexibility and complexity of the operational environment and maximise opportunities relating to system interconnectivity, new decision support tools have been developed (Figure 1). One of these is the Distribution Optimisation Tool (DOT). The primary purpose of the DOT is to determine the optimal way to configure the metropolitan network, optimise water treatment or supply options, and optimise raw water supply (pumping/ transfers/storage) with respect to cost. SA Water spends millions of dollars each year, pumping from the River Murray and treating water. The new desalination plant is also a considerable new expense for the water utility. Being able to optimise for minimum cost network operations was a major driver. Recent flexibility built into the Adelaide metropolitan network has enabled additional opportunities for operational optimisation. Instead of just optimising bulk water pumping to supplement water collected and stored in the catchments, optimisation

of metropolitan network configuration (in system transfers) and water treatment plant production configuration, plus bulk water pumping and bulk water transfers, are possible and necessary.

APPROACH SA Water and MWH together recognised the need to not only focus on the metropolitan network (where the new infrastructure and interconnection works were adding flexibility and security of supply into the network), but to look at the entire system from “source to tap” in terms of a water balance problem for optimisation. This ‘bigger picture’ optimisation approach provides flexibility in the optimisation problem, thereby enabling a whole-of-system best solution to be solved. Input data to the optimisation problem was also an important aspect of the project. The quality of the optimisation results and decisionmaking depends on the quality of the input data. Climate-dependent demand forecasting and natural inflow

JUNE 2014 WATER


60

Technical Papers regression calculations needed to be developed. Using historic climate data (rainfall and maximum temperature) and historic demand for Adelaide metro, a non-linear regression model for demands was calibrated.

WATER SYSTEMS OPERATIONS

Forecast demands are calculated by using rainfall and maximum temperature forecasts from POAMA as the climate variable data in the regression equations. Forecast evaporation and Soil Moisture Index (SMI) were also calculated and used as climate variables in the calculations. Daily demand forecasts were calculated for each of the 33 climate data sets from POAMA, and a statistical analysis carried out to calculate high, average and low demand sets across the range of demand forecasts calculated. Figure 2. Distribution Optimisation Tool mass balance model schematic. forecasting were incorporated into the tool. As an operational tool, automating the calculation and use of forecasted demands and inflows in the short- (days) to medium-term (weeks and months) means that data inputs are always linked to the latest weather forecasts (rainfall and maximum temperature). The tool needed to make use of live data (reservoir levels from SCADA) in order to set the initial conditions in the system (i.e. available water in storages). Electricity tariff forecasts also needed to be utilised in the tool; this included a two-day spot market forecast from an external source and a longer-term twoyear forecast developed by SA Water. As an operational tool, the optimisation routine needed to be fast and robust; it needed to solve in minutes rather than hours and also not to be too computer resource-intensive (i.e. no parallel computing over a number machines).

INPUT DATA Defining and developing the input data for the Distribution Optimisation Tool was a major element of the project. Firstly, the kind of model required to describe the network needed to be identified and built. A water mass balance model was built to describe the high level connectivity or allowable flow paths between areas of customer demand, storages and water source points (see Figure 2). Forecasted customer demand across the network over time and natural inflows to each reservoir

WATER JUNE 2014

were the main input data sets required. Cost rates for pumping and treatment and flow constraints based on real-world capacity constraints were also needed. Some of this input data was available, such as costs and physical constraints, but for demands and natural inflows the team wanted the optimisation to use forecast data based on forecasted climatic conditions rather than seasonal averages or a user best guess. The inflow and demand forecasts are important to the optimisation process. The results from the optimisation would only be as good as the data used. As part of this project, climate-dependent demand forecasting and inflow forecasting calculations have been developed using non-linear regression analysis. DEMAND AND INFLOW FORECASTS

The demand and inflow calculations both use climate forecast data available from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). The BoM provides a short-term seven-day forecast and a medium-term nine-month forecast from its POAMA (Predictive Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia) model. The POAMA data comes in the form of 33 climate ensembles, due to the uncertainty in forecasting over this nine-month period. Figure 3 shows the forecast maximum temperature data from POAMA for a subset of the ensembles. Actual temperature over this period is also shown in the chart. To develop the metropolitan demand forecasts and inflow forecasts for each catchment, firstly the

A similar approach was used for the inflow forecasts. Regression models for each catchment had to be developed, as the relationship between climate and natural inflows is unique to each catchment. Historic inflow data was collected for each catchment for use in the regression model calibration. The actual inflow data is more uncertain than actual demand. Gauging and monitoring in the system is incomplete and at times unreliable. A mass balance approach to calculating inflows for each catchment system (using data from pumped flows into the system, changes in reservoir levels and flows out of the system to treatment) also has a number of assumptions and shortcomings. SA Water also has a rainfall run-off model that has been calibrated for the 1990–2010 periods where “historic” data could be generated. Historic inflow data from each of these data sources were reviewed and compared. Regression models calibrated against each of these “historic” inflow data sources per catchment were tested to develop the ‘best fit’ regression models. It was also necessary for the inflow regression models to calculate monthly inflows, rather than daily like the demand calculations. A daily inflow regression model produced poor calibration results due to the highly variable daily inflows seen in the catchments. Like the demand forecast calculations, forecast maximum temperature, rainfall, SMI and evaporation data are collected each week from POAMA, or calculated


61

Technical Papers

WATER SYSTEMS OPERATIONS

Figure 3. Maximum temperature forecast and actual temperature.

Figure 4. Metro demand forecast, actual production and hindcast demand. and then input to the regression calculations for each catchment to calculate a range of forecasted inflows for the next nine months. A conversion from monthly data to daily (ML/d) inflow data sets was also necessary before carrying out a similar statistical analysis as on the demand forecasts to develop just three data sets for consideration in the optimisation runs. The Distribution Optimisation Tool was designed to run up to a two-year optimisation horizon. As such, both the Demand and Inflow forecasts needed to be extended from nine months to two years. Twenty-five years of actual climate data from the BoM was collected and these annual sets of data were run through the demand and inflow regression calculations to develop 25 data sets for demand and inflows (for each catchment). Using statistical analysis, the 90-percentile, 50-percentile and 5-percentile were calculated across these data sets. These could then be appended to the ninemonth forecast as long-term average, high or low data sets for two years. Figure 4 shows the two-year demand

forecasts calculated for DOT, actuals and a hindcast. STORAGE LIVE DATA AND ELECTRICITY COSTS RATES

As part of the initial conditions for the DOT model, the volume of water currently available in the bulk water storages needs to be known and set. SA Water has online monitoring through its SCADA system of the levels (depth in metres) in each of the bulk water reservoirs and smaller storages. The current storage levels are collected by the DOT at the start of each optimisation run, or if the start date

for the optimisation run is modified to some day in the past, the reservoir levels for that date and time will be extracted and used in the model. The storage levels collected from ODS are converted to storage volumes by the DOT prior to the optimisation run. The DOT requires cost information for all the bulk water pumps, water treatment and metro transfer pumps. SA Water has recently moved to the electricity spot market, which means that tariffs are continually changing (Figure 5). The DOT has been configured to extract electricity tariff data from an electricity tariff forecast model that SA Water has

Figure 5. Electricity tariff forecast ($/MWh).

JUNE 2014 WATER


62

Technical Papers built. The first two days of the forecast come from a third party (AEMO), and the remaining two-year forecast comes from an in-house model.

WATER SYSTEMS OPERATIONS

WATER TREATMENT COSTS AND WATER QUALITY

Costs for water treatment are also important to the DOT input data. At each treatment plant there are costs associated with power consumption, chemical use and labour/other on-site maintenance costs. These costs have all been consolidated to a single $/ML rate per plant to be used in the optimisation. As the DOT model is based on a mass balance, water quality (water age, DO, chlorine residual) cannot be directly calculated or optimised for. Instead, water quality in the bulk water system is taken into account through varying treatment plant cost data. Chemical use and chemical dosing vary with the incoming water quality to the plant affecting the cost of treatment. In the DOT users can configure a range of different treatment plant costs for different water quality scenarios. When starting an optimisation run, the users are able to select a particular water quality scenario (and, therefore, cost) for the run, or set up cost patterns for the treatment plant if they know that water quality is expected to be poor (and, therefore, more expensive to treat) for only a certain period, but then will be improved for the remainder of the optimisation period.

The ability to change water treatment plant cost data over time gives the optimisation flexibility in finding a lowcost solution and allows that trade-off of treating water at more expensive rates, or taking water from another source that may have additional pumping transfer costs while taking into account the availability of water and any network constraints. NETWORK CONSTRAINTS

Network constraints such as minimum and maximum flows in links and minimum and maximum volumes in storages (and end target levels for storages) are also necessary input data for the optimisation. Constraints ensure that the optimisation routine solves for minimum cost, but all the physical constraints and minimum service levels of the network are still satisfied. Maximum flow constraints for the links usually represent the maximum capacity of a pipeline and this data is readily available. In the case of DOT, many of the links in the mass balance model represent a number of pipelines in the metropolitan network. To develop maximum flow constraints for these links in DOT, some hydraulic modelling was carried out using an all pipes hydraulic model of the Adelaide metropolitan network. Under different demand conditions and different operating scenarios/configurations appropriate maximum flows for the DOT model were developed. In some cases, maximum allowable flows varied with demand (i.e. reduced transfers during high demand periods).

Figure 7. Storage constraints data entry form.

WATER JUNE 2014

The DOT has been built to consider a set of system demand/link flow rules so that the system forecast demand is checked and then appropriate maximum flow constraints applied to the links in the model before any optimisation run. Figure 6 shows maximum flow constraint varying on a link in line with the changes in demand over time.

Figure 6. Variable maximum flow constraints.

METHODOLOGY The outputs required from the optimisation tool are inputs to a seven-day production forecast for each water treatment plant and a seven-day metropolitan operations plan (transfer configuration for the network). An optimisation methodology needed to be developed to deliver these outcomes, but also provide a robust optimisation process so that costs were not just minimised for a short-term seven-day period with no consideration of the future conditions. A longer-term horizon needed to be considered so that the optimisation did


63

Technical Papers optimisation routine needed to optimise the network both spatially and over time as one large problem.

Figure 8. DOT user interface (Optimizer WSS).

A linear program optimisation algorithm aims to minimise or maximise an “objective function” by determining a value for each model variable, with respect to a number of constraints or rules. For the DOT, the objective function for the linear program considers costs of pumping and costs of treatment, with the aim to minimise solution cost. To minimise the objective function, flows in each of the network links for each of the time-steps must be determined with respect to the constraints. The constraints for the problem are numerous, including minimum and maximum flows for each link for all time-steps, hard minimum and maximum levels constraints for storages for all time-steps, and end target levels for storages. The connectivity of the water mass balance model also forms part of the constraints. Demands at each of the nodes must be met, flows in each link for each time-step must balance, losses from the system (evaporation, river losses, spills) must be calculated, natural inflows to the storages must be added to the mass balance, and reservoir volume changes over time calculated.

Figure 9. DOT results in UI (Optimizer WSS). not just do what was best for this week with no consideration of what demands were going to be in the future, what water would be available in the reservoirs and what natural inflows were expected in the catchment, or how pumping costs and availability change over time.

long-term plan and optimal reservoir levels. The short-term (daily time-step, four-week horizon) considers the shortterm issues (water quality/cost issues, availability) and uses the long-term optimisation results as end target levels for storage.

A two-step optimisation methodology has been applied for the DOT so that a longer-term optimisation (weekly timestep, two-year horizon) determines the

To optimise for minimum cost and determine best use of storage over time, selection of pumping and treatment flows and network flow paths, the

TECHNOLOGY AND DELIVERY To implement the DOT two different software packages were selected and integrated together by the project team. C3 Global’s Amulet was selected to do much of the data collection and input data processing and preparation prior to optimisation. Amulet is able to connect and process data from many of SA Water’s records, as well as having an analytical engine for

JUNE 2014 WATER

WATER SYSTEMS OPERATIONS

The other key consideration for the optimisation tool was the time frame to solve and, therefore, the optimisation technology used. As an operational tool using live data and forecast data sets that update daily, the DOT needs to provide answers in minutes rather than hours or days. A linear programming approach has been used. This algorithm solves and optimises quickly and does not require parallel processing or cloud computing resources. This also allows users to run the tool for many different “what if” questions in a reasonable time frame before finalising a plan.


64

Technical Papers the network and the water resources. Figure 10 and Figure 11 show some of the dashboards.

WATER SYSTEMS OPERATIONS

CONCLUSION As SA Water transitions to using the Distribution Optimisation Tool as part of its new tool kit of Decision Support Tools, benefits to the business are expected to include savings in pumping and treatment costs, improved decision making in the cost of treatment vs transfers, optimised planning for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, availability of forecast demand and inflow data sets for the business, and a structured optimisation tool for “what if” type analysis and reporting.

Figure 10: DOT dashboards – storage.

This project set out to build a Distribution Optimisation Tool to help SA Water manage a new highly flexible network and efficiently run the system. A whole-of-system solution has been built. This “source-to-tap” optimisation tool uses sophisticated optimisation algorithms, smart data processing, realtime data on network conditions and climate-dependent forecasting of demands and inflows, and solves quickly to allow operations to quickly evaluate solutions and test “what if” scenarios. This paper was Runner-Up for the Best Paper Award at Ozwater’14 in Brisbane.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The Authors would like to thank SA Water for its support and guidance throughout the project. Figure 11. DOT dashboards – water quality.

THE AUTHORS

calculations and a data repository for user-entered data sets. Figure 7 shows some of the data input forms.

Alana Duncker (email: alana.m.duncker@ mwhglobal.com) is Senior Consultant with MWH’s management consulting practice in Asia Pacific. She is an experienced optimisation and water systems consultant with over 12 years of professional experience. Alana has worked on water systems planning, optimisation and software projects for clients throughout Asia-Pacific, North America and the UK.

Optimatics’ Optimizer WSS product was selected as the optimisation engine and application user interface for the DOT. The tool uses the linear programming optimisation technique and is fast solving (<5 min.) on a single desktop processor. Data sets configured by users in Amulet, or calculated using Amulet’s analytical engine (demand forecasts, etc), are made available to the Optimizer, where users can then select or modify the input data sets for their optimisation runs. Users have the flexibility to change any of the input data directly in the Optimizer user interface to run “what if” type analyses. The users can also select to run short-term (28-day) or long-term

WATER JUNE 2014

(two-year) optimisations and load and save past sessions for investigation. All the data is saved to a central server, meaning that multiple users can access the tool and results from other machines on the network. Figure 8 shows the DOT user interface and Figure 9 shows calculated results. As an additional component of the DOT, results developed in the Optimizer can be “published” for display in a series of web-based dashboards. The purpose of the dashboards is to display to the business the published/approved optimised plan for the network and the cost forecasts and production forecasts, as well as tracking actuals and forecasts. This allows business users who are not modellers or optimisation experts with access directly to the DOT or the optimisation engine to see the optimised short to two-year longer-term plan for

Derek Vogelsang (email: Derek.Vogelsang@ mwhglobal.com) is the Business Transformation Practice Lead for MWH in Asia Pacific. He is an experienced information management consultant and consulting business manager with over 20 years of professional experience.


65

Technical Papers

SYDNEY WATER’S CORROSION AND ODOUR MANAGEMENT TOOL A new process for selecting the most cost-effective corrosion and odour control measures JE González, NJR Kraakman, YC-Wang, L Vorreiter, J Cesca, T Nguyen

ABSTRACT

Keywords: Corrosion, odour, wastewater, sewage collection systems, asset management.

INTRODUCTION Corrosion and odour are problems of increasing concern because of several relatively recent changes to sewer systems. Firstly, heavy metals have been largely removed from sewage due to tighter controls of the waste permitted to enter sewers. Secondly, innovations in water-saving devices and designs have caused an increase in the concentration of pollutants in the sewer. And thirdly, urban growth and urban sprawl have increased the length and retention time in the sewers. The higher biological activity and pollutant concentration has led to increased H2S levels which, in turn, lead to higher corrosion rates. Coupled with bigger collection systems this has resulted in rapidly increasing and significant maintenance and repair costs to prevent failure of these assets. Furthermore, encroaching development and higher community expectations have increased the risk of odour complaints relating to sewers. Consequently, innovative and cost-

effective management strategies are required to deal with these issues. Sydney Water’s corrosion and odour objectives are to manage odours to acceptable levels across the wastewater system and manage asset corrosion to achieve required structural integrity and intended asset design life. Like most other utilities, many of the odour and some corrosion issues were dealt with in a reactive manner, providing a temporary solution that, in some cases, is not the ideal or most holistically optimum solution. Recognising that corrosion and odour was resulting in high costs, Sydney Water decided to specifically and urgently develop integrated strategies to ensure cost-effective management of the corrosion and odour control in its wastewater collection systems.

METHODOLOGY Sydney Water changed its approach to managing corrosion and odour issues. Up until now corrodible infrastructure was placed on an inspection program giving a re-inspect and/or repair date. Odour complaints were dealt with as a local issue, resulting in the application of either odour control or chemical dosing units. This approach developed over the years and resulted in large costs. To better manage these costs, and to more accurately estimate expenditure into the future, system-wide corrosion and odour strategies are now developed based on technical and economic assessment of performance against corrosion and odour objectives.

A management tool that comprehended the sewer system as a holistic system was needed – a tool that is transparent, intelligent and accessible to different stakeholders of the sewer system (Operations, Maintenance and Planning). This tool is called Sydney Water Corrosion and Odour Management Tool. It is used to:

Sydney Water’s Corrosion and Odour Management Tool was developed to generate these integrated corrosion and odour strategies. It was recognised that a great deal of work would need to be done to develop this tool, but it was also recognised that potential savings were there to justify the investment.

• Establish the odour and corrosion risk profile of each wastewater collection system;

The Corrosion and Odour Management Tool follows a developed process, which involves the following steps (see Figure 1):

• Develop corrosion and odour strategies for each category of wastewater system (collection systems and wastewater treatment plants); • Develop an individual plan for each wastewater collection system; • Develop guidelines, standards and costing tools for effective corrosion and odour management.

Problem Identification

1.

Problem identification;

2.

Solution development;

3.

Decision on a solution.

This process is applied to each of 26 sewer systems to develop the most cost-effective corrosion and odour control management strategy.

Solution Development

Decision on Solution

Figure 1. The overall process of the Corrosion and Odour Management Tool.

JUNE 2014 WATER

ODOUR MANAGEMENT

This paper describes a new process for the selection of corrosion and odour control measures. Sydney Water has developed a solution-generating tool that prioritises the most cost-effective (NPV 30 years) measures for resolving corrosion and/or odour issues in wastewater collection systems. This ‘Corrosion and Odour Management Tool’ is the result of advancements in modelling of sulfide in sewers, including mass transfer and ventilation, the collection of field data, and the development of cost curves for control measures for both corrosion and odour. This work also integrates R&D outcomes of the Sewer Corrosion & Odour Research (SCORe) program (IWA Asia Pacific Winner for Applied Research, 2014).


66

Technical Papers

Wastewater Network Data

Additional data (vents, scrubber, coefficients, etc)

Hydraulic load and characteristics

Hydraulic model

Water flow, depths and velocities along sewer network

Additional data (pollutant loads, chemical dose, process characteristics, etc)

Ventilation model

Sulphide model

Air flow, velocity and pressure along sewer network

Air and water, quality (H2S) along sewer network

Figure 2. The Integrated Sewer Network (ISN) model and its components.

ODOUR MANAGEMENT

Step 1: Define the problem To define the problem, information about the sewer network assets, hydraulics, sewage quality and gas phase data was collected and critically assessed. At this point the Integrated Sewer Network (ISN) model was prepared and calibrated (using field data) so that the sulfide generation in the sewer network could be modelled. The model requires substantial data inputs and is an integration of three models that feed into each other, as shown in Figure 2. Sydney Water had already developed a hydraulic model for each of its systems based on the Denmark Hydraulic Institute’s MOUSE model (HvitvedJacobsen et al., 1998; Hvitved-Jacobsen, 2002). A sulfide generation model was added (Wang et al., 2011), which was an outcome from the SCORe project

(Rootsey and Yuan, 2011). The sulfide generation and transfer model is based on the Wastewater Aerobic/Anaerobic Transformations in Sewer (WATS) model concept (Vollertsen et al., 2005). A ventilation model was also added to describe the mass transfer of sulfides, and allow for modelling of forced ventilation options. The ISN model output was overlaid with operational data and field measurements and assessed for accuracy in its representation of the current state, and allows for a holistic assessment of the catchment. The “problem” is then defined as being local or systemic, and involving corrosion and/or odour. A local problem applies to a small area of a catchment, one tributary of the collection system or a single pump station, and has an end point. A systemic problem applies

to all parts of the catchment and/ or gradually increases along the collection system. A systemic issue might be caused by multiple minor inputs causing significant problems in the carrier as it travels downstream. The purpose of this classification is to narrow down the possible solutions that can be applied to the problem, thus arriving at the preferred option more expediently. Step 2: Select solutions directed at the problem Having been built and calibrated, the ISN model can then be used to test selected solutions. To select solutions, a flowchart approach is applied, called the Hierarchy of Controls (Figure 3). This is used to limit the number of model runs to only those runs that include measures that are technically feasible and are expected to give a cost-effective outcome. At this stage in the process potentially better mitigation ’solutions’ are linked to the identified problem. A sequential generation of model runs is then prepared, which would allow effective combination of control measures to be assessed. Figure 4 shows the model run naming convention and demonstrates this approach. For example, if the problem definition step identified a systemic corrosion issue along a carrier, the hierarchy of controls would suggest that sewage quality be assessed first. The problem definition would also have included the major sources of BOD, temperature and low pH, and so one of the solutions to test would be tighter trade waste controls. Step 3: Determine the best solution Finally, the best solutions are costed against the ‘do nothing’ option (Figure 5), taking into account the cost of rehabilitation of corroded sewers and the ‘odour risk’. The cost of rehabilitation is calculated based on a concrete corrosion rate dependent on the level of sulfide in the sewer head space, and this relationship was derived from work undertaken by the ARC SCORe project. Odour risk is determined by considering the area of impact of fugitive odours from the sewer at the modelled hydrogen sulfide concentration against the population known in that area. The Guideline

Figure 3. Hierarchy of Controls.

WATER JUNE 2014

The entire process is described in detail in a guideline that uses a database and a presentation platform. The database


67

Technical Papers

Ventilation

Chemical Dosing

Trade Waste Description

Reason

VE

CE

LE

Existing condition

For calibration and comparison The impact of ‘Do Nothing’

VO

CO

LE

No ventilation or chemical dosing, but with existing trade waste loads

VE

CO

LE

Existing condition with no chemical dosing

Compare with VO CO LE to see impact of existing ventilation alone

VO

CO

LE

Existing condition with no ventilation

Compare with VO CO LE to see impact of existing chemical dosing alone

VO

CO

LO

No ventilation or chemical dosing and no trade waste loads

Compare with VO CO LE to see impact of source control alone

VO

CO

L(number)

No ventilation or chemical dosing and incremental trade waste loads

Changes to trade waste loads to target most effective source control

VO

C(number)

L(number)

No ventilation, optimal trade waste loads and incremental chemical dosing

Incremental chemical dosing to find most effective dosing regime

V(number)

C(number)

L(number)

Optimal chemical dosing and trade waste loads and incremental ventilation

Incremental ventilation to find most effective combination of controls

V(number)

C(number)

L(number)

Sub-optimal configuration of each factor

For cost comparison between factors

Figure 4. An example of the integrated sewer network model run definitions.

The sewer network consists of 6,105km of gravity sewer, of which 1,859km are corrodible, and 42km of pressure mains, of which 26km are corrodible. It includes 84 pump stations (SPSs) and 328 vents, which are mainly along the main carriers. Several of the SPSs have been identified as receiving measurable levels of saltwater ingress.

Figure 5. An example of the output map of the Corrosion and Odour Management resources the underlying knowledge, referencing documents, decision flow charts, developed standards, costing curves and maps used in the assessments, and is an important part of Sydney Water’s Corrosion and Odour Management Tool.

RESULTS The Corrosion and Odour Management Tool is being applied to all 26 wastewater collection systems of Sydney Water. For each system individual risk profiles and management strategies are developed, as well as plans to implement measures to obtain the most cost-effective outcome. For some systems it was identified that only local odour problems

existed, and so the solutions were rather simple to derive. But Sydney Water’s new approach towards corrosion and odour issues also validated the overall corrosion and odour risks and helped prioritise the implementation of measures for each network system. To illustrate the application of the Corrosion and Odour Management Tool, one of the largest collection systems is used as a case study. Collection System #1 Collection System #1 is one of Sydney’s largest and currently serves a residential population of about 1,115,000 as well as non-residential, commercial and industrial establishments. The system runs through a very urbanised catchment

The average dry weather flow from the collection system into Tool. the wastewater treatment plant downstream is about 300ML per day, with a nominal peak wet weather capacity of about 1050ML per day. In total, 5,897 customers have trade waste agreements; 166 of these are industrial discharges. The collection system has some of the highest levels of hydrogen sulfide, odour complaints and corrosion in the Sydney region. Multiple pipe sections of the network have been rehabilitated over the years due to corrosion, while odour emissions are known at several locations, especially around the siphons. Figure 6 illustrates the overall ”problem” that was generated for

JUNE 2014 WATER

ODOUR MANAGEMENT

and consequently there is a lack of suitable sites for corrosion and odour control facilities, such as chemical dosing units or foul air treatment units. Community and stakeholder sensitivity in this catchment for the odour and corrosion control solutions is high.


68

Technical Papers • Corrosion-resistant coatings and/or materials; • Sacrificial coatings (eg, Mg(OH)2); • Forced ventilation with foul air treatment such as: – Activated carbon filtration – Biotricking filtration – Wet chemical scrubbing. During the process to select the best solution, non-cost considerations are also taken into account. For example, the ability for the solution to deal with operational changes and operational upsets. Iterative model runs are used to quantify the sensitivity and robustness for these potential risks.

ODOUR MANAGEMENT

Figure 6. The output of the first step (problem identification) for Collection System #1.

Figure 7. The maximum H2S concentrations (90%ile) that can be expected in the headspace of the pipes (>350mm) in the network for the scenario “do nothing”. Collection System #1. Although the figure is very busy, with a large amount of information graphically and spatially displayed, the figure allowed for the system to be viewed as a whole. This information was then used to define potentially better mitigation ’solutions’ for Collection System #1. Corrosion and odour management solutions considered Multiple types of solutions are technically feasible. To consider all of them and calculate their cost efficiency would take an enormous amount of resources. For this reason the Hierarchy of Controls was developed (see Figure 3). Each technology has its particular niche, and all are described in the Guideline.

WATER JUNE 2014

Essentially, the solutions that are considered are: • Source Control – limiting the discharge of industrial and commercial customers to < 600 mg/L BOD, pH >7.0 and temperature < 30°C (trade waste control measures); • Limit Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT) – sewer design and operation; • Limit sulfide generation – biocide dosing, high scour velocity and flushing; • Limit sulfide transfer into the gas phase – reduced turbulence, pH adjustment dosing (eg. Mg(OH)2), precipitation dosing (eg. iron salt), oxidative dosing (eg. Ca(NO3)2 or O2);

Base case and alternative management strategies First, the current network management practice was modelled and calibrated against field data. Field data at specific key locations in the network was obtained in summer and winter. The field data, together with historical data, was analysed for different parameters, among them sulfide concentration, water flow, temperature and H2S in the gas phase. The current network management practice involves chemical dosing at two locations far upstream (with one main ferrous chloride dosing point far upstream in the main trunk), and extraction of foul air downstream at the wastewater treatment plant. After the current network management practice was modelled, mapped and costed over a 30-year period, it was compared to alternative management strategies. Also, the “do nothing” scenario, in which existing measures (in this case chemical dosing and foul air extraction) are eliminated, was evaluated. Figure 7 shows the maximum H2S concentrations (95 percentile) that can be expected in the headspace of the pipes in the network for this scenario. Figure 8a shows the outcome map in which the increase in projected rehabilitation costs compared to current network management practices is illustrated. Each coloured square in the output map represents 1 square km. When the colour is red, the rehabilitation costs will be higher than the current network management practice. When the color is green, the rehabilitation costs will be lower than the current network management practice. The darker the


69

Technical Papers

ODOUR MANAGEMENT

Figure 8a. The scenario of “doing nothing” (V0C0LE) is compared to the existing (VECELE) dosing and ventilation regime. Figure 8b. The scenario of trade waste control (VECEL2), which entails no large industrial discharges, so mainly domestic sewage, is compared to the existing situation (VECELE). Figure 8c. The scenario of reduced chemical dosing plus increased ventilation with foul air treatment in odour treatment units (V1C1L2) is compared to the existing situation (VECELE). Figure 8d. The scenario of some trade waste control (no discharges from three large industrials) plus dispersed chemical dosing (VEC3L3) is compared to the existing situation (VECELE). colour, the larger the difference from the current network management practice. The odour risk is also shown on the outcome map and was quantified in a number called Odour Potential Intensity (OP Intensity). It gives the number of people potentially affected by odour emissions from vents (see purple dots in Figure 8a). The OP Intensity is the impact of fugitive odours from the sewer at the modelled H2S concentration in the sewer against the population known in that specific area. To obtain the Odour Potential, first dispersion models were run to determine the worst case odour contours from vents for a series of different geographies. This worst case was then used to determine the odour contours for set H2S concentrations,

giving the area of impact at each H2S concentration generated. This area of impact was then assumed to have the potential of affecting each person within that boundary, giving the odour potential for that release point at the modelled H2S concentration in that section of the network. The OP Intensity was confirmed against odour complaints. The threshold concentration used for the odour contour modelling was 1.38 ppmv H2S. Figure 8 shows the results for different management options. Figure 8a shows the outcome map of the option “doing nothing”, in which the increase in projected rehabilitation costs is illustrated. Figure 8b illustrates the option in which the potential of trade waste control was evaluated.

The absence of all large industrial discharges with more than 100kg BOD per day, which means mainly domestic sewage, was compared to the existing situation. This solution provides a better outcome, but may cause substantial additional cost of pre-treatment to businesses discharging trade waste. Figure 8c explores the option of reduced chemical dosing at the existing two dosing locations, combined with increased ventilation with foul air treatment in new odour treatment units along the main trunk. Figure 8d illustrates the option in which a combination of some trade waste control (only three large industrials reduced their BOD discharges to less than 100kg per day or less than 600 mg/L) and dispersed chemical dosing is compared to the existing situation.

JUNE 2014 WATER


70

Technical Papers

Rehabilitation capital Pipe Other

NETWORK COST SUMMARY

Solution direct captial

VECELE

VECXL4

$176,080,000

$73,340,000

$27,970,000

$10,640,000

$146,110,000

$62,700,000

$150,000

$8,420,000

OCU

$0

$0

CDU

$150,000

$3,420,000

Land acquisition Solution indirect capital

NPC over 30 yrs

Solution operating

$5,000,000 $3,420,000

$16,100,000

$21,330,000

$0

$0

$15,920,000

$15,920,000

OCU CDU chemicals CDU other

ODOUR MANAGEMENT

$0 $150,000

$180,000

$900,000

Trade waste lost income

$0

$4,510,000

Total Figure 9. An example of the 30-year costing.

$192,480,000

$106,510,000

It demonstrated that only two to four major businesses have significant impact on the sulfide generation, so only these businesses are considered for trade waste control. As shown in Figure 8d, it was identified that, in this case, having multiple dosing points in the system would give a better outcome than the existing main single dosing point, without increasing the amount of chemicals dosed. The extra capital and operational costs for additional chemical dosing facilities would be readily recouped from avoided sewer rehabilitation costs. Figure 9 shows the cost for operating and maintaining the required structural integrity of the collection system over 30 years compared to the existing situation (left bottom corner of Figures 5 and 8). Figure 9 is an example of these total costs (net present value over a 30-year period; NPV30) calculated for Collection System #1. These total management costs include: (1) the projected rehabilitation costs of the sewer pipes; (2) the costs for installing new corrosion and odour preventive measures; and (3) the operating costs of new and existing corrosion and odour measures. The rehabilitation capital is divided up into rehabilitation capital for pipes and other sewer conveyance structures such as merge chambers, discharge chambers, tunnels and aqueducts. The installation and operating costs for Odour Control Units (OCUs) such as physical (eg, activated carbon filtration) or biological (eg biotrickling filtration) systems and Chemical Dosing Units (CDUs) are costed for the different sizes required. An important aspect could be the land acquisition for the OCUs and CDUs, and this needs to be considered. Also, when

WATER JUNE 2014

trade waste control is implemented, it results in lower trade waste charges, providing some incentives for the industrial trade waste dischargers. Changes in trade waste are also very slow to implement. On the output maps, large industrial dischargers are shown that were identified for potential trade waste control solution (see Figures 5 and 9). Trade waste control is defined in this case as bringing BOD discharges down to less than 100kg/day and less than 600mg/L, the temperature not higher than 30°C, and pH stable and above 7. When the scenario involves the control of specific industrial dischargers, the icon is removed from the output map as it is no longer a significant contributor to corrosion and/or odour. The trade waste dischargers have a significant impact on the corrosion and odour generation rate in this collection system, mainly because most of the industrial facilities were upstream in the catchment. One area especially had a significant effect on odour/corrosion along the whole collection system. The improved sewage quality through trade waste agreements achieves lower lifecycle costs, as shown in Figure 8b. The solution illustrated in Figure 8d involves trade waste control from only three large industries, which is more technically feasible and more cost effective when combined with other measures (in this case, dispersed chemical dosing). Impacts on WWTP Activities within the sewerage network have an impact on the downstream WWTP plant and its processes. Decisions regarding the operation and maintenance of the network must, therefore, be made with a

holistic view that includes evaluation of the effects on the WWTP. Different activities in the collection system can have profound impacts on a WWTP and may include: • Impacts of septic sewage with high sulfide concentrations on inlet and primary process units. Septic sewage has elevated sulfide and H2S levels and it is demonstrated that there is the clear correlation between high influent sulfide levels and odour emissions from the WWTP. Furthermore, the higher sulfide levels will also increase the corrosion risk of both concrete and metals, resulting in significantly higher maintenance costs at a WWTP; • The impacts of collection system odour control chemicals on the WWTP. This can include different parameters such as solids load, capacities of process units and discharge licenses, both positive and negative. Benefits at the WWTP from dosing iron salts in the network can include increased BOD and total suspended solids removal at primary clarifiers, and lower wastewater phosphorus, but could form a film on pipe walls, instrument sensors and ultraviolet treatment equipment, as well as increased sludge production. Magnesium hydroxide can raise pH up to a maximum of 9. If a number of sewers meet at the inlet of a WWTP, where the sewage streams mix, the pH may drop causing a large odour (H2S and mercaptan) release. Magnesium can cause struvite problems in anaerobic digesters and downstream processes such as centrate return systems. Nitrate may increase the cost and difficulty of denitrification. Nitrate dosing is also likely to reduce BOD levels in the wastewater in a similar way to oxygen dosing, potentially resulting in the need to supplement carbon at nutrient removal facilities; • Impacts of network ventilation strategies (including blocking vents) on WWTP odour emissions; • Impacts of seawater infiltration on the WWTP, particularly with struvite formation and meeting discharge licenses. The increased sulfate entering the plant can also cause increased sulfide levels in digesters, where BOD is high and the detention times are long; • Impacts of grit management in the network; • Impacts of flow management in the network.


71

Technical Papers • Sydney Water’s Corrosion and Odour Management Tool incorporates the most important impacts of different network operation and management decisions on the costs at the WWTP. For Collection System #1 the best solution balanced the benefit in the network and the cost impacts to the WWTP for solids removal. Lessons learned The best solution becomes the corrosion and odour strategy for the system, and facilitates effective planning and generation of system operational plans. A sensitivity assessment of the recommendations that came out of the process found that the process was robust and effective in identifying the most cost-effective solutions for corrosion and odour control. Having undertaken this work to develop systemspecific corrosion and odour management strategies, Sydney Water has derived some key insights. These include:

2.

3.

4.

5.

The importance of monitoring the final dissolved sulfide entering the treatment plant. Despite the difficulty that is often present in getting reliable time series data, the dissolved sulfide at the treatment plant is essential for the calibration of the ISN model. The confirmation of the Hierarchy of Controls (Figure 3) as a short cut to the most cost-effective corrosion and odour control operating strategy. Partnered with the identification of issues as being either local or systemic and as corrosion and/or odour, the selection of scenarios for modelling is reduced to manageable numbers. The importance of the Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT) in strongly affecting the level of sulfide generation. Quantifying the HRT can make identifying existing and potential corrosion and odour hotspots in the network much easier. The importance of taking into consideration the impact of trade waste discharges that are high in readily biodegradable BOD, temperature and acidity. A tighter trade waste control program aimed at just a few strategically located industries can, in some cases, give a significantly better outcome. The importance of including the wastewater treatment plant in the overall assessment of the corrosion and odour strategy. For example, lining and sealing the sewer all the way to the

6.

Input and support from the many different stakeholders is essential to develop accurate, system-wide corrosion and odour strategies.

7.

It is often better to make key decisions with the best currently available information rather than waiting for complete information before making the decisions.

CONCLUSION Sydney Water has developed a process for selecting the most cost-effective corrosion and odour control measures, and has documented the process in the Corrosion and Odour Management Tool. This process uses a database as the platform for presenting both the process and the theory behind the process. The Corrosion and Odour Management Tool has been applied to very different systems and has been found to be effective in identifying the most cost-effective control methods at the strategic level.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Authors gratefully acknowledge all the people who contributed to this extensive work, with a special mention of David Lynch (SKM), Andrew Hackett (KBR), Matt Ferguson, Steve Kay, Nur Nobi, Noor Hossain, Bala Selvananthan, Matthew Whalan, Jeff Scott, Rick Rizzi, Kumar Kumaradevan, George Mothakunnel (Sydney Water Corporation) and Amy McDonald (CH2M HILL).

THE AUTHORS José González (email: Jose.Gonzalez@ sydneywater.com.au) is a Technical Specialist at Sydney Water with over 20 years’ experience. He has been involved with developing and implementing Sydney Water’s Corrosion and Odour Strategy since 2007 and participated in Sydney Water’s contribution to the ARC SCORe project. Bart Kraakman (email: Bart. Kraakman@ch2m.com) is Principal Process Engineer and Regional Technology Leader Odour and Air Quality in Asian Pacific for CH2M HILL. He has more than 20 years of experience in the wastewater industry and is a specialist in odour control, air quality and biotechnology.

Yue-cong Wang (email: Yue-Cong.Wang@ sydneywater.com.au) is a Principal Analyst at Sydney Water. He has over 25 years of numerical modelling and model development experience through practical and research activities in water and wastewater fields. Louisa Vorreiter (email: Louisa.Vorreiter@ sydneywater.com.au) has over 30 years of experience in many aspects of the wastewater system and environmental impacts. She is an Asset Strategist with Sydney Water and is Program Manager for the development and implementation of Sydney Water’s integrated corrosion and odour strategy. Josef Cesca (email: josef. cesca@ch2m.com) is Regional Technology Manager for CH2M HILL in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). He has more than 25 years’ experience in the wastewater industry. Tung Nguyen (email: Tung. Nguyen@sydneywater.com. au) is a Chemical Engineer with more than 30 years of experience in planning, investigation, operation and optimisation of water/wastewater systems. He is the Treatment Product & Asset Manager at Sydney Water.

REFERENCES Hvitved-Jacobsen T, Vollertsen J & Tanaka N (1998): Wastewater Quality Changes During Transport in Sewers – An Integrated Aerobic and Anaerobic Model Concept for Carbon and Sulphur Microbial Transformations. Water Science & Technology, 38, 10, pp 257–264. Hvitved-Jacobsen T (2002): Sewer Processes: Microbial and Chemical Process Engineering of Sewer Networks, CRC Press, USA. Rootsey R & Z Yuan (2011): The Sewer Corrosion & Odour Research (SCORe) Project. Water Journal, 38, 1, pp 69–73. Vollertsen J, Nielsen AH, Yang W & HvitvedJacobsen T (2005): Effects of In-Sewer Processes: A Stochastic Model Approach. Water Science & Technology, 52, 3, pp 171–180. Vorreiter L, Soliman A, Campbell J, Whalan M & Gabus C (2011): Malabar Wastewater System Corrosion and Odour Management Strategy. Water Journal, 38,1, pp 78–82. Wang YC, Nobi N & Nguyen T (2013): Use of Integrated Sewer Network Model to Develop Corrosion and Odour Management Strategy. Ozwater’13, Perth, May 2013.

JUNE 2014 WATER

ODOUR MANAGEMENT

1.

treatment plant transfers the corrosion and odour issues to the WWTP, and this may not be the best way to manage the corrosion and odour.


72

Technical Papers

APPLYING ODOUR CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES USING RELIABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY CRITERIA Examples of full-scale outcomes from three case studies of large-scale odour control facilities J Cesca, NJR Kraakman

ODOUR MANAGEMENT

ABSTRACT Odour abatement technologies have been widely reviewed and their optimal range of application and performance has been reasonably well established. Selection criteria, mainly driven by process economics, are usually based on airflow, inlet concentrations and the required removal efficiency. However, these criteria are shifting with sustainability, social and environmental issues becoming as important as process economics. A recent paper demonstrates how to quantify the sustainability and robustness of odour control technology in the context of odour control at wastewater treatment plants. This paper presents the results from three case studies of largescale odour control facilities that used robustness and sustainability evaluation techniques to influence the design and implementation of the overall technical solution. The implementation has resulted in relatively low odour emissions, improved robustness and relatively low operating costs. It also illustrates that no one technology is suitable for all applications with regard to the economic, robustness and sustainability criteria evaluated. Keywords: odour abatement, operating costs, robustness, sustainability, economics.

INTRODUCTION Odours emitted from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are a problem of increasing concern because of several relatively recent changes. First, heavy metals have been largely removed from the sewage due to tighter controls of the waste and, consequently, the formation of odorous gases has increased. Secondly, water restrictions and innovations in water-saving devices have resulted in an increase in the concentration of pollutants in sewers leading to increased

WATER JUNE 2014

septicity when entering WWTPs. Thirdly, there is a growing trend towards more centralised WWTPs in many large cities, especially with the merging of wastewater authorities into larger utilities and the rationalisation of assets. Although this makes economic sense, it can result in longer retention times in sewers as the wastewater from new outer suburbs has to travel further and quite often through rising mains to reach an ever larger treatment facility. Having a larger facility treating potentially more septic wastewater inevitably results in a bigger odour source. Furthermore, encroaching development and higher community expectations have often increased the risk of odour complaints and the need for more robust solutions. For these reasons odour emissions from a WWTP need to be managed properly. Different odour control measures can be considered, among which the implementation of odour capture and treatment is usually the most effective strategy. Odour abatement technologies have been widely reviewed and their optimal range of application and performance has been reasonably well established. Selection criteria, mainly driven by process economics, are usually based on airflow, inlet concentrations and the required removal efficiency. However, these criteria are shifting with sustainability, social and environmental issues becoming as important as process economics. A recent paper (Kraakman et al., 2014) demonstrates how to quantify the sustainability and robustness of odour control technology in the context of odour control at WWTPs. It also quantifies the influence of the most important utility prices and process design parameters on process economics, which today still constitutes

the main selection criterion, despite the recent increased attention to sustainability. Furthermore, site characteristics as well as the implementation and project delivery mechanism of the odour control solution can impact the outcome for a project. Important site characteristics are, for example, the wastewater characteristics, the available footprint, existing infrastructure and the potential odour impact on the surrounding community. The implementation can refer to implementing risk-reducing measures to obtain long-term reliability using, e.g., standby equipment or automated process control. The implementation can also refer to the project delivery mechanism (e.g. EPC contract, designbuild contract or a shared risk model for contractor, designer and client, such as an alliance contract). Applying odour control technologies based on a conservative design approach can easily result in robust, but less sustainable, solutions. This paper presents the results from three case studies of large-scale odour control facilities that used robustness and sustainability evaluation techniques to influence the design and implementation of the overall technical solution.

METHODOLOGY The process used to influence the design and implementation of the odour control facilities involves: (1) identifying all the key parameters that could affect equipment performance, operational reliability and sustainability; and (2) developing strategies to manage these key parameters to reliably achieve better performance, rather than relying on conservative design approaches that would be inherently less sustainable. The process is based on the quantification of system robustness and the triplebottom-line concept. The triple-bottom-


73

Technical Papers line concept summarises sustainability performance of an operating unit, covering the three components of sustainable development, which are environmental responsibility, economic return (wealth creation), and social development.

Sustainability performance also means that a system is not overdesigned, but is designed for its specific purpose and for reliability. The robustness of a technology (R) is quantified as discussed in the previous paper (Kraakman et al., 2014). Energy consumption [kW] was calculated as Q [m3Ωs-1] × ∆P [kPa] × blower efficiency (0.65). The operating costs are based on a price of $0.15/kWh for energy, $2.00/kL for potable water, $0.50/kL for plant effluent water, $0.54/L for 50% (w/w) NaOH, $0.34/L for 12.5% (w/w) NaOCl, media disposal costs of $500 per kL and a cost for labour of $100/h. The capital costs include direct equipment costs of the odour abatement unit and also include costs for transport of the abatement unit to site, installation and commissioning and site-specific costs like the costs for site preparation, the air extraction system (fans, but not ductwork and covers), industrial plant control integration, access platforms, performance testing, contractor mobilisation, engineer and client costs for detail design work, tendering and project management. A greenhouse emissions factor of 250 kg CO2-equivalents per GJ of energy consumed (IChemE, 2002), 1,376 and 1,065 kg CO2-equivalents per dry tonne of caustic and sodium hypochlorite

• Highly odorous primary sources: primary screening, grit removal, and grit and screenings handling systems, flow balance tank, activated primary sedimentation tank and a pump station;

RESULTS

• Lower level odours: domestic membrane bioreactor.

Three case studies of large-scale odour control projects are presented that used robustness and sustainability evaluation techniques to influence the design and implementation of the overall technical solution. For these case studies, all quite different from each other, we present: I.

A project description;

II.

Costs (total capital and operating of the odour control facility);

III. Environmental

and social impact performance (including resources usage, CO2, benzene- and ethyleneequivalents and footprint per m3/s airflow treated);

IV.

Reliability quantified (including risk managing measures taken to increase the overall robustness of the odour control facility).

Case Study 1: Odour Control of a New Industrial WWTP The first case study is the odour control for a wastewater treatment and water recycling facility. The wastewater facility delivers a range of benefits to the community and environment, but most significantly it addresses the strong odour from a very long open sewer. The wastewater is a combination of municipal wastewater and industrial wastewater from a pulp mill and is very high in sulfates. This combined with the high biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) results in significant dissolved sulfide generation (up to 200mg/L) in the new WWTP facility. The WWTP uses membrane bioreactors and reverse osmosis membranes to treat and partially recycle the water back to the pulp mill. To ensure that odour is minimised, all sources of odour are contained and treated, including the wastewater bioreactors. This facilitated the use of Activated Sludge Diffusion (ASD), which substantially reduced the odour load to be treated with Biotrickling Filtration (BTF). The maximum airflow treated is 16.7m3/s (60,000m3/h) from sources that include:

• Potentially significant odours sources: sludge dewatering plant and industrial membrane bioreactor;

The odour control design uses a combination of ASD and multi-stage BTFs and a 25m-high stack to comply with very stringent odour impact requirements. This design will ensure that odour impacts at the plant boundary will be less than 3 OU on a 99.9 percentile basis. The odour treatment technologies used have been proven to effectively treat extremely high contaminant concentrations without the need for chemicals and with no off-site wastes. About 60% of the odorous airstream is treated through activated sludge diffusion first and then through biotrickling filtration as a second treatment step. The rest of the odorous airflow (about 40%) is treated directly through biotrickling filtration. The exact amount of foul air treated through activated sludge diffusion depends on the oxygen requirements in the activated sludge membrane bioreactors. This odour management solution is innovative and considered a sustainable solution for several reasons. The media life in the bio-trickling filters is greater than 15 years, and the system does not rely on the use of chemicals. Additionally, by treating foul air in the Membrane BioReactors (MBRs) by means of activated sludge diffusion prior to the bio-trickling filters, the size of the odour treatment system required has been substantially reduced. The advantages of using activated sludge diffusion for odour removal are apparent, and include: • The capital costs are lower than for other odour control technologies, provided air diffusion equipment for the wastewater treatment process already exists; • The technology is relatively simple to operate;

JUNE 2014 WATER

ODOUR MANAGEMENT

The IChemE Sustainability Metrics is used in this paper and defines the key indicators in each of the three areas (environmental, economic, social) to be used to give a balanced view of sustainability performance (IChemE, 2002). The most relevant environmental indicators in the case of odour control technology are: (1) resource usage involving material, energy, land, chemicals and water requirements; and (2) waste, effluent and emissions that impact on the land, aquatic environment, and the atmosphere. The indicators are calculated in the form of appropriate ratios to provide a measure of impact, independent of the scale of operation. In this case, ratios refer to the amount of foul airflow treated, so an indicator weight is expressed per m3/s of foul air treated. Weighing cost against benefits (using cost-benefit analyses tools) can then allow comparison between different options.

consumed (Owen, 1982) is used. The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are only operation and maintenance (O&M) related, and exclude the GHG for manufacturing and transportation of new media. They also exclude the transportation costs for the delivery of resources for the operation of the odour treatment facility, as they make only a relatively small contribution.


74

Technical Papers

ODOUR MANAGEMENT

of the project was about $4.5m. The capital costs include direct equipment costs of the odour system and costs for transport of the system to site, installation and commissioning and site-specific costs like the costs for site preparation, the air extraction system (fans, but not ductwork and covers), industrial plant control integration, access platforms, performance testing, contractor mobilisation, engineer and client costs for detail design work, tendering and project management. The project was delivered as an alliance with shared risk between the client, designers and constructor. The operational costs for the odour treatment facilities are k$13.2/year per m3/s of foul air treated. The operating costs consist mainly of energy costs for operating the fans for the BTF system and the potential media replacement, as illustrated in Table 1. The energy costs for the blowers of the aeration tank are not included as they are considered to be existing and part of the wastewater treatment process. Table 2 shows the environmental and social impact performance of the odour control facility, including the resources required to operate the system. At this facility recycled plant effluent water is used as the primary water source for the BTF system, with potable water as backup for the water supply. Figure 1. The odour treatment facility, consisting of activated sludge diffusion (ASD) as first treatment stage and biotrickling filtration (BTF) as second treatment stage, designed to treat up to 16.7m3/s. • No chemicals are needed; • No additional site space is required; • High efficiency removal of odours. The biotrickling filter system includes fibreglass reactors containing an inert-structured packed media in different layers on which a particular type of bacteria is grown. The different layers in a reactor provide different environmental conditions, which are required for the micro-organisms to obtain a high removal efficiency of the many odorous compounds present. Optimum air and water distribution in the reactors is provided, with an intermittent water distribution system operated as a “once-through” without the use of recirculation pumps. The cleaned air is then exhausted from the top of the BTF reactors to atmospheric discharge through a manifold and a single discharge stack (Figure 1). Either recycled plant effluent, or potable

WATER JUNE 2014

water to which nutrients are added, is used for irrigation of the structured packed media. The design and implementation of the odour control facilities was part of a total project that consisted of design and construction of the new industrial WWTP. The capital costs of the odour-related part

The impact on human health, ozone depletion and global warming is calculated according to the IChemE Sustainability Metrics and is, in this case, caused by the release of residual gaseous emissions from odour-abatement units. The human health burden is due to the emission of toxic hydrocarbons such as benzene, xylene and so forth, and was quantified in terms of benzene equivalents per year. Photochemicalozone burden indicates the capacity

Table 1. Operating costs for Case Study 1 (an activated sludge diffusion and biotrickling filtration system). Parameter

Unit

Value

Power

k$/year

71

Chemicals

k$/year

0

OPEX costs

Water

k$/year

22

Media (incl. disposal of old media)

k$/year

113

Labour

k$/year

14

k$/year

221

k$/year (per m3/s)

13.2

TOTAL Operating costs


75

Technical Papers increase operating reliability. The robustness of a technology (R) can be quantified by determining the risk of negative effects on the performance of the technology for each possible disorder (operational upset or process fluctuation), multiplied by its frequency of occurrence, and adding all possible disorders. Both the probability of occurrence (p) and the effect (E) of a disorder are semiquantified on a scale of 1 to 5 based on multiple operator field experiences and other studies (Estrada et al., 2012). The increase of robustness for the BTF system and the ASD system due to measures taken in this case study is about 36% and 25% respectively, as illustrated in Table 3.

Table 2. Environmental and social impact performance for Case Study 1 (an activated sludge diffusion and biotrickling filtration system). Parameter

Unit

Value

Net primary energy usage

kW per 1000m3

0.91

Land occupation

m (per m /s)

19

2

3

Water consumption potable water

kL/year (per m3/s)

0

secondary plant effluent water

kL/year (per m /s)

2234

filter media (replacement every 15 years)

kg/year (per m3/s)

195

chemicals

kg/year (per m3/s)

0

global-warming burden (CO2 equivalents)

ton/year (per m3/s)

25.7

human-health burden (benzene equivalents)

g/year (per m3/s)

246

3

Material usage

Atmospheric impact burdens

photochemical-ozone burden (ethylene equivalents) g/year (per m /s)

2000

3

in the odour treatment system, which are calculated according to Estrada et al. (2011). The global warming impact of the odour treatment facility was mainly due to the CO2 associated with energy consumption. Table 3 illustrates the robustness evaluation for the total odour control system, including the measures to

The second case study is the odour control for a tertiary treatment plant treating an average dry weather flow (ADWF) of 60 megalitres per day (ML/d) of mixed domestic and industrial wastewater. A new housing development on two sides of the site has driven the requirement for improved odour control and the need to reduce the odour “footprint”.

Table 3. Robustness evaluation for Case Study 1 (an activated sludge diffusion and biotrickling filtration system). Technology

BTF-Typical

BTF Case Study

ASD-Typical

ASD Case Study

Disorder/ upset

Possible cause

Water supply disorder

Supply and/or recirculation pump failures, control failures (e.g. valves), changing conditions inlet air (Temp., Rel Humidity)

3

-4

-12

2

-4

-8

1

-1

-1

1

Electricity supply interruption

Power outage

2

-3

-6

1

-3

-3

2

-1

-2

Foul air supply interruption

Fan failure, blockage extraction ductwork, production stops

3

-2

-6

2

-2

-4

3

-1

-3

Fluctuation of inlet concentrations

Changing or discontinuous production, diurnal or seasonal changes, production stops

5

-3

-15

4

-3

-12

5

-2

-10

4

Fluctuation of inlet temperature

Changing or discontinuous production, diurnal or seasonal changes, production stops

4

-2

-8

3

-1

-3

4

-1

-4

3

p

Robustness of performance ( R ) Increase of Robustness of performance ( R )

E

pxE

p

-47

E

-30 36%

pxE

p

E

pxE

p

pxE

Implemented controls (protection/detection)

-1

-1

- automatic back-up water supply with nutrient supply - operation without recirculation pumps (once-through system) - flow and level transmitter alarms in water supply system - spare parts of critical items like valves

1

-1

-1

- back-up power supply (generator) - alarms

2

-1

-2

- duty-standby fan arrangement with automatic change-over - flow and pressure transmitter alarms

-2

-8

- extracts foul air from different sources - continuous detection transmitter alarms of inlet and outlet H2S - service contract of H2S analysers calibration every 3 months

-1

-3

- extracts foul air from different sources - BTF designed with safety for diurnal and seasonal changes - fluctutions buffered by ADS

-20

E

-15 25%

Probability (P): 1 – Very unlikely or not possible; 2 – Low; 3 – Occasional; 4 – Probable; 5 – Frequent (it is certain that it will happen) Effect (E): 1 – Minor; 2 – Marginal; 3 – Moderate; 4 – Critical; 5 – Catastrophic

JUNE 2014 WATER

ODOUR MANAGEMENT

of the emissions to form photochemical ozone or smog and was expressed in terms of ethylene equivalents per year, hydrocarbons being also the main contributors to this effect. The human health and the photochemical-ozone impacts were due to the untreated fraction of the odorous emission. Their values were, therefore, linked to process removal efficiency of these compounds

Case Study 2: Odour Control of Inlet Works and PSTs at a Secondary WWTP


76

ODOUR MANAGEMENT

Technical Papers

Figure 2. The odour treatment facility, consisting of biotrickling filtration (BTF) treating 12.5m3/s. The strategy comprises the construction of a new biotrickling filter system for treatment of foul air, covering primary sedimentation tanks, replacement of existing covers, improved ventilation at all primary treatment areas, and the capture of 12.5m3/s (45,000m3/h) of foul air from all primary treatment areas. The biotrickling filter system contains four BTFs with multiple media layers to provide different environmental conditions for the micro-organisms to obtain a high removal efficiency of the many odorous compounds present.

The cleaned air is then exhausted from the top of the tower to atmospheric discharge through a manifold and a 20m single discharge stack. Plant effluent water (from the tertiary wastewater treatment process) is used for irrigation with an automatic potable water supply back-up to which nutrients are added. A dedicated 20kL water supply tank provides about half-a-day of water storage security. The design and implementation of the odour control facilities was part of an upgrade project that consisted of the

Table 4. Operating costs for Case Study 2 (a biotrickling filtration system). Parameter

Unit

Value

Power

k$/year

51

Chemicals

k$/year

0

Water

k$/year

9

Media (incl. disposal of old media)

k$/year

95

Labour

k$/year

16

k$/year

171

k$/year (per m3/s)

13.7

OPEX costs

TOTAL Operating costs

WATER JUNE 2014

design and installation of the new odour control facility as well as refurbishing and covering of the primary sedimentation tanks (PSTs). The capital cost of the odour-related part of the project was about $8.5m. The operational costs for operating the odour treatment facilities are k$13.7/year per m3/s of foul air treated. The operational costs consist mainly of energy costs for operating the fans for the BTF system and media replacement, as illustrated in Table 4. The project was designed and delivered by an alliance style contract. Performance testing demonstrated discharge odour concentrations of about 500 OU, compared to a contract requirement of less than 1,000 OU. Discharge H2S measurements were all below detection (notionally <50 ppbv). Table 5 shows the environmental and social impact performance of the facility, including the resources required to operate the system. The human health and the photochemical-ozone impacts were due to the untreated fraction of the odorous emission. Their values were therefore linked to process removal


77

Technical Papers

Table 5. Environmental and social impact performance for Case Study 2 (a biotrickling filtration system). Parameter

Unit

Value

Net primary energy usage

kW per 1000m3

0.87

Land occupation

m (per m /s)

28

potable water

kL/year (per m3/s)

0

secondary plant effluent water

kL/year (per m3/s)

1460

filter media (replacement every 15 years)

kg/year (per m3/s)

217

chemicals

kg/year (per m3/s)

0

global-warming burden (CO2 equivalents)

ton/year (per m3/s)

24.6

human-health burden (benzene equivalents)

g/year (per m3/s)

384

photochemical-ozone burden (ethylene equivalents)

g/year (per m3/s)

2889

2

3

Water consumption

The third case study is the odour control at a WWTP treating an ADWF of 498 ML/d of mixed domestic and industrial wastewater through a high rate primary treatment process. The liquid stream processes are located below ground, with odorous ventilation air being extracted through a network of fans and ducts and feeding a central plenum from which the foul air fans draw air to feed wet chemical scrubbers. Foul air is also extracted from the two collection sewers

The upgraded odour control facility is designed around the use of four duty and two standby vertical, single-stage, fibreglass reinforced plastic (FRP), counter-current packed towers, each five metres in diameter and 10.5 metres high. The towers have four metres of packing material for mass transfer and mixing between the air and liquid phases. Each tower is located above its own 30m3 lined concrete sump, with a variable

Atmospheric impact burdens

Table 6 illustrates the robustness evaluation for the total odour control system, including the effect of measures taken to increase operational reliability. The increase of robustness due to measures taken is, in this case, about 32%.

Table 6. A robustness evaluation for Case Study 2 (a biotrickling filtration system). Technology

BTF-Typical

Disorder/upset

Possible cause

Water supply disorder

Supply and/or recirculation pump failures, control failures (e.g. valves), changing conditions inlet air (Temp., Rel Humidity)

3

-4

-12

1

-4

-4

- dedicated water tank providing about ½ day of water storage - automatic potable back-up water supply with nutrient supply - operation without recirculation pumps (once-through system) - flow and level transmitter alarms in water supply system - spare parts of critical items like valves

Electricity supply interruption

Power outage

2

-3

-6

2

-3

-6

- alarms

Foul air supply interruption

Fan failure, blockage extraction ductwork, production stops

3

-2

-6

2

-2

-4

- duty-standby fan arrangement with automatic change-over - flow and pressure transmitter alarms

Fluctuation of inlet concentrations

Changing or discontinuous production, diurnal or seasonal changes, production stops

5

-3

-15

4

-3

-12

- extracts foul air from different sources - continuous detection transmitter alarms of inlet and outlet H2S - service contract of H2S analysers calibration every 3 months

Fluctuation of inlet temperature

Changing or discontinuous production, diurnal or seasonal changes, production stops

4

-2

-8

3

-2

-6

- extracts foul air from different sources - BTF designed with safety for diurnal and seasonal changes

Robustness of performance ( R )

p

E

pxE

This Case Study p

-47

Increase of Robustness of performance ( R )

E

pxE

Implemented controls (protection/detection)

-32 32%

Probability (P): 1 – Very unlikely or not possible; 2 – Low; 3 – Occasional; 4 – Probable; 5 – Frequent (it is certain that it will happen) Effect (E): 1 – Minor; 2 – Marginal; 3 – Moderate; 4 – Critical; 5 – Catastrophic

JUNE 2014 WATER

ODOUR MANAGEMENT

Case Study 3: Odour Control for an Underground Primary WWTP

The odour control facility, originally built in 1989, was upgraded in 2013 and consists of six vertical, counter-current packed tower chemical scrubbers, each with a design capacity of 45m3/s. The single stage scrubbers discharge to a manifold, with the combined flow passing through a single stack, discharging 23m above the base of the scrubbers. The upgrade included replacing the six existing scrubber towers, extraction fans and recirculation pumps, installing a new discharge manifold and stack, and upgrading the chemical dosing and storage system, and associated mechanical, electrical and control system improvements.

Material usage

efficiency of these compounds in the odour treatment system, which are calculated according to Estrada et al. (2011). The global warming impact of the odour treatment facility was mainly due to the CO2 associated with energy consumption.

entering the plant. Treatment of all foul air, in total 180m3/s (648,000m3/h), takes place through the OCF (odour control facility) prior to atmospheric discharge through a manifold and a single discharge stack.


78

Technical Papers speed drive, vertical shaft cantilever pump installed to recirculate scrubbing solution from the sump to the scrubber liquid distribution system.

ODOUR MANAGEMENT

During the project, several improvements were realised and implemented to improve the operability and robustness of the OCF. Among them was the addition of feed-forward control on sodium hypochlorite dosing to improve performance at high hydrogen sulfide loading and highly variable inlet conditions. Refinement of the recirculation and chemical dosing systems during design also improved system robustness. The system also demonstrated consistently high odour removal performance; the measured discharge odour concentration was about 500 OU and H2S concentrations were below the measurable range (notionally < 50ppbv), when inlet H2S concentration ranged between 1 and 4 ppmv. This compared to an average measured historical discharge odour concentration of about 1200 OU and a process guarantee requirement of less than 1000 OU. Odour removal performance is also much more consistent than historical performance, which varied considerably between 300 and 5000 OU. The design and implementation of the odour control facility involved re-use of existing infrastructure. A staged construction approach was adopted, with the existing scrubbers being replaced in pairs, thereby leaving four scrubbers online for continued air treatment at any time. The capital costs of the odourrelated part of the overall project were about $17m. The operational costs for the odour treatment facilities are k$9.1/year per m3/s of foul air treated, and consist mainly of energy costs for operating the fans and pumps of the system and chemicals as the catalyst for the treatment process (Table 7). The project was delivered as an alliance. Table 8 shows the environmental and social impact performance of the facility, including the resources required to operate the system. Table 9 illustrates the robustness evaluation for the total odour control system, including measures to increase operating reliability. The increase of robustness due to measures taken is in this case about 31%.

WATER JUNE 2014

Figure 3. The odour treatment facility consisting of six chemical scrubbers treating 180m3/s. Table 7. Operating costs for Case Study 3 (a chemical scrubbing system). Parameter

Unit

Value

Power

k$/year

841

Chemicals

k$/year

552

Water

k$/year

23

Media (incl. disposal of old media)

k$/year

215

Labour

k$/year

56

k$/year

1687

k$/year (per m3/s)

9.4

OPEX costs

TOTAL Operating Costs

Table 8. Environmental and social impact performance for Case Study 3 (a chemical scrubbing system). Parameter Net primary energy usage Land occupation

Unit

Value

kW per 1000m

3

0.99

m (per m /s)

9

potable water

kL/year (per m3/s)

65

secondary plant effluent water

kL/year (per m /s)

0

filter media (replacement every 15 years)

kg/year (per m3/s)

35

chemicals

kg/year (per m3/s)

7867

ton/year (per m3/s)

35.8

human-health burden (benzene equivalents)

g/year (per m3/s)

384

photochemical-ozone burden (ethylene equivalents)

g/year (per m3/s)

2889

2

3

Water consumption

3

Material usage

Atmospheric impact burdens global-warming burden (CO2 equivalents)


79

Technical Papers

Table 9. A robustness evaluation for Case Study 3 (a chemical scrubbing system). Technology

Typical CS

This Case Study

Disorder/upset

Possible cause

p

E

pxE

p

E

pxE

Water supply disorder

Supply and/or recirculation pump failures, control failures (e.g. valves), changing conditions inlet air (Temp., Rel Humidity)

3

-4

-12

2

-4

-8

- duty-standby recirculation pumps - 4 duty- 2 standby scrubbers - flow and level transmitter alarms - spare parts of critical items like pumps and valves

Electricity supply interruption

Power outage

2

-3

-6

1

-3

-3

- back-up power supply at the plant (generator) - alarms

Chemical dosing disorder

Pump of control failures, empty storage tank

3

-4

-12

2

-4

-8

- duty-standby pumps - 4 duty- 2 standby scrubbers - flow and level transmitter alarms - spare parts of critical items like pumps, valves, instruments

Foul air supply interruption

Fan failure, blockage extraction ductwork, production stops

3

-1

-3

3

-1

-3

- 4 duty- 2 standby scrubbers - flow and pressure transmitter alarms

Fluctuation of inlet concentrations

Changing or discontinuous production, diurnal or seasonal changes, production stops

5

-3

-15

5

-2

-10

- extracts foul air from different sources - continuous detection transmitter alarms of inlet and outlet H2S - service contract of H2S analysers calibration every 3 months

Fluctuation of inlet temperature

Changing or discontinuous production, diurnal or seasonal changes, production stops

4

-1

-4

4

-1

-4

- extracts foul air from different sources - temperature transmitter alarms

Robustness of performance ( R )

-52

Implemented controls (protection/detection)

-36 31%

Increase of Robustness of performance ( R )

Effect (E): 1 – Minor; 2 – Marginal; 3 – Moderate; 4 – Critical; 5 – Catastrophic

CONCLUSION This paper presents the results from three case studies of large-scale odour control facilities that used robustness and sustainability evaluation techniques to influence the design and implementation of the overall solution. All three case studies show that the need to use power and resource-intensive solutions can be minimised, while still achieving reliable performance outcomes. The critical process risks are identified and how they were managed is illustrated. The implementation of this approach has resulted in relatively low odour, improved reliability and relatively low operating costs for the types of technologies adopted. This was achieved through a thorough understanding of the risks and, subsequently, designing for robustness. Achieving consistently low odour has meant that additional polishing (such as using activated carbon filters) could be avoided, eliminating the need for the extra power and consumables. This approach was also successful, partly because of the cooperative alliance project delivery mechanism, which fostered cooperation and shared risk between designers, suppliers and operators.

THE AUTHORS

Josef Cesca (email: josef.cesca@ch2m. com) is the Regional Technology Manager for CH2M HILL in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). He has more than 25 years’ experience in the wastewater industry and is a specialist in wastewater treatment, biosolids management and odour control.

Bart Kraakman (email: Bart.Kraakman@ ch2m.com) is Principal Process Engineer and Regional Technology Leader Odour and Air Quality Asian Pacific for CH2M HILL in Australia. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the wastewater industry and is a specialist in biotechnology, air quality and odour control.

Estrada JM, Kraakman NJR, Muñoz R & Lebrero R (2012): A Sensitivity Analysis of Process Design Parameters, Commodity Prices and Robustness on the Economics of Odour Abatement Technologies, Biotechnology Advances, doi:10.1016/j. biotechadv.2012.02.010. IChemE (2002): The Sustainability Metrics; The Institution of Chemical Engineers: Rugby, UK. Jehlickova B, Longhurst PJ & Drew GH (2008): Assessing Effects of Odour: A Critical Review of Assessing Annoyance and Impact on Amenity. 3rd IWA International Conference on Odour and VOCs, Barcelona, Spain. Kaye R & Jiang K (2000): Development of Odour Impact Criteria for Sewage Treatment Plants Using Odour Complaint History. Water Science & Technology, 41, 6, pp 57–74. Kraakman NJR, Estrada JM, Lebrero R, Cesca J & Munoz R (2014): Evaluating Odour Control Technologies Using Reliability and Sustainability Criteria – A Case Study for Water Treatment Plants. Water Science & Technology (in press). Owen WF (1982): Energy in Wastewater Treatment. Englewoods Cliffs, NJ, Prentice-Hall.

REFERENCES

Sucker K, Both R & Winneke G (2008): Review of Adverse Health Effects of Odours in Field Studies. 3rd IWA International Conference on Odour and VOCs, Barcelona, Spain.

Estrada JM, Kraakman NJR, Munoz R & Quellebrero A (2011): A Comparative Analysis of Odour Treatment Technologies in Wastewater Treatment Plants. Environmental Science & Technology, 45, pp 1100–1106.

Zarra T, Naddeo V, Belgiorno V, Reiser M & Kranert M (2008): Odour Monitoring of Small Wastewater Treatment Plant Located in Sensitive Environment. Water Science & Technology, 58, 1, pp 89–94.

JUNE 2014 WATER

ODOUR MANAGEMENT

Probability (P): 1 – Very unlikely or not possible; 2 – Low; 3 – Occasional; 4 – Probable; 5 – Frequent (it is certain that it will happen)


80

Technical Papers

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE: INTEGRATED WATER MANAGEMENT IN THE ORD RIVER CATCHMENT A discussion about the new Ord WAP and how more transparent risk assessment, social input and economic evaluation would assist in water planning AC Turville, S Cullen, PL Tan

ABSTRACT

WATER RESOURCES

Over the past 60 years governments have proposed the development of agriculture in Australia’s north. One of the prime examples of this is found in the Ord region, in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Ord River flows have been regulated since two large dams were built in 1963 and 1972 to provide water for irrigation, hydroelectric power and other commercial needs. There are plans for substantial expansion of the Ord River Irrigation Scheme and a new water allocation plan (WAP) was finalised at the end of 2013. This paper discusses the new Ord WAP using an integrated water management approach. It finds that water planning would be assisted with more transparent risk assessment, social input and economic evaluation, and that negotiating the multiple perspectives of stakeholders would need to consider the benefits that people obtain from ecosystems and placing an economic value on this natural capital. These lessons are applicable to other water resources in the north. Keywords: Water planning, Western Australia, Ord catchment, social values, economic assessment, risk assessment, ecosystems services, natural capital.

INTRODUCTION Australia’s wild north has long captured public attention (Davidson, 1969; Head, 1999). However, it was private interests in 1939 that unveiled the first plan for tropical irrigated agriculture in Australia’s north, for the Ord region in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia and the Northern Territory (Graham-Taylor, 1982, cited in Hill et al., 2008). After a trial of irrigated

WATER JUNE 2014

pastures in the 1940s, in a worldwide era of big dams post World War II, the Ord Irrigation Project was established with major government funding. The Commonwealth Government recently announced its intention to further develop the north, with private investors, mainly as a food bowl, to benefit from its proximity to fast-growing Asian economies (LNP, 2013).

State and Territory jurisdictions are expected to undertake transparent statutory planning relying on best available information, to consult and involve communities, including Indigenous groups, and trade-offs between competing outcomes for water systems are to be considered and settled using the best available science, social and economic analysis and community input.

Ord River flows are regulated to provide water for irrigation and hydroelectric power. The first diversion dam in 1962 allowed the irrigation of 100,000 hectares and the establishment of the town of Kununurra. The main dam was built in 1969, and the hydroelectric power station in 1996, supplying power to the region and the Argyle Diamond Mine. There are plans for substantial expansion of the Ord River Irrigation Scheme (ORIS) as part of the East Kimberley Development Plan (RDL, 2009).

The NWI reflects key literature on integrated water management requiring that all issues that impact on the resource be considered in a plan (Mitchell, 1990; Lenton and Muller, 2009). Strategies for negotiation, policy and planning need to be undertaken with the objective of ecological, social and economic sustainability, often termed the ‘triple bottom line’. Costanza et al. (1997, p 3) and other ecological economists urge “strategies should be based upon an economically efficient allocation of resources that adequately accounts for protecting the stock of natural capital”. Thus sustainable water management should adhere to the principles of sustainable scale, equitable distribution and efficient allocation. As a qualitative desktop exercise, this paper has undertaken a risk assessment of the current Ord WAP in the context of protecting the stock of natural capital in the Ord River catchment. We identify four key components that are not part of the current plan:

As in many of the world’s regulated rivers, there are multiple users competing for water. In the Australian context these uses and users are accommodated through water planning, a key feature of water governance since national water reforms (CoAG, 1994, 2004; Hampstead et al., 2008; Tan et al., 2010). The National Water Initiative 2004 (NWI) aims to provide for sustainable use of water, increasing the security of water access entitlements, and ensuring economically efficient use of water. These objectives are to be achieved principally by strengthening environmental flow provisions, removing barriers to markets in water, and providing for public benefit outcomes through water plans. In preparing surface and groundwater management plans for areas of concern,

1.

Publicly available current environmental/ social/economic risk assessment, or the results of such a study, are not included in the current WAP.

2.

The Department of Water (DoW), the regulating authority of the WAP, only has authority to act in Western Australia and on behalf of the


81

Technical Papers Western Australian communities. The catchment is partially in the Northern Territory and decisions impacting the catchment should be coordinated across the catchment. 3.

4.

The WAP is a surface water allocation plan. Due to the physically connected nature of the surface water and groundwater resources in the catchment these resources should not be assessed and managed in isolation. Risk relating to uncertain impacts of climate change has not been adequately addressed.

Risk management through water planning is one of the five main themes in the NWI (Hamstead et al., 2008). Complying with ISO 31000:2009 Risk Management Standard, the methodology used provides a framework to approach risk management, identifying potential hazards, addressing the actual risks in a logical and thorough way, while giving stakeholders some level of comfort that risks are being managed within the scope of what are reasonable resources, capacity and risk tolerances. We propose that a risk mitigation strategy be undertaken as part of future revisions of the WAP, which, if adopted, would lead to a reduction in impacts of highrisk factors. Our findings are that the protection of natural capital would be enhanced by: • The inclusion of a social impact assessment so that decision makers are aware of the broader impacts that water allocations in the plan may have on all stakeholders;

• Integration of the impacts of the WAP on surface water and groundwater ecosystems; • Investigating and including mitigation measures against the risks associated with the uncertainty of climate change.

CONTEXT OF WATER PLANNING IN THE ORD History of water planning Water planning in northern Australia has trailed planning in the south, because of the relatively undisturbed waterways and undeveloped land; this has resulted in less urgency to allocate water to stakeholders through statutory water plans. While many of the

Water planning and regulation of the Ord River originates from a bygone era during which large government infrastructure projects gave scant regard to the impacts on stakeholders, in particular the Indigenous community and the environment. The envisaged potential of the north as a world ‘food bowl’ promoted by governments past and present has tended to ignore the harsh realities of the true cost of pursuing such endeavours, financially, environmentally and culturally. Development of the north is on the agenda again with the Northern Australian Land and Water Taskforce established in 2007 to consider how development of northern Australia’s land and water resources can take place without compromising the ecological and cultural values of the region (NALWT, 2009). The terms of reference of the Taskforce were changed in September of 2008, with a shift in the focus towards “increased scrutiny of how water availability and potential environmental impacts may be limiting factors [on new development opportunities]” (NALWT, 2009 p1). The Ord Region is now on the doorstep of the next phase of development in the region with the announcement in 2012 of Kimberley Agricultural Investment (KAI) as the preferred proponent to lease and develop 13,400ha into irrigated farmland under the Ord-East Kimberley Expansion Project. Water allocation planning is one of a suite of policies to assist with this and the Ord Surface Water Allocation Plan (Ord WAP) was finalised in September 2013 (DoW, 2013). History of settlement The Ord River catchment includes traditional lands of people from the Gidja, Malngin, Miriuwung, Wadainybung, Dulbung and Kuluwaring Indigenous language groups (Barber and Rumley, 2003, p11). The traditional owners, who have been present for an estimated 40,000 years, have a strong connection with the natural environment and hold themselves responsible for their country. The first non-Indigenous interest in the Kimberley area came after the exploration by Alexander Forrest in

1879 that spoke of the vast pastoral and agricultural potential (Graham-Taylor, 1978, p22). Cattlemen began to arrive from the southern and eastern states and there was a brief gold rush in 1887. Throughout the early 1900s pastoral crops were trialled. While cotton proved to be unsuccessful the potential for commercial scale tropical agriculture was still attractive. Investigations into irrigated agriculture began in the 1940s with the establishment of the Kimberley Research Station, and in 1962 the Kununurra Diversion Dam was constructed to provide water for irrigation of the Stage 1 area. Coinciding with this was the establishment of the township of Kununurra. The population of the region grew to 6,528 by 2011 (ABS 1&2, 2011). State of water resources, use, pre-dam environment Water resources in the Ord River catchment include: the Wilson, Bow, Negri, Dunham and Ord Rivers and their tributaries, floodplains and floodplain lagoons; Lake Argyle and Lake Kununurra; the groundwater aquifer; and the inland and marine wetlands including the Ramsar sites of the Perry Lagoons, Ord Estuary and False Mouths of the Ord where the Ord River empties into the Timor Sea in the Cambridge Gulf (DoW, 2006, p11; DoW, 2013, p3; Hale, 2008 p5; Smith et al., 2010, p1236). The most significant regulating infrastructure in the catchment includes: the Ord River Dam, which forms Lake Argyle and incorporates a hydroelectric power station, and the Kununurra Diversion Dam, which forms Lake Kununurra. Since damming, the natural wet and dry seasonal flows have been altered and consequently changed the pre-dam environment (DoW, 2012, p14). Flow is now managed to provide a minimum flow year-round for irrigation and hydroelectricity generation demands, and environmental flows (DoW, 2013). Although the natural environment has been modified due to regulation, the post-dam environmental value has been recognised by the Environmental Protection Agency and recommended to be protected (DoW, 2012, p18); hence any ecological restoration to return the natural environment to pre-dam conditions is unlikely as the current environmental flows are based on protecting the post-dam environment.

JUNE 2014 WATER

WATER RESOURCES

• The formation of an interstate governance body to coordinate and manage trans-boundary aspects of land and water development;

north’s catchments are undisturbed by development, the same cannot be said for the Ord Region, with regulation of the Ord River’s flow for the past 40 years having major impacts on the environment (DoW, 2012).


82

Technical Papers Doupe & Pettit (2002, p307) assert that the Ord River flow regimes required for ecological restoration, and the flows required to ensure dilution of agricultural effluent, are entirely different and that the two cannot co-exist. Objectives of former water plan and protection of environmental values The first Ord River Water Management Plan (2006) commenced in 1997 and evolved in a time of broad structural reform of water management, including the NWI. While progress was made towards allocation of sustainable environmental flows in the first WAP, Ayre (2008) argues many stakeholders have become disengaged due to the protracted and convoluted process of the 2006 plan and changing political landscape. In particular Ayre (2008) noted that Indigenous engagement strategies needed to identify implications of water plans for cultural heritage values and practice, and that decision-support systems for transparent trade-off analysis in decision-making were required.

WATER RESOURCES

Policy and Legislation Through administering the Rights in Water Irrigation (RIWI) Act 1914 the DoW “seeks to balance the ecological needs and social expectations of water in the natural environment with society’s need to use water for public water supply and commercial purposes” (DoW, 2006, p V). There are about 20 international, national and state policies, legislation, treaties and regulations that influence the management of the Ord River and the Ramsar listed wetlands. Pressures and risks to resources Water resources in the Ord River Basin experience pressures from extractive demands, water uses, land use in the catchment and river regulation (DoW 2013, p10–13). Extractive Demands: Mining, irrigation and losses associated with hydroelectricity generation reduce river flows (DoW, 2013; DoW, 2006). Urban Demand: Kununurra sources water from an aquifer just above the Kununurra diversion dam on the northern bank (DoW, 2013, p28). Land Use & Pollution: Agricultural and urban land uses have both been demonstrated to have water quality and ecological impacts on waterways 1

(Wasson et al., 2010). The area of land for agricultural use in the Ord River catchment is expected to increase as more water is available for irrigation (DoW, 2013), however future irrigation schemes are subject to tight environmental conditions for agricultural tail water.1 Regulating Infrastructure: The Ord River Dam and Kununurra Diversion Dam have created the ecologically significant artificial wetlands – Lake Argyle and Lake Kununurra (Hale, 2008, p17) and contributed to the characteristics of the ecologically significant wetlands of the Lower Ord River (DoW, 2006; DoW, 2013). However, alterations to flow regimes has potential for serious negative consequences for aquatic biodiversity (Bunn & Arthington, 2002). Climate Change: Whetton (2011, p42) lists likely impacts of climate change in the north of Australia as a fourfold increase in days over 35°C, thus an increase in people experiencing heat stress, and an increase in fire, extreme rainfall events and flooding are also predicted by 2030. The Ord River catchment already experiences high evaporation due to high air temperatures throughout the year (Smith et al., 2010). Increased temperatures and incidence of days over 35°C will increase catchment evaporation. Additionally, increases in fire, extreme rainfall and flooding events will increase the uncertainty in planning, both for future availability of water, and suitability of agriculture in the region. Drivers for further development: Australia’s proximity to a rapidly growing Asian region with more than 500 million people is a main driver for expansion and growth as demand for food and beef from the region is increasing. As the Ord River Irrigation Scheme has not reached its full potential, state and federal governments are looking for opportunities for the Ord to fulfil its promise.

DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS OF 2013 PLAN USING IWRM APPROACH Objectives and desired outcomes of 2013 Plan The Ord WAP 2013 was released in September 2013 after considerable effort by the DoW to include community consultation and stakeholder engagement in the decision-making

process. The objectives and desired outcomes of the Ord Surface WAP (DoW, 2013) are listed in Box 1.

MAIN FEATURES OF THE WAP The DoW Ord Surface Water Allocation Plan (2013) defines the water users and sets rules for water allocation from the river. A cap of 905 GL/year is placed on the amount of water that can be allocated to users with the current infrastructure arrangements. Water trading is allowed under the plan, however the current demand is much lower than the annual cap, and water trading is not expected to become a regular feature of water management in the catchment until the water is fully allocated. The plan has a tiered system of restrictions to adjust allocation to all users in years where there are low flows into the Argyle and Kununurra Lakes (DoW, 2013, p27, p35). Although the past 10 years has seen progress in Australian water legislation towards maintaining environmental flows, there has been a tendency to base environmental impact assessments on water flow models and the effects of water-sharing plans on the environment (Baldwin et al., 2009). The current plan’s outcomes and objectives prioritise water for irrigation, hydroelectricity and meeting the legislative environmental requirements, i.e. “Resource Objectives” which relate to flows, floods and river levels. There are no objectives specifically relating to economically efficient water use and related investment that maximise the economic, social and environmental value of the water resource in the Ord. We believe an integrated water management approach would help to ensure decision makers are aware of the broader context of issues and help to ensure balanced decisions are made.

ASSESSING THE RISKS OF NOT MAXIMISING ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES IN THE ORD According to Vanclay (2003, p2), social and economic risk assessment refers to “the processes of analysing, monitoring and managing the intended and unintended social consequences, both positive and negative, of planned interventions (policies, programs, plans, projects) and any social change processes invoked by those interventions”.

Rob Cossart, WA Department of Water Program Manager Water Resource Use and Management, Kimberley Region, Pers Comm, 11 April 2014.

WATER JUNE 2014


83

Technical Papers

OUTCOMES Outcomes are the broad ecological, social and economic consequences of our water resource management. The expected outcomes of this plan are: • Secure and reliable water supplies for a strong and expanding irrigation industry • A healthy lower Ord River environment • As much hydroelectricity production as possible, within the limits of the water needed by irrigators and the downstream environment • Traditional Indigenous access, water-based tourism and recreational opportunities that complement the irrigation, environmental and power outcomes.

RESOURCE OBJECTIVES Water resource objectives state how we want the water resource to perform as a result of the management we put in place. They are specific and measurable, and ensure the outcomes can be met. This plan’s resource objectives are as follows: a.

flows measured at Tarrara Bar meet the environmental water provision, including:

I.

the baseflow component for wet and dry seasons

II.

annual and inter-annual wet season peak flows

III. infrequent b.

wet season flood events

water levels in Lake Argyle are maintained above irrigation restriction levels in 95 per cent of years.

Box 1. Ord Surface Water Allocation Plan (DoW, 2013, pp 8–9). There are many risks to be considered in regard to further expanding consumptive use through expansion of the Ord River Irrigation Scheme. Best practice should see the WAP address all risks identified by stakeholders and the agreed necessary mitigation measures adopted. Where no action is deemed necessary, this should be communicated in a transparent manner within the plan or its supporting documentation.

DISCUSSION

A transparent, up-to-date, rigorous, collaborative and inclusive Environmental, Social and Economic Impact Assessment process coupled with a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) would begin to address the risks of externalising costs and impacts of Stage Two and Stage Three of the Ord Irrigation Scheme and the risk of moving ahead with expansion projects which may not be financially viable. Head (1999) cites research by BR Davidson that suggests Ord Stage One was constructed despite economic analysis demonstrating that it was not economically viable. The most recent publicly available cost benefit analysis of the Ord River Irrigation Area, undertaken by Hassall & Associates in 1993, “showed that between 1958 and 1991 the government

The Economists at Large (2013 p5) also argue that the 1993 Hassall & Associates analysis could have been updated at relatively low cost. Using tools such as Environmental, Social and Economic Risk Assessment and CBA, decision makers can begin to look beyond the traditional indicators of project cost and payback and put a value to other cultural, social and environmental consequences of the potential project. An example of this

is Hope’s (2002) study of three dams in Malaysia, Nepal and Turkey. Identifying the benefits that people obtain from ecosystems, and placing an economic value on this natural capital, is a critical component that should be included in any analysis. The CBA should then be undertaken through the concept of total economic value (Figure 1), defined by Admiraal et al., (2013, p13) as “an expression of the total value of the benefits derived from a marginal change in an ecosystem, expressed in monetary terms, which can subsequently be used in cost–benefit models while being mindful

Figure 1. Total economic value.

JUNE 2014 WATER

WATER RESOURCES

RISK 1: IMPACT ASSESSMENT AND COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS

had invested $613 million into the scheme to extract benefits of just $102 million” (Economists at Large, 2013, p4).


84

Technical Papers of ecosystem sustainability”. This latter point is critical, as a criticism of the total economic value approach is that it ignores questions of sustainable use and bases the monetary value of ecosystems purely on the flow of human benefits of ecosystem services (Admiraal et. al., 2013, p13). As CBA has limitations, it should be used as a complementary ‘tool in the planner’s kit’ to assist and debate policy change; and there is evidence of adverse consequences to the environment when cost and benefits are not considered (Atkinson & Mourato, 2008). The outcomes of the CBA should be used to assist decision-making and policy development; and as part of an ongoing cycle, the impacts of policies on society, the economy and ecosystems should be re-valued in an iterative process (see Figure 2). RISK 2: INTERSTATE BASIN GOVERNANCE

WATER RESOURCES

There is a Memorandum of Understanding that the M2 channel will be expanded to supply 14,000 ha of land in the Northern Territory (DoW, 2013), however, there is no information about shared environmental, social, cultural or economic objectives between the two states for the Basin. Funding should be provided for an interstate collaborative management group for the Ord River Basin with equivalent authority to the Government of Western Australia Department of Water so decisions impacting the river are consistent across the catchment. ‘Ord Land and Water’ was formed in 1998 by the local community to ensure sustainable natural resource management in the Ord River Irrigation Area through community participation (OLW, 2011). Ord Land and Water is a community organisation and does not have the same status as an organisation such as the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), which, under the Water Act, facilitates water sharing across states, among other legislative requirements. The MDBA approach of managing the water resource across state boundaries allows for objectives such as “supporting sustainable and integrated management of the MDB in a way that best meets the social, economic and environmental needs of the Basin and its communities” (MDB, 2013). The DoW only has authority to act in Western Australia and on behalf of the 2

Figure 2. Cyclical nature of policy development, impact assessment and cost benefit analysis. Western Australian communities. While the time is not ripe for a sophisticated institution like the MDBA to be created in the Ord, trans-boundary aspects of land and water development should be managed by an organisation with formal authority. RISK 3: INCORPORATE GROUNDWATER AND SURFACE WATER INTERACTIONS IN PLANNING

Groundwater and surface water are highly connected in the Ord River catchment. Smith et al. (2010) document that, since the Ord irrigation scheme was developed in the 1960s, groundwater levels in the catchment have been rising. In the last decade groundwater levels have stabilised within a few metres of the ground surface. This has occurred because the groundwater has started to intersect with some unlined irrigation channels, and flows into the channels. Groundwater quality is variable and can, therefore, be unsuitable for either human consumption or irrigation due to high levels of salinity and sodicity (Smith et al., 2010). RISK 4: INCORPORATE THE UNCERTAINTY OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN WATER SUPPLY PLANNING

Whetton (2011, p42) lists likely impacts of climate change in the north of Australia as a fourfold increase in days over 35°C, thus an increase in people experiencing heat stress, an increase in fire, extreme rainfall events and flooding are also

predicted by 2030. The magnitude of rainfall change in northern Australia is a major uncertainty (IPCC, 2014, Chapter 25) and water restrictions as set out in the Ord WAP occurred for the first time last year2. The Ord River catchment already experiences high evaporation due to high air temperatures throughout the year (Smith et al., 2010). Additionally, increases in evaporation, fire, extreme rainfall and flooding events will increase the uncertainty in planning both for future availability of water and suitability of agriculture in the region. It is recommended upon revision of the WAP that the risks and uncertainty associated with climate change be given more consideration. The consultation process should attempt to engage the local community and local business to build capacity and help to share the understanding of the potential impacts of climate change; to translate uncertainty into understandable terms so decisions can be made about investments.

IMPROVING RISK ASSESSMENT Using processes outlined in the ISO 31000:2009 Risk Management standard, risk can be assessed and then potential mitigation strategies.

Rob Cossart, WA Department of Water Program Manager Water Resource Use and Management, Kimberley Region, Pers Comm, 11 April 2014.

WATER JUNE 2014


85

Technical Papers CONCLUSION Over the last 100 years, water policy in Australia has been shaped by the imperative to supply water for irrigation (Pigram, 1986; Powell, 1989; Smith, 1998). It is clear that this imperative continues to drive water policy in the northern parts of WA. Western Australia’s current water management legislation is under longawaited review. While the 2013 plan has made significant improvements in negotiation via extensive community consultation and stakeholder engagement, the findings of this paper are that there is the potential to improve even more in other aspects. We note that some of the observations made by Ayre 2008 remain valid, particularly in relation to rigorous and transparent trade-off analysis. For example, the opening message from the Minister for Water (DoW, 2013, p iii), “This Ord surface water allocation plan supports, first and foremost, water for existing and new irrigation”, suggests that the value of ecosystems and the social and cultural benefits derived from them are not valued as highly as those derived from irrigated farmland. Although the plan attempts to allocate water for sustainable outcomes, it is unclear how equitable distribution and efficient allocation will be achieved. Our research was limited to non-Indigenous consultation and further research is required on the extent and efficacy of Indigenous engagement in the current water development in northern Australia.

THE AUTHORS Adam Turville (email: Adam. Turville@MidCoastWater. com.au) is a graduate of the International Water Centre’s Graduate Certificate in Integrated Water Management (Water Planning). Adam currently works as a Project Officer in the MidCoast Water planning team.

Poh-Ling Tan (email: p.tan@griffith.edu.au) is the International Watercentre’s Professor for Water Law and Governance. Her research focuses on water reform and governance, particularly in the intersections of law, social and biophysical sciences.

REFERENCES Admiraal JF, Wossink A, de Groot WT & de Snoo GR (2013): More Than Total Economic Value: How to Combine Economic Valuation of Biodiversity with Ecological Resilience. Ecological Economics, 89, 0, pp 115–22. Atkinson G & Mourato S (2008): Environmental Cost-Benefit Analysis, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 33, 1, pp 317–344. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS 1) (2011): 2011 Census Data, www.censusdata.abs.gov. au/census_services/getproduct/census/2011/ quickstat/SSC50417?opendocument&navp os=220, viewed 16/04/2014. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS 2) (2011): 2011 Census Data, www. censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/ getproduct/census/2011/quickstat/ GL_WA2035?opendocument&navpos=220, viewed 16/04/2014. Ayre M (2008): Water Planning in the Ord River of Western Australia, Collaborative Water Planning: Retrospective Case Studies, Vol 4.2. Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge. Baldwin C, O’Keefe V & Hamstead M (2009): Reclaiming the Balance: Social and Economic Assessment – Lessons Learned After Ten Years of Water Reforms in Australia, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 16, 2, pp 70–83. Barber K & Rumley H (2003): Gunanurang: (Kununurra) Big River: Aboriginal Cultural Values of the Ord River and Wetlands, Study prepared for the Water and Rivers Commission, Australia. Bunn S & Arthington A (2002): Basic Principles and Ecological Consequences of Altered Flow Regimes for Aquatic Biodiversity, Environmental Management, 30, pp 492–507.

Constanza R, Cumberland J, Daly H, Goodland R & Norgaard R (1997): An Introduction to Ecological Economics, Print ISBN: 978-1884015-72-4, eBook ISBN: 978-1-4200-4835-3. Council of Australian Governments (2004): Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Water Initiative (National Water Commission, 2004). Davidson BR (1969): Australia Wet or Dry? The Physical and Economic Limits to the Expansion of Irrigation, Melbourne University Press. Government of Western Australia Department of Water (DoW) (2006): Ord River Water Management Plan; Water Resource Allocation and Planning Report Series Report No. 15, Department of Water, Perth, Western Australia. Government of Western Australia Department of Water (DoW) (2010): Kimberley Regional Water Plan: Strategic Directions and Actions 2010– 2030. Draft for Public Comment, Department of Water, Perth, Western Australia. Government of Western Australia Department of Water (DoW) (2012): Ord Surface Water Allocation Plan: For Public Comment, Department of Water, Perth, Western Australia, Water Resource Allocation Planning Series Report No 48, viewed 21 September 2013. www.water.wa.gov.au/PublicationStore/ first/102256.pdf Government of Western Australia Department of Water (DoW) (2013): Ord Surface Water Allocation Plan; Water Resource Allocation and Planning Report Series, Report No 48, Department of Water, Perth, Western Australia. Government of Western Australia Department of Regional Development and Lands (RDL) (2009): Ord-East Kimberley Development Plan, Department of Regional Development and Lands, Perth, Western Australia, viewed 11 April 2014. www.drd.wa.gov.au/ publications/Documents/Ord_East_Kimberley_ Development_Plan.pdf Doupe and Pettit (2002): Ecological Perspectives on Regulation and Water Allocation for the Ord River, Western Australia, River Research and Applications, 18, 307–320 (2002). Published online in Wiley InterScience (www. interscience.wiley.com). DOI: 10.1002/rra.676 Economists at Large (2013): Rivers, Rivers, Everywhere. The Ord River Irrigation Area and the Economics of Developing Riparian Water Resources. Prepared for the Wilderness Society, prepared by Economists at Large, Melbourne, Australia. Graham-Taylor S (1978): A History of the Ord River Scheme – A Study in Incrementalism, PhD Thesis Murdoch University. Graham-Taylor S (1982): A Critical History of the Ord River Project, in Davidson, BR and Graham-Taylor S (eds) Lessons from the Ord, Sydney: Policy Monographs, Centre for Independent Studies.

JUNE 2014 WATER

WATER RESOURCES

Our findings are that the inclusion of a risk assessment process that considers economic, social and environmental impacts of the plan would help to ensure decision makers are aware of the broader impacts that water allocations in the plan may have on all stakeholders and help to reduce risk to the natural capital of the Ord. These findings are particularly critical for the Australian Government’s vision of opening up northern Australia in conjunction with the governments of Queensland, WA and the NT.

Susannah Cullen (email: susannah.r.cullen@gmail. com) is a graduate of the International Water Centre’s Graduate Certificate in Integrated Water Management (Water Planning). Susannah currently works as a Water Engineer and Project Manager for MWH Global in London, UK. She has previously worked in the water industry in Western Australia, Victoria, New Zealand, and as a volunteer with Engineers Without Borders in Timor Leste.


86

Technical Papers Hale J (2008): Ecological Character Description of the Ord River Floodplain Ramsar Site, Report to the Department of Environment and Conservation, Perth.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2014): ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/images/ uploads/WGIIAR5-Chap25_FGDall.pdf, viewed 10/4/2014.

Hamstead M, Baldwin C & O’Keefe V (2008): Water Allocation Planning in Australia – Current Practices and Lessons Learned (National Water Commission, 2008).

Lenton RL & Muller M (2009): Integrated Water Resources Management in Practice: Better Water Management for Development, Earthscan, London, GBR.

Head L (1999): The Northern Myth Revisited? Aborigines, Environment and Agriculture in The Ord River Irrigation Scheme, Stages 1 and 2, Australian Geographer, 30, 2, p141–158.

Liberal National Party (LNP) (2013) The Coalition’s 2030 Vision for Developing Northern Australia, lpaweb-static. s3.amazonaws.com/Policies/NorthernAustralia. pdf, viewed 27/2/2014.

Hill R, Miriuwung and Gajerrong peoples, Hill DG & Goodson S (2008): MiriuwungGajerrong Cultural Planning Framework. MG Guidelines for Developing Management Plans for Conservation Parks and Nature Reserves under the Ord Final Agreement. Endorsed by the Yoorrooyang Dawang Regional Park Council. Presented by Miriuwung and Gajerrong peoples. Perth, Kununurra and Cairns: WA Department of Environment and Conservation, Yawoorroong Miriuwung Gajerrong Yirrgeb Noong Dawang Aboriginal Corporation and CSIRO.

WATER RESOURCES

Hope C (2002): An Empirical Application of Probabilistic CBA: 3 Case Studies of Dams in Malaysia, Nepal and Turkey, Judge Institute of Management Working Paper No. 19/2002, papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_ id=359340, viewed 5/9/2013.

WATER JUNE 2014

Powell JM (1989): Watering the Garden State: Water, Land and Community in Victoria 1824–1988 (Allen & Unwin). Smith DI (1998): Water in Australia (Oxford University Press. Smith J, Pollock D & Palmer D (2010): Groundwater Interaction With Surface Drains in the Ord River Irrigation Area, Northern Australia: Investigation by Multiple Methods, Hydrogeology Journal, 18, pp 1235–1252. Tan PL, Mooney C, White I, Hoverman S,

Mitchell B (1990): Integrated Water Management: International Experiences and Perspectives, Belhaven Press, New York; London.

Mackenzie J, Burry K, Baldwin C, Bowmer

MDBA (Murray Darling Basin Authority) (2013): About MDBA, www.mdba.gov.au/about-mdba viewed 10/04/2014.

National Water Commission, pp 1–382.

Northern Australian Land and Water Taskforce (NALWT) (2009): Midterm Report 2009. www.regional.gov.au/regional/ona/files/ NALWT_Midterm_report_2009.pdf, viewed 27/03/2014. OWL (Ord Land & Water) (2011): Ord Land and Water – About Us, www.owl.com.au/about. html, viewed 13/10/2013.Pigram JJ, Issues in the Management of Australia’s Water Resources (Longman Cheshire, 1986).

K, Jackson S, Ayre M & George D (2010): Tools for Water Planning: Lessons, Gaps and Adoption, Waterlines Report Series, No 37,

Vanclay F (2003): International Principles for Social Impact Assessment, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 21, 1, p 5–12, DOI: 10.3152/147154603781766491 (BeechTree Publishing, 2003). Whetton P (2011): Future Australian Climate Scenarios, in Cleugh H, Battaglia M & Graham P (eds). CSIRO Climate Change: Science and Solutions for Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Victoria.


87

Technical Papers

VICTORIA’S PROPOSED NEW WATER ACT An overview of the key changes proposed by the draft Bill and the concerns surrounding them M Gibbs

INTRODUCTION Victoria’s water law is undergoing change, once again. With the changes that brought the Melbourne metropolitan retailers across from the Water Industry Act 1994 (Vic) to the Water Act 1989 (Vic) (Water Act) only just bedded down1, the whole of the Water Act has been under extensive review. The result, the Exposure Draft of the proposed Water Bill (Bill), was released for public comment on 18 December 2013. The Bill was open for public submissions for an eight-week period and attracted 146 submissions from a range of stakeholders, including water authorities, local councils, industry bodies, environmental and community groups, and individuals2. The Bill implements aspects of the Victorian Government’s Living Victoria policy and Melbourne’s Water Future strategy. Although there are some important changes proposed by the Bill, the majority of the 598-page draft is a restatement and reordering of the current Water Act. Importantly, the overall structure of the water industry remains the same, with rural and metropolitan water corporations, catchment management authorities and the Victorian Environmental Water Holder retaining essentially the same powers and functions as under existing law. The Bill modernises some provisions and there has also been a concerted effort to streamline processes. This paper considers the key changes proposed by the Bill, together with submitter concerns, most notably

concerning rights to stormwater, liability of councils, new water licensing requirements, more restricted rights of entry onto land for water authorities, and the abolition of water authority by-laws.

WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT WATER MANAGEMENT APPROACH

Reflecting a more holistic approach to water management, a key change to water management under the Bill is a new emphasis on whole-of-watercycle management. This is intended to bring a sharper focus on using all available water resources including recycled water, rainwater, stormwater, wastewater and potable water3. The Bill includes the promotion of whole-ofwater-cycle management in its objects and as an objective of water corporations when performing their functions. The Minister will also be able to require the preparation by water corporations of whole-of-water-cycle management strategies and plans. The new stormwater regime (discussed below) will need to be considered in this context. However, environmental groups and individuals expressed concern about the lack of environmental objectives in the Bill and the abolition of the Environmental Water Reserve, in particular4. The Environmental Defenders Office saw the Bill as a “missed opportunity” to bring the Victorian Act in line with current thinking on sustainable water management.

WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ORDERS

A second key change is the replacement of a number of water instruments with a single instrument, a water resource management order (WRMO). WRMOs will contain all of the management arrangements for a particular area, such as a river basin or large water supply system, and will set out all relevant rules applying to that area. Notably, WRMOs could prohibit the issue of new entitlements when required to meet caps on entitlement volumes, and during a declared water shortage the Minister will be able to alter system management rules contained in WRMOs to give effect to temporary drought-relief measures. This reform was generally supported by submitters because it will provide greater transparency and make it much easier to determine the rules applying in an area. However, some submitters expressed concern that the Minister for Water does not have an obligation, but only a discretion, to issue a WRMO for every area. According to the Explanatory Guide for the Bill, existing entitlements, including environmental entitlements held by the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, will be transferred into new WRMOs, unaffected5. But in a further step to simplify water instruments, future environmental entitlements will be issued as bulk entitlements. The Victorian Environmental Water Holder expressed concern in its submission that the drafting had removed certain obligations on bulk

The changes were enacted by the Water Amendment (Governance and Other Reforms) Act 2012 (Vic) which was passed by the Victorian Parliament on 29 March 2012 and became effective from 1 July 2012.

2

All publicly available submissions can be found at: www.livingvictoria.vic.gov.au/water-law-review-submissions.

3

www.livingvictoria.vic.gov.au/Default.aspx?PageID=4009205&A=SearchResult&SearchID=6134196&ObjectID=4009205&ObjectType=1.

4

See submissions from Environmental Defenders Office, Environment Victoria, Yarra Riverkeepers, Goulburn Valley Environment, and Professor Lee Godden and Dr Anita Foerster.

5

Office of Living Victoria, Water Bill Exposure draft: An Explanatory Guide, DEPI, livingvictoria.businesscatalyst.com/PDFs/ New%20Guide_v8_171213_v10.pdf.

JUNE 2014 WATER

WATER POLICY

1


88

Technical Papers entitlement holders such as monitoring of impacts. Under the proposed changes, these matters would be dealt with by discretionary conditions placed on the bulk entitlement by the Minister. LONG-TERM MANAGEMENT OF WATER

A further change to water management is to introduce a two-step process to identify and manage long-term risks to water resources: Step One: At least every 15 years a regional resource assessment of the health of the region’s water resources will be undertaken to identify significant issues and proposed responses. The assessment will be guided by a panel of experts and will be open for public input.

WATER POLICY

Step Two: If the expert panel guiding the regional resource assessment (Step One) identifies significant issues and recommends a strategic review be undertaken, the Minister must initiate a strategic review to examine the options available to address the issues identified. These options could be changes to policy or system management rules, or other actions to improve the health of water resources. Notably, this process could result in the permanent adjustment (reduction) of entitlements. The Minister may also initiate a strategic review at any time. This process will be guided by a committee representing affected interests. This two-step process will replace the current regional sustainable water strategies and 15-year statewide review of entitlements under the Water Act. According to the Explanatory Guide, the new process is intended to be less resource intensive than previously, particularly given that there has been an intensive level of water management review and reform in the last 20 years. However, several submitters raised concerns about the length of time between reviews. For example, the Victorian Environmental Water Holder indicated that regional assessments should be undertaken at least every 10 years. The Mineral Council of Australia, Victoria Division, thought that the Bill should be amended to allow the Minister to conduct an earlier review when new water resources are identified or where there is enhanced knowledge of a water resource6. 6

7 8

RIGHTS IN RELATION TO WATER

rainwater falling on a person’s roof is not affected by the new provisions.

The Bill largely reproduces existing statutory rights to water contained in the current Water Act but tinkers at the edges of some rights and clarifies others. The result is a continuation of efforts over many years to codify common law riparian rights and to clarify the scope of statutory rights.

Although the vast majority of submissions expressed a general acceptance of the new stormwater rights7, a number of local council submissions expressed concerns around a perceived lack of clarity in the provisions, particularly around how these rights interact with WRMOs and whether the Bill should contain an express right to trade stormwater. There was also concern that the new provisions will stifle local innovation, hinder the achievement of whole-of-water-cycle outcomes, introduce unnecessary red tape and increase the regulatory burden on local councils, such as monitoring.

RIGHTS TO STORMWATER

The Bill introduces a number of new provisions relating to rights to stormwater, intended to clarify the current mix of common law and statutory rights. These provisions are intended to encourage greater investment in projects that harvest and use stormwater, thereby reducing potable water use in appropriate circumstances. Many readers will be aware of recent media coverage regarding the Victorian Government’s promotion, through the Office of Living Victoria, of the use of stormwater, particularly in urban areas. The Bill confirms the Crown’s right to the use, flow and control of all water in stormwater works (public pipes and drains), and will extend the current right of a water corporation to take and use stormwater in its stormwater works to all local councils in respect of stormwater in their stormwater works. Although the heading to Clause 33 of the Bill refers to the “continuation” of the Crown’s rights to water, in fact the current Water Act and its predecessors did not provide for Crown rights to the use, flow and control of water in stormwater works. If this issue is not addressed in the final Bill, as a matter of legal interpretation the presumption will be that the Crown always, in fact, had such rights, with the result that current stormwater arrangements may be called into question. The new provisions provide that, where there is demand for stormwater, the Minister can specify a “local stormwater area” through a WRMO. Once an area is specified, a take and use licence will be required to take water from stormwater works of a council. Outside such areas, councils will be able to supply a third party with stormwater from its works by agreement. The right to collect and use (for any purpose)

A further significant concern of local councils was around the liability provisions relating to stormwater. Along with extending the right to take and use stormwater to Councils, the drafters of the Bill have extended the statutory liability provisions that currently apply to water authorities to local councils – but only in relation to stormwater. Several submitters objected8, suggesting that the statutory liability regime under the Bill should apply more broadly. Because the Water Act limits the liability of water authorities to specific situations, a broadening of those types of works to which the liability provisions apply would have the result of providing greater protection for local councils. In a similar vein, the Municipal Association of Victoria submitted that local councils should only be liable for negligent acts rather than for both intentional and negligent acts in the situations specified in the relevant provisions. Given that this drafting reflects the current Water Act and has been in place for some time, it seems unlikely that the latter aspect of the Bill will be amended. THE RIGHTS OF TRADITIONAL OWNERS TO TAKE WATER

A number of submitters expressed concern that indigenous rights to take and use water, and to engage in customary fishing and other activities in or on waterways, are not adequately addressed by the Bill. The Bill maintains the right of traditional owner groups to take water under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic). This right

A similar point was made by the Victorian Association of Forest Industries suggesting that both a decline and an increase in a water resource should trigger an assessment by the Minister. Note that the Victorian Farmers Federation opposes the extension of stormwater rights to local councils. Including Corangamite Shire Council, City of Wangaratta and Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.

WATER JUNE 2014


89

Technical Papers complements any rights to water that may be held by native title holders under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth). Under these processes, traditional owner groups or native title-holders may have rights to take water for personal, domestic and communal purposes, for example9. THE RIGHT TO TAKE WATER FOR DOMESTIC AND STOCK PURPOSES

Of note, the statutory right to take water for “domestic and stock purposes” without charge or any requirement to hold a licence, currently contained in Section 8 of the Water Act, has been modified. “Domestic and stock use” of water is to be redefined under the new provisions as the reasonable use of water for: • Household purposes; • Watering of animals kept as pets; • Watering of livestock; and • Watering an area, not exceeding 1.2 hectares, around a house; but does not include use for dairies, piggeries, feed lots, poultry, aquaculture or any other intensive or commercial use, or watering commercial plantings. While the new definition of “domestic and stock purposes” clarifies some existing uncertainties, because it refers to a “reasonable” use for the listed purposes, there is still room for interpretation. To limit this, the Bill gives the Minister power to prescribe an upper limit for use of water for watering around a house and for watering livestock. It is anticipated that this will allow different volumes for stock needs across the state10.

9

Not all Crown land is preserved as open space or parkland for public enjoyment, to which the public ordinarily has access as of right. It is not clear whether the drafters of the Bill intended these rights to apply more broadly.

NEW AND CLARIFIED WATER LICENSING REQUIREMENTS OVERVIEW

The Bill retains the bulk of the current system for allocating rights to take and use water, but in a number of areas seeks to clarify, simplify and increase the flexibility of these processes. Significantly, several new provisions have been included in the Bill in order to fully account for and manage interceptions of water and losses due to evaporation of water across water systems. These proposed provisions are intended to implement the requirements of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan to account for all uses and activities that intercept water. They include new requirements applicable to certain new forestry plantations and extending take and use licence requirements to aesthetic dams. The new requirements for forestry plantations are of particular interest. NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW FORESTRY PLANTATIONS

New controls are proposed for new forestry plantations of a certain size (generally greater than 20 ha) in “declared plantation areas” in recognition of the need to account for the amount of water intercepted by forestry plantations. Plantation managers will need to obtain a take and use water licence and/or an offset area approval to account for the “additional” water intercepted by the new plantation. The additional water intercepted will be calculated only in relation to the area of forest plantation that exceeds the allowable plantation area according to a method provided in Regulations (yet to be drafted). The concept of an offset area approval, while new in this context, draws on instruments used in other natural resource management contexts. The idea is that a

forest manager can choose to offset all or some of the new forest’s additional water use by returning other forested land to a non-forest use with a lower water use, and maintaining it as such. It will be an offence to plant a forest in a declared plantation area in excess of the allowable plantation area without having the required take and use licence and/or offset area approval in place. If the water system affected has reached its cap on entitlements, water may need to be traded to provide for new plantations. Applications for take and use licences for new forests will be dealt with in the same manner as for other uses, such as irrigation. All landowners can plant up to the allowable plantation area without having to meet the new requirements and existing plantations will not be affected. Perhaps unsurprisingly, submitters such as Australian Forest Products and the Victorian Association of Forest Industries objected to what they saw as the singling out of commercial plantation forestry activities. The Australian Forest Products suggested that, if new plantations in declared plantation areas are to be subject to new licensing requirements, then to ensure equity, plantation owners should be given tradable rights over any change in water interception so that, where plantations are harvested and not replanted, the landowner has the right to sell any change in water interception associated with the land-use change. There was also concern that water availability could be adversely affected by increases in other (unregulated) interception activities within a catchment, even where the total plantation area within that catchment remained the same or decreased, leading to “perverse outcomes”.

POWERS OF WATER CORPORATIONS MOST POWERS REMAIN UNCHANGED BUT CONCERN OVER REDUCTION IN IMMUNITY

Most of the powers and functions of water corporations remain unchanged in the Bill. Notably, however, water corporations that have water supply, irrigation or bulk water supply functions will gain new powers in relation to declared “special water supply catchment

The question of whether these processes adequately recognise indigenous rights to water is beyond the scope of this paper.

10

Note that the Moorabool Shire Council submission indicates that this proposal is unacceptable to farming enterprises.

11

Council of the Municipality of Randwick v Rutledge (1959) 102 CLR 54 (per Windeyer J, with whom Dixon CJ, Fullagar and Kitto agreed).

JUNE 2014 WATER

WATER POLICY

In addition, proposed changes to the wording of the current Section 8(1)(a) right to take water for domestic and stock purposes from a waterway to which a person has access “by a public road or public reserve” – the latter to be changed to “Crown land” – will mean that the right will apply to much more land across Victoria than it does currently. This is because the High Court of Australia has held “the term ‘public reserve’ – and the word ‘reserve’ alone, when not controlled by a definition or a context indicative of a different sense – has come to be used in common parlance in Australia in an imprecise way to describe an unoccupied area of land

preserved as an open space or park for public enjoyment, to which the public ordinarily have access as of right11.”


90

Technical Papers areas”. These additional powers will enable water corporations to put into place plans for declared areas in order to protect potable water supplies for which they have responsibility, thereby filling a gap in the current legislative framework. Currently, these powers are only exercisable by catchment management authorities under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (Vic). Coliban Water expressed concern over the removal of powers relating to “environmental areas” (current Water Act 1989, Part 6A, Division 5). Several catchment management authorities expressed concern about the proposed removal of current section 211 of the Water Act, which provides that an authority is not liable for any loss or damage sustained, directly or indirectly, as a result of a declaration under Section 203 (declaration of a flood level, flood fringe area or building line by a water authority) or a Ministerial Order under Section 205 (declaring land liable to flooding or to be a floodway area). REDUCED RIGHTS OF ENTRY – WORKS BY WATER AUTHORITIES

The Bill changes rights of water authorities to enter private land for the installation or construction of works (excluding sewerage works and property connection works) on seven days’ notice as currently permitted under section 133 of the Water Act. Under the proposed provisions a water authority will need to acquire one of: • An interest in the land, for example an easement; • An access agreement, which will be registered on title; or

WATER POLICY

• The landowner’s agreement in writing to locate the works on or under their land. These changes are, according to the Explanatory Guide, intended to better balance the rights of landowners and the functional requirements of water corporations. However, they provoked a range of submissions in opposition, including detailed and well-argued submissions by Melbourne Water, the Property Council of Australia and the Housing Industry Association12. The key concern was that the new access requirements would cause delays and add significant costs to developers,

which would ultimately be passed on to the public and affect housing affordability. Submitters also argued that the new requirements would allow individuals to seek payments for agreeing to allow access to their land or to obtain compensation payments for land compulsorily acquired in instances where the drainage works benefitted the land being accessed, unlike other infrastructure works such as roads, which benefit the public generally13.

INCREASED ROLE FOR REGULATIONS – NO ROLE FOR BY-LAWS The Bill proposes that a range of matters will be covered by Regulations. Because no draft Regulations have yet been made available publicly, at this stage of the process it is difficult to assess accurately the full impact of the changes proposed. Indeed, given the extensive list of matters that are to be dealt with by Regulation, one has to question whether the Government will be able to develop sufficient Regulations within a reasonable time to enable the new Act to become fully operational by 1 January 2016, as anticipated. This may cause difficulties for water authorities carrying out their functions. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that the new regime does not contemplate the continued use of water authority-made by-laws. Instead, water authorities will have to rely on the Department to develop and make Regulations and the Bill does not contain a process for the Minister to consider requests for Regulations. Given the local nature of existing by-laws, this was of concern to some rural water corporations that rely on those powers to deal with local concerns, particularly around the management of recreational areas14. As no transitional provisions are contained within the Bill and a separate transitional provisions Bill has not yet been released by the Government, it is unclear whether existing by-laws will be allowed to run until their expiry (by-laws are commonly made with a 10-year lifespan), transitioned across to Regulations, or whether the raft of Regulations that will be required to fully implement the Bill will include local water authority by-laws.

CONCLUSION Although the proposed Water Bill brings some welcome clarifications and simplifications to Victoria’s water laws, several of the proposed changes will require further consideration. The Government-appointed Advisory Panel and the Minister for Water are now considering submissions, with the aim of introducing the final Water Bill into Parliament mid-2014. The Bill has a proposed commencement date of 1 January 2016, and the raft of new Regulations and other subordinate instruments that will be required to implement the new Water Act will be developed in late 2014 and 2015.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Author wishes to thank Jessica Dawson-Field for her research assistance. The views in this paper are those of the Author and do not necessarily represent those of Ashurst. This chapter is a general overview and is not intended to be legal advice.

THE AUTHOR Meredith Gibbs (email: Meredith.gibbs@ashurst. com) is Special Counsel at law firm, Ashurst. She specialises in environmental, water and climate law and is listed in Australia’s “Best Lawyers” for her expertise in climate change law, natural resources law, government practice and energy law. Meredith regularly acts for a range of corporate clients together with water corporations, government departments and other statutory bodies on a wide variety of environmental, carbon and regulatory issues including approvals and contracting for major projects. 

REFERENCES Council of the Municipality of Randwick v Rutledge (1959), 102 CLR 54. Office of Living Victoria (2013): Water Bill Exposure Draft: An Explanatory Guide, DEPI, livingvictoria.businesscatalyst.com/PDFs/ New%20Guide_v8_171213_v10.pdf Various authors, Submissions on the Water Bill. Available at www.livingvictoria.vic.gov.au/ water-law-review-submissions. Victorian Government (2013): Water Bill Exposure Draft.

12

Also from the Urban Development Institute of Australia and the Association of Land Development Engineers.

13

See the Melbourne Water submission on this point.

14

Note that there are currently Model By-Laws for recreational areas which could be readily adapted into Regulations.

WATER JUNE 2014


91

Technical Papers

EAST MEETS WEST: THE RELEVANCE OF EASTERN WATER LAW REFORMS FOR THE WEST An examination of arguments against the implementation of eastern state water reform measures in Western Australia M Hartley

ABSTRACT Western Australia (WA) has been reluctant to reform its water legislation despite the dramatic changes that have occurred in this area in the eastern states of Australia (the East) over the past 20 years. A number of arguments have been raised to dismiss the relevance of such reform to WA (the West) and downplay the potential benefits that may flow from adopting similar reforms. Four arguments commonly raised are: the circumstances driving reform; hydrogeological uniqueness; the relevance of statutory planning; and the applicability of consumptive pool management. This paper contends that, while these arguments may have some validity, they are not sufficient to justify WA rejecting reform measures similar to those adopted in the East. It argues that WA stands to gain significant benefit and flexibility from water law reform. The National Water Initiative (NWI) and the current reform agenda in WA are used as the foundation from which these arguments are discussed because, eight years after signing up to the initiative, WA is again proposing reform measures to make its water legislation NWI-compliant.

INTRODUCTION

Water law reform in WA has been debated at least since 2005 when the Irrigation Review recognised that the current RiWIA was unable to address many NWI propositions (Western Australian Government, 2005). Therefore, the most recent reform suggestions outlined in the Position Paper released in 2013 by the Department of Water (DOW) re-address previously discussed issues (DOW, 2013a). By contrast, Australia’s eastern states have a history of reforming and amending water legislation and regulations to address entrenched overallocation of pertinent and at risk water resources. The most significant efforts to reduce overuse and overallocation occurred in the decade preceding and during the Millennium Drought – the 1990s and 2000s. Reform was facilitated by the NWI, itself devised in recognition of the continued need to further improve the national water framework originally conceived under the 1994 water reform framework (CoAG, 1994). The first signatories to the NWI were Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, each of which created and later amended their water legislation in order to become NWI compliant.

It is no coincidence that these four states constitute ‘Basin States’ under the Water Act 2007 (Cth) (s 3). The history of the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) as a water resource impacted by severe droughts and plagued by mismanagement is unquestionably central to the water law reform that began in the East (Grafton and Jiang, 2009). Although WA faces a similarly urgent need for water reform, the implementation of eastern measures in the West is viewed as controversial for a variety of reasons. This paper examines four of these reasons, or arguments, and seeks to determine their veracity: 1.

The West is different;

2.

The circumstances driving reform in the East are not replicated in the West;

3.

Statutory water sharing plans are not necessary in the West;

4.

Consumptive pool management is less applicable to groundwater basins.

1. ‘The West is different’ From the outset, it is important to recognise that the West is different. WA is Australia’s most remote state and Perth is the second most isolated capital city in the world. The West is also politically isolated, containing only 11% of the total federal electorates (Miragliotta, 2013). There is often a prevailing mentality in contentious matters that the East does not understand the West, which in part reflects a frontier mentality symptomatic of the State’s isolation. The first argument examined in this paper has proven fundamental to the mindset that the reforms undertaken in the East are not applicable to the West. It is that the West is different to the East in terms of the nature of its water resources. This assertion does

JUNE 2014 WATER

WATER POLICY

Western Australia (WA) is in the developmental stages of much-needed and long-awaited water law reform. The Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914 (WA) (RiWIA) is, as its date suggests, an outdated piece of legislation whose ambit arguably precludes the implementation of measures considered good practice under the 2004 Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Water Initiative. Such measures include the separation of the entitlement and allocation component of a water licence and the implementation of consumptive pool management.

The inadequate scope of the RiWIA is but one challenge that water law in the West faces. The State Government has simultaneously been hesitant to implement measures permitted under the RiWIA that would facilitate improved water management; for example, statutory water sharing plans and mandatory metering requirements (CoAG, 2004).


92

Technical Papers issues like evaporation. Yet groundwater resources are often relied on as a safety blanket during water shortages, leading to spikes in their use. The result is that both ground and surface water resources in the MDB have been affected by the water shortages experienced in the East (CSIRO, 2010).

An aerial photograph of Perth Desalination Plant. not directly reflect any NWI objective, but both it and the second argument examined in this paper were partly responsible for WA being the last Australian state to sign up to the NWI, which occurred on 6 April 2006 (National Water Commission, 2007).

WATER POLICY

The nature of the water resources in WA differs to those on the east coast, particularly the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB). The most critical water resource to WA is the Gnangara Groundwater System (GGS), which consists of four aquifers: the superficial (the Gnangara Mound); the semi-confined and confined (the Leederville and Yarragadee respectively); and the Mirrabooka (DOW, 2009a). The GGS underlies the Perth metropolitan region, supplies about 40% of water to the Integrated Water Supply Scheme (colloquially termed ‘scheme water’), and has been promoted since the late 1990s as the preferred water source for private garden irrigation (DOW, 2009a; Water and Rivers Commission, 1998). Other water resources of high importance to the state include the remaining southwest groundwater resources and the Carnarvon artesian basin (supplying water to the mid-west region of WA) (Bennett and Gardner, 2014; DOW, 2007). Both these and the GGS comprise the state’s primary water resources because they experience large demand that incorporates use for domestic, agricultural and horticultural purposes. Hence, their use and decline affect more

WATER JUNE 2014

than just the immediate population reliant on the resource. The Gnangara Mound provides a pertinent illustration of this heterogeneity: the population reliant on the resource for domestic purposes exceeds 1.5 million; horticulture and agriculture account for 22% of its water use; and unlicensed garden bore use is estimated at 18% (DOW, 2009a). The GGS is a groundwater resource with no surface water connectivity. Thus, it exists in a fundamentally different hydrogeological state to the water resources of the MDB, which has both ground and surface water as well as levels of interaction between the two (Parsons, Evans and Hoban, 2008). Although the GGS is neither a ‘gaining’ nor a ‘losing’ resource in relation to a surface water resource, there is a measure of connectivity between each of the three main aquifers that comprise the GGS: the Gnangara Mound is recharged in part by the Leederville aquifer, which in turn has small points of interaction with the Yarragadee aquifer (DOW, 2009a). The nature of WA’s water resources as primarily groundwater also contributes to differences in the impacts of water availability to those experienced on the MDB. The water levels of the MDB are influenced by dramatic climate variability and prolonged periods of water shortage. Climate uncertainty has a more immediate effect on surface water resources than it does on groundwater resources, which are more resilient to

Yet WA’s water resources have arguably had a similar experience. This is evidenced through the gradual decline in reliance on surface water in the scheme water that supplies Perth’s domestic water needs. The decline in surface water availability has seen the scheme water shift its reliance to the GGS and desalination plants with the hope of incorporating groundwater replenishment in the future (Water Corporation, 2011). A further consequence of the GGS being a groundwater resource is that it suffers from slower recharge rates, which when coupled with high demand and reduced long-term rainfall necessitates a change in the way that law and policy look to govern the resource. The Namoi Catchment in north-west New South Wales (NSW) presents a useful point of comparison to the GGS. The Catchment comprises both ground and surface water resources that service a population in excess of 100,000 people. The Catchment’s groundwater resources are particularly significant to the MDB, experiencing the highest level of development – at 15.2% – of all groundwater in NSW (Murray-Darling Basin Authority, 2010). The management of the Namoi Catchment has had to adjust to a system where the connectivity, recharge, and licensed use of the ground and surface water resources are adequately addressed. This has been achieved through the statutory water sharing plan covering the resource, the Water Sharing Plan for the Upper and Lower Namoi Groundwater Sources 2003 (Namoi Plan). The Namoi Plan categorises the groundwater resources into two broad management areas, the Upper and Lower Namoi. The upper catchment is further separated into 13 management zones, while the lower catchment is comprised of only one. The Namoi Plan has been implemented pursuant to state water legislation and is compliant with NWI propositions (Water Management Act 2000 (NSW); Water Sharing Plan for the Upper and Lower Namoi Groundwater Sources 2003 cl 2(1)).


93

Technical Papers In terms of climate and specific water resources, the West may not be materially different from individual water sources that act as tributaries to the MDB. In accepting the relevance of eastern reform measures, WA could learn three lessons from the Namoi Plan. First, groundwater resources can be addressed through law and policy in a way that accounts for their differences, including recharge and connectivity. Second, these plans can account for the effects of immediate climate variability and long-term climate change on groundwater resources. Third, and most importantly, the NWI planning structures can be applied to groundwater resources, which is the third argument examined in this paper. 2. ‘The circumstances that drove reform in the East are not replicated in the West’ The second argument addresses issues at the heart of the first. It is the belief that WA’s water resources have not suffered the same level of mismanagement, overallocation and overuse as those in the East (particularly in the MDB) and so the extent of reforms witnessed in the East is not required in WA. This position carries broad implications to the context of water law reform in the West, as many of the NWI measures are based on the premise that new and comprehensive management was required in order to ensure the sustainability of water resources. Objective (iv) of the NWI is central to this debate: all over-allocated or over-used systems must be returned to environmentally sustainable levels of extraction. The argument that WA’s water resources do not face the same stresses as those previously faced by the MDB is one that can be partially dismissed. The water resources located in the State’s most northern regions face arguably less demand than the State’s primary resources. This means that their use is subject to more relaxed conditions and they are less likely to be considered for statutory water sharing plans.

Two important points of correlation exist between the water resources of the MDB and those of the GGS that help discredit the perceived different circumstances between the East and the West. First, the GGS – and in particular the Gnangara Mound – has several over-allocated management areas (DOW, 2009a). These have existed since WA signed up to the NWI in 2006 and remain extant. The 2009 Gnangara Groundwater Areas Allocation Plan was introduced in an attempt to reduce the level of over-allocation on the Mound, but its continued over-allocation exposes an analogous type of mismanagement to the experience of the MDB. The extent of over-allocation on the GGS is much less severe than that experienced on the MDB, but it nevertheless introduces doubt about the assertion that the West’s most important water resources are not faced with similar challenges to those experienced on the MDB. In addition, over-allocation in the southwest groundwater resource further supports the claim that the eastern reforms are applicable to the West. The second point of correlation relates to the effects of over-use on the ecosystem health of the GGS. The concern with over-allocation extends beyond its impact on the availability of water for domestic supply and into areas of ecosystem degradation due to a continued inability to reserve sufficient water for environmental purposes. It is well documented that the MDB faced similar problems and that environmental flow requirements under statutory water sharing plans were conceived as a method of allocating water to environmental purposes (Rivers, 2011). Similarly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in WA has established ministerial conditions, termed water level criteria, to provide legal protection for environmental water requirements to wetlands (Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA)). It is theoretically illegal to breach these criteria, and yet this has occurred repeatedly and without legal

consequence (DOW, 2013b). The DOW explains that the breaches are the result of the decline in long-term water availability rather than human-induced groundwater extraction and, in any case, the EPA is unlikely to prosecute a second government department (the DOW) for failing to comply with these criteria. The reductions in long-term monthly rainfall averages suggest that the breaches do relate to increased water variability, but the current ministerial conditions have proven incapable of securing protection methods for stressed wetlands (Gardner, 2006). Thus, the second argument can be partially challenged for two reasons. First, some of the State’s primary water resources continue to be mismanaged, as evidenced through the continued overallocation and legislative delays. Second, the situation is unlikely to remedy itself, given that there is no projected increase in long-term rainfall, which itself is a further reality facing the MDB. 3. ‘Statutory water sharing plans are not necessary in the West’ The third point of debate relates directly to the second objective of the NWI: the creation of transparent, statutory-based water planning (CoAG, 2004). Statutory water sharing plans were devised under the NWI to provide consistency, efficiency and certainty to water-planning mechanisms. Their primary benefit to stressed aquifers is that they address allocations for both consumptive and non-consumptive use of the resource, and entrench a legal extraction limit for individual water resources that allocation levels cannot exceed (Gardner, Bartlett and Gray, 2009). The assertion that statutory water sharing plans are not necessary in the West exists because of the variability of water resources in WA combined with their level of allocation and use. As previously discussed, many resources in the state are not allocated to a critical level. The DOW policy that guides WA’s water allocation planning establishes a trigger system to determine when an allocation plan is required. Under this system, an ‘intensive plan’ is created when extraction exceeds 70% of a resource’s capacity (DOW, 2010). Plans may not be required in areas that do not experience intensive use and where there is uncertainty in their yield for reasons of isolation or hydrogeological characteristics (NWC, 2011).

JUNE 2014 WATER

WATER POLICY

Conversely, WA’s water resources in the southwest are experiencing a similar decline to that faced in the MDB. The GGS and the southwest groundwater resource in particular have suffered from reduced recharge caused by a trend towards a drying climate that began in the 1970s. Long-term average rainfall has undergone sharp decline in the three decades since this trend first started, and the relevance of the GGS during this time has dramatically increased (DOW, 2009a). Groundwater levels continue to decline,

despite Perth having experienced some recent wet years (DOW, 2014). The National Water Commission (NWC) has noted WA’s reluctance to prioritise reform in such a critical area as water law. Again in 2011, the NWC observed that the delayed planning and legislative timeframes seen in WA have had a detrimental impact on the water resources (NWC, 2011).


94

Technical Papers first and that allocations do not exceed environmentally sustainable levels of extraction (CoAG, 2004).

Ba

Upper and Lower Namoi Namo

i River

Wee Waa

Groundwater Overlaying Great Artesian Basin Great Artesian Basin

Narrabri

MDB Porous Rock

MDB Fractured Rock

Boggabri

a

Walgett

m

oi

Riv

er

N

rw

on

Ri

ve

r

Rowena

Gunnedah

Quinndi

The Namoi Catchment (National Water Commission, 2012).

WATER POLICY

There are no statutory plans in WA, despite the RiWIA containing provisions that enable their creation (DOW, 2010). This is partly a consequence of the failure to create the body required to complete the statutory plan making process, the Water Resources Council, whose creation was envisaged under section 26GZE(3) of the RiWIA. Legally, the Council must approve all plans created under the RiWIA provisions in order for them to be statutory, meaning that the Council’s non-existence precludes WA’s ability to enact statutory water sharing plans. In the past, the DOW has also considered non-statutory plans to be effective planning instruments for WA’s unique hydrological, hydrogeological and isolated circumstances. There has also been limited political will to see the water law reform process through to completion and, although this is generally a broader reflection, the making of statutory plans has consistently been put to one side. However, non-statutory plans fail to achieve administrative clarity and efficiency as regards the maximum allocation limit and future licences, as well as flexibility to account for seasonal water determinations. Administrative efficiency is further encumbered because the allocation limit is not legally entrenched, meaning that each new licence application must undergo a complete administrative assessment even in areas that have reached full allocation. Moreover, the allocation plan is only one

WATER JUNE 2014

relevant consideration that the decisionmaker must have regard to when reviewing an application if a licensing decision is challenged (Gardner, Bartlett and Gray, 2009; More v Water and Rivers Commission [2006] WASAT 112). It is important to note that the statutory planning provisions under the current RiWIA do not satisfy the NWI requirements. This is for three primary reasons: 1.

The RiWIA planning process does not involve the mandatory establishment of statutory environmental water rules in line with statutory plans, which is required under the NWI;

2.

Management plans under the RiWIA do not establish a NWI-compliant system of consumptive pool management;

3.

The plans do not recognise the effect of climate variability on water availability or develop a flexible planning process to address this.

Each of these points is pivotal to improving the circumstances of WA’s water resources, and the second and third points are examined below. In relation to the first point, and as noted, environmental water is not securely entrenched in the current RiWIA planning process and the existing water level criteria are often breached. An NWIcompliant statutory plan would involve the allocation of water for environmental purposes prior to that for consumptive use. This ensures that the environmental health of a water resource is addressed

Hence, the proposed reform measures are needed in order to progress WA’s water management to a standard based on national good practice. The 2013 DOW Position Paper acknowledges this; it indicates that statutory plans must be enacted in relevant areas in order to introduce NWI objectives into WA water legislation and that they will streamline the planning process. The reliance on best available science rather than absolute certainty in relation to a water resource is an important and necessary concession that must be made in accepting the role of statutory plans in water resources (Western Australian Government, 2006). The delayed creation of statutory water-sharing plans is a direct result of the attitudes evidenced in the first two arguments. While the need for statutory plans is now well understood, the continual deferral of RiWIA reform has had a direct impact on their implementation because their existence depends directly on accepting the East’s reform agenda. 4. ‘Consumptive pool management is less applicable to groundwater resources’ The final argument discussed in this paper regards the capacity to implement consumptive pool management in WA’s groundwater resources. This is the natural culmination of the first three arguments; it incorporates the reality of the hydrogeological differences of the West, the idea that WA’s water resources are less stressed than those in the East, and the lack of statutory planning in WA. Consumptive pool management is the NWI preferred management system for allocating water in a stressed system. It is a flexible planning process that enables water allocations to be distributed pursuant to seasonal water availability, without impacting the overall security of the entitlement. The consumptive pool is a reflection of the consumptive use requirements of licensed users, but only after allocations for non-consumptive uses such as the environmental and other public benefit outcomes have been determined. In this way, the system ensures that nonconsumptive uses are protected, which often has a direct correlation to the protection of ecosystem health.


95

Technical Papers The existence of water access entitlements (WAE) is a prerequisite to this system operating effectively. WAEs necessarily separate the perpetual entitlement from the seasonal allocation, which enables the long-term entitlement to remain fixed while a seasonal allocation can be determined based on water availability. It is the seasonal share that forms the unit share of the consumptive pool. A WAE also confers an exclusive right to the seasonal share, which develops the entitlement as an important property right and enables the unbundling of the access and use components of a licence. WA has not yet introduced WAEs, and the RiWIA framework requires amendment before this can occur (DOW, 2009b). In part, the required restructuring is also to establish NWI-compliant statutory plans, under which shares can be allocated seasonally in a consumptive pool within a legally entrenched extraction limit. Further, a consumptive pool can only be implemented once over-allocation has been reduced and the system has been returned to a sustainable yield. The argument that consumptive pool management is difficult to implement in WA is premised on two interconnected beliefs. These are that groundwater resources do not require the same level of adaptive management as surface water resources, and that there will always be an element of uncertainty surrounding groundwater resources that makes this type of planning difficult (Western Australian Government, 2006). It is important to explore these beliefs, as both are valid.

Yet a consumptive pool regime is a form of adaptive management because it allocates water based on seasonal water availability while simultaneously securing the uppermost entitlement limit for the duration of the plan. Thus, it contributes an element of certainty to the necessary uncertainty that is water availability. This management system must be complemented by the concurrent operation of statutory water sharing plans that set an allocation limit, create water-sharing rules, and help reduce over-allocation. In total, the benefits to an over or highly allocated system that arise through the combination of statutory plans and consumptive pool management are needed for the future management of WA’s water resources.

CONCLUSION The 2013 Position Paper released by the DOW represents a significant step for water reform in WA. It addresses issues that have long bedevilled the State’s capacity to manage its water resources efficiently and for sustainability, and the reforms will see the RiWIA replaced with NWI-compliant legislation. The renewed enthusiasm for the reform process is also important, as it demonstrates a lessening of the attitudes examined in this article and, perhaps, an acceptance of a model utilised in the East. In some ways the long history of reform debate has been essential for WA to explore. The West is different, and some of the challenges that it has experienced in its journey to reform water legislation highlight this. Albeit unintentionally, delaying reform has also given WA several years to see the enduring legacy of the NWI measures on the East, and test some of the

assumptions that exist within their frameworks. Nevertheless, it is now critical that WA address reform in a timely manner while the political will remains high. The recent State budget confirms that water law reform remains a priority (Western Australian Government, 2014).

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Author would like to thank Lauren Butterly at The Australian National University for her helpful comments on an earlier draft. Any errors remain the responsibility of the Author.

THE AUTHOR Madeleine Hartley (email: madeleine.hartley@ research.uwa.edu.au) is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Law at The University of Western Australia. Her thesis examines regulating groundwater use efficiency for sustainable development in Colorado (USA), the Namoi Catchment (NSW) and the Gnangara Mound (WA), and is currently under examination. The points raised in this article are observations that have arisen directly pursuant to her PhD research and further comment is invited.

REFERENCES Bennett M & Gardner A (2014): A Regulatory Framework for Groundwater Management in a Drying South West: Draft Report for Consultation. The University of Western Australia and The National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training. Communiqué of the Council of Australian Governments Meeting (1994): Attachment A – Water Resource Policy. Council of Australian Governments (2004): Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Water Initiative. CSIRO (2010): Understanding the Groundwaters of the Murray-Darling Basin: Water for a Healthy Country Flagship. Available from www.clw.csiro.au/publications/ waterforahealthycountry/FactSheets/wfhcMDB6-Groundwater-2010.pdf> [10 May 2014]. Department of Water (2014): Gnangara Groundwater Level. Available from www. water.wa.gov.au/Understanding+water/ Groundwater/Gnangara+Mound/ Gnangara+groundwater+level/default. aspx> [10 May 2014]. Department of Water (2014): Gnangara Groundwater System. www.water.wa.gov. au/Understanding +water/Groundwater/ Gnangara+Mound/default.aspx [26 May 2014]. Department of Water (2013a): Securing Western Australia’s Water Future: Position Paper Reforming Water Resource Management.

JUNE 2014 WATER

WATER POLICY

As regards the first belief, groundwater resources generally do not recharge at the same rate as surface water resources, and nor are they affected by a consistently dry climate in the same way. This impacts the changes that groundwater resources might experience during or between seasons, which in turn questions the efficacy that a consumptive pool system will have on regulating water use against water availability within such uncertainty. The result is a risk that knowledge regarding water availability might not be current and that users in the consumptive pool could suffer unnecessary seasonal reductions as a result. This risk is particularly challenging in a system such as the GGS, which is a complete groundwater system.

However, permitting seasonal allocations in a consumptive pool system does not necessarily mean that the seasonal allocation will change all the time. Rather, it creates a more flexible method of changing the allocation when water availability is low and reduced allocations are required. This uncertainty is the second belief challenging the use of consumptive pool management in WA, and the use of the precautionary approach has been acknowledged as necessary to account for this uncertainty (Western Australian Government, 2006). This belief mirrors Objective (vi) of the NWI: “clarity around the assignment of risk arising from future changes in the availability of water for the consumptive pool” (CoAG, 2004).


96

Technical Papers Department of Water (2013b): Environmental Management of Groundwater Abstraction from the Gnangara Mound: Triennial Compliance Report to the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority. July 2009–June 2012, p 2. Department of Water (2010): Water Allocation Planning in Western Australia – A Guide To Our Process, pp 2–4. Department of Water (2009a): Gnangara Groundwater Areas Allocation Plan. Department of Water (2009b): Statement of Response: Review into the Management of Overallocated Water Resources in the Gnangara Groundwater Management Area. p 61. Sinclair Knight Merz. Department of Water (2007): Carnarvon Artesian Basin Water Management Plan. Environmental Protection Act (1986) (WA). Gardner A (2006): Environmental Water Allocations in Australia. Environmental and Planning Law Journal, 23, pp 208–226. Gardner A, Bartlett R & Gray J (2009): Water Resources Law. LexisNexis Butterworths, pp 292–293 [14.39]–[14.40].

Grafton RQ & Jiang Q (2009): Economics of Drought, Water Diversions, Water Recovery and Climate Change in the Murray–Darling Basin. Centre for Water Economics, Environment and Policy Research Papers 10–01. Miragliotta N (2013): State of the States: Western Australia, The Conversation: theconversation. com/state-of-the-states-westernaustralia-17425 [11 May 2014]. More v Water and Rivers Commission [2006]: WASAT 112. Murray Darling Basin Authority (2010): Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan: Technical Background Part III “Namoi Community Profile”, p 941. National Water Commission (2011): The National Water Initiative – Securing Australia’s Future: 2011 Assessment, p 306. National Water Commission (2012): Upper and Lower Namoi Groundwater Sources Water Sharing Plan 2003. archive.nwc.gov. au/library/topic/planning/report-card/nsw/ planning-areas/upper-and-lowernamoigroundwater-sources [26 May 2014]. Parsons S, Evans R & Hoban M (2008): SurfaceGroundwater Connectivity Assessment: A Report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Murray-Darling Basin Sustainable Yields Project. CSIRO. Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914 (WA).

Rivers N (2011): Achieving Sustainability in the Murray-Darling Basin. Australian Environment Review, 26, 3, p 70. Water Act 2007 (Cth). Water and Rivers Commission (1998): Water Facts 12, www.water.wa.gov.au/PublicationStore/ first/10256.pdf [11 May 2014], p 1. Water Corporation (WA) (2011): Water Forever Whatever the Weather: Drought-Proofing Perth, p 5. Water Management Act 2000 (NSW). Water Sharing Plan for the Upper and Lower Namoi Groundwater Sources (2003). Western Australian Government (2014): 2014– 2015 Budget Paper No. 2: Budget Statements Volume 2. Presented to the Legislative Assembly on 8 May 2014, p 774. Western Australian Government (2006): A Blueprint for Water Reform in Western Australia: Final Advice to the Western Australian Government. Water Reform Committee, p 10. Western Australian Government (2005): State Water Strategy: Irrigation Review Final Report. Prepared for the Western Australian Government by the Irrigation Review Steering Committee.

NatioNal operatioNs CoNfereNCe affordability, liveability aNd seNsitivity – operatioNs iN the tweNty teeNs

28 To 30 OctOber 2014 cairns cOnventiOn centre With the tightening of funds for water operations nationally, it is imperative that we innovate and optimise the way we work like never before. This will ensure we continue to provide best value for money for our customers, while not reducing our quality standards.

For more inFormation visit

www.awa.asN.au/operators2014 WATER JUNE 2014

With the 2014 National operations Conference being held in Cairns and the mounting damage of the nearby Great Barrier Reef as a reminder, we are taking a strong focus on the environmental obligation in the sustainability of our operations. As emerging industries come to fruition, e.g. mining, agribusiness and tourism, we need to ensure the future national prosperity is balanced carefully with sustainable water usage and environmental protection.


97

water Business

WATER BUSINESS SUPPORTING VULNERABLE CUSTOMERS Living costs in Australia have increased by 40% in the past decade as Australians pay more for essential services such as healthcare, education, food, energy and housing. The Melbourne water industry is conscious of the fact that more and more customers are now vulnerable to financial hardship, and that the number of customers seeking financial assistance is on the rise. As a result, the Melbourne water industry is collaborating with three leading social service organisations via the Vulnerable Customer Taskforce comprising senior managers from City West Water, South East Water, Yarra Valley Water and Western Water, as well as CEOs from Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service, Kildonan Uniting Care and AMES. Via this joint effort, the Taskforce aims to actively respond to this challenge

by identifying, prioritising, guiding and progressing industry-wide programs that support vulnerable customers and front-line staff, and add value to existing programs. An initial project, funded by the Smart Water Fund, was initiated by the Taskforce to provide the Melbourne metropolitan water industry with intelligence to help shape effective and innovative strategies to address current and future challenges in relation to financial hardship and vulnerability. Independent market and social researchers GA Research and strategic advisory firm Kreab Gavin Anderson were selected through a competitive tender process to deliver this objective. The project was conducted using a robust process over a three-month period. Data was collected and statistically verified via: • An Initial Literature Review: 40 local and international items reviewed;

The tested & proven mechanical seal that requires no maintenance, tolerates movement & exhibits longlife. RESISTANT TO: * AIR *CHEMICALS *FUELS *WATER *GAS

Bolt Pressure plate Pipe of any size (up to 2.4m dia.)

• Customer Research: 16 in-depth qualitative interviews with customers and a quantitative survey of n=1,326 customers; • Analysis and Customer Segmentation: A ‘commitment-based’ macro segmentation, complex analysis to identify segments based on the individual customer situation and their payment and support preferences; • Innovation Workshop: Two-day innovation workshop attended by 45 stakeholders. Key findings concluded that: • There is a general lack of suitable mechanisms for identifying and supporting vulnerable customers to help them avoid falling into serious difficulty;

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

2 hour Fire Rating

www.projex.com.au (02) 8336 1666

• Stakeholder Interviews: 13 in-depth qualitative interviews with 20 key stakeholders;

mail@projex.com.au

Email: info@brownbros.com.au Web: www.brownbros.com.au DELIVERING PUMPING SOLUTIONS

JUNE 2014 water


98

Water Business • Stakeholders reported a marked rise in people identifying as being in hardship, with a particular increase in non-traditional instances, such as people on ‘middle incomes’, with a mortgage; • Most people are vulnerable to experiencing financial hardship, and many factors are converging to increase vulnerability in the community. This includes the ongoing effects of early traumas in life; • The key indicators of financial vulnerability centre around people’s financial commitments, especially as affected by employment, children and housing, as well as health and wellbeing; • Somewhat unexpectedly, younger customers were the most vulnerable while older customers tended to be more secure in their financial situation; • Income did not play a key role in the segmentation; rather, vulnerability stems from the level of one’s commitments and expenses outweighing income. • In addition to financial commitments, the research found a link between significant trauma in people’s formative years and later financial vulnerability; • Vulnerable and younger customers are not confident in managing money, while the lowest risk mature, secure segment was significantly more confident and had a better grasp on water price structures than others; • People were less likely to be struggling with the water bill than other bills; however, customers who are struggling to pay the water bill are likely to be in serious difficulty overall; • The largest barrier to customers taking up support is that they don’t know what is available, pointing to a communications need. While many would also be too embarrassed to ask for help, they would appreciate their water company reaching out to offer it, supporting a proactive approach; • The most popular support options were discounts for switching to e-billing (51% of all respondents gave a solid rating of 7/10 or higher), using a secure online 42% 35% 58% 41% 48%

portal (45%), receiving a free household water audit (43%), and more frequent payments (41%). This initial research piece recommended the following actions for the Vulnerable Customer Taskforce: • Industry Consistency: All water utilities should work together to develop a common industry standard for identifying and supporting customers in vulnerable and hardship; • Customer Data: Develop systems to analyse known customer data and identify likely vulnerability and hardship; • Solutions & Products: Ensure a wide range of solutions is available to meet the interests and needs of different customer segments; • Communications: Raise awareness of what is available to help customers manage their water bill, who qualifies and how to access it. The Taskforce has developed guidelines on Industry Consistency and is in the process of formalising those guidelines. It has also commenced developing a series of vulnerability measures to be used by the Essential Services Commission. This project was a collaboration between GA Research/Kreab Gavin Anderson, the Smart Water Fund, Melbourne’s water utilities and relevant Victorian Government agencies. It was initiated by the Vulnerable Customer Taskforce comprising of management personnel from City West Water, South East Water, Yarra Valley Water,

of households are vulnerable to financial hardship

Vulnerable families, handle with care, 27%

of customers had not paid on time, every time in the past year of customers don’t know what support is available of customers would be too embarrassed to ask for help would appreciate their water company reaching out to offer help

Pivotal to this study was a segmentation of the surveyed community to better understand the nature and extent of vulnerability and risk. This resulted in five distinct segments as shown in the adjacent chart.

water JUNE 2014

Medium risk, water watchers, 15%

Lower risk, smooth operators, 10%

Mature, secure, 20%

Hi-tech young Joneses, 27%

Western Water, Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service, Kildonan Uniting Care and AMES. You can download the full report at the Smart Water Fund Knowledge Hub clearwater.asn.au/resource-library/smartwater-fund-projects/

WATER INFRASTRUCTURE GROUP RELINES BRICK STORMWATER DRAINS As part of the City of Boroondara’s ongoing drainage improvement program, Water Infrastructure Group is rehabilitating approximately 900m of brick stormwater drains in Melbourne’s inner eastern suburbs. Over the past 10 years, Water Infrastructure Group has relined a number of brick-lined stormwater drains that were constructed nearly 100 years ago in Boroondara, ranging in size from 800mm to 1200mm. Masha Patikirikorale, Council’s Civil Projects Engineer, said that Water Infrastructure Group’s proprietary Panel Lok structural relining system was selected from a panel of brick drain rehabilitation contractors to improve the structural integrity of the existing brick and to extend the existing drains’ service life by at least another 50 years.

All the right connections for the water industry. Whether it’s for drinking, irrigation or industry, Australia’s climate and reliance on water has produced some of the world’s most innovative suppliers of water products and services. Now there’s an online tool that brings all these suppliers together in one central location. ICN’s Water Directory is a pivotal connection point for project and procurement managers looking for the best water industry suppliers in our region. This comprehensive directory has a powerful search function that allows you to find suppliers with capabilities that exactly match your needs. Combine this with the experience and knowledge of ICN’s consultants and you can be sure you’ll never miss an opportunity to find the perfect partner. Start exploring Australia’s ICN Water Directory today at water.icn.org.au


99

water Business “Water Infrastructure Group uses a structural relining technique where workers enter the brick drain to carry out the relining works. This method enables them to reline sharp bends in the brick drain while maintaining a good seal between the liner and the host pipe with relative ease.” Project Engineer, Patrick Zemanek, said Panel Lok has a proven track record of over 30 years use in the industry. “Panel Lok is a mature product and very versatile as result of the range of installation techniques that we have developed. Manual installation is particularly suited to stormwater drains and this technique provides a cost-effective option for extending the life of stormwater assets. “Grouting between the host pipe and the liner is an important part of

Water Infrastructure Group’s installation methodology and provides long-term benefits for stormwater applications by helping to reduce maintenance issues associated with groundwater, soil and tree root ingress into conduits. The PVC Panel Lok liner creates less friction than the original brick lining, so the flow capacity of the stormwater drains is also improved,” Patrick said. The Panel Lok relining process involves a number of stages: • Cleaning and repair of the existing drain; • Removal of debris; • Design of the relining system for the brick drain; • Manual installation of Panel Lok; • Reconnection and epoxy sealing of all existing drainage inlets; • Grouting of the Panel Lok liner to the host pipe; • CCTV inspection before and after rehabilitation works. • For more information please go to www.wigroup.com.au

SELF DRAINING DESIGN REDUCES LEGIONELLA RISK, PARTICULARLY IN TEPID WATER APPLICATIONS

AN EFFICIENT CALIBRATION PROCESS Every plant has a process on site for performing and managing calibrations, but there can be many different types of calibration processes and they vary in terms of quality, efficiency and productiveness. The calibration process starts from the planning and scheduling of the calibration work and includes performing of calibrations as well as documentation of results. An efficient calibration process saves time, automates procedures, is cost-efficient and assures that the results are reliable. The best-in-class calibration processes are integrated, automated and paperless. Beamex ICS, the integrated calibration solution, is unique compared to any other calibration system, due to its seamless communication between calibrators and calibration software, the possibility to integrate it into a maintenance management system (ERP/CMMS), the multifunctional calibrators that can perform automated calibrations fast and efficiently, as well as the calibration software that allows smart analysis and management of all calibration data.

316 STAINLESS STEEL STAY-OPEN BALL VALVE

SUPPLY INLET WITH 1” BSP

STAINLESS STEEL PIPE WORK

HIGH VISIBILITY YELLOW PULL HANDLE

CLEANSING OUTLETS WITH INTEGRAL SELF OPENING DUST COVERS

EYE/FACE WASH FEATURES “VERTEX TECHNOLOGY” WHERE EYE WASH AND INDEPENDENTLY ANGLED FACE WASH STREAMS DELIVER OPTIMUM COVERAGE

NO BOWL OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOOT OPERATED AND/OR HAND OPERATED EYE/FACE WASH

COMBINATION SHOWER WITH EYE FACE WASH ECE270 Other options available include: • eye wash only • no bowl • hand only activation

OPTIONAL SOLID HIGH VISIBILITY LOW ANGLED FOOT PEDAL FOR EASY ACTIVATION OF EYE/FACE WASH

Call 1300 369 273 www.enware.com.au/ehs

Thiess takes a whole-of-life approach to creating and managing assets. We are experts in optimising performance, safeguarding reliability, maximising value and managing risk. Working across treatment plants, catchments, networks, waterways and capital works programs, we help you get the most from your assets.

THIESS.COM

JUNE 2014 water


100

water Business QUU and Thiess, and the quality of data captured would have been poor,” Malcolm said. “We collaborated with QUU to avoid failure and identify a solution that was cost effective, measurable and returned accurate high-quality data. Together we determined that a GIS-based solution provided on a mobile iPad platform was necessary.” Thiess’ GIS team developed an ‘app’ that enables QUU assets to be located and a condition assessment, including photos, to be recorded on an iPad. With the Fire Hydrant Maintenance Program achieving its first year target in just 10 months, the Thiess-driven innovation is an outstanding success. The microsite beamex.com/ calibrationsundercontrol explains the benefits of an automated and paperless calibration process as well as including an online test for testing the efficiency of a plant’s current calibration process. BEAMEX is a provider of calibration solutions that meet the most demanding requirements of process instrumentation. For more details, visit www.ams-ic.com.au.

®

®

Odouridder & OdaVent

Thiess’ move from a paper-based delivery to a full mobility platform is transforming Queensland Urban Utlilities’ (QUU) approach to planned and responsive maintenance of its assets. QUU is responsible for the maintenance of more than 100,000 fire hydrants across its service area, as part of its Fire Hydrant Maintenance Program. Thiess has developed a Geographical Information System (GIS) software solution for the program that has enabled QUU to achieve the maintenance service standards stipulated in its agreement with the Queensland Fire & Rescue Service.

“As a result of this program, we are now trialling an expanded iPad application for the whole maintenance cycle of QUU’s water reticulation network,” Malcolm said. Benefits include: • Improved delivery through better forward planning; • High quality and accurate data that is easily accessible to QUU for interrogation via a web-portal; • Critical data can be easily evaluated, manipulated and integrated into QUU’s GIS system, saving time on data extraction, transformation and data loading processes; • A streamlined process for auditing photos and data collected from every hydrant;

®

Biofiltration Systems • Biological treatment of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and volatile organic compounds • Innovative patented design • Proven H2S removal efficiency >99% • Modular and transportable construction • Small footprint • Low capital and life cycle costs • Long media life (3-5years). No hazardous waste • Environmentally sustainable technology • Complies with WSA121 Industry Standard for Biofilters for Odour Control • Above and below ground systems available

Applications: Control and treatment of foul odours from wastewater pump stations, discharge manholes, air-valve pits, main sewers, treatment plant inlet works

E-mail: info@odatech.com.au www.odatech.com.au

odours….controlled naturally

water JUNE 2014

MOBILE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORMS MAINTENANCE DELIVERY

Asset & Infrastructure Services Queensland Operations Manager, Malcolm Potts, said the Fire Hydrant Maintenance Program required a maintenance, planning and reporting solution that minimised the substantial risks of handling such large volumes of data. “A paper-based process would have required significant administration for both

• Reduced administration costs; • Greater work productivity from field crews who use the mapping function to coordinate their work schedules and ensure work is completed in the most efficient geographical way. For more information please visit www.thiess.com.au/our-business/services

Advertisers Index Acromet 20 AMS Industrial & Calibration Pty Ltd 3 Aqualab Scientific 21 Aquatec Maxcon 5 Brown Brothers Engineering 97 CRS Industrial OBC Enware 99 Hach Pacific 22 Hanna Instruments 16 ICN – International Capability Network 98

James Cummings

86

McBerns

23

Nov Mono

9

OdaTech Pty Ltd

100

Pentair

IFC

Projex

97

RPC Technologies

11

Sydney Water

18

Thiess

99

Water Infrastructure Group

19

Zetco

IBC


M ade in ia l s u A tra

Profile for australianwater

Water Journal June 2014  

The June 2014 issue features a comprehensive round-up of the Ozwater’14 Conference & Exhibition, including Best Paper and Runner-Up, Confere...

Water Journal June 2014  

The June 2014 issue features a comprehensive round-up of the Ozwater’14 Conference & Exhibition, including Best Paper and Runner-Up, Confere...