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Volume 41 No 3 MAY 2014

Journal of the Australian Water Association


– see page 34

Plus: > Capturing The Potential Of Stormwater > Integrated Water Cycle Management > Asset Management > Water Planning & Management > Granular Sludge > Water–Energy Efficiency

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Contents regular features From the AWA President

Did You Eat Vegetables During The Drought? Graham Dooley


From the AWA Chief Executive


Super Funds To The Rescue? Jonathan McKeown


water journal ISSN 0310-0367

MANAGING EDITOR – Anne Lawton Tel: 02 9467 8434 Email: TECHNICAL EDITOR – Chris Davis Email:

My Point of View

Making Global Water Security A Reality Benedito Braga


AWA And Malaysian Water Association Sign MoU


CREATIVE DIRECTOR – Mike Wallace Email:


ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER – Kirsti Couper Tel: 02 9467 8408 (Mob) 0417 441 821 Email:



Industry News


Young Water Professionals


AWA News


Water Business

New Products And Services


Advertisers Index



NATIONAL MANAGER – PUBLISHING – Wayne Castle Email: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER – Jonathan McKeown EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT – Despina Hasapis Email: 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 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: AND

The newly opened Mundaring Water Treatment Plant in Western Australia.

opinion The Price Of Water Efficiency Is Eternal Vigilance

volume 41 no 3

Reid Butler

Spreading Our Water Wings Hamish Butler

30 32

• General Feature Articles, Industry News, Opinion Pieces & Media Releases: Anne Lawton, Managing Editor, email: 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:

feature articles Time To Adapt: Costs Of Climate Change Mounting

An ‘Expert Wrap’ On The Latest IPCC Report From The Conversation James Whitmore & Michael Hopkin

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:


• Water Business & Product News: Kirsti Couper, Advertising Sales Manager, email:

Case Study: An Innovative WSUD Project In Melbourne

Integrating Water-Sensitive Design Into Mordialloc Industrial Precinct Katia Bratieres & The City Of Kingston 37

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.

Capturing The Potential Of Stormwater

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:, Web:

A Practitioner’s View Of The Issues That Need To Be Addressed Iouri Vaisman

technical papers

cover Climate change could have serious impacts on food crops globally, according to the latest IPCC Report.



COPYRIGHT Water Journal is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced in any format without the written permission of AWA. Email: DISCLAIMER Australian Water Association assumes no responsibility for opinions or statements of fact expressed by contributors or advertisers.

MAY 2014 water


From the President


As I write, I have just returned from Ozwater’14, which this year took place in Brisbane. As ever, the event created a valuable platform for discussion and raised plenty to celebrate – not least the Australian water industry’s outstanding national capability. We will report in depth on Ozwater’14 in the next issue of Water Journal. In this month’s column, I’d like to focus on the work being done by our rural water colleagues and on the water issues that they face. As an Association with a grand name, we need to spend more time immersed in this part of our industry. I’ll start my column at the dinner table. I eat vegetables. Have you ever wondered why the supply from our Aussie farmers didn’t stop during the worst drought of the last 150 years? The answer in our farming regions wasn’t the use of desalination plants or urban water recycling projects. It was in the adoption of nation-wide, legislated water ownership and trading reforms that were carried out without fanfare and devoid of politics from 1994 to 2007 across all states and territories. During this period the legislation changed in each jurisdiction to allow: 1.

Water entitlements in each our major 145 rivers to be quantified and capped so no more could be issued;


Water entitlements in each river to be bought and sold in the same way as land is bought and sold;


The annual water volume allocated to each entitlement prescribed by the responsible river manager to also be bought and sold in zones where the rivers were connected.

The effect of this was that farmers who owned water entitlements and used the allocation to grow lower-value crops such as grass for dairy, or

water MAY 2014

rice, made more money by selling their allocation to farmers upstream or downstream who grew vegetables that earned a higher price from the supermarket chains and fruit and vegetable buyers. The supply of vegetables to our tables never had a hiccup. Did you notice any shortages? I didn’t, and I deliberately looked. Broccoli, carrots, lettuce – you name it – were always available at my local supermarket. Yet there was not a single word of this remarkable success story in the media! In parallel, the various water programs – starting with the National Water Initiative in 2004 and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in 2012 – have mobilised large funding streams to upgrade and modernise much of our rural (and some urban) water infrastructure, and the clever technology systems that support our irrigation economy. This has been a good outcome for our rural water cycles and has also promoted considerable innovation in parts of our non-potable urban water cycles. I will be personally disappointed if the National Water Commission (NWC) is dissolved and its functions folded back into the Commonwealth Departments, but I am pleased to have observed and been part of its terrific work since 2004. The NWC has had an enduring and positive impact on the “sustainable management of water” (AWA’s mission). AWA greatly appreciates the effort and commitment made by the NWC Commissioners, leaders, staff and advisers. I only hope that the NWC’s good work, particularly in the rural water market, will continue at the same high standard if it is dissolved and its functions allocated to a department or agency. My vegetable consumption needs a functional and efficient water market!

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From the CeO

SUPER FUNDS TO THE RESCUE? Jonathan McKeown – AWA Chief executive Having experienced my first Ozwater Conference & Exhibition I was impressed by the event’s diversity of content and capabilities. Two strong themes stood out from the keynotes addresses, conference streams and related events – innovation and capital recycling. AWA held its inaugural Innovation Forum at the Centre the day before Ozwater. The event showcased 18 innovators who presented an impressive range of innovations. More than 80 participants attended, including investors, venture capitalists and potential business partners. Feedback was positive, with many participants continuing discussions at Ozwater. Based on this success, AWA will host a larger Innovation Forum in February 2015 in Sydney with an expanded range of innovators, exhibits, presentations and workshops. The future role of private sector capital and management in the water sector was the topic of discussion at the Water Leaders Forum on the first day of Ozwater. An excellent stream on private participation in urban water and capital recycling, led by WSSA, followed the next day. Increased private investment and capital recycling has become particularly relevant to our industry following Treasurer Hockey’s encouragement for State Governments to sell assets to fund new infrastructure, with serious incentives to facilitate this process. The Productivity Commission Draft Report on Infrastructure was released last month, as was the Commission of Audit Report that recommends asset sales. The Prime Minister is also establishing a Ministerial Working Group to address Australia’s future water infrastructure needs. Sadly there is limited appetite for investment by State and Territory Governments due to their already stretched balance sheets and competing demands. The Forum considered the investment of

water MAY 2014

superannuation funds in water assets as an alternative source of capital. Super funds seek long-term investments that provide modest but reliable returns linked to the CPI. They do not seek quick capital appreciation for resale, nor is price gouging in the interests of their policy holders. With changes in asset ownership the roles of Governments, regulators and the utilities could be defined and separated from the role of shareholders to deliver efficient and affordable water services with reduced political interference. Such a change in asset ownership would require serious reforms to the way the water industry is regulated. It would require national consistency of not only economic regulation but also consistency in health and environmental regulation. The need for consistency across all States and Territories to attract long-term private investment was supported by 95% of the Forum participants. Three clear conclusions emerged from the Forum: 1.

The Australian water industry is ready to consider alternative funding models and ways to implement them to encourage further private sector investment in urban, rural and remote areas.


Consistency of economic regulation across all States and Territories that balances the need for reasonable financial returns against customers’ ability to pay is essential to attract alternative long-term private sector funding solutions.


Super funds provide an immediate alternative source of capital that could benefit the water sector through long-term stable investments while freeing up Government balance sheets.

The development of alternative funding and governance models for the water sector will continue to evolve as the role of water as an economic driver for Australia’s prosperity gains wider acceptance.



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My Point of View

MAKING GLOBAL WATER SECURITY A REALITY Benedito Braga – President, World Water Council

Benedito Braga is President of the World Water Council and a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Escola Politecnica of University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He holds a PhD in Water Resources from Stanford University, US. Mr Braga chaired the International Steering Committee of the 6th World Water Forum held in Marseille, France in 2012. He served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy and Sanitation of the State of Sao Paulo and was a member of the Gulbenkian Think Tank for the future of water and mankind based in Lisbon, Portugal from 2010 to 2012. From 2001 to 2009, he served on the Board of Directors of the Brazilian National Water Agency – ANA. During that tenure, he became a member of UNESCO/International Hydrological Program committee and was elected President of its Intergovernmental Council. He was the President of the International Water Resources Association from 1998 to 2000. Mr Braga is the recipient of the 2011 Honorary Diplomate from the American Society of Civil Engineers and the 2002 Crystal Drop Award for his lifetime achievements in water resources management. He is the author of 25 books and more than 200 scientific articles published in journals and proceedings of symposia and congresses worldwide. If you ask any person on this planet, including high-level government officials and politicians, to rate the importance of water in our daily life, the answer will be unanimous: extremely important. However, recent data from the University of North Carolina in the US indicate that 1.8 billion people on this earth do not have access to a reliable source of drinking water, while 2.5 billion people do not have access to basic

water MAY 2014

sanitation. The impact of this on public health is severe, with three million children dying every year as a result of waterborne diseases. These numbers have been repeated so many times, in so many conferences and published articles, that many people read them and don’t pay much attention anymore. They have been somehow internalised as if they are something we have to live with and accept. However, we must persevere in finding solutions.

The ever-widening gap between the WORLD’S rich and poor Australia and Ethiopia show the same climatic variability; however, Australia has a water storage capacity of nearly 5,000m3/inhab whereas Ethiopia has a storage capacity of only 45m3/inhab. Similarly, the United States and Nepal show the same hydropower potential; however, the installed hydropower capacity in the US is two orders of magnitude greater than in Nepal. Estimates by the Food And Agriculture Organization of the United Nations show that 842 million people, or one in eight people, suffer from chronic hunger – and this situation is even more critical in sub-Saharan Africa. Regardless of all the economic growth in the world, we still have: 1.3 billion people who do not have access to electricity; three billion people who live on less than USD2 per day and 1.3 billion people who live on less than USD1 per day. Today we are seven billion and the poorest are the most vulnerable.


My Point of View A common thread connecting all these facts is water security. As our human population keeps growing and increasing its living standards, our planet faces a soaring demand to meet these new needs. The green revolution of the 1960s and 1970s provided a major increase in food production worldwide. This revolution was made possible primarily because of the use of new technology in the area of fertilisers, pesticides and water for irrigation to compensate for the variability of climate. In the following two decades after the 1970s, the use of irrigation increased by one-third and grains productivity moved from 1.4 tons/ha in the early 1960s to 2.7 tons/ha in the early 1990s. UN experts claim that over nine billion people will need to be fed by 2050. Despite all productivity advances achieved in the past, the way ahead will demand from the scientific and political communities additional efforts to find adequate solutions for this challenge. In the perspective of this global trend, water security is a key element to ensure human and ecosystem basic needs. With an uneven distribution of water throughout the world, the risks are permanent. More than 1.2 billion people live today in river basins where water scarcity is the norm and where the trend is of increasing shortages due to population growth. The lives of these people rely on their capacity to have water to feed themselves despite the physical constraints.

The tHREE PILLARS OF WATER SECURITY English dictionaries define security as: “freedom from danger, from fear or anxiety, from want or deprivation”. This is demonstrated by the history of humanity’s management of water, of becoming engineers, for example, to assure we have good water in the right quantity at the proper time and place, to predict floods, to impound water for droughts, to use water to help us generate wealth and avoid deprivation. All rich civilisations have invested social capital in actions to help achieve the sense of managing such uncertainties as a precursor to growth and prosperity. Water security occurs when all people, at all times, have access to water in sufficient quality and quantity to meet their human, economic and environmental needs for an active and healthy life. This definition is based on three pillars: • Human security, which concerns basic needs – the security that brings safe drinking water for health and hygiene and water to produce food; • Socio-economic security, by using water as an engine of development to reduce poverty in all countries of the world; • Ecological security, as human communities must return to nature the water necessary to maintain a healthy aquatic ecosystem. Water security became a major concern over recent decades because of the increase in competing uses, environmental degradation and the difficulties in dealing with climate variability and change. Technology will play an important role in this matter since it is needed in both demand and supply management. With demand management, for example, we will have to focus on improving eating habits and reducing losses from the field to the fork. On the supply side, we should look for more efficient methodologies for weather and climate forecasting; more efficient irrigation systems and more sustainable farming processes. We need to look also outside the water box in the fields of, for example, genetic engineering and soil conservation.

Water security must be attained to guarantee all aspects of human development, economic growth and environmental sustainability. Water fits within this broader definition of security embracing political, health, economic, food, energy, environmental and many other concerns, and acts as an overarching link between them.

Why NEW Infrastructure Is Vital An issue that is central to water security is the need to increase water storage in reservoirs all over the world. This is necessary to improve our resilience to climate variability and change. Let us take the case of the UK and Spain. The UK is located in an area of humid oceanic climate. In this kind of climate, the percentage of runoff available without infrastructure implementation is 42 per cent. In Southern Spain, with its subtropical dry-seasonal climate, this number is a meagre nine per cent. What did the wise decision-makers of Europe do in this case? They built infrastructure in Southern Spain to face the long drought periods. Today the index of storage per person in the UK is just 100m3/year, whereas in Southern Spain this number goes up to 1,500m3/year. In terms of days of average storage in dams, this represents 10 days in the UK and 190 days in Southern Spain. What about the developing world? If we consider the case of the African continent, it is clear that water security is a major issue due to the high climatic variability. Lack of economic capital poses an additional threat to the poor population. Economic growth in many countries of this continent is dependent on rainfall; indeed, the dependency of the economy on rainfall of some countries such as Zimbabwe and Ethiopia is notorious. A clear correlation exists between GDP and annual rainfall amounts; when rainfall is low, little economic growth takes place. The capacity to manage the uncertainties of too little or too much water is central to the ability to grow and prosper, and requires infrastructure. Certainly, the impact of lack of infrastructure is much greater in developing countries. While losses due to floods and droughts in GDP percentage in developing countries represent an impressive 14%, in developed countries, where all the infrastructure has been built, it is four times less. In countries like the US where massive infrastructure has been built, the cumulative benefits from avoided losses in case of floods reach an impressive USD700 billion. It is clear that water security depends on water infrastructure. However, water security also necessitates having solid institutions to manage water resources efficiently and economic mechanisms to incentivise efficient demand management. The World Water Council has been advocating for global recognition of water security as a milestone for the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals. During the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York in September 2012, we launched a call to all countries in the world for a Pact for Water Security. During the 68th UN General Assembly we reaffirmed our commitment towards this global water security pact by proposing that the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals post-2015 consider a specific goal on water security. Last but not least, let us not forget that water security is by and large a political issue. As the climate change debate now peaks with the release of the 5th IPCC assessment report, we should not forget that the most important impacts of climate are manifested through, by and with water. As the Chinese have taught us over thousands of years through their beautiful and elaborate writing system: the resulting ideogram of the combination of two ideograms, river and dike, has not the meaning of a hydraulic structure, but rather a political order.

MAY 2014 water



AWA AND MALAYSIAN WATER ASSOCIATION SIGN MOU AWA’s CEO and Managing Director of waterAUSTRALIA, Jonathan McKeown, has formally established a working alliance with the Malaysian Water Association (MWA) during a trip to Malaysia in March 2014.

The session started with brief two-minute pitches from the innovators then moved into the business matching session, where buyers and investors were given the opportunity to meet with their chosen innovator and enquire further about their product or service.

On behalf of AWA, Mr McKeown signed and exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding with MWA during the Asia Water 2014 Conference & Exhibition. The formality was witnessed by Malaysia’s Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili.

Innovators were also provided with coaching from experts in the areas of marketing, legal and finance during the tailored industry advisory sessions.

The MoU was developed to corroborate a closer working relationship between AWA and MWA, covering areas that are potentially beneficial for both countries. These include education and training, trade and business matching, policy and regulation, capacity building, as well as developing an exchange program for young water professionals. Mr McKeown also delivered a keynote address at the Asia Water 2014 Conference & Exhibition. He presented a paper on the Australian economic regulations of water to over 900 conference delegates.

AWA WATER INNOVATION FORUM A SUCCESS AWA’s inaugural Water Innovation Forum attracted a great response from leading innovators, utilities, buyers and investors. The Forum, which took place at the Brisbane Convention Centre on 28 April, showcased some of the best R&D talent the water sector has to offer. Nineteen innovators were carefully chosen by a panel where their product or service was selected based on the criteria of relevance, quality and commercial viability.

AWA would like to congratulate the following innovators for 2014: • Aerofloat Dissolved Air Flotation System (DAF) • Biogill – Biogill Bioreactors • BTI Defence Industries – Veragon Air to Water • CALCLEAR Power & Water – CALCLEAR Water Conditioner • Clean TeQ – Continuous Ionic Filtration (CIF) • CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship – Sewer Sentinel • Diagnostic Technology – Phytoxigene • Evoqua Water Technologies – MEMCOR® CP II Ultrafiltration System • Green Wastewater Group – Integrated Transpiration Technology • Helio Pur Technologies – Bio-Solar Purification (BSP) • iota Services – Talking Tanks • ItN Nanovation – CFM Membrane • MWH – Microvi • Oxyzone – Pipeline Disinfection System • TATA Consultancy Services – Pump System Performance Monitor (PSPM) • TATA Consultancy Services – Intelligent Asset Synchronisation Manager (iASM) • Uniquest Pty Ltd – Lodomat • UVS Pty Ltd – Sewer Batt • Willflow Consulting – Mobile Water Management AWA would like to thank Innovation Interchange for sponsoring the event and looks forward to continue rolling out its new innovation program.

Jonathan McKeown (left), MWA President Syed Mohamed Adnan Alhabshi (right) and Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili (centre).





AWA will host the Australian Pavilion under the branding of

IWA will hold its ninth World Water Congress & Exhibition in Lisbon,

waterAUSTRALIA at this year’s Singapore International Water Week

Portugal, from 21–26 September 2014. At the event Australian

(SIWW) in June. With more than 750 companies and 19,000 visitors

companies will have the opportunity to be introduced to global

expected to attend, this is sure to be a massive event.

water leaders and key organisations in the European sector.

The last SIWW was held in 2012 and the event achieved a record $13.6 billion worth of projects awarded, tenders, investments and R&D MoUs. It was also reported that 94 per cent of exhibitors

The exhibition offers unique business and networking opportunities, playing host to more than 5,000 leading water professionals from around the world. Delegates (both exhibitors and non-exhibitors) will be able to take advantage of tailored

achieved their business objectives at the 2012 event.

business matching, both at the Lisbon Congress and across

Using AWA’s alliances with the Singapore Water Association and its long established links with the Public Utilities Board of Singapore (PUB), Australian delegates (both exhibitors and non-exhibitors) will be offered targeted business introductions and increased business visibility in the South-East Asian market. The Program also includes a formal dinner hosted by PUB in Sydney.

a range of surrounding European markets. The Australian Pavilion package includes: • 1 x poster panel (approximately 2-metre stand space) with uniform design poster (design and poster printing included); • Discount on Congress Delegate tickets (1 discounted registration per unit);

Delegates will also be provided with options to travel to neighbouring markets in Thailand, Malaysia, or Indonesia for tailored business meetings to further establish a wider and stronger network of business. Join as an exhibitor ($5,000) or non-exhibitor ($1,500). To apply, visit

• Access to a shared Australian Pavilion reception area; • Company description in Congress Programme Book; • Company description in Congress and Exhibition App; • General promotion of the Australian Pavilion.

This mission is supported by the Asian Business Engagement Plan.

For bookings or further enquiries, please contact




Who should attend?

Sudhir Murthy Innovations Chief DC Water

Nick Walmsley Technical Coordinator Water New Zealand

Chris Hutchins Project Manager Essential Services Commission

Andrew Kirkwood Manager Business Customer Services Sydney Water

This three-day conference and exhibition will explore Biosolids and Source Management and link both areas to provide an understanding of the whole life cycle of the wastewater production and management system.



• Biosolids & source management/ trade waste professionals • Government & regulators • Wastewater treatment engineers • Environmental and soil scientists, agronomists & researchers • Manufacturers & distributors • Academics & lecturers • Consultants & contractors • Community

Register now.




International The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a report that says the effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans. The report, titled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, from Working Group II of the IPCC, details the impacts of climate change to date, future risks from a changing climate, and opportunities for effective action.

We should ignore dogmas about drinking a set amount of water per day and simply drink when our brains tell us we are dry, suggests a new Australian study on how the human body regulates water intake. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, is the first experiment to look at what happens in people’s brains when they quench their thirst and when they drink more water than they want.

An Australian-based scientist is testing a new technology to help save endangered underground water resources in Australia and around the world. Dr Margaret Shanafield of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training at Flinders University has developed a ground-breaking way to measure how much water is stored underground when big rivers are allowed to flood.

A study of 245 large dams carried out at Oxford University shows that big hydropower is uneconomic, with costs typically double preconstruction estimates. The actual costs of large dams were 96% higher than estimated, on average, and implementation took 44% longer than scheduled. The study is based on a representative sample of 245 large hydropower dams built in 65 different countries between 1934 and 2007.

National Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, will chair a ministerial working group to identify new infrastructure projects that can deliver Australia’s future water supply needs. The first task will be to identify priorities, investment and processes to fast-track development. Minister Joyce said water infrastructure had to keep pace with economic opportunities in Australia’s region and with national population growth.

Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, says the Australian Government is making strong progress to deliver One-Stop Shop reforms to streamline environmental assessment and approval processes. The release of the Standards for Accreditation of Environmental Approvals under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is an important step in progressing the One-Stop Shop policy reform. The standards set out the various matters for consideration in accrediting state and territory assessment and approval processes.

Two National Water Commission reports on the performance of Australia’s water industry show that most Australians now have secure and safe water supplies. Commission Chair, Karlene Maywald, said, “These reports demonstrate sustained improvements in water quality and delivery efficiency during 2012–13. The quality


of Australia’s drinking water is world-class, with 78 urban utilities reporting 100% compliance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. Recycled water supply has also increased, with eight utilities now reusing at least 90% of their treated sewerage effluent.”

Guidelines are now available to explain new water trade rules due to take effect in July 2014. Murray–Darling Basin Authority spokesman, David Galeano, said the new rules would give everyone who trades in the basin much better access to market information. “Using the water market has been standard business in the basin for many years now, but trading activity in the basin has been complicated by a lack of transparency in the water market,” he said.

Speculation that the Federal Government may abolish the National Water Commission (NWC) will have a critical impact on Australia’s future productivity and prosperity and would be shortsighted, says Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) Executive Director Adam Lovell. “I urge the Government to retain key NWC functions, particularly in industry reform leadership and national performance reporting,” he said. “The NWC has achieved a great deal in providing national leadership and administering the National Water Initiative (NWI), Australia’s blueprint for water reform.”

A new approach to seasonal forecasting could help irrigators use their water more efficiently. CSIRO is combining water supply and demand forecasts to improve management decisions on the farm. Dr Mark Howden from the CSRIO Climate Adaptation Flagship says the study should help irrigators move away from a reliance on historical data to plan their season.

New South Wales A historic agreement has been signed between NSW farmers and two energy companies that gives farmers the right to say no to coal seam gas activities on their properties. The deal with Santos and AGL states that any landholder must be allowed to say what type of drilling operations can or can’t happen on their land. The Principles of Land Access was signed by NSW Farmers, Cotton Australia and the NSW Irrigators Council, and the gas companies at NSW Parliament House. Santos and AGL have also agreed not to enforce arbitration over land access for CSG operations. NSW Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts says, by the same token, environmental activists should not bully or harass farmers who say yes to gas companies.

The Environment Protection Authority is investigating a 500-litre wastewater spill from a coal seam gas operation at the Pilliga forest in northwestern NSW. The wastewater was spilled during a transfer from an assessment well to a holding pond at the Santos gas field near Narrabri on Tuesday, the EPA NSW said in a statement. “Immediately following the release, the diversion drain was blocked to prevent the produced water leaving the site,” it said.

NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, has released the latest annual report card on water supply and sewerage performance in regional NSW. The 2012–13 NSW Water Supply and Sewerage Performance Monitoring Report outlines the performance

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CrossCurrent of the State’s 105 local water utilities. “The report shows the NSW local water utilities continue to lead the way in providing affordable services for regional NSW,” Ms Hodgkinson said. The report will shortly be provided to all NSW water utilities and can be accessed online at NSW Office of Water website.

Hunter Water has completed a $13 million upgrade to its wastewater system, which should bring an end to years of sewer overflows in Adamstown and surrounding suburbs that occurred every time the suburb experienced heavy rain. The eight-year project used state-of-the-art technology known as ‘horizontal directional drilling’ to tunnel beneath Merewether Golf Course and through the hill at Merewether Heights to Burwood Waste Water Treatment Plant, all without disturbing life above the surface.

40,000 megalitres of water has been allocated in the lower Murrumbidgee, New South Wales, to help protect the area’s wetlands. “Water delivery commenced [in April] to wetlands including those in Nimmie-Caira, Yanga National Park, Fiddlers and Uara Creeks and the Western Lakes,” said Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment.

A potential deep underground drinking water source has been discovered near Maitland as part of investigations for the soon to be released Lower Hunter Water Plan. The ‘Lower Hunter Alluvial Groundwater Source’ is believed to be about 20 metres below ground where the Paterson and Hunter Rivers meet near Morpeth, and could be tapped by Hunter Water in the event of a drought.

A new program, Sustaining the Basin: Irrigated Farm Modernisation (STBIFM), is being delivered by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI). STBIFM will improve the long-term sustainability of regional communities by allowing irrigators to maintain or improve productivity, adapt to reduced water availability and provide water back to the environment through upgrading irrigation infrastructure in the NSW Border Rivers, Gwydir, Namoi/ Peel and Macquarie/Cudgegong water management areas. The Australian Government is providing $83M of funding from the Sustainable Rural Water Use & Infrastructure program.

Queensland Brisbane’s annual household water bill is set to rise by an average of $72 next financial year, Queensland Urban Utilities has announced. Ipswich residents will be hit with the largest rise among the water authority’s five service regions, with an average residential rise of $82 tipped in the inland city.

Seven stormwater harvesting centres will be built across Brisbane parks and reserves over the next 20 months at a cost of $10.78 million. Overall plans for the centres show they will collect 185 megalitres each year, the equivalent of 74 Olympic swimming pools. Half of the money will come from Brisbane City Council, while the other 50 per cent will come from the Australian Government. Work at the Whites Hill Centre has begun and the seven projects should be finished in 2016.


A $2.6 billion recycled water pipeline that is currently not producing any water could be sold to the private sector or shut down completely under options to be considered by State Cabinet. Premier Campbell Newman said the Queensland Government had to make some tough decisions about what to do with the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme and the $1.2 billion Gold Coast Desalination Plant.


The Queensland Government will consider increasing the size of Wivenhoe Dam and constructing a number of new dams to lessen the impact of future major floods. It follows the announcement to change the way the dam operates in times of extreme weather to release more water to prevent widespread downstream flooding. Premier Campbell Newman said the locations of eight new dams had been identified, which would potentially protect thousands of homes and businesses.

A pilot project funded by Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) will not only have big environmental benefits but will also demonstrate a way to help moderate water prices. The trial is designed to prevent sediment and nutrients from entering the Logan River and is the first pilot program of its kind by a water service provider in Queensland. Environment Minister Andrew Powell said close to $1 million has been invested by QUU to repair 500m of eroded riparian corridors near the Beaudesert Sewage Treatment Plant in the Logan River catchment.

Victoria The Victorian Coalition Government is delivering on the promise to reduce the impact of the Desalination Plant on the water bills of Melbourne families. “As of today, a total of $1.2 billion has now been clawed back from the total contract costs of the Desalination Plant project,” Victorian Minister for Water, Peter Walsh said last month. “The latest reduction in total contract costs comes from successful strategic debt refinancing, which will deliver Melbourne families a $187 million reduction on water bills.”

The Victorian Coalition Government is investing $1.95 million from its Regional Growth Fund to provide a reliable water supply to six vineyards in the Landsborough Valley in Western Victoria, securing around 60 jobs. Minister for Water Peter Walsh said access to a reliable water supply was critical for wine grape growers. “Thanks to water savings generated by the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline, six vineyards will have access to a reliable and secure water supply.”

A draft strategy on Ballarat’s water future is due to be released as part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $1 million Living Ballarat project. “Local residents are already leading the way in water efficiency, with research showing that around 90 per cent of buildings in the Ballarat and Maryborough districts use waterefficient appliances and practices to reduce water use,” said Victorian Minister for Water Peter Walsh.

Stock and domestic water will flow year-round to 112 properties in the Cosgrove area, east of Shepparton, thanks to a $6 million pipeline announced by Victorian Minister for Water. Mr Walsh said the Cosgrove Stock and Domestic Pipeline would provide landholders with a reliable water supply and improved water quality.



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CrossCurrent Kerang will be better protected from future floods thanks to a $1.7 million upgrade to the town’s levee system. Victorian Minister for Water, Peter Walsh, said a permanent levee had been constructed around the entire town perimeter. “The improved levee bank will protect the town of Kerang from flooding, as well as an additional two kilometers of state highway,” Mr Walsh said.

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, and Treasurer, Andrew Barr, have welcomed the release of the ACT Auditor-General’s Performance Audit of the Water and Sewerage Pricing Process. The Government will use the findings of the Auditor-General’s Report as the basis for a broad reassessment of the framework for the pricing of water and sewerage services in the ACT. It is important that the ACT community has confidence that the

Western Australia Western Australia has a vast untapped water resource that warrants serious consideration from the newly established dams ministerial task group, Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce, said. “WA has significant water challenges, particularly around the Perth area in recent decades, and the city is growing rapidly. We need to consider opportunities to augment the water supply for Perth and expand water supply for agriculture and other development.”

process for determining the price for water and sewerage is independent, transparent and efficient.

Northern Territory Commissioner Dr Allan Hawke AC has commenced work on the Northern Territory Government’s Inquiry into hydraulic fracturing, which will include an assessment of any associated environmental risks. Hydraulic fracturing is the process of injecting liquid at high

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has opened a new water source in the Pilbara, which he says will save the Government the cost of building a desalination plant. The $310 million Bungaroo Valley bore, near Pannawonica, will supply up to 10 gigalitres a year for Rio Tinto’s coastal operations and for domestic use in Wickham and Dampier. The bore relieves pressure on the Millstream aquifer, which supplies the general water needs of the West Pilbara.

pressure into subterranean boreholes to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas. Dr Hawke is expected to report back to the Government by the end of the year.

Federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, and the Northern Territory Environment Minister, Peter Chandler, have released a draft assessment bilateral agreement to establish a ‘One-Stop

South Australia

Shop’ for environmental assessments. The bilateral agreement allows the Commonwealth to accredit Northern Territory environmental assessment processes, so that the NT can

The SA Commission has released its first Annual Performance Report (APR) for the South Australian Water Industry following commencement of licensing and the Commission’s role as economic regulator of the Water Industry Act on 1 January 2013. The Water APR relates to the year ending 30 June 2013.

assess projects on the Commonwealth’s behalf.

Member News Dr David Halliwell has been appointed CEO of Water Research

South Australians have the most expensive drinking water in the nation, according to a report by the state’s Essential Services Commission (ESCOSA). The report found SA Water’s typical residential water bill jumped by more than 30 per cent to $873 in 2012/13 and was the highest of all comparable Australian water utilities in both 2011/12 and 2012/13.

Australia Limited (WaterRA), commencing 3 June 2014. Selected from a wide field of candidates, Dr Halliwell will replace Ms Jodieann Dawe who was the inaugural CEO from 2008–2014.

Victor Young has been appointed Industry Director, Communications and Utilities for Aurecon, covering the Energy,

Australian Capital Territory

Water, and Data and Telecommunications markets. Former Industry Director, Colin Dominish, moves into a new role as Client Relationship Director for Aurecon. Victor joins Aurecon from the

A draft assessment bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and the Australian Capital Territory has been released. The agreement puts in place a single assessment process to reduce unnecessary duplication, while still maintaining high environmental standards. Under the agreement, the Federal Government will retain power to approve or refuse actions and attach conditions to approved actions.

Energy Division of Leighton Contractors where he was Manager, Power Generation. Prior to this he worked in a number of roles with Siemens Energy in both Asia Pacific and Germany.

Hydroflux has appointed Steve Petoumenos as Sales Director of Hydroflux Utilities Pty Ltd – a member of the Hydroflux Group

The equivalent of one-and-a-half times the capacity of the original Cotter Dam was added to the ACT’s water reserves over a period of 10 days, ACTEW Water figures show. As a result, Canberra has more water in its combined storages going into autumn and winter than ever before.


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Industry News Members of the group will be:

MINISTERIAL GROUP TO LOOK AT AUSTRALIA’S FUTURE WATER NEEDS The Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, will chair a new ministerial working group set up to identify new infrastructure projects that can deliver Australia’s water supply needs in the future. The first task of the group, which was established by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, will be to identify priorities, investment and processes to fast-track development. Minister Joyce said water infrastructure had to keep pace with economic opportunities in Australia’s region and with national population growth. “Australia’s population is expected to reach 35 million by 2050 and we also have to take advantage of the growing wealth of hundreds of millions of people who live close by,” Minister Joyce said. “This ministerial working group gives us the opportunity to prioritise our water and infrastructure needs – both by upgrading existing infrastructure or building new infrastructure, and some of these are already in the pipeline.” Minister Joyce said the group was part of a Coalition commitment to plan for the dams of the future, and was evidence of the Abbott Government’s wider commitment to build infrastructure. Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Simon Birmingham, said that Australia’s naturally variable climate means that we must look for new water infrastructure opportunities that are both innovative and sustainable. “The ministerial working group brings together key areas of the government including infrastructure, water, agriculture and the environment to push forward the Prime Minister’s goal of building productive infrastructure for the future,” said Senator Birmingham. “This group will look at new dams as well as options like harvesting and storing water in underground aquifers to further boost the efficient and sustainable utilisation of our water resources.” Under the guidelines outlined by the Prime Minister, the group will: • Identify how investment in water infrastructure, such as dams, could be accelerated, including methods for assessing feasibility and cost benefit analysis of particular proposals, the role of Infrastructure Australia, and financing. • Identify priorities for investment in new or existing dams, including the merit of proposals already well-developed and the productivity and/or economic benefits of new or existing dams. • Outline how proposed approaches will improve the management of Australia’s water resources to support economic development, flood mitigation and respond to community and industry needs. • Consider opportunities for groundwater storage (aquifers), water reuse and water efficiency to ensure investment in dams occurs where it is the most suitable solution. • Take account of economic, social and environmental considerations, including consistency with National Water Initiative principles. The working group will consult with State and Territory governments to understand their priorities and how they can best work together.

water MAY 2014

• Minister for Agriculture, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, Chair • Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Warren Truss MP • Minister for Environment, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP • Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Hon. Jamie Briggs MP • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham. The group’s water infrastructure options paper will be developed by July 2014 so that its outcomes can be considered as part of the White Papers on Northern Australia and Agricultural Competitiveness.

BORING INTO GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT AT NATIONAL DRILLING CONFERENCE Groundwater regulation will be one of the hot topics at the Australian Drilling Industry Association’s (ADIA) national flagship drilling conference, DRILL 2014, on the Gold Coast from 19–22 August. Representatives from Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources & Mines (DNRM) will explain impending changes to the Queensland Water Act 2000 and potential consequences for the water industry. The conference caters for the full range of onshore drilling sectors: • Groundwater • Geotechnical/environmental • Minerals exploration • CSG (Coal Seam Gas) • HDD (Horizontal Directional Drilling) Both the Queensland Government and ADIA’s diverse membership support business and environmental sustainability. Over 500 delegates are anticipated to attend, while the exhibition area will boast the nation’s largest display of drilling rigs and other capital equipment for the drilling industry. The theme for DRILL 2014 is ‘recognising opportunities’, and there will be numerous opportunities for delegates to network and find new ways to increase training, safety and profit in their organisation.

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Industry News DRILL 2014 delegates will have the chance to learn about the Coal Seam Gas (CSG) Globe Program from DNRM. The program is an online geospatial database that displays: registered water bores (government and private); water level monitoring bores; Surat Cumulative Management Area affected areas; Wells (CSG and nonCSG); exploration permits; petroleum leases; and pipeline licences. Almost half of DRILL 2014’s exhibitors supply products and/or services to the water industry. This includes drill rig manufacturers; drilling fluids specialists; trainers; and drilling consumables. Many of the exhibitor companies are well-known names in the water industry. They include: AMC Drilling Fluids & Products; Baroid Industrial Drilling Products; Boart Longyear; Franklin Electric; Grundfos Pumps; kwik-ZIP; Superior Pump Technologies; Surepipe (formerly East Coast Pipe Supplies); Total Eden; and Xylem Water Systems Australia. The full delegate registration package includes: plenary sessions with leading subject experts; workshops and seminars covering business, training and technology; welcome cocktail party; morning and afternoon teas; lunches; and a gala dinner. The DRILL 2014 day pass includes plenary sessions; workshops and seminars; lunches; and morning and afternoon teas. For more details and to register, please visit

NATIONAL URBAN WATER RESEARCH ACCESS PORTAL Substantial investment has been made in Australian urban water research and development, with numerous jurisdictions and programs addressing multiple issues and themes. However, despite this progress there remains a significant challenge in the ‘efficient discovery’ or ability to search this information. With the knowledge that custodians of this information have different approaches to knowledge management, the Urban Water R&D Partnership Working Group (PWG) agreed there was a need to create a national web-based knowledge portal to better identify, describe and connect urban water R&D information generated by Australian research, government and industry organisations. The planned Urban Water Research Access Portal (the Portal) is a national web-based ‘one-stop shop’ for urban water-related information, tools and, in some cases, data. To be successful the development of the Portal must have support across the water sector and needs to be delivered in a collaborative manner. The project is currently guided by a steering committee of representatives from across the water sector; however, the committee would like to hear from those with an interest in linking into the Portal and participating in the design process. The committee also seeks to establish a panel of water professionals to assist in testing the experimental model. Potential benefits for the partner organisations include: • Increased discoverability, access to and sharing of research outputs; • Improved communication, collaboration and adoption of research; • Higher visibility of research programs and outputs; • Control of legacy research from closed research bodies/activities. For more information or to explore participation in the project please contact Gregory Priest at AWA on 03 9679 7567 or Amy Hart at Smart Water Fund on 03 9679 7546.

water MAY 2014

 An innovative low-cost water treatment process has been implemented at Rosslynne Water Filtration Plant (WFP) in Gisborne, Victoria, Australia. Major engineering, architecture and environmental consulting company, GHD, has helped Western Water remove disinfection by-products from the source water at the WFP’s 35 ML/d capacity reservoir. This will result in greater utilisation of the local water supply and less importing of expensive water from Melbourne. Michael Chapman, GHD’s Project Director, says, “This is an excellent example of how innovative thinking can help water utilities reduce costs and create additional value from their existing assets. This solution builds on GHD’s work with Western Water towards an integrated sustainable water supply strategy.” The innovation was to dose Powdered Activated Carbon (PAC) at concentrations tailored to achieve the required removal of variable Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) levels in Rosslynne source water. The PAC particles loaded with DOC are removed by the existing Dissolved Air Flotation process at the WFP. Running from May 2012 to January 2014, the project involved bench and full-scale pilot testing, followed by full-scale construction at the existing Rosslynne WFP. In addition, works to optimise the removal of manganese and to fluoridate the treated water were implemented. Please visit for more information.

PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF APPOINTS NEW GENERAL MANAGER WATER Parsons Brinckerhoff has appointed Dean Toomey, an internal appointee, as General Manager Water. Mr Toomey has a long history with Parsons Brinckerhoff, having commenced working in its Brisbane office in 1994. Parsons Brinckerhoff Director Resources and Utilities, Government and Power, Mark Dimmock, Dean Toomey said that Mr Toomey’s appointment is a critical one at a time when the firm is diversifying to leverage Balfour Beatty capability across Asset Intelligence Solutions (AIS) technology to optimise operations efficiency and capital maintenance programs. “Dean is no stranger to leadership and has extensive experience leading complex projects that require the mobilisation of large, multidisciplinary project teams. “In addition, he has played a key role in formulating a comprehensive strategy for the water business that leverages the strength of our Group, and is committed to its successful implementation to cement our position as a leader in the ANZ water market.” Mr Toomey’s recent experience includes acting as a Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Alliance Leadership Group (ALG) member for the


Industry News Logan Water Alliance and for the Mackay Infrastructure Alliance. Most recently, Mr Toomey spearheaded regional business development activities and acted as the key interface with several Queensland-based utilities. Commenting on his appointment, Mr Toomey was optimistic about the potential of his new role. “This is a challenging and exciting time to be helping to shape the water team and to work closely with the wider Group to offer our combined expertise to clients and to the water utilities market.”

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW OF TROPICAL DREDGING PROJECTS An independent review of recent port dredging projects in tropical and sub-tropical Australia has found that the environmental impacts were generally consistent with, or less than, those approved. The report, Dredging and Australian Ports, examined the outcomes of recent dredging projects against the environmental performance criteria established for those projects by the relevant regulators and found that those projects had performed favourably. The report found that only two dredging projects had led to water turbidity impacts greater than approved. One of these did not result in any recorded impacts to seagrass being monitored nearby, while

the other may have prevented the normal seasonal recruitment of a deep water seagrass species for one year (normal recruitment occurred the following year with higher levels of cover). “Assumptions by some stakeholders of widespread and unintended impacts to areas of high conservation value, such as the Great Barrier Reef, are not supported by the results from extensive monitoring of many recent dredging projects in northern Australia undertaken in similar environmental settings,” the report says. “Community concern often focuses on the effects of toxicants such as heavy metals, however, the vast majority of dredging in northern Australian ports involves clean sediments and, where any toxic materials are identified, it is disposed of on land not sea.” Monitoring during dredging projects has shown that regular natural events such as cyclones or floods may result in much greater and more prolonged environmental changes to coral and seagrass communities than those related to dredging. Ports Australia, the peak national industry organisation representing port authorities and corporations, commissioned the report by environmental assessor Dr Rick Morton of RMC Pty Ltd and peer reviewed by Dr Ian Irvine of Pollution Research Pty Ltd to ensure its scientific rigour. Ports Australia Chief Executive Officer, David Anderson, said that the report aimed to bring factual information about the impacts of dredging, which had been deliberately misrepresented by some groups, particularly in relation to impacts on the Great Barrier Reef. A full copy of the report can be found at


MAY 2014 water


Industry News

ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATION RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL HONOURS Contact Energy’s Wairakei bioreactor in New Zealand has been awarded honours at the internationally recognised 2014 IWA Asia Pacific Regional Project Innovation Awards in Singapore. Jointly developed by Contact Energy and Beca, the bioreactor is a worldfirst solution to improve the quality of water that is discharged from the iconic Wairakei geothermal power station into the Waikato River. “I’m immensely proud of our bioreactor,” says Contact Energy CEO, Dennis Barnes. “As a world-first it’s great to see this example of Kiwi ingenuity recognised at an international level.” “To work with Contact Energy from the beginning, developing and testing innovative concepts through to the design and construction of the Wairakei bioreactor has been immensely rewarding for the Beca team,” says Beca CEO, Greg Lowe. “This is another great example of New Zealand talent delivering world-class project outcomes.” The Wairakei bioreactor was developed to reduce hydrogen sulphide (H2S) discharges from the Wairakei geothermal power station to the Waikato River. This was identified through a 10-year program of environmental and technical studies which examined the environmental impacts from the ongoing operation of the power station. These studies showed that H2S levels in the Waikato River downstream from the Wairakei power station exceeded accepted water quality guidelines. Harnessing the power of billions of naturally occurring bacteria endemic to the Waikato River, the bioreactor was developed as a treatment facility for the breakdown of H2S in the cooling water. The bioreactor is designed around a large network of almost 400 kilometres of pipes that create an environment for the bacteria to live and grow. To date, the bioreactor is reducing around 85 per cent of H2S in the cooling water discharges, which is equivalent to a reduction in H2S discharge levels of almost 8,000 kilograms per week. It is also on track to achieving the August 2016 milestone of an overall reduction of 95 per cent.

In creating this solution Beca engineers used several innovative engineering techniques, including: a tubular biofilm reactor design consisting of 1900 parallel polythene pipes; excavated soil and pumice from the site was mixed with concrete to hold the 378 kilometre-long polythene pipe field in place, saving considerable costs; and a syphon configuration for the bioreactor hydraulic design lowers the pumping head to minimise power usage and also contributes to significant cost savings. The IWA Innovation Awards is a prestigious global competition that recognises and celebrates innovation and excellence in water engineering projects around the world. The Wairakei bioreactor was also awarded the ‘Energy Project of the Year’ and ‘Environmental Excellence’ awards at the 2013 Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards (NZ). It received the 2013 New Zealand Engineering Excellence Award in the Chemical, Bio and Food category and is a current finalist for the INNOVATE NZ Awards of Excellence.

MORE THAN 80 DAMS IN 80 YEARS FOR THIESS Celebrating 80 years of operation, one of Australia’s leading construction, mining and services contractors, Thiess, is proud to announce its 84th dam project. Melbourne Water has awarded Thiess a contract to upgrade the Greenvale Reservoir, an important water supply source for the northwestern and western suburbs of Melbourne. The 27,500 million litre storage was constructed in 1971 and is Melbourne’s most urbanised large dam located just 20 kilometres from the CBD. Thiess has been engaged to upgrade the dam wall to ensure Greenvale Reservoir continues to serve the growing population of Melbourne both now and into the future. Thiess Victoria General Manager Rod Heale said Thiess is delighted to be undertaking such an important project in its 80th year. “Thiess has built twice as many dams as any other contractor in Australia and we are very pleased to be extending our strong relationship with Melbourne Water on the Greenvale Reservoir upgrade,” Mr Heale said. The project is scheduled for completion in mid-2015.

CORALS DON’T LIE: RISING SEA LEVELS AND TEMPERATURE DATA REVEALED AIMS scientists, together with a team from the University of Western Australia, CSIRO and the University of San Diego, have analysed coral cores from the eastern Indian Ocean to understand how the unique coral reefs of Western Australia are affected by changing ocean currents and water temperatures. The research was published in the international journal Nature Communications. The findings give new insights into how La Niña, a climate swing in the tropical Pacific, affects the Leeuwin current and how our oceans are changing.

water MAY 2014


Industry News “Due to the lack of long-term observations of marine climate we used long coral cores, with annual growth bands similar to tree rings, to provide a record of the past,” said Dr Jens Zinke (Assistant Professor at the UWA Oceans Institute and AIMS-UWA scientist). “We obtained records of past sea temperatures by measuring the chemical composition of the coral skeleton from year to year. This showed how changing winds and ocean currents in the eastern Indian Ocean are driven by climate variability in the western tropical Pacific Ocean.” The long coral records allowed the scientists to look at these patterns of climate variability back to 1795 AD. La Niña events in the tropical Pacific result in a strengthened Leeuwin Current and unusually warm water temperatures and higher sea levels off southwest Western Australia. “A prominent example is the 2011 heat wave along WA’s reefs which led to coral bleaching and fish kills,” said Dr Ming Feng CSIRO Principal Research Scientist. The international team found that in addition to warming sea surface temperatures, sea-level variability and Leeuwin Current strength have increased since 1980. The coral cores also reveal that the strong winds and extreme weather of 2011 off Western Australia were highly unusual in the context of the past 215 years. The authors conclude that this is clear evidence that global warming and sealevel rise is increasing the severity of these extreme events, which impact the highly diverse coral reefs of Western Australia, including the Ningaloo Reef World Heritage site.

MUNDARING WATER TREATMENT PLANT OFFICIALLY OPENED Brookfield Multiplex has completed construction on the first major Western Australian infrastructure project developed through a public-private partnership – the $300 million Mundaring Water Treatment Plant, which was officially opened by WA Premier Colin Barnett in March 2014. The company’s Engineering and Infrastructure division was a partner in the Helena Water consortium that won the bid to develop the facility, and contracted with the ACCIONA TRILITY Joint Venture (ATJV), which managed the design, construction and commissioning of the project on behalf of Helena Water. Chris Palandri, Regional Managing Director at Brookfield Multiplex, said it had taken 24 months to construct the Mundaring Water Treatment Plant, situated about 35 kilometres east of Perth. Brookfield Multiplex Engineering and Infrastructure handed the project over to ATJV last year for the complex commissioning process, which is now complete.

“Given ongoing global climate change, it is likely that future La Niña events will result in more extreme warming and high sea-level events with potentially significant consequences for the maintenance of Western Australia›s unique marine ecosystems,” said Dr Janice Lough, AIMS Senior Principal Research Scientist. The researchers used core samples of massive Porites colonies from the Houtman-Abrolhos Islands, the most southerly reefs in the Indian Ocean, which are directly in the path of the Leeuwin Current. Using the chemical composition of the annual coral growth bands they were able to reconstruct sea surface temperature and Leeuwin Current for 215 years, from 1795 to 2010.

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Industry News The Mundaring Water Treatment Plant features a pumping station allowing up to 162 million litres of water per day to be processed, with the flexibility to increase capacity to 240 million litres per day in line with the future growth of the region. It will deliver a high standard of quality water to the 100,000 people supplied by the Water Corporation’s Goldfields pipeline. Along with the pumping station, construction of the facility also included large diameter pipework, control and administration buildings, security, stormwater storage and bush fire deluge systems.

AURECON APPOINTS NEW INDUSTRY DIRECTOR Victor Young has been appointed as Industry Director, Communications and Utilities for Aurecon, covering the Energy, Water, and Data and Telecommunications markets. Former Industry Director, Colin Dominish, moves into a new role as Client Relationship Director for Aurecon. Victor joins Aurecon from the Energy Division of Leighton Contractors where he was Manager, Power Generation. Prior to this he worked in various roles with Siemens Energy in both Asia Pacific and Germany.

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Chief Executive, Dr David Brown, said: “Current technologies for the chemically engineered cleaning of nuclear effluents are robust and efficient. However, processes like evaporation, filtration, sorption and ion exchange can be expensive. “Work in other industries indicates that decontamination using bioremediation technologies could be equally as efficient, but cheaper and more environmentally-friendly. But none is currently operational in highly radioactive environments. The researchers in France are breaking new ground by helping us to understand the feasibility of using algae for the highly controlled nuclear decontamination process, including issues such as fouling, pore size and re-use of this remarkable alga.” The role of chemical engineers in the health, water, food and energy sectors is explored in IChemE’s latest technical strategy, Chemical Engineering Matters. 1

 nited Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic U Radiation (UNSCEAR):


 . de Gouvion Saint Cyr, C. Wisniewski, L. Schrive, E. Farhi, C. D Rivasseau, Feasibility study of microfiltration for algae separation in an innovative nuclear effluents decontamination process, Separation and Purification Technology (2014), doi: dx.doi. org/10.1016/j.seppur.2014.01.039

Victor Young

A mechanical engineer, with a long track record in power generation and oil and gas, Victor has lived and worked in the UK, Australia, Asia and Germany with roles respectively covering Europe/ Middle East/India, Australia, South East Asia, and Global. Victor will report to Stephen Wells, Chief Business Development Officer. “I am excited to join Aurecon as we journey from traditional services towards offering real value-based solutions closely aligned with our clients’ needs,” says Victor. “The company is very well positioned, especially in areas of the world where major infrastructure is really needed, and innovative solutions are required to satisfy the ever-increasing challenges facing our clients.”

RADIATION-TOLERANT ‘CLEANING’ ALGA DISCOVERED A radiation-tolerant alga capable of living in extreme conditions may be used to help clean up effluent and wastewater produced by nuclear facilities. The micro-alga, called Coccomyxa actinabiotis, was discovered in a used fuel cell storage pool at a nuclear facility and is capable of withstanding extreme radiation doses of up to 20 kilograys (kGy). By comparison, a fraction of this level of radiation – five or more gray (gy) – usually causes death within 14 days to humans exposed to it. In 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear accident resulted in human exposure up to 16 gy causing 28 deaths in the first three months1. Microorganisms, including algae, are used widely by industry to help manage waste by-products. The discovery of the new alga creates the potential to develop cheaper and more environmentally friendly solutions for cleaning up effluents and water used by nuclear facilities.

water MAY 2014

The potential of the alga, which uses photosynthesis and metabolic processes to take up the contaminants, is being explored by a French research team from Grenoble University, Montpellier University, Institut Laue-Langevin and the Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission – Division of Nuclear Energy2. The research team is currently developing a pilot-scale treatment unit, based on the Coccomyxa actinabiotis micro-alga, to remove effluents including carbon-14, uranium-238 and caesium-137.

STATE OF THE INDUSTRY REPORT HIGHLIGHTS SUCCESSES AND CHALLENGES TasWater has welcomed the 2012–13 Tasmanian Water & Sewerage State of the Industry Report, which highlights major improvements in drinking water quality and customer service. CEO Mike Brewster said that the report also confirmed that ongoing investment in ageing water and sewerage infrastructure would be required over the next decade. “We are very pleased that we were able to halve the percentage of Tasmanians receiving poor quality drinking water in 2012–13 through significant investments in improving water quality around the state,” Mr Brewster said. “It is also pleasing that we have improved the performance of our call centres so we can answer enquiries and resolve complaints much more quickly.” The State of the Industry Report also highlighted the inability of sewage treatment plants around the state to meet modern environmental standards set by regulators. “TasWater’s major challenge over the next decade is to bring our sewerage treatment facilities around the state up to standard. Many of these plants are ageing or were simply not built to meet the demand and the environmental standards that are now required,” Mr Brewster said.


Industry News “We are working to address this through projects such as the decommissioning of the Taroona Sewage Treatment Plant, upgrades to treatment plants in Rosebery, Deloraine, Kingborough, Launceston, Brighton; and the planning for a Greater Launceston Sewerage Strategy to reduce impacts on the Tamar Estuary.


“Our 2015–18 Price & Service Plan will budget for a large number of sewerage infrastructure upgrades, but we also need to be mindful that these upgrades are funded by our customers and therefore we cannot increase charges unreasonably to increase the pace of improvements.”

Dr David Halliwell has been elected Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Water Research Australia Limited (WaterRA), commencing in June 2014. Dr Halliwell will replace Ms Jodieann Dawe who was the inaugural CEO from 2008–2014.

Mr Brewster said the report clearly demonstrates that there are competing priorities for TasWater in terms of making critical improvements so people have clean drinking water and a reliable sewerage service, while also trying to keep costs down for customers as best we can. He encouraged customers to be involved in the consultation process for TasWater’s 2015–18 Price & Service Plan, which will take place later this year.

Board Chairman Professor Michael R Moore said Dr Halliwell, who was Acting CEO from August 2012 to January 2014, has the full support of the Water RA Board as he takes over the reins.


“The Board looks forward to working with David as they explore new ways of growing the company and delivering even more benefits for members and the wider Industry. ”

AWT, a specialist water technology and consulting company based in New Zealand and Australia, has joined Mott MacDonald Group, a leading global management, engineering and sustainable development consultancy. The move is part of Mott MacDonald’s business strategy to broaden the services the company offers in the Australasia region. Mott MacDonald has worked in New Zealand and Australia for over 40 years, providing leading edge services in areas as diverse as buildings, transport, water and public private partnerships. In Australia, Mott MacDonald’s early portfolio includes involvement in strategic infrastructure such as Melbourne Underground Rail Loop, Sydney Harbour Tunnel, Pyrmont Power Station and Sydney Water’s MacArthur Water Filtration Plant. The consultancy provided project and design management for the AUS$535 million redevelopment of Adelaide Oval. The consultancy is currently working on North West Rail in Sydney, Melbourne Metro and Brisbane international container terminal ports in Queensland. In the water sector the company has provided concept design, specifications and contract management of the Adelaide desalination project for SA Water. This includes a 300ML/d seawater reverse osmosis plant and 14km transmission pipeline. AWT has provided science and engineering-based services across the water sector for over 20 years. Employing around 50 engineers and scientists in its offices in Auckland and Melbourne, the company provides technical solutions spanning the entire project cycle. These include collection, conveyance, treatment, reuse and residuals incorporating water, wastewater (industrial and municipal) and stormwater. The company recently supported the expansion of the Rotorua Treatment Plant and applied membrane bioreactor technology to meet New Zealand’s tightest nutrient limits from a wastewater discharge. The company has also implemented a new NZ$20 million membrane water treatment plant for Taupo to remove arsenic from the source water. In addition, AWT has developed the H2Knowhow middleware data management platform, which is now being used by several water utilities across the region.

“David came to WaterRA (then WQRA) with a strong background in research management, and has operated with a drive to succeed and demonstrated a clear view of future challenges and possibilities. He has shown a genuine commitment to the Australian water industry and the integral role that research plays in its future.

Prior to WaterRA, Dr Halliwell was a Research Director with the Victorian Department of Primary Industries. He has a PhD in Chemistry, a Masters of Business Administration and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Dr Halliwell will manage the company from his current office in Melbourne alongside the WSAA head office, while making regular visits to the WaterRA head office in Adelaide.

JMW CONSULTANTS WINS GLOBAL AWARD JMW Consultants Australia has been awarded The Association of Management Consulting Firms (AMCF) Award for Value and Excellence in Consulting in the Human Capital category for its work with Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) in Victoria. The AMCF Awards are given to projects that best illustrate how consulting teams add value to their clients’ organisations and society at large. GMW, which manages water storage, delivery and drainage systems involving 70% of Victoria’s stored water, was in need of reform at the end of last decade following one of the worst droughts in Australia’s history. Customer expectations had changed dramatically and its situation worsened when the Board discovered an $80 million shortfall and was involved in a leadership dispute. GMW engaged JMW Consultants to support a radical transformation of the organisation by establishing a foundation of cohesive leadership, more transparent stakeholder engagement and a simplified costs structure. JMW Consultants launched a multi-stage strategic leadership forum involving the 28 key leaders of the organisation. One-on-one interviews with each participant assessed GMW’s leadership and performance by revealing valuable information around operations throughout the organisation. The intensive sessions established a firm objective for a new strategic direction for GMW, while putting a plan in place for enrolling the entire organisation to implement the strategy.

MAY 2014 water


Young Water Professionals

WHERE TO FROM HERE? Justin Simonis – AWA YWP National Committee President

This article is technically my first official duty as YWP National Committee President (albeit in an interim capacity) before I officially take the reins at Ozwater’14 in Brisbane, and it would be remiss of me not to start it by thanking Jo Greene and acknowledging the significant contribution she made to the National Representative Committee and, in particular, as the Immediate Past President. The fact that I have taken up the role in an interim capacity tells two rather sorry tales: the first, of a continuation of the exodus of young professionals from our industry; the second, of an AWA specialist network seeking new direction. First though, I’d like to introduce myself. I began my career in the water industry in Rockhampton with Fitzroy River Water in 2000, fresh from finishing my studies in Aquatic Resource Management. After a brief stint in the public service I dabbled in consultancy with a boutique process company in the Sunshine Coast and then, like many other young Australians, decided that Europe beckoned. It was during my three-year stay there that I found my niche in construction, and in particular in commissioning. In 2007 I returned to an Australian water industry booming as a result of prolonged drought and easy access to capital. Sadly the industry has contracted considerably since then. With the benefit of hindsight (and not to oversimplify things), one might suggest the failure of the sector as a whole to effectively cooperate and push a coordinated agenda has had a large part to play in creating the market conditions that have resulted in us painting ourselves into a corner. Several of our state and national committee representatives, including our previous President, have either left the water industry entirely, or

water MAY 2014

have found themselves without the necessary support within the workplace to continue participation. This continual loss of young professionals further increases an already high average age across the sector. While acknowledging that this trend must be arrested for the water industry in Australia to prosper, I consider myself a ‘glass half-full’ kind of guy. Rather than dwelling on the challenges ahead, I prefer to focus on the opportunities that present. A growing average age in our industry represents a depth and breadth of experience; the test will be in how to effectively leverage this to come up with strategies to halt the egress of young talent. The pragmatist in me suggests that the retention of skilled young professionals falls firmly in the grey area between us as an industry association responding to these opportunities effectively in-house, and our collaborating across association boundaries to engage with governments to ensure they act quickly and spend prudently across a market “forgotten” since it started to rain again. As an association, we must meet government in the middle if we are to see our industry once again prosper with a healthy employment market. This brings me to the vision of AWA, the National YWP Network and the state YWP Committees alike. The YWP Network is looking to enter a strategy development period that will see the committee emerge with renewed focus and commitment. I am excited to have the honour of being at the helm throughout this process and look forward to sharing the outcome with you all in future editions. Justin Simonis is the Business Development Manager for Lend Lease’s Water Business.


AWA News

BIOSOLIDS AND SOURCE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE The AWA Biosolids and Source Management Conference will take place from 25–27 June in Melbourne. The conference will consider the wastewater treatment process as a whole and explore how influent contaminants may reduce outlets for the beneficial use of biosolids. Understanding the whole life cycle of the system, and the potential issues that can arise, is essential to not only treatment, but also eventual management of solids. AWA believes Source Management and biosolids go hand-inhand to achieve an integrated solution, and connecting these conferences together will enable experts to explore both areas and link them together. View the full program and register online at

2014 NATIONAL OPERATORS CONFERENCE 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 the best value for money for our customers, while not reducing our quality standards. With the 2014 National Operators 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, such as mining, agribusiness and tourism, we need to ensure that future national prosperity is balanced carefully with sustainable water usage and environmental protection. The National Operators Conference will be held from 28–30 October. For an overview of the themes, or to register, please visit Registrations open in July.

AWA MASTER CLASS – TROUBLESHOOTING RISK IN WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT This Master Class will take place at the Harbourview Hotel in North Sydney from 28–29 May. The class will focus on how risks to the health and safety of water supply be best controlled. Currently health-based microbial and chemical measures of risk tolerance called DALYs are increasingly used to underpin water quality guidelines for both drinking water and recycled water. Delivered by some of Australia’s top water quality and risk scientists, this Master Class will look in-depth at the concept of risk, the nature of hazards, critical control points and DALYs. Visit for the full program and to register.

WATER IN MINING AND ENERGY REGULATION BRIEFING This evening briefing will address pertinent changes in the regulations regarding water management in the resources sector. You will hear regulatory perspectives and legal overviews on relevant federal and state legislation, followed by an opportunity to network over drinks and canapés. The dates for the briefing are: Melbourne, 4 June 2014; Brisbane, 17 June 2014; and Perth, 25 June 2014. Please go to the AWA website to register.

IWES GOLD COAST IWES is running at the Gold Coast throughout the week of 14–18 July 2014. It will feature an extensive program of courses in water, wastewater and environmental management. IWES is the largest and most successful continuing education program for professionals responsible for industry environmental performance in Australia. Courses are taught by leading industry practitioners and designed to keep busy professionals abreast of the latest trends, technologies and practices. For detailed course information and to download the brochure and registration form, please visit the website

BRANCH NEWS QUEENSLAND 30-YEAR WATER STRATEGY PRESENTATION At the recent AWA Breakfast in Brisbane, the Hon Mark McArdle, Queensland Minister for Energy and Water Supply, gave a presentation on the state’s ’30-Year Water Strategy’. Following are notes and commentary on the presentation by Branch Committee Member David Nixon. Strategy The 30-Year Water Strategy is aimed at providing a blueprint with a clear vision for the Water Industry moving forward. It is intended that it will be renewed every five years and all identified actions will be reported to the public on a six-monthly basis. It is currently being aligned with the draft State Plan and is expected to be released shortly with a consultation period, before coming into effect in July this year. Growth The Queensland State Plan calls for an increase in population of 3M people over the next 30 years, with 50% of that increase occurring outside of South-East Queensland. This will not be sustainable for the water sector. The growth rates can be achieved, but the majority of the growth will need to occur in the current SE, where the water infrastructure has been developed and substantial capacity exists. To provide for this level of growth outside the existing SE would require substantial investment by the regional water service providers, which would not be economically sustainable without government support.

MAY 2014 water


AWA News

Attendees at the recent Queensland Branch Breakfast in Brisbane. Regional Water Development Currently two-thirds of the state of Queensland is under drought conditions. The Federal Government has expressed interest in the north of Australia becoming the food bowl of Asia. This is not viable without a large degree of water resources infrastructure development in the north of Queensland. Planning still needs to be undertaken but it is expected that any future large spending in the water sector in these regional areas will be Federal money. SEQ Water Development Seqwater has commenced a two-year planning strategy for the 30-year water needs for South-East Queensland. While the current SE water grid provides good security of supply, several components arose from poor planning practices during the Millennium Drought, resulting in higher than optimal costs. The planning during that period is currently the focus of a parliamentary enquiry due over the next couple of months.

Skills for the Future This appears to promote general management skills into the water sector. Skills such as Information & Data Management, and Economics & Business Management were mentioned. An expansion of the current Q-Wrap program, with the view to improve and share top management in regional areas, was announced. SMART Regulation & Private Sector Involvement The continuation of catchment-based approaches, the release of the current water services legislation and alterations to the recycled water regulations were mentioned as SMART regulations. Partnerships between government, water service providers and the private sector will be encouraged by the Government, while recognising that they do not have jurisdiction across many of these relationships. Innovative Technologies Several technology-based innovations

Water Customers The development of flexible communication style (think mobiles) charging plans is desirable for the water sector. Different user groups may need different quality and quantity of water, for different uses, at different rates. Examples may include high use gardening or agricultural users. The strategy will provide for hardship, set customer service standards and provide for the extension of the Water & Energy Ombudsman across the state.

were mentioned, including smart meters. The formation of an

Efficient Water Usage The state plan calls for the doubling of farm output by 2040. This will require improvements to the water usages within the rural areas. There will be an expansion of “fit-for-purpose” water, including the reduction of the current “red tape” on recycled water schemes.

water sector. The success or failure of the plan will be determined by

Responsible Water Management Eight irrigation schemes are currently being returned to local control, with the expectation that they will have improved management, at a lower cost. With the reduction of the “red tape” and the introduction of outcomebased KPIs for water service providers, concerns may arise as to appropriate measurement of “responsible water management”.

of AWA’s Queensland Policy and Strategy Committee. The views

water MAY 2014

industry-led Innovation Panel was announced. While no new unexpected issues were announced by the Minister, the 30-year Water Strategy now appears to be aligned with the state plan and reported through six-monthly action plans. Much of the plan will be rural and regional area-based with less impact on the urban the implementation plan and the allocation of responsibility across government, water service providers and the industry as a whole. We await with anticipation the release of the strategy. This review was prepared by David Nixon of Better Managed, Chair expressed are David’s only, which he would be happy to discuss. Contact The Queensland Branch would like to thank Minister McArdle for his presentation and Aurecon for sponsoring the event.



YOUNG WATER PROFESSIONALS COMMITTEE ELECTIONS HELD The Queensland Young Water Professional (QLD YWP) Committee Elections were held earlier this year. The nomination process was designed to provide more concrete information on the candidate experience and subsequently positions were assigned to Committee Members. Congratulations to new Committee Members: Sarah Schroeder (President); Charlotte Spliethoff (Vice President); Alycia Moore (Secretary); Ruipu Yang (Mentoring Coordinator); Alycia Moore (Mentoring Support Coordinator); Ehsan Eftekhari (Communications Coordinator); Abraham Negaresh (Research and Education); Justin Simonis (NRC representative); and Henry Bettle, Eunice Ng, Venus Jofreh, Anne Cleary, Jess Grinter and Niall Donohue as Committee Members. As well as a solid Committee coming into 2014, the QLD YWP has the advantage of previous Committees setting up a great structure including organisational tools for our bigger events. YWP organises several events including seminars and a mentoring program throughout the year. Our 2013 mentoring program was a huge success involving 40 mentees and mentors, and we will continue to improve the program in 2014. The QLD YWP Committee also assisted with Ozwater’14, which was held in Brisbane. Our NRC representative, Justin Simonis, is working side-by-side with the conference committee and is championing the YWP program. YWP are also committed to expanding our membership base, with several Committee Members being in regular contact with water-related researchers and students in universities. We represented QLD YWP at the Griffith University Market Days on 25 February and 6 March. We encourage student participation in our events to help them build a strong network in water industry with future job prospects.

NSW SEMINAR 2 The NSW Branch will hold its second seminar for 2014 on 18 June in Sydney. The seminar’s focus will be on engaging a community water communications and public education, and will feature presentations and case studies from Sydney Water, Veolia and Griffith University. You are invited to join us for an evening of interesting and informative presentations and case studies, and also for an opportunity to network with your industry peers. Please visit the AWA website for further information or to register for the event.

HEADS OF WATER GALA DINNER Registrations are open for the NSW Heads of Water Gala Dinner 2014. The NSW Heads of Water Gala dinner will be held in Sydney on Friday 1 August and will bring together leading water professionals for an evening of networking with colleagues and peers, while enjoying fine food and drinks. Last year’s event was a sell-out, and we encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment. Please visit the AWA website for further information and to book your ticket.

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY WATER MATTERS 2014 This year’s Water Matters Conference will focus on the direction and type of strategic planning and management that the ACT requires for its interconnected water system. Invited presenters including government policy makers, and experienced industry representatives from both the public and private sectors will explore how our future requirements from the existing urban waterways, ponds and lakes will cope with increasing pressure from urbanisation and population growth. Water Matters 2014 will seek to identify contemporary relevant ideas and concepts that the Territory could take on board to investigate and potentially adapt to local inland conditions, shaping our renewed thinking for managing our urban waters into and beyond Canberra’s second centenary.  To view the full program and to register for the event, please visit

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MAY 2014 water


awa News

NEW MEMBERS AWA welcomes the following new members since the most recent issue of Water Journal


QLD B Steel, N Purdam, E Langhorn, J Burrows, V Personnaz, J Timones, S Lee, I Yousuf, J Doran, J Crerar, S Manning, J Moore, S Guan, P Elliott, P Nixon, K Tucker


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ItN Nanovation AG, Germany

SA S Rinck-Pfeiffer, E Higgins


VIC C Tyler, L Pomeroy, E Jones, L Duncan, L Studer, CM Ho, K Saxton, B Mason, T Tikkoo, M Carr, N Smith, D Roche, S Want, C Hair, L Laizu

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Office of Living Victoria


WA N Siow, LJ Carroll, D Jagoe, K Zic, A Boden

ACT J Roberts NSW C White, N Crawford, F Spinelli, S Blanchard, O Worrall, D Matthew, J Runcie, J McDonald, P Farrell, R Aposhian, M Giles, N Smith, T Debruyne, P Amirsayafi NT C Wilson, K McAllister

NEW STUDENT MEMBERS NSW R ten Cate, J Circosta, D Kousbroek, A Gonzalez QLD R Roffey, S Humphrys VIC Y Wang, C Close, A Reidy, J Yulian

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:

May Wed, 28 May 2014 – Thu, 29 May 2014 Master Class: Troubleshooting Risk in Water Quality Management, Sydney, NSW Thu, 29 May 2014 

QLD Young Water Professionals Mentoring Program Launch, Brisbane, QLD

Fri, 30 May

WA Young Water Professionals Future Forum, City West Function Centre, Plaistowe Mew, West Perth, WA

Wed, 04 Jun 2014 – Thu, 05 Jun 2014

Water Industry Operations Conference & Exhibition, Logan, QLD

Wed, 04 Jun 2014

Water in Mining and Energy Regulation Briefing -– Melbourne, RACV Tower, 485 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC

Thu, 05 Jun 2014

VIC YWP Information Session 2014–15, Melbourne CBD, VIC

Wed, 11 Jun 2014

ACT Water Matters: Rethinking Urban Water Management, CSIRO Discovery Centre, Canberra

Thu, 12 Jun 2014

Central QLD Workshop & Site Tour, in conjunction with qldwater Mini-Conference, Gladstone, QLD

Thu, 12 Jun 2014

VIC YWP Seminar – Innovation, Young & Jacksons, Melbourne, VIC

Tue, 17 Jun 2014

QLD – CSG Technical Workshop, Brisbane, QLD

Tue, 17 Jun 2014

Water in Mining and Energy Regulation Briefing – Brisbane, Brisbane, QLD

Tue, 17 Jun 2014

VIC Seminar – Achieving Integrated Water Projects at the Local Level, Melbourne CBD, VIC

Wed, 18 Jun 2014

SA Technical Seminar: Unconventional gas – where to from here? A Water Wednesday Event, Adelaide University, SA

Wed, 18 Jun 2014

NSW Branch Seminar 2: Engaging a community – Water Communications and Public Education, Sydney Water Offices, Parramatta, NSW

Wed, 25 Jun 2014

Water in Mining and Energy Regulation Briefing – Perth, Perth, WA

Wed, 25 Jun 2014 – Fri, 27 Jun 2014

Biosolids and Source Management National Conference, Bayview Eden Melbourne, VIC


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

Peri-urban’14, UWS, Parramatta, NSW

Wed, 09 Jul 2014

QLD Monthly Technical Meeting, Brisbane, QLD

Tue, 15 Jul 2014

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

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

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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


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


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

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THE PRICE OF WATER EFFICIENCY IS ETERNAL VIGILANCE Water efficiency appears to have lost momentum in the broader community, writes Reid Butler – as could be said for the environment and science in general. So how do we maintain its relevance both for now and into the future? As a long-time practitioner in the field of water efficiency in Australia, I believe the way to maintain the relevance of water efficiency is not to promote it for its own sake but to make it so ubiquitous that it becomes business as usual. This means including water efficiency in all aspects of design, management and operations. During the drought years terrific leaps were made in promoting and implementing water efficiency. The commitment to integrating water efficiency into projects became particularly evident in the more progressive areas of building design, where developers as well as potential tenants recognised the value of sustainable systems in their corporate accommodations. Likewise, the influence of the Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) on the supply of waterusing fixtures has resulted in a terrific improvement in achieving water efficiency when new fixtures are installed. Furthermore, domestic waterwise guidelines in most states have reinforced the need for constant vigilance and have had great success in changing the water use habits of the public. There remain, however, two crucial issues for using water efficiently: 1. People’s behaviour People can break water fixtures, leave water running and use water for too long, at the wrong time, for the wrong purpose. Even in the most efficiently designed and built buildings, the way people use water can be more wasteful than the fixtures in an older building. 2. Ongoing maintenance and efficient management of water supply systems It is critically important to continue monitoring and maintaining water-using fixtures and hydraulic systems in perpetuity to maintain any of the benefits of installing efficient fixtures,


either in new buildings or as a result of water audit investigations. There are, therefore, two key areas where influence is required – ‘people and properties’ or ‘bodies and buildings’. In many ways the best approach is to take the control away from the ‘people’ (management and staff maintaining a building), and monitor ‘building’ water use at the utmost level of detail to ensure that any leakage and overuse issues are detected early. However, installing smart meters and receiving daily reports of water consumption levels only works well at a facility level where there is a committed staff member in place to respond to the issues, and who has the funds and authority to act quickly on concerns.

A Pathway Forward Everyone who interacts with water at a site needs to be conscious that water is precious and must be used wisely. This understanding can be promoted through education and broad-scale marketing programs that fall to water utilities and state governments to create; however, such programs rely on water efficiency being in the interests of these agencies, and this is a situation that has been waning recently. If water efficiency were considered business as usual, the cost of water would be a driver for all business operators. Water is as much a part of the business process as any other business expense, and so should be managed as effectively as possible to maximise profitability. In some industries this can provide a competitive edge; however, as the AWA position paper on water efficiency states, water pricing is just a small component of the spectrum of methods for achieving water efficiency, and at current prices the driver for water efficiency still doesn’t match other commodities.


Opinion What we need is for building managers to actively use the benchmarking tools available to identify where water efficiency attention needs to be focused. These tools can be used as a continual check on the status of each site to meet best practice levels and stay functioning well; they can also be used to promote the success of the facility when trying to attract business.

thE roLE For wAtEr EFFICIENCy EXPErtS If water efficiency were part of the everyday actions of building and site managers, problems would be discovered more quickly, solutions implemented more cost effectively and efficiency achieved on an ongoing basis. This is where the water efficiency industry, as small as it is, needs to expand and work with facilities managers, building designers, town planners, council strategists and developers to both plan ahead for water-efficient systems and to manage and maintain existing systems over the long term. Our industry training programs would then be relevant to more people and the outcomes of our work more useful and valued. Best practice guidelines are readily available to many business sectors to guide effective implementation of water savings actions.


to be checked each day and year to ensure they are maintained. Building and site managers need to be aware of the various ways in which their systems can be monitored and optimised cost effectively. Water efficiency experts are needed to set these systems up in the most appropriate way and to benchmark buildings and measure their progress regularly. Best practice levels of water use for different industry and building sectors are an ever-evolving and improving thing, with improved technologies and management practices driving the efficiency onwards and upwards. Water efficiency actions need to be based on analysis of the best bang for buck, not the best newspaper story, and efficient technologies need to be used where appropriate. Staff need to be made aware of their role in identifying and reporting issues, as well as operating water-using equipment efficiently. Broad public and industry acceptance of the value of water and the real risk of future water scarcity needs to be promoted through continuing awareness raising by organisations such as AWA and our specialist network group. While these actions gain traction in times of drought, the price of true water efficiency is eternal vigilance.

thE AUthor Reid Butler (email: reid@ is Co-Chair of AWA’s Water Efficiency Specialist Network Committee and Principal of REIDenvironmental (REID is an acronym for Research, Environment, Innovation and Design).

There are numerous policies in place that aim to achieve wonderful outcomes that will not be realised for tens or even hundreds of years – for example, climate change adaptation, city rejuvenation plans, or residential building controls that rely on a development turnover rate of 1 per cent. This does not mean that they should not be pursued now, because in 100 years their objectives should be achieved. With water efficiency, the savings achieved today need

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SPREADING OUR WATER WINGS Hamish Gordon from Industry Capability Network shares his thoughts on what lies ahead for the Australian water industry and how we can promote our water expertise throughout the globe. Because of our harsh climate and the pressures on our natural water resources, Australia is increasingly being seen by the rest of the world as having strong management principles in areas such as water capture, water storage and treatment. The Australian water industry boasts many innovative products, services and solutions for the domestic market – and with our positive reputation there is growing opportunity to spread this innovation internationally. For example, in December 2013 an Austrade trade mission to China highlighted a substantial degree of interest in the Australian water industry and our expertise. Chinese companies are now in serious discussions with Australian suppliers about offering water solutions. The sectors of most interest to China include water resources supply and transfer, flood and drought disaster prevention and control, water ecological management and constructed wetlands. A delegation from China arrived in Australia recently to view Australian expertise first-hand and visit a number of water projects. As confidence builds in the domestic and international market for Australian water solutions, and with a generally lower Australian dollar, export opportunities increase for Australian suppliers. Investment interest in resource projects that were previously unfavourable due to a high Australian dollar is also a huge area of potential growth.

program, which gives ICN the resources to promote and maximise the participation of local Australian suppliers to large-scale projects. There are many suppliers that are benefitting from international initiatives such as the SAMP Australian Water Supplier Access to USA program and the Austrade mission at the end of 2013 to China. International interest will continue to grow for Australian water solutions, with Austrade missions planned in 2014 to South America, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The ICN water directory ( has quite a few opportunities listed for water suppliers, such as the Christchurch earthquake recovery and rebuild and resource projects across Australia. The largest domestic opportunities for Australian water suppliers are within the water utility market and the resources sector. The key for any SME is to align themselves with Tier 1 engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contractors in both of these markets. Internationally, the water utility market also has the biggest opportunities for Australian companies. For example, in the US, the $US21.5 billion utilities and industrial water and wastewater market is growing and is a major opportunity for Australian water suppliers. The Australian Water Supplier Access to USA SAMP initiative has assisted a number of Australian

SAMP PROGRAM As the resource sector and water utilities markets take on more of an operations and maintenance/upgrade focus, the requirements for improved water efficiency solutions and reduction in water operating costs solutions represent areas of increased opportunity. To support Industry Capability Network (ICN), the Australian Government funds the Supplier Access to Major Projects (SAMP)


Ecological water management is a key area of overseas interest.


Opinion many of whom have now had the opportunity to present to major water clients, both in Australia and overseas.

companies accessing and developing a US base for Australian solutions. Although still early days for many of the companies accessing the market, the signs are good with many now winning contracts and/or selling product into the US market.

SUPPORTING LOCAL INDUSTRY Continued support of local industry in developing new technologies, and suppliers improving ‘value-add’ services, are what will help the industry become internationally sought after. Suppliers also need to be competitive in making sure they meet and/or exceed overseas standards to supply within major projects. For some time this has been the sticking point for Australian companies winning contracts with major resource projects. In my role as ICN National Sector Manager – Water, I work alongside key organisations such as the Department of Industry, Austrade, Enterprise Connect and industry associations to identify opportunities for water SMEs and to promote the capability of SMEs to major projects. My mission is to engage with as many project owners and major water EPCM contractors as possible to find and source these opportunities for SMEs. Another useful initiative supported by ICN includes the WaterAustralia/AWA water industry capability teams, funded by the Department of Industry. This initiative has been successful in providing a platform to showcase Australian water solutions in the following areas – irrigation systems; drinking water; water recovery, re-use and treatment; environmental services; and enabling platforms/technologies. The capability teams allow SMEs to work together to source, market and bid for work. The teams consist of 300+ strong SMEs,

Australia is the driest inhabited continent in the world; because of this the Australian water industry has developed many innovative water products, services and solutions. There is much being done to promote the Australian water industry and with the demands on water, water technology and services increasing as global populations increase and urbanisation grows, there is great opportunity for Australian businesses. In 2014 the key is to promote the success of our domestic industry to a global audience, which in turn, will help build the right connections with international suppliers.

THE AUTHOR Hamish Gordon (email: hamish.gordon@icn. is National Sector Manager – Water, ICN. Hamish has over 20 years’ experience working in the agricultural and horticultural industry, and holds a Bachelors Degree in horticulture management. Prior to joining ICN, Hamish worked at Scottech, managing all business and operational matters, and worked within the mining, agricultural, horticultural and research industries, specialising in hydrology. In his role with ICN Hamish works closely with the Water Supplier Advocate and the Australian Government to improve opportunities within the water sector, domestically and internationally.















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Some studies predict that production of major crops such as corn, wheat and rice will fall as a result of global warming.


Feature Article

TIME TO ADAPT: COSTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE MOUNTING James Whitmore and Michael Hopkin, editors at online news and commentary site The Conversation, provide an ‘expert wrap’ on the latest IPCC Report.


limate change is already having a major impact on the planet, with impacts forecast to worsen significantly, according to the latest summary of peer-reviewed climate science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But the risks of climate change can be alleviated with adaptation. While some sectors and regions may benefit from low levels of warming, negative impacts will outweigh positive ones, the report says. Greater impacts will be seen at higher levels of warming. But strong mitigation now could significantly reduce the risk of severe climate impacts.

The report, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerabilities, was released recently in Yokohama, Japan. Dr Chris Field, co-chair of the report, said the amount of research on climate impacts had doubled between 2005 and 2010. The report assesses current climate impacts, future climate risks and adaptation potential across sectors including the economy, health, agriculture and security.

Key Findings Global income could fall by 0.2–2% in response to a global average temperature increase of 2°C, with worse losses “more likely than not” according to the report, although it adds that economic forecasts are fraught with difficulties. While some studies predict crop production will rise, most suggest major crop production (wheat, rice and maize) will fall with 2°C warming, with increased variability between years. More people will be displaced by climate impacts such as rising seas, but the report says there is low confidence in estimates of how many people will be affected. There is medium confidence that climate change has already played an indirect role in recent conflict and civil wars, and will increase national security threats in the future. Climate change will exacerbate health problems up to 2050, and post-2050 is likely to increase ill health. Deaths have already risen thanks to extreme heat, although there may have been some fall in deaths from extreme cold. The tropical and subtropical regions will see more frequent drought and, globally, water quality is expected to decline. Climate impacts will disproportionately affect developing nations and people in poverty, although climate change has already been felt across the globe. The report also summarises impacts already seen, mostly in the natural world. Glaciers and permafrost are melting, and scientists have documented shifts in species distributions.

Many countries have already taken steps to develop adaptation plans, the report says, which could significantly reduce further climate risks. Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerabilities is the second of three reports to make up the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. The first, The Physical Science Basis, was released in September 2013. The final part, Mitigation of Climate Change, will be released shortly, with the compiled report due in late 2014. The Conversation author and climate scientist at Victoria University, Roger Jones, was at the report meetings in Yokohama. A coordinating author on the report, he asked fellow authors what they thought was the key message. Their responses follow: Roger Jones, Victoria University: Coordinating Author, ‘Foundations of Decision-Making’ The last Working Group II report talked mainly about the impacts of climate change; particularly, how risks increase at higher levels of warming. While the analysis of key risks is repeated with new data, adaptation is a big feature of this report. The capacity to adapt is looked at across regions, sectors and key risks. The limits to adaptation are assessed but poorly known. Some of these limits may be reached at 2°C warming above pre-industrial levels. At 4°C above these levels, and accounting for adaptation, key risks are high across the board. The global costs of impacts are incomplete with uncertainty pointing towards higher levels than is currently quantified. The costs of adaptation are unknown, but the benefits of undertraining adaptation are recognised. Current levels of impacts and the adaptation needed to respond to these point to the need for prompt and ongoing action on climate change if future risks are going to be adequately managed, irrespective of future levels of mitigation. Saleemul Huq, International Institute for Environment and Development: Coordinating Author, ‘Adaptation Needs and Options’ As a lead author on adaptation in the third, fourth and now fifth assessment reports, I have seen the evolution of the topic’s treatment from a single chapter in the third report, to one-and-a-half chapters in the fourth, to four chapters in the fifth. This represented the demand for information from governments (who make up the IPCC and provide the outline of topics that the scientists are then asked to write about). The Fifth Assessment was able to provide much more information on planning adaptation, but less on actual implementation of adaptation plans. This illustrates both the explosion in adaptation plans and actions around the world and also the limitations of the IPCC’s strict restrictions on relying on the peer-reviewed scientific literature and avoiding other sources of information.

MAY 2014 water


Feature Article This meant that a significant body of knowledge generated by practitioners doing adaptation on the ground, but who do not write peer-reviewed journal articles, was difficult to capture in the assessment due to the strict IPCC rule on what information can be cited and what cannot be cited. Another problem with the IPCC, at least for the major assessment reports, is the long time that they take to go through the review process and finally get published. Thus they are out of date by at least a year on the day they are published. At least when it comes to information and knowledge on adaptation, where the need for information is urgent, this long process is not really fit for purpose anymore. The future of IPCC reports might thus lie in more, quicker, special reports rather than the huge tomes every six or so years. Jonathan Overpeck, University of Arizona: Author, ‘Terrestrial and Inland Water Systems’ Building on the previous IPCC reports, the new IPCC assessment report makes it clear that continued climate change will indeed create an increased extinction risk for a large fraction of terrestrial and freshwater species during and beyond the 21st century, especially as climate change interacts with other pressures on species, such as habitat modification, over-exploitation, pollution and invasive species. Although it is not possible to define the exact number of species at risk, we do know that this number could be large, and that it will increase with both the magnitude and rate of climate change. Global species extinctions, many of them caused by human activities, are already occurring at rates that approach or exceed the upper limits of observed natural rates of extinction in the fossil record. Continued climate change will accelerate this rate of global extinction, perhaps dramatically. John Morton, University of Greenwich: Coordinating Author, ‘Rural Areas’ There will be complex impacts on rural areas around the world, going well beyond the projected decreases in yield for the major food crops (vitally important as those are). Rural people will also suffer impacts on the cash crops they depend on for their livelihoods, on their livestock, their water supply, their infrastructure,

and their health: some, who are net buyers of food, will suffer from higher food prices. Generalising across the rural areas of developing and developed countries is hard; the policy and demographic contexts are very different, though there are common features of remoteness, lack of access to decision-making, and knowledge gaps on rural realities. There are emerging questions on how the drive to biofuels and other forms of renewable energy, and to the mitigation of carbon emissions by reforestation, will affect rural people. Petra Döll, Goethe University Frankfurt: Author, ‘Freshwater Resources’ To support decisions on climate mitigation, it is helpful to compare the impacts on freshwater systems that are projected under different amounts of future greenhouse gas emissions or global warming. In our work for the Fifth Assessment Report, we could for the first time evaluate a large number of modelling studies that made such comparisons. These studies, with large but better quantified uncertainties, clearly demonstrate that freshwater-related risks of climate change increase significantly with global warming. Low-emission scenarios lead, for example, to lower increases of flood occurrence as well as to lower reductions of renewable water resources, and therefore to lower costs of adaptation. Rachel Warren, University of East Anglia: Author, ‘Emergent Risks and Key Vulnerabilities’ We have already observed impacts of climate change on agriculture. We have assessed the amount of climate change we can adapt to. There’s a lot we can’t adapt to even at 2°C. At 4°C the impacts are very high and we cannot adapt to them. Reducing emissions reduces global temperature rise, and also the rate of temperature rise. This makes it easier to adapt to the remaining impacts. We’ve left it too late to reduce emissions enough to avoid all of the impacts of climate change, but we could still avoid a large proportion of them by reducing emissions soon, and fast. WJ Reprinted courtesy of The Conversation (www.theconversation. com/ipcc-expert-wrap-costs-of-climate-change-mounting-timeto-adapt-24939)

The report anticipates major impacts on rural areas around the world, far beyond expected decreases in food crop yields.

water MAY 2014


Feature Article

CASE STUDY: INTEGRATING WATER-SENSITIVE URBAN DESIGN INTO AN INDUSTRIAL PRECINCT Katia Bratieres from Clearwater, and the City of Kingston, reflect on the opportunities, challenges and learnings from an innovative WSUD project at Mordialloc Industrial Precinct in Melbourne.


he award-winning Mordialloc Industrial Precinct project is the first project in Australia where public infrastructure in an old industrial estate has been renewed with the aim of using harvested stormwater as a community asset. In 2005, the site was identified as an opportunity to trial a broad range of innovative water management solutions within an industrial streetscape. When the drainage network and roads around the site needed to be upgraded to prevent flooding, the council took the opportunity to implement a broader scope of stormwater management features.

soil and sand. The plants in the raingarden treat the water by removing metals and nutrients. The treated water is then pumped back up into an above-ground 240kL storage tank (E), where it can be used for irrigation of street trees and a nearby turf wicket.

The project encompasses a seven-hectare industrial area located within the City of Kingston (26km from the Melbourne CBD), which abuts Mordialloc Creek, only 1.5km upstream from Port Phillip Bay (Figure 1). Three roads within the precinct were redesigned to harvest road runoff and stormwater from factory roofs to help protect a nearby creek, irrigate an adjacent park and street trees, and provide increased flood protection for nearby properties.

Design overview: stormwater treatment train and harvesting process (Figure 2) The catchment (A) consists of three industrial roads, which were redesigned to harvest 4ML of stormwater each year from factory roofs and road runoff. The redesign included: • Installing two new drains along Beach Avenue and Spray Avenue; • Fitting 54 ‘King Trap’ stormwater pits, specifically developed by the City of Kingston to capture sediment and coarse pollutants, along the roads;

Figure 1. Mordialloc Industrial Precinct abuts Mordialloc Creek.

• Covering a 330m2 area of road and carpark with porous pavement material: both interlocking porous pavers and in-situ poured paving were trialled. Two large gross pollutant traps (B) allow material bypassing the pits to be captured before the water enters the 187kL underground storage system (C), consisting of 61m of 2.4m diameter pipe (Figure 3). At this point, an outlet into Mordialloc Creek allows for water from large storm events to bypass the treatment system. Due to the very flat site and the outfall being located below sea level, the outlet was equipped with an innovative rubber valve to prevent backflow during high tide (Figure 4). After initial storage, the water is pumped into a 180m2 bioretention system (D), consisting of layers of engineered

Figure 2. Schematic of stormwater treatment train and harvesting process at Mordialloc Industrial Precinct.

MAY 2014 water


Feature Article

Figure 3. Underground pipes allow storage of 187kL.

Figure 4. Tideflex valves prevent backflow from Mordialloc Creek into the storage area.

PROJECT Objectives

PROJECT Outcomes

Objectives of the project include:

Outcomes of the project include:

• Save potable water by providing an alternate water resource

• 4ML of harvested stormwater available for irrigation of nearby green spaces and sports fields;

for irrigation; • Increase flood protection for adjacent properties;

• Increased flood protection for adjacent properties;

• Protect waterways by preventing harsh pollutants from

• Reduced volumes of polluted stormwater discharging into receiving waters;

discharging directly into Mordialloc Creek; • Improve amenity of the industrial estate; • Overcome site-specific constraints such as: – existing infrastructure, including the Esso oil pipeline – below sea-level outfall into Mordialloc Creek.

PARTICIPATING Organisations Participating organisations include: • City of Kingston (Responsible Council);

• Improved amenity in the industrial estate through direct (e.g. raingarden) and indirect (e.g. greener street trees and ovals) benefits; • Improved community awareness and knowledge (both in the wider community and for the factory workers on the project site) through engagement activities such as: – Community consultation ‘visioning’ session for improving Mordialloc Creek (2010)

or 50% of the cost of the storage and reticulation system);

– ‘Door knocking’ every factory in the catchment as part of an education campaign to explain ways that they could reduce the volume of pollutants leaving their site

• Melbourne Water (partner in the review of stormwater quality

– Installation of two large information signs on-site (Figure 5)

• Australian Federal Government (Funding Partner – $70k

treatment devices); • Cardno Group (partner in the review of stormwater quality treatment devices); • AECOM (partner in the development of the ‘Project Scoring’ system).

Figure 5. Two large signs provide information about the project.

water MAY 2014

– Circulation of project information bulletins and advertising in local newspapers and on the council’s website. • Improved industry capacity of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) – this site is a destination for industry WSUD tours and has stimulated knowledge-sharing with peers (Figure 6);

Figure 6. Clearwater Kingston WSUD Tour – participants are standing on interlocking pavers. This site trials porous material on a road subject to heavy traffic volumes.


Feature Article • In 2012 this project received the IPWEA Vic Award and the Stormwater Victoria Award in the Asset Management Category. Finally, this project was used as an opportunity to implement and trial new technical solutions: • Despite existing concerns about their durability and long-term performance, the project trials two types of porous materials – interlocking pavers and poured in-situ paving – in a road subject to heavy semi-trailer and forklift traffic volumes. The performance will be monitored over five to 10 years. The interlocking pavers seem to be performing well, despite some cracking observed at the interface with the adjoining asphalt pavement; • This project is also trialling an innovative double side-entry pit to act as a primary pre-treatment system. The ‘King Trap’ (Kingston Pollutant Trap) was developed as an alternative low-cost, practical and effective pit that is extremely simple, robust and easy to maintain. It uses permeable pavers as a removable vertical wall to help separate silt and gross pollutant. Initial observations show that while the pollutant removal is likely to be slightly lower than more sophisticated products, the robustness is high and the cost is low; • Innovative Tideflex fittings were installed at the outfall into Mordialloc Creek to prevent backflow during high tides, which would otherwise contaminate the harvested water. While these valves are very effective, providing excellent long-term value for money, they are also very expensive and need to be imported from the US.

Lessons learnt • One of the key lessons from this project was the need for patience. Indeed, the potential to install a major water quality treatment and reuse scheme at this location was first identified by one of council’s engineers in 2005;

well in advance is critical. Resolving construction problems ‘on the fly’ will not deliver a successful outcome.

PROJECT Cost The total cost of the project was $2.8m, with the following breakdown: • 7%: Research, design & development; • 49%: Pavement rehabilitation & streetscape works; • 29%: Flood protection; • 15%: Stormwater treatment and harvesting.

Timeframe • 2009: Review of existing Stormwater Quality Devices in partnership with Melbourne Water and Cardno; • 2010: Development of the ‘King Trap’ treatment pit (implemented in 2011); • 2010: MUSIC modelling; • 2011: In partnership with AECOM, development of a ‘project scoring system’ to strengthen the business case. This system helped confirm the project funding arrangements; • 2011: Detailed design plans and specifications; • 2011: Water sampling and testing; • 2011: Advertise and award tenders for construction; • 2011–2012: Construction – Stage 1: Reconstruction of Beach Avenue, gross pollutant traps (B) and underground storage system (C); Stage 2: Reconstruction of Spray Avenue and Wells Road (including porous pavements) and above-ground storage; • 2012: Report on greenhouse gas emissions;

• Developing ongoing relationships with key internal and external decision-makers early on proved useful, as it helped identify opportunities to influence funding decisions;

• 2013: Construction – Stage 3: Install bioretention system and pumps.

• The project team developed an effective working partnership with Melbourne Water by involving their experts at an early stage. This resulted in a number of enhancements and the opportunity to obtain a second opinion, which influenced the overall scope of works;

In addition to the specific outcomes this project was the catalyst for the realisation of two related projects whose outcomes can be used to assist with many future proposals:

• The key driver for this project was the need to improve the road pavement and the traditional drainage system; however, the ultimate environmentally friendly solution was a key focus of the initial design and not an afterthought. It was also a major advantage for the concept and detail design to be undertaken by someone (in this case an in-house council engineer) who is both an experienced road designer and experienced in the design, construction and maintenance of WSUD projects; • From a construction perspective, the project was invaluable in building internal knowledge and expertise. It highlighted the importance of: – Having a tender assessment model that appropriately values the contractor’s expertise in delivering complex projects as opposed to being driven primarily by price. However, not recommending the cheapest tender submission can be challenging when budgets are tight. – Being prepared to adopt a different project management model and allocate additional resources to supervision and contract management. – Identifying a ‘champion’ within the council’s construction team to resolve complex issues and co-ordinate with other stakeholders, specialist contractors and suppliers. – W ith projects that include ‘cutting edge’ design features or products, educating the contractor about the unique features

Additional Information

• A unique Water Sensitive Cities ‘Project Scoring’ system was developed to help managers understand the broader benefits and compare competing water-sensitive projects as part of business planning and funding decisions; • The design of the stormwater harvesting system also brought about a major review of stormwater quality treatment devices to compare performance, durability, maintenance requirements, whole-of-life costs and overall suitability for industrial streetscapes. While the recommendations are specific to this project, some of the findings could be useful to assist decision-making on other similar industrial projects. WJ

Acknowledgements Thanks to the City of Kingston and, in particular, Alan West, Team Leader Engineering Design, for his contribution to the development of this case study.

The Author Katia Bratieres (email: katia.bratieres@ is a Civil Engineer with over six years of research and industry experience in the urban water sector. She is the Project Development Coordinator of the Clearwater Program (

MAY 2014 water





Feature Article

CAPTURING THE POTENTIAL OF STORMWATER Urban stormwater harvesting is a key component of whole-of-water-cycle planning and management, yet it is still under-utilised. Iouri Vaisman offers a practitioner’s view of some of the issues that need to be addressed.


anagement of the urban water cycle in Australia has changed significantly over the past few decades. As we lived through a series of droughts and floods, we adapted our water systems to cope with our ever-changing environment. Australia’s variable climate means that droughts and floods are inevitable – we just don’t know when they will next occur, or how severe they will be. Today, we know much more about our water cycle than ever before and have markedly improved our knowledge about water system management. The water cycle includes all forms of water – recycled water, rainwater, stormwater, wastewater, groundwater, potable water and water contained within our rivers and bays. The notion of the whole-of-water-cycle management and planning – also known as Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) – has become an accepted fact, and common practice among water experts and within the various levels of government and the general public. Living in a dry country we need to value and use the rain that falls on our land and the stormwater runoff generated by that rainfall. Stormwater management philosophy in most developed countries has evolved over the last decades from the conventional, but still important, flood mitigation paradigm, to the current runoff quality control approach. It is now progressing towards the harvesting and reuse concept, while retaining the previous two targets. Urban Stormwater Harvesting (SWH) is one of the essential components of IWCM that offers multiple benefits to urban water systems, such as mains water demand reduction, water quality improvement and, in many cases, creek ecosystem health protection. Several SWH projects have been implemented in Australia to date and the number of SWH schemes is expected to grow, with wider uptake of IWCM encouraged by the State and Federal Governments. In this article I present the key observations gained through my involvement in the planning, design, construction and operation of stormwater harvesting schemes and the practitioner’s view on some of the key issues that need to be addressed.

MAJOR COMPONENTS OF URBAN STORMWATER HARVESTING Urban Stormwater Harvesting (SWH) can be defined as the collection, treatment, storage and use of stormwater runoff from urban areas. Stormwater harvesting requires a number of physical facilities. These include infrastructure for capture, storage, appropriate treatment, maintenance and supply to end-users in cost-effective ways. Sufficient runoff must be available and enough space to permit storage or retention, depending on whether the aim is water supply or to manage stormwater quantity and quality.


Catchment providing the runoff (1); Diversion structure (2); Primary screening device (3); Buffer storage (4); Transfer facilities from buffer storage (5); Treatment facilities (6); Transfer facilities to the clear water storage (7); Clear water storage (8); Distribution pumps (9); Disinfection (10); End use (11).

Figure 1. Functional diagram of stormwater harvesting system components.


Feature Article Typical urban stormwater harvesting schemes include all or some combination of the components shown in Figure 1.

DEVELOPMENT OF STORMWATER HARVESTING PRACTICE The robust engineering basis for the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of urban stormwater harvesting is yet to be developed. This is because it is a relatively new engineering concept, despite being used in some form or another in various places around the world for centuries. In the absence of the established design basis for stormwater harvesting – designers of these schemes frequently resort to the approaches borrowed from more traditional disciplines such as municipal drainage and water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) – a number of leading Australian stormwater professionals have commented on the issue. For example, Hatt, Deletic and Fletcher wrote in their article ‘Integrated Treatment and Recycling of Stormwater: A Review of Australian Practice’ (Journal of Environmental Management): “Existing stormwater recycling practice is far ahead of research in that there are no technologies designed specifically for stormwater recycling. Instead, technologies designed for general stormwater pollution control are frequently utilised, which do not guarantee the necessary reliability of treatment. Performance modeling for evaluation purposes also needs further research, so that industry can objectively assess alternative approaches.” However, as the practice of stormwater harvesting is continued and more projects are commissioned in the years to come, the design paradigm for stormwater harvesting should be further developed and validated.

STORMWATER HARVESTING GUIDELINES One of the major barriers to the wider uptake of SWH, particularly by local government, is the absence of comprehensive SWH guidelines. Such guidelines would allow the stakeholders in schemes (councils, regulators, consultants, contractors and other groups) to have a uniform reference document outlining current best practice including legislative framework, design/functionality, construction, operation and maintenance.

• Reduced local flooding; • Maximising the sustainable utilisation of stormwater as a resource; • Greater uptake of stormwater harvesting; • Improved green space in urban areas, contributing to liveability; • Improved allocation and harvesting of stormwater and integration with water-sensitive urban design; • Better landscapes and parkland managed with available stormwater; • Informed strategic directions and policies for stormwater management and integrated water management. By providing the knowledge and confidence to implement sustainable, well-designed SWH projects the Guidelines will set the benchmark for best practice SWH and provide the know-how to achieve it, overcoming many concerns and lack of knowledge currently associated with stormwater harvesting. The development of SWH guidelines is a complex and multidisciplinary project, requiring good coordination, adequate resources, extensive stakeholder consultation and sufficient time. The resulting document should be based on four main components (see Figure 2): 1.

Current regulation and legislation


Best engineering practice


Consideration of operation and maintenance issues


Case studies and practical examples.

A more detailed flowchart on topics and structure of the guidelines is presented in Figure 3.

PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT FOR STORMWATER TREATMENT DEVICES Selecting the right treatment train to meet the water quality objectives is essential for the successful and sustainable operation of SWH systems.

Once developed, this document, could offer comprehensive guidelines for implementation of stormwater harvesting schemes in Australia as part of an IWCM approach, based on current legislation, best available engineering science and practical lessons learnt during planning, design, construction and operation of existing SWH schemes. SWH guidelines will provide a clear path for implementation of best practice stormwater management related to SWH and use in Australia, contributing to: • Better management of stormwater (balancing the harvesting to maximum aquatic and terrestrial benefits); • Improved water quantity and quality management;

Figure 2. Major components of stormwater harvesting guidelines development.



Feature Article protocols and standard methods, and only a small number of detailed monitoring studies has resulted in a large uncertainty in stormwater treatment device selection. Local government, which is largely responsible for the implementation and management of stormwater infrastructure in Australia, is dependent on in-house expertise and manufacturers’ advice in selecting appropriate stormwater treatment strategies. Independent discussions with local government, water authorities and stormwater industry professionals have revealed interest in the documentation and development of guidelines and frameworks to assist in the system design, product selection and evaluation to ensure adequate stormwater treatment and management. Development of the protocols on the performance assessment for stormwater treatment devices will greatly assist in the adoption and utilisation of IWCM approach in Australian towns and cities via the: • Increased certainty in the performance of stormwater treatment devices and resultant water quality delivered by IWCM projects; • Consistent and structured approach to the selection of stormwater treatment devices with the direct benefit to the proponents (e.g. councils/developers), designers, asset owners and other stakeholders of a stormwater projects; • Sharing of the legacy of knowledge in stormwater treatment with the industry. In recognition of this industry need, a number of research projects have been commissioned by various organisations with a view to assessing the options available for independent verification of stormwater treatment devices in Australia, both at the state and federal level.

A PRACTITIONER’S VIEW Practicing in the area of integrated water cycle management and seeing through the delivery of both wastewater and stormwater projects, I have noticed some significant differences between those two groups affecting the choice of delivery mechanism, namely: • Stricter and more defined regulations in the wastewater market including treatment standards, roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, approval processes etc;

Figure 3. Stormwater harvesting guidelines – detailed topics. At present, there are no standard methods or guidelines for the testing, validation and performance assessment of stormwater treatment devices in Australia. The wider uptake of IWCM and WSUD and growing number of stormwater treatment devices create a need for the consistent and verifiable performance database to inform the fair and technically robust assessment and selection processes for treatment of stormwater. As the market for stormwater treatment devices expands, the lack of published data on their performance becomes more apparent (Victorian Stormwater Committee, 1999), while detailed field monitoring is also very scarce (Wong et al., 2000). The combination of a large number of devices, a lack of reporting


• Wider adoption of the Design and Construct and Design, Built and Operate contract types as a wastewater project delivery mechanism, generally with the Performance Guarantee provided by the Contractor; • Established practice of performance validation and verification in the wastewater market. Given the current interest in the uptake of SWH and the ongoing commitment to control and treat runoff before its discharge into the natural environment – by application of WSUD – the Australian stormwater market is likely to grow. The pace at which the stormwater market in Australia grows will, to a large degree, depend on the certainty that it can offer to the public, clients and governments in delivering stated objectives. This requires, among other things, a clear path on how to achieve the stated objectives (i.e. stormwater harvesting guidelines) and the means to verify that it actually works (i.e. validation and verification protocols).


Feature Article The increased certainty in the requirements for and the

• Independent Verification Scheme for Stormwater Treatment

performance of the stormwater treatment components delivered

Devices – Road Map Discussion Paper:

by these guidelines and protocols should allow the market to offer/


request a guarantee of performance. This guarantee should open more opportunities for funding, delivery, operation and maintenance

• Literature Review on Performance Testing Approaches of Gross Pollutant Traps:

of stormwater projects, leading to the greater uptake of SWH. WJ




In this article I’d like to acknowledge the initiatives and support

The author is also indebted to the following organisations

of Melbourne Water Corporation (MWC) and Stormwater Industry

and individuals for support and inspiration: CSIRO Land and Water;

Australia (SIA) and their respective work in this area that resulted

Institute of Public Works Engineering (IPWEA) Victoria; Claudio Cullino,

in two reports produced and now displayed for public consultation

MECC Consulting Pty Ltd; and Dr Daryl Stevens, Atura Pty Ltd.

via the SIA website, namely:

REFERENCES Hatt BE, Deletic A & Fletcher TD (2006): Integrated Treatment and Recycling


of Stormwater: A Review of Australian Practice. Journal of Environmental

Iouri Vaisman (email: iouriv@ is Managing Director of Iouriv Water Solutions. He is a civil–construction engineer with over 20 years’ experience in the water industry both in Australia and internationally. His experience encompasses planning, design, project management and operation of water reuse and recycling schemes including stormwater harvesting, sewer mining, greywater and effluent reuse, stormwater management strategies and hydraulics studies, drainage and Water Sensitive Urban Design.

Management, 79, 1. Philp M, McMahon J, Heyenga S, Marinoni O, Jenkins G, Maheepala S & Greenway M (2008): Review of Stormwater Harvesting Practices, CSIRO Publishing, 2008. Victorian Stormwater Committee (1999): Urban Stormwater: Best Practice Environmental Management Guidelines. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne, Australia. Wong T, Breen P & Lloyd S (2000): Water Sensitive Road Design: Design Options for Improving Stormwater Quality of Road Runoff. Cooperative Research Centre for Catchment Hydrology, Technical Report 00/1 (Melbourne).



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technical papers

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

Integrated Water Cycle Management Toolern: Whole-Of-Water-Cycle Management Delivering A Water-Neutral Suburb

W Price & B Gale


R Brotchie et al.


J Byrnes


D Marlow & G Tjandraatmadja


A precinct-scale stormwater management approach in greenfield development

Integrated Water Cycle Management Suitability Mapping For City West Water

How spatial multi-criteria analysis can help identify and compare alternative water supply options in urban areas

The Economics Of Integrated Water Cycle Management

An outline of various economic arguments in support of IWCM and liveability-centred objectives

Asset Management Challenges Associated With The Hybridisation Of Water Systems

The role asset management can play in transitioning to Sustainable Urban Water Management

Water Planning & Management What’s Getting In The Way Of A ‘One Water’ Approach To Water Services Planning & Management? P Mukheibir et al.


A study to assess whether design and operation of SBRs can be modified to operate with granular sludge B van den Akker et al.


An analysis of the challenges and barriers to an integrated approach to water

Granular Sludge This icon means the paper has been refereed

Increasing Sequencing Batch Reactor Capacity Using Granular Sludge

Water & Energy Efficiency Exploring The Residential Water–Energy Nexus In Remote Regions

Results from a Far North Queensland water end-use pilot study

CD Beal et al.




78 Installed equipment at a site location at Cooktown in Far North Queensland.


TOOLERN: WHOLE-OF-WATER-CYCLE MANAGEMENT DELIVERING A WATER-NEUTRAL SUBURB A precinct-scale stormwater management approach in greenfield development W Price, B Gale

ABSTRACT In the absence of a whole-of-water-cycle approach the Toolern Urban Growth Area (UGA) would be more than 95% reliant on water from Melbourne’s supply network. To provide a whole-ofwater-cycle management strategy that could enable Toolern to be effectively water neutral, the optimal infrastructure combination was found by considering water demands and ‘seasonal-scale’ stormwater storage solutions located adjacent to the UGA. The preferred infrastructure demonstrates a role for stormwater harvesting in greenfield development where Class A recycled water supplies non-potable demands. A precinct-scale stormwater management approach significantly assisted the low cost transfer of stormwater across natural catchment divides.


evidence of decline from 2002. In 2008 the total rainfall was only 295mm. In 2009 the neighbouring Melton area, which was originally supplied with water via a gravity-fed system from regional supplies, was more than 95% reliant on water pumped from the Melbourne Water metropolitan supply network.

2010). The strategy was prepared in consultation with a stakeholder reference group and considered a range of water management and sustainability related issues. The strategy is now known as the Toolern Integrated Water Management (IWM) Plan and is referred to in this paper as such.

Consistent with Government policies the Toolern Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) (Growth Areas Authority, 2009) includes the requirement for integrated water cycle management (IWCM).

The intent of this paper is to provide:

In 2009 Western Water, driven by the predicted growth of the area, combined with climate variability and limited local potable water resources, chose to investigate an innovative solution for potable water use reduction by leading the preparation of the Toolern Integrated Water Management Strategy (Western Water Corporation,

• An update on the Toolern project and of a previous paper on the same topic (Van den Broek et al., 2012); • Transferable knowledge related to the Toolern IWM plan and stormwater harvesting schemes that will be beneficial for projects of a similar nature; • An example of the likely interaction between a water supply corporation and stormwater management for greenfield development in the future.

The Toolern UGA, on the south-eastern edge of Melton (45km west of Melbourne), is located in a designated area for urban development and will accommodate approximately 50,000 people. In December 2013, Minister for Water Peter Walsh released the Victorian Government’s new urban water policy, Melbourne’s Water Future, detailing the whole-of-water-cycle strategy for Melbourne (Office of Living Victoria, 2013). The Toolern stormwater harvesting project provides an example of achieving Initiative 3.2.3 of the Government’s policy to incorporate whole-of-water-cycle management into growth area planning and urban renewal precincts. The area where Toolern is located, shown in Figure 1, is situated in a rainfall shadow and is historically an area of low rainfall. In the 10 years leading up to 2009, the average yearly rainfall was only 400–500mm, with local storages showing

Figure 1. Melbourne’s average rainfall over a 10-year period (1999–2009).




Technical Papers



Technical Papers ASSESSING STORMWATER HARVESTING OPTIONS Western Water has been progressively developing the Toolern stormwater harvesting project through a number of stages and stand-alone packages of work over the last five years. These include: • IWM Strategy Stage • Concept Development Stage • Business Case • Functional and Detailed Design. Stakeholder workshops were undertaken, looking at allotment-scale and precinct-scale solutions to help inform the whole-of-water-cycle benefits and environmental outcomes associated with the infrastructure portfolios. Findings showed that: In this low rainfall environment, rainwater tanks were not able to satisfy non-potable demands at an allotment level: analysis showed that a 2kl tank supplied from 150m2 roof area would provide only 65% reliability for toilet flushing. Additional initiatives such as greywater recycling made the cost feasibility of allotment scale initiatives unfavourable compared to precinct scale initiatives (Van den Broek et al., 2012). The stakeholder workshops and initial research findings led to the development of a preferred infrastructure combination for Toolern, which included several precinct-scale initiatives aiming for potable water reduction, along with water demand management. The proximity to Surbiton Park (Western Water’s Class A recycled water plant) means Class A recycled water is readily available for non-potable residential demand. Further potable savings are also achievable through a precinct-wide stormwater harvesting scheme. The stormwater harvesting scheme interfaces with Melbourne Water’s development services scheme. It also benefits from the stormwater treatment requirements set by Melbourne Water and the local council for all developments in the growth area. The set requirements include the use of ‘retarding basin’ sites at a precinct-scale for major storm peak flow mitigation. As well as mitigating storm peak flows, the retarding basin sites can facilitate multiple functions within the same footprint, including accommodating ‘capture’ storage ponds.


Through agreement with the stakeholders, the stormwater treatment system has been designed in a configuration that best supports the stormwater harvesting scheme. The stormwater will be treated in accordance with the Urban Stormwater Best Practice Environmental Management Guidelines’ (BPEM) (Victorian Stormwater Committee, 1999). In this form, the stormwater is suited for a number of potential end-uses: • Potential supply to existing Bacchus Marsh and Werribee irrigators via storing stormwater in the Melton Reservoir, which is located on the western boundary of the Toolern UGA and currently supplies the Werribee irrigation districts. This use of treated stormwater to meet irrigation requirements enables indirect potable substitution through a bulk water entitlement transfer of potable supplies in other areas of the catchment (upstream storages). • Direct potable substitution in which harvested stormwater is transferred to the Merrimu Reservoir for further treatment to potable quality and reticulated through the potable water network. Victorian government policies currently do not support this option, but there is flexibility within the scheme which, subject to change, could be implemented in the future. • Transfer to Surbiton Park and treated to Class A standards for reticulation through the Class A recycled water network.

These end-use options represent a substantial demand for stormwater harvested from the Toolern UGA. The IWM plan highlights that any of these demands result in high-ranking benefits whereby imported potable water from outside the region would otherwise be required. The Toolern IWM Strategy and subsequent business case supported by SKM identified that the preferred infrastructure portfolio to service Toolern included: • Second supply pipe providing ‘Class A’ wastewater for the provision of supply for: – Non-potable residential demands, including toilet and outdoor use – Irrigation for sports fields – Non-potable industrial demands (which represents approximately 25% of overall demand). • Harvesting and storing runoff from the Toolern UGA that has been treated for stormwater pollutants in accordance with Urban Stormwater BPEM for use as an irrigation supply for agricultural purposes without further treatment. Indirect potable substitution through a bulk water entitlement transfer into potable supplies occurs in other areas of the catchment (upstream storages). The preferred scheme involves no additional “end-use” infrastructure. Rather there would be a permanent bulk water entitlement transfer of part of the irrigation share of Merrimu Reservoir (held by rural water service provider

Figure 2. Annual exceedance curve of stormwater at ultimate development (ML/yr).

Southern Rural Water (SRW)) to urban water utility Western Water, equivalent to the benefits that SRW derives from the additional stormwater stored in Melton Reservoir. The preferred infrastructure portfolio results in potable water savings of around 70% compared to meeting the UGA demands entirely through import of potable water through Melbourne’s Metropolitan supply infrastructure. This saving increases towards 100% in years of high rainfall, enabling Toolern to be effectively water neutral. The preferred infrastructure portfolio simultaneously results in the attainment of a number of other environmental performance objectives: • Energy use – Stormwater harvesting and recycling of treated wastewater locally minimises energy use (desalinated water might otherwise be supplied for non-potable demands). • Release of pollutants to water environments: – Wastewater recycling minimises wastewater discharge and its associated nutrients to receiving waters (nutrients to bay) – Stormwater harvesting reduces urban stormwater pollutants in receiving waters – Stormwater harvesting helps to intercept nutrients that may be inadvertently released into the stormwater system as a result of irrigation or spill of the nutrientrich Class A recycled water used for irrigation purposes. • Streamflow hydrology – research is now leading to a growing awareness that increases in stormwater runoff volumes created by impervious surfaces within new development are damaging to stream ecology due to changes in stream flow patterns (Walsh et al., 2005). Stormwater harvesting, along with infiltration systems and enhanced evaporation, has the potential to contribute significantly to mitigating this detrimental hydrologic impact.

WATER RESOURCE MODELLING As part of the Toolern IWM Strategy Project, Western Water in conjunction with Melbourne Water, SRW and other stakeholders made assessments of potential water resources and future water demands. Stormwater harvesting was identified as a key component of the IWM strategy as a result of initial water balance modelling using the Model for Urban Stormwater Improvement Conceptualisation (MUSIC) Version 4 developed by eWater. MUSIC was an appropriate tool to represent the conjunction of water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) based stormwater management and the regional-scale water balance. Figure 2 show the MUSIC results for a fully developed precinct and with all harvesting network infrastructure constructed, the annual volume of stormwater ranges from 1500 to 5180 ML/yr. Importantly, the annual volume available is never zero, which means that despite high variability on a daily or monthly time step, the annual volume available for harvesting is reliably above 1500 ML/yr. The average annual volume available is 3080 ML/yr. The end-use options investigation completed by SKM was supported by water resource modelling (using REALM) to establish how the Werribee system operates under different climate, water availability and storage capacity availability scenarios with the inclusion of stormwater as a new water resource. Table 1 summarises the outcomes of the water resource modelling for the preferred scheme, including specification

of stormwater volumes harvestable, transferable, capturable and usable, and the reduction in potable water imported from the Melbourne water grid. The range of annual water volumes (minimum, average, maximum) shown in Table 1 (for each component and each stage/time period) represents the variability from year to year under historic climate conditions. Under a return to dry climate, the modelled outcomes for stormwater volumes harvestable and transferable are approximately 20% lower in Toolern, but volumes captured in Melton Reservoir for irrigator end use are 20–30% higher. So while less stormwater is available during dry conditions (and dry-climate change conditions) greater volumes can be captured and stored in Melton Reservoir because of the relatively greater availability of unused storage capacity (air space) during dry periods. The water resource modelling highlights include: • In drought conditions more stormwater is transferrable, given the impervious catchment and availability of air space in the receiving reservoir. This leads to greater supply availability for irrigation in dry years, compared to supply sourced from potable water catchments. • Due to limitations in the transfer network and storage air space available, not all of the harvestable stormwater can be utilised for irrigation purposes. Typically around half of that harvested can be stored in the receiving reservoir for regulated release to irrigators (see Table 1).

Table 1. Summary of water volumes for preferred scheme. Extent of Toolern development Stage 1 (to 2016) Stage 2 (to 2023) Stage 3 (to 2030, ultimate development)

25% Transfer of SRW BWE in Merrimu Reservoir Form of water

Long term annual average [ML/yr]

Maximum volume (‘up to’ figure) [ML/yr]

Harvested stormwater



Transfer to Melton Reservoir



Potable water savings



Harvested stormwater



Transfer to Melton Reservoir



Potable water savings



Harvested stormwater



Transfer to Melton Reservoir



Potable water savings






Technical Papers



Technical Papers • Opportunity to create a more integrated solution, with potential to open up access to an environmental water buyer, when air space in Melton Reservoir is not available.

expenses associated with planning approvals and reinstatement. Therefore, the detailed design and construction program need to occur progressively as the PSP develops.

• A permanent bulk water entitlement (BWE) transfer in Merrimu Reservoir is critical to Western Water capturing the high value benefits necessary to support the scheme.

The detailed design of Stage One of the harvesting project, the backbone of the scheme, is underway. This includes 8.2km of large diameter pipelines, the outfall into Melton Reservoir and two wetland connections.

• Western Water can derive a substantial reduction in potable water volumes drawn from the Melbourne water grid immediately on transfer of the 25% of SRW’s bulk water entitlement. • Transfer of 25% of SRW’s BWE guarantees no adverse impacts on irrigators, while transfer of 50% of SRW’s BWE does not absolutely guarantee this.

IMPACT OF PROPOSED BULK WATER ENTITLEMENT AMENDMENT A series of bulk water entitlement transfer options for Merrimu Reservoir has been considered to assess the reliability of supply benefits to Werribee Irrigators and the associated benefits to Western Water, through the reduced need to import potable water from the Melbourne Water supply grid. The water resource modelling results show that even for Stage One of the scheme while the annual harvestable volumes are minimal, 25% of the SRW rural entitlement in Merrimu Reservoir could be permanently transferred to the Western Water urban entitlement without adversely affecting supply to the irrigators. The results also demonstrate that an increasing benefit to the irrigators occurs at each stage of the Toolern development.

PROJECT ADVANCEMENT The installation of the Class A reticulation within the Toolern UGA has commenced along with other essential development services in order for the developer to meet potable saving targets set out in the Toolern PSP. A Master Plan has been developed for ultimate stormwater infrastructure, which indicates sizes and alignments at a functional level. The most opportune timing for the harvesting project is to construct the stormwater infrastructure at the same time as the development services are constructed. This will avoid the additional


The Australian Government, through the National Urban Water and Desalination Plan under the Water for the Future initiative, has committed matching funding for the implementation of Stage One of the harvesting scheme. The Office of Living Victoria through the Living Victoria Fund has committed funding for the pilot connection of the first wetland to the scheme. Based on current growth figures, Western Water plans to have commenced capturing and transferring stormwater to Melton Reservoir by 2015/2016.

TRANSFERABLE KNOWLEDGE FROM STORMWATER HARVESTING INVESTIGATION Knowledge developed from this investigation was identified as potentially beneficial to both the preparation of IWM plans elsewhere within Western Water’s area and for other water utilities. Such knowledge allows assumptions to be made with confidence, while undertaking rapid assessments of future development areas. The knowledge includes: • In addition to storage volume associated with the ‘capture’ of peak runoff flow patterns, ‘seasonal’ storage volume is also required to address variability in demand. Most often these storages are combined, however, at Toolern they are separate. The availability of ‘seasonal’ storage at low cost has a critical influence on the viability of stormwater harvesting. • Investigation and design for Toolern suggests that the ability to transfer stormwater at reasonable flow rates across natural catchment divides makes it possible for stormwater harvesting schemes to take advantage of existing or low-cost seasonal storage sites. This can substantially improve the viability of harvesting schemes.

• The Toolern investigation suggests that the size of stormwater treatment wetlands, provided as developer requirements for ‘best practice’ stormwater pollutant removal, will allow around 50% to 60% of stormwater runoff to be intercepted and pumped at a low flow rate. The proportion of interception can be increased to between 70% and 80% if an additional ‘attenuation’ or ‘capture’ storage is included and sized at about 20% of the wetland size. Further upsizing of the ‘capture’ storage does not result in significant further increases in the annual volume of stormwater intercepted. • Stormwater treatment elements and retarding basins are funded by development in order to mitigate development impacts, but funding for the ‘capture storage’ and stormwater transfer infrastructure is not similarly justified. • Communal stormwater harvesting can be more financially viable than individual household rainwater tank harvesting in low rainfall areas (i.e. <500 mm/yr). • By working collaboratively with rural water service providers and considering entitlements to water well beyond the development area, greater project benefits can be realised from urban stormwater harvesting. This is particularly because of the ability to better align potable and non-potable water demands with available sources of a matching quality.

CONCLUSIONS Toolern demonstrates the role that stormwater harvesting can play in greenfield development in the future, where non-potable demand will be satisfied by centralised wastewater recycling. Its illustration of characteristics that optimise the feasibility and value of a large, precinct-scale stormwater harvesting scheme is potentially useful in scoping opportunities elsewhere. However, the low rainfall context and availability of seasonal storage for the Toolern investigations must be acknowledged when considering the transferability of this knowledge. The optimal infrastructure combination for Toolern was found by considering water demands and ‘seasonal scale’ stormwater storage solutions located adjacent to the development area. Investigations for Toolern revealed the ability of a stormwater management approach to assist in the low-cost transfer of stormwater across

natural watersheds. The combination of these two investigative outcomes has the potential to assist in the scoping of IWM planning at a precinct scale to consider regional interactions. A key aspect of regional-scale interactions between individual IWM plans was seen to be: flexibility to mix and match fit-for-use surpluses and demands between IWM plans, and that infrastructure allows the matches to change in the future. The Toolern investigations suggest that, in an area of low rainfall, precinctscale initiatives provide significant cost and performance advantages over allotment-scale initiatives. The Toolern IWM plan demonstrates a range of benefits extending beyond potable water savings that do not rely on the involvement of occupants and developers, beyond currently familiar WSUD approaches and developer financial arrangements. The objectives of the Toolern project are consistent with Melbourne Water’s Future strategy for whole-of-water-cycle management for Melbourne.

Western Water, working with Melbourne Water, Southern Rural Water and developers, has commenced the detailed design for the installation of the first stages of stormwater harvesting and transfer infrastructure. It is likely that the Toolern insights and framework (particularly aspects that support regional-scale interaction) will be valuable beyond Western Water’s area of service. This paper was originally presented at Ozwater’14 in Brisbane.

THE AUTHORS Warren Price (email: warren. au) is a mechanical engineer with over seven years of experience in the water sector. He is the Project Manager for the Toolern Stormwater Harvesting Project, with Western Water. Brad Gale (email: BGale@ is Project Manager – Water Resource Planning, Jacobs SKM. He is a civil engineer with over 20 years of experience in the water sector. He developed the business

case and managed the modelling assessment for the Toolern Stormwater Harvesting Project.

REFERENCES Growth Area Authority (2010): Toolern Precinct Structure Plan, Growth Area Authority, Melbourne, Australia. Office of Living Victoria (2013): Melbourne’s Water Future, Victorian Government Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Melbourne, Australia. Van den Broek L & Walsh G (2012): Toolern – Towards a Water Neutral Suburb with Low Rainfall, Melbourne, Australia. Victorian Stormwater Committee (1999): Urban Stormwater Best Practice Environmental Management Guidelines, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, Australia. Walsh CJ, Fletcher TD & Ladson AR (2005): Stream Restoration in Urban Catchments Through Re-Designing Stormwater Systems: Looking to the Catchment to Save the Stream. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 24, 3, pp 690–705. Western Water (2010): Toolern Integrated Water Management Strategy. Internal Report, Melbourne, Australia.




Technical Papers



Technical Papers

INTEGRATED WATER CYCLE MANAGEMENT SUITABILITY MAPPING FOR CITY WEST WATER How spatial multi-criteria analysis can provide an effective methodology for identifying and comparing alternative water supply options in urban areas R Brotchie, K Williams, K Fumberger, M Muthukaruppan, S Torre

ABSTRACT This paper discusses the application of spatial multi-criteria analysis (MCA) to identify and assess alternative water supply options to inform City West Water’s (CWW) Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) Strategy. The project assessed the suitability of four alternative water supply options across CWW’s service district. Spatial MCA enabled rapid and objective assessment across a large geographic area, based on a number of suitability criteria relating to supply, demand, infrastructure, cost, environment and community. The project demonstrated that spatial MCA can provide a robust and effective methodology for identifying and comparing alternative water supply options in existing urban areas.

INTRODUCTION CWW services one of the fastest-growing urban regions in Australia. The increase in demand for water due to this rapid growth, coupled with an increasingly variable climate, presents challenges to CWW’s mission of providing safe, affordable water and sewerage services now and in future. One of the ways CWW is addressing these challenges is through developing and implementing sustainable integrated water solutions. By effectively utilising all water resources available within its service district, CWW can reduce its reliance on external potable water supply sources, and eliminate the need to import more potable water to meet a growth in demand. This approach will not only help CWW to secure water supplies and improve liveability for its customers, but will also help to minimise future investments in water supply infrastructure augmentation. CWW’s IWCM Strategy addresses CWW’s customer growth through the development of a suite of infrastructure


solutions that not only provide for water supply and sewerage infrastructure, but also aim to improve the environmental sustainability, resilience and economic performance of the water management system. As part of developing the Strategy, CWW sought to rapidly assess its service district to identify suitable locations to implement IWCM options to the year 2060. The challenge was to rapidly identify these suitable locations.

was used to quantitatively assess and evaluate the complex physical, environmental, infrastructure and community issues associated with determining appropriate locations for infrastructure development. Broadly, this involved mapping the location and volume of alternative water demands, developing spatial assessment criteria, scoring systems and weightings for each supply option, and undertaking the spatial analysis.

The response by GHD was to use spatial MCA to identify and map the suitability of sewer mining, stormwater harvesting, rainwater harvesting and centralised wastewater recycling for supplying a range of urban irrigation and dual pipe recycling demands across CWW’s service district. This was achieved through a rigorous, transparent and objective process, taking into account relevant supply, demand, infrastructure, cost, environment and community factors.


A literature review did not identify any comparable attempts to apply spatial MCA to identify the suitability of IWCM opportunities in existing urban areas. There have been some research studies undertaken using spatial MCA to identify suitable stormwater harvesting locations, however, these were applied to much smaller geographic areas and are typically ‘supply side’ only – they do not consider the location or volume of potential water demands, nor do they consider the full range of criteria considered in this project.


A spatial MCA methodology known as Infrastructure Development Geospatial Options (INDEGO), developed by GHD, which combines MCA with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology,

An alternative water demand location map was created, identifying the location and types of water demand that could be supplied by alternative water sources. The Alternative Water Demand Location Map (Figure 1) represents potential land use at 2060, categorised into alternative water demands. The demand categories included urban irrigation demands (i.e. passive and active open space, golf courses and schools) and dual pipe recycling demands (residential, commercial, industrial and mixed use new development and redevelopment). The Alternative Water Demand Location Map represents the known and likely future land use changes at 2060 from the current period within the CWW service district, and was the basis for estimating and mapping demand volumes at the polygon scale. Demand volumes were estimated based on the demand location map, at the polygon scale, and were then converted into a continuous surface (or grid). The grid was processed to represent the sum of demands within a 500-metre radius to highlight and identify clusters where the aggregated demand might provide opportunity. The Alternative Water Demand Volume Map is shown in Figure 2.



















Growth Areas


Potential Recycled Water Demands

Passive Open Space

Residential, Low Density


Active Open Space




Residential, High Density



Excluded Area


PAC, High Density

Open Space

PAC, Docklands

Figure 1. Alternative Water Demand Location Map.


Demand Volume Low Demand Volume

Growth Areas

High Demand Volume

Figure 2. Alternative Water Demand Volume Map. SPATIAL ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

Spatial assessment criteria for each supply option were developed in collaboration with CWW. These were unique to the characteristics of each supply option, and took into consideration a range of demand, supply, infrastructure and cost factors as well as broader community and environmental impacts. For each criterion for each supply option, a spatial layer was created. The spatial assessment criteria layers for the stormwater harvesting analysis are detailed in Figure 3, and the criteria for sewer mining are detailed in Figure 4. CRITERIA SCORING

A scoring system was developed, reflecting the importance of each criterion, spatially across the study area, in influencing the potential suitability for each option. CRITERIA WEIGHTINGS

Criteria weightings were developed for each of the four analyses, using a pairwise comparison method undertaken jointly between CWW and GHD, to attribute the relative importance of each criterion to the suitability of the option. SUITABILITY ANALYSIS

The spatial multi-criteria analysis was performed, applying the criteria, scoring and weightings for each supply option to create the four ‘suitability maps’. ESRI ArcGIS Spatial Analyst and Model Builder were used to automate the raster-based analysis.

Figure 3. Stormwater Harvesting Spatial Assessment Criteria.

The analysis calculates the multi-criteria score for every 20m x 20m cell across the study area, based on the spatially variable criterion layers.




Technical Papers



Technical Papers RESULTS The result of the spatial MCA for each alternative water supply option was a ‘suitability map’. The suitability maps represent where in CWW’s service district it is more or less suitable to implement a particular alternative water supply option. Visually, this was presented as a ‘heat map’ where the most suitable locations can be represented as hot spots. See Figure 5 and Figure 6 for an example output from the stormwater harvesting analysis.

The project outputs have been incorporated into CWW’s corporate spatial database and mapping platform, MapInfo, for use in developing plans and maps highlighting specific opportunities. The benefits of the MCA outputs being spatial in nature include allowing for development of detailed maps, tailored to the audience and/or the specific option to be discussed.

CWW is currently updating its online content, including the platforms used to communicate CWW’s IWCM Strategy. The spatial analysis outputs will be utilised to demonstrate the opportunities within CWW’s service district. In particular, the use of ‘alternative water demand maps’ and the ‘suitability

The suitability maps identified a number of opportunities for further investigation. Additionaly, the maps represented the suitability of a number of existing schemes (e.g. West Werribee Dual Supply Project and the Sunshine Golf Course sewer mining project), which served to increase confidence in the spatial MCA outcomes.


IWCM promotes the sustainable use of all available water resources in ways that best deliver multiple community objectives. The implementation of CWW’s IWCM Strategy requires CWW to further strengthen collaboration throughout the planning process with both internal and external stakehoders. The outputs of the project have been utilised by CWW to communicate the opportunities presented in the IWCM Strategy to technical and non-technical audiences. The audiences include local councils, planning authorities, water authorities, developers and internal stakeholders. The outputs also provide an ‘easy-to-interpret’ platform to engage with the public, including forums such as CWW’s community liaison committee.

Figure 4. Sewer Mining Spatial Assessment Criteria.



















Growth Areas

High Suitability

Low Suitability

Figure 5. Stormwater Harvesting Suitability Map #1.



Suitabillity Scoring


Growth Areas

Suitability Scoring Low Suitability

Study Area High Suitability

Figure 6. Stormwater Harvesting Suitability Map #2.

maps’ will allow CWW to easily and efficiently communicate the IWCM Strategy to stakeholders through online media forums such as CWW’s website. OTHER APPLICATIONS

The project demonstrated that spatial MCA can provide a robust and effective methodology for identifying and comparing IWCM opportunities in existing urban areas. The spatial assessment criteria and methodology in this project were designed specifically for identifying opportunities in existing urban areas. For example, many of the criteria related to existing infrastructure systems (e.g. existing sewers, main drains and storage opportunities). However, it is proposed that spatial MCA could have much broader applications in water strategy and planning as well as the water sector in general. Such applications might include: (i) locating the most suitable place for particular pieces of infrastructure – e.g. a storage or a treatment facility; and (ii) strategic investigations – e.g. identifying sewer heat recovery opportunities.

CONCLUSION This was a unique project utilising spatial analysis and spatial MCA that represents an innovative step in assessing integrated water cycle options in Australia. The spatial

approach provided an objective and transparent process for CWW to identify opportunities for IWCM initiatives in a tight timeframe. The process confirmed the application of existing IWCM projects and identified further opportunities across CWW’s service district. The project outputs, being spatial in nature, facilitated the communication of complex and inter-related factors to a range of both internal and external stakeholders, the public, councils, developers and executive management.

THE AUTHORS Ryan Brotchie (email: is a project manager in the GHD water planning team, with experience in a range of multi-disciplinary strategic planning projects. A particular focus in his career has been the development of regional and city-scale IWCM strategies, and the use of spatial technologies to inform and support decision-making in the water sector. Kate Williams (email: Kate. is a spatial professional and project manager with GHD, with a focus on applying GIS and remote-sensing technologies to support multi-disciplinary projects. Kate has worked in technical

and project management roles across a wide range of industry sectors including natural resource management and IWCM. Kris Fumberger (email: kris. was a Water Innovation Officer at City West Water for six years. Kris worked on the development of CWW’s IWCM Strategy. He is now the project lead for sustainability at RightShip.



Technical Papers

Muthu Muthukaruppan (email: mmuthukaruppan@ is Manager Water Innovation with City West Water. Over his 10-year career at City West Water, Muthu has led a number of integrated water cycle management initiatives including recycled water and stormwater supply projects. Sam Torre (email: storre@ is General Manager Water Solutions with City West Water. Sam has has held numerous management positions associated with asset management, planning, asset operations, land and sub divisional development, corporate governance and, more recently, Integrated Water Cycle Management.

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Technical Papers

THE ECONOMICS OF INTEGRATED WATER CYCLE MANAGEMENT An outline of various economic arguments in support of IWCM and liveability-centred policy objectives J Byrnes

ABSTRACT This paper utilises economic theory to explain the economic logic that underpins IWCM policy objectives. It provides the economic arguments that could be advanced to present the case for IWCM to decision-makers in government. When arguing the case for a change in approach to economists, it is important to identify the root causes of the need for government to take some action. This is typically achieved by identifying the market failure/s that exist.

INTRODUCTION Within the space of 10 short years Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) has shifted from being at the periphery of urban water cycle planning to well within mainstream approaches. It is tempting to put the policy shift down to the almost simultaneous creep of urban drought across Australia’s major population centres prior to 2009, and the subsequent efforts of policy makers to place almost all potential supply solutions on the table. However, the water storages of Australia’s cities (with the exception of Perth) have since been replenished and the ‘liveability’ agenda that is so often associated with IWCM continues to gain traction. While the adoption of liveability objectives by central agencies (such as departments of Premier and Cabinet) is a sign that IWCM as an urban water and land use planning framework is attracting support from influential decision makers, the ‘dry’ economists who sit within treasury departments and independent economic regulators appear to need further convincing on the ‘economics’ of IWCM. In that context, the purpose of this paper is to outline the various economic arguments that can be advanced in support of IWCM and


liveability-centred policy objectives. The paper is grounded in economic theory rather than worked case studies of cost benefit analysis (CBA). The reason for taking this approach is that the author has observed a number of CBAs and business cases that lacked rigorous theoretical foundations. As a result, highquality empirical analysis lacked relative impact due to the inability of the analysts to present the evidence for IWCM in the intellectual framework (typically modern welfare economics) favoured by central government decision-makers. It is hoped that such an overview will assist urban water planners to communicate the case for IWCM in the language that decision-makers understand.

NATURE OF THE URBAN WATER CYCLE The urban water cycle has necessarily altered the natural water cycle. As cities and urban areas developed, it was essential to put in place urban water infrastructure to meet public health objectives such as the prevention of waterborne disease. Although rudimentary relative to modern urban water systems, the ‘Chadwick

Solution’ of sewering urban areas to remove wastewater quickly and efficiently has proven to be one of the most fundamental elements of sustainable urbanism. Notwithstanding the benefits from modification of the natural water cycle, there have been negative impacts. Brown et al. (2008) developed the following figure to succinctly capture the lifecycle of the urban water cycle as cities have typically grown in developed nations. Figure 1 demonstrates how policy makers have attempted to reverse some of the negative impacts from moving away from the natural water cycle, through adapting the urban water cycle to better reflect how the natural cycle would exist, while retaining the public health and economic efficiency benefits of the urban water cycle. IWCM policy objectives typically seek to move urban water cycle outcomes that are represented to the right-hand side of the continuum. For urban water and wastewater planners, the benefits, costs and risks of IWCM have been explored extensively,

Cumulative Socio-Political Drivers Water supply access & security

Water Supply City

Supply hydraulics

Public health protection

Flood protection

Sewered City

Drained City

Separate sewerage schemes

Drainage, channelisation

Social amenity, environmental protection

Limits on natural resources

Waterways City

Point & diffuse source pollution management

Water Cycle City

Diverse, fit-forpurpose sources & conservation promoting waterway protection

Service Delivery Functions Figure 1. Urban Water City States (Brown et al., 2008).

Intergenerational equity, resilience to climate change

Water Sensitive City

Adaptive, multi-fuctional infrastructure & urban design reinforcing water sensitive behaviours

resulting in a general acceptance in the planning profession that IWCM is a legitimate and valuable management tool. However, the experience of the author suggests that there is less acceptance of IWCM by other professions such as economists and policy makers. This might partly explain why IWCM projects have had a generally difficult history in clearing the final economic and financial hurdles in typical government decision-making processes.

that it is not possible to make consumers or producers better off from an increase or decrease in supply of the product. This gives rise to the argument that in markets where the only participants to the transaction are buyers and sellers, economically efficient outcomes will result. Figure 2 illustrates this.

In the following section of this paper a broad overview of the ‘Modern Welfare Economics’ paradigm is outlined, for the purpose of later placing the arguments for IWCM that have received general acceptance in urban water planning professions in the framework favoured by government decision-makers.

THE LANGUAGE OF TREASURY – MODERN WELFARE ECONOMICS The modern welfare economics approach is the theoretical basis for CBA, the tool favoured by central government agencies such as departments of treasury and finance to evaluate the various consequences of policy proposals. Welfare economics is a systematic method of evaluating the economic implications of alternative resource allocations. In general, welfare analysis answers these questions: • Is a given resource allocation efficient? • Who gains and who loses under various allocations, and by how much?

Figure 2. Perfectly Competitive Markets. The ‘golden rule’ of perfectly competitive markets is that an equilibrium will be reached where the price charged for the product will be equal to the marginal cost of producing the last unit of that product. In Figure 2, the efficient price to supply Qc is Pc. If a firm charged a lower price it would suffer losses, as the revenue would be insufficient to cover the costs of production. If a firm charged a price higher than Pc it would earn no revenue because consumers could purchase the product at the lower price from other producers.


The first working assumption of welfare economics2 is that a perfectly competitive market (defined in Figure 2) will result in an outcome whereby the aggregate demand for a product will be met by suppliers, and the market price paid for that product will be efficient in the sense

There is a range of quite onerous conditions that must be met for a perfectly competitive market to exist. Should one of those conditions not be present, then it is no longer reasonable to assume that market transactions will generate efficient outcomes.

1 2

• Costless entry and exit, which implies firms are unable to earn excessive profits. Where they do, it is assumed competing firms will enter the market, charge a slightly lower price and erode excess returns in doing so. Because it is assumed that exiting a market is costless, firms will leave the market quickly if the prevailing market price does not at least cover costs of production, thereby allowing the price to reach an equilibrium point at which aggregate supply just equals aggregate demand. • The market is for homogenous goods, which means that the output produced by each firm is indistinguishable from that of its competitors.

It is important to understand two further features of the perfectly competitive market in order to understand the logic for government intervention when markets fail. First, it is assumed that firms face an upwardsloping cost curve, implying that relatively more resources are required to produce additional output. Second, each firm in a perfectly competitive market is unable to influence market price by withholding or increasing supply. In other words, the firm is a ‘price taker’, and faces a horizontal demand curve.

An allocation of resources between two people is said to be efficient where it is no longer possible to make one person better off from a re-allocation of resources without making the other person worse off1. The concept is applied to the analysis of the properties of a market economy to determine whether the allocation of resources in that market is efficient.

These conditions are:

• The market is characterised by perfect information, which implies that all market participants have equal access to all relevant information regarding the goods sold in that market. This includes technological advancements that would improve efficiency in the production of the goods. • There are many suppliers and buyers, giving rise to the benefits of competition: With multiple buyers and sellers, it is not possible for a seller to ‘corner the market’ and set prices higher than is efficient, or supply less of the goods than is demanded at the efficient price. • All goods are owned, meaning that legal rights to those goods exist and are enforced. • The goods are ‘consumptive’, meaning that if one person uses the goods, another person cannot. • The full costs of production and the full benefits of consumption are reflected in the market price. Costs and benefits include those that accrue to society, such as air pollution (a cost of production), or the amenity derived from a functioning wetland (a benefit of production). MARKET FAILURE

It is virtually impossible to conceive of a market where the above conditions exist. As a result, it is unrealistic to expect highly efficient outcomes to result from the ‘normal’ operation of markets in the economy.

This is known as a Pareto optimal outcome, named after the 19th century economist, Vilfredo Pareto. Known as the First Fundamental Theorem of Welfare Economics




Technical Papers



Technical Papers Violation of one or more of the perfectly competitive market conditions has been termed ‘market failure’ by welfare economists, and is typically advanced as the prime argument for government intervention to ‘correct’ the market failure. Over time economists have settled on a taxonomy of market failures, which are referenced to frame the nature of problems that motivate some form of government action. The taxonomy can be thought of as the ‘mirror image’ of the perfectly competitive market conditions outlined above. The five general forms of market failure are summarised in Table 1.


intervention to deliver a relatively more efficient allocation of those goods.

In this section of the paper the Modern Welfare Economics paradigm is invoked to illustrate the economic arguments that can be made for IWCM policy objectives. This is primarily achieved through outlining the market failures that give rise to the need for IWCM and the underlying logic for resolution of those market failures.

Although urban water cycle resources exhibit some characteristics of public goods, they are better described as congestible goods. Randall (1983) defines a congestible good as one “which is non-rival for some number of users, while rivalry sets in as that number is increased and becomes intense as the number of users approaches the capacity constraint. For such goods, initial capital costs tend to be high, while the marginal cost of adding an additional user remains low until the capacity constraint is approached.”

• Urban water cycle resources are largely congestible goods In the analysis of market failures, the existence of public goods is often cited as a prime cause of market failure and, therefore, an adequate starting point to justify some form of government

To varying degrees, urban water cycle assets and resources exhibit the characteristics of congestible goods.

Table 1. Forms of market failure. Market failure

Few buyers and sellers (monopoly)

Costly entry and exit (decreasing average costs)

Description There is a range of markets that are supplied by a single firm or only a handful of firms. In this case those firms are said to have market power because they can influence the shape and position of the industry supply curve. The extreme example occurs in a monopoly, where a single firm supplies the entire market. As a result, the cost curve faced by that firm becomes the supply curve for the entire market. The consequences of a single firm having market power are usually distortionary, in that the firm will maximise profits through restricting the supply of the good to a quantity less than that demanded at the efficient price. In doing so, the firm will charge a market price higher than marginal cost. This outcome results in a loss of consumer welfare (known as a ‘deadweight loss’). The perfectly competitive market framework assumes that firms will produce in an environment where the cost of producing an additional (or marginal) unit of a particular good will be relatively more costly, or at best, no more costly. Yet there are some goods and services for which there is insufficient total demand to shift production into that operating environment. The lack of sufficient demand has a number of consequences for the operation of markets in these industries. First, charging a price that just covers the marginal costs of production will result in some share of the fixed costs not being recovered. The producer would incur a loss and, as a result, eventually cease production. Second, the need to fund high fixed costs even before producing a single unit of output means that: (a) it is very costly for a firm to enter this market; and (b) the costs of exiting are relatively high. The perfectly competitive market relies on the goods sold in the market being both rivalrous (a unit of a good consumed by one person cannot also be consumed by another person) and excludable (a person who does not pay for a good can be excluded from its consumption).

Non-consumptive goods (public goods)

Where a good or service does not meet both of these conditions it is known as a public good. In reality, it is difficult to conceive of a good that is genuinely non-rivalrous and non-excludable. Most public goods have varying degrees of the two characteristics. Notwithstanding the difficulties with defining public goods, the effect on market efficiency is that it is difficult for producers to charge a price that recovers the marginal cost of production, and inefficient outcomes result. Furthermore, consumers do not receive the usual market signals that attend increased consumption (i.e. an increase in price) and tend to consume public goods in excess of efficient quantities. This is known as ‘free riding’.

Price does not reflect all costs and benefits (external effects)

Price does not reflect all information (information failure)


Contrary to the assumptions of the perfectly competitive market, the total impacts of production and consumption are not always reflected in market prices. In those instances external effects are said to exist. There can be negative externalities, such as the impacts on natural resources from the disposal of wastewater into rivers, and positive externalities, such as a walker benefiting from observing birdlife at urban wetlands. In the example of negative externalities, the free market will tend to produce at both higher quantities and lower prices than is efficient, resulting in welfare losses. This is a function of market participants simply responding to the observable costs of production. If market participants were responding to the total costs of production (i.e. including the external effects) the efficient market outcome would be relatively lower consumption at a relatively higher price. A key assumption of the perfectly competitive market model is that all participants have equal access to all available information, and the market price reflects that. However, producers have greater information regarding the true costs of production, and the price mechanism does not reflect true costs. A consequence of this for markets is that consumers will demand inefficient quantities of the good.

While it is difficult for water corporations to exclude connected customers from the transmission and distribution network, rivalry in consumption sets in as per connection demand reaches relatively high levels. For example, for a given supply main, the capacity of the infrastructure to meet peak demand will be reached as the number of connections increases, giving rise to the need for augmentation of the infrastructure. In the long run, urban growth can push the infrastructure to capacity, which serves to increase the marginal cost of connection. Similarly, urban potable water resources are largely non-rivalrous in consumption except in extreme events, such as occurred in the recent millennium drought. Some economists argue that the infrastructure costs of a desalination plant represent the long-run costs of congestion of those resources (Productivity Commission, 2011). Where consumers cannot be effectively excluded from consuming congestible goods (as is the case with most urban water cycle assets), an incentive exists for consumption of the good beyond the efficient point. Overconsumption stems from the fact that each individual consumer is unable to observe the consequence of his or her consumption of the congestible good, or lacks the financial incentive to do so. This outcome is also known as ‘free-riding’, because consumers are able to avoid paying for some share of the goods consumed. A consequence of this for typical urban water corporations is that overconsumption prompts excessive allocation of resources to the production of urban water cycle services. The excessive investment is necessary because water corporations are obliged to deliver infrastructure that is capable of meeting peak demand. It could be argued that IWCM prevents or delays the point at which costly, lumpy investment is required to augment urban water cycle systems. However, any analysis that seeks to establish a case for IWCM must demonstrate that the costs of pursuing IWCM objectives (broadly defined to capture all policy tools) are relatively lower than augmentation of the existing system. • Urban water cycle services are provided at above efficient cost It is often argued that the costs of providing urban water cycle services are in excess of the efficient level, for two main reasons:

• The existence of ‘x-inefficiency’, stemming from the need for water corporations to be economically regulated; and • The consequences of path dependency in system design. Each is outlined in further detail below. x-inefficiency As discussed earlier, firms that operate in a monopoly market setting do not face intense incentives to operate at least cost. By contrast, if firms produce output at above least cost in a perfectly competitive market they would soon accumulate losses, because the efficient price would be insufficient to recoup production costs. Where a firm or organisation operates in a market with little competition, the only cost-minimising objective is to ensure that production costs are covered by the price that can be borne by consumers. As a result, monopolistic firms tend to be relatively less efficient and exhibit higher unit costs. For natural monopolies a subsidy from government is necessary to cover the total costs of production, because for natural monopolies average costs of production exceed marginal costs. To remain viable, the government subsidy must offset the loss. When some portion of costs are subsidised, there is little incentive to operate at least cost because at least some of the inefficient costs can be passed through to government. This characteristic of natural monopolistic firms has been termed ‘x-inefficiency’ in economic literature. x-inefficiency describes a level of output that falls below the neoclassical ideal, primarily due to violation of the assumption that all economic agents are maximising effort per unit of labour. According to this theory, only under ideal industrial relations conditions would the neoclassical ideal hold. A further source of x-inefficiency stems from economic regulatory regimes where the regulator and regulated entities relate through an adversarial framework. In these instances, labour effort will be diverted to presenting the costs of the regulated firm in order to generate the optimal outcome for the firm. Urban water corporations arguably have a number of characteristics consistent with x-inefficient firms. Water corporations essentially operate as geographic monopolies and face

limited or no competition for customers. It seems reasonable then to assume that a degree of x-inefficiency exists. Indeed, this is largely reflected by the requirement of most economic regulators for urban water corporations to achieve ongoing operational efficiency gains. Similarly, some water corporations are regulated entities and engage in an adversarial determination process, suggesting that a degree of labour input is diverted to achieving an optimal outcome for the water corporation. This represents a market failure because the customers of urban water corporations typically face prices that are above minimum efficient cost, resulting in welfare losses. It could be argued that IWCM objectives reduce x-inefficiency through introducing the threat of competition, which tends to be a strong driver of innovation aimed at reducing costs. However, under current institutional settings, water corporations lack a strong incentive to pursue IWCM solutions, since doing so would remove some of the barriers to entry for new service providers, particularly in greenfield development areas. Therefore, government intervention may be warranted to create regulatory conditions that create competitive tension. Path dependency A relatively recent field of microeconomic theory has investigated the extent to which economic inefficiencies can persist, even though relatively more efficient technologies have the potential to shift those markets to relatively more efficient outcomes. Pioneering research by David (1985) and Arthur (1989, 1990) cited the QWERTY keyboard as an example of a technology that was inferior to feasible alternatives, yet continues to dominate the market. A theory of path dependency has been developed to argue that this outcome (the persistence of relatively inefficient technology) can be seen as economically rational. Although subsequent research has undermined early expositions of the theory, more recent analysis (see, for example, Altman, 2000) has established that, where x-inefficiency is present, introduction of new technology might not be viable if the level of x-inefficiency prevents the new technology from realising its potential. Under the assumption that some degree of x-inefficiency does exist in typical urban water corporations,




Technical Papers



Technical Papers it would seem plausible that the phenomenon of path dependency may explain why technologies with the potential to deliver water cycle services at relatively lower cost have not been adopted. This outcome could stem from the fact (or even perception) that the costs of transitioning to the new technology are sufficiently high to outweigh the production benefits from adoption of the technology. Institutional settings can also explain path dependency-derived inefficiency. Where firms are not subject to intense competition, and the economic hierarchy of the firm prefer the inefficient economic regime (perhaps accepting a degree of productive inefficiency as a trade-off for industrial harmony), “the firm will traverse along the inefficient path and such a path will continue to be chosen since it is the members of the economic hierarchy who ultimately decide which path to take” (Altman, 2000, pp 141–142). In the case of urban water corporations it is possible that the economic hierarchy of the corporations have been willing to persist with traditional, centralised water cycle solutions in order to meet other objectives, even though the relative efficiency of the IWCM solutions has been known. The consequence of such an outcome would be a persistence of relatively inefficient cost functions for the supply of water cycle services, resulting in welfare losses for consumers. • Not all positive and negative external impacts of the urban water cycle are reflected in prices There are not always market mechanisms in place that allow the full range of costs and benefits from production and consumption to be faced by market participants. This is certainly the case for the costs imposed by urban development on: • Stormwater infrastructure • Natural waterways and bays in and adjacent to urban areas This represents a market failure because there are inadequate mechanisms to compel participants in the urban water cycle to face the true marginal cost of the impact they have on downstream assets. In terms of negative impacts, discharging stormwater from a roof directly into the stormwater system imposes costs on the owner of that asset. Similarly, urban developments that increase impervious surface area are known to directly increase the load of nutrients and pollutants that enter urban creeks and rivers.


However, effective pricing mechanisms do not always exist for the owners of those negatively impacted assets to recoup the costs. As a result, those responsible for the negative impacts do not face adequate monetary incentives to change practices in order to reduce negative impacts to an efficient level. In the absence of an effective mechanism it is likely that urban developments will continue to result in negative impacts beyond an efficient level. Where pricing mechanisms are inadequate, policy makers can make use of other instruments such as regulation. Regulatory reform to require the adoption of IWCM solutions, such as rainwater tanks, rain gardens and precinct scale Water Sensitive Urban Design, could be argued as an efficient means of preventing damage. • The prices faced by the diverse range of consumers of urban water cycle services do not communicate the actual costs of supplying those services Urban water consumers rarely face prices that reflect the true costs of supplying water, wastewater and stormwater services at their particular geographic location. This is a function of the policy decision taken by governments to implement ‘postage stamp’ pricing, meaning that customers should face geographically uniform water and wastewater tariff structures. While some pricing structures do allow for unit prices to increase as consumption increases, the fixed component of typical water bills is largely uniform across the customer base of urban water utilities in Australian cities. This outcome represents an information failure, particularly when imposed in new developments. Although equity considerations mean that it is unlikely that postage stamp pricing will be removed, it is still necessary to recognise the market failure that results from this policy and identify alternative means of correcting the failure, such as regulatory changes. A related source of market failure is the existence of ‘non-convex’ cost curves in ecological systems. The Perfectly Competitive market framework assumes cost curves are upward-sloping. When applied to the analysis of a ‘market’ for ecological services provided by urban creeks, rivers and bays, this implies that increasing quantities of nutrients and pollutants will have increasing costs. However, emerging

scientific literature shows that ecological systems do not respond to nutrient loads in a linear fashion. Rather, significant ecological damage occurs at relatively low nutrient loads, past which ecological functions enter a switching point, where the marginal costs of nutrient loads become constant because the impact of the nutrient load is to effectively destroy ecological function. This would represent a market failure if the existing mechanisms in place to limit nutrients entering urban waterways assume a linear, upwardsloping cost curve. If this is the case, existing mechanisms would be likely to result in excess costs from nutrients entering the urban water cycle. Regulatory reform to require IWCM solutions that could better prevent the entry of nutrients and pollutants, and with great certainty, could be argued as a relevant solution to this market failure.

THE ARGUMENT FOR GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION Under the assumption that the previous sections of this paper have established an a priori case for government intervention, a range of mechanisms are available to governments to intervene to remedy the market failures. These include: • Encouraging behaviour change through public education campaigns and moral suasion; • Assigning clear and enforceable property rights to the various assets in the urban water cycle that are subject to free-riding; • Use of pricing mechanisms and marketbased instruments in order to bring about relative improvement in market based outcomes; • Regulatory change aimed at preventing targeted behaviours that are resulting in market failures. All four of the above policy responses fall within the range of tools available under the IWCM approach. However, some central government decision-makers might argue that, since society in general has much to gain from correcting the range of sub-optimal outcomes that are present in existing urban water systems, society should be left to act in its own best interest. Indeed, some might argue that the response of urban populations to the

millennium drought demonstrated a capacity to act in the collective interest through reducing potable water consumption to such an extent that a water supply crisis was averted in most capital cities. Why then would it be necessary for governments to intervene at all? As an example, it would seem selfevident that, in the most recent drought, the residents of Melbourne, viewed as a community of interest, acted as a group or collective to further the interests of that collective – namely, to ensure that Melbourne water consumers did not face the reality of consuming potable water from a bottle or some equally expensive source. Yet, when examined somewhat more closely, it is reasonable to conclude that the community (or at least some portion of the community) was coerced into acting in the interests of the collective, through the imposition of regulations that placed limits on various types of water consumption. While a number of prominent economists (see, for example, Edwards, 2006 and Grafton and Kompas, 2007) have argued that it would have been more efficient to use the price mechanism to achieve the reduction in water consumption, from a policy perspective an increase in price would still have represented a form of coercion. The need to coerce individual members of a collective into acting in the interests of the collective has been recognised by economists since 1965 with the publication of The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups by Nobel-prize winning economist, Mancur Olson. He argued that, in large collective groups, individuals acting rationally have an incentive to act in their own self-interest, even if doing so is against the interests of the collective. “If the members of a large group rationally seek to maximize their personal welfare, they will not act to advance their common or group objectives unless there is coercion to force them to do so, or unless some separate incentive, distinct from the achievement of the common or group interest, is offered to the members of the group individually on the condition that they help bear the costs or burdens involved in the achievement of the group objectives. Nor will such large groups form organizations to further their

common goals in the absence of the coercion or the separate incentives just mentioned. These points hold true even when there is unanimous agreement in a group about the common good and the methods of achieving it. The widespread view, common throughout the social sciences, that groups tend to further their interests, is accordingly unjustified, at least when it is based, as it usually is, on the (sometimes implicit) assumption that groups act in their self-interest because individuals do…. …None of the statements made above fully applies to small groups, for the situation in small groups is much more complicated. In small groups there may very well be some voluntary action in support of the common purposes of the individuals in the group, but in most cases this action will cease before it reaches the optimal level for the members of the group as a whole. In the sharing of the costs of efforts to achieve a common goal in small groups, there is however a surprising tendency for the “exploitation” of the great by the small” (Olson, 1965, pp 2–3). An extensive body of literature has emerged to provide empirical support for the Logic of Collective Action since it was first advanced. It follows that there is a role for government where a large group is required to act in the interests of the collective. As outlined in earlier sections of this paper, urban water systems are beset by problems where individuals lack the necessary incentives or information to act in the interests of the collective, and must therefore be coerced into doing so. This gives rise to an a priori argument for government intervention. The question then turns to the most appropriate form of intervention: pricing, regulation, information provision or some combination of the three? When well conceived, designed and implemented, IWCM policy objectives have the potential to represent very effective mechanisms for the correction of market failures that exist in typical urban water systems. Water planners have generally agreed on this for some time. Hopefully, when the case for IWCM

is expressed in the framework outlined in this paper, central government decision-makers will more readily recognise the economic arguments in support of IWCM solutions. This paper was originally presented at Ozwater’14 in Brisbane.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This document was prepared by the author while engaged by the Office of Living Victoria to prepare a costbenefit analysis in support of proposed regulatory reforms to enable Whole-ofWater-Cycle (WoWC) outcomes for Melbourne and Victoria.

THE AUTHOR Dr Joel Byrnes (email: is Director of Economics, AECOM, Melbourne, Victoria Australia and Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Water Policy and Management, Latrobe University, Albury-Wodonga, also in Victoria.

REFERENCES Altman M (2000): A Behavioural Model of Path Dependency: The Economics of Profitable Inefficiency and Market Failure’, Journal of Socio-Economics, 29, pp 127–145. Arthur BW (1989): Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In By Historical Events, The Economic Journal, 99, pp 116–131. Arthur BW (1990): Positive Feedbacks in the Economy, Scientific American, 204, pp 92–99. David PA (1985): Clio and the Economics of Qwerty, American Economic Review, 75, pp 332–337. Demsetz H (1969): Information and Efficiency: Another Viewpoint, Journal of Law and Economics, 12, 1, pp 1–12. Edwards G (2006): Whose Values Count? Demand Management for Melbourne’s Water, The Economic Record, 82, s1, S54–63. Grafton RQ & Kompas T (2007): Pricing Sydney Water, The Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 51, 3, pp 227–241. Olson M (1965): The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, Harvard University Press, Massachusetts. Productivity Commission (2011): Australia’s Urban Water Sector, Report No. 55, Final Inquiry Report, Canberra, Australia. Brown R, Keath N & Wong T (2008): Urban Water Management in Cities: Historical, Current and Future Regimes, Water Science and Technology, 59, No 5, pp 847–855. Randall A (1983): The Problem of Market Failure, Natural Resources Journal, 23, pp 131–148.




Technical Papers


Technical Papers


Challenges of transitioning to Sustainable Urban Water Management and the role asset management can play in dealing with them D Marlow, G Tjandraatmadja

ABSTRACT Various commentators have argued for changes that can be collectively labelled ‘Sustainable Urban Water Management’ (SUWM). In practice, SUWM involves a diversification of infrastructure to incorporate alternative technologies, which leads to a system hybridisation. The life-cycle management challenges of on-ground SUWM solutions are less well understood than traditional ones and their linkage with existing systems has the potential for creating new risks. Asset management provides a natural framework within which to consider these issues. As such, research has been undertaken to identify the emerging challenges associated with system hybridisation, and the role asset management can play in addressing them.

INTRODUCTION In response to future uncertainties, including climate change and population growth, various commentators have argued for a transition in both the approach to infrastructure provision and the types of solutions used in the water sector. Calls for change have been underpinned by the emergence of new paradigms that can be collectively labelled ‘Sustainable Urban Water Management’ (SUWM). A range of concepts underpins SUWM, including Integrated Urban Water Management (Coombes and Kuczera, 2002), Total Water Cycle Management (Chanan and Woods, 2006) and Water Sensitive Urban Design (Wong, 2006). As an aspiration, SUWM and related concepts reflect a generalised goal to manage the urban water cycle to produce more benefits than traditional approaches have delivered. The current model of service provision relies on large-scale, centrally managed infrastructure systems that are designed to deliver cheap and reliable services (Brown et al., 2009).


One criticism of this model is that water-carriage sewerage systems are wasteful, resulting in significant loss of useful resources (nutrients, energy and water). Similarly, stormwater management purely for flood protection implies a useful resource (i.e., the conveyed water) is wasted. Furthermore, the discharge of stormwater to waterways leads to the disturbance of ecosystems and waterway morphology. It is also noteworthy that only a relatively small percentage of potable water supplied to customers is actually used for potable purposes, which implies there are significant opportunities for reducing the cost of treating and transporting water. Another observation is that water, wastewater and drainage services are generally delivered via a network of buried pipes. These typically represent 50–75% of a water service provider’s (WSP) combined operating and capital costs (Thomas and McLeod, 1992). In theory at least, reducing the reliance on such pipe networks has the potential to either realise a significant reduction in expenditure or to ensure that expenditure is focused on treating water, sewage and stormwater to suitable levels. SUWM concepts are premised on the assertion that a more integrated approach to water supply, sewerage and stormwater management has the potential to recover resources from all stages of the urban water cycle and deliver fit-for-purpose water, therefore enhancing social, ecological and economic sustainability at various scales. SUWM proponents tend to note three central benefits in comparison to traditional urban water management: (1) a more ‘natural’ urban water cycle and improved waterway health; (2) enhanced water security through local source diversification; and (3) resource efficiency (Marlow et al., 2013). The adoption of decentralised infrastructure solutions is

seen as one means of achieving these goals. It has also been suggested that the resilience of water systems will be improved through diversification away from a centralised model (Wong and Brown, 2008). SUWM thus differs from the traditional model in its core aims, the type of infrastructure and how the urban water cycle is managed. In practice, SUWM involves a diversification of infrastructure to incorporate alternative technologies, including desalination, localised stormwater retention and treatment, rainwater and stormwater harvesting for both potable and non-potable use, indirect potable reuse, sewer mining, decentralised treatment of sewage, greywater systems and various classes of water recycling. When implemented in the context of SUWM objectives, these can be collectively referred to as ‘SUWM solutions’. Since SUWM solutions are still niche innovations and generally implemented and managed within the context of legacy infrastructure, there are often many technical, institutional, regulatory and social acceptance challenges to overcome. Nevertheless, once constructed, these solutions must be treated like any other asset in that they need to be operated, maintained and, eventually, renewed. However, because they are relatively new, the life-cycle management challenges of on-ground SUWM solutions are less well understood. In addition, the linkage with existing systems has the potential for creating new risks, which must also be managed. Asset management provides a natural framework within which to consider these issues. As such, research has been undertaken to identify the emerging challenges associated with transitions towards SUWM and the role asset management can play. This paper presents insights from this research.


Sustainability Waterway health Urban amenity Drainage Public health Access to water

Figure 1. Co-evolution of values, expectations and service.

METHODOLOGY The research commenced with a comprehensive review of SUWM concepts, which led to the development of two linked conceptual models that help to illustrate factors that influence infrastructure investments in the water sector. These models were then used to explore the barriers and complexities of transitioning towards SUWM (Marlow et al., 2013). The role of asset management was also considered. To this end, established and emerging SUWM solutions were classified into a typology and a review then undertaken for each, focusing on issues of relevance to asset management, including life-cycle cost and benefits, management and maintenance issues, and risks. A high-level failure modes and effect analysis combined with a dependency tree approach was then used to map out the factors that contribute to: 1) asset and service failures; and 2) the need for asset renewals.

A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE As a lead-in to other discussions, it is useful to consider the historical context of developments within the urban water sector. This has been addressed in some detail by a number of authors. For example, Tarr et al. (1984) provide a retrospective assessment of wastewater technologies in the United States (1800 to 1932); Geels (2005) discussed the development of water supply systems in the Netherlands from 1850 to 1930; and Gandy (2006) provided a description of urban water developments in terms of the concept of a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;bacteriological cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

These papers indicate that well into the 19th century most urban water supplies were unstructured and decentralised. Rapid increases in urban populations during industrialisation made these systems increasingly inadequate, which led to widespread health hazards and pollution of local water sources. Increased impervious surfaces, such as roofs and paving, also reduced the ability of cities to absorb rain and increased the risk of flooding. In response, there followed a stepwise attempt to address issues created by urban expansion and the limitations of the existing infrastructure, which eventually resulted in the type of systems that pervade the sector today. Overall, the development of urban water systems has always been one where existing infrastructure has been retrofitted with new technologies as societal needs, expectations and values have changed. The co-evolutionary relationship between societal values, expectations and water services is illustrated in Figure 1. In some ways, this relationship is analogous to Maslowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hierarchy of needs in that higher-level values only become a focus once lower-level ones are satisfied. SUWM concepts can be considered the end point in this co-evolution. In effect, the sectors of developed countries have delivered against all basic needs, which has provided the space to aspire to outcomes associated with deeper values like sustainability. It is interesting to note that, while these aspirations are a pervasive theme in the academic literature relating to

SUWM, they are not necessarily reflected in community willingness to pay (Marlow et al., 2013; WERF, 2014). This disparity can be explained by the fact that the current model of service delivery through centrally managed infrastructure was formulated in response to highly visible issues such as water-borne disease and river pollution. Furthermore, innovations were made in a technological and commercial vacuum (there was no established and competing technology or market). Communities have reaped the benefits of the current infrastructure technology paradigm, whereas the aspirations considered within the SUWM literature are somewhat less tangible to customers, especially in comparison to the size of their water bills.

SYSTEM EVOLUTION The co-evolutionary process described above illustrates the complex factors that have influenced the historical development of water systems to date, which has in turn created the space for consideration of the deeper values underpinning SUWM concepts. At the same time, the types of infrastructure solutions used have also created a strong lock-in effect due to the irreversibility of decisions. For example, buried pipe assets have economic lives that span many decades, even centuries, so are characterised by considerable sunk cost. Furthermore, such assets deteriorate in response to many factors and similar assets can thus come to the end of their life at very different times (WERF, 2009). While this allows rehabilitation work to be distributed over time, reducing peaks in investment and capital works, it also means that existing infrastructure is often subject to incremental like-forlike replacement so that systems are renewed in a piecemeal way. In addition, it is relatively cheap to rehabilitate an existing asset, for example lining a sewer to address structural issues. All these factors have the cumulative effect of perpetuating legacy technological solutions into the future, so the capacity to manage these assets must be retained irrespective of other solutions implemented, which has flowon implications to the funding and skills needed to support urban water systems into the future. As a result, the current centralised model of infrastructure still has considerable momentum and a broad transition to an alternative mode of service provision is probably not economically or practicably feasible.



Expectation and values

Technical Papers


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While a broad transition to alternative models may not be possible, at a local scheme level, infrastructure provision and management are constantly changing and innovations do occur. From the perspective of the broader urban water systems these are, however, technical ‘add-ons’. Hence, from an infrastructure perspective (rather than a sociotechnical one), the process of change can be considered as a ‘system hybridisation’. We use the term ‘hybridisation’ because, while there may be a ‘step change’ in the technological and social/cultural dimensions of specific schemes, an overall transition is inhibited by the lock-in effects of legacy solutions, which leads to a patchwork of the old and new.

Note: The flow of urban water investment (ref. 1) accumulates over time as a capital stock of constructed and natural assets (ref. 2) that contribute to the delivery of urban water services (ref. 5). The level of investment is influenced by a ‘hard’ metric-driven feedback loop (ref. 7), which along with consideration of deterioration (ref. 3) and exogenous pressures (ref. 4) informs the need for future investment. There is also a ‘soft’ opiniondriven feedback loop (ref. 8), which reflects the perception of broader outcomes delivered by the sector (ref. 6). Perceptions are influenced by complex issues related to vested interests and values.

Figure 2. A systems perspective of water sector investments. Opportunities for community preferences. The most costshortfalls in infrastructure capacity hybridisation arise whenever effective, easiest and most acceptable can be mitigated to a certain extent an investment is made, whether it solutions are implemented first. through improved management and be in terms of construction of new maintenance practices, but fundamentally assets in greenfield, brownfield or infill Over time, as cities grow, the capacity the infrastructure places bounds on the developments or rehabilitation of old of these sources to meet demand is ones. In practice, however, the space for level of service that can be delivered. exceeded and alternatives need to innovation often opens up when legacy be considered. Solutions that were The capital value of constructed approaches are shown to be sub-optimal previously technically unfeasible/difficult, and natural assets is reduced over due to the cost or other impacts (Balslev, uneconomic or otherwise undesirable time due to deterioration, which is Nielsen and Elle, 2000). Novel solutions become more attractive. Eventually counterbalanced by capital maintenance are thus considered where existing a breakthrough point is reached (renewals spend). The main flow out infrastructure has insufficient capacity where alternatives become competitive. of the asset stock can be conceived to meet projected demands or would However, since existing infrastructure as a flow of services, which in turn need to be extended (e.g., at the urban is generally retained, this essentially contributes to a broader notional capital fringe) and costs are prohibitive. becomes a system hybridisation process. stock that delivers triple bottom line A good example of this is the use of alternative sources to meet water demands. Rygaard et al. (2011) noted that this diversification can be driven by a range of factors, including a lack of water for either anthropogenic or environmental demands, limited capacity of existing infrastructure, high quality water demands for industrial uses and institutional pressures, including engagement with ‘sustainability’ issues. Demand side issues can be met by traditional means such as building dams and upgrading infrastructure, but the cost increases with distance between source and demands. Conceptually, potential water supplies can be ordered according to socio-economic perspectives and in light of technological limitations and


Factors that influence the hybridisation process can be illustrated with reference to two coupled conceptual models (Marlow et al., 2013). Figure 2 shows how accumulation of capital occurs in terms of flow of investment and other key influences, whereas Figure 3 illustrates how options are identified and considered. INVESTMENT AND CAPITAL ACCUMULATION

As illustrated in Figure 2, the flow of investment into infrastructure accumulates over time as a capital stock of constructed and natural assets that contributes to the delivery of urban water services. Service delivery is sustained through a combination of both business and asset capabilities. Hence,

(TBL) outcomes such as community wellbeing, environmental health and economic productivity. Two feedback loops influence the flow of investment and, thus, the maintenance and growth of the capital value of the asset stock and its ability to provide service. From an asset management perspective, infrastructure systems are managed in the light of explicit (or sometimes implicit) service targets. Hence a ‘hard’ metric-driven feedback loop exists wherein the gap between service delivered and that required is taken as a measure of system capacity. This informs the need for future investment, but there is also a requirement to take into account the inherent capacity of the system,


Technical Papers

Note: A key aspect in any investment decision is to identify feasible solutions. Various factors related to ‘actors’, ‘technology’ and ‘drivers’ influence the option space considered. The factors are dynamic and interact with one another. The perspectives and attitudes of the actors involved are key determinants in how the option space is defined.

Figure 3. Factors influencing the option space considered. operational responses, the effect of endogenous factors (asset depreciation and backlog in investment), and the effect of exogenous factors (climate change, population growth, etc). Consideration of these factors requires both diagnostic and prognostic capacity (i.e. to understand the current capacity to deliver service and predict future capacity). As discussed above, shortfalls in system capacity can be addressed by both traditional and SUWM solutions. The system is also subject to a ‘soft’ opinion-based feedback loop from the various stakeholder groups (customers, regulators, suppliers, politicians, academics, etc). This reflects the perception of outputs and outcomes delivered by the water sector, including cost and value for money. Such perceptions are influenced by complex issues related to vested interests and values, and vary according to the responsibilities and interests of each stakeholder group. Groups or individuals that consider the outputs and outcomes delivered by the sector to be misaligned with their expectations can engage in advocacy for a change in the level of investment, the way investments are justified and/or the type of infrastructure funded. Experience shows this can provide impetus for experimentation and diversification that drives hybridisation,

but this is countered by concerns about system effects, cost, certainty/ uncertainty and exposure to risk. OPTION SELECTION

This latter point can be further highlighted by considering how investment options are identified and considered. A key aspect in any investment is the identification of feasible solutions. In this context, ‘feasible solutions’ imply infrastructure (or other) options that are able to provide service over an economic life. The ‘option space’ is the sub-set of solutions that is seriously considered for implementation. Depending on the predominant factors influencing the decision, the option space can be constrained to traditional solutions or embrace the full set of feasible solutions, including innovative options associated with SUWM. The various factors that influence the option space are shown in Figure 3. Factors are grouped in terms of ‘actors’, ‘technology’ and ‘drivers’. The individual factors are dynamic and interact with one another to create the option space considered for a particular investment or scheme. It is noteworthy that these same factors influence stakeholder perception of investment needs, as shown in Figure 2, which provides a coupling between the two conceptual models.

The issue of risk perception is critical to understanding progress towards SUWM. Decision makers are, by definition, responsible for selecting the solution implemented, and thus are exposed to risks associated with making a poor choice. In contrast, while advocates for innovation may have an informed view of the technical and broader issues and even a stake in the outcome, they are not making the decision and will thus have a different risk perception and frame of reference (Lems et al., 2011). This has significant implications to commentary over the willingness to innovate. For example, Farrelly and Brown (2011) have stated that the continued use of large-scale technological solutions reflects a ‘reticence’ to go beyond pilot trials, which is taken to be representative of both the ‘fear of failure’ of actors and inherent conservatism, especially with respect to public health risks. Noting that Figure 3 includes performance and cost certainty as key factors that influence the option space, an alternative view is that many innovative solutions remain unproven and have low community acceptance. Furthermore, innovative solutions often have requirements that are not necessarily clear from the outset, and institutional capacity therefore tends to develop over time (Bos and Brown, 2012; Naylor et al., 2012). Depending on the governance arrangements, the staffing, management difficulties and skill requirements vary considerably (Naylor et al., 2012). Changes to any part the system can also have both upstream and downstream impacts that affect costs, performance and future opportunities (Speers and Mitchell, 2000). This leads to dynamic changes across multiple temporal and spatial scales that are often not intuitive, even to experts. Lack of knowledge may also mean that an attempt to achieve one



The perspectives and attitudes of the actors involved are key determinants in how the option space is defined. In this context, actors are taken to be the individuals or teams making the decision. The options considered will reflect vested interests, attitude to risk and normative values within their organisation. Importantly, stakeholders with different values, interests and attitudes to risk will assess, from their own perspective, both the options considered and the solution ultimately selected.


Technical Papers


objective undermines the achievement of another (e.g., water security versus energy efficiency).


While still having traditional asset components, a number of SUWM assets (especially WSUD solutions like rain gardens, ponds, wetlands, swales, permeable pavers, etc) also include engineered natural systems (plant communities form an important functional component). The maintenance regimen adopted for these natural components heavily influences their longterm performance. Specific maintenance requirements depend on system characteristics like design, catchment characteristics, natural plant assets, soil characteristics, system condition and age. Typically, more intensive maintenance is required in the first couple of years as vegetation gets established. Afterwards, routine maintenance and reactive maintenance suffice in dealing with the majority of the asset needs (Melbourne Water, 2013).

Since it is based on the sustainable management of asset life-cycle performance, costs, risks and service benefits, asset management provides a natural framework within which to address the need for better understanding and management of SUWM solutions. In fact, it can be anticipated that the framework for managing SUWM assets should be no different to that applied to traditional asset classes. However, our research shows that refinement in some areas is required. Two particular areas of focus were identified: 1) operation and maintenance; and 2) renewal planning.

It might be supposed that the knowledge to maintain some SUWM assets is lacking because of these natural components. Certainly, in addition to the more traditional engineering disciplines, operation and maintenance requires skills and knowledge that is traditionally found in landscaping, parks and recreation and road management departments. However, since this expertise is generally available within councils (and potentially within utilities), it is not a lack of knowledge that is a barrier, but rather that the specific application of available knowledge to management of WSUD assets remains a challenge.


It can also be inferred that maintenance processes and procedures to ensure the right skills are mobilised for life-cycle management of assets need further development. Within councils, potential barriers to this development are the relative inexperience with the assets and the cost of the maintenance. In particular, while councils may receive grants to construct WSUD assets, the ongoing maintenance costs are carried by council. Anecdotal evidence suggests these costs are not always appreciated and that the subsequent adoption of WSUD assets can then be seen as an imposition of additional costs to achieve ends that fall outside the core remit of the council.

From the perspective of these uncertainties, any â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;conservatismâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; with respect to innovation could then be viewed as an appropriate assessment of uncertainty, especially given that funds are not unlimited and community preferences and willingness to pay must be considered (Speers, 2009). The continued use of traditional solutions would then be deemed a rational decision based on a pragmatic assessment of available options. Overcoming these issues requires a better understanding of life-cycle performance, costs, risks and benefits of specific SUWM innovations and their broader system effects.

As with all asset classes, maintenance regimens for SUWM assets are dictated by both the asset type and function. While some remain niche innovations, most SUWM solutions actually consist of traditional engineered components that can be characterised as being civil, mechanical and electrical, instrumentation and control and pipeline components. As such, traditional approaches to maintenance and condition monitoring apply equally to these components, as do techniques to determine where planned maintenance should be undertaken (reliability-centred maintenance, risk-based inspection, etc). However, anecdotal evidence suggests that asset management and maintenance expertise developed for legacy assets is not being leveraged for the management of some SUWM solutions, especially Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) assets managed by councils.



The mapping of failures undertaken as part of this research indicated that a lack of maintenance of some SUWM solutions will create aesthetic and other consequences that impact waterways

and communities and mean assets reach the end of their life prematurely. As described in WERF (2009), assets come to the end of their life in three ways (physical, economic and service/capacity). Since they are relatively new assets, methods for predicting and managing the end of life for SUWM solutions still need to be developed. It can, however, be anticipated that for some SUWM assets, end of life will occur because the capacity of the assets is insufficient to meet increases in demands or provide required service to communities and the environment (end of service life), while others will require renewal because the cost of rectification to maintain service exceeds the acceptable marginal cost for the asset owner (end of economic life). It can also be anticipated that as the SUWM solutions age, physical life will be reached for some assets. The question is then how the end of asset life can be analysed to allow renewals budgets to be optimised. One potential barrier to effective renewals planning is that the deterioration of some components (e.g., natural and filter media) may not be fully understood. Similarly, deterioration of the traditional engineered components may differ when exposed to the operating regimes imposed by the context of SUWM. Certainly there is evidence that SUWM options can lead to increased hydraulic and structural problems in sewers (Marleni et al., 2012). A specific area of concern raised by some practitioners is the management of filter media for SUWM options like constructed wetlands, etc. More specifically, unforeseen environmental impacts may arise from contamination of the filter media with pollutants, and additional costs may be incurred when the contaminated media is disposed of as part of maintenance or renewals. The true cost of filter management and disposal thus needs to be determined and factored into life-cycle decisions. As many of the components of SUWM solutions can be characterised as traditional engineered components, approaches to renewals planning developed for other asset classes could be applied. However, the specific development of tools and approaches for SUWM solutions appears not to have been addressed as yet. For example, assessment-based approaches to


Technical Papers Of the six councils involved, only one had sufficient data to allow the renewals planning model to be calibrated at all, and even then the data was inadequate for a practical application (Marlow, 2009).

Analysis of failure data will also be applicable to many SUWM assets, and reliability/availability simulation modelling might be applicable for some treatment solutions (e.g., sewer mining, reuse schemes, etc). Discussions with Melbourne Water suggest that rigorous approaches for prioritisation of assets, formal condition and performance assessment protocols and predictive models still need to be developed.

It is important to note that, while such issues may fall within the responsibilities of a specific entity, they still have relevance to the overall attainment of SUWM because of flow-on impacts. For example, if it is assumed that alternative SUWM sources of water will supplement potable water to a specified level, then any shortfall in the water provided will influence the supply-demand balance and could thus impact system performance and planning. Such issues were seen in South-East Queensland where rainwater tanks were installed on the basis that they would reduce demand for mains water through substitution (Walton and Holmes, 2011). Mandatory building provisions specified a 70kL/year annual reduction in mains water demand per new dwelling, but less than 70% of this was achieved (Beal et al., 2012), with obvious implications to supply-side planning for the overall system.

A key issue to address is the development of asset inventories and data collection and management procedures. For example, it has been reported that evaluation of cost and benefits from adopting SUWM solutions and the availability of lifecycle costing data are key challenges to their adoption (Tjandraatmadja et al., 2008). Furthermore, in 2010 Taylor et al. (2010) conducted an assessment of the national needs regarding life-cycle costing data and tools for WSUD design. Across the states there was a general agreement on the need for better data on operation and maintenance and endof-life costs. Data is also needed to allow asset deterioration to be modelled, as well as to analyse changes in condition, performance and cost over time. For assets managed by utilities, it can be anticipated that data may be being collected on SUWM solutions that have been incorporated into existing asset management processes and systems. Even so, work with a broad range of utilities across Australia indicates data issues remain a significant barrier to the development of effective assessment and modelling approaches for many asset classes. Councils have a broad asset base to manage in delivery of a range of community services. Given that funding for asset management is spread across diverse services and assets, it can be anticipated that data issues will be more problematic in councils when compared to water utilities. In support of this assertion, it is worth noting that the CSIRO has previously worked with a range of councils to assess the scope for applying deterioration models for storm sewers. The modelling approach selected used GompitZ, a Markov-type model.

CONCLUSION This paper has provided insights into the practical management and research challenges associated with a transition towards SUWM. It has been shown that various factors are driving this transition, but overall lock-in effects and other uncertainties mean that, from an infrastructure perspective, the process is occurring as a system hybridisation wherein innovative solutions are added to the backbone of legacy assets. As with any innovations, there are risks that must be managed when implementing SUWM solutions. This implies gaining a better understanding of life-cycle performance, costs, risks and benefits of specific innovations and broader system effects. Asset management provides a natural framework within which to consider these issues. A lack of guidance on operation and maintenance is seen as a barrier to wider uptake of some SUWM options, and there is also a need for the development of asset management strategies and tools to ensure that intended services are delivered as planned, such that lifecycle benefits are maximised, life-cycle costs minimised and risks managed.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The Authors would like to achnowledge the financial support of Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, as well as all the industry practitioners who provided insights into the issues discussed in this paper.

THE AUTHORS David Marlow (email: is Stream Leader, Urban Water Futures, CSIRO. He is responsible for a portfolio of research projects designed to help the water sector develop the systems level knowledge, analysis and tools required to fully integrate and manage diverse water supplies, wastewater and stormwater in cities. His specific focus is on investment planning, risk-based management frameworks, innovation and transitions, and the development of decision support tools. Grace Tjandraatmadja (email: Grace.Tjandra@ is a research scientist at CSIRO Land and Water, Australia. She researches transition strategies to improve the sustainability of urban infrastructure, including evaluation of technologies for resource recovery from waste streams, alternative water supplies (rainwater, stormwater and recycled water). Her past research includes energy of footprint and governance of rainwater systems, integrated water management systems, wastewater treatment and decentralised networks.

REFERENCES Balslev Nielsen S & Elle M (2000): Assessing the Potential for Change in Urban Infrastructure Systems. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 20, 3, pp 403–412. Bos JJ & Brown RR (2012): Governance Experimentation and Factors of Success in Socio-Technical Transitions in the Urban Water Sector. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 79, 7, pp 1340–1353. Brown RR, Keath N & Wong THF (2009): Urban Water Management in Cities: Historical, Current and Future Regimes. Water Science & Technology, 59, 5, pp 847–855. Chanan A & Woods P (2006): Introducing Total Water Cycle Management in Sydney: A Kogarah Council Initiative. Desalination, 187, 1–3, pp 11–16. Coombes PJ & Kuczera G (2002): Integrated Urban Water Cycle Management: Moving Towards System Understanding, 2nd National Conference on Water Sensitive Urban Design, Engineers Australia: Brisbane, Australia.



determine the need for renewals (based on condition, performance and risk assessments) combined with statistical and Markov-type models would seem to be appropriate for many such solutions.


Technical Papers Farrelly M & Brown R (2011): Rethinking Urban Water Management: Experimentation As A Way Forward? Global Environmental Change, 721, 2, pp 721–732. Gandy M (2006): The Bacteriological City and its Discontents. Historical Geography, 34, pp 14–25. Geels FW (2005): Co-evolution of Technology and Society: The Transition in Water Supply


and Personal Hygiene in The Netherlands (1850–1930): A Case Study in Multi-Level Perspective. Technology in Society, 27, 3, pp 363–397. Lems P, Aarts N & van Woerkum C (2011): The Communication of Water Managers in Participatory Processes and Their Effect on the Support for Implementation: A Case Study in The Netherlands, 12th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Marleni N, Gray S, Sharma A, Burn S & Muttil N (2012): Impact of Water Source Management Practices in Residential Areas on Sewer Networks – A Review, Water Science Technology, 65, 4, pp 624–642. Marlow DR (2009): Modelling Structural Condition of Stormwater Drainage Pipes, Water for a Healthy Country Flagship Report, March 2009.

Marlow DR, Moglia M, Cook S & Beale DJ (2013): Towards Sustainable Urban Water Management: A Critical Reassessment, Water Research, 47, 20, pp 7150–7161.

Tjandraatmadja G, Cook S, Sharma A, Diaper C, Grant A, Toifl M, Barron O, Burn S & Gregory A (2008): ICON Water Sensitive Urban Developments, Report, CSIRO Publishing.

Melbourne Water (2013): WSUD Maintenance Guidelines – A Guide for Asset Managers. 2013, Melbourne Water.

Tarr JA, McCurley FC, McMichael FC & Voisie T (1984): Water and Wastes: A Retrospective Assessment of Wastewater Technology in the United States. Technology and Culture, 15, 2, pp 226–263.

Naylor T, Moglia M, Grant AL & Sharma AK (2012): Self-Reported Judgements of Management and Governance Issues in Stormwater and Greywater Systems. Journal of Cleaner Production, 29–30, pp 144–150. Rygaard M, Binning PJ & Albrechtsen HJ (2011): Increasing Urban Water Self-Sufficiency: New Era, New Challenges. Journal of Environmental Management, 92, 1, pp 185–194. Speers A (2009): Urban Water Futures, In: PW, N (Ed.), Transitions: Pathways Toward Sustainable Urban Development in Australia. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne, Australia. Speers A & Mitchell G (2000): Integrated Urban Water Cycle, National Conference on Water Sensitive Urban Design – Sustainable Drainage Systems for Urban Areas: Melbourne, Australia. Taylor A, Leinster S & Allison R (2010): National Need Analysis: Life Cycle Costing Data and Tools for Water Sensitive Urban Design Assets, In Report for the WSUD Program, AT Consulting, Editor. Sydney Catchment Management Authority: Sydney. p 34.

Thomas JF & McLeod PB (1992): Australian Research Priorities in the Urban Water Services and Utilities Area, Division of Water Resources No. 7 CSIRO: Australia. WERF (2014): A Practitioner’s Guide to Economic Decision Making in Asset Management, WERF, Alexandria, VA, prepared by Marlow et al., Project SAM1R066. WERF (2009): A State of the Art Review: Remaining Asset Life, WERF, Alexandria, VA, prepared by Marlow et al., Project 06-SAM1CO. Wong THF ( 2006): An Overview of Water Sensitive Urban Design Practices in Australia. Water Practice & Technology, 1, 1 [online]. Wong T & Brown R (2008): Transitioning to Water Sensitive Cities: Ensuring Resilience Through a New Hydro-Social Contract, 11th International Conference on Urban Drainage: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

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Technical Papers

WHAT’S GETTING IN THE WAY OF A ‘ONE WATER’ APPROACH TO WATER SERVICES PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT? An analysis of the challenges and barriers to an integrated approach to water P Mukheibir, C Howe, D Gallet


A range of factors prevents the development of institutional changes that would allow a shift to “One Water” systems. Foremost of these is the inertia associated with the dominant paradigm of centralised and siloed systems. This, together with the complex structure of regulations that currently exist for water supply, wastewater Table 1. The key differences between conventional and and stormwater management. management, poses Aspect of urban Conventional approach significant obstacles to a water management fully integrated approach. The regulatory patchwork Integration is by accident. Water environment, with supply, wastewater and stormwater overlapping responsibilities may be managed in the same Overall approach agency as a matter of historical and jurisdictions, happenstance, but physically the particularly with respect to three systems are separated the need for management of both public health and environmental risks, currently hinders system integration. This paper aims to understand what institutional challenges organisations engaged in the One Water approach have faced.

INTRODUCTION Urban water managers and policy makers around the world are struggling with the challenge of transitioning to a sustainable, integrated, urban water management approach, referred to in this paper as ‘One Water’. The One Water approach is closely aligned with, and builds upon, the extensive national and global work on

below ground, depend on multi-faceted collaborations. Table 1 presents the key differences between conventional and integrated approaches. Research to date has shown that, for the One Water paradigm to be accepted and integrated into infrastructure planning, the appropriate institutional structures need to be in place (Maheepala integrated approaches to urban water Integrated approach Physical and institutional integration is by design. Linkages are made between water supply, wastewater and stormwater, as well as other areas of urban development, through highly coordinated management

Collaboration with stakeholders

Collaboration = public relations. Other agencies and the public are approached when approval of a pre-chosen solution is required.

Choice of infrastructure

Infrastructure is made of concrete, metal or plastic

Infrastructure can also be green including soils, vegetation and other natural systems

Management of stormwater

Stormwater is a constant that is conveyed away from urban areas as rapidly as possible

Stormwater is a resource that can be harvested for water supply and retained to support aquifers, waterways and biodiversity

Management of human waste

Human waste is collected, treated and disposed of to the environment

Human waste is a resource and can be used productively for energy generation and nutrient recycling

Management of water demand

Increased water demand is met through investment in new supply sources and infrastructure

Options to reduce demand, harvest rainwater and reclaim wastewater are given priority over other sources

Choice of technological solutions

Complexity is neglected and standard engineering solutions are employed to individual components of the water cycle

Diverse solutions (technological and ecological) and new management strategies are explored that encourage coordinated decisions between water management, urban design and landscape architecture

Collaboration = engagement Other agencies and the public search together for effective solutions

Based on Pinkham (1999) – adapted by ICLEI (2011)



integrated water resources management (IWRM) and water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) (US Water Alliance, 2013). The One Water approach strives for a move away from conventional approaches to one with greater coordination among diverse interests, stakeholders and decision-makers, recognising that water quantity and quality, whether above or


Technical Papers Most cities in Australia are situated in the Drained or Waterways stages. The linear path of water management needs to be broken and a mechanism found to accelerate or leap frog a city’s progress to a One Water Community.

DRIVERS AND CHALLENGES OF THE ONE WATER APPROACH The transition towards the One Water approach is characterised by three “dimensions or forces”, viz. the push of the present, the pull of the future, and the weight of the past (Inayatullah, 2008).


Figure 1. Sustainable integrated water management continuum (based on Brown, Keath & Wong, 2008). et al., 2011). This includes the decisions made by various institutions that affect the management of water at different governance scales. The key drivers include environmental and financial resource constraints, infrastructure and network constraints, and public perceptions and demands, to mention a few. The literature review presented in this paper is a summary of a study focusing on the institutional aspects of One Water systems. It explores the attributes of One Water systems, the mechanisms needed to transition to One Water and the major institutional barriers to this transition. The review is based on publicly available case studies involving the application of IUWM approaches in water, and on peerreviewed literature and insights from urban water and transitioning experts.

ATTRIBUTES OF THE ONE WATER PARADIGM A wide variety of collaborative networks have independently sought to define the attributes that make up an integrated One Water approach. Themes are centred on the idea of cities that are liveable, sustainable, resilient, productive and adaptable. These One Water attributes, sometimes referred to as goals or principles, set the long-term vision of where the urban water industry needs to go. Institutional innovation and capacity are fundamental to the achievement of these visions. Brown et al. (2008), in their Urban Water Transitional City States, describe six phases in a transition towards the Water Sensitive City, which is akin


to a One Water approach (Figure 1). Transitioning from one phase to another is seen as the natural evolution of the city in history, and the passage from one developmental phase to another is associated with different objectives and technical solutions: • The Water Supply City (early 1800s): The first stage is characterised by efforts to expand piped water supply to city dwellers; • The Sewered City (late 1800s): Once access to water supply is secured, emphasis moves to addressing access to piped sewerage services; • The Drained City (mid 1990s): This phase is dominated by efforts at ensuring flood protection; • The Waterways City (late 1990s): In this phase the aim is to achieve social amenity and environmental protection. It is characterised by the prevalence of point and diffuse source pollution management; • The Water Cycle City (2000s): Limits on natural resources encourage a move to diverse, fit-for-purpose sources, conservation and the promotion of waterway protection; • The Water Sensitive City (Future): The sixth and final phase is inspired by the goals of inter-generational equity and resilience to climate change. The prevalent approach to water resources management features a combination of adaptive, multi-functional infrastructure and urban design, reinforcing water-sensitive behaviours.

The push of the present: Potable water and wastewater network and treatment facilities are becoming constrained under the current rate of population growth and densification. To upgrade these facilities is a costly exercise and generally disruptive. Substituting the demand for potable water with reused or recycled water will go some way to alleviating this impending problem. Extreme weather events such as flooding have caused substantial damage and disruption to basic services. WSUD has the potential to buffer the impacts of some of these events. The pull of the future: Communities are beginning to demand green urban spaces that enhance liveability in the urban setting and that make use of stormwater and recycled wastewater. Innovations in the water treatment and energy sectors have resulted in cost-effective, small-scale treatment plants that have allowed a few private developers and operators to increase the marketability of new precincts. These approaches are likely to become mainstream in the future. The weight of the past: The historically entrenched siloed approach to water management and regulation has meant that prospective developers need to engage with a complicated regulatory and institutional maze to get a scheme up and running. In addition to this, the culture, knowledge and skills to undertake integrated water planning across this sector is limited. This paper specifically focuses on these institutional challenges weighing down the transition to a One Water approach, which are discussed in detail in the following section.


Technical Papers LITERATURE REVIEW OF INSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGES The major challenges identified in the review of published literature on institutional issues relating to integrated water management and water-sensitive urban design can be summed up in five key areas (Figure 2): • Legislation and regulations; • Economics and finance; • Planning and collaboration; • Culture and capacity; • Citizen engagement. Further analysis of the challenges revealed some underlying causes that could be linked to a number of identified challenges: • The lack of an agreed unifying vision; • A lack of leadership and political will due to short-term political agendas;

• Poor systems thinking and integration across water, other utilities and urban planning; • Uncoordinated methods and processes for data collection, information sharing and messaging. These underlying causes are theoretically not too dissimilar to those that hinder other innovative progress at the local government level (Mukheibir et al., 2013) and potentially have influence over a number of challenges across the board for local governments.

LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS Legislation and subsequent regulations are key drivers of how organisations structure themselves, develop strategies, and plan and implement programs. They are set at many levels, from federal to state/regional to local. Legislation can include laws, acts, directives and other mechanisms. Adler (2009) concluded that a significant legal barrier to sustainable urban water management is legal fragmentation, and that a practical way forward is through incremental steps to better coordinate various components of the laws that apply to urban water management issues. INCONSISTENCY AND OVERLAP

Recent work by ISF (ISF, 2013a) found that implementing a recycling scheme required navigating a complex and time-consuming

Figure 2. Barriers and their underlying causes to a One Water approach. regulatory landscape. The complexity relates to two inter-related issues: 1.

The rules and regulations themselves will shift as government seeks to improve and clarify current arrangements in this relatively new area of governance;


With personnel and regulatory changes, interpretation of requirements is likely to be contested and changeable.

Further, regulations are often inconsistently applied, as WERF (2007) found for decentralised systems. State environmental protection agencies or county health departments may each set standards for siting, designing, installing, servicing and performance monitoring of systems. Whether a local health department or state environmental agency regulates systems usually depends on system design flow and varies significantly from state to state (ISF/Stone Environmental, 2009). An Australian review of institutional impediments to water conservation and reuse found the overarching barrier to be a lack of coordination of policies and regulations that govern conservation and reuse (Hatton MacDonald and Dyack, 2004).


A key factor that affects the ability to introduce innovation is whether regulations are prescriptive or performance-based. The change in focus from prescriptive, endproduct management to a risk management approach for recycled water has, however, failed to deliver the anticipated outcome (LECG Limited Asia Pacific, 2011). While a risk management framework is, in theory, more flexible, it has been suggested that the uncertainty surrounding new technologies and unclear policy positions has created a climate of risk aversion (Tjandraatmadja et al., 2008). This has resulted in delays and additional costs (for example, validation testing (Power, 2010a)) and a perception that best quality and not ‘fit-for-purpose’ water is required, which again increases costs. The complexity of regulation, combined with an aversion to taking risks, has the potential to make investing in distributed recycled water systems expensive, uncertain, prolonged and too difficult to pursue (Watson, 2011).



• No clear drivers or sense of urgency;


Technical Papers


The Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling (AGWR) require treatment processes to be validated prior to operation of the water-recycling scheme. This is a positive approach that shifts the focus from end-point monitoring to process barriers and the operational monitoring of those barriers. In the case of pathogens, end-point monitoring is expensive and does not identify water quality issues until potentially well after the public has been exposed to the water (ISF, 2013b). Validating the treatment process for low-risk schemes has been cited by potential developers as excessive in its requirements and has proven to be costly (Power, 2010b). In response, the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence (AWRCoE) has worked with regulators and industry to develop a draft National Validation Framework with the aims of: setting rules or guidelines to validate specific technologies; sharing knowledge on existing schemes and the validation processes undertaken; making available data to assess the feasibility of approaches; and setting up quality assurance programs for measurement requirements within validation programs (Muston and Halliwell, 2011). The AGWR requires that every house in a development where recycled water is provided for non-potable household use be audited every five years, to check for cross-connections between the potable and non-potable water supplies (ISF, 2013b). This has been viewed as onerous by some developers, since cross-connection events in Australia are reportedly rare within distribution systems, with the incidence so far being on average within the order of 1 event in 10,000 dwellings per year (Storey et al., 2007). RISK AND REGULATION

Brown and Clark (2007) noted that the debate around alternative supply sources and the efficiency of managing alternative sources at different scales reflects the current dilemma of how to address the real and perceived risks, and who should be responsible for these risks. These risks relate to current societal values around water supply security, public health, economic efficiency, and protecting and enhancing the physical environment. The National Water Commission recognises that there are risks associated with future water availability and has


moved to clearly assign responsibility for dealing with these risks. Its aim is to ensure that the risks arising from reductions in the water available for consumption are shared between governments and water users according to an agreed framework. This is intended to provide investors and entitlement holders with certainty about how changes will be dealt with (National Water Commission, 2011). In a review of eight case examples in Australia, the level of recycled water treatment was revealed to generally exceed the recommendations set by the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling (AGWR). While there were various reasons for higher than required treatment standards for recycled water, the overarching driver was related to the perceived public health risk associated with the use of recycled water. In certain cases changing circumstances also played a role (ISF, 2013b). The fear of residential cross-connections through plumbing faults, for example, has resulted in higher treatment levels being applied to avoid the potential risk of illness resulting from pathogens present in the wastewater. PUBLIC VERSUS PRIVATE

Integration of water services and a move to green infrastructure can involve a larger number of smaller, private entities. Many new, on-site or cluster-size decentralised systems are managed by private entities rather than traditional government utilities. In Australia there are three key areas that could be expected to limit private investment in water services (Watson, 2011): • Regulation is complex, which leads to higher costs, time delays and uncertain outcomes; • Regulatory pricing policies limit viable competition; • Government policies distort or restrict markets. Australia’s urban water sector has undergone substantial reforms in the last two decades. These reforms have successfully improved service levels, encouraged efficiency gains, and improved environmental and public health outcomes (LECG Limited Asia Pacific, 2011; National Water Commission, 2011). Despite major reforms, the regulatory framework is still overly complex (National Water Commission, 2011; Power, 2010a). For example, in NSW a decentralised

recycled water system may trigger six Acts; it may be covered by four specific guidelines and it may require the approval or advice of up to eight authorities, although this situation is currently under review (MWD, 2012; Watson, 2011).


There is a lack of appropriate economic tools to value integrated water services, including the ability to monetise indirect costs, understand and account for crosssubsidies, and evaluate short-term versus long-term costs. Watson et al. (2012) found that most public sector investment assessment frameworks have difficulty including risk and uncertainty. This disadvantages less well-understood options, including small-scale recycled water schemes. Due to the public health aspects of water and wastewater services, decisions tend to avoid risk (Nelson, 2008; Productivity Commission, 2011; Water Corporation, 2011). This aversion to risk is compounded by the tendency of decision-makers to remember and place more emphasis on dramatic or bad outcomes (Hammond et al., 1998). This can lead to the benefits of small systems being negated by the risks, and it results in the early exclusion of potential small options due to perceptions of poor public acceptance or high health risks. On the other hand, Watson found that large centralised solutions are susceptible to optimism bias, where planners overestimate benefits and underestimate costs, which again favours larger options. Regulators often require stringent and frequent performance monitoring and reporting for new systems, which can add significant cost to a project (ISF and Stone Environmental, 2009). Private investment has evolved rapidly and appropriate regulatory frameworks are still being developed and adapted. There is still great uncertainty about how direct private investment in the water sector is best managed and how broader public benefits are best accounted for (Watson, Mitchell & Fane, 2012). Current avoided cost calculations mitigate against investment in distributed recycled water systems. Current methods for calculating avoided costs use a


Technical Papers system-wide average approach; however, avoided costs vary significantly across the network (Mitchell et al., 2007). Calculating avoided costs is generally not well understood. Lack of experience makes outcomes uncertain and it is difficult to calculate the value of avoided costs for small increments of demand in relation to infrastructure with very large capacity. This is particularly true for water because, once a large investment has been made it is usually viewed as a ‘sunk’ or unavoidable cost in the context of cost-benefit analysis (Australia Office of Best Practice Regulation, 2006). This means that once a decision to augment infrastructure is made there is little opportunity over the short to medium term for decentralised investments to ‘avoid’ costs. COST RECOVERY

Pricing policies can limit viable competition. There are several ways utility water and wastewater pricing policies affect the financial viability of distributed recycled water systems, including the ability to: • Access avoided costs; • Be competitive due to the low unit price of potable water; • Recover costs and be price competitive due to the regulated water and wastewater service charge. In some areas there is a ‘postage stamp’ (common) price for basic water and wastewater services, while recycled water costs must be recovered directly from the user. Postage stamp pricing can mask opportunities for more efficient alternative investments. Postage stamp pricing arrangements allow large utilities to spread the cost of traditional water and wastewater infrastructure over a large customer base. Decentralised solutions, particularly distributed recycled water solutions, often have to recover costs directly

The low price of water makes it hard for small, private recycled water schemes to compete on unit price alone. The unit price of water across the US and Australia remains low despite the substantial progress utilities have made towards costreflective pricing. Even when a distributed recycled water scheme makes up part of an efficient suite of measures to contribute to the supply/ demand balance, unless it costs less than the average long-run marginal cost of the potable supplied water, it will be difficult for it to be competitively priced by a private supplier.

PLANNING AND COLLABORATION The conventional approach to planning for water management tends to address problems through large investments in a limited range of long-established technologies. The management of urban water systems is often fragmented, with the design, construction and operation of the various elements carried out in isolation from one another. Shortterm solutions are selected with little consideration for the long-term impacts on the entire system. More specifically, the conventional approach to planning for urban water management is typically associated with the following issues (ICLEI European Secretariat, 2011): • Fragmentation – The various elements of the urban water system are often operated in isolation. Such a fragmented approach can result in technical choices that are based on the benefits to an individual part of the system, but may neglect the impacts caused elsewhere. • Short-term solutions – Water management tends to focus on today’s problems, opting for short-term solutions despite the risk that the implemented measures are not cost-effective or sustainable in the long term. • Lack of flexibility – Conventional water infrastructure and management tends to be inflexible to changing circumstances. Water supply,

wastewater treatment and stormwater drainage systems are constructed to match fixed capacities and when these are exceeded, problems occur. Likewise, the management of these systems becomes dysfunctional when faced, for example, with increasing climate variability and rapidly growing urban demand. • Energy intensive – Conventional water distribution and treatment infrastructure is energy intensive. Power cuts and rapid increases in fuel costs can disrupt services. Intensive energy use also results in high levels of CO2 emissions at a time when many cities are trying to reduce their carbon footprint.

CULTURE AND CAPACITY Two important factors that influence this change are the organisational culture and technical capacity (or ability) of those involved in water management. ORGANISATIONAL ATTRIBUTES THAT FOSTER CULTURE CHANGE

Within the water industry, the rigid cultural norms of organisations, professionals and academics, and a lack of incentives, reward systems and capacity development, are barriers to integrated and innovative water management. NO TIME TO THINK

Driven by time constraints and a sense of urgency (often due to external events such as floods and droughts) individuals and organisations usually go with the ‘known’ options rather than innovative, new ideas. COMMUNITY AND CUSTOMER CULTURAL ISSUES

In addition to understanding the cultural nuances that influence change in the water industry it is also important to understand the cultural issues that influence the behaviour of customers and the community. A cultural literature review by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (Supski & Lindsay, 2013) identified how social values associated with water play a key role in how Australians use and relate to water and how the deeply embedded ideals of cleanliness, comfort and convenience, trust and risk affect what options the community is likely to accept.



Cost recovery for smaller-scale water services (decentralised) or new water products such as recycled water poses substantial challenges when measured against traditional services. Sustainable solutions should include recovery of the social and environmental costs, but there is little guidance on how to accomplish this and it is unlikely to be through traditional funding mechanisms (Watson, Mitchell & Fane, 2012).

from the users. This makes comparing centralised extensions and augmentations to decentralised solutions difficult, particularly when assessing revenue recovery methods and risk (Mitchell, Abeysuriya & Willetts, 2008).



Insufficient skills and knowledge and organisational resistance (Brown & Farrelly, 2009) were found to be common barriers to adaptive water management. A lack of trained systems thinkers and a strong tendency for solutions to be developed by teams of people, predominantly engineers, hydrologists and environmental scientists, who have worked together well in the past (Howe, 2012) has hampered green infrastructure and integrated systems.


This approach is entrenched at an early stage where traditional teaching, learning and practice in engineering and applied science has been largely confined to the technocentric sphere, with minimal interaction with the eco-centric and socio-centric areas (Mitchell et al., 2005). A LACK OF CHAMPIONS

It has been found that individual representatives called ‘champions’ within organisations from across government and other sectors are key agents for change to more sustainable systems, and such champions have formed loose networks pursuing change over substantial periods of time (Brown & Clarke, 2007).


Simpson (2012) has been a consistent proponent of the need for the water industry to think about the way it talks about water and how this affects the public’s perceptions. She advocates a shift away from an emphasis on water origin. For example, in the case of recycled water, water quality is usually spoken of in terms of its source (e.g. wastewater) and the degree of treatment it has had. Areas that have been successful in moving to a One Water approach have often used ‘branding’ as a way to engage public support and confidence. Singapore introduced NEWater with a comprehensive education and communication package (Guan and Toh, 2012). In Gippsland, Victoria, the ‘Water Factory’ – a stateof-the-art green facility – highlights Gippsland as a leader in sustainability and innovation (CH2M Hill, 2012).


ACHIEVING ONE WATER In order to arrive at the desired One Water state, the challenges and barriers discussed will need to be ‘inverted’; in other words, the converse of the challenges will need to be in place, ie: • Goal-oriented, collaborative legislation and regulations; • New economic frameworks and enabling financing mechanisms; • Integrated governmental institutions and organisations that encourage systems analysis and planning, data sharing, innovation and increased risk sharing; • Changing cultural norms of organisations, professionals and academics, including incentive and reward systems, and capacity and knowledge development; • Increased demand, awareness and engagement from the community, consumers and political entities. The research project on which this study is based is currently undertaking case studies in the US and Australia to understand how institutions may have overcome some of these challenges.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This project is funded by the Water and Environment Research Foundation (US), Water Research Facility (US) and Water Research Australia. Thank you to members of the Steering Committee and the project Peer Alliance for your valuable inputs and insights.

THE AUTHORS Dr Pierre Mukheibir (email: pierre.mukheibir@ is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney. His research is focused on urban water planning and management, specifically on developing integrated and adaptive strategies to deal with future uncertainty.

Danielle Gallet is the Infrastructure Strategist and Water Supply Program Manager for the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) Water Group, where she produces research and reports, develops tools, informs policy and assists with case studies that support sustainable water resource planning and management at the local, regional and national scale. Carol Howe is Director of ForEvaSolutions, a US-based consulting business specialising in integrated urban water management. She is an IWA Fellow and leads the International Water Association’s Cities of the Future “Transitioning Program”.

REFERENCES Adler RW (2009): Legal Framework for the Urban Water Environment Ch 9.pdf, in: Baker, LA (Ed), The Water Environment of Cities. Springer, University of Utah, pp 171–193. Brown R & Clarke J (2007): Transition to Water Sensitive Urban Design: The Story of Melbourne, Australia. Facility for Advancing Water Biofiltration, Monash University. Brown R, Keath N & Wong T (2008): Transitioning to Water Sensitive Cities: Historical, Current and Future Transition States, in: 11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2008. pp 1–10. Brown RR & Farrelly MA (2009): Delivering Sustainable Urban Water Management: A Review of the Hurdles We Face. Water Science and Technology, 59, pp 839–46. CH2M Hill (2012): Gippsland Water Factory Project. Guan YK & Toh S (2012): From Zero to Hero: NEWater Wins Public Confidence in Singapore, in: Howe C, Mitchell C (Eds), Water Sensitive Cities. International Water Association, London, pp 139–146. Hammond J, Keeney R & Raiffa H (1998): Hidden Traps in Decision Making. Harvard Business Review, 76, pp 47–58. Hatton MacDonald D & Dyack B (2004): Exploring the Institutional Impediments to Conservation and Water Reuse – National Issues. Report for the Australian Water Conservation and Reuse Research Program, Policy and Economic Research Unit. Howe C (2012): Communicating Across Disciplinary Divides – Are We Bridging The Gap?, in: Howe C, Mitchell C (Eds), Water Sensitive Cities. IWA Publishing. ICLEI European Secretariat (2011): The SWITCH Training Kit: Integrated Urban Water Management in the City of the Future. Freiburg.

Inayatullah S (2008): Six Pillars: Futures Thinking for Transforming. Foresight, 10, pp 4–21. ISF (2013a): Navigating the Institutional Maze. Building Industry Capability to Make Recycled Water Investment Decisions. Prepared by the Institute for Sustainable Futures for the Australian Recycled Water Centre of Excellence. ISF (2013b): Matching Treatment to Risk. Building Industry Capability to Make Recycled Water Investment Decisions. Prepared by the Institute for Sustainable Futures for the Australian Recycled Water Centre of Excellence. ISF Stone Environmental (2009): WERF Establishing Successful RMEs (Responsible Management Entities). Institute for Sustainable Futures and Stone Environmental, prepared for WERF. LECG Limited Asia Pacific (2011): Competition in the Australian Urban Water Sector. Canberra. Maheepala S, Blackmore J, Diaper C, Moglia M, Sharma A & Kenway S (2011): Integrated Urban Water Management Planning Manual. CSIRO. Mitchell C, Abeysuriya K & Willetts J (2008): Institutional Arrangements for Onsite and Decentralised Systems: Needs and Opportunities for Key Players in the Field of Distributed Wastewater Management, pp 150–157. Onsite and Decentralised Sewerage and Recycling Conference, Benalla, Victoria. Mitchell C, Fane S, Willetts J, Plant R & Kazaglis A (2007): Costing for Sustainable Outcomes in Urban Water Systems – A Guidebook. CRC for Water Quality and Treatment, Research Report 35. Mitchell CA, Carew AL & Clift R (2005): The Role of the Professional Engineer and Scientist in Sustainable Development in Practice: Case Studies for Engineers and Scientists, in: A Axapagic, Perdan S, Clift R (Eds), Sustainable Development and Practice. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, UL. Doi: 10.1002/0470014202, pp 29–55. Mukheibir P, Kuruppu N, Gero A, Herriman J (2013): Overcoming Cross-Scale Challenges to Climate Change Adaptation for Local Government: A Focus on Australia. Climatic Change, 121, 2, pp 271–283. Muston M & Halliwell D (2011): NatVal Road Map Report: The Road Map to a National Validation Framework for Water Recycling Schemes. Water Quality Research Australia. MWD (2012): Joint Review of the Water Industry Competition Act 2006 and Regulatory Arrangements for Water Recycling Under the Local Government Act 1993: Discussion Paper. Metropolitan Water Directorate, New South Wales. National Water Commission (2011): Water Markets in Australia: A Short History Canberra.

Nelson VI (2008): Institutional Challenges and Opportunities: Decentralized and Integrated Water Resource. Office of Best Practice Regulation (2006): Handbook of Cost-Benefit Analysis. Pinkham R (1999): 21st Century Water Systems: Scenarios, Visions and Drivers. Snowmass. Power K (2010a): Recycled Water Use in Australia: Regulations, Guidelines and Validation Requirements for a National Approach. Waterlines Report Series No 26, National Water Commission, Australia. Power K (2010b): Recycled Water Use in Australia: Regulations, Guidelines and Validation Requirements for a National Approach. Waterlines Report Series No 26, National Water Commission, Australia. Productivity Commission (2011): Australia’s Urban Water Sector Productivity Commission Inquiry Report – Report No 55. Schein E (1984): Coming to a New Awareness of Organizational Culture. Sloan Management Review, 25, pp 3–16. Simpson J (2012): Plain Speaking About Water – Experiences from the Trenches, in: Howe C, Mitchell C (Eds), Water Sensitive Cities. International Water Association, London, pp 109–121. Storey MV, Deere D, Davison A, Tam T & Lovell AJ (2007): Risk Management and Cross-Connection Detection of a Dual Reticulation System, in: Khan SJ, Stuetz MR, Anderson JM (Eds), Water Reuse and Recycling. UNSW Publishing and Printing Services, Sydney, NSW, pp 459–466. Supski S & Lindsay J (2013): Australian Domestic Water Use Cultures: A Literature Review. Melbourne, Australia. Tjandraatmadja G, Cook S, Sharma A, Diaper C, Grant A, Toifl M, Barron O, Burn S & Gregory A (2008): ICON Water Sensitive Urban Developments. CSIRO. US Water Alliance (2013): Water Sustainability Principles for a National Policy Framework – Discussion Draft [WWW Document]. www. Water Corporation (2011): Microeconomic  Reform in Australia’s Urban Water Sector – Water Corporation Submission to the Productivity Commission. Watson R (2011): Wastewater Systems: Decentralised or Distributed? A Review of Terms Used in the Water Industry. Water Journal, 38, 8, pp 69–73. Watson R, Mitchell C & Fane S (2013): Distributed Recycled Water Decisions – Ensuring Continued Private Investment, in: OzWater’13. Perth, Australia. WERF (2007): The Baltimore Charter: Sustainable Water Systems. WERF/NOWRA/IWA Workshop – Water for All Life: A Decentralized Infrastructure for a Sustainable Future.



Technical Papers

INCREASING SEQUENCING BATCH REACTOR CAPACITY USING GRANULAR SLUDGE A study to assess whether design and operation of existing SBRs can be modified to operate with granular sludge


B van den Akker, K Reid, A Keegan, S Rinck-Pfeiffer, J Krampe



In recent years, European research has shown that granular sludge developed in sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) has potential to become industry standard for the biological treatment of industrial and municipal wastewater. With this advancement in mind, we investigated whether granular sludge can 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 WWTP in South Australia, which showed that granular sludge was easily and readily established by employing an anaerobic feed and rapid settling time. Within one month of start-up, significant improvement in biomass settleability was observed and sludge volume index (SVI) values as low as 38mL/g were achieved. Simultaneous removal of ammonia, total nitrogen, BOD5 and phosphate was also observed. Phosphate removal, however, was lower than expected for this technology. Owing to the rapid settling time, our pilot data also showed that selection of granular sludge could increase SBR hydraulic capacity by 25%.

This year is the 100th anniversary of the activated sludge process and, although the process has undergone many changes in its operation and design to improve efficiency and stability, to date it has relied exclusively on the activity of microorganisms that exist in biological flocs. Flocs, however, settle poorly and todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activated sludge plants require large secondary clarifiers (for continuous flow plants) or long settling times (for fill and draw configurations) to ensure adequate biomass-liquid separation. In recent years, new technologies have been developed to improve biomass settleability, and the use of granular sludge in sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) is one of them. Extensive research, led largely by Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), has shown that operational parameters of SBRs can be modified to convert fluffy, slow-settling activated sludge flocs into fast-settling, dense microbial granules (Beun et al., 1999; de Bruin et al., 2004; Etterer and Wilderer, 2001). In particular, granular sludge can be developed by employing a long anaerobic feed (as opposed to the aerobic feed

more commonly employed in SBR operation) and a rapid settling phase of less than 10 minutes. The anaerobic feed encourages the development of dense, granule-forming organisms such as phosphate-accumulating organisms (PAOs), which store organic carbon, thereby giving a competitive advantage over floc-forming organisms, while the rapid settling phase ensures the washout of slow, poorly settled flocs (Beun et al., 1999; Etterer and Wilderer, 2001; Morgenroth et al., 1997; van Loosdrecht et al., 1997). These conditions select for fast-settling flocs that gradually evolve into dense microbial granules with excellent settling properties. In addition to excellent sludge settleability, the benefits of granular sludge are numerous. Shorter settling times result in shorter overall cycle times that significantly increase hydraulic capacity or reduced physical footprint for the reactor. Furthermore, in contrast to traditional activated sludge flocs, a pronounced oxygen concentration gradient is formed through the depth of the granule, which facilitates nitrification, denitrification and phosphate removal

Figure 1. SBR cycle times of: (A) granular sludge pilot-plant, which was based on literature values; and (B) the full-scale SBR operated at Bolivar WWTP.



Technical Papers could be achieved with modifications to the inlet design and decant weir operation, this would be an attractive, cost-effective solution for a capacity upgrade, even if only 10% to 20% of extra capacity is gained. With these benefits in mind, we decided to test whether granular sludge can be developed to improve the performance and increase the treatment capacity of our existing SBRs. With the aid of pilot trials, the aim of this study was to identify the critical operating parameters that are needed to encourage granule formation and to use this information to assess whether the design and operation of our existing SBRs can be modified to operate with granular sludge.

METHODS Figure 2. Granular sludge pilot plant showing: (A) front control panel; and (B) side profile of the SBR. (Bassin et al., 2012a; Bassin et al., 2012b; Beun, 2001; de Bruin et al., 2004; de Kreuk, 2006; Mosquera-Corral et al., 2005; van Loosdrecht et al., 1997). Subsequently, simultaneous nutrient removal is achieved without the need for separate reactor compartments and biomass recirculation.

SA Water owns and operates five WWTPs that operate using batch fill and draw cycles, and two of them are operating close to their design capacity. Improving the sludge settleability would facilitate a reduction in total cycle time, thereby increasing plant capacity. If granulation of the sludge

To begin, a literature review was carried out to identify typical cycle times used for granular sludge development (Figure 1a). Using this information, a pilot scale granular sludge reactor was designed and constructed (Figure 2). SBR cycle times were controlled using a programmable logic controller (PLC) to allow the cycle times to model both our full-scale SBRs (Figure 2b) and those needed for granular sludge development.


Figure 3. Pilot plant performance during start-up showing: (A) comparison of sludge settleability of the full-scale and pilot granular sludge SBRs measured as SVI; (B) temporal change in granular sludge MLSS; and (C) granular sludge nitrogen and BOD5 removal performance.

Figure 4. Settling properties of the mixed liquor sampled from the full-scale SBR (left) versus the granular sludge (right) after five minutes of settling.



Technical Papers The pilot consisted of a 60L (1m high x 0.3m diameter) reactor, a peristaltic feed pump and an air compressor for aeration. For comparison, the granular sludge pilot plant was operated at Bolivar WWTP, in parallel to a full-scale SBR. Pilot start-up was performed in early April 2013, using the cycle time/configurations presented in Figure 1. The reactor was initially seeded with activated sludge flocs from a neighbouring full-scale SBR and was filled anaerobically from the bottom, in a plugflow fashion. Following settling, treated water was extracted under gravity via a decant pipe situated within the reactor. Reactor performance was monitored over 120 days, by closely monitoring changes in ammonia-N, nitrite-N, nitrate-N, phosphate and BOD5 concentrations in the sewage and decanted effluent. Mixed liquor samples underwent regular analysis for mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS), and sludge settleability was characterised using the 30-minute Sludge Volume Index (SVI).


RESULTS & DISCUSSION The pilot plant was initially seeded with ca 2 g/L of MLSS harvested from the neighbouring full-scale SBR. Results characterising start-up are presented in Figure 3. In comparison to the full-scale SBR, significant improvements in the sludge settleability of the granular sludge pilot were seen early, where the SVI had decreased from 240 to 45mL/g within four weeks. The ratio of SVI at 5 min/30 min reached values as low as 1.09, which indicated that granulation of the biomass had occurred (Liu et al., 2010).

of operation, the MLSS had undergone a complete transformation from exhibiting a fluffy, floc-like structure to dense microbial granules that were approximately 2 to 3mm in size. Very few loose flocs or filaments were seen under the microscope. Despite the significant transformation in mixed liquor morphology, the nitrification performance of the granular sludge pilot remained largely unaffected, where ammonia removal was maintained between 98% and100% (Figure 3). Total nitrogen (TN) removal was more variable; however, over time it gradually improved to 85% removal (Figure 3). This was most likely a result of anoxic denitrifying zones developing deep within the granules as they matured and increased in size. Better TN removal was also achieved when the dissolved oxygen concentrations were tightly controlled between 1 and 1.5mg/L, which most likely provided sufficient aerobic and anoxic volume within the granules to facilitate simultaneous nitrification/denitrification. The average removal of BOD5 was 96%, where effluent concentrations ranged between 2 and 8mg/L. Phosphate removal was only 20% to 55%, which was much lower than seen elsewhere (Coma et al., 2010; Othman et al., 2013). Nevertheless, evidence of PAO activity â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which is crucial to granule development â&#x20AC;&#x201C; was clearly observed, as seen by the anaerobic release of

phosphate during feeding, followed by uptake during aeration (Figure 6). This poor level of removal was possibly due to the high salinity of the sewage (6,000 to 7,000mg/L TDS), which has been shown to negatively impact upon PAOs (Pronk et al., 2013). Although the level of phosphate removal seen here was low, it appeared sufficient to facilitate granule formation. Our findings confirmed that the formation of granular sludge can be easily achieved and was maintained for the entire five-month duration of this trial. Based on these findings, there appears potential for retrofitting existing bioreactors to select for granular sludge to increase plant capacity. In particular, modifications to the inlet design and the decant weir operation would be required to ensure plug flow conditions. Furthermore, the rapid rate of decant used in this pilot study (two minutes) is not possible at full-scale, and may be overcome by simultaneously feeding and decanting the reactor, which would be far more economical, provided plug flow is maintained (de Kreuk, 2006; de Kreuk et al., 2005). The next steps for this study involve repeating our trial at Pt Pirie WWTP in regional South Australia, where the salinity of the sewage is extremely high at 20,000 to 30,000mg/L.

These observations were coupled with steady increases in biomass growth (from 1.5 to 5.0g MLSS /L). During startup, the sludge age initially decreased from ca eight to two days, owing to the immediate washout of slow-settling flocs; however, it later recovered to 15 days as the granules developed and were retained within the reactor. During this time, the settling performance of the granular sludge mixed liquor was clearly superior to that of mixed liquor sampled from the full-scale SBR, given that all of the settling was achieved in the first five to 10 minutes of the settling test (Figure 4). Furthermore, changes in the morphology of the activated sludge floc were obvious with the naked eye and via microscopy (Figure 5). After 100 days


Figure 5. Morphology of mixed liquor sampled on Day 1 of pilot start-up (left), versus Day 100 (right).


Technical Papers in: Klyver Laboratory for Biotechnology, PhD, Delft University of Technology. Delft, pp 155. Beun JJ, Hendriks A, van Loosdrecht MCM, Morgenroth E, Wilderer PA & Heijnen JJ (1999): Aerobic Granulation in a Sequencing Batch Reactor. Water Research, 33, 10, pp 2283–2290. Coma M, Puig S, Balaguer MD & Colprim J (2010): The Role of Nitrate and Nitrite in a Granular Sludge Process Treating LowStrength Wastewater. Chemical Engineering Journal, 164, 1, pp 208–213. de Bruin LM, de Kreuk Mk Fau-van der Roest HFR, van der Roest Hf Fau-Uijterlinde C, Uijterlinde C, Fau-van Loosdrecht MCM & van Loosdrecht MC (2004): Aerobic Granular Sludge Technology: An Alternative to Activated Sludge? Water Science and Technology, 49, 11, pp 1–7.

Figure 6. A typical granular sludge SBR cycle, showing changes in phosphate concentration, airflow and SBR level.

CONCLUSIONS During recent pilot trials performed at Bolivar WWTP, granular sludge was readily established from flocculating sludge, by employing a combination of an anaerobic feed and a rapid settling time. These modifications improved sludge settleability and have the potential to eliminate sludge bulking, which commonly plagues activated sludge plants.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Authors are grateful to BERRI Water Engineering Technologies (WET), who constructed the pilot plant. We also thank Michael Corena, Rowan Steele of SA Water Corporation, and the Allwater staff at the Bolivar High Salinity WWTP for their support.

THE AUTHORS Ben van den Akker (email: Ben.vandenAkker@ is a Senior Research Scientist (Wastewater Microbiology) at South Australian Water Corporation.

Alexandra Keegan (email: Alex.Keegan@ is Manager of Wastewater Research at the South Australian Water Corporation. Stephanie Rinck-Pfeiffer (email: is Manager of Source Water and Environment Research at the South Australian Water Corporation. Joerg Krampe (email: jkrampe@iwag.tuwien. is Professor of Water Quality at the Institute for Water Quality, Resources and Waste Management, Vienna University of Technology.

REFERENCES Bassin JP, Kleerebezem R, Dezotti M & van Loosdrecht MCM (2012a): Measuring Biomass Specific Ammonium, Nitrite and Phosphate Uptake Rates in Aerobic Granular Sludge. Chemosphere, 89, 10, pp 1161–1168. Bassin JP, Kleerebezem R, Dezotti M & van Loosdrecht MCM (2012b): Simultaneous Nitrogen and Phosphate Removal in Aerobic Granular Sludge Reactors Operated at Different Temperatures. Water Research, 46, 12, pp 3805–3816. Beun JJ (2001): PHB Metabolism and N-Removal in Sequencing Batch Granular Sludge Reactors.

de Kreuk MK, Pronk M & van Loosdrecht MCM (2005): Formation of Aerobic Granules and Conversion Processes in an Aerobic Granular Sludge Reactor at Moderate and Low Temperatures. Water Research, 39, 18, pp 4476–4484. Etterer T & Wilderer PA (2001): Generation And Properties Of Aerobic Granular Sludge. Water Science and Technology, 43, 3, pp 19–26. Liu Y-Q, Moy B, Kong Y-H & Tay J-H (2010): Formation, Physical Characteristics And Microbial Community Structure Of Aerobic Granules In A Pilot-Scale Sequencing Batch Reactor For Real Wastewater Treatment. Enzyme and Microbial Technology, 46, 6, pp 520–525. Morgenroth E, Sherden T, van Loosdrecht MCM, Heijnen JJ & Wilderer PA (1997): Aerobic Granular Sludge In A Sequencing Batch Reactor. Water Research, 31, 12, pp 3191–3194. Mosquera-Corral A, de Kreuk MK, Heijnen JJ & van Loosdrecht MCM (2005): Effects Of Oxygen Concentration On N-Removal In An Aerobic Granular Sludge Reactor. Water Research, 39, 12, pp 2676–2686. Othman I, Anuar AN, Ujang Z, Rosman NH, Harun H & Chelliapan S (2013): Livestock Wastewater Treatment Using Aerobic Granular Sludge. Bioresource Technology, 133, pp 630–634. Pronk M, Bassin JP, Kreuk MK, Kleerebezem R & Loosdrecht MCM (2013): Evaluating the Main and Side Effects of High Salinity on Aerobic Granular Sludge. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 98, 3, pp 1339–1348. van Loosdrecht MCM, Hooijmans CM, Brdjanovic D & Heijnen JJ (1997): Biological Phosphate Removal Processes. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 48, 3, pp 289–296.



Owing to the rapid settling time, our pilot data showed that selection of granular sludge could also increase SBR hydraulic capacity by 25%. Furthermore, application of an anaerobic feed will eliminate the need for anoxic selectors/ return streams and the associated pumping cost. With these benefits, granular sludge may play an important role as an innovative technology alternative to the present activated sludge which, for 100 years, has relied on the use of biological flocs.

Katherine Reid (email: Katherine.Reid@sawater. is a Graduate Scientist at the South Australian Water Corporation.

de Kreuk MK (2006): Aerobic Granular Sludge: Scaling Up a New Technology, PhD, Delft University of Technology. Delft, pp 199.


Technical Papers

EXPLORING THE RESIDENTIAL WATER-ENERGY NEXUS IN REMOTE REGIONS Results from a Far North Queensland water end-use pilot study CD Beal, RA Stewart, S Larsen

ABSTRACT This research was undertaken as part of a collaboration between the Queensland Department of Energy and Water Supply, Queensland Department of Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience, Cook Shire Council, Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council and Griffith University. The main aim of the project was to undertake a pilot study to provide some preliminary knowledge of water consumption patterns in remote Queensland towns, and to compare rated versus non-rated communities. This pilot study of 10 Far North Queensland homes (n=5 in Wujal Wujal and n=5 in Cooktown) has, for the first time, revealed some specific patterns of residential water end-use in these remote regions.


BACKGROUND Knowledge of how, where and why water is being used in non rate-based remote communities can enable appropriate and efficient demand management and communication strategies. Such proactive approaches can significantly reduce the demand pressure on already scarce water supplies in regional Queensland. This information can also underpin aligned studies regarding the potential cost savings of reducing water usage, and on the access to and quality of drinking water supplies in these areas. As such, a collaboration between Griffith University and the Queensland Department of Energy and Water Supply (DEWS) sought to undertake a pilot project to provide some preliminary knowledge of water consumption patterns in remote Queensland towns, and to compare rated versus non-rated Indigenous communities (Beal and Stewart, 2014a). The pilot study was conducted in the remote Indigenous community of Wujal Wujal and in Cooktown, both located in Far North Queensland (FNQ).


The main aims of the project were to: • Obtain high-resolution water use data from a small number of homes in two separate communities in Far North Queensland; • Obtain an understanding of the water use stock (e.g. number of tap fixtures, irrigation system types, the nature of water-efficient technology in each of the households); and how these stock differ from urban households; • Compare water end-use consumption between rated and non-rated households.


The townships of Wujal Wujal and Cooktown are situated approximately 165 and 330km respectively from Cairns by road (Figure 1). Cooktown is serviced by the Cook Shire Council (CSC) and has a population of approximately 2,400 people, of whom almost 17% (400) are Indigenous. Wujal Wujal is serviced by the Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council (WWASC) and has a population of around 360 people, of whom over 90% are Indigenous. Five households in each town were required for the study. It should be stressed that this

is a pilot study and, as such, the results and recommendations are only preliminary and may not be representative or applicable to all homes in the studied towns. In Cooktown, all volunteers were recruited from the CSC, again for ease of recruitment and time efficiency. In Wujal Wujal, recruitment was more complex as the study team wanted to ensure that each household was occupied by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (A/TSI) family. This was a requirement of the pilot study, as there is little empirical research on the water consumption patterns in such households and, therefore, the most appropriate water demand management strategies cannot be fully implemented without this knowledge.

Figure 1. Location of field sites.




Technical Papers

Table 1. Summary of general household characteristics for each region. Household Demograhics1


Wujal Wujal

Total Township Population



Total No of Households



Total No of People



Proportion of Total Population



Average Household Occupancy



Number of Children (<18)




Notes: 1 Data presented are averages. 2 This is based on known household occupancies at the time of the household water audit. This does not include any visitors or absent residents.

The study team used the WWASC housing officer as a point of contact with the would-be volunteers. The basic socio-demographic data for the recruited households is provided in Table 1. Data in Table 1 demonstrates that the proportion of households studied in Wujal Wujal is substantially higher than in Cooktown, obviously as a result of the larger population in the latter town. However, at close to 10% of the population, this is a reasonably representative sample size for a pilot study. There is a notably higher household occupancy rate in the Wujal Wujal sample due to the inherently larger family units that are typically associated with A/TSI households and communities (Tan and Jackson, 2013).

meters. These ‘smart’ meters measure flow to a resolution of 72 pulses/L or a pulse every 0.014 L. The smart meters were connected to Aegis DataCell series Rtx and R-CZ21002 data loggers (Figure 2).


Concomitantly with meter and logger installation, a water fixture/appliance stock survey was conducted at each participating home in order to investigate how householders interact with such stock. Flow trace software was used in conjunction with water audits and water diaries to analyse and disaggregate consumption into toilets, taps, leaks, irrigation, shower, clothes washer, bathtub and dishwasher. A detailed explanation of the accuracy of the disaggregation process is found in Beal and Stewart (2014b).

A detailed description of the methods is provided in Beal and Stewart (2011). Standard council residential water meters were replaced with Actaris CTS-5 water

Although the stock audit sheets for Wujal Wujal have not yet been received by the study team, Wujal Wujal Water and Waste Services (WWASC) has

recently conducted an audit of all the community housing in the town as part of its Leak Detection and Water Demand Management Project (2012). This information provided an overall guide to the typical stock installed in these homes. For the Cooktown sample, an online survey and water stock audit was developed by the study team and issued to one contact person in each household. In addition to the online survey, follow-up discussions with the residents during a site visit were conducted, providing a family member was available at the time of the site visit. METHOD FOR ESTIMATING WATER-RELATED ENERGY

The measured end-use data was used as a basis for determining energy consumption from clothes washers, dishwashers, taps (hot water component) and showers (hot water component). Hot water system (HWS) type and clothes washing machine configuration (e.g. load type and number of tap connections) are also considered. Calculations used in determining energy consumption are based on the model developed by Beal et al. (2012) where the full methodology is presented. Also see Beal and Stewart (2011) ( publications/UWSRA-tr47.pdf). Although we did not receive the stock audit information for the Wujal Wujal homes, it was known that all washing machines are 7kg, top-loading models with hot and cold connections.


Figure 2. Installed equipment at site locations for (a) Wujal Wujal and (b) Cooktown.



Technical Papers

Average – 1,244 litres per household per day 1,684




1200 800

777 577

400 0

Irrigation Bath tub Tap Dish washer Shower Clothes Washer Toilet Leak

1 165.4 61.5 40.4 0.0 365.7 44.0 87.5 7.1

2 527.3 93.8 127.9 0.0 311.6 348.6 219.8 54.8

3 881.6 0.0 111.0 0.0 326.6 241.0 86.0 0.3

4 827.2 29.5 43.3 0.0 192.4 320.3 69.5 57.7



300 200

193 140


Irrigation Bath tub Tap Dish washer Shower Clothes Washer Toilet Leak





5 13.0 0.0 23.5 0.0 211.1 246.3 83.3 0.1

(a) Per household end-use break down (L/hh/d)

to be known, particularly in communities that have typically high (and transient) household occupancies.

Average – 277 litres per person per day


Average per person water consumption (L/p/d)

Average per household water consumption (L/hh/d)



1 41.3 15.4 10.1 0.0 91.4 11.0 21.9 1.8

2 131.8 23.4 32.0 0.0 77.9 87.1 55.0 13.7

3 293.9 0.0 37.0 0.0 108.9 80.3 28.7 0.1

4 75.2 2.7 3.9 0.0 17.5 29.1 6.3 5.2

5 1.9 0.0 3.4 0.0 30.2 35.2 11.9 0.0

Per capita end-use break down (L/p/d)

Figure 3. Breakdown of individual average volumetric end-uses for Wujal Wujal.

Average per household water consumption (L/hh/d)



1600 1200

1,215 999



400 0

Irrigation Bath tub Tap Dish washer Shower Clothes Washer Toilet Leak

1 71.2 78.4 65.7 0.0 327.6 197.5 160.7 313.7

2 283.2 79.8 132.8 14.1 277.7 110.6 98.0 2.4

3 1262.9 32.2 100.2 13.1 305.4 157.1 131.3 38.5

4 1274.6 0.0 82.5 5.3 232.8 104.3 93.7 226.4

Average – 356 litres per person per day



5 390.5 0.0 56.6 3.8 121.7 59.7 99.5 1.1

Average per person water consumption (L/p/d)

Average – 1,401 litres per household per day



400 300






100 0

Irrigation Bath tub Tap Dish washer Shower Clothes Washer Toilet Leak

1 17.8 19.6 16.4 0.0 81.9 49.4 40.2 78.4

2 47.2 13.3 22.1 2.4 46.3 18.4 16.3 0.4

3 315.7 8.0 25.1 3.3 76.4 39.3 32.8 9.6

4 318.7 0.0 20.6 1.3 58.2 26.1 23.4 56.6

5 156.2 0.0 22.6 1.5 48.7 23.9 39.8 0.4

Figure 4. Breakdown of individual average volumetric end-uses for Cooktown. All hot water systems are solarelectric boosted. In terms of preferred temperature settings for clothes washers, four were assumed to use cold water (single connection machines) and one was assumed to use warm water cycles (dual connection). Although a dual-connected machine does not automatically mean that a warm/hot wash cycle is being used, this variation was the same as the Cooktown homes and so allowed a comparison between the two temperature cycles to be made across all homes. A full description of the assumptions is presented in Beal and Stewart (2014a). WATER END-USE CONSUMPTION

Based on the known showerhead flow rates, homes with the highest flow rates (least efficient water use) appeared to also consume the most water for this end-use, both on a per household and per person basis. This is consistent with other studies that demonstrate that low-efficiency showerheads can consume significant volumes of water compared to the high efficiency fittings (Beal et al., 2012; Willis et al., 2011).

Wujal Wujal Water use consumption for the Wujal Wujal homes averaged 1,244L per household per day (L/hh/d) (Figure 3a), which is equivalent to a per person volume of 277L/p/d (Figure 3b). Almost 40% of the total water consumption comprised outdoor use. ‘Outdoor’ use can include irrigation, cleaning cars, recreational activities, filling buckets and pet bowls, and so forth. Shower use at 282L/hh/d (22.6%) or 65.2L/p/d (23.5%) is the second most common water use activity.

The water end-use breakdown of individual homes in Wujal Wujal revealed that household outdoor consumption, clothes washing and bath use all varied notably between the five homes. Once household occupancy was taken into account, this variation was further compounded, with one home recording very low per person usage (83 L/p/d) as a result of the high occupancy rate (11 people) in this home. This highlights the need for both household and individual water use data



Clothes washing also comprised a large proportion of usage, at 240L/hh/d (19.3%) or 48.6L/p/d (17.5%). Individual end-use breakdowns are shown in Figure 3. Note that ‘taps’ represent all indoor taps, and most likely small outdoor tap events (e.g. filling a bucket or pet bowl).


Cooktown Water use consumption for the Cooktown homes averaged 1,401L/hh/d (Figure 4a). This is equivalent to a per person volume of 356L/p/d (Figure 4b). Between 47% (656.5L/hh/d) and 58% (171.1L/p/d) of total household water was used for outdoor purposes. It is extremely difficult to fully identify which water use activities constitute ‘outdoor’; however, it is possible to identify discrete irrigation events from automatic watering systems based on information provided in the household water use survey and audit. It is noteworthy to highlight the geology of the Cooktown region, where the sandstone plateaus give rise to sandy soils that typically have low water-holding capacity. This physical attribute of the landscape would contribute to the increase in outdoor water demand – particularly if nonendemic species are being grown. Significant leaks were identified in two homes and householders were duly notified. WATER-RELATED ENERGY ESTIMATIONS

The nexus of water and energy is now well recognised, and the adoption of water-efficient technologies is viewed as imperative in reducing residential water end-use-related energy demand. While mindful of the small sample size of this pilot study, this section seeks to explore water-related energy consumption from selected household stock (dishwasher, shower, tap and clothes washer) using empirical water end use data and, where available, stock specifications and usage patterns for Cooktown and Wujal Wujal homes. The results from the energy modelling confirmed previous work from the SouthEast Queensland Residential End-Use Study that energy consumption varies with the type of HWS and temperature cycle used, as shown in Figure 5. The highest energy consumption was typically associated with the electric cylinder HWS that supplied heated water to the machines. For the Cooktown homes, where washing machine configurations were known or could be inferred, annual household energy consumption ranged


Technical Papers

Dual connection, warm wash Annual clothes washer consumption (kL/ hh) and estimated annual energy demand (kWh/hh) for each HWS type

(a) (b)


Dual connection, cold wash


Dual connection, cold wash

Single connection, cold wash




Water use Energy use

Solar EB (WW) 16.1 38.1

Solar EB (WW) 127.2 302.2

Solar EB (WW) 88.0 210.1

Solar EB (WW) 116.9 178.8

Solar EB (WW) 89.9 2683.4

Electric (CT) 72.1 4333.2

Solar EB (CT) 40.4 44.7

Solar EB (CT) 57.3 101.7

Solar EB (CT) 38.1 113.1

Solar EB (CT) 21.8 53.1

Dual connection, warm wash

(a) (b) Annual clothes washer consumption (kL/ p) and estimated annual energy demand (kWh/p) for each HWS type



Dual connection, cold wash

Dual connection, cold wash

Single connection, cold wash




Water use Energy use

Solar EB (WW) 4.0 9.5

Solar EB (WW) 31.8 75.5

Solar EB (WW) 29.3 70.0

Solar EB (WW) 10.6 16.3

Solar EB (WW) 12.8 383.3

Electric (CT) 18.0 1115.3

Solar EB (CT) 6.7 7.5

Solar EB (CT) 14.3 25.4

Solar EB (CT) 9.5 28.9

Solar EB (CT) 8.7 21.2

Figure 5. Annual (a) per household and (b) per capita energy consumption for clothes washers with typical temperature cycle indicated for Cooktown (CT) and assumed for Wujal Wujal (WW). Note: Solar EB = solar HWS with electric booster. from 44.7 kWh for a solar electric-boosted (EB) HWS typically using cold water wash, to 4,333 kWh for an electric HWS supplying a warm wash cycle machine (Figure 5). For Wujal Wujal homes, energy consumption was similar as all homes were solar electric-boosted and wash cycles were assumed to be similar. Annual household energy consumption was influenced by temperature cycle and ranged from 38 kWh (cold wash) to 2,863 kWh (warm wash). Comparisons between each water-related energy end-use are presented in Figure 6 based on the heating system type for each household. Percentages are given on the charts and the average kWh demand for each end-use is shown in the legend. Each ring represents an individual home, with the percentage of total water-related energy demand indicated for each end-use. Note that clothes washer total energy demand can be difficult to compare across homes due to the number of factors that influence energy use in these machines.

Figure 6. Annual household energy consumption for all hot water end-uses for (a) Electric HWS in Cooktown, (b) Solar EB HWS in Cooktown, (c) Electric HWS in Wujal Wujal.

On examination of the Wujal Wujal homes, average energy demand is lower for taps and dishwashers (there were no dishwashers in the surveyed households), but somewhat higher for shower and clothes washing compared to the Cooktown homes with solar HWS. Notwithstanding the small sample size and some assumed household stock information, this energy use data provides a useful picture of the interactions between water and energy consumption, and examples of where savings can be made to improve the overall energy and water efficiency of homes.



Comparisons between the two Cooktown charts (Figures 6a and 6b) suggest that the reduction in hot water-related energy demand with the use of solar heating systems instead of electric systems can be quite substantial. Another point of difference within the Cooktown samples is the clothes washer energy demand, which is very high when using a warm-water wash cycle and sourcing that water from an electrical heating system. In contrast, using the cold-water temperature cycle, where no hot water was sourced from the HWS, appeared to markedly reduce energy use, with demand associated with machine operation only.

Notes: * Clothes washer energy demand influenced by machine configurations not shown here. Solar EB = solar HWS with electric booster.


Technical Papers CONCLUSIONS As this is a pilot study with limited sample size, the results and recommendations are only preliminary and may not be representative or applicable to all homes in the studied towns. Notwithstanding this acknowledged limitation, the following key observations have been made from this pilot study: • Outdoor water consumption Outdoor water consumption, compared to urban households, is considerably higher, and therefore presents an opportunity for water demand managers to achieve substantial savings by targeting this end-use. Outdoor consumption, assumed to be predominantly irrigation, appears to follow the trend of SEQ consumption patterns, whereby it is the main driver of peak day demand, and can be up to two or three times average day demand. • Shower consumption High shower consumption is also an area for targeting water demand management. For the Wujal Wujal homes, based on the water audit from the WWASC, two-thirds of the showerheads recorded flow rates in excess of 9L/ min, at an average of around 16L/ min. There is opportunity for savings from improved water efficiency due to both behavioural (encouraging shorter showers) and technological (installation of low-flow roses) strategies.


• Water-energy efficiency There is increasing community awareness that hot water consumption = energy consumption, and has direct economical benefit for householders, which may encourage water conservation, particularly in the non-rated community of Wujal Wujal, where water is not paid for, but energy (electricity) is. The installation (or repair) of low-flow shower roses may offer the most optimal solution for reducing both water and energy savings. • Leak management In Cooktown particularly, high leak occurrences were noted and residents informed. Due to the sandy soils in the region, leak ‘patches’ may not always be immediately evident. In general across remote communities, ongoing routine maintenance checks, specifically targeting leak management in the older homes, may provide some “low hanging fruit” in terms of water conservation. It is understood that a leak detection program has recently


been carried out in Wujal Wujal using passive detection equipment. • Water demand management opportunities The recently completed Leak Detection and Water Demand Management projects in Wujal Wujal identified and repaired major leaks and poorly maintained fixtures. Tap restrictors were also installed in homes. Notwithstanding the previous water demand management initiatives, there appears to be some considerable opportunities for savings from future programs – especially in the area of behavioural strategies to encourage increased awareness and water-saving tips to reduce water consumption. • Future remote residential enduse studies This pilot study has revealed some previously unknown data on water consumption trends and water use behaviours in remote communities, including an Australian Indigenous community, which has never been undertaken previously in this country. The work is of high importance as it can help to populate demand (and revenue) forecasting modelling, infrastructure planning, water supply and wastewater treatment infrastructure augmentation, and targeted demand management programs to name a few. However, the sample size, as expected from a pilot study, was low and should only be viewed as potentially representative. It is recommended that research into a full-scale residential water end-use study in these remote Australian communities should be undertaken in the future to provide a robust set of longitudinal data that can underpin a range of sustainable water and energy resource planning tools.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Funding for this study was provided by the Australian Federal Government and through in-kind support from the Queensland Department of Energy and Water Supply. The Authors would like to thank the eResearch Services Team at GU, Danielle Butcher, Chris Pfeffer and Bruce Stedman at DEWS, Anil Gupta from the Department of Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience; Peter Kirchmann, Jaime Geddes and Anthea McGreen from the Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council; and Wal Welsh and Robert Fenn from Cook Shire Council. Finally, a very big thank you to the 10 households who volunteered to be part of this study.

THE AUTHORS Dr Cara Beal (email: is a Research Fellow at the Smart Water Research Centre & School of Engineering, Griffith University, Queensland. Her research is focused on integrated water resource management, urban and regional water and energy efficiency, smart metering and residential end use studies. Sue Larsen (email: susan. is a Principal Project Officer at the Department of Energy and Water Supply, where she works with councils to implement community education programs to raise awareness about sustainable water management. Sue managed the Waterwise Program throughout the SEQ drought and has recently provided resources to assist a number of Indigenous councils to implement a modified program. Rodney Stewart (email: is an Associate Professor in the Griffith School of Engineering. His research focuses on the role of intelligent water monitoring technologies and information management systems.

REFERENCES Beal CD & Stewart RA (2014a): Far North Queensland Residential End-Use Pilot Study Final Report, Smart Water Research Centre and School of Engineering, Griffith University, March 2014. Beal C & Stewart R (2014b): Identifying Residential Water End-Uses Underpinning Peak Day and Peak Hour Demand. Journal of Water Resource Planning and Management, doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.000035. Beal CD, Stewart RA & Bertone E (2012): Evaluating the Energy and Carbon Reductions Resulting from Resource-Efficient Household Stock. Energy and Buildings, 55, pp 422–432. Beal CD & Stewart RA (2011): South East Queensland Residential End-Use Study: Final Report. Urban Water Security Research Alliance Technical Report No. 47. Tan P-L & Jackson S (2013): Impossible Dreaming – Does Australia’s Water Law and Policy Fulfil Indigenous Aspirations. Environment and Planning Law Journal, 30, pp 132–149. Willis RM, Stewart R, Giurco D, Talebpour M & Mousavinejad A (2011): End-Use Water Consumption in Households: Impact of Socio-Demographic Factors and Efficient Devices, Journal of Cleaner Production (2011), doi:10.1016/ j.jclepro.2011.08.006.


water Business

WATER BUSINESS WATER INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SOLUTION Hach Water Information Management Solution (Hach WIMS) software helps you see the complete picture of your water or wastewater system so you can save money and make operational decisions with confidence. This water data management software secures data collection, streamlined reporting, user-defined alerts, and powerful charting, graphing and mapping tools all make this possible. WIMS is ideal for managing and reporting data to the EPA, state and other regulatory agencies. Central, Secure Database Process data is automatically (or manually) stored into a central, secure database for easy monitoring, analysis, reporting and predictive modelling. Your data can be accessed locally or via a secured web interface, ensuring audit trails and historical records are safe and available for easy viewing. Built-in Equations Manage Complex Calculations WIMS has over 100 industryspecific formulas and verification engines

to quickly and accurately perform complex calculations with the click of a button. Such built-in equations help provide consistent results based on EPA requirements and you can trust that your data is accurate and reliable. Troubleshooting Tools Ensure Data Is Verified Intelligent alerts and modelling tools help resolve, predict and prevent disruptions. WIMS data management software will flag problems so you know exactly where they occurred. Data and information is automatically verified and compared. Modeling tools allow you to develop ‘what-if’ scenarios and perform search queries on your data. Regulatory and Internal Report Templates Save Time Pre-programmed EPA and state report templates create business and regulatory reports instantly. The water data management software enables you to receive automatically scheduled reports onscreen, printed, or delivered to your email. Customisable Dashboards and Features Personalised dashboards let you monitor key data and immediately shows the information you need to know. This allows quick access to reports, graphs, entry forms and provides shortcuts to other parts of the software. For more information please go to www. hachpacific.

STORMWATER REHABILITATION FOR WARRINGAH COUNCIL Water Infrastructure Group has been awarded the contract for the Griffin Road stormwater rehabilitation project at Dee Why Beach by Warringah Council. The Council selected Water Infrastructure Group’s Panel Lok relining technology for the project. Warringah Council has previously used other lining systems for stormwater renewal works but only a limited number of projects using a spiral wound system. Due to the size of the pipeline and the nature of the renewal requirements at this location, the Panel Lok system was used for this project with good results. Water Infrastructure Group Project Engineer Patrick Zemanek explained that Water Infrastructure Group’s proprietary Panel Lok relining system 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 conduits and this technique provides a very cost-effective option for extending the life of stormwater assets,” he said. “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 Griffin Road project includes relining a total length of 383m of stormwater conduits, including a 900mm x 450mm box culvert, DN450, DN750, DN1050 and

MAY 2014 water


Water Business RPC HOSTS WELCOME RECEPTION TO KICK OFF 2014 COMPOSITES AUSTRALIA CONFERENCE Hunter manufacturer, RPC Technologies, recently hosted delegates from Composite Australia’s conference in Newcastle with a tour of its Broadmeadow facilities. Conference delegates and speakers came from around the world to be part of the largest conference focusing on composite materials in Australasia.

DN1200 Tonkin concrete pipes. Associated works include construction of two new pits.

greater insight into their process without increasing installation costs.

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The more devices there are in a facility, the greater the required cost and time investments for installation, scheduled maintenance and downtime. Now users can simplify installation and maintenance routines with the Rosemount 3051S MultiVariable Wireless Pressure Transmitter.

EMERSON INTRODUCES NEW WIRELESS TRANSMITTER Emerson Process Management has introduced the Rosemount 3051S MultiVariable Wireless Pressure Transmitter, designed to directly measure two process variables in one installation so users can gain

Because the transmitter measures differential and static pressure, users can reduce pipe penetrations and impulse piping along with their associated costs. The static pressure sensor is available as either true gage or absolute, which allows for reduced maintenance and calibration costs. Backed by Emerson’s proven experience in Smart Wireless field instrumentation, users have instant visibility to their measurements through a non-intrusive, WirelessHART® monitoring system. With Rosemount 3051S wireless transmitters, users can monitor more assets throughout their facilities with greater than 99% reliability and at 40% to 60% cost savings over wired installations. The Rosemount 3051S MultiVariable Wireless Pressure Transmitter delivers a decade of maintenance-free performance with a 10-year stability specification, making it the most cost-effective and reliable way to monitor assets while also reducing installation costs. For more information please visit

water MAY 2014

RPC Technologies has been a leader in the field for over 40 years, specialising in the use of composite materials such as fibre-reinforced plastics, glass-reinforced plastics and carbon fibre. The company’s engineering and manufacturing operations extend throughout Australia and South Asia, employing over 500 skilled staff. RPC Managing Director, Tony Caristo, points to the remarkable strength, corrosion resistance, lightness and energy efficiency of modern composite materials. “These characteristics set composites apart from older generation materials. They are the reasons why we are seeing composites being applied to a growing array of different manufacturing, infrastructure and environmental applications,” he says.


Water Business “It has enabled us to compete successfully on a global basis. We serve a wide range of different markets, industries and clients across the globe where the performance advantages of composite materials really count. We are therefore delighted to be able to showcase our capabilities and the role of composite materials for a lighter and smarter world.” You can contact RPC Technologies at

NEW PORTABLE ENGINE DRIVEN CHOPPER PUMP Vaughan Co Inc, a leading manufacturer of chopper pumps for over 50 years, has released a new heavy-duty, diesel engine-driven centrifugal chopper pump for mobile solids pumping applications. Designed for handling high concentrations of difficult suspended solids including rag, plastics and fibrous material, the unit is an adaption of the popular Vaughan model HE6W horizontal end suction chopper pump, which is proven in the most severe-duty municipal sewage and sludge handling processes. All solids are chopped and broken down at the pump intake to prevent plugging

and solids reweave in downstream equipment. Non-clog performance is guaranteed. A video demonstrating the unrivalled solids handling capabilities of the Vaughan chopper pump can be viewed at www.chopperpumps. With the aid of a robust venturi vacuum prime system, the new Vaughan mobile chopper pump unit allows for dry suction lifts of up to 7.3 metres, flow rates of up to 155 litres per second and heads up to 40 metres. With the main pump wet end built to the same tried and trusted spec as regular Vaughan chopper pumps, including the heavy-duty bearing housing and “flushless” cartridge seal configuration, end users can be assured of the highest mechanical reliability in the toughest pumping environments. The pump has an 8"

suction flange and 6" discharge and is powered by a top-quality four-cylinder, fourcycle, turbocharged and water-cooled John Deere 4045TF290 Interim Tier 4 diesel engine. The pump is now available from Vaughan authorised distributor for Australia and New Zealand, Pump Systems Ltd. With its proven experience and industry knowledge, Pump Systems Ltd, as the sole authorised

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.

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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 MAY 2014 water with sustainable water usage and environmental protection.


Water Business distributor of Vaughan chopper pumps to the Australian market for more than 20 years, has been providing reliable and costeffective solutions for the most challenging solids pumping applications to the combined municipal and industrial sectors. For more information, technical data and pricing, please contact Pump Systems Ltd on 1800 121 452, or email sales@

RECYCLING WATER IN THE DESERT Alice Water Smart is a water efficiencyprogram comprising a suit of projects aimed at reducing consumption of potable water in Alice Springs to preserve the life of the town’s water supply, the Roe Creek Bore Field. This initiative is coordinated by the Power and Water Corporation, NT, and supported by the Australian Government’s Water for the Future program. The Alice Water Smart program aims to reduce water consumption by 1600 mega litres per annum (equivalent to two months’ water supply for Alice). One of the key projects is the Alice Water Smart Reuse initiative aimed at supplementing potable water supply with recycled water for irrigation purposes. This involves upgrading the existing

recycled water plant at the Alice Springs Waste Stabilisation Ponds (WSP) to enable supply of recycled water for unrestricted irrigation purposes. The improved product water quality will be equivalent to the Class A recycled water standard from the Queensland Recycled Water Management Plan and Validation Guidelines, 2008. The Alice Springs Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) is a lagoon based treatment system with aeration on the primary lagoon

and polishing lagoon. Currently effluent of the WWTP is treated to equivalent of Class B standard by a 6MLD Dissolved Air Floatation (DAF) plant. The reclaimed water is then chlorine disinfected and supplied to selected end-users in Alice Springs for restricted use. The commissioned upgrades under Alice Water Smart will expand the capacity and treatment processes at the Alice WWTP to improve the quality and quantity of recycled water. A new 2.5ML storage tank and additional filtration and disinfection facilities have been constructed as part of the upgrade to meet the projected demand for |recycled water and achieve the required water quality standard. Supply pipelines have also been extended to provide recycled water to more non- residential users. The project is currently at the commissioning and validation stage with supply of Class A water to the customers in Alice Springs on schedule to commence shortly. Iouriv Water Solutions Pty Ltd is proud to be selected by Power & Water Corporation, NT to provide ongoing technical support and project delivery advice on the Alice Water Smart WWTP upgrades project. For more information visit

water MAY 2014



pump that’s ideal for a range of duties including marine fire fighting and salvage.” The new 4” Sea Skipper (QP402-EDL100E) incorporates a number of features that make it suitable for use with saltwater. The broad-shouldered pump casing is covered inside and out in a thick Geomat coating. This protects the marine-grade aluminium against oxidisation.

Victaulic, the world’s leading manufacturer of mechanical pipe-joining systems, proudly announces the availability of its grooved solution for copper systems in Australia. The Victaulic copper connection system complies with Australian standard (AS-1432) copper tubing sizes DN50 – DN200 (2 – 8”) Types A, B and D, and can withstand pressures of up to 2450kPa/355psi depending on the type and size of copper tubing. The product line consists of WaterMark™ approved Style 606-AS rigid coupling for joining copper tubing and a range of full flow, standard radius wrought copper fittings supplied with grooves. “We are pleased to offer our customers in Australia a faster and more efficient solution for joining copper tubing,’’ said David Sharkey, Vice President Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia. “Victaulic is committed to providing innovative solutions that lead to dramatic gains in productivity and the copper connection system is a result of that commitment.” The Victaulic copper connection system is designed for HVAC and plumbing applications and installs twice as fast as alternative joining methods, reducing rework on systems by 10 to 15% when compared to brazed or soldered systems. The system also uses a proven pressureresponsive synthetic rubber gasket to seal on the outside diameter of the tubing, requiring no heat. This cold-formed mechanical joint reduces the on-site safety risks of fumes, flames, and related costs associated with fire hazards. The Style 606-AS provides a union at every joint for fast assembly and disassembly

for any on-site rework and maintenance required. To learn more about Victaulic copper product line, please visit www.victaulic. com/aus-copper.

PORTABLE SEAWATER PUMP A new high-pressure fire pump designed for marine duties has been released by Australian Pump Industries. Called the Aussie Sea Skipper, the self-priming pump has been designed to tolerate saltwater, making it suitable for applications on work boats, barges, ferries, trawlers and patrol boats. “We’ve taken our high-pressure 4” fire pump and converted it for a life at sea,” said Aussie Pump’s product manager Brad Farrugia. “Key components are designed to be corrosion resistant, so now we have a high-performance

The impeller and volute are cast from bronze for corrosion resistance, but there’s been no compromise in the hydraulic performance of the pump. The new 4” Sea Skipper delivers a maximum head of 50 metres and a maximum flow up to 1150 lpm. Like all Aussie QP pumps, it has the ability to self-prime with a vertical lift up to eight metres. The drain plug incorporates a sacrificial anode to prevent electrolysis and all fasteners are made from stainless steel. The mechanical seal is carbon ceramic and the elastomers are nitrile rubber. The new unit is compact in design and comes mounted in a galvanised steel frame for protection of both the pump and engine. The full roll frame facilitates a two-man

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

MAY 2014 water


Water Business continued use and extension of use of the water treatment system. “We believe this is the first large commercial pool in Australia to be approved without chlorine,” says Bryan Goh, Waterco’s group marketing director. “We are thrilled that the system has been so successful at Turtle Beach and that the Council has given the okay for it to be so comprehensively rolled out across the Gold Coast. “The Council was comprehensively briefed on the system prior to it being installed and it approved the initial sixmonth trial with a strict testing regime. The resort has now been using the Hydroxypure system for the children’s pool and waterfall since May 2013 and we understand the chlorine-free pools are generating many compliments from guests of Turtle Beach.” The Council’s approval was based on the satisfactory results of the bacteriological water quality testing which was carried out during the trial period in 2013. According to the tests, the chlorine-free method of disinfection has maintained the levels required by Council. Dane Van Der Neut, from Patonga NSW, checks out the new Aussie Sea Skipper pump, designed for saltwater applications. lift. A zinc-painted strainer and powdercoated couplings are included as standard equipment. The pump is powered by a 10hp Yanmar diesel engine with electric start convenience. The engine is covered by a two-year international warranty that is supported by Yanmar’s extensive worldwide dealer network. Like all Aussie QP pumps the wet end is covered by a unique five-year warranty. “We’ve already seen interest from a number of boat operators. It certainly fills a gap in the market for a portable highperformance marine pump,” said Farrugia. “It’s suitable for patrol boats, tugs, barges, trawlers and even luxury cruisers,” he said. For further information, including a free selection guide on the full range of Aussie Sea Skipper pumps, please contact

been given the tick of approval by the Gold Coast Council for ongoing use at the Turtle Beach Resort in Mermaid Beach, Queensland. As a result, the Hydroxypure system will be rolled out across all of the resort’s pools, spas, water feature and proposed new $1 million water theme park. The decision follows a six-month evaluation of the Hydroxypure system, with Gold Coast Council’s Health, Regulatory and Lifeguard Services Branch approving the

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Waterco’s newly released Hydroxypure chlorine-free swimming pool system, which was developed in association with Gold Coast-based inventor Nick Briscoe, has

water MAY 2014

The extended use and installation of the Hydroxypure system across Turtle Beach’s water assets will require quarterly bacteriological water quality testing to ensure that bather load, weather conditions and future development of components and/or chemicals validates the results witnessed during the trial. This testing will be carried out over 12 months, and will be undertaken and analysed by a National Association of Testing Authority (NATA) registered laboratory.

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Hach Pacific


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ICN – International Capability Network


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HACH PACIFIC PRODUCTS Detection Instruments

Gas Detectors

Locators: Pipe, Cables, Metal


Leak Detection


Lab & Portable Instruments

Auto Digestion & Acidification System

Process Instruments



Homeland Security (Water)

PRV Controllers

Distribution Monitoring Panel

Data Loggers: Pressure, Flow

Source Water Monitoring Panel

Calibration Solutions

Ground Penetration Radars

Confined Space Entry

Elemental Test Kits & Reagents Hygiene Analyzers

Liquid Solid

Flow Meters


pH, Conductivity, Dissolved O2 (BOD) Portable Environmental Analysis System Spectrophotometers & Colorimeters Turbidity Analyzers Refractometry Systems


Detection Instruments


Clamp-On Ultrasonic Mag-Flowmeter Area Velocity (Hach-Sigma)

Fixed Portable Single-Point Insertion Multi-Point Insertion Battery-Powered Insertion



Alkalinity, Ammonia/Monochloramine, BOD, Chlorine, Chlorine Dioxide, COD, Conductivity, Copper, Dissolved Oxygen/LDO, Fluoride, Hardness, Hydrogen Peroxide, Nitrate, Nutrients, Organics, Ozone, Particle Counting, pH/ORP, Phosphate, Refractometer, Silica, Sludge Level, Sodium, Streaming Current Monitor, Suspended Solids, TOC, Turbidity, UV %A, UV %T

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Water Journal May 2014  
Water Journal May 2014  

The May 2014 issue features technical papers, feature articles and opinion pieces on a diverse range of topics including Global Food & Water...