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W AT E R FUTURE Chris Davis and Bob Swinton

Dusk falls on the Murray River.

Contents Introduction Chris Davis SECTION ONE : OVERVIEW and key issues Water reform in Australia Improving water information CSIRO’s Water for a Healthy Country Flagship Dams pause Why surface water/groundwater interaction matters Research and development SECTION TWO : AGRICULTURAL WATER The Murray-Darling basin Water markets and trading Best practice irrigation

5 8 10 13 16 19 21 23 30 32 34 37

SECTION THREE : URBAN SUPPLIES 44 Urban water overview 46 Indirect potable reuse 53 Urban recycling/reuse 56 Desalination 59 Urban water efficiency 61 Urban water institutional arrangements 63 The urban water business 66 Regulation in the urban water industry 68 Water sensitive urban design 71 SECTION FOUR : The future of water What is to come?

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SECTION SIX : DIRECTORY Business directory suppliers


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Chris Davis is a National Water Commissioner and Chair of the Urban Water Security Research Alliance.

Introduction Chris Davis

Securing water supplies has never been easy in Australia. Prior to the arrival of British settlers in 1788, the Aboriginal inhabitants had little or no impact on rivers, but all that changed when the colonists arrived, complete with European preconceptions about the way rivers should behave. What the new settlers discovered was, to quote Dorothy Mackellar’s celebrated poem, “a land of droughts and flooding rains”. Often both were happening at the same time in different parts of the country. To compound the problems, the Australian continent is predominantly a very old, flat, eroded and leached landscape, with no real mountains. In their lower reaches, rivers have barely any slope to drive the flow, so they meander, silt up and create oxbows (billabongs). Navigation along the Murray River was only reliable once dozens of locks had been constructed to secure some water within each reach. It did not take long for the settlers to extract water, gravel and sand from rivers, and to sink wells, run pipelines and build dams. They were very frustrated by rivers that either ran dry or flooded, making life difficult in typical riverside towns. The colonies that would, in 1901, become a federation, had to thrash out a constitution. They agreed that all aspects of water management, other than navigation, would be managed by the states. When irrigated farming took hold in what is now the nation’s food bowl, the Murray-Darling basin, the states through which the Murray and Darling rivers passed had to develop ways to share the available water — a challenge that remains unresolved. Managing Australia’s rivers and water resources has been a learning experience, resulting in the honing of necessary skills, both technical and political, which are now available on the world market. The Australian psyche sets great store by fairness, therefore much energy has been devoted to developing operating rules that don’t arbitrarily advantage any group. The continent is so old that the tiny amount of salt carried inland by onshore winds has accumulated in the soil profile over the millennia, sitting unnoticed underground. Left alone, the salt does no harm, but two activities can mobilise it and thereby destroy soil and crops. The first is rainfall that, thanks to deforestation, is no longer transpired by trees. So it tops up groundwater levels, then ultimately seeps out and scalds the soil. The other action is excessive irrigation, which has the same effect. Australian scientists and engineers had to develop an understanding of these phenomena. They found that over-irrigation was a relatively easy problem to solve, but that salt movement caused by land clearing took decades to express itself and, even if forests were to be restored, salination would probably take just as many decades to be reversed. Apart from active salination attributable to human activities, the Murray River has a natural salt load, which is challenging water quality. This has necessitated a sophisticated suite of salt interception

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The irrigation system designed and built by Rubicon at Shepparton uses advanced technology to improve its operation and management.

schemes which, acting in concert, maintain the conductivity (the level of salt content) below 800 milliSiemens per centimetre. Although most Australian cities do not enjoy access to groundwater (some notable exceptions being Perth, Newcastle and Alice Springs), large tracts of the inland do have underlying aquifers (sand, gravel or fractured rock, capable of holding water) and about 30 per cent of water used within them is derived from those underground sources. The most famous aquifer complex is the Great Artesian Basin, underlying large sections of Queensland and New South Wales. A combination of natural springs and manmade bores has seen water levels drop in the Basin, but an ongoing program of bore capping and rehabilitation is gradually restoring the water pressures. Dealing with these and other groundwater challenges has led to the development of a significant pool of talented hydrogeologists. A contemporary challenge to water management, especially groundwater, comes from mining, oil and gas extraction. Up to now, since some mines ‘make’ water while others have a net water demand, mining has only extracted about 3 per cent of all water used nationally. Although as coal-seam gas extraction increases, the impact on groundwater will escalate. The process of extracting gas from coal involves pumping out a large volume of water, which causes the gas to be released. At this stage, only approximate estimates of water extraction can be made, but they are likely to be very significant. As the water is typically quite saline, it cannot simply be discharged; it must either be desalinated, or re-injected into the aquifer from whence it came – not a simple exercise. Understanding and managing all these challenges, together with others mentioned elsewhere in this book, has bred a strong research, consulting and policy establishment in Australia. Many universities conduct water research and the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) has a major unit dubbed Water for a Healthy Country Flagship. The CSIRO, state governments and universities have created two collaborative research ventures: the Urban Water Security Research Alliance in southeast Queensland and the Goyder Institute in Adelaide. There are many expert consulting firms operating in Australia: two of the largest are essentially home grown and the other big ones are part of global businesses. A group of small, niche firms complements the big guns of the major operations. Co-ordination and communication, aimed at more effective operation of the broad water sector, are carried out by several not-for-profit organisations, including the Australian Water Association, Water Services Association of Australia, Irrigation Australia Limited and the Stormwater Industry Association. As a nation dealing effectively with permanently challenging water management issues, Australia is a good model and a worthwhile partner or service provider. This book showcases some of what is on offer.

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Artesian water is playing an increasingly important role in outback Australia.

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Overview and key issues SECTION ONE

· Water reform in Australia · Improving water information · Water for a safer country · Dams pause · Groundwater · Research and development

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Close-up view of the Rubicon structure at Shepparton.

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Water reform in Australia James Cameron

Over the past decade, Australia has committed to an ambitious and challenging water reform agenda driven by a prolonged drought, extreme climate variability, increasing demand for water for consumptive uses, environmental degradation and uncertainty around urban water security. Under Australia’s federated system of government, water management is primarily vested in the six state and two major territory governments. The need to move the management of Australia’s water resources to a more efficient and sustainable footing was first reflected at the national level in the 1994 Council of Australian Governments (COAG) water reform framework.

A blueprint for reform In 2004, recognising the need for a more integrated and coordinated national approach to water management, COAG signed off on the National Water Initiative (NWI). This policy blueprint represents a shared commitment by the Australian government and state and territory governments to increase the efficiency of Australia's water use, and to deliver greater certainty for investment and productivity, and for the environment. Under the NWI, governments made commitments to: • prepare water plans with provision for the environment • deal with over-allocated or stressed water systems • introduce registers of water rights and standards for water accounting • expand the trade in water • improve pricing for water storage and delivery • meet and manage urban water demands. The overall objective of the NWI is to achieve a nationally compatible market, and a regulatory and planning-based system of managing surface and groundwater resources for rural and urban use that optimises economic, social and environmental outcomes. Following the finalisation of the NWI agreement, the National Water Commission was created

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with a mandate to independently and publicly assess and report on progress to the highest levels of government, and to assist the implementation of reform.

Improving water management Today, it is evident that the implementation of water reform in Australia is delivering real improvements in the management, use and understanding of water. Significant progress has been made across a broad range of areas. Many of these achievements can be attributed to the shared commitment by the federal, state and territory governments under the NWI. Water trading, within and between Australian states, is proving to be one of the NWI’s success stories and is delivering real benefits to irrigators, communities and the environment. The Commission’s “Australian Water Markets Report 2009–10” found that in the three years after 2007-08, entitlement trade grew by 112 per cent and allocation trade grew by 57 per cent. Although it is difficult to identify the effects of trade in an environment of drought, commodity market and rural adjustment, trade has clearly assisted existing industries to manage change, and has been critical to new, large-scale agricultural development. Without water trading, many existing enterprises would not have survived the recent drought. Significant progress also has been achieved in water accounting, meaning that Australians are now better informed about how much water is being delivered, traded, extracted for consumptive use, and managed for environmental and other public benefits. This is essential if water policymakers, planners and managers are to make sensible decisions about how to use water. It also supports public and investor confidence. In addition to the development of a national framework and standards for water accounting, the Bureau of Meteorology is now empowered to collect and publish high-quality water information.

Bßrkert’s ion-exchange system is just one of its water management tools.

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Water information is gathered, analysed and reported in different ways in different jurisdictions.

Unfinished business Despite these achievements, there are areas where sufficient progress has not been made, or where progress has been slow. Over-allocation of resources remains a serious impediment to sustainable water use. The environmental health of too many Australian river systems is coming under threat as access to water is being contested increasingly. The development and commencement of transparent, adaptive and effective water plans must be accelerated to allow water users to realise the full benefits of NWI reforms. This is essential to deliver sustainable levels of extraction and provide certainty both for irrigators and the Australian landscape. Water plans are also critical to deal with the interception of water by users not captured within the entitlement regime, the interaction between surface and groundwater systems, and the provision of water to achieve specific environmental outcomes. As the Commission found in its recent review of pricing reform in the Australian water sector report, there is also scope for governments to improve how water is priced to promote efficiency and innovation in urban and rural areas. Efficient pricing or charging for water-related services underpins wise infrastructure spending, encourages innovation and promotes sustainable water use.

Building on the National Water Initiative Australia’s water challenges are ongoing, as is the effort to find solutions. The National Water Initiative is a 10-year program of reform, but it is not a static document. In November 2008, the Council of Australian Governments agreed to a number of initiatives that build on the NWI by improving water markets and trade, investing in water information and developing an enhanced urban water reform framework. In another important reform initiative,

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the Murray-Darling Basin Authority was established in 2008 to plan the integrated management of water resources of the Murray-Darling basin. Other new water policy commitments have been supported by unprecedented levels of Australian government investment. One area in which the challenges for water management have changed markedly since the NWI was signed in 2004 is urban water. In its recent report, Urban Water in Australia: Future Directions, the National Water Commission set out a series of recommendations, urging COAG to develop a new set of urban water objectives that will provide national leadership for urban water management. In particular, the Commission suggested that Australia’s governments step back from direct intervention in urban water and give the industry more incentives and freedom to innovate. This is needed to encourage utilities to invest in cost-effective and fit-forpurpose services and to provide more flexible, efficient and customer-driven products and services.

Future priorities In Australia, water reform is an ongoing, often laborious and challenging process requiring continuous oversight and periodic renewal. Success in meeting these challenges is essential for Australia’s future wellbeing. Even if Australia doesn’t always measure up to its own exacting standards for water management, there is international admiration for what we have achieved so far. Our unique water reform journey is proving to be of interest to the global community, as nearly every country comes to grips with the great challenge of sustainably managing this critical resource in a rapidly changing world. James Cameron is acting CEO of the National Water Commission.

Improving water information Bob Swinton

In a water-limited environment like Australia, using water wisely and sustainably holds the key to our future. As water supply reduces under climate change and water demand increases with population growth, we must continually adjust the way we manage our water resources. The Australian public rightly expects that water policies and management decisions will be founded on a sound evidence base. In Australia, water information has traditionally been gathered, analysed and reported in different ways in different jurisdictions. Until now, we have never had a means to assemble the information and systematically report on water across the nation. This has inhibited productive community debate about water reform and contributed to governments delaying action. The framing policies and business cases for Australia’s water reform all require a sound base of water information. Fully understanding the availability, condition and use of our water resources and how these change over time, enables effective design and adaptive improvement of our reform agenda. In recognition of this need, the Australian government has assigned the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia’s weather and climate agency, national responsibility for collecting and disseminating water information. Under the Water for the Future initiative, the Bureau has been allocated $450 million over 10 years to revolutionise the way it measures, accounts for, reports, forecasts and analyses water information. A legislative mandate for the Bureau’s new role in water information is provided by the Water Act 2007. These responsibilities are supported by partnerships with water managers and the new systems and standards it is developing with research partners, including the CSIRO, Geoscience Australia and the eWater Co-operative Research Centre. Over coming years, all of this work will provide water managers, policy makers and the general public with a range of data, reporting and forecasting products.

What does water information tell us? The water information products and services being developed by the Bureau will have national reach and be readily available to the public, free of charge. They will supply answers to the following questions for any part of Australia: • How much water is available today, and how does that compare with the past? • Who is entitled to use water, how much can they use and under what constraints? • How much water is being traded and at what price? • How much water is being allocated to the environment? • How is the rate and pattern of water use changing? • How is the quantity and quality of water in our rivers and aquifers changing? • How much water is being lost to evaporation and leakage? • What are the hydrologic impacts of land management changes and climate change? Australians now have free online access to information about publicly owned water storages across Australia at a single website: Visitors to the Bureau’s website are able to compare water storage levels for over 250 sites across the nation, with daily updates available for most of Australia’s urban and rural water supply systems.

Modernisation and extension of hydrologic monitoring systems Improving the quality and reliability of Australia’s water information will require the upgrade of many monitoring and data transfer systems across the nation. The Bureau administers the Australian government’s $80 million Modernisation and Extension of Hydrologic Monitoring Systems Program (M&E Program). The fund invests in new technologies to monitor, communicate, process and store

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water data to improve Australia’s water data availability, quality and coverage. It has also enhanced collaboration and co-operation between the Bureau and the lead water agencies and water managers essential to the success of the Bureau’s Improving Water Information Program. Since it began in 2007, the M&E Program has funded 397 projects over four rounds — one round per year — with a total investment of just over $67 million. These projects are undertaken by organisations ranging from natural resource management bodies to large state and territory corporations.

National Water Account The National Water Account (NWA) will provide water managers and policy makers with information about water rights, water availability and water use that has previously been difficult to access or unavailable to general users in a standardised form. The NWA will transparently report on volumes of water traded, extracted and managed for economic, public and environmental purposes across Australia. Published annually and covering the period from 1 July to 30 June, it will focus on hydrologically defined regions of national significance. The NWA for the 2009/10 financial year will be published in late 2011.

Australian water resources assessments Australian Water Resources Assessments will also be published periodically by the Bureau to describe changes in the availability, condition and use of our nation’s water resources. The assessments require detailed climatologic and hydrologic analyses to be undertaken of 14 regions spanning the continent. The first assessment report was published in mid-2011 under the title Australian Water Resources Assessment 2010 (AWRA2010) and is available at

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Australian hydrological geospatial fabric The Australian hydrological geospatial fabric (Geofabric) is a specialised geographic information system (GIS) that registers the spatial relationships between important hydrologic features, such as rivers, dams, lakes, aquifers, diversions and monitoring points. By detailing the spatial dimensions of these hydrofeatures and how they are connected, we are able to see how water is stored, transported and used through the landscape. The Geofabric has been developed by the Bureau in partnership with Geoscience Australia, the Australian National University and the CSIRO. Over time, it will be updated to store the boundaries of topologically defined drainage divisions, catchments, aquifers and priority aquatic ecosystems. The first version of the Geofabric was released in October 2010.

Seasonal stream flow forecasts In late 2010, the Bureau released a seasonal stream flow forecasting service predicting inflows into major water supply systems three months in advance. The service provides forecasts for 21 sites in southeast Australia and is gradually being extended into other parts of the country. This new information aids river and reservoir operators and environmental water holders who need to plan operations for months ahead. More information To learn more about water and the Bureau of Meteorology products and services, visit EA “Bob” Swinton was a principal research scientist in the Water Group of CSIRO. After his retirement he became the technical editor for “Water”, the official journal of the Australian Water Association.

Kings Canyon, Northern Territory

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CSIRO’S Water for a Healthy Country Flagship Bob Swinton

Australia’s best scientific research capabilities are being brought together in CSIRO’s Water for a Healthy Country Flagship to address the sustainable management of our water resources and deliver relevant and effective water management options for Australia. With a total investment of approximately $90 million per annum, the Flagship is the largest research partnership focusing on water in Australia. The Flagship aims to provide Australians with solutions for water resource management, creating economic gains while protecting or restoring our major water ecosystems. The Flagship supports major water policy and strategies at national and regional scales, including the National Water Initiative, the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan, the Living Murray Initiative, the Water for the Future Program and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Australia’s water resources face a major transformation in coming decades due to pressures on our water systems from increasing climate variability and change, historical over-allocation of water, water trading from agricultural to urban and ecological uses and inefficient irrigation practices. Our research aims to provide solutions that increase regional water reliability and security, while meeting social, environmental and critical human needs. Our researchers are developing tools and strategies to assess the availability and use of water in our river systems and catchments, improving our understanding of groundwater and accounting for groundwater-surface water interactions and to support our partners to design a sustainable water future for all users. Australia’s water ecosystems support a vast array of plant and animal life and contribute substantially to the nation’s wellbeing. These systems have tremendous environmental value and provide considerable economic, social and cultural benefits. Many of our water ecosystems are either degraded or under threat. This is mostly due to a combination of ecological stresses caused by lack of water and poor water quality (including contamination of waterways, estuaries, coasts, soils

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and groundwater). As custodians of some of the world’s iconic water ecosystems (including the Great Barrier Reef and 64 Ramsar-listed wetlands), Australians have a responsibility to protect and rehabilitate these sites. However, this is no easy task. Flagship research is delivering the knowledge and tools that enable improved environmental decision making and management of key issues affecting the health of Australian water ecosystems. With an expected 50 per cent increase in urban population by 2050, providing safe, reliable and sustainable water services for Australia’s cities is a major challenge for the 21st century. The transition of Australia’s cities to more sustainable models of urban water management requires innovative science and technology solutions. These environmental pressures will be exacerbated by climate change. The transition of Australia’s cities to more sustainable models of urban water management requires innovative science and technology solutions. CSIRO is providing research to assist government, industry and communities in understanding water-related resource management issues across the urban water cycle, and is contributing to the creation of healthier, more liveable cities. Modern national water information infrastructure is seen as essential for Australia’s water reforms. This requires improved coverage, accuracy and currency for Australia’s water resources information systems. CSIRO is working with partners such as the Bureau of Meteorology to build a new generation of water information infrastructure that will help provide timely and accurate national water accounts more cheaply, provide automated and efficient ways of routinely monitoring and analyse and report on Australia’s water resources. Partnerships are critical to the development, delivery and adoption of research. Complementing the skills of CSIRO scientists, we draw on the expertise and advice of over 50 partners in alliances such as the South-Eastern Australian Climate Initiative (SEACI), a partnership between CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, the Murray-Darling Basin

A billabong in the Australian wetlands area.

Authority and the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment). Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency is investigating the causes and impacts of climate change and climate variability across south-eastern Australia ( We are a significant contributor to the South East Queensland Urban Water Security Research Alliance, a research partnership between the Queensland government, CSIRO, University of Queensland and Griffith University (www.urbanwateralliance. The Goyder Institute for Water Research is a partnership between the CSIRO, the South Australian government through the Department of Water, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia. Additional research partners are the South Australian Research and Development Institute and the Australian Water Quality Centre ( The Water Information Research and Development Alliance (the Alliance) brings together the CSIRO’s research and development expertise in water and information sciences and the Bureau of Meteorology’s operational role in hydrological analysis and prediction to transform the way Australia manages its water resources ( WIRADA.html). CSIRO is a member of the eWater CRC, which is a co-operative joint venture between leading water-cycle management, research and consulting organisations to offer

a range of next generation products, support and training for Australian governments, agencies, authorities and the broader water industry ( The Centre of Excellence for Water Recycling aims to enhance the management and use of water recycling nationally and internationally through industry and research partnerships. Through its nationally competitive research projects, the centre will produce and commercialise new water recycling technologies, processes and approaches to enable the sustainable management of our water supply (www. The National Centre of Excellence in Desalination leads and co-ordinates Australia’s research in desalination technology. Through the NCED, Australia is building national capacity and capabilities in desalination with a dual focus on breakthrough fundamental research and applied research with a goal of delivering meaningful improvements at commercial scale ( More information EA “Bob” Swinton was a principal research scientist in the Water Group of CSIRO. After his retirement he became the technical editor for “Water”, the official journal of the Australian Water Association.

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Lake Burbury ­— an artificial waterway created when Hydro Tasmania built Crotty Dam.

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Dams pause Chris Davis

Australia has a proud dam building heritage: a quick overview of global statistics shows just where we fit. For each head of population, Australia has more than 4300 cubic metres (or kilolitres) of dam storage capacity in its 561 large dams. By contrast, South Africa has roughly 400 cubic metres, and Ethiopia some 43 cubic metres, per person. At the other end of the spectrum, the United States has around 7000 cubic metres of storage per person. The need for dams is threefold: to even out the extremely variable rainfall patterns by storing water; to protect downstream communities from flooding; and, wherever practicable, to generate hydroelectricity. While a storage dam needs to hold as much water as possible, a flood mitigation dam needs as much airspace as possible to catch a potential flood. That tension became very apparent in 2011 when Queensland’s Wivenhoe Dam, designed to provide flood protection, overtopped and raised questions about the relative allocation of volume to the conflicting purposes. An ideal dam site enables a relatively small wall across a geologically stable gorge to hold back a large volume of water. The shape of the impoundment should result in a water body that is deep but has a small surface area, thus minimising evaporation losses. Most important, of course, is the need for the dammed river catchment to have a flow profile, which will result in a strong net yield each year. Traditionally, hydrologists based their plans for dams on the historic record of rainfall and runoff in each catchment. However, Australian records are not very long, since collection of data began just over 100 years ago. A further challenge is posed by the fact that dam building peaked during an era when rainfall was probably higher than normal, so expectations were raised. Now, of course, strong evidence of human-induced climate change means that historic records have little to say about the future. Apart from the technical conundrums to be resolved, dams have other significant features: they impinge on the natural environment and the social situation. In the early days of civil

engineering, environmental impacts weren’t understood or even considered, but they can be quite profound. Apart from the most obvious effect, that is, cutting off much of the water flow downstream, a dam interrupts normal patterns of fish migration up and down a watercourse, as well as physically collecting sediment. Moreover, when water is released from a dam, it is usually drawn from its lower levels, where the water is colder. That cold flow can have a negative impact on river ecology up to 200 kilometres downstream. On the social front, dam impacts are mixed: they can underpin agricultural irrigation enterprises, boost tourism and recreation, and earn revenue from power generation, but they also inundate valuable riverside farmlands and displace communities. Because there are winners and losers, dam projects are now almost invariably contentious. Historically, dams were a part of social engineering to provide jobs for returned soldiers, so they were typically not analysed in detail for economic viability. As dam building around Australia progressed the good sites were snapped up, so those currently on the drawing board are generally less than ideal. Applying rigorous economic analysis to a dam project can be fraught, and the decision to proceed becomes doubly difficult when attempts are made to balance economic, social and environmental factors. In the current political climate, it seems unlikely that any major city will build more supply dams in the short term. On a cost-benefit basis, flood mitigation may not be on the agenda either. Hydroelectricity, on the other hand, may play a growing role, since pumped storage systems (the iconic example, of course, being the Snowy Mountains Scheme) can play a stabilising role in the national grid, especially complementing the variable supplies from wind and solar sources. Pragmatically, irrigation dams seem seldom capable of paying their way, so other agendas will be in play for future schemes. A neat resolution to at least some of the common dam issues lies in the use of off-stream dams (those on

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Spillways are being modified at many dams to minimise downstream flooding.

small catchments with ephemeral streams of their own), supplemented, when necessary, by water from a perennial river nearby. The Cowara Dam in Port Macquarie is a good example. Although the rate of new dam initiation has slowed, safety is an ongoing and serious responsibility, so Australia has a cohort of engineering experts who continually monitor and assess the condition of current dams and their ability to cope with the probable maximum flood (PMF) in their catchments. Many spillways have had to be modified to ensure safety. Three perennial challenges are being addressed innovatively across Australia: • Evaporation losses for smaller dams are being reduced by the use of covers: either suspended shade-cloth-like structures, or floating shapes. Chemical monolayers to achieve similar savings have been less successful, but development work continues. Larger dams are less amenable to any of these solutions, but any breakthroughs will be observed with interest.

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• The design of fish ladders to enable seasonal migrations began on the back foot when native fishes’ jumping abilities were overestimated, but recent projects have been enlightened and more sophisticated, with some successful outcomes. • Cold water releases are gradually being modified to minimise downstream thermal shock, thanks to adjustable draw-off levels. Has Australia seen the end of new dams? No, but the rate of building will be modest and the hurdles for project approval will be raised rather than lowered. Of 561 large dams built in Australia between 1857 and 2011, a massive 50 per cent were completed in the three decades between 1960 and 1989. That rate will never be matched, but the dams that will be built will be more sustainable. Chris Davis is a National Water Commissioner, Chair of the Urban Water Security Research Alliance and a member of several other water-related committees.

Why surface water/groundwater interaction matters Rick Evans

Historically, the major water resource used in much of Australia has been surface water, but much of inland Australia is totally dependent on groundwater. Over the last 30 years or so (especially since the 1982/83 drought), the importance of groundwater has increased gradually. Indeed, the serious drought over the last decade or more has driven total groundwater use to about 10,000GL per annum, with about 600,000 bores in use and 500 cities and towns dependent on groundwater. However, what is generally not understood is that in much of Australia, the groundwater and surface water is interconnected and is an interchangeable resource. Groundwater becomes surface water and surface water becomes groundwater. However, this common physical reality is not reflected in our water management systems, which generally manage groundwater and surface water as separate resources. As a result, the same water may be allocated to both surface water users and to groundwater users. This “double accounting” of the one parcel of water has not generally been recognised because of the common decades-long delay between increased groundwater use in a catchment and the resultant reduction in river base flow. (Base flow is the low flow in a river that occurs during the dry season and is comprised almost totally of groundwater.) As the time lag is often decades or more, the major increase in groundwater use that has occurred over the last few decades is only now beginning to result in reduced stream flows. But because we have often not understood this process, even though we have capped our surface water usage in some parts of Australia, it is still possible to drill a bore near a river and call it groundwater and hence have it approved. Relative to the mean annual flow of most streams in Australia, double accounting is usually very small. However, double accounting may be important during the lowflow times of the year and during drought. Hence double accounting’s importance for low-flow planning. Groundwater use directly affects the security of supply for surface water users and may have a significant environmental impact.

There is little doubt that the drought over the last decade or more has profoundly reduced stream flows. However, the effect of groundwater pumping has also reduced stream flows, a fact that generally not been recognised. There are several important factors that affect the time lag. The most important are the physical properties of the rocks through which groundwater flows and the distance between the extraction bore and the stream. If the bore is close, say within 100 metres, then the time lag is short, in the order of days to weeks. If the bore is far away, say 50km, then the time lag is long, in the order of hundreds of years. For example, for typical groundwater developments in the Murray-Darling basin the time lags have been shown to be commonly from a few years up to 50 years. The magnitude of the ultimate impact also varies greatly, depending on many catchment processes. In some cases the impact may be only a very small percentage of the volume of groundwater pumped. However, where the bores are relatively close to the stream, the impact may be 100 per cent of the volume of groundwater pumped. A rough rule of thumb is that typically about 50 per cent of the volume of groundwater pumped affects the stream. When the significance of groundwater/surface water interaction is recognised, often in a community-driven water-planning framework, a common kneejerk reaction is to stop or reduce groundwater use to “protect” the surface water resources. There is little doubt that if the surface water resources in a catchment are capped (as they are in the Murray-Darling basin) then in most cases (but not all) the groundwater resources should also be capped. But a halt or reduction in groundwater use may not be the best total water management outcome. In many cases groundwater use is a very efficient use of water. Private owners generally meet the capital cost and the distribution and delivery costs are minimal. In addition, application rates for groundwater-based irrigation tend to be lower than those for surface water. In most of our major river systems, the biggest impact on the

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The incidence of groundwater-based irrigation is increasing significantly in inland areas.

environment is surface water extraction. If cuts are required (for example for security of supply or environmental reasons), then perhaps the best response is to consider the total water use efficiency and base cuts on this criterion. This might mean that groundwater-based irrigation, for example, might even increase at the expense of other sources of water. To improve our water management, the community must first learn to understand surface water/groundwater interaction. Gaining ownership of the issue is vital. When

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the time frames are short (less than a few years), the process seems to be readily understood. However, when the time frame is long (many decades or centuries), the issue becomes more technically and socially complex. All of which points to the need for a truly holistic water management framework, which involves integrated surface water and groundwater planning and management. Dr Rick Evans is principal hydrologist with consultants SKM.

Research and development Bob Swinton

Australia has always been water conscious, being the driest inhabited continent. Together with the challenge of running a huge irrigation industry with declining rainfall, much research and development has taken place. In the 1990s, the government program of co-operative research centres (CRCs) provided a dynamic stimulus, banding together research teams with actual users, such as the water authorities. It was always intended that a CRC would have a limited life, but be replaced by a new research organisation — provided the demand for such an entity was reflected in the commitment of the requisite funds by its ‘customers’ i.e. those keen to benefit from the research. The following lists the principal institutes currently operating: • CSIRO, Land and Water, Water for a Healthy Country Flagship: their programs are summarised separately on pages 16-17. • Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA): The urban water industry’s peak body has established collaborative partnerships with international research entities such as the US Water Environment Research Foundation, the Water Research Foundation and the Global Water Research Coalition. The collaborative partnerships recognise that many water issues are international in scale. • eWater Co-operative Research Centre: Established in July 2005 as a result of a merger between two former co-operative research centres, the CRC for Catchment Hydrology and the CRC for Freshwater Ecology. It is based at the University of Canberra. Its mission is the development and application of uniquely Australian products for integrated catchment management, complete river system management, stormwater quality modelling, urban water management and ecological response management. It also provides commercial tools and professional software, support, training and maintenance services through its commercial software arm, eWater Innovation.

• Water Quality Research Australia (WQRA): Established to succeed the CRC for Water Quality and Treatment, which was terminated on 30 June 2008, WQRA is a not-for-profit public company, owned and funded by its membership, which includes Australian utilities, research organisations, universities, private sector companies and government departments. WQRA undertakes collaborative research, the results of which are to be applied nationally to drinking water quality, recycled water and relevant areas of wastewater management, including the development of methods to measure the effects of water quality on human health. • Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence (AWRCE): Based in Brisbane and launched in March 2010 with a seed donation of $20 million over five years from the Australian government, AWRCE’s role is to help secure water supplies that are less dependent on rainfall. It will enhance the management and use of water recycling nationally and internationally through industry and research partnerships. In 2011, AWRCE invested in a portfolio of industryrelevant research projects across the full water-recycling spectrum, developing practical solutions to secure Australia's future water supply while building awareness and understanding in the community about this precious resource. The aims of this institution are summarised in its four themes: technology; risk management; social, institutional and economic challenges; and sustainability in water recycling. • National Centre of Excellence in Desalination (NCED): The leader and co-ordinater of Australia’s research in desalination technology, NCED is building national capacity and capabilities in desalination with a dual focus on breakthrough fundamental research and applied research, with a goal of delivering meaningful, commercial improvements. Like the AWRCE, it was

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granted $20 million in seed money over five years, supplemented by $3 million from the Western Australian government. The host organisation is Murdoch University, Perth, in association with 12 other universities as partners. Twelve projects were launched within various commercial companies and universities under the first round of funding. A second round of funding has been commenced. Work is underway to equip a facility at the Rockingham campus with access both to seawater and groundwater to enable pilot plant testing of new projects. It will be formally opened in September 2011 to coincide with the International Congress on Desalination in Perth. • National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training: A co-funded centre of excellence of the Australian Research Council and the National Water Commission, based at Flinders University, Adelaide. The centre was established in June 2009, with Commonwealth funding of $29.5 million over five years. The centre has been awarded an additional $15 million over four years to develop groundwater research infrastructure as part of the Australian government's Super Science (Marine and Climate) initiative, funded by the Education Infrastructure Fund. It administers research programs in South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory in collaboration with 12 universities guided by a panel of distinguished national and international scientists and research leaders. Despite the fact that groundwater accounts for over 30 per cent of Australia’s water consumption, we simply

24 | Securing Australia’s Water Future

do not know enough about this vital water resource, and how to manage it. Research teams are studying groundwater-dependent ecosystems and the potential impact of climate change, while legal and policy experts are examining the highly complex area of socio-economics, policy-making and management.

Other state and water industry based research organisations A number of research organisations have been established at the state level to broker the delivery of water research. Most notable is the Victorian government’s Smart Water Fund. Since 2002 some $25 million, some from industry, has been invested in the fund’s research focusing on the management and delivery of water services. The Urban Water Security Research Alliance, based in southeast Queensland, was established in 2007 with $25 million cash from the state government over five years. It focuses on water recycling, rainwater and stormwater harvesting to reduce the demand on potable water supplies. The Goyder Institute was established in 2011, with funding of $25 million over five years from the South Australian government. Its research areas include the impacts of climate change, and urban, environmental and industry water issues. EA “Bob” Swinton was a principal research scientist in the Water Group of CSIRO. After his retirement he became the technical editor for “Water”, the official journal of the Australian Water Association.

Carefully monitoring a B端rkert water treatment plant.

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Bürkert Fluid Control Systems Bürkert Fluid Control Systems is an international organisation with offices in 40 countries and operations in an additional 80. With more than 30 years in Australia and 65 years’ global experience, Bürkert is a reliable and long-term partner in fluid control. Australian water treatment is a particular focus area for Bürkert. We have both the technologies and experience required to develop superior water treatment solutions. In order to serve local and region-wide project developers in their areas of operation, our water treatment solutions team is networked around Australia and New Zealand. Experienced in the development of industrial water treatment systems, control panel systems, desalination plants and water authority projects, Bürkert’s water treatment team speaks your language. Bürkert has all the tools, with world-best German engineered and manufactured solenoid valves, process and control valves, proportional valves, process pneumatics, instruments, sensors, microfluidics and mass flow control products. All products are designed to work together for sleeker results, especially with networked systems. At the Sydney Systemhaus, Bürkert’s local engineering team develops turnkey process automation systems based on our world-best technologies. As product and system network specialists, our project teams deliver the best of both worlds, with turnkey automation packages developed by product and network experts. The Bürkert engineering team works in partnership with industry to design, build and commission complete systems, and has worked with some of the best known names in Australia. Backed by the international resources of the Bürkert Group, Bürkert delivers complete turnkey solutions. Our customers can feel confident they are dealing with a well-established and professional international organisation.

26 | Securing Australia’s Water Future

Bürkert. We make ideas flow.”

You have made a lasting contribution to improving the quality of life of aboriginal ‘Deed of Grant in Trust’ community residents.” Peter Opio-Otim, Executive Director, Aboriginal Co-ordinating Council

Arup Arup is a global, independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists offering a broad range of professional services to its clients. Our aim is to work with our clients and meet their business needs by adding value through technical excellence, efficient organisation and personal service. The firm has over 10,000 staff working in more than 90 offices, in over 30 countries. Our projects have taken us to more than 160 countries. We seek to be recognised by our clients as leaders in the strategic and sustainable management of water; as being creators of innovative, future proof and value adding solutions to complex problems; for delivering projects in an integrated and holistic way; and for helping clients overcome specific business challenges created by climate variability, drought and flood. Our skills and experience include water engineering, water management and advisory services. Water engineering includes the investigation and design of tangible infrastructure including treatment plants, pipeline systems and storages. Water management encompasses broader catchment issues including the ecology, modelling and policy development. Advisory services leverage our detailed water knowledge and range from owner’s engineer and banker’s technical advisory roles through to draft policy advice to governments. In Australasia our offices are located in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Perth, Singapore and Sydney. Our water teams function as a unified region wide Group and also integrate other disciplines to assemble ‘best for project’ teams.

Arup has been especially valuable in their role on the project, and has displayed a classic applied science approach in their work…Gypsum Resources Australia can continue with a positive outlook for the future of the company and its operations.” Alistair Kelsh, General Manager, Gypsum Resources Australia

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Rubicon Water

Rubicon’s solutions have been developed to provide irrigation authorities with a means of modernising their infrastructure to reduce losses and improve service while avoiding the prohibitive costs of pipelining and pumping.”

28 | Securing Australia’s Water Future

Rubicon Water has a vision to improve the productivity of the world’s irrigated agriculture in an environmentally sustainable way. Rubicon achieves this by using advanced technology to vastly improve the operation and management of open channel irrigation supply systems. Many people don’t realise that the irrigation industry is the dominant consumer of the world’s fresh water, accounting for around 70 per cent of consumption. Much of this water is supplied to farms using inefficient channel systems, resulting in substantial quantities of water being lost before crops can use it productively. The result of many years’ research and development conducted in conjunction with the University of Melbourne, Rubicon’s solutions have been developed to provide irrigation authorities with a means of modernising their infrastructure to reduce losses and improve service while avoiding the prohibitive costs of pipelining and pumping. Rubicon produces solar-powered water control gates, flow meters and management software that are designed to operate as an integrated system. The technology enables rural water authorities to deliver accurately measured, highflow, on-demand water to farmers utilising existing open channel systems. Central to Rubicon’s solutions is Total Channel Control, which automates the operation of entire irrigation districts. The solution has been proven in Australia and is being rapidly adopted around the world as the global standard. Total Channel Control largely eliminates the losses experienced in manually operated systems. With the much improved service provided by the system, farmers are able to achieve further efficiencies on-farm by irrigating to minimise water use and maximise plant growth and quality. In one of the largest implementations to date, Total Chanel Control is currently being used by Victoria’s NVIRP project to modernise over 6000km of irrigation channels in the Goulburn-Murray irrigation district. It is the most costefficient solution for delivering substantial water savings in the district.


Detection Services Pty Ltd Detection Services are leaders in technical field support services to the Water Industry throughout Australia and the Pacific. With a client base of over 90 water authorities in Australasia, the business provides a broad range of services, including strategy planning and advice, data collection, leak detection and trunk main assessment work. To date, over 125,000km of potable water reticulation mains have been surveyed by the business, providing an enviable track record of results for clients. Detection Services currently employs over 40 fulltime staff with experience from the UK, South Africa, Botswana, Australia and New Zealand. Staff members have run highlevel programs in water authorities throughout the world, and bring great depth of knowledge to the team. The core service the business provides is in the area of non-revenue water reduction in potable water distribution systems. Many water systems experience losses upwards of 25-30 per cent of the total water supplied, posing a large problem globally. Detection Services specialises in quantifying the losses present, and developing methods to reduce the loss over time. The methodologies and processes Detection Services has developed over time are of the highest professional standard, enabling the business to be fully ISO9001 (quality management system), ISO14001 (environmental management system) and ISO18001 (health and safety system) compliant. Programs are fully customisable to suit the needs of the customer. Professional working relationships are established to fully understand the need to reduce non-revenue water, after which a measurable program is instigated to provide the best return for the customer. Equipment used is the very latest available on the market. Different pipe types require different technologies and the business is able to cater for all infrastructure types. Detection Services takes pride in a professional approach to the water industry, based on extensive experience and knowledge. Detection Services — Leaders in technical field support services to the water industry.


Detection Services are leaders in technical field support services to the water industry.�

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2IE International In 1986, 2IE created the swing boom sprinkler system to allow more hectares to be exploited beyond the length of the pivot or linear move. In 1993, it launched its Aqua Gestion System (AGS) to facilitate linear moves. In 2000, the AGS became a standard component in all “hippodrome” systems and pivots fitted with swing booms. Since 2010, 2IE has offered the AGS pre-equipped and ready for internet-assisted control. BP 23347 72003

Fax: +33.(0)2 43 76 50 60

Le Mans Cedex 1 FRANCE


Phone: +33(0)2 43 76 50 50


Acacia Products Pty Ltd Acacia Filtration Bio-Mesh Tubing is the ideal biological filtration media for wastewater treatment, aquaculture recirculation and aeration systems. Modules are manufactured in Australia, to custom sizes, using 42, 55, and 70MM diameter tubing. Acacia Bio-Mesh Custom Modules are easy to handle and require no assembly on site. Rough and smooth profiles are available, achieving a surface area up to 250 m²/m³. 6 Vicars Place, Wetherill Park, NSW


PO Box 6066, Wetherill Park, BC NSW 1851


Ph: 02 9756 6077

Acrodyne Pty Ltd Acrodyne is a leading supplier in our field of Valve Automation we boast one of the largest ranges of actuation and control products in the market, names such as Limitorque, Mastergear & Noah etc. Many of these products are stocked locally and can be provided as individual components through our vast reseller network or as custom designed assemblies providing creative solutions to end users many and varied application needs. Factory 14, 11 Havelock Road,

Ph: 03 8727 7800 Fax: 03 9729 8699

Bayswater Vic 3153


PO Box 640, Bayswater, Vic 3153


Air & Hydraulic Systems Pty Limited AHS is a privately owned Australian company, specialising in the supply of Valves, Instruments, Tube, & Fittings for Water Treatment, Chemical Dosing, Desalination, Sewage Treatment and the Food Industry; all industries where Quality, Reliability and Long Life are essential. One of our most significant functions is our role in supplying quality valves and instruments to water filtration plants who in turn, provide communities with reliable supplies of safe, clean and healthy drinking water. PO Box 419 Brookvale, NSW 2100


Ph: 02 9939 6199 Fax: 02 9938 5972


ALS Group Qld The ALS Group of companies specialises in supplying of modular storage tanks, installation and maintenance services. Our cornerstone is built on knowledge, integrity and a commitment to providing the highest levels of professionalism, service response and quality workmanship across our group. 3/6 Premier Circuit, Warana, Qld 4575


Ph: 07 5413 4343 Fax: 07 5413 4333


Mob: Jason Mercer 0439 036165

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Aqualab Scientific Pty Ltd Aqualab Scientific, industry leader in water quality and level monitoring instruments. HYDROLAB Water Quality Multiprobes for temp, pH, conductivity, luminescence dissolved oxygen, self-cleaning turbidity, chlorophyll a, blue-green algae, redox, depth etc. OTT Level & Discharge Sensors. TURNER DESIGNS Fluorometers for chlorophyll a, blue-green algae and dye trace studies. DIVER Temperature/Level/ Conductivity Data Loggers for groundwater monitoring. HACH Handheld Meters. 36/10 Gladstone Rd Castle Hill NSW 2154


Ph: 02 9894 4511 Fax: 02 9894 4522


Arup Arup is a global, independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists. We create innovative solutions to complex problems; deliver projects in an integrated and holistic way; and help clients to overcome business challenges created by climate variability. Our skills and experience include water engineering, water management and advisory services. Contact: Borvin Kracman,


Australasia Water Leader, Arup


Mobile: +61 408 824 362

Atlas Copco Compressors Australia Atlas Copco is a world leading provider of industrial and Wastewater productivity solutions. The products range from compressed air, generators, construction and mining equipment and rental. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, the Group’s global reach spans more than 160 markets. Our units are manufactured, assembly and Tested at our works in Belgium and are fully CE Compliant and Class Zero accredited to ISO 8573-1-Class Zero. Head Office: 3 Bessemer Street

Mob: Dennis Benson 0417 152 212

Blacktown, NSW 2148


Ph: 1800 023 469 Fax: 02 9622 3409


Australian Water Environments Australian Water Environments (AWE) is a South Australian-based consulting firm providing sustainable and innovative engineering, water resources, planning and natural resource management solutions for the community and our clients. Our capabilities include: • Civil Engineering • Consultation and Community Engagement • Data Management • Ecology • Environmental Engineering • Environmental Management and Planning • Groundwater Modelling • Hydrogeology • Hydrology • Integrated Water Resources Management • Salt Interception Schemes • Spatial Services • Strategic and Statutory Planning. 1/198 Greenhill Road, Eastwood, SA 5063


Ph: 08 8378 8000


AVFI Valve Solutions AVFI Valve Solutions is a leading provider of Gate, Knife, Check, Plug, Ball, Air Release & Actuated Valves for Waterworks projects throughout Australia. In a fast paced highly specialised industry AVFI has earned a reputation as a supplier of choice by providing cost effective valve solutions and by meeting demanding delivery schedules. Our specialised services include high inventory levels and building valve assemblies to order. 54 Enterprise Drive, Bundoora Vic 3083


Ph: 03 8467 0000 Fax: 03 8467 0099


Mob: Barry Nation 0412 441 842

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AVK Australia Pty Ltd Australian made to regional standards for local conditions. AVK is an international brand icon in water and is committed to the design and supply of quality products such as: Valves; Gate, Check, Butterfly, Air Release, Service Connection, Knife Gate, Free Cone & Submerged Discharge. Hydrants; Fireplug and Spring types. Couplings; Universal & Supa-Plus (for PE) in straight, stepped, flange adaptor and end caps. Dismantling Joints and Repair Clamps. 559A Grand Junction Road, Wingfield SA 5013 Web: Ph: (08) 8368 0900 Fax: (08) 8368 0970

Bürkert Fluid Control Systems Bürkert Fluid Control Systems is has offices in 40 countries and operations in an additional 80. With more than 30 years in Australia and 65 years’ global experience, Bürkert is a reliable and long-term partner in fluid control. We have both the technologies and experience required to develop superior water treatment solutions. Regional HQ: 15 Columbia Way

Ph: 1300 888 868 Fax: 1300 888 076

Norwest Business Park,


Baulkham Hills, NSW 2153


C-Tech Services Pty Ltd C-Tech provides specialist services within the water, wastewater/recycled water industry. We apply a comprehensive approach to disinfection needs, including the development and fabrication of fully integrated and automated disinfection and pH dosing systems. More than 100 dosing systems have been provided by C-Tech Services since 1998. Unit 1 / 9 Hogan Court


Pakenham, Vic 3810


Ph: 03 5940 3355 Fax: 03 5940 3366

Campbell Scientific Australia Campbell Scientific Australia supply a complete range of data acquisition systems, data loggers, sensors, peripherals and telemetry options for all environmental, hydrological and industrial applications. With 35 years of proven field experience, unmatched reliability and exceptional measurement quality; hydrological, meteorological and geotechnical networks worldwide have come to trust Campbell Scientific. Our research grade products are globally renowned for their robustness and adaptability in the field. PO Box 444, Thuringowa Central, Qld 4817


Ph: 07 4772 0444 Fax: 07 4772 0555


C.E. Bartlett C.E. Bartlett Pty Ltd is a family owned and operated company specialising in the manufacture of water saving and harvesting products using Industrial Textiles. A leader within our industry, we fabricate and distribute both nationally and globally a wide range of products for the water industry. Our vast product range includes Tank Liners, Dam Liners, Flexible Water Tanks, Evaporation Covers, Irrigation Fluming, Water Transfer Hoses, Bladder Tanks, Pillow Tanks and much more. 172 Ring Road, Wendouree, Vic 3355


Ph: 03 5339 3103 Fax: 03 5338 1241


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City Water Technology Pty Ltd Providing water treatment, wastewater, industrial and environmental engineering services Australia wide for over 20 years. Specialists in bench, pilot and plant trials, investigations, concept and detail plant designs, specifications, treatment plant optimisation and audits, commissioning, training and operations manuals. CWT is experienced in conventional treatment processes, dam destratification, high rate contact/direct filtration, DAF, membranes, PAC, Ozone/BAC, particle counting, sludge handling, corrosion control, advanced manganese removal, Giardia and Cryptosporidium, algae control strategies, effluent reuse, industrial waste, water reclamation and desalination. Suite 26, 924 Pacific Highway,


Gordon NSW 2072


Ph: 02 9498 1444 Fax: 02 9498 1666

Clearmake Clearmake offer the broadest range of water treatment technologies available to deliver the best solution for your water management project. Select from a high quality range of standard products, or custom engineered solutions. All systems are manufactured in Australia and fully warranted. Equipment is available for tradewaste and water treatment (for compliant discharge or reuse); water recycling; water harvesting; stormwater management; spill detection and sludge dewatering. 21 Project Ave, Noosaville Qld 4566


Ph: 07 5455 6822 Fax: 07 5455 6833


CNManagement (Aus) CNManagement provides an all-round solution for projects by managing and resourcing the commissioning process from design through construction, asset commissioning, O&M manual development and performance testing up to final handover to the client’s satisfaction. Our diversely experienced staff delivers to unique challenges backed by the use of our management system which provides a secure on-line portal for viewing, reporting and tracking of asset data and commissioning progress. PO Box 7801 Brisbane QLD 4000


Ph: 07 3229 0255 Fax: 07 3229 0256


Degrémont Degrémont is an international water treatment specialist and a key player in sustainable water development. We work with local authorities and industry participants to design, build, operate and maintain facilities for drinking water production, desalination, wastewater treatment and biosolid processing. We offer an extensive range of turnkey solutions tailored to our customers’ needs. Level 7, 5 Rider Boulevard,


Rhodes, NSW 2138


Ph: 02 8759 7900 Fax: 02 9332 6882

Detection Services Pty Ltd Detection Services are leaders in technical field support services to the Water Industry throughout Australia and the Pacific. With a client base of over 90 water authorities in Australasia, the business provides a broad range of services, including strategy planning and advice, data collection, leak detection and trunk main assessment work. 15/276 New Line Road, Dural, NSW 2158


Ph: 02 9651 5263 Fax: 02 9651 9442


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SECURING AUSTRALIA’S WATER FUTURE Securing water supplies has never been easy in Australia. Managing the nation’s rivers and water resources has been a learning experience, resulting in many skills, both technical and political, which are now available on the world market. Securing Australia’s Water Future showcases the key advances being made in the management of this profoundly important resource.


Cover Photography: Caroline Foldes

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Securing Australia's Water Future  

Securing water supplies has never been easy in Australia. Managing the nation’s rivers and water resources has been a learning experience, r...