Managed Aquifer Recharge and Stormwater Use Options (MARSUO)
Assessment of the safety, public acceptance, economics and environmental impacts of alternative options for stormwater use in Australia through a case study in Adelaide.
GOYDER PROJECT NUMBER: U.2.1
With Australia’s growing and increasingly urbanised population, combined with a warming, and in southern Australia, drying climate, and most cities relying on vegetated surface water catchments, water security is an issue that is currently consuming $1.8b in SA and $30b nationally in new infrastructure. The rate of runoff per unit area in rural catchments is declining more than three times faster than that of both rainfall and runoff rate in urban catchments. With the current expansion of impervious surfaces due to both urban population growth and increasing house sizes, urban area mean runoff is actually increasing in spite of climate change. This represents a significant source of water that is close to the city but can be difficult to harvest unless water sensitive urban design is incorporated in city planning. Use of aquifers to improve water quality, to smooth out water quality variations, and to store water is expected to be a major advantage for part of the Adelaide metropolitan area and parts of other cities.
This project assesses the safety, public acceptance, economics, and environmental impacts of alternative options for stormwater use in Australia through evaluation of a case study in Adelaide involving managed aquifer recharge and satellite sites to demonstrate extrapolation of the methodology. The project methods and findings will be documented in a series of scientific reports, which will be exposed to review by independent scientists on the Water Safety Expert Panel, , and presented in scientific meetings and community meetings in the relevant catchments. In consultation with CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship and the National Water Commission, this information will provide the basis for a briefing of the Government of SA and be disseminated nationally and internationally.
Workshops have been conducted on risk assessment (hub and satellite sites), risk management strategies (hub), and impacts on urban water infrastructure, focus groups and web survey have been conducted, one journal paper has been published, 3 conference papers and a poster have been presented, and links established with prospective satellite sites. A second meeting of the Water Safety Expert Panel was held in June 2011. All milestone reports to date have been completed on time and been accepted by the Steering Committee and the National Water Commission.
Next Steps/Future Work
Work on net benefits has been brought forward to allow integration into community awareness research, and satellite sites research work has also been advanced to enable effective national and international engagement. Next deliverables are due in March 2012, including completion of preliminary reports on public health risk assessment and net benefits of options.