Optimal Water Resource Mix for Metropolitan Adelaide

https://goyderinstitute.org/urban-water/

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Project Partners:

CSIRO, The University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, and Flinders University

Research Theme:

N/A

Status:

Project Overview

In November 2012, the Goyder Institute for Water Research funded a research programme as a contribution to the building of a strong information base to inform debate on how best to underpin an efficient and sustainable water supply for metropolitan Adelaide, now and into the future, due to the likely impacts of a drying climate and population growth. Metropolitan Adelaide has multiple sources of water – surface water, groundwater, desalinated water, stormwater, roof or rain water, recycled water and the River Murray – that can be utilised and managed for supplying the city’s water needs. Using those sources in combination requires consideration of an appropriate balance across objectives such as supply security, economic cost, social preferences and environmental impacts. The research programme, project U2.2 within the Goyder Institute for Water Research’s urban water portfolio, was designed to explore these considerations through:

  • engaging with stakeholders to provide an effective communication pathway and an agreed basis for evaluating alternative water supply mixes
  • providing a model that simulates the supply, demand and stormwater and wastewater discharge dynamics of Metropolitan Adelaide water supply system
  • developing a multi-objective optimisation methodology to assess trade-offs
  • monitoring household water use to better predict demand
  • performing legal and governance analysis in delivering water solutions
  • conducting economic analysis of the direct and indirect costs of supplying water from the multiple sources
  • improving understanding of social values and preferences regarding water solutions.

The project team was drawn from researchers at the Universities of Adelaide and South Australia, Flinders University, CSIRO and SA Water, with contributions from EPA, the SA Departments of Environment, Water and Natural Resources; and Planning, and the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management (AMLRNRMB). The project concluded in early 2014.

Progress Update and Key Findings

The water sources that are available to manage water supply in the Adelaide’s metropolitan region include surface water, groundwater, desalinated water, stormwater, roof or rain water, recycled water and River Murray water. Determining an ‘optimal mix’ of water supply options requires considering the trade-offs between multiple objectives such as supply security, economic costs (financial and externalities), social preferences, and environmental impacts.

The tradeoffs analysis methodology that was developed provides a framework that could be applied to other cities/regions to inform the development of total water cycle management plans. The project is innovative because it is the first time that these methodologies to identify options and evaluate trade-offs have been applied at a city-wide scale. This project identified a range of water supply options and evaluated trade-offs at a city scale that best deliver these multiple objectives. The knowledge gained from this complex research project informed policy development and progression of a total water cycle management plan for Adelaide.

Project Impacts

This project informed the development of an integrated water management plan for Adelaide in the following ways:

  • Two-way engagement with decision makers to ensure that the research is targeted towards key knowledge gaps and there is uptake of the project outcomes to support policy development.
  • The relationship between water sources, water distribution systems and water discharges at a whole of city scale were described and modelled.
  • Detailed water use patterns of households were measured and applied to understand water demands at a city scale.
  • An improved understanding of the social preferences and values regarding water supply options was described.
  • The economic costs and benefits from different supply options was estimated: including capital, operating, energy usage and externalities.
  • The health and recreational benefits of green space in urban areas was investigated.
  • An assessment of the institutional arrangements nationally and internationally that support management of diversified water supplies was documented.
  • A set of methods for determining the tradeoffs between the multiple objectives of alternative water supply options (water security, economic efficiency, environmental benefits, social values and institutional capacity) was developed.

Research Outputs

Managed Aquifer Recharge and Stormwater Use Options: Satellite Sites Stormwater Quality Monitoring and Treatment Requirements for Potable Supplies

A Risk-based Management Plan for Mount Gambier Stormwater Recharge System: Stormwater recharge to the Gambier Limestone aquifer

Managed Aquifer Recharge and Stormwater Use Options: Investigation of stormwater impact on water quality and distribution infrastructure

The importance of irrigated urban green space: health and recreational benefits perspectives

Stormwater managed aquifer recharge risk-based management plan. Parafield Stormwater Harvesting System

Managed Aquifer Recharge and Urban Stormwater Use Options: Public Health and Environmental Risk Assessment Final Report

Hydrological modelling of the Parafield and Cobbler Creek catchment for hazard analysis planning

Financial costs, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions for major supply water sources and demand management options for metropolitan Adelaide

Public Attitudes towards Managed Aquifer Recharge and Urban Stormwater Use in Adelaide

A Decision Support Framework for identifying optimal water supply portfolios: Metropolitan Adelaide Case Study Volume 2: Appendices.

A Decision Support Framework for identifying optimal water supply portfolios: Metropolitan Adelaide Case Study Volume 1: Main Report

Institutional Arrangements for Implementing Diverse Water Supply Portfolio in metropolitan Adelaide – Scoping Study

Managed Aquifer Recharge and Urban Stormwater Use Options: Summary of Research Findings

A study into the supply, demand, economic, social and institutional aspects of optimising water supply to metropolitan Adelaide – preliminary research findings: Summary report from Project U2.2

Understanding and Predicting Household Water Use for Adelaide

Parafield Stormwater Harvesting Runoff and Hazard Analysis Simulation Model

Water Community Resource Evaluation and Simulation System (WaterCress)

PHREEQC Model for Water Quality Impacts on Infrastructure

Integrated Urban Water Management Model

Project News

Chris Wright

Manager Water Science, DEW

Chris Wright holds significant experience in public sector senior leadership, having led policy, scientific and operational business units over the last twelve years in both State and Commonwealth government agencies. Chris has excellent experiences in leading policy and strategy formulation. He is skilled in building and maintaining networks across the public and private sectors to facilitate business delivery; leading and negotiating with others to achieve outcomes; and in bridging the science-policy gap, drawing on earlier roles in geospatial information systems (GIS) consulting. Chris’s formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Social Science, a Masters of Spatial Information Science and graduation from the AICD Company Directors course in 2019.

Dr Ilka Wallis

Senior Lecturer, Flinders University

Dr Ilka Wallis is a hydrogeologist with areas of expertise in quantitative hydrogeology and geochemistry. Ilka focuses on the development of reactive geochemical transport models which integrate fundamental processes that are normally studied in isolation (hydrogeological, mineralogical, geochemical and biochemical).

Ilka is also an Adjunct Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Manitoba, Canada since 2017.

Peter Goonan

Environmental Science Branch, EPA

Peter Goonan is the Principal Aquatic Biologist in the Environmental Science Branch of the EPA. He has over 30 years’ experience monitoring the condition of aquatic ecosystems in SA and assessing the environmental effects caused by discharges, deposits and contaminants entering inland and coastal waters. He specialises in aquatic invertebrate identification and their responses to contaminants and water quality stressors. He also provides expert professional advice relating to water quality risks, regulation, policy, and strategic directions, and represents the EPA as an expert witness in court.

Dr Paul Monis

Manager, Research Stakeholders and Planning, SA Water

Dr Paul Monis is a technical expert within SA Water’s Business Services group, which provides scientific expertise to support the delivery of water and wastewater services to SA Water’s customers. He has specialist expertise in the areas of biotechnology and microbiology, with almost 20 years’ experience applying DNA-based and other technologies to address water quality challenges posed by microorganisms, especially enteric pathogens. Dr Monis also holds title of Adjunct Associate Professor at Flinders University, the University of Adelaide and UniSA.

Jennie Fluin

Principal Advisor Research Partnerships, DEW

Jennie’s role in the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) allows her to foster and strengthen opportunities for researchers to better connect with government to enable evidence-based decision making. Jennie has extensive experience working in both universities and government, allowing her to bridge the divide between the two sectors. She is focused on connecting natural resource researchers with natural resource decision makers, and facilitating fit for purpose partnerships.

Dr Tanya Doody

Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO

Dr Tanya Doody is a Principal Research Scientist working on high impact spatial eco-hydrological projects within CSIRO’s Land and Water Business Unit. Dr Doody leads the Managing Water Ecosystems Group, based in Adelaide, Albury and Canberra and has significant experience in quantifying the water requirements of vegetation and at times, their impact on water resources. This involves ecophysiological field-based research to underpin remote sensing tools to scale regionally to improve our understanding of the effect of flood regimes on the health of water-dependent ecosystems on the Murray-Darling Basin floodplains. Additional research includes investigating the ecological response of vegetation to water availability and environmental water to inform integrated basin water planning and management.

Professor Lin Crase

Dean of Programs (Accounting & Finance), UniSA

Professor Lin Crase is Professor of Economics and Dean of Programs (Accounting & Finance) at UniSA. He joined UniSA in February 2016 as Head of School of Commerce. Prior to commencing at UniSA, Lin was Professor and Director of the Centre for Water Policy and Management at La Trobe University.

Lin’s research has focused on applied economics in the context of water. He has analysed water markets and the property rights that attend them, water pricing and numerous applications of water policy. Whilst his expertise includes the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia, he has also worked on projects in south Asia, Japan and Europe. Lin has published over 100 journal articles, numerous book chapters, four books and a range of other papers and opinion pieces.

Professor Justin Brookes

Director, Water Research Centre, University of Adelaide

Justin has broad research interests in limnology and water treatment with a primary focus on coupling between hydrodynamics, biology and water quality contaminants such as cyanobacteria and pathogens. He is a founding member of the management committee of the IWA Specialist Group on Lake and Reservoir Management and member of the Steering Committee for the Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network.

Justin has a PhD and a Bachelor of Science degree with Honours from the University of Adelaide.

Daniel Flaherty

Accountant

Daniel Flaherty is the Accountant for the Goyder Institute for Water Research.

Daniel has extensive experience in higher education having worked in senior financial management roles at the University of South Australia, Flinders University and the University of Adelaide over the past 26 years. Daniel has also been a Board Director on a number of university related entities. Prior to that, Daniel has worked in a range of agencies in the Commonwealth and State Governments.

Daniel is a Fellow of CPA Australia and has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide.

Dr Alec Rolston

Interim Director

Alec Rolston joined the Institute in 2021 as Research Program Manager of the Goyder Institute’s research projects in the Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin program. He has extensive experience in integrated water resource management, integrated catchment management, drinking water source protection and wetland ecology, conservation and management across Europe and Australia.

Alec holds a PhD from the National University of Ireland Maynooth and has worked with An Fóram Uisce|The Water Forum and the Dundalk Institute of Technology in Ireland as well as the MANTEL Innovative Training Network across Europe.

Alec spent his early career in Adelaide working with Flinders University through the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth (CLLAMM) Ecology Research Cluster and within the Department for Environment and Water.

Daniel Pierce

Research and Development Officer

Daniel Pierce has managed research projects at the Goyder Institute for Water Research since November 2017 under both the second and third terms of the Institute.

Daniel brings experience in project management and knowledge transfer and application from 4 years working as a Senior Hydrogeologist in the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) in South Australia and from 13 years of private sector work in environmental management, science and engineering in Australia and the South Pacific. His work with DEW has included providing technical advice to the development and revision of Water Allocation Plans around South Australia in collaboration with researchers and policy makers, and managing a team of groundwater modellers and hydrogeologists involved in an assortment of water resource management issues.

Daniel has a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons, Environmental) and a Bachelor of Science (Geography) from the University of Western Australia.

Professor Enzo Lombi

Dean of Research, UniSA STEM

Professor Lombi’s main contributions to environmental research cover various aspects of contaminant risk assessment, biogeochemistry, ecotoxicology and waste management. Furthermore, the methodological development he has pursued in his research has provided the basis for collaborative efforts in a variety of research areas ranging from soil fertility and plant physiology to human health issues related to contaminant uptake via occupational exposure and diet. In the last few years he has been increasingly focusing on the transformation and toxicity of manufactured nanomaterials in the environment.

Dr Carmel Pollino

Research Director Land and Water, CSIRO

Dr Carmel Pollino is a Research Director for Land and Water at CSIRO. She has 20 years of experience working on water issues in Australia and throughout Asia. Carmel has degrees in science and environmental law and works across the science and policy interface. Significant areas of research in Environmental Flows, Hydrology, Ecology and Integrated River Basin Planning. Carmel is the lead and also a contributor to global working groups on water and has published widely in this domain.

Professor Bronwyn Gillanders

Head of School of Biological Sciences, The University of Adelaide

Professor Bronwyn Gillanders is interim Head of School of Biological Sciences at the University of Adelaide. Prof Gillanders completed her BSc at the University of Canterbury, MSc at the University of Otago and her PhD at the University of Sydney. She has a research background in environmental science focused predominantly on freshwater and marine ecology.

Her research interests include integrated marine management; coastal carbon opportunities; multiple use activities and cumulative impact assessment; biology, ecology and fisheries of cephalopods; stocking and provenance of fish; plastics in the marine environment including in seafood; use of fish bones (and other calcified structures) for assessing ecological and environmental change. She has trained and mentored ~70 Honours and Higher Degree Research students and shaped the future of 1000s of students through her undergraduate teaching. She is passionate about encouraging capable women to enter and remain in science careers.

Dan Jordan

Director, Water Security, Policy and Planning, Department for Environment and Water (DEW)

Dan Jordan is the Director, Water Security, Policy and Planning, Department for Environment and Water (DEW). Dan is also the Basin Officials Committee Alternate Member for South Australia.

Professor Okke Batelaan

Dean, School of the Environment, Flinders University

Professor Okke Batelaan is a graduate of the Free University of Amsterdam, Netherlands (MSc – Hydrogeology) and of the Free University Brussels, Belgium (PhD – Engineering). He worked for more than 20 years at the Free University Brussels and also led the hydrogeology group at the KU Leuven, Belgium since 2006. He was chairman of the Interuniversity Programme in Water Resources Engineering.

Since 2012 Okke Batelaan is Strategic Professor in Hydrogeology and currently Dean of the School of the Environment, Flinders University. Okke has broad experience in teaching groundwater hydrology, groundwater modelling, GIS and remote sensing for hydrological applications. He was supervisor of more than 140 MSc and 25 PhD students. He has extensive research experience and a publication record in shallow groundwater hydrology and modeling, recharge-discharge estimation and modeling, urban hydrology and distributed modelling, ecohydrology and impacts of land use and climate change on groundwater systems. He coordinated and participated in a large number of projects in Europe, Africa, South America, Asia and Australia. He is editor-in-chief of Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies and of MDPI-Hydrology.