January 2015

Smales Park bank stabilisation works

15.01.2015 - Posted by Misko Ivezich
I spent most of December in the picturesque Tallebudgera Valley (Queensland) helping with bank stabilisation and floodplain restoration works in Smales Park.

Before - bank erosion in recent floods had resulted in the loss of some of Smales Park.

Smales Park is a recreational area adjacent to Tallebudgera Creek. Bank erosion in recent floods had resulted in the loss of some of the park. Alluvium worked the City of Gold Coast Catchment Management Unit to develop options to rehabilitate the site. As the park was not widely used by the public, the council wished to restore the vegetation in the park - from predominately mowed lawn to a condition closer to its pre-European state. The regional ecosystems that previously grew on these floodplains - vine forest on alluvium and tall open forest on alluvium - are both listed as endangered.

Prior to undertaking any revegetation, the bank needed to be stabilised. Gold Coast Council were keen to combine the bank stabilisation works with instream habitat features to support a range of native fish including Australasian bass, Empire gudgeon, Crimson-spotted rainbowfish, Australian smelt and Striped gudgeon. We developed a design that utilised timber logs and large boulders to stabilise the bank, protect the vegetation establishing on the bank and floodplain, and provide instream habitat for the native fish populations.

During construction.

The works and plantings were completed just prior to Christmas. We congratulate the City of Gold Coast Catchment Management Unit for their vision and hard work at Smales Park – it should be a great outcome once the vegetation is established.

After - timber logs and large boulders to stabilise the bank, protect vegetation and provide instream habitat for native fish populations.

If you would like more information about this project or bank stabilisation design, you can contact me on misko.ivezich@alluvium.com.au

We're hiring at our Sydney office!

7.01.2015 - Posted by Richard McManus
We're seeking urban water / WSUD practitioners to join our team in Sydney!
  • Graduate urban water / WSUD practitioner - a recent graduate or professional with a few years' experience.
  • Experienced urban water / WSUD practioner - a professional with more than 5 years' experience.
We'll develop the role around your skills, passion and vision.

Alluvium Consulting is a niche business recognised as one of Australia's leading consulting organisations in the management of water resources, rivers and catchments. We have core skills in catchment and waterway management and rehabilitation, Water Sensitive Urban Design and Integrated Water Cycle Management. We work across the project spectrum from policy and planning through to design and implementation.

Our business is deliberately focused on attracting people who are the best in their fields and passionate about the work we do. This has resulted in us being selected in the BRW/BOSS 50 Great Places to Work awards in each of the four years up to 2014. We believe the application of creative thinking, robust science and practical engineering can effectively address the complex and interrelated threats to our natural environment. With offices in Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Townsville we provide consulting services across Australia and internationally.

The successful applicants will have an opportunity to develop their professional skills in a small team-based environment, with pro-active and applied mentoring. You will work with like-minded scientists and engineers who together seek to deliver the highest quality work to clients.


Graduate urban water / WSUD practitioner

  • Graduate with up to two years' experience
  • Stormwater management planning and integrated water management
  • Urban water quality and hydrology modelling skills
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience with software including AutoCAD, 12D, HEC-RAS, DRAINS, MUSIC, GIS software
  • A high quality undergraduate degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering and/or Science [essential].
Experienced urban water / WSUD practitioner
  • More than 5 years’ experience in urban water management with particular emphasis on stormwater
  • Stormwater management planning and integrated water management
  • Advanced conceptual understanding of stormwater and how that fits into the environment
  • Advanced urban water quality and hydrology modelling skills
  • Design skills and experience with Autocad
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience with 12D, HEC-RAS, DRAINS, MUSIC, GIS software
  • Experience with Tuflow would be well regarded
  • A high quality undergraduate degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering and/or Science [essential]. Post-graduate qualifications and relevant experience are desirable.
Successful applicants will be offered an attractive remuneration package.

Enquiries should be directed to Richard McManus on 0413-609-722

Expressions of interest in the form of a covering letter and attached curriculum vitae should be emailed to richard.mcmanus@alluvium.com.au

Applications close 28 January 2015

China-Australia Free Trade Agreement - what does this mean for our own water resources?

5.01.2015 - Posted by Rob Catchlove
The explosion of growth in China back in 2002 was something to behold. At the time I was hanging out in a central Chinese city called Wuhan, in little laneways and fields, sandwiched between the city and the many lakes. I was doing a little research project on a possible WaterWatch program in the city, with the help of the local university and China’s EPA*. It was a city of 8 million people (now it’s 10.5 million), and the first major city downstream of the Three Gorges Dam and on the fertile plains of the Yangzte River. It had real water quality issues in the lakes too.

With the high profile announcement of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in November, and Andrew Robb explicitly suggesting that Australia can export its water related professional services to China, I wonder if I’ll be back there again soon?

Before me or anyone else packs their bags, I do remember being blown away when I visited the Chinese Ministry for Water Resources and heard about the 16,000 people working just on monitoring rivers!

The other element of the free trade agreement and one that is closer to home is how it might influence our own water resources, through increased agricultural production – i.e. will we need to use more water to export goods to China?

Not necessarily. I say that on the basis that there is no good estimate of how much the FTA is worth - well covered here by The Guardian - though the most commonly cited figure is $18 billion over 10 years.

Dairy seems to be the big winner in terms of export potential, and that industry is currently the second highest user of water in the agricultural sectors (consuming 2000 gigalitres a year according the ABS).

If diary production doubled to supply Chinese markets, then yes Australia has to have a serious look at what that means for our water resources and environment. That would be like adding five cities the size of Melbourne (in terms of water used). But equally it could be turned into an opportunity to innovate and become more efficient. Or it might not register in the context of many other economic and environmental changes that happen in Australia! 

* Environment Protection Authority
Photo source: Australian Government
DFAT webpage