June 2016

Alluvium welcomes Tony Sheedy to Alluvium as our National Leader- River Modelling

28.06.2016 - Posted by Dom Blackham
From our strong background in river management, and our recent focus on broad-scale catchment modelling, we believe it is imperative to improve river management by considering river systems as they really are: complex, integrated systems.  One of the challenges in doing this is to integrate information from river management models into our catchment and fluvial geomorphology disciplines. With the appointment of Tony Sheedy, we have the opportunity not only to develop our capabilities to deliver high quality river systems models but also provide detailed integrated assessments across a range of scales with an unparalleled understanding of river processes and the management implications of them.
Tony Sheedy joins Alluvium after more than 20 years in river systems modelling, including REALM, MSM-BigMod and Source. Working closely with Tony Weber, he will be working on the integration of the catchment and river management/operation models into a holistic modelling approach.  
Its great to have Tony aboard.

Launching Alluvium International

24.06.2016 - Posted by Matt Francey

Alluvium International's Simon Tilleard and conservationist Harsh Vardhan

The international market has always been of interest to us and over the years we have been delivering small projects throughout the Asia Pacific and South America. We now feel the timing is right to put greater focus on this sector and to grow our presence in the region.

We think the international market provides an opportunity to continue to build Alluvium’s reputation for contributing to the solution of large scale and complex issues facing the environment and communities. Alluvium International Pty Ltd has been created to service River Health, Social Science and NRM Economics needs in the Asia-Pacific region. Simon Tilleard has been engaged as the CEO. Simon is a project manager and technical specialist on water resources and climate change projects with experience in South and South-East Asia. Simon is supported by the new Alluvium International Board of Matt Francey and Neil Byron.
We are very happy to also announce that as part of this venture Tony Weber and David Winfield of Alluvium have been selected along with David Harris to represent the Australian Water Partnership in a project to assess the applicability of Australia’s experience in water sector reform in the Indian context. The project is tied to the National Hydrology Project III and the team will be working closely with the World Bank and Government of India.
For more details on Alluvium International please contact Simon on Simon.Tilleard@alluvium.com.au

Costing water quality management for the Great Barrier Reef

21.06.2016 - Posted by Steve Skull
Alluvium is currently leading a consortium to provide an assessment of the total costs for seven policy solution sets across a range of industries and GBR catchments to achieve the water quality targets (for fine sediment and Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen) set out in the Reef 2050 Plan.  The project, entitled Costs of achieving the water quality targets for the Great Barrier Reef (DEHP 15044), is investigating the following solution sets:
1.      Land management practice change for cane and grazing
2.      Improved irrigation practices
3.      System repair: Gully remediation
4.      System repair: Streambank repair
5.      System repair: Wetland construction
6.      System repair: Changes to landuse
7.      Urban stormwater management
To assess the seven solution sets, the project is developing unique tools to quantify the overall efficacy of each scenario using existing Reef Source Catchment Model outputs. The project will then assess the load reductions for each of the management practice elements that underlie each scenario. Supporting this is the production of Cumulative Cost Curves to evaluate the cost effectiveness of each policy solution.
This is a highly innovative project and this costing has not been attempted before at a whole of GBR scale.  The tools being developed are intended to live beyond the life of the current project to test other policy solution sets (and combinations of solution sets) into the future.

ACT stormwater program gets the green light

17.06.2016 - Posted by David Barratt

Canberra's lakes and waterways are under increasing pressure, largely due to urban development, past land and water management regimes, climate change, and a general lack of awareness about the kinds of activities that have an impact on water quality. In particular, stormwater pollution poses a risk to public health and aquatic life and threatens the many social, economic and environmental benefits that lakes and waterways offer. The ACT Basin Priority Project was initiated to improve long-term water quality in the ACT’s lakes and waterways, and the overall environmental health of the Murrumbidgee River system.

Along with other consultants and scientific experts, Alluvium has been working with the ACT Government for over two years now on a number of projects related to improving water quality in catchments in the ACT. Alluvium played a key role in supporting the ACT Government in development of a business case for the construction of around $80 million of stormwater treatment infrastructure to improve the water quality in designated priority catchments. 

Investigations over the last 18 months have included significant engineering and scientific analysis and community consultation to identify the most effective water quality treatments in priority catchments in the ACT, taking into account each catchment’s different characteristics and the environmental impacts, community preferences, and cost-benefit analyses of the interventions.
The final priority list of water quality treatments includes a mix of new wetlands, ponds, rain gardens, creek restoration, swales, gross pollutant traps and the potential use of stormwater for irrigation. This infrastructure represents the best and most balanced outcomes for the ACT, improving water quality, protecting the Murray-Darling Basin for future generations and providing more quality recreational areas for ACT residents. The next phase of the work involves more detailed engineering designs and further community consultation and development approvals, followed by construction which is scheduled to be complete by mid 2019.

Position at Alluvium

14.06.2016 - Posted by Lucy Moon
To help drive our growth we are seeking to appoint a Chief Operating Officer.  
We anticipate the role would require on average 3 days/wk however, for the right candidate, are willing to consider a split role which involves some consulting to make it a full time position.
The position location is preferably Melbourne but other Alluvium offices (Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Townsville) would be considered for the right candidate.

Click here to view the position description: Chief Operating Officer.

Overview of role
The right person will come from a background of professional services business operations, have a strong understanding of project management principles, and a demonstrated history in the implementation of system improvements to improve business performance and ultimately profitability. The ability to collaborate across offices in different geographic locations is important as is a demonstrated history in providing leadership to resolve operational issues.  
For this role we do not require an accountant, but strong financial oversight skills relating to the professional services industry are a prerequisite. The role will include a focus on management of budgets, projects and how that relates to improving overall performance. 

Source catchments as water quality treatment assets

9.06.2016 - Posted by Steve Skull

In a highly regulated environment, Water Authorities need to illustrate successful mitigation of water quality risk, and historically it has been easiest to invest in filtration and chemical treatments.  
There is however a growing weight of evidence that investing in the health of water supply catchments can be a cost effective way to supplement the more intensive treatment solutions. Alluvium led a consortium including Marsden Jacob Associates to develop a framework for best practice catchment management investment in impaired multi use landscapes.  
Our work involved the development of an Investment Standard. The Standard described the key steps and practices that needed to develop a defendable investment framework in catchment management, specifically designed to meet regulatory investment standards and alignment with investment frameworks applied in water utilities. The Standard was supplemented with a searchable database of economic and financial benefit values, and an Investment Assessment Tool to help users to prepare financial and / or economic analysis of investments they are considering.
The Catchment Management Investment Standard was developed in close collaboration with the Water Research Foundation and water utilities from both Australia and the United States. This work will enable stronger business cases for catchment management as a viable alternative to more capital intensive (traditional) investments. 
Further information on the framework and the tools and case studies supporting each element is now available via the link below.

Alluvium welcomes Bruce Whitehill

7.06.2016 - Posted by Richard McManus
Bruce Whitehill has recently joined the Alluvium Sydney Office, broadening the skills of the office into the rural water and NRM space. 
Before joining Alluvium, Bruce’s most recent role with the NSW Government was as Program Coordinator of NSW State Priority Projects for the NSW Department of Industry - DPI Water Division.   In this role Bruce was responsible for a six year program valued at $396M, delivering four major projects for water efficiency and recovery in NSW. Prior to this Bruce was Program Director of NSW Government’s implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Bruce will be working with David Winfield, Kane Travis and Ross Hardie in undertaking projects to broaden our presence in the rural NRM space in NSW.  
Most recently Bruce was successful in leading the proposal for the WaterNSW to undertake an audit of the Sydney Water Supply Catchment Lands.  The declared catchment covers almost 16,000 square kilometres and comprises the water supply systems of the Blue Mountains, Shoalhaven, Upper Nepean, Warragamba, and Woronora. There are nine indicators used to describe the state of the catchment, these being the indicators for soil erosion, macroinvertebrates, fish, riparian vegetation, native vegetation, wetlands, physical form, ecosystem and raw water quality, and cyanobacterial blooms.  There are six indicators – land use, sites of pollution and potential contamination, population settlements and patterns, fire, groundwater availability and nutrient loads – used to describe various pressures on the catchment; while the indicator of community attitudes, aspirations and engagement is an indicator of societal response.  The surface water flows indicator has two components, one that describes a pressure on river health and the other the hydrological state of catchment streams; while the environmental flows indicator has one component that is a response indicator and a second that describes a pressure on river health.
Further details on Bruce can be found on his Linkedin profile https://au.linkedin.com/in/bruce-whitehill-7b1a8055.