March 2011

Integrated Water Management

25.03.2011 - Posted by Rob Catchlove
I went to a session the other week that Clearwater ran on the topic of Integrated Water Management (IWM). It was targeting councils essentially, but there was a range of people at the event.

IWM seems to be the new black when you are talking about urban water issues and focuses on the integration of potable water, stormwater, wastewater, recycled water and groundwater within the urban environment. An urban environment that is currently under pressure due to urban sprawl, need for new infrastructure, old infrastructure that is near the end of its life, an urban heat island, and in the context of climate change, population growth and energy and food issues.

Integrating green spaces into Melbourne's Docklands
             source: Peter Campbell

There is a significant problem within the industry in regard to the terminology. IWM is essentially the same as Water Sensitive Urban Design, Cities as Water Supply Catchments, and Sustainable Urban Water Management. It is rather hard for politicians and the community to get their head around when the terms keep changing.

The event saw some presentations from leading councils and practitioners like Sheridan Blunt, Penny Mueller, Phil Edwards, Sara Lloyd, Daneilla Gerente, Elissa Blake and Marion Urrutiaguer. Melbourne Water took the opportunity to release their guidelines - Developing a strategic approach to WSUD Implementation, Guidelines for Council. This is going to be a useful document in identifying all the ingredients for a strategy, including the greenhouse gas aspects of water treatment and reuse.

In my opinion the industry has to be careful in pursuing IWM as there are a range of institutional, capacity, economic and social elements of IWM that are not well understood at this stage. It will be these, more so than the technical aspects of IWM, that will prove to be most complex and likely to bring the movement to a halt.

BRW Client Choice Awards 2011

21.03.2011 - Posted by Kane Travis

Jo Crerar and Kane Travis attended the BRW Client Choice Awards night in Sydney this week and we are very proud to announce that Alluvium received the award for the Best Consulting Engineering firm in Australia (revenue <$50M).

As a business we work very hard to understand our clients’ needs and deliver products of high technical excellence. We are honoured that our clients felt strongly enough about our efforts to give the positive feedback that resulted in this accolade.

We would like to thank you all and we look forward to continuing to work with you in the 2011 year.

Paddling the Lang Lang River

17.03.2011 - Posted by Misko Ivezich
Recently Darcy and I paddled an inflatable kayak down the lower reaches of the Lang Lang River. The purpose of this trip was to identify potential fish barriers.

Once we located potential fish barriers we installed “PlantCams” to take hourly time-lapse images. “PlantCams” are weatherproof, digital cameras that take photos or videos at set time intervals. They’re primarily produced to monitor the growth of a plant, or your garden, so you can create seamless videos that last a few seconds, of your plants and garden growing over a period of weeks. However there are opportunities for these relatively cheap devices to be utilised within the natural resource industry.

We’re going to compare the images to hourly flow data and determine how the potential fish barriers behave hydraulically under a range of discharges. However they could be used for a range of purposes in remote areas where there simply aren’t the resources for natural resource managers to monitor in person at such regular intervals.

After spending nearly 10 hours navigating weirs, culverts and countless debris jams on our 14 km journey to Westernport, we decided it might be easier to walk home!