Water Journal : Water Journal June 2013
41 Ozwater Report message of water cooperation is about education and the "software", rather than the "hardware", and women play a critical role in this process. However, in Sri Lanka change in gender equality has been slow, and women must be increasingly supported and recognised for their importance in disseminating knowledge about water. CONFERENCE THEMES The main body of Ozwater was divided into streams, to make the eclectic mix of papers more orderly, and enabling delegates, in at least a few cases, to follow a topic without having to dash from one room to another. Allocation of topics to streams was not always blindingly obvious, but this report follows actual allocations, so readers can follow the program. This summary lists the presenter of each paper, rather than the lead author. There was not enough space to print the entire report in this issue, so the balance will appear in August. WATER BUSINESS This is still a relatively new interest area for Ozwater, so the total number of papers presented was modest, at ten. Two clear themes emerged: water resource management issues on the one hand, and project management and procurement on the other. Matthew Awang set the tone with a description of WA water planning. He stressed that, apart from being NWI-compliant, water resource plans have to be reviewed annually and must be adaptive and nimble to cope with the vagaries of climate trends. Still in the WA mould, Richard Theobald described how affected departments had to collaborate in developing the successful groundwater replenishment trial. Greg Oliver posed the question that faces urban water planners attempting to integrate plans that can achieve water-sensitive cities. He had coined the term meta-governance to describe the need for over-arching coordination and postulated the need for tools to guide the regulators and planners. Alan Mackintosh told of a project management and procurement arrangement between SA Water and KBR over a ve-year period, which provided some certainty for participants, thanks to program management principles, cultural alignment and a commitment to continuous improvement. Still on procurement, Simon Webber presented the story behind a successful outcome to a complex water transfer system for the ACT. This was based on a tool for rapid assessment of greenhouse gas emissions. The net result was a pipe transfer from the Murrumbidgee to Googong, built on time, under budget and with minimal impact on the environment, community and local landholders. Risk-based cost estimating (RBCE), a stochastic approach to estimating, was described by Michael Quinnell. His study used a sample of 23 water infrastructure projects delivered in NSW over the last 10 years. The study found that the project costs estimated using the RBCE process performed signi cantly better than the results observed for other methods. On the economic front, Joel Byrnes analysed why the urban water sector looks to be responsible for part of Australia's productivity slump. He pointed out that many of the factors driving down productivity were beyond the control of the industry. Notwithstanding uncontrollable factors, it behooves the industry to be as innovative as possible and to enhance ef ciencies wherever possible. Lionel Ho introduced a new tool for measuring the value of research to water businesses. SA Water has developed a Water Research Bene ts Calculator (WRBC), which helps to generate simple quantitative and qualitative assessments of the dollar value of research projects. WATER TECHNOLOGY Over its 51-year history, AWA has always had a strong focus on water technology, so it is not surprising that a preponderance of Ozwater presentations were in this stream. Papers ranged from seminal to pedestrian and covered a wide range of issues, re ecting the diversity of interests among the membership. Since the invention of the activated sludge process in 1914, researchers have been striving to nd a new process that will achieve equivalent results on a smaller footprint and use less energy. One of the interesting options has been aerobic granular sludge treatment, one commercial expression of which is the Nereda process. Monita Naicker explained how the rst full-scale Nereda plant, in Epe (the Netherlands), is demonstrating its small footprint and low energy consumption. Ben van den Akker explained how interest in the ANAMMOX process has led to plans for a pilot plant and capital provision for potential full-scale implementation in South Australia. Re ning design and control of conventional activated sludge plants is an ongoing challenge. Binod Agarwalla told of the use of process control tables for an oxidation ditch to optimise sludge age control -- not a new concept. Michel de Koning, on the other hand, outlined a sophisticated predictive control modelling approach that has improved performance at several activated sludge plants in Western Australia. Mark Trickey made the point that bench-scale testing of potentially problematic waste streams is a worthwhile investment to avoid inhibition or other problems in full-scale plants. Robert Martinovic stressed the need for excellent design and contextual details for sewer mining projects, to optimise the outcomes and to ensure that the practice is effective when called upon in the next drought. Diving down to the unit operation level, membranes still elicit a lot of interest. Michael Gelman extolled the virtues of direct membrane ltration to remove algae from, and disinfect, ef uent from the Karratha wastewater treatment plant. Noel Dow shared the results of a novel, ceramic membrane and ozone hybrid process for treating secondary ef uent (with 14 co-authors, this must have been the most labour-intensive paper at Ozwater). Russell Yap reported on an innovation in dissolved air otation (DAF): adding polymers to coat the DAF bubbles instead of the cyanobacterial particles to be removed. Looking at water treatment, Michael Kennedy alluded to trials that showed that the DAFF (dissolved air otation and ltration) process can sustain powdered activated carbon doses of up to 60 mg/L to achieve enhanced dissolved organic carbon (DOC) removal for THM (trihalomethane) reduction in a chlorinated drinking water supply. This will be bene cial in Victoria where other DAFF plants are experiencing the same challenge of treating raw waters with uncharacteristically high levels of DOC, attributed to rapid lling of reservoirs and submergence of vegetation, following prolonged drought conditions. Fabiana Tessele drew attention to the need to address antibiotic- resistant bacteria in hospital ef uent [although recent work in South- East Queensland does not reveal a similar sense of urgency]. In the current climate of ever-tightening nutrient discharge standards, biological nutrient removal remains a cogent topic. Sandie Naumann made a case for more sustainable nutrient removal treatment plants, based on the criteria of: (1) maximising bene cial reuse of biosolids and recycled water; (2) minimising energy consumption; (3) maximising energy and nutrient recovery; and (4) improving cost sustainability. Her paper alluded to Luggage Point as a case study.
Water Journal May 2013
Water Journal August 2013