The latest news from UNSW's water community.
Photo by Dave on Unsplash
 
Photo by Dave on Unsplash
 
 
Welcome to our second newsletter 
 
 Welcome to our second GWI newsletter for 2020. Last month, extreme weather conditions continued to impact eastern Australia. Following the dry, hot summer an east coast low pressure system brought heavy rains to drinking water catchments burnt during the recent fires. In anticipation of this event Stuart Khan worked closely with the NSW Water Directorate, the Water Services Association of Australia and the Australian Water Association to convene a workshop on the effects of bush fires on drinking water systems. The workshop was live-streamed to regional councils across NSW and provided an opportunity for water authorities in NSW, Tasmania and Victoria to share their experience dealing with poor water quality following bushfires. The rain events in February increased Sydney’s overall water capacity from 42% to 68% in a single weekend, with additional rain and inflows raising the capacity above 80% a week later. Rains across the state helped extinguish the remaining bushfires, however, the effect on water levels in rivers and dams was variable and many regional areas remain in drought and face an uncertain water future in a warmer and drier climate. Consequently, 'Building Drought Resilience in NSW' was chosen as the theme for a recent forum convened by Denis O’Carroll and Lucy Marshall with the support of the NSW office of the Chief Scientist. The forum was attended by over 100 industry and comunity members and focused on practical actions to diversify water supplies and protect the environment. One highlight of forum was an analysis of the vulnerability of the estuaries and coastal wetlands by Will Glamore, who indicated that a lack of accountability and coordination was as much of threat to these ecosystems as extreme weather.
 
During February GWI was pleased tosupport an event led by IAC member Rod Naylor of GHD, the  Orange and Parkes shire councils and the Australian Water Association arranged for 10 Young Water Professionals (YWPs) to visit communities in the Central West of NSW to discuss issues of water scarcity and water resilience with members of the community affected by drought. A video of ideas and reflections generated by the YWP’s were presented at the recent NSW branch AWA Heads of Water Forum. Closer to Sydney, members of the GWI community had the opportunity to partner with colleagues from the Institute of Sustainable Futures and Open Cities in a workshop organised by the City of Sydney. The objective of the workshop was to develop ideas for precinct scale urban reuse icentred on a new recycled water pipeline installed during the construction of the Sydney Light Rail project that runs from Circular Quay to Central Station.
 
 
Finally we conclude this newsletter with a profile of PhD student Clare Bales who is working with David Waite and John Fletcher to develop innovative solar driven desalination process for remote inland communities; and details on the next Water Issues Commentary seminar on 'Building a water-secure future for all: Water stewardship for tertiary institutions and future water leaders' by Megan McLeod – Program Director, Alliance for Water Stewardship Asia-Pacific.
 
I hope that you enjoy this newsletter and thanks again for your continued interest and support.
 
Professor Greg Leslie 
Director, UNSW Global Water Institute
 
   News
Bushfire affected catchments workshop
Managing drinking water in bushfire affected catchments
 
GWI was quick to respond to concerns regarding potential impacts of bushfires on drinking water quality  by initiating preparations for a water industry workshop on 'Drinking water quality management in bushfire affected catchments'. The workshop took place at the UNSW City Campus on Monday 3 February in collaboration with the NSW Water Directorate, Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) and the Australian Water Association (AWA).
 
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Drought Resilience  - Will Glamore
The 'tragedy of the commons' in NSW
 
Associate Professor Will Glamore gave a compelling address at a recent forum on Building Drought Resilience in New South Wales, hosted by the UNSW Water Research Centre. A/Prof Glamore was one of the opening panellists at the event where he spoke of ‘The tragedy of the commons’—the phenomenon where everyone values something but no one is responsible for it—and how this applies to the natural infrastructure of Coastal New South Wales.
 
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Resilience challenge
Young Water Professionals embark on water resilience challenge
 
In Early February, ten Young Water Professionals from Sydney, Newcastle, Goulburn and Orange gathered in Parkes in central-west NSW to embark on a water resilience challenge. Run by the Australian Water Association and sponsored by GHD and UNSW-GWI, the program saw the young professionals visit key sites in the region such as the water recycling facility and water treatment plant, and participate in a series of workshops in aspects such as collaboration and design thinking which can ultimately help to advance water resilience.
 
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Sydney water recycling
City of Sydney advances recycled water precinct
 
On 25 February, the City of Sydney, in partnership with GWI, UTS Institute of Sustainable Futures and the Open Cities Network, convened a co-design workshop to begin the task of developing a program to deliver a recycled water precinct as part of their commitment to ensure that by 2030, the demand for potable water does not exceed 2006 levels. The workshop was launched by the Lord Mayor Clover Moore and facilitated by TwoCollaborate, using a range of ideation and strategy exercises to identify values, priorities, benefits and obstacles to building a precinct with multiple recycled water producers and consumers.
 
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AOEG
UNSW Sydney joins Australian Ocean Energy Group
 
UNSW Sydney recently became a supporting member of the Australian Ocean Energy Group (AOEG). UNSW’s involvement in this initiative was led by Dr François Flocard, Principal Engineer at the Water Research Laboratory of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The Australian Ocean Energy Group is an industry-led cluster formed to facilitate industry collaboration of the ocean energy industry to create significant value for Australia. Its founding partners include leading energy organisations, Australian research institutions, plus innovators and SMEs drawn from across Australia and the world.
 
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IMSTEC 2020
GWI sponsors global membrane conference
 
GWI was a proud sponsor of the 10th International Membrane Science and Technology Conference (IMSTEC), held at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) from 2-6 February 2020. Attended by 225 industry and academic leaders, the conference explored many advances in all areas of membrane science and technology.
 
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WRL manly dam closing
VIP event closes out Water Reserach Laboratory 60th anniversary celebrations
 
100 senior leaders and representatives from government, industry and the university attended a VIP Event at Manly Art Gallery & Museum on Tuesday 18 February, rounding out the UNSW Water Research Laboratory’s (WRL) 60th anniversary celebrations. WRL Director Professor Ian Turner was MC for the event, using the milestone as an opportunity to look forwards, rather than as a reflection on past achievements.
 
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Deirdre Dunne
Deirdre Dunne shares insights on  the publishing landscape
 
Deirdre Dunne, Executive Publisher, Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Elsevier, Amsterdam, presented at GWI's February Water Issues Commentary seminar. Deirdre's presentation gave the audience detailed insights into how to e right journal for their research and how to get papers published by focusing on specific aspects that are critically reviewed by editors and publishers.
 Upcoming Events
Megan McLeod
Water stewardship for tertiary institutions and future water leaders
 
Megan McLeod, Program Director, Alliance for Water Stewardship Asia-Pacific, will present at GWI's next Water Issues Commentary seminar on Wednesday 11 March. Megan will discuss how water stewardship can be applied in a locally relevant context by different industries, including institutions, and how future water professionals can apply water stewardship in their work.
 
Register now
    In Profile
Clare Bales
Introducing Clare Bales, PhD student
 
UNSW PhD Student Clare Bales has been busy over the past year and a half, putting her UNSW Master of Engineering Science in Water, Wastewater and Waste Engineering to good use to research a game-changing new technology with the power to improve—and save—millions of lives around the world. Clare is exploring how an emerging electrochemical desalination method called Membrane Capacitive Deionization (mCDI) can be applied in the real world, reducing the salinity of water so that it can be utilised for multiple purposes. 
 
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   Contact
 
UNSW-GWI
P: +61 (2) 9385 5097
E: gwi@unsw.edu.au
 
 
UNSW Global Water Institute
Kensington Campus, NSW, 2052
 
 
 
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