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Smart Water Awards 2019 - Alliancing Award nominees

April 30, 2019

Sponsored by: Allwater

The Alliancing Award recognises organisation(s) that have demonstrated collaboration, engagement and or teaming to solve a significant environmental and/or water resource management related problem; access new market/s; develop a new product, solution or service; undertake research and/or trial applications; bid for a project or tender (irrespective of outcome); develop new business agreements and/or partnerships (such as an MoU or other arrangement) to enable future growth and business; address a specific industry issue (e.g. market knowledge, skills development, promotion); and/or create and foster a teaming and collaborative culture.

Meet the nominees:

Alternative Water Demand Integration and Optimisation Project (AWDIO) | Water Technology Pty Ltd

The AMLR NRM Board supports the development of alternative water schemes to meet demand and improve environmental outcomes. They have commissioned this Alternative Water Demand Integration and Optimisation (AWDIO) study through the Natural Resources Management Levy to gain a better understanding of:

Within this context, Water Technology partnered with Seed Consulting, Inside Infrastructure, Marsden Jacob and Alano Water to estimate the supply, demand, quality and usage within the alternative water market. Our methodology includes leveraging previous work, studying the land use in three zones in the study area, and consultation with a wide range of stakeholders.

Australian Water School Webinar Program | ICE WaRM

The Australian Water School Webinar Program is an ICE WaRM initiative that provides a portal to Australian and international water expertise, services and solutions.

The webinars incorporate interactive discussion with credible experts and professionals who present about thought leadership, innovation and best practice in water management, from South Australia, Australia and internationally. We provide this program at no cost to attendees, allowing greater participation, including from developing countries.

The program could only be possible through ICE WaRM’s unique approach to alliancing, which has contributed to connecting the South Australian and Australian water sector with the world by providing opportunities for water businesses to showcase their products and services to an international market.

The Australian Water School webinars attract international attention from key players in water policy, governance and practice and as a result, have grown ICE WaRM’s international reach and recognition.

Topics that have attracted the greatest interest include Sustainable Development Goals, River Basin Planning, Groundwater Management, Water Modelling, Water – Food – Energy Nexus issues, and Liveability and Resilience of Cities.

Delivering New International Water Engagement, Trade and Investment Outcome for the South Australian Water Sector | Department for Environment and Water

Over the last four years, the Department for Environment and Water has actively played a coordination and support role to facilitate new international connections, and trade and investment opportunities for the South Australian water sector. By facilitating engagement at a government-to-government level to identify specific market needs and then working collaboratively with the Water Industry Alliance, Goyder Institute for Water Research, International Centre of Excellence in Water Resources Management and others across the water sector, new market opportunities and investment have been able to be realised that would not otherwise exist.

This alliance has demonstrated the powerful impact of a partnership approach between government and industry to international water opportunities. As a result, a number of key initiatives are now underway in India and China that bring South Australian water expertise across government, industry, research and training together to address water management challenges in these regions. South Australia is also now seen nationally and internationally as a model for global water engagement.

Opportunistic Flow Improvement and Revegetation at Bookmark Creek, Renmark | Department for Environment and Water

Pitts Regulator used to hold water in Bookmark Creek at Renmark so it could be pumped to nearby Disher Creek. The pipe was removed years ago but brick and concrete structure was left in place.

This project is a unique and opportunistic innovation by the River Murray Infrastructure Operations team that addressed a catalogue of highly undesirable features of the disused Pitts Regulator, including the risk of people swimming in the creek and becoming trapped in the Regulator and drowning.

The removal of Pitts Regulator helped improve the flows through the creek as it had been constricting the creek and therefore creating a barrier to flow and fish movement.

The local community were supportive of the project and revegetated the site after the removal of the Regulator.

With no identified budget, the work was provided and completed through in-kind support from internal modelling services, community liaison efforts and collaboration between the infrastructure and floodplain teams in Department for Environment and Water. Including earthworks, the work was completed for only $30,000 and has been paid for from savings in a maintenance budget.

Restoring the Ecological Character of the Coorong’s South Lagoon – Expert Panel | Goyder Institute for Water Research

The Coorong is considered to be the most important waterbird wetland in the Murray-Darling Basin and it has been degraded to the point where it is at risk of losing the key elements that make it such an iconic wetland.

The South Australian Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs MP, requested that the Goyder Institute for Water Research assemble a multidisciplinary team of eminent scientists to establish the ecological state of the Coorong’s South Lagoon and recommend restorative actions.

This work was critical to the South Australian and Commonwealth Governments reaching an agreement to allocate $70 million to support the long-term health of the Coorong as part of a Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin program.

The challenges facing the Coorong are multi-faceted and so the Institute brought together a team of scientists with expertise in all aspects of the system – from water quality and algae to invertebrates and waterbirds – to provide coordinated advice to the Minister. The project involved 16 scientists from The University of Adelaide, SARDI, Flinders University, CSIRO and Department for Environment and Water.

Collectively, the team identified the most significant risks to the South Lagoon’s ecological values and identified the short-, medium- and long-term actions required to restore its ecological character.

Riverine Recovery Participatory Budget Program - Fund My Project | Department for Environment and Water

As part of the Australian and South Australian Governments’ Riverine Recovery Project (RRP) a Fund My Project initiative was rolled out to increase public awareness of the issues surrounding river health. This involved the community coming up with ideas, developing project scope and voting on their favourite projects. Using the YourSAy website, over 200 people voted and 12 local projects, worth a total of $200,000, were successful.

The successful projects included interpretive signage designed by a Youth Council, canoe trails, a healthy river toolkit and a creative film project. These projects will leave a lasting legacy for RRP, which is improving the health of the riverine environment along the South Australian length of the River Murray.

The Fund My Project initiative has empowered the community to implement their ideas and assist with increasing awareness.

Translating Ngarrindjeri Yannarumi into Water Resource Risk Assessments | Goyder Institute for Water Research

Risk assessment is a fundamental process that underpins natural resources management, but most water resource risk assessments focus on western concepts of natural resource management: economic production and environmental conservation. This framework fails to engage with Indigenous worldviews that focus on reproduction and interconnected benefit and give effect to Indigenous values and interests.

This Goyder Institute project, a partnership with the Department for Environment and Water (DEW), Flinders University and the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority (NRA) is developing and trialling a tool and methodology that supports the translation of Ngarrindjeri Yannarumi assessments into water resource risk assessments. The Ngarrindjeri Yannarumi assessment process assesses environmental and water health based on Ngarrindjeri principles and philosophies. Ngarrindjeri are the Traditional Owners of the Lower Murray, Lower Lakes, Coorong and surrounding region, and are a leading Indigenous nation in relation to Indigenous engagement in water resource management in the River Murray.

The project’s trial results are expected to inform and improve the risk assessment for the River Murray Water Resource Plan (WRP) and are central to supporting Indigenous people to look after their rights to water.