An integrated water management system has won a top environmental engineering award at the 2016 Australian Engineering Excellence Awards in Brisbane.

Power and water consulting firm, Entura, Tasmanian Irrigation (TI) and Water Solutions received an Environmental Engineering Excellence Award in the Tasmania division for the Meander Dam integrated water management system.

Designed, developed and delivered by Entura, the Meander Dam integrated water management system provides information to help Tasmanian Irrigation effectively manage its Meander Dam water storage and associated hydropower facility in northern Tasmania.

Hosted by Engineers Australia, the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards seek to identify, recognise and reward outstanding achievement in the practice of engineering and service to the profession, promoting industry excellence across engineering projects and engineering professionals.

The Environmental Engineering Excellence Award recognises achievement in sound environmental practice and in the sustainable use of natural resources.

It also recognises the significance of the work as a benchmark of Australian environmental engineering and the extent to which the work represents best practice in environmental engineering.

Tasmanian Irrigation CEO, Nicola Morris, said, “We’re delighted to have partnered with Entura to develop the Meander Dam integrated water management system and are thrilled about winning this national award.

“The value created by the water management system was particularly evident during the 2015/16 irrigation season, in which the region experienced below-average rainfall that resulted in reduced inflows into Meander Dam and increased demand for water supply to irrigators.

“We were able to match demand from predicted storage levels, fulfilling irrigator expectations and retaining sufficient storage capacity to be able to extend the delivery for an additional month.

“This ensured that irrigators were able to finish final crops and also maintain pasture growth for livestock and dairy activities.”

Meander Dam is the centrepiece of the Meander Valley Irrigation Scheme, one of the largest irrigation schemes in Tasmania.

The dam was completed in 2007 and holds 43,000ML of water, supplying five irrigation regions servicing pasture and cropping land.

David Fuller, Principal Consultant Water Management and Technology at Entura, said, “Real-time data and models are critical for utilities facing the challenges of the energy-water nexus.

“These tools allow operations to maximise the value of water whilst balancing the demands of electricity generation or use.

“The Meander Dam integrated water management system is an information gathering and processing system, as well as an easy-to-interpret, customised decision-support platform for optimising management and control of an integrated irrigation and hydropower system.”

The solution developed for Tasmanian Irrigation harnesses real-time rainfall and flow monitoring data captured by a network of catchment telemetry, and integrates this information with short-term and long-term forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology and a hydrological model of the catchment.

Through a dashboard interface, Tasmanian Irrigationhas an up-to-date picture of the dam’s status and the probability of various possible short-term and long-term scenarios of storage level and hydropower output.

Real-time information from water meters on pumps within the irrigation area is also brought into the system to give the operator a complete water balance in the area fed by the dam.

Other Excellence Award winners include:

TAS

  • Project Infrastructure Award – Rowallan Dam Upgrade Project –Hydro Tasmania

NT

  • Northern Distinction Award – Adelaide River Water Treatment Plant –Power and Water Corporation, SUEZ and Goodline
  • President’s Award – The Darwin Zone 66/11kV Substation Project – Power and Water Corporation and UGL Pty Ltd
  • Environment –Manymak Energy Efficiency Project –Power and Water Corporation and Centre For Appropriate Technology Ltd
  • Innovation, Research and Development – Adelaide River Water Treatment Plant – Power and Water Corporation, SUEZ and Goodline
  • Project Management – RAAF Darwin Flood Mitigation Project –Sitzler Pty Ltd

QLD

  • Environment– Offsite Stormwater Management Pilot Project – Port of Brisbane
  • Reports, Procedures and Systems – Business Optimisation Process Modelling (BOPM) Project – Australia Pacific LNG and 3esi-Enersight

NSW

  • Environment – Macdonaldtown Gasworks Remediation – Ventia Utility Services and Rail Corporation NSW

Lauren brings a fresh approach to content. While she’s previously written for publications as diverse as Australian Geographic, The Border Watch and Girlfriend, she’s found her true passion in her current role as an editor in the world of energy and infrastructure trade magazines.

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