Home > 2020 Catchment Forum

2020 Catchment Forum

Mar 18, 2020 8:30am to Mar 19, 2020 4:00pm

A two-day forum exploring key issues in water catchment management including a significant focus on bushfire impacts and recovery

A two-day forum exploring key issues in water catchment management

The forum will bring together water quality experts, health regulators and government to discuss catchment challenges including cyanobacteria and algal bloom outbreaks, low reservoir levels, health-based targets and the impact of extreme weather-related events.

The Forum is designed for catchment managers, water security/resilience managers, environmental engineers and, water and health regulators.

Our speakers will focus on evidence-based solutions for maintaining healthy catchments in challenging times.

There are no more challenging times than these, with the unprecedented bushfire events currently engulfing Australia.

The forum will have a significant focus on bushfire impacts including:

  • effects and potential challenges
  • risk management approaches
  • catchment management decisions
  • recovery and future planning

The Forum will also feature the soon-to-be-launched Source Water Assessment Guide.

This WaterRA project was initiated at the request of our member water utilities to provide a guidance document for undertaking Sanitary Surveys of pathogen sources in drinking water catchments. Drawing together professional good practice from WaterRA member organisations, and the broader international water sector, this guidance was formed as a part of understanding catchment pathogen pollution sources and their associated controls.

This guidance highlights and builds upon existing good practice nationally and internationally, and will be referred to in the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) updates to the ADWG guidance.


Date: 18 - 19 March 2020
Time: 8:30am - 4:30pm Day 1, 8:30am - 3:30pm Day 2
Location: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
Cost: $250 for WaterRA members, $600 for non-members (all prices inclusive of GST)
Registration includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea on day one, and a hot-plate breakfast and lunch on day two.


This event is open to members and affiliated organisations. The event is closed to the general public, press and associated media. WaterRA reserves the right to cancel registrations if registrants are not suited to attend the event based on the event availability. In this case, a full refund of the registration fee will be issued.

Our member rate is for WaterRA members only. Not sure if you're a member? Check our member listing here




The Day 2 bushfire recovery sessions are proudly supported by 



Cancellation and Refund Timetable

5 or more working days before the event Cancellations will receive a 100% refund
4 or less working days before the event No refunds will be issued however registrations are transferable, refer to name change details in policy



2020 Catchment Forum Guest Speakers 


Dr Fernando L. Rosario-Ortiz | D.Env. Professor and Director, Environmental Engineering,
University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

Dr. Fernando L. Rosario-Ortiz is a Professor and Director of the Environmental Engineering Program
 at the University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Rosario received his BS and MS in Chemistry from the 
University of Puerto Rico and the California Institute of Technology, respectively. He received his doctoral
degree from UCLA in environmental science and engineering in 2006. His current research focuses on 
environmental photochemistry, impact of watershed perturbations on water quality and characterisation
of organic matter in different environments.

Keynote Presentation | Assessing the Impact of Wildfires on Water Quality and Treatment

Dr Dan Deere | Water Quality Specialist, Water Futures 

Dan Deere is a water scientist with approximately 25 years postgraduate experience in academia, utilities
and consulting based in Melbourne, Sydney and the UK. He has worked extensively across Australia and
NZ as well as in the Asia-Pacific region with WHO, AusAID, UKAID and ADB.

 Keynote Presentation | Release of the Source Water Assessment Guide

Karla Billington | Catchment Management Consultant, Naturallogic

Working across a number of water-resource related agencies and as a consultant, Karla has over the past
20 years, become recognised as a specialist in catchment processes, and catchment risk assessment and
management planning, both in South Australia and within national circles. In her consulting role Karla 
continues to be engaged to undertake landscape-scale risk assessments and mitigation planning projects
across Australia. She is an active member of the Australian Water Association (AWA) and is currently a 
committee member of the (AWA’s) Catchment Management Network.

Presentation | Recreational access: water quality impacts of recreational access to water catchments
and Keynote Presentation | Release of the Source Water Assessment Guide

Mike Burch | Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 
The University of Adelaide

Mike is a Visiting Associate Professor for the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at The 
University ofAdelaide. He is also the Director of Australis Water Consulting Pty Ltd and has worked 
internationally as a consultant on algal management in France, China, Taiwan, New Zealand & Sri Lanka.
Mike worked as a research scientist in the South Australian Water Corporation for over 38-years and was
the Senior Manager for Research until 2017. Mike has worked extensively for over 30-years on research
related to Lake and Reservoir Management including monitoring and control of cyanobacteria in in
reservoirs and rivers by chemical and physical techniques.  He is also experienced in the areas of 
Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins including toxin production, human health effects and risk assessment of
cyanotoxins, and the development of guidelines and monitoring and management frameworks for drinking, 
recreational and agricultural water for Australian national health regulatory authorities. He has been an
adviser on toxic cyanobacteria for the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNESCO.

Presentation | Cyanobacteria: catchment management strategies to reduce risk of cyanobacterial blooms
for drinking water production and recreational access

Kathy Cinque | Principal Hydrodynamic Modeller, Melbourne Water

Kathy has worked at Melbourne Water for 20-years, initially in the drinking water planning and research
areas and now has an additional focus on receiving water modelling. She completed her PhD in 2009,
which investigated and quantified the effectiveness of buffer strips for the protection of drinking water
quality. This was followed by a secondment to a modelling consultancy where she evaluated different
hydrodynamic water quality receiving models. Her current role has an emphasis on hydrodynamic, 
hydrologic and water quality modelling in various environments including estuaries, bays, catchments
and reservoirs.  Kathy has presented at many international conferences and published numerous articles
in international peer reviewed journals.

Presentation | Hydrodynamic models: developed in research and used for bushfire and recreational access 
impact modelling

Professor David Hamilton | Deputy Director, Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University

David Hamilton is the Deputy Director of the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Queensland. 
He has held positions in Environmental Engineering, University of Western Australia, and Biological 
Sciences, University of Waikato. He was the inaugural Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chair in Lake
Restoration at the University of Waikato from 2002 to 2017. His research involves testing and modelling
of lake restoration actions and documenting the rehabilitation of freshwater ecosystems generally. He 
has been closely involved in management and policy implementation for freshwater systems, holding
appointments with the Ministry for the Environment (New Zealand) and advisory roles for regional 
councils and industry groups in New Zealand and Australia. He is editor-in-chief of the scientific journal
Inland Waters and an Associate Editor of Hydrobiologia.

Presentation | Low reservoir levels: water quality impacts from extended drought, and low and variable
reservoir levels


Dr Brooke Swaffer | Manager of Land, Catchments and Recreation, SA Water

As Manager of Land, Catchments and Recreation, Dr Brooke Swaffer works across South Australia’s ground
and surface water systems, including those on the water-scarce Eyre Peninsula and the reservoirs throughout
the Mount Lofty Ranges. Recently, Brooke has focussed on supporting the government’s initiative to open
reservoirs for recreational access, establishing the frameworks required to balance source water protection
with provision of recreation. She has authored several high-ranking scientific papers, and her passion for
providing scientifically underpinned evidence led to her being awarded the prestigious CSIRO
Jane Gillooly Memorial
award in 2012 for early career female scientists.

Presentation | QMRA modelling tool for recreational access


Dr Robert Carr | Chief Executive, eWater Ltd. Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria

After completing his Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) at the University of Queensland, Robert went on to
complete an MSc in Water Resources at Iowa State University, USA, and then a PhD in groundwater/
surface water finite element modelling, for which he was awarded the University Research Excellence
Award in 1985. Robert has 35 years of experience as a researcher, trainer and practitioner as a leader
in water science-to-encapsulated knowledge, specialising in the field of simulation tools for integrated
water management both in Australia and internationally. In his role as eWater CEO, Robert has led the
ongoing development and adoption of eWater’s tools which were initiated in the eWater CRC including
Source as Australia’s National Hydrology Modelling Platform and MUSIC as the industry-standard
 WSUD tool.

Presentation | Post-bushfire hydrological catchment yield impacts – learnings from past experiences 
and thoughts for future analysis


Dr Arran Canning | Water Quality Specialist, Water Futures

Dr Arran Canning is a water quality specialist working for Water Futures with expertise and experience
relating to water science and the assessment and management of product quality risks across the urban
water cycle. Prior to this he was General Manager Asset Portfolio Development and Delivery at Seqwater,
responsible for the asset management, project planning and delivery lifecycle for $11B of assets. Most of
Arran’s career has been focussed on Drinking Water Quality and Recycled Water Quality Management
with over 10 years as Water Quality and Environment Manager at Seqwater and prior to that Coordinator
of Product Quality at Gold Coast Water.

Presentation | Bushfires and Water Quality Risks 


 Dr Phillip Jordan | Principal Hydrologist, HARC 

Dr Phillip Jordan is Principal Hydrologist with HARC and has 24 years of experience in hydrology and
water resources engineering. Phillip has modelled the impact of bushfires on long-term yield from
forested catchments in the Victorian Murray-Darling Basin, including the Goulburn-Broken, Ovens,
Kiewa and Upper Murray catchments. He has recently completed a review of the Wood and Water study,
which modelled the impacts of timber harvesting, bushfires and climate change for Melbourne’s water
supply catchments. Phillip has also modelled seasonal variations in long-term yield from the forested
Upper-Murray catchment. Phillip was product project leader for eWater’s Source catchments software
product and he has applied eWater Source to model flow and water quality outcomes for many catchments
across Australia and New Zealand. He is a Fellow of the Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust.
Phillip has authored more than 50 technical  papers and was an author of eWater’s Best Practice Guidelines
on Rainfall Runoff Modelling and lead author of three chapters of the national flood guideline, Australian
Rainfall and Runoff.

Presentation | Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC Project "Wood and Water" 


Caitlin Roy | Assistant Director Investigations, Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the

Caitlin has a wide range of government experience within the ACT and the Commonwealth. Her favourite
aspect of working in ACT Government is seeing the impact of her daily work take shape in the community
she lives in. Caitlin has a Bachelor of Arts/Science from the Australian National University, with majors in
Anthropology and Environmental Science and a diploma in project management. Caitlin has recently
published the  Lower Cotter Catchment Restoration Evaluation, an Issues Paper on Sport and Climate
Change, and is currently working on the ACT State of the Environment Report. Key areas of expertise
include environmental reporting, legislative and ministerial processes, corporate governance, risk
management and compliance.

Presentation | Cotter Catchment; fire recovery, restoration and revegetation 


Information Summary

Event Type:Forum
From:Mar 18, 2020 8:30am
To:Mar 19, 2020 4:00pm
Availability:Closed event
Event Coordinator:Jessica Burgess
Phone Enquiries:+61 8 7424 2466

Address & Map

Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
Cnr Merivale and Glenelg Streets
South Bank, Brisbane QLD

Add to my calendar

March 2020
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31