Home > Digital, Data & Sensors Webinar Series | Remote Sensing

Digital, Data & Sensors Webinar Series | Remote Sensing

Sep 15, 2020 10:30am to 12:30pm

Our Digital, Data and Sensors webinar series is designed to take delegates on a journey of discovery into new and emerging technologies and how they can be applied to the water sector.

On Tuesday 15th September, join us to learn more about Remote Sensing.
Providing sufficient water of a quality that is fit for specific purposes is a pivotal role of water utilities. Remote sensing can provide cost-effective and timely options for tracking and managing changes to water catchments and infrastructure. Water quality is also central to the integrity of the environment as well as to supplying our needs for drinking water and agriculture. Remote monitoring of water resources and infrastructure is becoming increasingly useful in monitoring wildlife, feral animals, pest plants, unauthorised access to catchments and water sources, and determining the impact of bushfires, flooding, logging, and pollution in catchments. Recent advances in sensor technologies offer water managers economical, real-time water quality management tools and strategies.
Remote sensing provides the water sector with opportunities to increase their capacity to monitor their most valuable resource. In the first of our webinar series, learn more about how remote sensing can provide foundations for water security, planning and management decisions in your business.
Date: Tuesday, 15 September 2020
Time:  10:30am - 12:30pm (Sydney time - AEST)
Location:  Online via Zoom
Cost:  Free for members, $30 for non-members




Join us for the other webinars in the series:

Tuesday 22nd September | Internet of Things

Tuesday 29th September | Data Management


Zoom FAQs

Full details including links to the webinar platform will be sent to registered attendees.

The webinar will be recorded and the recording will be provided to registered attendees within 7 business days after the event.

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



Dekel Zamir, Director, YELKA Remote Sensing Solutions, Utilis Business Partner | 
SAR analytics for water applications

Technological advancements allow water utilities to better understand, manage and detect leaks
in water networks. Satellite leak detection, using synthetic-aperture radar (SAR), is a technology 
that is used worldwide to identify leaks. 

This presentation will demonstrate how a sensor mounted satellite can be used on a large scale to 
increase fieldwork efficiency, detect more leaks and reduce water leakage levels as well as how 
data-driven mobile apps can help asset managers in fieldwork planning and enhance dataflow
from the field.

Dekel Zamir is the Director of Yelka Remote Sensing Solutions and a Utilis' business partner. 
Dekel has a Bachelors degree in aviation sciences and economics from the Ben-Gurion University 
of the Negev, Israel. He is also a commercial helicopter pilot and UAV operator, experienced in 
operating aerial sensors for engineering, mining and security applications.


Quentin Bechet, Project Manager, Veolia | SWARM Buoy technology for early detection of 
algal blooms

Algal blooms can cause health risks to the public in water bodies used for recreational purposes
and can make water treatment challenging when impacted reservoirs are used as a raw water 
source. Being able to monitor these blooms in real time is therefore key to ensure public health
and optimal downstream water treatment. In practice, most water authorities rely on manual 
sampling and analysis because there is no perfect technology to remotely monitor algal activities
in real-time. For example, Chlorophyll/Phycocyanin optical probes require very regular maintenance 
because of biofilm development.

This presentation explores an innovative technique based on the measurement of dissolved oxygen 
measurement. When exposed to sunlight, micro-algae produce oxygen through photosynthesis and
this results in daily fluctuations of the oxygen concentration. The method relies on a mathematical
model built to convert these fluctuations into an algal concentration. The approach was tested against
empirical results and was partially validated. 

Dr. Quentin Bechet started his career in academics: he first got a PhD in mathematical modelling in 
New Zealand (completed in 2014) and followed by a postdoctoral position and then in France 
(finished in 2016). He then moved to Australia and joined Veolia to help the development of digital 
services to Victorian Water utilities. In particular, he  develops solutions to help water utilities to better 
use their data to optimise operations, using mathematical modelling and artificial intelligence.


Dammika Vitanage & Rebeka Nikoloska, Sydney Water | Enhancing Sydney Water’s leak
prevention through remote acoustic monitoring: New approaches to the application of
sensing for leaks

Dammika Vitanage | Asset Infrastructure Research Coordinator for Sydney Water. Dammika
has 40 years of water industry experience. Recently Dammika has been the industry lead for
large collaborative asset innovation projects. He has extensive experience in water industry
operations, planning, research and innovation. Dammika has led significant large research
and innovation collaborations and won many awards.

Rebeka Nikoloska | Science, Research, and Innovation Project Manager at Sydney Water.
Rebeka is using her background in Media and Communications and Marketing from The
University of Sydney to coordinate and manage the multi-disciplinary project team. Rebeka
coordinates the review of acoustic sensor data within Sydney Water’s network, alongside
other large collaborative asset innovation projects related to robotic sensing.


Dr Michael Hatch, Australian Representative, Vista Clara & Researcher, University of Adelaide
Tim Munday, Director, Deep Earth Imaging Future Science Platform, CSIRO
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance in Hydrogeology

The use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) for ground and soilwater investigations is a
relatively recent innovation in the world of hydrogeophysics. The technique is somewhat unique
in that it is the only available method that directly maps water in the subsurface. We are all
familiar with this phenomena of magnetic resonance in our lives already; for example in medicine,
MRI’s(Magnetic Resonance Imaging) uses the same physical principles to map the water content
in the various tissues of a human body. It is also a phenomenon that makes a magnetometer work
– one of the mainstays of geophysics (and hydrogeophysics) is a map of the magnetics of an area.
It is important to note that the “nuclear” term in NMR has nothing to do with nuclear power or
nuclear sources. Here “nuclear” is used to refer to the nucleus of an atom – specifically the protons
in the nucleus of hydrogen atoms, as these are what we are perturbing in the process of making an
NMR measurement. There are no radioactive sources in NMR – only big magnets.

In this presentation we will provide an overview of the physical principles that underpin the
technology, and how it is able to inform us both about the quantity of water in the subsurface (the
saturated porosity), but also the state of that water – whether it is free water, or whether it is bound
and therefore hard to extract. How the water is stored, and our ability to determine that provides
information about the saturated pores size in the subsurface. Materials that are made mostly of clay
may have high saturated porosity, but the water will be tightly bound (low hydraulic conductivity),
while water in sands and gravels (also likely to have a high saturated porosity) will be less bound
and these materials have higher hydraulic conductivity. The value of NRM methods comes in being
able to generate more information on the hydraulic properties of aquifers at scales that are not
readily achieved by more conventional approaches to hydraulic characterization. Some NMR
methods are non-invasive (ie. we don’t need to drill) which can also be advantageous. -In this
discussion, we will describe the range of tools that are available for the hydrogeologist, and we’ll
then show some examples of the information they generate. We will conclude by showing some
case studies on the use of NMR technology on important, real world (Australian) hydrogeological

Michael Hatch has over 30 years of experience in geophysics, specialising in electrical and
electromagnetic methods. He started in mineral exploration in the mid 80’s, working for Zonge
Engineering in the US. 
He is currently working on a project based at the University of
Adelaide to use electrical geophysics to
map hydrological properties at a proposed in-situ
mining site in South Australia. Mike also works 
with Vista Clara Inc., an American company
specialising in the application of NMR technology to 
the search for water, and continues to
work for Zonge Engineering Australia. He is the assistant
editor of the ASEG’s magazine
Preview looking after the Environmental Geophysics column since 
2015.

Tim Munday has more than 30 years experience in the of hydrogeophysical methods; particularly
airborne and ground-based electrical, electromagnetic methods, plus borehole and surface
magnetic resonance methods for groundwater and aquifer characterization, ecosystem
surface water – groundwater interactions and environmental applications. He has driven a
research path involving the development of technologies for understanding minerals, water and
environment, believing that they are intimately linked. 
He is currently the Research Director of
CSIRO’s Deep Earth Imaging Future Science Platform which comprises a group of researchers
developing advanced geophysical, mathematical and computational tools along with new
geochemical and geological approaches/understanding to more precisely image the subsurface, to
underpin our exploration concepts, and to predict processes that form our minerals, energy
and water resources.



Information Summary

Event Type:Webinar Series
From:Sep 15, 2020 10:30am
To:Sep 15, 2020 12:30pm
Availability:All welcome
Event Coordinator:Jessica Burgess
Phone Enquiries:+61 8 7424 2466

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