Improving Analysis in Response to Extreme Events

Improving Analysis in Response to Extreme Events

Extreme events (flooding, bushfires) can significantly impact the quality of water entering drinking water treatment plants. This presents unexpected water quality challenges and impacts the reliability of results from analysis by standard water methods. New methodologies to identify changes in water quality using sensors or protocols - to identify unknown chemicals - could help to manage this risk.

Details

Extreme events can significantly impact the quality of water entering drinking water treatment plants, risking water security. For example, the recent flooding in southeast Queensland caused increases in particulate matter and turbidity in source water that impacted the operation of several drinking water treatment plants. Bushfires can also impact drinking water catchments and dams, either through increased particulate fluxes from soil erosion or changes to the composition of dissolved organic carbon and dissolved organic nitrogen. In recent bushfires in southern Western Australia, toxic smoke from a timber business impacted both the surrounding land and a nearby drinking water storage facility.

Changes in source water quality due to extreme events can present unexpected water quality challenges and impact the reliability of results from analysis by standard water methods. This research will aim to improve capability within the Australian water industry to make appropriate decisions during extreme events, and look at ways to help manage risk, including new methodologies to identify changes in water quality using sensors, or protocols to identify unknown chemicals.

WaterRA Contact

Dr Phil Schneider

Amount being sought

$220,000

Due Date

26th Aug, 2022