To investigate proven low-cost innovative water treatment solutions for regional & remote Australia

United Arab Emirates
Land, Commerce and Logistics
To investigate proven low-cost innovative water treatment solutions for regional & remote Australia featured image
Many small regional and remote Australian communities experience inadequate water quality and water security. Existing advanced water treatment solutions, designed for larger cities, are not an economically viable solution for replication across Australia’s remote communities and small regional centres. As well as a considerable technological gap between urban and remote systems, there is consequent social and economic inequity and disadvantage. Eric’s eight week tour of the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Oman investigating innovative water treatment technologies and water management solutions and assessing their value to communities in Australia, provided potential alternatives to improve water quality and to achieve water security. His report identifies nine key recommendations including several water treatment technologies which include enhanced operating performance, no reliance on chemicals, simplicity and low operating and maintenance costs. High-performance brackish water desalination technologies are becoming more practical, economical, and energy-efficient. Renewable energy desalination, combining energy efficient desalination technology with renewable energy power. Establishing smart artificial groundwater recharge systems by using flash floods and water run-off to preserve and enhance groundwater resources as a practical measure to store and augment the availability of fresh water for future use and to enhance adaptative water management in response to climate change. The use of leading-edge technologies with smart data collection and management tools, to drive a comprehensive, probabilistic, and integrated management approach has potential to revolutionise the way regional and remote water sources and services are managed. Fostering the development of new technologies specifically designed for regional and remote water supply systems through public-private partnerships using experimental sites on existing operational systems to drive operational efficiencies and improve resilience of water supply systems. A holistic approach to long-term planning for regional and remote water systems is necessary to mitigate risks associated with highly variable and changing economic, environmental, and political contexts and to ensure security of supply at least cost. Developing a water conscious culture in regional and remote Australia through extensive education and public awareness campaigns is a necessary step to reduce the need for additional infrastructure, establish effective water management under water scarcity conditions and contribute to the development of water security. Establishing a central, independent water body may assist to provide strategic guidance about future water needs and ensure a coordinated approach to security of supply, optimise water management under conditions of scarcity by sharing data and knowledge and facilitate collaboration across the Northern Territory’s water sector, including governmental agencies.


Eric Vanweydeveld

Eric Vanweydeveld


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