The Natural Edge Project The Natural Advantage of Nations Whole System Design Factor 5 Cents and Sustainability Higher Education and Sustainable Development




"Within these pages (The Natural Advantage of Nations) you will see that there is reason for robust hope, and as you read, we hope you will be inspired to contribute to this magnificent re-evolution of human enterprise, a moment in our history when the things we make and build and grow can become a truly regenerative force."
William McDonough, Co-Author 'Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things', Partner, William McDonough & Partners





The Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program

Sustainable Water Solutions Portfolio

 

Funding for the development of the 'Water Transformed: Sustainable Water Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation' online textbook has been provided by the Department of Climate Change as part of the Climate Change Adaptation Skills for Professionals Program.

   
 

Water Transformed: Sustainable Water Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation

Built Environment, Industry Professionals and Planners have a critical role to play in developing planned adaptive responses to Climate Change. This project seeks to create a suite of freely available online training resources to support and assist education and training of students and professionals. This project will bring together leading research and practice in urban and industrial water resource management and supply to address key knowledge and professional skills training gaps. It will also bring together an up-to-date resource to provide professionals in the field with easy access to latest innovations and proven technologies in these areas.


Water management decisions made over the next decade will have significant impacts on Australia’s economic, environmental and social well-being in light of reduced availability and unreliable supply of water due to Climate Change.

There is a need to focus on industrial and urban water usage and the rapid urban development occurring along coastal zones around Australia that are raising many complex water, natural resource management, engineering and planning challenges. Adapting to climate change will require significant professional skills development in urban, coastal and industrial water resource management and supply to address changes to water availability and rising sea levels, and this is the primary focus of this proposal. Skills will also be required to adapt infrastructure and buildings to the risks of bushfires, cyclones and hailstorms. This is also addressed in this proposal. This project has been developed in consultation with a number of collaborating partners, many representing important end users of the training material. The material will undergo a rigorous review by Engineers, Architects, Water Professionals and Academics across the collaborating Professional Institutions, Universities, Government Agencies, Industry and NGO collaborators.

Recently attitudes to climate change issues have changed significantly in Australia. Professionals across industry, universities, government and the community all want to play their part.

They are looking for a range of authoritative training and capacity building materials, based on rigorous research, that are extensively peer reviewed, and available online, to learn how to ensure that they act wisely to respond to climate change. This project seeks to create a significant peer reviewed and authoritative online training resource for industry and business, universities, local governments, and community organisations focused on ‘Education for Climate Change Adaptation in Water Resource Management and Supply’.


Currently the information available on the web for adaptation to climate change in the urban and industrial settings in this area is limited, scattered and rarely thoroughly peer reviewed or accredited for professional bodies or the education sector. The project will seek to address this in part, specifically focusing on adaptation to Climate Change implications with water management and supply and seeks to; Provide a strong foundation for a cost effective strategy to educate/train large numbers of Australians over the next decade in climate change adaptation knowledge and skills related to water management and supply; Empower Australian industry, governments and communities to adapt to climate change and in so doing achieve economic and environmental benefits; and help to reduce regulatory and compliance costs for industry and business in meeting local and international demand for goods and services that address the implications and impacts of climate change.


The following questions will be addressed in the training program in consultation with the project’s partnering organisations:


1. What changes are needed to the built environment and infrastructure to reduce the risks of cyclones, hailstorms, and bushfires.

2. What is the latest in best practice in water demand management - the role of water efficiency, recycling, integrated water management approaches to respond to water scarcity and unreliable supply from climate change?

3. What is best practice for water supply side options for Australian cities and industry to secure supply with climate change?

4. What are the most effective ways to deliver best practice information to ensure it is effective and useful for all water professionals, planners, decision makers as well as educational & professional institutions?


The project supports the ARIES recommendation that education about and for climate change adaptation should be in an integrated way with education about and for climate change mitigation. TNEP would like to thank its in-kind administrative hosts Griffith University and the ANU. TNEP would also like to especially thank Philip Toyne, Stephen Dovers, Martin Dwyer, David Hood, Gary Codner, John Wiliams and Molly Olsen for acting as referees to the application.

 

Education Program Summary

For each lecture, includes a 2-4pp summary of key points and lists of:

- Key references

- Best practice case studies

- Useful links

- Expert reviewers and mentors

Download Program Summary (PDF)
 

Program Citation: Smith, M., Hargroves, K., Desha, C., and Stasinopoulos, P. (2009) Water Transformed: Sustainable Water Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation, The Natural Edge Project (TNEP), Griffith University, and Australian National University, Australia.

 

Module A: Adapting to Climate Change

Module Citation: Smith, M., Hargroves, K., Desha, C., and Stasinopoulos, P. (2009) Water Transformed: Sustainable Water Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation - Module A, The Natural Edge Project (TNEP), Griffith University, and Australian National University, Australia.

Chapter 1: Understanding the Risks and Adapting to Climate Change

This lecture will outline the main risks and vulnerabilities from climate change to explain the importance of climate change adaptation and mitigation. This lecture will also outline why climate change, if not mitigated globally, is likely to result in more intense hailstorms and cyclones, more frequent heat waves and higher risks of bushfires, rising sea levels, and reduced water availability in Southern and Eastern Australia and South West Australia.

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This lecture will discuss how climate change is likely to lead to cyclones of higher intensity and destructive power this century, as well as what measures can be taken to reduce the risks of damage for residential, commercial and industrial buildings from cyclones. As climate change is also forecast to lead to more extreme weather events, such as hailstorms, this lecture will discuss what design changes can be made to buildings to reduce the risks of damage from hailstorms.

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This lecture points out the fact that there has already been an increase in the frequency and intensity of bushfires due to climate change in many parts of the world, and overviews the climate change science literature which suggests that there will be increasing risks from bushfires due to their greater intensity and frequency in the future. This lecture discusses the lessons from this research based on peer reviewed research published before the February 2009 Victoria bushfires.

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This lecture will explain how climate change is causing sea-level rises, and discuss the associated risks (including amplification of storm surges) as well as providing an overview of the adaptation options. This lecture summarises some of the most important recent developments that will affect the likely scale and rate of sea-level rises, so as to help better inform planning decision making processes.

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Module B: Adapting to Changes in Water Availability - Industry & Commercial

Module Citation: Smith, M., Hargroves, K., Desha, C., and Stasinopoulos, P. (2009) Water Transformed: Sustainable Water Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation - Module B, The Natural Edge Project (TNEP), Griffith University, and Australian National University, Australia.

Chapter 2: Getting Started: The Fundamentals of Monitoring/Measuring Water Usage & Identifying Water Efficiency, Recycling & Water Collection/Storage Opportunities

The aim of this lecture is to explain the economic case for sustainable water solutions and to provide an overview of the understandings, facts and figures needed to properly comprehend the opportunity presented by such initiatives.

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The aim of this lecture is to outline the key components of a comprehensive water management plan, refereeing to key supporting resources and references. In order to identify water saving opportunities it is essential to understand how and where water is used within a facility or building. Thus undertaking water audits, complimented with effective metering and monitoring, is a key part of developing a water management plan.

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This lecture briefly discusses the vulnerability of the agricultural sector to water related impacts from climate change, in particular with regard to large land-using activities such as grazing and cropping. The lecture then discusses a number of emerging methods available to farmers, to achieve dramatic improvements in water productivity in these two areas.

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This lecture provides an overview of the major areas of water usage and potential for water savings in retail, commercial and office buildings, highlighting supporting key resources. While there are many resources explaining how to achieve water savings in the home comparatively little assistance has been provided to other building types such as retail, office and commercial spaces, and this lecture focuses here.

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Chapter 3: Identifying & Implementing Water Efficiency & Recycling Opportunities by Industry Sector

This lecture provides an overview of water saving opportunities available in the manufacturing sector, focusing on possibilities for factory operations. The lecture also includes examples of water saving achievements in paper, chemicals and plastics, automotive, carpet, glass, pharmaceuticals, aluminium, steel and cement manufacturing industries.
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This lecture overviews ways in which food processors can reduce the amount of water consumed in plant processing and cleaning, as well as in auxiliary amenities such as washrooms, cafeterias and gardens. It discusses future trends and possible opportunities in water reuse and recycling for significant water consuming food processors in Australia including the meat industry, chicken and poultry, dairy, and fruit and vegetables industries, featuring examples of significant water saving achievements.
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The aim of this lecture is to provide an overview of the opportunities to save water in mining operations. 1. Water is essential for a mining operation, and as it is involved in all stages of the process there are a range of opportunities to reduce its consumption, while protecting the supply and receiving natural systems.
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Chapter 4: Identifying and Implementing Water Efficiency & Recycling Opportunities by Service Sector

This lecture aims to overview key areas of water usage in the tourism industry, focusing on hotels and hospitality (including restaurants). The lecture highlights opportunities to cost effectively reduce water consumption without compromising the quality of service to customers, including a number of case studies and links to best practice examples.
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This lecture highlights experiences of water efficiency leaders in the hospital sector, to demonstrate the wide variety of ways that hospitals can achieve substantial water savings. The lecture highlights best practice case studies, and includes a list of government funding grant/loan programs in Australia which hospitals can access to help fund water saving investments.
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This lecture provides an overview of a variety of ways that schools and higher education institutions (HEIs) including universities and vocational education centres, can cost effectively achieve water savings. The lecture aims to highlight some of the key mechanisms being used in the school and HEI sectors, including web links to online resources.
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Module C: Best Practice Integrated Urban and Coastal Water Resource Management

The following Modulehas been developed by Dr Michael Smith, Research Fellow, Australian National University, under funding from TNEP and with the supervision of Professor Stephen Dovers.

Module Citation: Smith, M. (2010) Water Transformed: Sustainable Water Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation - Module C, The Natural Edge Project (TNEP), Griffith University, and Australian National University, Australia.

Chapter 5: Integrated Water Resource Planning in a Changing Climate – Water Supply and Demand Management

Lecture 5.1 reviews the climate change science to see how it is going to affect water supply and demand. Lecture 5.1 shows that changes in water availability and demand for water from climate change will have a significant effect on the scale and timing of supply-demand gaps for water authorities. The global water industry has great expertise in increasing supply options to manage this supply/demand gap. But the global water industry is now experiencing a growing need to better understand and manage the demand for water as part of an integrated resource planning framework. Specifically, practitioners need new skills in understanding how to develop, implement and evaluate demand management programs. This lecture addresses this need.
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Integrated water resource planning, in which a full range of both supply-side and demand-side options are assessed, has emerged as the most robust and comprehensive framework for decision making to help water utilities plan for a changing climate. The aim of this lecture is to provide an overview of this methodology and show how it can assist the water sector adapt to climate change. The lecture provides significant further detailed online resources to assist water utilities and water planners develop and implement specific aspects of an integrated water resource planning approach.
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The aim of this lecture is to show how to manage the risks from climate change to water quality. Water quality is a major issue affecting the health of populations, the health of the environment and the livelihoods of other water users such as farmers and industry. This lecture will look at the major risks to water quality from climate change and overviews strategies to prevent water pollution and contamination. This lecture provides an overview of the tools available and is supported by extensive detailed further reading resources.
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Sea-level rise also will negatively affect coastal urban potable freshwater quality by enabling movement of seawater into potable fresh groundwater resources in coastal regions. Incursion of saline water into fresh-groundwater aquifers potentially can result in a significant loss of water supply. A large portion of humanity now lives in cities and towns near or on the coast. Protecting the potable fresh water supplies for many coastal cities and coastal regions from saltwater intrusion from rising sea levels is a significant challenge. The aim of this lecture is the clearly outline a range of options of how to do this.
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Chapter 6: Urban and Industrial Water Treatment, Reuse And Recycling – Part A

The aim of this lecture, and the lectures which follow, is to teach how to identify and implement water recycling opportunities within a rigorous risk assessment and community consultation framework to ensure that water recycling projects address all relevant health, environmental and community concerns. This lecture and the following lectures are deliberately aligned to introduce and overview knowledge relevant for the new Australian National Water Quality Guidelines for Water Recycling. The aim of this lecture is thus to help improve skills in this area to ensure that all future reuse and recycling projects effectively address health concerns and are carried out with meaningful community consultation.
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This lecture firstly overviews a number of companies that have achieved at least 50 per cent potable water savings through an integrated approach to water efficiency, water treatment and reuse. In Module B we showed that there was a strong business case for using water more efficiently. Here we provide examples which show that there is also a business case for treating and reusing water onsite to further reduce freshwater and trade waste costs. To help business’s identify opportunities in this area, the main purpose of this lecture is to provide an overview of the different water treatment technologies. As earlier lectures have shown, there is significant potential to increase the level of water reuse and recycling in Australia. But to achieve this, greater understanding and awareness is needed across business and industry. This lecture, and its further reading resources, seek to provide such a guide.
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Currently, in most coastal cities, significant amounts of water fall onto roads, roofs and simply flow out to sea through stormwater drains. In addition, significant quantities of water are only used once and also then are piped out to sea. This lecture will present the case to turn the problem of stormwater management into a valuable resource. This is important because, with climate change, there is likely to be both more intense storms leading to higher risks of urban flooding events combined with risks of declining rainfall affecting the security of urban water supplies. Urban stormwater thus presents itself as both a potential hazard, and a potential valuable resource of water to help cities adapt to climate change. This lecture seeks to show how capturing, harvesting, treating, storing, reusing and recycling stormwater can both reduce risks of flooding during extreme rain fall events and provide alternative water supply options.
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Chapter 7: Urban and Industrial Water Treatment, Reuse And Recycling – Part B

The aim of this lecture is to overview two important strategies to help adapt to climate change – namely constructed wetlands and managed aquifer storage and recovery. As Lecture 6.1 showed, a major issue with reusing water without treatment is the significant risk of health problems due to the likely presence of at least one of pathogens, chemicals, fine particle sediments or other pollutants. Options are needed, designed to reclaim nutrients and water from wastewater for reuse, while also removing pathogens, chemicals and other fine particles. Constructed wetlands are one such system. Increasingly constructed wetlands are being used to provide initial water treatment for managed aquifer recharge and recovery schemes. Storage of water is becoming increasingly important as climate variability impacts on balancing demand with supply. Recent research by CSIRO shows that there is significant potential in Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne to harvest urban stormwater and store it cost effectively in aquifers for later reuse. This lecture provides an overview of the different ways managed aquifer storage and recovery can be used to help adapt to climate change.
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The aim of this lecture is to highlight the potential for water reuse and recycling in the building sector of cities. The lecture seeks to overview the main ways water can be reused in this sector and seeks to provide an overview of the steps needed to ensure that water is used in ways that ensure human health.
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This lecture provides an introduction and overview of the main concepts and ways to implement Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD), also known internationally as Integrated Water Management (IWM). In its broadest context, WSUD is the integrated design approach that seeks to address society’s water needs whilst respecting and seeking to work with, not against the natural water cycle. To achieve this goal, WSUD incorporates and integrates the following; reducing potable water demand through water efficient appliances and technologies (Module B, Lectures 2.1-4.3), demand management (Module C, Lecture 5.1-5.2), water source protection (Lecture 5.3), improving water security and self-sufficiency of water supply from treated wastewater and stormwater (Lectures 6.1-6.3 and 7.1), improving urban amenity through utilising natural water features such as constructed wetlands (Lecture 7.1), and greater use of rainwater tanks (Lecture 7.2). Hence this “Water Transformed” online textbook is also designed to be a “how to” manual for Water Sensitive Urban Design. Taken as a whole, WSUD represents a fundamental shift in the way water and water infrastructure are considered in the planning process for cities and towns.
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Expert/Academic Advisory Panel (In-Kind):
Collaboration with fellow academics, industry and government colleagues in this project are critical to its success. The following national and international leaders in sustainability have committed to act in an advisory panel, contributing in-kind support through advice, mentoring and peer review:

International Panel Members:


- Dr Peter Gleick: Co-founder and President of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, California.


- Dr Heather Cooley: Senior Research Associate. The Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, California.

- Cheryl Davis: International Water Association and San Francisco (Water) Utilities Commission.

Academic Panel Members:


- Emeritus Professor Pat Troy: Visiting Fellow, Fenner School of Environment and Society (formally Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies) (ANU); Adjunct Professor (Griffith University).


- Professor Peter Newman: Director, Institute for Sustainable Technology and Policy (Murdoch University).

- Professor Stephen Dovers: Academic Staff Member, Fenner School of Environment and Society, (formerly Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies), ANU; Collaboration Supervisor (ANU-TNEP) & Network Mentor, TNEP.


- Professor Stuart Bunn: Director, Australian Rivers Institute (Griffith University).

- Professor Rodger Tomlinson: Director, Griffith Centre for Coastal Management; Member – Steering Committee, Smart Water; Program Leader, Griffith Climate Change Response Program.


- Professor Joe Lee: Deputy Director, Australian Rivers Institute (Griffith University), Director, Queensland Smart Water Research Facility.


- Professor Ralph Buckley: Chair, Griffith Climate Change Response Group; Member, International Centre for Ecotourism Research (Griffith University).


- Assoc Prof Poh-Ling Tan: Director, Internationalisation, Griffith Law School, (Griffith University).


- Dr Margaret Greenway: Academic Staff Member, Centre for Environmental Systems Research, Griffith University; Environmental Engineering College Board Member, Institution of Engineers Australia; Qld President, Stormwater Industry Association; Network Mentor and Contributor, TNEP.


- Dr Barry Newell: ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society and Facilitator of ANU National Institute for Environment's Climate and Water Integration Group.


- Associate Professor Rodger Hadgraft: President of the Australasian Association of Engineering Educators. Director Engineering Education Unit, (Melbourne University).


- Dr Philip Williams: Ass. Member, Centre for Environmental Systems Research; Brisbane City Council Sustainability Taskforce.


- Associate Professor Gary Codner: Associate Dean, Teaching Faculty of Engineering, Monash University.


- Dr Fran Sheldon: Core Group, Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University; International Water Centre - Masters Water Program Coordinator (Griffith University).


- Dr Rodney Stewart: Member, Centre for Infrastructure, Engineering and Management (Griffith University).

- Mr Justin Leonard - Director CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems’ Bushfire Urban Design Project.

- Dr Graeme Pearman: Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Monash University Arts, Geography and Environmental Science, (Director GP Consulting) Formerly Chief of the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research.

- Associate Professor Gary Codner: Associate Dean, Teaching Faculty of Engineering, Monash University.

- Professor Bofu Yu: Griffith School of Engineering, Deputy Head of School, Nathan Campus.

- David Dumaresq: ANU Fenner School for Environment and Society, Senior Lecturer Human Ecology, Agro-ecology, and Sustainable Systems.

- Marguerite Renouf: Director, UNEP Cleaner Production Working Group in the Food Industry, University of Queensland.

- Adj. Prof Paul Perkins: Australian National University, Chair, Australian Science Festival Ltd, Chair, Environment Industry Action Agenda and Barton Group, and Director and Immediate Past Chairman Environment Management Industry Association of Australia Ltd (EMIAA), now Environment Business Australia, and Chair of The National Environmental Education Council. Mr Perkins is also a Companion of the Australian Institution of Engineers and an Honorary Ambassador for Canberra.

Industry Panel Members:


- Vivian Filling: National Manager, Environment Policy & Membership Services, Australia Industry Group.


- Sally Armstrong: Manager, Business Customer Strategy at Sydney Water Corporation.

- Alison Scotland: ILEP Project Officer, Every Drop Counts Business Program, Sydney WaterCorporation.


- Caleb Furner: Water Efficiency Specialist, Every Drop Counts Business Program, Sydney Water Corporation.


- Carl Binns: Water Efficiency Specialist, Customer Sustainability, Sydney Water Corporation.


- Claire Hammond: Water Efficiency Specialist, Every Drop Counts Business Program, Sydney Water Corporation.


- Dennis Lee: Customer Sustainability, Water Efficiency Specialist - EDC Business. Sydney Water Corporation.


- Para K Parameshwaran: Project Officer Every Drop Counts Business Program, Sydney Water Corporation.


- Barry Coker and Jeffrey Briggs: St Andrews Hospital, Brisbane.

- Nick Edgerton: AMP Capital Sustainable Share Fund (formerly the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, Australia).

- Dr Helen Stratton: Academic Staff Member, Centre for Coastal Management, Griffith; Environmental Engineering College Board Member, Institution of Engineers Australia; Qld President, Australian Water Association.


Government Panel Members:


- Anntonette Joseph: Director, Urban Water Efficiency Initiatives, Commonwealth Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

- Harriet Adams: Urban Water Efficiency Initiatives, Commonwealth Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

- Jill Grant: Commonwealth Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources – Director, Sustainable Development Section.


- Karen Jacobson: Commonwealth Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.


- Rob McKenna: Energy Saving Specialist, Water & Energy Programs, NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change.


- Victoria Hart: Facilitator and Program Director, Sustainability Victoria.


- Alex Fearnside: Leader of the Sustainability Team, Melbourne City Council.

- Mr Greg Bruce: Townsville City Council – Environmental Management Services.


- Mr Chris Williams: Civil Projects Officer - City of Playford.

NGO Panel Members:


- Averil Bones: Freshwater Campaigner, World Wildlife Fund, Australia.