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Current projects

Goal 1: The social, economic and environmental value of water recycling is demonstrated and enhanced

Project name Lead organisation Project leader Project length & total joint investment Brief overview Project status
An inline sensor for recycled water cross-connectionsAn inline sensor for recycled water cross-connections CSIRO Land and Water Flagship Dr Tim Muster 15 months
$863 878
This project will develop inline UV absorbance and fluorescence sensors to provide improved detection of wastewater contamination from cross-connections. Due to high industry participation in the project, the Centre is anticipating good industry intelligence as the project develops. Completed
Building industry capacity to make investment decisions with recycled waterBuilding industry capacity to make investment decisions with recycled water University of Technology Sydney (UTS), represented by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) Prof Cynthia Mitchell 24 months
$1 706 000
This project aims to improve the capability of water suppliers and other key stakeholders to build robust business cases for water recycling schemes. All of the direct material benefits and costs (i.e. the positive and negative impacts of a particular recycling scheme) need to be considered in decision making. Completed
Ceramic membrane and ozonation demonstrationCeramic membrane and ozonation demonstration Victoria University A/Prof Mikel Duke 24 months
$1 146 007
This project evaluated the technical performance and economic viability of a robust water treatment technology system: a ceramic membrane system hybridised with ozonation. Completed
Economic viability of recycled water schemesEconomic viability of recycled water schemes Marsden Jacob & Associates Mr Phil Pickering 18 months
$1 391 310
This project developed an economic framework to assess non-potable recycled water schemes, including residential, industrial, municipal and agricultural schemes. Marsden Jacob Associates also carried out a choice modelling study of Sydney households to estimate the economic value they place on the indirect benefits of recycled water. An easy-to-use Recycled Water Economic Assessment Tool was developed to apply the framework. Completed
Green chemicals to remove biofilm and preserve membranesGreen chemicals to remove biofilm and preserve membranes The University of Queensland – Advanced Water Management Centre Prof Zhiguo Yuan 24 months
$1 015 404
This project will demonstrate the effectiveness on new, low cost cleaning agents to remove biofouling and scale on RO membranes. The project aims to demonstrate the effectivenesss and benefits of free nitrous acid as a novel low-cost, non-oxidising cleaning agent. Completed
Increased use of recycled water for irrigationIncreased use of recycled water for irrigation South Australian R&D Institute (SARDI) Prof Jim Cox 30 months
$1 394 937
This project will improve the use of recycled water and drainage systems to irrigate vineyards and orchards in South Australia Completed
Managed aquifer recharge and recycling optionsManaged aquifer recharge and recycling options CSIRO Land and Water Flagship Dr Joanne Vanderzalm 24 months
$1 835 950
This project evaluated innovative approaches to increasing water recycling opportunities using aquifer storage around Australia. It developed a technical report to manage soil clogging and maintain water quality for aquifer recharge using treated wastewater. It produced a guide to better manage aquifer recharge, based on case study lessons and economic benefit-cost analysis. Completed
Micropollutants, mixtures and transformation productsMicropollutants, mixtures and transformation products The University of Queensland – National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology (ENTOX), Curtin University Prof Beate Escher, A/Prof Jeff Charrois 24 months
$1 172 200
This strategic project focused on the micropollutants (pesticides, pharmaceuticals, etc.) rather than macropollutants (nitrogen, phosphorous, salts, etc.) to provide evidence of the effects of mixtures of chemicals and their transformation products (during biodegradation or oxidation) on cell-based bioassays. Completed
Nanotechnology for phosphorous recovery from effluentNanotechnology for phosphorous recovery from effluent CSIRO Land and Water Flagship Dr Tim Muster 24 months
$747 769
This strategic project seeks to deliver an adsorbent material for phosphorus (P) that is easily separable from water and will possess direct agronomic value – achieving combined goals of improving water recycling and nutrient recovery from wastewater. Completed
Optimal technology integration for treatment systemsOptimal technology integration for treatment systems The University of Queensland – Advanced Water Management Centre Dr Shihu Hu 30 months
$2 172 000
This project will demonstrate the benefits of optimal integration of the wastewater treatment to achieve high quality recycled water at similar energy and economic costs as current tertiary wastewater treatment. In progress
Pasteurisation and energy recoveryPasteurisation and energy recovery Victoria University Dr Peter Sanciolo 24 months
$1 255 082
This project aims to reduce treatment costs and energy requirements, and to simplify control disinfection processes by proving a new treatment process – pasteurisation – under rigorous conditions required by health departments. Completed
Recycled water for heavy industry and to prevent seawater intrusionRecycled water for heavy industry and to prevent seawater intrusion CSIRO Land and Water Flagship Dr Don McFarlane 22 months
$1 052 936
This project is developing groundwater models, engineering treatments, managed aquifer recharge and combinations of both to deliver reuse water of the required quality and cost to industrial companies, while potentially improving environmental values (Thomson Lake) and managing risks (Cockburn Sound). Completed
Resource recovery opportunitiesResource recovery opportunities Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) Professor John Burgess 10 months
$300 000
This project developed an authoritative, peer-reviewed report that can serve as a valuable resource to the Australian water industry and Australian policy makers. It will provide valuable information and analysis for potential investors in water resource recovery in Australia. Completed
Robust water recycling in remote areasRobust water recycling in remote areas Victoria University Professor Stephen Gray 25 months
$2 231 930
The objective of the project is the demonstration of a robust, low chemical use water recycling process that produces a saline effluent fit for disposal in pristine marine environments. Completed
Validating pond and lagoon treatment systemsValidating pond and lagoon treatment systems Griffith University – Smart Water Research Centre Professor Charles Lemckert 24 months
$1 363 140
This project will investigate and validate the treatment efficacy of ponds to provide safe water recycling, particularly in small towns and rural areas. It aims to optimise regional and remote water security by modelling the movement of pathogens and chemicals in treatment ponds and lagoons. It will lead to new diagnostic tools, including online monitoring and biological early-warning systems. The project will provide regulators, decision makers, water managers and operators with information and tools to best operate and manage maturation ponds. Completed
Water recycling in food production and manufactureWater recycling in food production and manufacture CSIRO Food and Nutrition Flagship Mr Jay Sellahewa 16 months
$2 859 737
The project identified and enabled water recycling opportunities in the agri-food industry through integrated systems analysis, technology assessment, and targeted research at several food processing companies to address implementation barriers. Completed

Goal 2: Establishment of a National Validation Framework for water recycling

Project name Lead organisation Project leader Project length & total joint investment Brief overview Project status
National Validation Framework - Business CaseNational Validation Framework - Business Case Aither Mr Will Fargher 5 months
$150 000
The project developed a National Validation Framework for water treatment technologies, and an implementation plan for a cost recovery or sharing model to administer the framework. The outputs are key to the development and uptake of the NatVal Framework. Completed
National Validation Framework - Cost Benefit AnalysisNational Validation Framework - Cost Benefit Analysis Centre for International Economics Mr Nigel Rajaratnam 5 months
$95 800
This project provided an independent business analysis to implement a national validation approach for validating treatment technologies used in recycled water schemes. The outputs are key to the development and uptake of the NatVal Framework. Completed
National Validation Framework - Priority ResearchNational Validation Framework - Priority Research Water Research Australia Dr Cedric Robillot 24 months
$6 625 732
In developing the detailed scope of NatVal, a number of important knowledge gaps were identified. So that the validation framework can take advantage of more recently developed approaches to recycled water treatment and validation, six research projects are being undertaken: (1) Membrane Bioreactor validation; (2) Reverse osmosis membrane validation; (3) Biological system validation; (4) Enhanced validation of the whole process train in a multiple-barrier system; (5) Standardisation and augmentation of microbial testing methods for validation; (6) Ozone process validation. Completed
Road Map for a National Validation FrameworkRoad Map for a National Validation Framework Water Quality Research Australia (WQRA) Dr David Halliwell 6 months
$789 069
The project concluded with the delivery of a Road Map for the development of a National Validation Framework for Recycled Water. Completed

Goal 3: Reclaimed water is viewed as an acceptable ‘alternative water’ for augmenting drinking water supplies

Project name Lead organisation Project leader Project length & total joint investment Brief overview Project status
Drinking water through recycling - a discussion paperDrinking water through recycling - a discussion paper Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) Dr Stuart Khan 12 months
$270 000
This project will develop an independent, peer-reviewed and internationally recognised report that defines the potential place of direct potable reuse with water supply options. Completed
National Demonstration, Education & Engagement ProgramNational Demonstration, Education & Engagement Program University of New South Wales (UNSW) Don Begbie 36 months
$9 531 113
The project investigated how to build public acceptance for recycled water to be viewed as an alternative for augmenting drinking water supplies. It developed a demonstration program of tools, resources, approaches and principles for Australian and international application. Completed

Goal 4: A national knowledge, training and education program for water recycling is established

Project name Lead organisation Project leader Project length & total joint investment Brief overview Project status
Australian Curriculum Water ProjectAustralian Curriculum Water Project Australian Water Association (AWA) Kim Wuyts 36 months
$300 000
This project developed curriculum-linked water education resources for Australian schools. The project collated and designed new water education teaching resources. Completed
National database for climate resilient water sourcesNational database for climate resilient water sources Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Dr Amgad Elmahdi 18 months
$745 289
This project developed a web portal and interactive maps of Australia's climate resilient water sources. The portal and database detail the annual production, capacity, treatment system, and use of desalinated and recycled water from 100's of plants around Australia. Completed
National Industry-Academic Exchange Program for water recyclingNational Industry-Academic Exchange Program for water recycling Various 3-6 months each
$800 000
This program provided support for water industry professionals to spend time embedded in academia/research organisations, and visa versa. The exchange was based on defined projects and is supporting lasting partnerships between academia and industry. Completed
National Urban Water Data CollectionNational Urban Water Data Collection Australian National Data Service Catherine Brady 12 months
$220 000
This project provides a means to better describe, connect and identify urban water data and information generated by Australian research, government and industry organisations. It is assisting universities, research programs and government agencies better describe urban water metadata, and make it more accessible, re-usable and connected. Completed
Water Research Access PortalWater Research Access Portal Water Services Association of Australia Dr Jill Fagan 24 months
$250 000
This project looks at how information and knowledge can be made more accessible to industry via an online portal. A Water Research Access Portal locates and displays tools, reports and publications held by leading Australian urban water research and management organisations. Completed