Author Archives: Rafael Schmitt

DEIB SEMINAR: Australia with a Drying Climate – Sustainable urban water management by means of: behavioural change? OR improved efficiency? OR new water supply technologies?

Mercoledì 11 marzo, ore 14:30 Sala Seminari DEIB

Prof. Martin Anda, Murdoch University, Western Australia

Australia with a Drying Climate – Sustainable urban water management by means of: behavioural change? OR improved efficiency? OR new water supply technologies?

Western Australia has a rapidly drying climate with seriously declining average annual rainfall since the 1970s. How should governments and urban communities respond to this? What are the opportunities? Responses can be categorised under behavioural change, efficiency improvements, and new technologies at small and large scale. In this presentation I will give examples under each category of recent initiatives in Australian cities and what research is underway in each area also. In behavioural change a large movement had commenced utilising Community Based Social Marketing for home water savings underpinned by the contractors with various data collection, analysis and feedback techniques. Under efficiency improvements many home and office appliances are increasingly water efficient as a result of the WELS rating scheme in Australia but not as far as the UK Code for Sustainable Homes. As far as new technology in the water sector is concerned to respond to the drying climate, in Eastern Australia governments mandated the use of ‘third pipes’ for new residential developments utilising recycled wastewater for non-potable uses (toilet flushing and garden irrigation) but in the West, government preferred to stay with the ‘two pipe’ system and commence an indirect potable reuse system by groundwater replenishment with recycled wastewater. However, the push is still stronger from engineers for more large seawater desalination plants in the West. While in the East those seawater desalination plants had to be turned off after the breaking of the drought costing billions of dollars. New research by one of my research students in Perth shows how these could be built on a smaller scale within coastal urban areas for reduced costs and environmental impacts. This presentation is a small journey through a large country of big water saving research initiatives.

Short bio

Dr Martin Anda is Academic Chair and Senior Lecturer in Environmental Engineering at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. He teaches a number of undergraduate units and coordinates a team of postgraduate researchers in a group called Environmental Engineering & Life Systems (EELS) that are conducting a range of PhD research projects across water recycling, energy efficiency, waste management and resource recovery, carbon neutral settlements and green buildings. Martin is a founding member of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA) Envirodevelopment board of management to assess applications from the urban land development sector seeking to improve their environmental performance. He was chairman of the World Renewable Energy Conference held in Perth July, 2013 and is currently chair of the Organising Committee of the IWA International Conference on Sustainable Water Management to be held at Murdoch University in November, 2015. He is currently on sabbatical in Europe where he is studying integrated urban energy and water systems for buildings and districts until July.