Water Wednesday: Unconventional Gas – where to from here?

WRCThe Water Research Centre in conjunction with SA Branch of the Australian Water Association would like to invite you to the next Water Wednesday entitled: Unconventional Gas- where to from here?  

The global demand for energy will drive the exploitation of numerous forms of fossil fuel. Australia is well placed to supply some of these resources including currently explored unconventional gas. Unconventional gas includes shale gas, shale oil, coalbed methane, tight oil and tight gas, all classified as ‘natural’ gas or derivatives.

The media has highlighted concerns surrounding the extraction of some of these unconventional gases, particularly with respect to impacts on water resources. Are the risks real or perceived and how is the industry moving to mitigate these risks?

This forum will explore past learnings, current knowledge and future options for the sustainable management of alternative energy sources while ensuring minimal impact on water resources.

Guest Speakers:

  • Finding and Developing Unconventional Gas Sources
    Professor Martin Kennedy is the director of the Sprigg Geobiology Centre at the University of Adelaide. His research centres on the mechanisms and influence of carbon burial on the biogeochemical cycles of earth and its implication for the biosphere. He has 15 years of experience with hydrocarbon producing shales that comprise a broad class of unconventional gas systems dating back to the beginning of the gas shale revolution in the USA as a senior research geologist at ExxonMobil and extending to his present lead of an ARC – Industry supported consortium focused on improved prediction of gas shale distribution. His recent work is exploring another aspect of the unconventional boom, the potential effects on greenhouse gas contribution of fugitive emissions of methane lost during drilling operations. This work brings data from new, highly sensitive trace gas measurement equipment to the unconventional debate, placing these operations in context with other sources of methane produced by industrial and agricultural activities. Before returning to Australia in 2010, Martin was Professor of Sedimentary Geochemistry at the University of California and director of the Graduate Program for Global and Environmental Change. He has published extensively on the carbon cycle, biospheric triggers for animal evolution, and geologic mechanisms influencing climate change. Martin will provide a general geologic background of unconventional reservoirs and how they differ from standard oil and gas plays, what potential resources exist in South Australia and trends in shale gas development in the USA, and discuss the potential effects of fugitive emissions on sustainable development
  • Finding Innovative Solutions for Viable Gas Extraction with Minimum Impact
    Colin Cruickshank has over 29 years oil and gas exploration and production industry experience in a variety of technical and leadership roles, including drilling and completions, facilities, business planning, project engineering, reservoir engineering, producing operations and development planning. His current role is General Manager Unconventional Resources and Exploration for Santos’ Eastern Australia Business Unit where he is responsible for the exploration and appraisal of Santos’ onshore assets in South Australia, Queensland and Northern Territory for both conventional and deep unconventional hydrocarbons including shale and tight gas.
  • Unconventional gas and groundwater: Challenges and Opportunities
    Professor Craig Simmons is Schultz Chair in the Environment at Flinders University and Director of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (Australia). One of Australia’s foremost groundwater academics, Professor Simmons has been a significant contributor to global advances in the science of hydrogeology for many years and has published widely in areas including variable density groundwater flow, surface water – groundwater interaction, fractured rock hydrogeology, aquifer storage and recovery, and groundwater flow and solute transport modelling. He is a member of the Statutory Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development. His work has been recognised by numerous national and international research and teaching awards including the Anton Hales Medal for outstanding research contributions to the Earth Sciences by the Australian Academy of Science. Professor Simmons has served as an Editor and Associate Editor for numerous major international journals including Hydrogeology Journal (Editor), Water Resources Research, Environmental Modeling and Assessment, Journal of Hydrology, Groundwater and Vadose Zone Journal.

When: Wednesday 18th June 2014, 5:30pm – 7:00pm

Where: The Braggs Lecture Theatre, North Terrace, University of Adelaide.

Registration Essential by 16th June.
Please be seated by 5:30 pm.
There will be an opportunity for networking afterwards.

Download the Water Wednesday June 18 Flyer.

Download the May 2014 Water Research Centre Newsletter.


Water Wednesday: Innovative water efficiency – next generation irrigation.


The Water Research Centre in conjunction with SA Branch of the Australian Water Association would like to invite you to the next Water Wednesday on Innovative water efficiency – next generation irrigation 

A cap on irrigation diversions in South Australia was introduced in 1978 and improved irrigation practices were launched in the South Australian Riverland in 1981, and the irrigation industry has continued to evolve efficiency options ever since. In the context of reducing availability of water and potential impacts of climate change, the next generation of irrigation management software will need to address the challenge of optimizing irrigation management to maximise net economic returns, while minimising extraction from stressed water sources.

An increasing range of analytical options is offered by software programs developed to assist with irrigation scheduling, ranging from simple irrigation scheduling programs to sophisticated irrigation planning and management programs. Smart scheduling and next generation monitoring systems are becoming part of everyday irrigation management. Better understanding of the factors affecting crop survival and production in the context of changing climatic conditions and water availability will be a vital input to sustainable irrigation management.

This forum will explore past learnings and future options to continue innovations in water efficiency and crop management into the next generation of irrigation technology and management.

  • Mr Andrew Johnson, Group Executive Director, PIRSA,  ‘Learnings in water efficiency from improved irrigation practices and survival in drought.’
  • Prof Steve Tyerman, ARC Professorial Fellow & Professor of Viticulture, Wine 2030 Research Network, University of Adelaide. ‘Understanding drivers for crop survival and maintaining production in changing climatic conditions.’
  • Mr Ben Haslett, Paringa, ‘Opportunities in next generation irrigation – the irrigator’s perspective on forward directions’.

When: Wednesday 9th April 2014, 5:30pm – 6:50pm
Where: Horace Lamb Lecture Theatre, North Terrace, University of Adelaide.

Register by 8th April and be seated by 5:30 pm. There will be an opportunity for networking afterwards.

After Copenhagen – James Hansen in Adelaide

James Hansen, one of worlds leading scientists on climate issues is giving a talk on the 11th March in Adelaide.

The Government of South Australia, in association with the Environment Insitute present James Hansen: “After Copenhagen: Looking for Real Solutions.” The event will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre (Hall B), 6:30pm for a 7pm start. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear James Hansen share his lifetime of research in climate change and have the opportunity to engage with him through audience discussion. Tickets are $22 AUD, for bookings please visit Environment Institute website.

Thirty years ago, he created one of the world’s first climate models and is sometimes referred to as “father” or “grandfather of global warming”. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.

Best known for his research in the field of climatology, a watershed testimonial to the US congress in 1988 on global warming and his advocacy to limit the impacts of climate change, James will be speaking at a public event in Adelaide about his new book “Storms of My Grandchildren“, covering his views on climate change and obtaining real solutions to these problems.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear James Hansen share his lifetime of research on climate change and have the opportunity to engage with him through audience discussion.

The Nuclear Debate

Missed the Nuclear Debate? download the podcasts here.

In this podcast, Rob Morrison introduces the speakers for the affirmative and negative teams for The Nuclear Debate – Should be consider Nuclear Power as a response to climate change? For all the podcasts from this event visit the Environment Institutes webpage here.

The Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES), Sustainable Populations Australia (SPA) and The Zero Carbon Network presented the debate.
nuclear power thriving in England

Tom Blees on Fresh FM 92.7

Tom Blees will be appearing on Morning Fresh, Fresh FM 92.7  at 9am on the 2nd of February 2010. Tom Blees will explore the topics raised in his book Prescription for the Planet, listeners will be able to call in with questions for Tom.

Tom is in Adelaide for the week and will be participating in two events. The first at the Royal Institute of Australia is already booked out, however the Nuclear Debate will be held at 7:30 pm February 5 still has places available. Click here for more information.

“Protecting Environmental Flows in Western US” ICE WaRM seminar 28th January

David Pilz presents “Protecting Environmental Flows in the Western US” a free seminar hosted by ICE WaRM

The International Centre of Excellence in Water Resources Management (ICE WaRM) is proud to host David Pilz as the keynote speaker at a free seminar on: “Protecting Environmental Flows in the Western US: A Story about Cowboys, Indians, Fish and Markets”.

David is in South Australia as part of the ICE WaRM Visits and Exchanges Programme.  This presentation is the story of a system of laws and regulations that was born in the “Wild West” but has recently been forced to adapt to and include environmental and other public values.

When: Thursday 28th January, 4:00pm

Where: SA Water Building, VS 1, SA Water Learning Centre, 250 Victoria Square, Adelaide

RSVP by 25th January

E: Dthaw@icewarm.com.au
P: 8236 5200

For more details visit  www.icewarm.com.au

PSRF contributes $794,268 to Solar Thermal Energy Project

The latest round of the Premier’s Science and Research Fund (PSRF) included a contribution of $794,268 to the design and development of an integrated solar, geothermal and combustion system for high efficiency base load power generation.

This project aims to reduce the cost of solar thermal energy by 40 per cent through the integration of renewable energy technologies, while also achieving up to 50% renewable energy and true base-load capability, by developing all of the components required for the efficient and cost-effective integration of concentrated solar energy, geothermal energy and combustion into a single device.

The project is a collaborative project, between GeoSolar – a 100% owned subsidiary of a leading geothermal company, Petratherm, and the University of Adelaide. It is being led by Mr Terry Kallis from GeoSolar and Professor Gus Nathan, Director of the Centre for Energy Technology (CET), from the Environment Institute at the University of Adelaide.

The project has a leading team of technical and commercialisation experts, from both the University of Adelaide and GeoSolar. The researchers involved in this project from the University of Adelaide are leaders in their field and have extensive experience in delivering large-scale projects. GeoSolar, through its parent company Petratherm, has proven skills in the planning, delivery and commercialisation aspects of renewable energy R&D and technology demonstration projects.

The funding from the State Government will assist with the research and development of this project to contribute to the South Australian Strategic Plan’s objective of attaining sustainability, through the improvement of renewable energy technology.