Water Wednesday: Unconventional Gas seminar presentations now online.


The presentations from the Water Wednesday on June 18 are now online.

The seminar was presented by The Water Research Centre in conjunction with SA Branch of the Australian Water Association and showcased presentations from Professor Martin Kennedy, Mr Colin Cruickshank and Prof Craig Simmons.

Professor Martin Kennedy from the Environment gave a presentation entitled “Finding and Developing Unconventional Gas Sources and Minimising Impacts of Extraction.”

This and the other presentations by Mr Colin Cruickshank and Prof Craig Simmons as well as bios of the speakers can be found on the Environment Institute Event Page.


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.

Sustainable and resilient urban stormwater management seminar

The Water Research Centre invites you to the seminar of Professor Barbara Minsker from the University of Illinois.

Prof Barbara Minsker. Source: University of Illinois

Prof Barbara Minsker. Source: University of Illinois

Barbara Minsker is Professor and Arthur and Virginia Nauman Faculty Scholar in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her research uses information technology to improve understanding and management of complex environmental systems, with a focus on water and sustainability. She served as a policy consultant to the Environmental Protection Agency from 1986-1990, and has been at the University of Illinois since 1996. Barbara will be visiting the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering next week.


Prof Minsker’s seminar is entitled: ‘Sustainable and Resilient Urban Stormwater Management: Novel “Big Data” Approaches to Improving Human and Ecosystem Wellbeing’.

Abstract: Over half of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, a number predicted to grow to 60 percent by 2030. Urban areas face unprecedented and growing challenges from population growth; increased flooding, droughts, and severe storms from climate instability; food, water, and energy insecurity; poverty and health issues; and loss of biodiversity.

The increasing stream of data and information (“Big Data”) can support rapid advances on these challenges through informatics- and systems-based methods. This talk will discuss research that demonstrates this potential, focusing on urban stormwater challenges. Ongoing research to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs) using an interactive knowledge discovery dashboard and model predictive control algorithms will be highlighted first.

Many major cities are launching initiatives to address CSOs and associated water quality problems through wide-scale implementation of green stormwater infrastructure (GI), such as rain gardens, permeable pavements, green roofs, and urban wetlands. Current design practices focus solely on stormwater criteria for designing GI, but significant co-benefits to human and ecosystem health can be achieved through a more holistic approach.

The second portion of the talk will present a novel computational GI design framework that integrates stormwater management requirements with criteria for human and ecosystem health. The framework enables crowd-sourced, collaborative design using numerical and machine learning models coupled with a service-oriented cyberinfrastructure. The framework will be tested in Baltimore and Chicago and the findings extended to 3 other cities through a national working group funded by the Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center at the University of Maryland.

When: Wednesday 19 March at 4 pm
Where: Ligertwood 333, Law Lecture Theatre.

Water treatment technologies seminar

Join the Water Research Centre and learn about some of the new and exciting technologies in Water Treatment being researched at the University.

Hear about the research of Assoc Prof Christian Doonan from the Centre for Advanced Nanomaterials and Assoc Prof David Lewis from Chemical Engineering.

When: Wednesday 12th March from 12.30 – 1.30pm
Where: Engineering North, level 1, Room N123b – Robert WF Tait Room.

‘Four in 40: Catchment to Coast’ podcasts now available

The podcasts from the recent Four in 40 seminar hosted by the Water Research Centre and SA Water are now available to download.

The Four in 40 was titled ‘Catchment to Coast’ and was held on Thursday 25th October 2012 at SA Water house.

Speakers included:

  • Peter Pfennig , EPA
  • Jacqueline Frizenschaf, Manager Catchments & Land Management, SA Water
  • Prof. Sean Connell, School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Adelaide University
  • Milena Fernandes, Senior Marine Scientist, SA Water

Visit the website to download the podcasts.

WRC Water Wednesday – Optimisation of Urban Water Supply Systems: A Pipe Dream?

The Water Research Centre are proud to present the final Water Wednesday for the year, ‘Optimisation of Urban Water Supply Systems: A Pipe Dream?‘, on Wednesday 19th of September 2012.

Professor Graeme Dandy

This seminar draws together three international experts who will talk about recent developments in the optimisation of urban water supply systems and prospects for further developments in this field. Speakers include:

  • Professor Dragan Savic, University of Exeter
  • Asst. Professor Dominic Bocelli, University of Cincinnati
  • Professor Graeme Dandy, University of Adelaide

When: Wednesday 19th of September 2012
Where: Horace Lamb Lecture Theatre, University of Adelaide
Time: 5:30pm – 6:50pm
Please note: Although this is a free event, registration is essential.

Find out more and register

Four in 40: More efficient management of water supply infrastructure – Podcast now available

Professor Angus Simpson

Professor Angus Simpson

The podcast from the most recent “Four in 40″ seminar, presented by The Water Research Centre and SA Water on Thursday 16th August 2012, is now available. The seminar was titled “More effecient management of water supply infrastructure”.

Speakers include:

  • Professor Angus Simpson, School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Engineering, University of Adelaide
  • Mr Kane Scott, SA Water
  • Mr Chris Stokes, School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Engineering, University of Adelaide
  • Mr Steve McMichael, SA Water

Download the individual podcasts and accompanying presentations

Murray Darling Basin Plan: Striking the right balance – Slideshare now available

Download the podcast from Professor Barry Hart’s presentation at yesterday’s Water Wednesday event.

Professor Barry Hart

This forum was jointly hosted by the Water Research Centre in conjunction with the Australian Water Association SA Branch and featured a presentation from Professor Barry Hart, an independent member of the Murray Darling Basin Authority, on the Draft Basin Plan which is currently out for public review.

More information is available on the WRC Website.

You can also watch a slideshare of this presentation below:

World Water Day – Tuesday 22 March

Today is World Water Day! This year’s theme is ‘Water for cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge‘.

World Water Day is an initiative that grew from the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro.

You can find out more about todays events or join the WWD 2011 social network by visiting their website.

You can also download the Water is Life interviews prepared by The Environment Institute and conducted by Dr Anne Jensen of the Water Research Centre.  University researchers describe why water is so important for a healthy Murray River.

Audio-visual material is still available from the Adelaide Water Forum held last October at the Adelaide Zoo.  The forum was a joint initiative of the WRC and SA Water.  The theme was ‘Being Smarter with Less Water‘ and looked at global perspectives of sustainable water management, current research and development and opportunities for smarter water management.

Find out more by visiting the WRC website.