Water Technology lives and breathes the challenges of land and water management.
The team at Water Technology has a broad profile of specialised skills across all areas of water, coastal and environmental management and its services encompass almost every aspect of surface water and groundwater interaction within the natural and built environment.
With extensive knowledge and experience of surface water, groundwater, coastal and waterway management across Australia, the company delivers practical, high-end engineering solutions to day-today complex water related problems.
The Australian Mining Review (AMR) spoke with Luke McPhail, a Senior Water Management Specialist from Water Technology, and five leading technical specialists from across the business, to dive a little deeper and learn about the range of innovative technical services they provide.
“We are an Australian-owned water technology consultancy and have been providing integrated approaches to surface water, groundwater and coastal management challenges to our clients for over 21 years,” Luke said.
“We draw advice from our specialist engineers and scientists located across Australia and internationally to provide solutions and support to clients in public, private and government sectors across a range of industries.”
“We understand water is a precious commodity, particularly in the mining sector where deposits are becoming increasingly challenging to mine and the need to be more environmentally and hydraulically sustainable is paramount,” Luke said.
AMR asked Craig Flavel, Water Technology’s Practice lead in groundwater, and Rohan Baird, Group Manager of hydrogeology, to tell us more about how their team support the mining industry.
“Water Technology provides a range of services to the mining and gas industry for planning, operational and closure phases,” Craig said.
“We are able to apply a range of interdisciplinary skills to solving problems related to surface water at or near mine sites.”
“Our team has successfully led a series of mining projects to assess environmental performance for the Department of Mines and Energy,” Rohan said.
“We have a thorough understanding of the standards required to maintain operations and the significant problems that can threaten mining and continuity of operations.”
Flood investigation and risk assessment
External environmental influences impact mining operations and cause significant risk with severe consequence.
Every site and operation must be tailor designed to handle regional flood events, significant and extreme storms and the impacts of climate change.
Ben Hughes, the Water Technology Group Manager for Catchments and Floodplains, told us more about the company’s flood investigation and risk assessment services.
“Water Technology provides services for government and private clients at a regional, township and site-specific scale,” he said.
“The company’s flood specialists have completed investigations in all parts of Australia and have an unparalleled depth of experience.
“Our team has delivered a large number of flood studies and risk management plans since 2000 across Australia often with short turnaround times.
“We are well resourced and capable of meeting our clients expectations in a demanding market.
“The majority of our work has involved flood mapping, flood mitigation design, flood emergency response planning and the provision of support in emergency response situations to Incident Control Centres (ICC).”
Stormwater management and improvement
“There is an increasing focus on both integrated water management and Whole of Water Cycle Management to meet the challenges of the demanding Australian environment of droughts and flooding rains,” Ben said.
“Our broad skill base in flood and water quality modelling, water storage design, waterway management and water quality monitoring combined with our experience working with a range of Councils, water authorities and private developers enable us to provide these services to suit the needs of our clients.
“We specialise in a range of services from providing salt interception schemes, developing monitoring and environmental site assessments, preparing site salinity, surface water or groundwater management plans and even vegetation design.”
“If it’s water related, there really isn’t much we can’t do!” Luke added.
AMR asked Dr Yenory Morales, a Senior Engineer with Water Technology, to tell us about how Water Technology is navigating innovation in the water resources space.
“Innovation is the key to future success in the water management space,” Yenory said.
“We have teamed up with HydroNET to support our clients with real-time data analysis of flood, water quality and stormwater management.
“From excessive rainfall and floods to extreme drought, Australia is a land of contrasting environments.
“HydroNET is a web-based decision support system empowering Australian water professionals and providing them with access to real-time information, which is essential to reducing impacts and risks before and during storm events.
“Our team can support clients with the implementation and use of HydroNET’s online water control room software.
“We frequently work with our clients and use this valuable tool to help them make informed decisions for analysis and sustainable management of Australian water resources.”
Groundwater and hydrogeology
In addition to flood and stormwater design services, Water Technology provides groundwater, geomorphology, hydrogeology and waterway, assessment, and management services.
AMR asked Dr Michael Cheetham, a Principal Geomorphologist with Water Technology, to explain what these technical studies involve.
“Fluvial geomorphology is the study of the interactions between the physical form of rivers, flow of water and sediment transport processes, and the landforms create. Whereas hydrogeology is the area of geology that deals with the distribution and movement of groundwater,” Michael said.
“These technical disciplines are very important to the mining and public sector and are fundamental to site wide infrastructure design.
“For example, mining companies, involved in the planning, construction, operation, management and closure of Tailings Storage Facilities must have sufficient hydrogeology, geomorphology and stormwater data available to appropriately design a facility and provide a safe, sustainable tailings storage solution which minimises harm to people and the environment.
“Understanding how the landform and embankment slopes will perform overtime, in perpetuity, is key to restoring the land back to its original state or to the agreed final landform profile.
“We have access to some of the best engineers, numerical modellers and groundwater, geomorphology, hydrogeology and waterway management specialists in Australia.
“We are proud to be Australian owned and a leader excelling in the water resources space.”
Luke expanded upon whether the scope of the company’s projects overlapped with other sectors such as mine planning, environmental management or ecology.
“Natural systems are complex, heterogeneous and diverse and every aquatic ecosystem is unique with many variables co-existing and providing feedback to this complex system,” Luke said.
“The study of these many co-occurring and interacting physical, chemical and ecological processes in a dynamically changing environment cannot be easily simulated or studied in conventional field and laboratory experiments.
“We work in interdisciplinary teams with technical specialists from a all sectors from engineering to hydrogeology, environmental management and geomorphology, to understand the true nature of such complex problems.
“We have been involved in the technical work and development of Environmental Effects Statements (ESS), Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), Environmental Management Plans (EMP) as well as a range of other projects culminating in effective and sustainable environmental management solutions.
“We also have a team of experienced ecologists with extensive technical and practical expertise in flora, fauna and ecosystem assessment and management in public and private sectors.
“The interdisciplinary teams across our business collaborate on a daily basis and have strong regional industry relationships and work closely with clients to develop the best practical solutions possible.”
In a nutshell
Water Technology is an employee-owned organisation focused on the needs of its clients and the community at whole.
“We live and breathe the challenges of land and water management and take great pride in our work,” he said.
“Our senior management team as well as principal staff are involved in every aspect of our projects ensuring confidence to deliver timely, effective and practical outcomes.”
Water Technology Pty Ltd
P 07 3105 1460