Adapting catchment monitoring and potable water treatment to climate change

A growing body of research is suggesting changing climatic conditions are influencing variations in the concentration and character of natural organic matter (NOM). Evidence for this change has been noted by the water industry, through decreases in operational efficiency and capacity of existing treatment processes and infrastructure. The WaterNSW managed Upper Nepean catchment, connected to the Sydney Water Corporation operated Nepean water filtration plant (WFP), has recently come under pressure from consistent and historically high levels of NOM. It has been proposed that changes in the complexity of NOM character have negatively impacted the performance and capacity of WFPs.

Hence, the Australian Research Council Linkage Project, Adapting catchment monitoring and potable water treatment to climate change (LP160100600), is aimed at establishing a catchment to treatment plant approach for NOM. This multi-disciplinary project investigates possible climate and catchment state dependencies of NOM events and aims to develop new techniques to detect and characterise changes in NOM properties both in situ and in real time. The project provides an opportunity to develop and translate fundamental knowledge on climatic conditions that trigger NOM events and new analytical techniques to characterize NOM and adjust treatment accordingly. The breadth of this multi-disciplinary project spans many disciplines including catchment hydrology, satellite monitoring, advance water quality treatment and analysis.  


Project Funding Source(s), Partners and Period

  • Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project: LP160100600 (2017-2020)
  • Sydney Water Corporation
  • WaterNSW
  • Water Research Australia

Chief Investigators

Research Associates

PhD Candidate