National Science Week (11-19 August 2018) is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology, and Hunter Water is glad to encourage an interest in science pursuits by doing research that will benefit the whole Lower Hunter area.
Hunter Water’s research and development program is collaborating with primary research partner University of Newcastle (UoN), as well as with other Australian and international Universities and research organisations and water utilities.
Some projects Hunter Water is collaborating on with UoN include investigations about fish in Grahamstown Dam; harmful algal blooms and implications for water quality; climate change impacts on water quality; atmospheric water generators and their potential use as water supply for the Lower Hunter; and how to manage the weed that clogs pumps at pump stations.
Additional research includes the assessment of a native freshwater mollusc for use as an indicator of contamination of freshwater in creeks and rivers; monitoring microplastics going through our wastewater treatment works; and the use of biochar (charcoal) to remedy PFAS contamination.
At a national level, Hunter Water is involved in several research projects with Water Research Australia (WaterRA) and the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) to find more efficient and effective water quality monitoring and water recovery methods, and improved catchment and source water management.
On an international stage, Hunter Water’s Abigail Morrow is representing the WSAA on Global Water Research Coalition project, looking into establishing priorities for dealing with emerging contaminants. This project, led by UNSW’s Stuart Khan, includes members from many different countries around the world.
Hunter Water’s Manager of Science and innovation, Anna Lundmark, is excited about the new possibilities that the organisation’s Research and Development (R&D) could bring through scientific research: “Having a targeted R&D strategy is about identifying knowledge gaps that are critical to the organisation. A successful R&D program results in us having the right knowledge to make good decisions, to take advantages of new opportunities and address emerging challenges.”