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New Goyder Institute projects announced

Feb 2, 2017
Author: Goyder Institute


The Goyder Institute for Water Research is pleased to announce two new projects that will commence in 2017.

Climate resilience analysis framework and tools

Project leader: Seth Westra

Lead research institution: Uni of Adelaide

Research partners: Uni of Adelaide, CSIRO

The ‘Climate resilience analysis framework and tools’ project will develop a methodology to analyse a system (such as a water storage and supply system or natural resource management system) to guide the identification of threshold values of hydroclimate variables, helping climate change adaptation planners to determine the most appropriate timing of adopting alternative adaptation pathways.

The framework will provide information on ways in which the design or operation of systems can be altered to improve their resilience to climate variability. Importantly, this will also enable identification of vulnerabilities in the systems, such as threshold values of climate variables at which the operation of a system requires alteration to function effectively. With this knowledge, planners, operators and designers can better target ways to alter the design or operation of a system to improve its climate resilience.

The project will incorporate a case study of a stormwater capture and managed aquifer recharge (MAR) scheme, which will be examined to identify the scheme’s vulnerability to rainfall events of different types, such as more intense rainfall or long gaps between rainfall events.

Assessment of small scale desalination by capacitance deionization for treatment of Norther Adelaide Plains (NAP) waters​

Project leader: Prof. John van Leeuwen

Lead research institution: University of South Australia

Research partners: University of South Australia

Funding partner: PIRSA

The availability of new desalination technology that has the benefits of low initial establishment costs and low ongoing energy requirements provides opportunities to unlock the marginal salinity water sources in the NAP/Northern Corridor area for a range of horticultural purposes, if the new technology can be demonstrated to be practical, reliable and cost-effective for small to medium sized horticultural enterprises.

This is intended to be a low-cost project to demonstrate the opportunity to use new desalination technology at the scale of individual irrigated horticulture enterprises to reduce the salinity of marginal-quality irrigation.

The project will select a suitable demonstration site in the Northern Adelaide Plains and establish a small-scale trial of capacitive deionisation desalination technology, with the aim of demonstrating the practicality of such a scheme at the scale of a single enterprise, and the improvements that can be achieved in horticultural product yields or quality. This project will be partly funded by external funding from PIRSA and has a high probability of securing industry co-investment. Desalination technology company Idropan Australia has indicated a willingness to contribute to the project through provision of a CDI desalination unit.

The project will demonstrate the practicality of small-scale installations of capacitive deionisation technology for horticultural irrigation applications in the NAP/Northern Corridor area. The intended outcome of this is that a greater proportion of the reclaimed water is taken up for productive use and that groundwater in the areas where it is currently considered marginally too saline for horticultural purposes also becomes a potentially productive water resource.