Archived Industry News for Water Professionals - September, 2011
The Western Australian Government has announced a water saving education initiative that will offer 13,000 Perth housholds free water efficiency coaching and water saving devices.
The H2ome Smart initiative is an attempt to save up to 600 million litres of water over the next 12 months.
Incentives such as vouchers for water efficient appliances, shower timers and efficient showerheads will be offered to reduce household water consumption, as well as prizes of up to $500.
The Queensland Government has announced it will not lower dam levels ahead of this year’s wet season, citing recommendations made by the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry Interim Report
Work has begun in South Australia on the third phase of the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative (GABSI) . The work will seal two large free-flowing bores on the western side of the Basin, rehabilitate a high-pressure bore in the middle of the Basin, reduce a number of bores around Marree into a single system and replace infrastructure.
The Queensland Government has announced an ambitious $14.3 million project to provide long-term flood protection for Charleville, in the state's south.
The Queensland Government has unveiled an $8.4 million spending package for Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups and local councils across the state to assist in the recovery of flood-damaged waterways.
The Western Australian Government has announced a new seagrass monitoring project that will be aimed at providing valuable data to scientists about the health of the Swan and Canning rivers.
NASA's new Aquarius instrument has produced its first global map of the salinity of the ocean surface, providing an early glimpse of the mission's anticipated discoveries.
Aquarius, which is aboard the Aquarius/SAC-D (Satélite de Aplicaciones Científicas) observatory, is making NASA's first space observations of ocean surface salinity variations -- a key component of Earth's climate. Salinity changes are linked to the cycling of freshwater around the planet and influence ocean circulation.
"Aquarius' salinity data are showing much higher quality than we expected to see this early in the mission," said Aquarius Principal Investigator Gary Lagerloef of Earth & Space Research in Seattle. "Aquarius soon will allow scientists to explore the connections between global rainfall, ocean currents and climate variations."
The new map, which shows a tapestry of salinity patterns, demonstrates Aquarius' ability to detect large-scale salinity distribution features clearly and with sharp contrast. The map is a composite of the data since Aquarius became operational on Aug. 25. The mission was launched June 10 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Aquarius/SAC-D is a collaboration between NASA and Argentina's space agency, Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE).
"Aquarius/SAC-D already is advancing our understanding of ocean surface salinity and Earth's water cycle," said Michael Freilich, director of NASA's Earth Science Division at agency headquarters in Washington. "Aquarius is making continuous, consistent, global measurements of ocean salinity, including measurements from places we have never sampled before."
To produce the map, Aquarius scientists compared the early data with ocean surface salinity reference data. Although the early data contain some uncertainties, and months of additional calibration and validation work remain, scientists are impressed by the data's quality.
"Aquarius has exposed a pattern of ocean surface salinity that is rich in variability across a wide range of scales," said Aquarius science team member Arnold Gordon, professor of oceanography at Columbia University in Palisades, N.Y., and at the university's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. "This is a great moment in the history of oceanography. The first image raises many questions that oceanographers will be challenged to explain."
The map shows several well-known ocean salinity features such as higher salinity in the subtropics; higher average salinity in the Atlantic Ocean compared to the Pacific and Indian oceans; and lower salinity in rainy belts near the equator, in the northernmost Pacific Ocean and elsewhere. These features are related to large-scale patterns of rainfall and evaporation over the ocean, river outflow and ocean circulation. Aquarius will monitor how these features change and study their link to climate and weather variations.
Other important regional features are evident, including a sharp contrast between the arid, high-salinity Arabian Sea west of the Indian subcontinent, and the low-salinity Bay of Bengal to the east, which is dominated by the Ganges River and south Asia monsoon rains. The data also show important smaller details, such as a larger-than-expected extent of low-salinity water associated with outflow from the Amazon River.
Aquarius was built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., for NASA's Earth Systems Science Pathfinder Program. JPL is managing Aquarius through its commissioning phase and will archive mission data. Goddard will manage Aquarius mission operations and process science data. CONAE provided the SAC-D spacecraft and the mission operations center.
The new map is available at: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA14786 .
The Northern Territory Government has rejected calls by the Federal Opposition to dam the Daly Rive, with Territory Environment Minister Karl Hampton urging the Country Liberal Party to “respect the science and reject plans by the Federal Coalition to dam the Daly River”.
The Western Australian Government has announced it will examine the viability of its current water allocation policy in the face of growing demand from both industry and consumer groups.
The largest floodplain mapping initiative in Queensland's history – built on the latest technology and supported by both new and historic data - is underway.
A new centrifuge at the University of New South Wales Water Research Laboratory can act as an environmental “time machine”, allowing researchers to preview the long-term effects on groundwater aquifers of activities such as coal seam gas and longwall mining.
The National Water Commission has released its assessment of water reform progress in Australia, calling on governments to stay the distance on their reform commitments.
Victorian University researchers have been awarded $2.7 million in grants from the Federal Government and industry partners for three desalination projects.
The Western Australian Government has announced it will wait for the completion of an appeal by LD Operations over proposed coal mining in the Margaret River before any changes to environmental protection in the area are made.
The Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) has released the May Basin Resource Operations plan, which reviews the way in which water is used between towns, irrigators and the environment.
Mining giant Rio Tinto has announced a $299 million project to construct sustainable water supply for its iron ore operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The plant will have a planned capacity up to the 333 million tonnes (Mt/a).
The Western Australian Government has released a study which assesses the opportunities for desalinating saline or brackish groundwater reserves in the state’s Wheatbelt region.