Approximately 300 GL of water evaporates from water storages in South East Queensland (SEQ) each year: roughly equal to urban water use in SEQ. This means two units of water need to be collected and stored for each unit of water supplied. There is consequently much benefit to be gained through the development and application of techniques for reducing evaporation. Alliance research identified that surface films and monolayers offer the most promise as cost-effective evaporation-reduction technologies. However, further research and development of monolayers is required for a significant impact on evaporation reduction.
This project focused on the viability of a number of products that reduce evaporation from SEQ water storages. It addressed the use of surface films and the potential impacts of these surface films on water quality and ecology. Together with the CRC for Polymers, the important questions explored include:
- How effective are surface films at reducing evaporation over long periods of time?
- What influence do wind and wave action have on surface film effectiveness?
- What are the effects of applying surface films on water quality, lake ecology, water treatment process and human health?
Key Publications and Outputs
This research developed an approach to assess the implementation of cost-effective techniques for reducing the amount of water lost from SEQ storages through evaporation. New techniques and tools developed in this project for measuring evaporation losses are applicable to a wide range of water storages across SEQ and other parts of Qld by the use of mathematical scaling techniques. The impact of wind and wave action on monolayers was investigated in wave tank experiments. The effectiveness of initial monolayer formulations was also assessed in field trials on a large farm dam.
- Technical Reports 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 16, 17, 27, 28, 35 and 57
- Conference papers listed on the Alliance website
- Proceedings of the Alliance Science Forums
McJannet, D., Cook, F., McGloin, R., McGowan, H., Burn, S. and Sherman, B. (2012) Long-term energy flux measurements over an irrigation water storage using scintillometry, Agric. For. Meteorol., 168(0), 93-107, doi: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2012.08.013.
Mashford, J., De Silva, D., Burn, S. and Marney, D. (2012) Leak detection in simulated water pipe networks using SVM, Applied Artificial Intelligence 26(5), 429-444.
This work has direct relevance to the SEQ Water Strategy and Drought Management Plans in SEQ. It also has enormous relevance for minimising evaporative losses from other water storages including agricultural water supplies and storages.
Professor Stewart Burn, CSIRO
Ph: +61-3-9252 6032