Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse - Identification of opportunities in SEQ
- The Alliance is a partnership between the Queensland government, CSIRO, The University of Queensland and Griffith University, Brisbane
- This project is a research partnership between CSIRO, QLD Government and Griffith University
- In 2004, SEQ’s urban water consumption was 450 GL/annum, while stormwater runoff in the same period was estimated at 870 GL/annum (1 GL is equivalent to 1000 Olympic size swimming pools)
- Stormwater recycling has the potential to deliver as much water as we currently use back into our urban water systems
- Stormwater can be stored through our system for reuse by methods including Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR), underground tanks and existing drainage and sewerage pipe infrastructure, as well as ponds, lakes, wetlands, inflatable storages, tanks, barrages across waterways and natural and man-made canals.
Identifying stormwater harvesting opportunities and supplementary water sources to groundwater in South East Queensland
Every year, storms pour large quantities of rain water through our cities – in many cases, this storm water runoff is about the same amount of water our cities use for drinking, irrigation and industry.
While stormwater runoff plays an important part in flushing our environmental systems, as much as half could be directed toward environmental flows while the other half could potentially be used to supplement our existing water supply.
Stormwater recycling has become an important option for many Australian cities, and in South East Queensland it has the potential to deliver great quantities of water for urban and agricultural use.
As stormwater is generated in large quantities within a short period and becomes polluted as it travels through our streets, drains and waterways, this project will consider the issues of storage, treatment and distribution, which are essential to consider this resource as a viable and reliable source of water supply.
We will examine the potential to store stormwater in aquifers for later recovery, a process known as Aquifer Storage and Recovery or ASR, and in the existing sewerage system.
We also need to learn how much of the resource we can harvest without affecting the health of our urban waterways, in addition to understanding the complexities of the region’s highly concentrated seasonal rainfall events.
Sitting west of Brisbane, and bordered on the south and west by the Great Dividing Range, the Lockyer Valley currently supplies 35% of the state’s vegetables, is a major lucerne growing area, and is of high economic significance to the State of Queensland.
We will explore the possibility of increasing the amount of groundwater available to the Lockyer Valley through use of recycled water and stormwater for agricultural purposes.
We will examine implications of using recycled and stormwater in the valley on reduction in the region’s groundwater usage, water table depths, salinity balances and base flows in valley’s surface water system including tributaries that feed into the Brisbane River.
Our team will identify and quantify recycled water, stormwater, groundwater and surface water interactions in the Lockyer Valley, with a view to improving the region’s agricultural productivity and enhancing environmental flows in the Brisbane River.
This project is a research partnership between CSIRO, QLD Government and Griffith University, linking with research partners Brisbane City Council and Sinclair Knight Merz. The project will build on existing work in Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR).
Contact:Adjunct Professor Ted Gardner
Principal Scientist, Water Cycle Science
CSIRO / Department of Environment and Resource Management
80 Meiers Road
Indooroopilly, Qld, 4068
Ph: 07-3896 9488
Fax: (07) 3896 9623
Read about more of our research.