Life Cycle Assessment and System Analyses
- The Alliance is a partnership between the Queensland government, CSIRO, The University of Queensland and Griffith University, Brisbane
- This project will assist our understanding of SEQ’s urban water system
- From this understanding, we will develop a decision support system and integrated water cycle modelling tool for the region
- Our research will explore new options for the region’s water strategy
Life cycle analysis of water supply options – evaluating tradeoffs between water supply, energy use, nutrient discharges, materials demand and greenhouse gas releases
In order to ensure the success of new and future schemes proposed to cope with South East Queensland’s future water needs, we need to build on our understanding of the water cycle and its complex and interrelated influences.
Improved information is needed regarding the effect that our future strategies and other factors have on the flow and quality of water, wastewater, stormwater as well as affecting energy, materials and greenhouse gas flows.
Understanding the performance of urban water systems is essential for effective and efficient planning and operation for sustainable long-term water systems. This project draws on data from urban water systems to build models for performance assessment.
The overall aims of this project are:
- To develop a decision support system and integrated water cycle modelling tool for the region focussed on water, nutrient, sediment, energy, emissions and materials flows.
- To assist understanding of “the system” through improved use of knowledge and data;
- To inform relevant policy, planning and operational phases in SEQ related to water including the formation of key performance indicators for efficiency and
- Contribute to the development of new options or approaches not yet embedded into water strategy in SEQ through recognising and evaluating influences outside the water cycle.
This project will develop and apply an integrated water quality/quantity model and wider “life cycle model” for the region, before exploring the links between the modelled flows and local impacts.
By improving the quality of information available to decision makers, this project will help us to guide selection of water supply and related solutions by better understanding their downstream and system-wide implications.
It will allow us to assess the energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, nutrient discharges and rates of release of other pollutants from any potential water supply option, and give planners a cost-effective means of exploring the local and life-cycle impacts of change under different system configuration patterns.
It will further allow them to test system sensitivity and resilience to anticipated and unforseen future scenarios, including, for example, if population increases faster than expected or the influence of factors such as climate change, land use change and carbon trading schemes.
This project is a research partnership between CSIRO, University of QLD, Griffith University and the Queensland Government. Additional research collaborators will include the QLD Environmental Protection Agency, the QLD Water Commission, the Moreton Bay Partnership, the eWater CRC, as well as the support of the Office of Urban Management, the Department of Mines and Energy, and the various offices of local government of the region.
Contact: Dr Shiroma Maheepala
Principal Research Scientist
Stream Leader: Integrated Water Systems - Water for a Healthy Country Flagship
CSIRO Land and Water, PO Box 56, Highett, Victoria 3190, Australia.
Tel: +61 3 9252 6072
Fax: +61 3 9252 6288
Email: Shiroma Maheepala
Read about more of our research