Centroc represents sixteen local governments of Central NSW and exists to provide advocacy services for the region. The Centroc local governments are spread across the Upper Lachlan Valley and the Macquarie River. These two rivers have been in severe drought for most of the current decade. Water supply security has been identified by Centroc as an issue requiring an immediate, comprehensive and integrated response.
Centroc engaged MWH to undertake a feasibility level Water Security Study for the region to investigate potential solutions to improve security for a 50-year horizon.
The main issues to date were:
- Taking integrated planning town water supply concepts to a catchment level and incorporating other water users;
- Improving the overall level of system analysis to support decision making;
- Integrating groundwater and surface water models;
- Engaging a wide variety of geographically disperse stakeholders based out of Sydney and with limited face to face communication;
- The collection and management of a large volume of data from a large number of sources.
With assistance from MWH, Centroc undertook a second study in concert with the early implementation of the water security recommendations. The Centroc Carbon Plus Study provides a sustainable approach to minimizing the carbon emissions impact of the water security infrastructure. The project examined 35 options, including: wind hydro solar natural gas energy from waste energy from biomass green energy purchase energy efficiency schemes carbon sequestration and offsets. The potential of each opportunity was measured against generation costs, electricity price forecasts, avoided carbon impact and other social, economic and environmental criteria.
MWH undertook a comprehensive investigation of a diverse range of water security improvement options including:
- Demand management and conservation measures: residential retrofit programs of water saving devices, water conservation education programs, rainwater harvesting, residential and non-residential water audits, water supply and sewerage pricing structures;
- Additional water resource infrastructure: reservoir augmentations, emergency development of groundwater sources, new and upgrade of pipelines, additional storage and treatment facilities, water grid, effluent and storm water recycling.
MWH also developed the strategic level assessment of energy efficiency, renewable energy and offset opportunities for Centroc to manage the carbon footprint of providing water security and developed a plan of action to implement the most appropriate of those options in parallel with the continued implementation of the recommendations of the Water Security Study.
- Multi-Criteria Assessment (MCA), scenario and sustainability assessment framework and indicators.
- A stakeholder consultation plan to build the strategies and an education and communications plan to support the implementation of the strategies.
- Options for water security, emissions management and improved sustainability outcomes.
- New South Wales, Australia
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