The Smart Water Fund was established by the Victorian Water Industry in 2002 and, over that last decade, has established a leadership position in undertaking industry based collaborative research on behalf of the urban water sector. Investment of some $50M in 230 innovative projects, many of them an industry first, has been a significant achievement. Over the last few months, the Smart Water Fund Board has undertaken a strategic review of the organisation, with a focus on determining the next phase innovation and knowledge sharing model for the Victorian water industry. That review has determined the next phase will imbed the pursuit of innovation within the water businesses, with a framework to ensure knowledge continues to be shared across the industry. The new model will align with the Victorian Government's policy for water Melbourne's Water Future.
Smart Water Fund recently initiated a collaborative project with the Bureau of Meteorology in developing a prototype system to deliver "Nowcast" data. Nowcast products are high spatial resolution radar rainfall estimates and short term rainfall forecasts for either the next 90 minutes or six hours. The water industry has need for these new data in their operations, including predicting flood and adverse events in planning emergency response.
Storm water is being increasingly used as a substitute to drinking water when irrigating public open space, a great outcome for saving our precious water supply and a sensible approach to rethinking how we apply water that is 'fit for purpose'.
Cryptosporidium is a problematic organism for the water industry requiring careful management to limit the public exposure to this harmful parasite. As the water industry moves toward providing ‘fit for purpose’ water, it is paramount that associated risks with this parasite are understood and managed, without over-treating the water, often leading to considerable cost to the industry.