Water Security Series - Changing nature of water-energy nexus

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Join us for an online panel discussion on 'How can we respond to the changing nature of water-energy nexus in urban water supply systems?'

The relationship between water and energy in urban water supply systems (UWSSs) is well recognised, as energy is needed for water production and transport and water can be used to produce and store energy (e.g. pumped hydro). This water-energy nexus is changing due to long-term drivers, such as climate change, population growth and technological development. These drivers are changing the available sources of water (and energy used in UWSSs), how they are generated, stored and transported; and therefore the design and operation of UWSSs need to be adapted to cater for these changes. The panel will discuss the changing nature of the water-energy nexus in UWSSs and how the water industry is responding to these changes to increase the resilience of our UWSSs in an uncertain future.

Introducing our June panellists and chair:

Dr Wenyan Wu, The University of Melbourne

Dr Wenyan Wu is a Lecturer in Environmental Hydrology & Water Resources in the Department of Infrastructure Engineering, the University of Melbourne. She has over ten years’ experience across academia and industry. Dr Wu has a background in environmental modelling and optimisation using numerical methods, with applications in optimal design and operation of water distribution systems and management of water resources systems. She also worked as an Environmental Engineer, when she conducted flood risk assessment and developed flood mitigation strategies. Her current research focuses on the use of numerical and statistical modelling tools to solve environmental engineering problems, including water resource/supply system modelling and optimisation considering the water-energy nexus.

Professor Angus Simpson, University of Adelaide

Angus Simpson is a Professor in the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at the University of Adelaide. Angus completed his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering at Monash University, a Masters at Colorado State University and a PhD in hydraulics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. His current research interests focus on the planning, design and operation of water distribution system infrastructure – including optimisation of the design and operation of water distribution and pumping systems, steady state computer simulation analysis of water distribution systems, condition assessment of water distribution systems using non-invasive controlled water hammer pulses and smart water networks. Since 1998 he has been involved in the optimisation of water pumping by considering the water-energy nexus.

Dr. Lisa Blinco, Water Systems Optimisation Engineer, SA Water

Dr. Lisa Blinco is a Water Systems Optimisation Engineer for SA Water and Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Adelaide. Lisa uses a specifically designed optimisation tool to plan the operation of SA Water’s bulk supply network including major pumped pipelines from the River Murray, reservoirs in the Mt Lofty Ranges, the Adelaide Desalination Plant, and major water treatment plants for the Adelaide Metropolitan Region. Her work has assisted projects such as dam upgrades for two major Adelaide reservoirs, the use of the Adelaide Desalination Plant for drought relief in the Murray Darling Basin, long term water security investigations, and energy consumption budgets. In her role, she provides support to the 24/7 Operations Control Centre including emergency response to incidents such as the recent bushfires on Kangaroo Island which impacted the island’s water supply infrastructure.

Shaun Cumming, Barwon Water

Mr Shaun Cumming is the General Manager for Infrastructure and Technology for Barwon Water. Over a 20+ year career in the water industry, Shaun has worked across both public and private sectors. He has extensive experience in strategy, operations, construction, business development and large-scale project delivery.

Shaun and his team build and operate Barwon Water’s world-standard water, sewerage and recycled water infrastructure. The group is responsible for maximising the quality, security, productivity and affordability of all assets in a changing regional environment and climate.

Chair

Dr Sharon Davis - The University of Melbourne

Sharon is a Senior Enterprise Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the public sector, at both the state and federal levels, leading water and natural resource management policy, technical and R&D programs. Throughout her career she has focussed on bridging science and policy to inform decision making. In 2011 Sharon was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Harvard University to work with the Harvard Water Security Initiative. She is one of 80 women from around the world selected as part of the 2020 Homeward Bound women in STEMM leadership program. She has a PhD in Catchment Hydrology and is a Director of Water Practice Consulting.

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