Data collection and analysis designMany factors impact on excellent environmental process modelling, analyses and subsequent design outcomes, potentially the most significant of which is the availability of sufficient, high quality, data. At Water Technology, much of our work is associated with the analysis and interpretation of data such as water levels, salinity and other water quality parameters that are measured in the field. We use the data to assist in developing an in-depth understanding of environmental conditions and to calibrate and validate the wide range of numerical models we develop and apply for different projects. To compliment datasets that are available from a wide array of national and state government sources – such as the Bureau of Meteorology, the Australian Ocean Data Network and GeoScience Australia, to name a few – Water Technology is constantly expanding our own data collection and data analysis capabilities. The lack of measured data in remote locations in Northern Australia in particular has recently prompted the expansion of our in-house data collection, monitoring program design and project-based data collection and management capabilities, along with expanding the suite of tools we use for data capture and analysis. We have been capitalising on this upgrade in equipment, and experience, and have been rapidly expanding our data collection capability into urban and rural waterways across Australia. Staff members involved in field investigations are fully trained in workplace health and safety requirements associated with data collection programs, and hold relevant safety and site access tickets. We also regularly undertake first aid courses and ensure that comprehensive risk management assessments are completed for all our data collection programs. More information
Condensate Spill Fate and Transport (PNG)
In the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, a natural gas (condensate) pipeline links the Hides Gas Condensate Plant and the Central Processing Facility. It was anticipated the pipeline would traverse four major rivers and six lesser watercourses and numerous minor watercourse crossings. The length of the pipeline is approximately 109 km and includes steep terrain, regions of high rainfall and flooding, and sensitive cultural areas and ecological habitats.
As part of the mitigation planning, and in the event of a release of condensate to surface waters along the pipeline, an understand of the impacts and transport through the local environment was required. Water Technology was engaged to undertake condensate fate and transport modelling for the Papua New Guinea Liquefied Natural Gas (PNG LNG) pipeline project at Lake Kutubu, and the waterways along the pipeline route. The modelling assessed dilution and volatile losses, the spill effect and surface water drainage pathway flow duration, with the results were used to provide information for the development of site specific spill response plans.
The modelling considered condensate loss to the atmosphere, residence within the water column and the formation, and maximum size, of the condensate plume at the water surface. To do this, the condensate was modelled separately in the near-field and far-field. The reason for modelling these zones separately was to enable an understanding of the dynamics of a spill plume both close to the spill location and as it is transported further downstream. The focus of the near-field modelling was on the geometry and dilution characteristics of the initial spill mixing zone, while the emphasis of the far-field modelling was to track the spill plume as it is transported away from the spill site by the flow.
The modelling involved detailed assessment of near-field plume mixing using the package CORMIX, coupled with extensive 1D models (MIKE 11) of the river network in the Southern Highlands. The lake was modelled in 2D (MIKE 21) in order to describe the lake hydrodynamics and mixing in more detail. Based on the outcomes of the modelling a toxicology assessment was undertaken to describe the potential ecological effects and potential impacts of any condensate spill.
Key Services Provided
- Hydrological Assessment
- Near-field and far- field spill and transport modelling
- 1-D and 2-D Hydrodynamic modelling
Huntly Power Station (NZ) – Hydrodynamic Modelling
Huntly Power Station is the largest thermal power station in New Zealand and is situated on the banks of the Waikato River in Huntly. The original four generators were built between 1973 and 1985, and upgraded with a gas turbine plant in 2004. A further upgrade in 2007 increased the station’s production of power from an original 1000 megawatts (MW) of electricity to 1485 MW. The station supplies about 17% of the country’s electrical power.
Water Technology was commissioned by the Genesis Energy to develop both a near field (3D) and a far-field (2D) hydrodynamic model of the Waikato River at the Huntly Power Station. The modelling investigation was undertaken in order to more accurately describe the Station outfall discharge plume and to gain an understanding of the fate of chemicals discharged with the Station cooling water. The models were used to undertake scenario modelling of the Station cooling water outflows and various discharge chemical concentrations for a range of river flow conditions, with a view to informing improved management decision of the Station operation and the assessment of performance against Resource Consent conditions.
A detailed bathymetric description of the river from upstream of the Power Station to approximately 5km downstream was developed, which can be enhanced in future with improved survey information. The model was calibrated to local conditions and the 3-dimensional model used to assess the initial mixing of the heated water from the power plant. The model was used to inform the power station operators of the current dilution and transport of process waters with river flows, particularly under low flow conditions, which are critical to operation of the station under their Resource Consent conditions. The models can also be further developed to describe sediment transport conditions and the effect of existing Iowa Vane structures upstream of the outfall.
Key Services Provided
- Hydrodynamic Modelling—2D and 3D
- Advection-Dispersion modelling of the discharge plume and discharge chemicals
- Assessment of discharge chemical fate
Tokyo 2020 (Sagami Bay) – Olympic Sailing
Water Technology has again partnered with the Australian Sailing Team to prepare a hydrodynamic model of the race areas for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
A detailed 3-D coupled spectral wave and hydrodynamic model of Sagami Bay includes the domain extending offshore to depths of 2000m plus to simulate the effects of cold offshore waters on the nearshore currents of the race areas. Data for the model has been obtained through a review of available information and through liaison with the Japanese Hydrographic and Meteorology Agencies, along with extraction of the required boundary conditions from global model models for regional currents and weather forcings.
Data collection programs with AST has again included the collection of current profiles using towed ADCP and water levels within the Bay to establish calibration points and allow model refinement to allow surface currents to be modelled with confidence and allow sailors to reliably predict the race conditions.
Find out more about how we assisted the Australian Sailing Team in the 2016 Spring Waterlines.
Project Sea Dragon (Northern Australia) Data Collection
Project Sea Dragon is a large-scale, integrated, land-based prawn aquaculture project in northern Australia designed to produce high-quality, year-round reliable volumes for export markets and will ultimately be one of the largest prawn farming operations in Australia, if not the world. Project Sea Dragon will be a staged development of up to 10,000 hectares of production ponds, including the development of a series of facilities across northern Australia.
Water Technology’s roles in the Project Sea Dragon EIS project included significant field and data collection work in the waters around Darwin and Legune Station. Field work has included mobilisation, deployment and retrieval of monitoring instruments and the subsequent analysis of oceanographic, hydrologic, meteorological and sediment data. Bathymetric survey and ADCP current data has been both collected by Water Technology and Project Managed by Water Technology for a number of the project locations.
The isolated and remote location of the project sites required Water Technology staff to be innovative and adaptable to a range of conditions to ensure data was collected. The suite of data collected for the project provided a robust set of data which was used for model calibration and to provide additional information to the environmental characteristics of the site.