Water Technology is one of Australia’s leading coastal and ocean engineering consultancies offering a comprehensive range of services to the coastal and marine industry. We have experience in all zones of the coastal and ocean environment, from inter-tidal wetland regions to deep-sea ocean conditions; the nature of our projects ranging from ecological and habitat assessments to structural design and assessments of breakwaters. Our clients vary from private developers, all levels of government and community action groups and all points in between. Similarly, our project dimensions range from wide scale regional climate-change vulnerability assessments to municipal boat ramp dredging maintenance applications and from individual lot coastal hazard assessments to 900 berth boat marinas. Coastal staff at Water Technology have extensive experience with a range of numerical modelling suites and coastal assessment tools. We have experience and in house capability to undertake tidal, wave, turbidity and other relevant oceanic monitoring programs and experience with sediment assessment and collection. The team has a reputation for providing value for money and innovative solutions to our clients and working within large multidiscipline teams to provide specialist expertise to strategically important projects.

  • Ocean, Coastal and Estuary Process Investigations
  • Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation Modelling
  • Integrated Coastal Zone Management
  • Harbour and Coastal Structure Design
  • Dredging Program Design and Impact Assessments
  • Oceanographic Data Collection
  • Coastal Hazard and Vulnerability Assessments
  • Climate Change Risk Assessment and Adaption Assessments
Tenax Energy
Bohol Sea, Philippines

Philippines Tidal Power Assessment

Water Technology generated a calibrated numerical model of the Bohol Sea in the central Philippines to assess potential locations for tidal power generators. High current streams intersect the islands of the Philippines through the Bohol Sea and the project was designed to provide a rapid evaluation of the site based on a number of criteria provided by the Client.

Data used for the assessment was captured from global tidal models and C-MAP navigational charts. A number of locations were identified through the study and more detailed assessment of the current speeds and potential for tidal power explored through refined modelling and investigation.

CQG Consulting and FTP Pty Ltd
Central Queensland

Fitzroy Terminal – Hydrodynamic and Sediment Transport Impact Assessments

Located in Central Queensland, south of Rockhampton, the proposed coal export terminal required marine operations to comply with the strict guidelines and authority of Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ), the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA).

Water Technology was engaged by CQG Consulting and FTP Pty Ltd to conduct a coastal environments EIS for the proposed coal export terminal within Raglan Creek. A range of data collection and environmental risk assessments as part of an EIS submission were undertaken, of which, a significant portion included the assessment of the hydrodynamic and sediment transport impacts associated with the dredging of a navigation channel and swing basin, which was also designed by Water Technology. The data collection included water levels, waves and currents both offshore and within the Fitzroy River.

The hydrodynamic impacts were assessed through the development of a calibrated hydrodynamic model of Raglan Creek and Keppel Bay of existing conditions, which was then modified to include the designed navigation channel and swing basin. The numerical model was used to assess tidal water levels, currents, extreme storm events, water quality, the impact of oil and coal spill events, port design, climate change assessment and dredging methodology reviews. The extent of the model allow cyclones to be simulated across the region and the impact on water levels and wave height to be established at the site. As an additional feature of the project, the impact of increased vessel travel within the Fitzroy River was simulated within the hydrodynamic model and the subsequent ship swash on the sensitive mangrove banks determined.

The dredge induced suspended sediment plume associated with the dredging of the channel and swing basin were also assessed though the calibration and application of a 3D suspended sediment transport model, which simulated the timing and movement of a cutter suction dredge. The long term change sediment transport and sedimentation within Raglan Creek and the navigation channel were also assessed, and suggestions made for future maintenance dredging.

Key Services Provided

  • 2D & 3D Hydrodynamic Modelling
  • 2D & 3D Sediment Transport Modelling
  • Dredge Plume Modelling
  • Dredge Channel and Swing Basin Design
Lake Kutubu, PNG
Papua New Guinea Liquefied Natural Gas
Southern Highlands, Papua New Guinea

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
Genesis Energy
Waikato, New Zealand

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
Sailing Australia
Sagami Bay, Japan

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
Seafarms Group
Northern Territory, Australia

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.


Seafarms Group
Northern Territory, Australia

Project Sea Dragon (Northern Australia) Numerical Modelling

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 completed numerical modelling for the Project Sea Dragon EIS study in 2016-2017. The numerical modelling was a complex task involving a regional model extending 200km offshore across the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, upstream into the project site to include tidal channels less than 10m wide and across the project site where a tidal floodplain 30km wide was subjected to twice daily inundation.

This far field 2-dimensional numerical model was coupled with a localised 3-dimensional model to simulate the discharge from the prawn farm. The 3-dimensional discharge model simulated tides with a range of 9m across a 1km wide creek which came close to completely drying during the low tide and had depths of water in excess of 10m on the high tide. The 3-dimensional model was used to illustrate the rapid mixing of the discharge in these super tidal waters where currents speeds were in excess of 2m/s and the bed form and banks were constantly evolving. Sensitivity testing was completed to provide dilution was consistent in the discharge creek despite the moving channel.

A CORMIX model was established to confirm the rapid moving at the discharge, with the dilution tested over a matrix of water level, current and discharge rates.

Waterlines Summer 2017

Client Website:

Key Services Provided

  • Data collection and other site environmental monitoring activities
  • 2-D and 3-D numerical modelling of hydraulic and water quality processes
  • Coastal process and bank erosion assessments
  • Storm surge and cyclone inundation assessments
  • EIS related assessments and project design assistance
Snapper Point, South Australia
City of Onkaparinga
Snapper Point, South Australia

Climate Change Impacts, Snapper Point

Local foreshore climate change impact for Snapper Point. Snapper Point, within the City of Onkaparinga Local Government Area, is approximately 50km south of Adelaide.

The objectives of the Snapper Point project were similar to those for Christies Beach in terms of vulnerability to future climate changes influences; and to more specifically address:

  • The need for coastal protection measures at the toe/cliff base at Snapper Point.
  • The potential for significant gullying (similar to Sellicks Beach) along the cliff faces at Snapper Point.
  • Develop recommendations that Council can use to manage and protect Snapper Point at Aldinga Beach given future climate change predictions that will potentially impact the coast.

This Climate Change Impacts, Snapper Point, Study was completed by Coastal Engineering Solutions, now a part of Water Technology.

Henley Beach SA by Greg-Scales
Coast Protection Board, DEWNR, SA
Adelaide, SA

Coastal Processes Study of Adelaide Beaches, South Australia

Image: Henley Beach SA by Greg-Scales

Adelaide’s Living Beaches Strategy has been developed by the Coastal Protection Board of the South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. It is the future management strategy for all of Adelaide’s metropolitan beaches.

The Coastal Protection Board of the (then) Department for Environment and Heritage commissioned this major coastal processes study for the entire metropolitan coastline of Adelaide – from Kingston Park in the south, to Outer Harbour in the north. The study incorporated numerical modelling to provide an insight into past, existing and future scenarios of littoral processes. The study provided the essential technical foundation for the development of innovative foreshore management strategies.

Adelaide’s Living Beaches Strategy aims to successfully manage erosion threats to metropolitan coastal assets by replenishing beaches and only using foreshore structures in critical locations to impede the natural northerly drift of littoral sand.
Following this Coastal Processes Study of Adelaide Beaches, further specialist advice regarding the implementation of the strategy was provided to incorporate three key initiatives:

  • recycling sand by more efficient sand transfer systems;
  • incorporation of sand bypassing operations at harbours into the management process; and
  • the placement of coarse sand from external sources into the active beach system.

The coastal teams unique depth and breadth of technical skills – of not only being able to undertake state-of-the-art numerical model “studies” but to also translate the findings of such investigations into practical solutions – makes the experience of our team so valuable to Coastal Management Studies.

This Coastal Processes Study of Adelaide Beaches was completed by Coastal Engineering Solutions, now a part of Water Technology.

Christies Beach, South Australia
City of Onkaparinga, South Australia
Christies Beach, South Australia

Climate Change Impacts Study at Christies Beach, South Australia

Banner Image: Witton Bluff overlooking the coast of Christies Beach, SA

Christies Beach is popular coastal town and beach south of Adelaide in South Australia within the City of Onkaparinga Local Government Area. Understanding the potential impacts and determining suitable strategies to mitigate the risks of climate change on coastal environments is important for local authorities.

The objectives of the Christies Beach project was to conduct a review of the local coastal reach, and considered the following key issues:

• Climate change projections for 2030, 2050 and 2100 as detailed in scenarios identified in an earlier technical report (Climate Change Coastal Impact Study – Caton, 2007).

• Compete a full assessment of existing coastal protection infrastructure along the entire length of Christies Beach foreshore. Particular locations of interest include the Surf Life Saving and Yacht clubs and the Stormwater Treatment Plant. A major focus of the assessment was to investigate the structural integrity of the existing rip rap rock walls.

• Developed a set of recommendations that Council can use to manage coast protection infrastructure, the beach itself, and foreshore infrastructure at Christies Beach.

Project completed by Coastal Engineering Solutions, now a part of Water Technology.

Christies Beach Long-term Concept Design
Department for Environment and Heritage, South Australia
Christies Beach, SA

Christies Beach Long-term Concept Design

coastal erosion – management and maintenance – beach nourishment and seawall recommendations

The primary objective of this Long-term Concept Design was to enable the City of Onkaparinga to proactively plan for erosion management of this popular beach between Witton Bluff North and the O’Sullivan Beach Boat Ramp.

Coastal Engineering Solutions developed a long-term strategy to achieve the joint objectives of protecting essential coastal infrastructure and maintaining the amenity of the beach.

These outcomes were successfully achieved by:

  • investigating and addressing the underlying causes of shoreline erosion and its likely future progression at the local scale. It is only with this understanding that strategies can be applied with the confidence that they will not inadvertently exacerbate existing erosion problems;
  • identify cost effective and sustainable erosion management strategies that maintain natural coastal processes and resources; and
  • considering community needs in both the short- and long-term.


The recommended future management of the Christies Beach shoreline consisted of:

  • upgrading existing seawalls – to provide robust protection to foreshore infrastructure during severe storm events.
  • initial beach nourishment – placing additional sand on the existing foreshore to provide an appropriate beach amenity.
  • sand management – maintaining the initially created beach amenity by on-going regular sand placement; transitioning in future years to sand retention measures in conjunction with back-passing.
  • beach monitoring surveys – instigating a regular program of foreshore surveys to monitor future shoreline response as climate change influences emerge; and to guide future action.

Project by Coastal Engineering Solutions, now a part of Water Technology.

Shoreline Erosion at Amity Point, North Stradbroke Island, QLD
Redland City Council
Amity Point, North Stradbroke Island, Queensland

Shoreline Erosion: Aligning management strategies with community aspirations

Main image: Rodney Wiley

Located on the north-west corner of North Stradbroke Island, the township of Amity Point enjoys a rich diversity of seascapes and landscapes – providing extensive recreational and lifestyle opportunities that are considerably enhanced by local cultural, heritage and environmental values.

The historical development of Amity Point has focused on the shoreline – as residents and visitors seek to enjoy the unique character of this coastal precinct. However, the dynamic nature of the coastal environment means that local foreshores are experiencing erosion which is threatening these values, as well as endangering essential infrastructure.

Water Technology was engaged by Redland City Council to develop the Amity Point Shoreline Erosion Management Plan which included a framework for the sustainable use, development and management of this vulnerable foreshore that was acceptable to both the residents and the relevant management authorities.

Previous recommended approaches to shoreline management at Amity Point (including an earlier SEMP completed by another consultant in 2014) did not allow for Council and the local Amity Point community to appropriately and proactively plan for suitable erosion management along the vulnerable foreshore.

This project therefore focused on developing an approach that was consistent with the community aspirations and the polices of the Commonwealth and State Governments, and Redland City Council. Technically, the Shoreline Erosion Management Plan considered various strategies in response to the erosion processes and associated risks at Amity Point and, importantly, it involved considerable engagement with the local community and other stakeholders, and has delivered a unique solution to the considerable erosion hazard at Amity Point.

Shoreline Erosion impacting Amity Point by Rodney Wiley

Shoreline Erosion impacting Amity Point

Key Services Provided:
  • Physical Process Analysis
  • Erosion Threat Risk Assessment
  • Shoreline Erosion Management Plan
  • Stakeholder Consultation and Engagement
  • Shoreline and Erosion Management Optioneering and Recommendations

Presentation by Paul O’Brien (Water Technology) and Tim Mitchell (Redland City Council) at the 6th Queensland Coastal Conference 2017 (5-7 September 2017).

West Gippsland CMA
Gippsland Lakes, Vic

The Latrobe River estuary is located at the interface between the Latrobe catchment and the Gippsland Lakes. It is a part of the Gippsland Lakes complex, recognised as a wetland of international significance. Upstream freshwater reserves have been set aside for ecological flows, but the environmental flow requirements were unknown. The water resources are also shared between agricultural, industrial, and domestic use. Water Technology was engaged to address the gap developing environmental flow recommendations for the lower Latrobe River estuary.

1D and 3D models were developed to characterize the hydrodynamic regime of the estuary. The 1D model represented river and floodplain flows and was used to examine the interactions between the river and the floodplains. The 3D model was used to provide more detailed information about the hydrodynamic properties of in-stream flows, including interactions between flows, lake levels, and salt wedges.

Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro
Australian Sailing Team
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Water Technology is partnering with the Australian Sailing Team (AST) to provide detailed hindcast and near-time forecasts of hydrodynamic conditions within Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro in preparation for major sailing events occurring in Brazil between 2014 and 2016.

A detailed 3-D coupled spectral wave and hydrodynamic model of the Bay with a suite of input boundary conditions has been developed which covers the 350km2 Bay and offshore area, extending from the famous beach of Copacabana in the west to Itaipuaçu eastward and north through the Bay and past Sugar Loaf Mountain. Collaboration with the AST has seen the collection of current profiles 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.

We wish our friends at AST the highest levels of success in coming events in Brazil.

In collaboration with: University of Melbourne & University of Western Australia
Gippsland Lakes, VIC

Ecological and water quality experts from Water Technology and Monash University joined forces to assess the water quality and ecological processes of the Gippsland Lakes.

The Lakes have suffered recurrent summer toxic blooms of cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena since 1985. Diatoms and dinoflagellates also commonly form blooms in the Lakes. Nodularia has the ability fix free nitrogen and is typically found during periods of low freshwater inflows in brackish waters near the inflowing rivers. Growth of Nodularia is controlled by a combination of biological, chemical and physical drivers which are impossible to simultaneously assess through physical experiments.

Whilst the key drivers of the growth of Nodularia (intermediate salinity, stratification, bottom water hypoxia and sediment phosphorus release) are well understood, there was a lack of quantitative tools to predict bloom formation and assess management options to mitigate them.

A 3-D fully coupled hydrodynamic biological ecological model was used to explore the interaction between the physical and biogeochemical controls over Nodularia blooms. The hydrodynamic model included turbulent mixing within the water column, whilst the ecological component of the model contained over 40 state variables and 200+ processes, parameterised by 176 constants to describe the biological/ecological and chemical reactions occurring in the water column and sediment compartments.

Groote Eylandt Mining Company Pty Ltd
Groote Eylandt, NT

Water Technology was commissioned by Groote Eylandt Mining Company (GEMCO) to undertake a river sedimentation analysis for the Angurugu River, Groote Eylandt.

Groote Eylandt is situated on the western side of the Gulf of Carpentaria, approximately 50 km from mainland Australia. The Angurugu River flows between the main GEMCO mining leases, and is fed by a total catchment area of approximately 117 km2. The river discharges into Milner Bay and the tidal influence is known to extend as far up stream as the Haul Road Bridge.

Concerns have been raised that increased sedimentation in the river is occurring as a result of changes associated with the Haul Road Bridge and/or mine operations. In order to understand the sedimentation processes in the river, this assessment focussed on analysing the river planform, flow characteristics and sediment transport potential prior and post construction of the Haul Road Bridge.

Work undertaken included a geomorphic assessment, combined with hydrologic and hydraulic modelling along with sediment transport modelling through the river system.

Key Services Provided:
– Geomorphic Assessment
– Hydrologic and hydraulic modelling,
– Sediment transport modelling

West Gippsland CMA
Corner Inlet, Vic

The Corner Inlet Environmental Audit was undertaken by the CSIRO (2005) in response to growing concern from natural resource managers and the community about the health of Corner Inlet. One of the key recommendations from the audit was to undertake a catchment audit to identify pollutant sources and develop targeted amelioration strategies. This project responded to this call by developing a comprehensive sediment and nutrient model of the catchments of Corner Inlet. Water Technology and Melbourne University worked closely with the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and the Steering Committee for this project to ensure the final outcomes were user friendly and appropriate for the site.
The method pursued was to develop SOURCE (catchment) and receiving waters (estuary) models (MIKE 21), which were calibrated to both existing data and field measurements taken as part of the project. The simulations of these two calibrated models were then integrated within a single software framework so as to produce a Decision Support System (DSS). The DSS allows scenario testing to plan and prioritise future investments in the catchments, and make decisions on what comprises appropriate development with a view to protecting and enhancing the integrity of the Corner Inlet RAMSAR site.

Coffs Harbour City Council
Coffs Harbour, NSW

In 2012 Water Technology and GeoLink were commissioned by the Coffs Harbour City Council to undertake an Estuary Management Plan and Hydraulic Assessment of the Coffs Creek estuary which runs along the boundary of the main centre of Coffs Harbour.

The estuary is a tranquil oasis on the edge of the city and is utilised by residents and visitors in increasing volumes. An Estuary Management Plan was undertaken to identify and assess management options for the estuary going forwards. In addition, the free passage of flood flows through the estuary was identified as a potential contributor to the severe flooding experienced in the city centre during flood events.

A hydraulic model of the estuary was established and calibrated to measured water levels at the upstream and downstream ends of the estuary. Modelling of a range of management options, including reduction in fringing mangrove density and spread, dredging of the flood tide shoals and tidal entrance channel were assessed.

The runoff from the urban and industrialised sections of the catchments had been studied previously and the information from these works were used to determine potential improvements in the water quality which could be made by strategic upgrade of drainage and water quality systems.

The results of the Hydraulics Assessment were used to help prioritise the management options and to provide the Council and local community of Coffs Harbour with a wealth of information on the drivers of estuary health in their town.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
Western Victoria

Coastal Plume Dispersion – Abalone Viral Gangalioneuritis

Water Technology carried out detailed numerical modelling of the potential release of an abalone aquaculture contaminant into the Southern Ocean off the coast of western Victoria.

As part of the process, Water Technology undertook verification of the numerical model using fluorecene dye tests, released from the facility outflow drains. EPA risk assessments and notification of the local catchment manager and EPA prior to the tests were completed. Overhead shots from a light plane were taken and the images rectified and time stamped.

Numerical modelling of the dispersion involved hydrodynamic and wave modelling of the Southern Ocean, extending from South Australia, south of Tasmania to the Victorian /New South Wales border to the east. The model of the Southern Ocean utilised inputs from global models and was calibrated to predicted and measured tidal stations and recorded wave data. The dispersion of the waterborne abalone virus was verified against the results of the fluoroscene dye test and showed good correlation between the actual and modelled wave setup of water (and contaminant) inshore of the fringing coastal reef.

The model was used to determine the timing and concentration of the dispersion of the abalone virus along the western Victorian coast and through Bass Strait into Port Phillip Bay and Western Port. Scenario optioneering of different contaminant release points and concentrations were used to determine the likelihood of contamination originating at the subject site.

The results of the modelling were used in supporting arguments in the Supreme Court of Victoria and Water Technology was called upon by the court to provide an Expert Witness Statement and provide the presiding judge with additional comment during the hearing.

Coastal Plume Dispersion – Abalone Viral Gangalioneuritis
Brisbane City Council
Boondall, QLD

Nudgee landfill was formed adjacent to the Boondall Wetlands in 1976. The site was closed in 2002 with remediation completed in 2006. Water Technology staff were members of a team invited to undertake an ecological and water quality study to assess the influence of the Nudgee Landfill on the Boondall wetlands (now a RAMSAR listed site). The study included review of all existing monitoring and modelling data, as well as the design and implementation of targeted soil, water and biological monitoring program over a 2 year period. Automatic water quality and depth sensors (with data loggers) were used extensively. Manual sampling and laboratory analysis was also undertaken.

The Boondall Wetlands water quality monitoring sites were influenced by a number of interacting processes such as rainfall, tidal flushing, time of year and distance from Moreton Bay. Further, the impact of these processes on site water quality varies depending on the site and water quality parameter. Therefore, while the “raw” monitoring data may give a precise measure of water quality at the particular moment of sampling, the incomplete sampling coverage across all sites and times, along with the confounding effects of these various processes, meant that the raw data alone did not provide a complete description of water quality variation over time either at a site or between sites. Advanced statistical analysis was used to model and isolate the various physical, chemical and biological processes occurring within the study area.

The Boondall Wetlands have been subject to numerous historical changes apart from the construction of the landfill. These include, land clearing, drain construction, and waterway dredging. The study was able to isolate and identify the effect of natural and anthropogenic impacts on the wetlands.

Tenax Energy

Water Technology has worked with Tenax Energy to investigate and assess the potential for tidal power generation at a range of locations around Australia and the Pacific. We have used models to simulate tidal movements, and then extracted information of current speeds and directions to calculate the power generation potential for a site.

From this information, Tenax Energy is able to better understand the potential tidal power conditions at each location, and identify in more detail suitable locations for further more detailed investigation, which ultimately will lead to the installation of tidal power turbines. We aim to work with the renewable energy sector to harness the potential of green energy supplies in a cost-effective manner.

Adelaide, SA

Water Technology was commissioned by Hatch SMEC JV on behalf of Adelaide Aqua to develop and validate the final design of the outfall diffuser of the Adelaide Desalination Project. The primary objectives of the analysis and modelling were to demonstrate initial dilution of the saline concentrate discharge equivalent to 50:1, and rapid dispersion of the saline concentrate into the surrounding seawater.

Full three-dimensional mid-field modelling was undertaken to simulate the performance of the outfall diffuser, it is considered that the mid-field model is capable of providing a realistic description of the water level variations and currents near the outfall diffuser. The three-dimensional midfield model was used to assess the outfall performance for a range of operating conditions and receiving water scenarios. Sensitivity tests were carried out to assess the effect of the loss of two duckbill valves on the outfall diffuser ports, assess the likely effects of modifying the outfall source description to include entrainment of water from lower layers and assess the dilution performance of the outfall with a different alignment.

Ecological and water quality experts from Water Technology and Monash University joined forces to assess the water quality and ecological processes of the Gippsland Lakes. The Lakes have suffered recurrent summer toxic blooms of cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena since 1985. A 3-D fully coupled hydrodynamic biological ecological model was used to explore the interaction between the physical and biogeochemical controls over Nodularia blooms.

The hydrodynamic model included turbulent mixing within the water column, whilst the ecological component of the model contained over 40 state variables and 200+ processes, parameterised by 176 constants to describe the biological/ecological and chemical reactions occurring in the water column and sediment compartments


Water Technology has undertaken an examination of the potential application of geotextile offshore reefs to mitigate shoreline erosion and create an environment that enhances the recruitment success of mangroves (Avicennia marina subspecies australasica) in Western Port for the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

The study team has reviewed the factors that affect the distribution and mortality of mangroves in Western Port and the impact of mangroves on sediment transport processes and in mitigating shoreline erosion in Western Port.

The physical processes that affect shoreline behaviour and erosion at two case study sites was investigated in detail including water level and wave data collection and numerical modelling of hydrodynamics, waves and sediment transport.

The physical process modelling has been used as a tool to inform, test and refine the design of offshore reef options for mitigating shoreline erosion problems occurring at the two study sites and to create a physical environment that assists in seedling survival, recruitment and colonisation in the lee of the structures.

Watsons Pty Ltd
Prudentia Investments
Wyndham Harbour
BMD Constructions

Water Technology has been involved in the development of Wyndham Harbour since the early conceptual planning stages in 2003. The Harbour has evolved from the initial conceptual design through to final design and construction with the help of the Water Technology coastal and environment team. The key work items over the life of the project have included:

  • Coastal processes and sediment transport studies
  • Sampling and analysis of coastal sediments – Numerical modelling of harbour water quality, tidal and pump driven circulation and optimisation of harbour design and configuration
  • Design and implementation of water quality testing and analysis programme
  • Fate and transport of marine pollutants within the Harbour and the impact on Port Phillip Bay ecology – Breakwater design and optimisation through analysis of height, rock size, slope etc
  • Management of verification of breakwater design through physical testing
  • Assessment of dredging schedule and methodology
  • Numerical modelling of impacts of dredging turbidity and optimisation of dredging and turbidity mitigation methods
  • Application for Coastal Management Act Consent for Dredging
  • Reporting to support the Environmental Effects Statement and presentations to the EES Panel hearing.

The work at Wyndham Harbour, combined with similar harbour and marine development projects at Martha Cove, Mornington Safe Harbour and Portarlington have provided Water Technology unparalleled experience and knowledge of the environment and coastal and oceanographic processes within Port Phillip Bay along with the procedure required to take a concept design to built product.


Water Technology was engaged by the Phillip Island Nature Parks to undertake the Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Coastal Processes Study. The objective of the project was to conduct an assessment of recent coastal evolution, future response of the coastline to coastal processes, and identify potential threats to natural and infrastructure assets as a result of coastal processes now and into the medium term future.

The overall outcome was to determine potential management strategies to protect natural assets such as Little Penguin and Hooded Plover habitat and the park’s critical infrastructure such as the viewing stands at Penguin Parade, the boardwalks at Smiths Beach, and the car park and Surf Lifesaving Club at Woolamai Beach.


Western Port Local Coastal Hazard Assessment

Western Port is one of four locations within Victoria where a Local Coastal Hazard Assessment (LCHA) has been undertaken as part of the Victorian Government’s Future Coasts Program. Led by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI), the Future Coasts Program is designed to help Victorians understand and plan for climate risks along the coast by generating detailed coastal mapping and information. This information will assist in preparing Victorians for storm surges and possible sea level rise impacts into the future.

The Western Port Local Coastal Hazard Assessment (WPLCHA) involved detailed and comprehensive coastal hazard assessment, with a focus on inundation and erosion hazards around all shorelines of Western Port and French Island, as well as the northern shorelines of Phillip Island.

The information developed by the project will assist in better understanding, planning for, and managing coastal hazards. It will allow management agencies and other key stakeholders to identify and define triggers as the basis for short, medium and long term management responses.

Specifically, the information is intended to support decision-making about local infrastructure, natural asset management, emergency management planning, to inform land use planning and statutory planning decisions, and to provide information to support the development of adaptation plans.

Information from this project will also add to the suite of information available to help identify how and where State Government, Western Port Councils, the community, industry and other levels of government and governance agencies can work together to respond to or address the potential impacts of climate change.

Western Port Local Coastal Hazard Assessment: Documents via South East Councils Climate Change Alliance (SECCCA)

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