Satellite Remote Sensing for the Water Engineering Industry

Start time 12.00pm AEDT 1st November 2021. Free for members but you must pre-register.

This seminar will outline opportunities and challenges in using satellite remote sensing data in water engineering. A new evapotranspiration product developed by CSIRO will be presented.

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FRANC.Sydney Early Bird Call

The conference early bird registration is now open. This is the new Stormwater NSW conference and has a huge line up of keynote speakers announced:

  • Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, Resilience NSW
  • Gary Jubelin, former NSW Police Detective Chief Inspector
  • Zali Steggall OAM, Independent Federal Member for Warringah
  • Professor Thomas Astell-Burt, University of Wollongong
  • Prof Kenneth Leung, City University of Hong Kong
  • Distinguished Prof Lesley Hughes, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists

With panellists including:

  • Rosie Wheen, CEO, WaterAid Australia
  • Chris Quin, Resilient Projects
  • Dr Katherine Dafforn, Macquarie University
  • Professor Holger Maier, The University of Adelaide
  • Associate Professor Gary Sheridan, The University of Melbourne
  • Dr Jocelyn Dela-Cruz, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
  • Associate Professor Will Glamore, Water Research Laboratory, UNSW
  • Dr Ana Bugnot, The University of Sydney
  • Keysha Milenkovic, Blacktown City Council
  • Prue Tucker, Midcoast Council
  • Dr Britta Denise Hardesty, CSIRO

For full details head to:

With the support of Stormwater Queensland, Stormwater Victoria, the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, the Parramatta River Catchment Group, the Cooks River Alliance and the Georges Riverkeeper, this conference aims to join stakeholders in the urban water management sector across multiple disciplines to become more future-focused, resilient, adaptive and connected.

This event is supported by the Water Engineering Panel.

What Can We Learn About Water Availability From The Pan Evaporation Record?

The next Water Panel even is titled What Can We Learn About Water Availability From The Pan Evaporation Record? And is scheduled for 12th July in a special lunch session 12-1pm.  Registration is free for EA members but you will need to pre-register to get access to the online session.


Changes in atmospheric evaporative demand can alter water flux from the landscape, impacting water security. Evaporation pans are widely used to measure and investigate these dynamics. Declines in Australian pan evaporation were reported between the 1970s and 2000s (despite increasing temperatures) due to decreases in wind speed, a phenomenon labelled the ‘pan evaporation paradox’. We revisited this finding with data up to 2016 using a flexible regression technique to identify changes in trends over time. We found that the trends largely reversed in the mid-1990s, when pan evaporation increases were driven by rising vapour pressure deficits (decreasing relative humidity) due to increasing air temperatures. If evaporative demand continues to rise, it could increase water loss from storages and shallow soil moisture, with implications for water and environmental management. To this extent changes in rainfall, soil moisture and streamflow since the 1960s were examined using the Bureau of Meteorology’s Australian Water Resources Assessment Landscape model (AWRA-L). Streamflow droughts, measured by the standardised runoff index, are indeed increasing across large parts of Australia, with these increases more widespread than changes in rainfall alone.

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Active River Management explained – what drives it and why?

Start time: 6:00pm AEST, 8th June 2021

Free webinar but pre-registration is mandatory for access to the platform


Management rules in regulated systems are in place to supply water and protect the environment through environment flow rules.

Have you ever wondered how it works? Why we have the Water Sharing Plans?

Tim Hosking will be discussing the policy and science behind active river management and Dan Berry the implementation and operation of the regulated rivers.

Active Management of rivers for the environment, community, and economy.

It takes a lot of work to put, the right amount of water, in the right place, at the right time. WaterNSW ensures rivers rise and fall with environmental water while also scheduling access to water by towns and irrigators with releases from dams and weirs.

Uses of Water for the Environment in the Macquarie catchment

Water for the Environment has been managed in the Macquarie River since 1980 – with the only thing consistent over that time being the controversy. A case study of 4.5 recent real-life uses of Water for the Environment will be presented to help illustrate why Tim struggles whenever someone asks what he does for a living.


Dan Berry

Manager Water System Operations, WaterNSW

Dan is responsible for implementation of statewide bulk water operations for; the Greater Sydney supply, as well as rural NSW. This includes the development of annual operating plans, flood operations, and the management of numerous decision support systems.

Dan’s career theme has been as a practitioner in integrating all the aspects of water reform, particularly directing these reforms to achieve environmental and productivity outcomes. Dan has a proven record in identifying and implementing changes that increase efficiency in water delivery and increase the value of these services to both customers and the environment.

Dan has over 35 years’ experience with WaterNSW and its predecessors. He has a degree in civil engineering and has completed a substantial portion of an MBA.

Tim Hosking

Senior Wetlands and Rivers Conservation Officer. NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Tim works as part of a regionally-based team within DPIE who work to maintain and improve the health of wetlands and aquatic ecosystems across north west NSW catchments. Currently his focus is on the Macquarie-Cudgegong catchment, with the main tool for this task being to manage Water for the Environment in collaboration with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.

Tim has a multi-disciplinary background including environmental engineering, environmental impact assessment, ecology, strategic and statutory planning, and now as a natural resource manager – which is lucky, as environmental water management is an entirely silo-busting occupation.

Tim has a combined degree in Environmental Engineering and Natural Resources Management, with postgrad studies in Urban and Regional Planning.

Monitoring COVID in Wastewater

Our next presentation is will cover some different perspectives on the monitoring of COVID in waster water systems. We are pleased to have a balanced perspective here with:

  • Prof. Gertjan Medema, Principal Microbiologist, KWR Water Research Institute
  • Dr Kaye Power, Principal Public Health Advisor for Sydney Water

to give a combined European and Australian perspective.

6pm 8th December 2020 (Sydney time)
Free for EA members
Pre-register at:

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Scrivener Dam: Assessing Dam Safety through Physical Modelling

The next Water Panel webinar is schedule for 4:00pm on Wednesday 30 September and is free for EA members but pre-registration is required.

Scrivener Dam is a critical piece of Canberra’s infrastructure, maintaining water levels of the iconic Lake Burley Griffin. Like all dams in Australia, it requires regular maintenance and assessment to ensure ongoing safe operation.

Dye tracing of Scrivener Dam Model
Dye tracing of Scrivener Dam Model

A recent inspection identified potential for undesirable uplift forces under the stilling basin slab, triggering a more detailed assessment of dam stability. This included a 1:40 scale physical model by the UNSW Water Research Laboratory (WRL) for the National Capital Authority. The model was used to measure water dynamics for the dam at critical flood conditions, with a focus on dynamic pressures within the stilling basin.

This presentation will discuss findings and the unique advantages and limitations of physical hydraulic modelling. It will be streamed live from WRL and includes a live demonstration of model flows.

This event will be co-presented by WRL’s Dr Laura Montano and Ben Modra.

We have a PDF available with full details.

Are we still lossed about Losses?

The next Panel presentation will be delivered online via WebEx on Tuesday 14th July 2020 starting at 5pm sharp. Event is free for EA Members but pre-registration is required.

It is expected that as temperatures increase, extreme precipitation will increase resulting in more severe flooding. However, in Australia, there is significant evidence of decreasing flood maxima, despite increases in extreme rainfall.

This online webinar will explore changes in flood timing and magnitude from the AWRA-L. The result is a ‘worst of both worlds’ scenario whereby the rare flood events that are used in design of infrastructure are increasing, but smaller events, critical for water supply and dam storage are decreasing.

Flooded roadway crossing in Sydney.

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Australian Water School Hosting Free ARR Webinar

What’s new with Australian Rainfall and Runoff 2019

July 8th, 2020 01:00 PM Sydney Time

For the first time in 30 years Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR) has been updated, learn about new developments and how to access the data hub.

Hosted by Mark Babister, Managing Director of WMAwater and co-editor of the Australian Rainfall and Runoff guidelines.

Truck crossing flooded river.

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Guidelines for the Maintenance of Stormwater Treatment Measures

We are pleased to announce that the next presentation is titled Introduction to the Guidelines for the Maintenance of Stormwater Treatment Measures and is co-hosted by Stormwater NSW.  It is scheduled for:

6pm 17th March 2020
PSA House Auditorium
160 Clarence Street

The event is free for EA and SNSW members, but we really prefer pre-registration so that we can manage numbers for the venue.

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Call for Abstracts for HIWE2020

The first call for abstracts for the 2020 Hydraulics in Water Engineering is now live. Please check out all the details on the conference website and, to be nice to the organisers, submit an abstract early.

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