Better quality water supply

Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water (GWMWater) partnered with the University of Ballarat (now  Australia) to look at ways for how the newly constructed 8000 km and $700 million Wimmera Mallee Pipeline (WMP) could be operated most efficiently.

The WMP supplies a large rural area of north-west Victoria and was built to replace an aging and inefficient open channel water delivery system. The new pipeline system has helped to reduce water losses from seepage and evaporation by 103 billion litres a year.

The team at Federation University developed new algorithms and optimisation techniques to help make sure the pipeline was operated to minimise energy consumption and pumping costs, and result in better water quality to customers. The research contributed to a reduction of 20% or more in bills for households, businesses, industry and farmers, as well as a more secure and efficient supply, and lower carbon emissions.

Research from this project helped to motivate a state-wide change in the Victorian water industry to implement ‘intelligent water networks’ and look for more efficient ways to operate pipeline systems. Federation University continues to work with the sector undertaking research on water grids, water resources and climate change, and optimisation of complex system.