Posted: August 23, 2009

Australian water innovation using nanotechnology

(Nanowerk News) The University of South Australia (UniSA) and SA Water are set to extend a research partnership deal that has seen SA Water invest $3.5m of funding into finding smart ways to manage and re-use water in South Australia.
The State Government and UniSA will officially extended the agreement for five years to continue their research collaboration as the SA Water Centre for Water Management and Reuse on Friday August 14.
Already the partnership has delivered some significant outcomes across a broad range of water management applications, from models for low energy desalination using clean technologies, through to improved models for harvesting, treating and reusing urban stormwater.
On the morning of the launch there will be a guided tour of the research facilities from 8.45 am, giving a close-up view of some of the key innovations to come out of the Centre, including work into more efficient desalination systems and water sensitive urban design.
Speaking about the launch of the next phase of the research partnership, UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj said the strength of the Centre was its commitment to tackling the State’s water problems on many fronts.
“The research being carried out is wide-ranging, not only developing ways to better manage and use our natural rainfall, but also examining how sophisticated new technologies, including nanotechnology and new methods of filtration, can help to build a sustainable water supply future for the State,” Prof Høj said.
“This kind of collaboration works especially well because we have a direct link with SA Water - the group with the best understanding of our water supply challenges. It means our researchers can work to provide solutions to real problems on an integrated scale.”
SA Water CEO Anne Howe said over the past five years of the collaboration the Centre for Water Management and Reuse had already delivered some significant research and at the same time was acting as an important demonstration facility for industry.
“What is exciting about this work is that out here at Mawson Lakes we have tangible evidence of how these innovations will work across the community,” Howe said.
“This has become a focus for technology transfer to industry and a place where theories and innovations can be tested so that we can develop guidelines and systems that are practical and offer best practice for water capture, use, and recycling.
“This is a constructive and fruitful relationship which we are delighted to continue to support.”
The research facilities tour for media and other guests will include:
  • Low energy desalination systems and nanotechnology and advanced treatment technologies. Visitors will also be shown how reverse osmosis membranes for desalination are tested in the laboratory;
  • Three full-scale facilities demonstrating water sensitive urban design;
  • Two full-scale permeable paving systems, one including underground storage and solar pumping system for application as a water supply for an accompanying rainwater garden;
  • Two other vegetated bio-filtration systems;
  • A working demonstration of Australia’s largest experimental siphonic roofwater harvesting rig.
  • Source: University of South Australia
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