Highlights and Case Studies

The Queensland Water Regional Alliance Program (QWRAP) is about individual local governments forming sustainable regional collaboration for water and sewerage services. Collaborative projects and activities are encouraged through partial funding to create economies of scale and respond to common challenges by pooling resources (people, money and expertise). Funding is available through a competitive bid pool prioritised on criteria that demonstrate a region’s increasing collaboration maturity. The following summarises selected  projects from each region.

RAPAD Water Alliance

Joint Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) Regulatory Requirements Investigation: This project has the joint objectives of ensuring that all council's EAs are appropriate (Stage 1) and identifying any needs in testing regimes and infrastructure for the region’s 10 STPs (Stage 2). Stage 1 of the project (EA review) is complete, and Stage 2 is in review.

Telemetry & SCADA review: A review was undertaken to investigate opportunities and costs for the RAPADWSA to move towards streamlining the individual council SCADA systems, so that there are opportunities for savings through joint management, oversight and maintenance. The final report was delivered in November 2019 and is currently being developed into an implementation program.

Other projects underway:

  • Sewer relining joint tender, works expected to commence in June 2020.
  • Reservoir cleaning joint tender, tender to be release soon.
  • Air scouring, ice pigging and flushing, tender being released.
  • Water mains replacement joint tender, tender to be released soon.
  • Water meter replacement or installation, tender in draft.

DASB Water Group

Regional SCADA Standards for the DASB Water Group: This project developed guidance on common SCADA standards for use by DASB member councils in the development and implementation of future SCADA strategy and upgrades. The final report was delivered in late 2019.

DASB Standard Tender Documentation: This project permitted the DASB Water Group to develop standard tender documentation for the joint procurement of Regional Sewer Condition Assessment and Relining Services. The resulting tender documentation will be suitable for joint procurement and for use by individual Councils. The final draft documents have been issued for Review.

DASB Water Operators Forum 2019: Water Operators from Western Downs, Balonne, Goondiwindi, Maranoa and Toowoomba Regional Councils gathered in Dalby on 19 December for a day of information sharing and learning. The day included presentations from operators about past and current projects and demonstrations of innovative maintenance and repair methods and concluded with a tour of the Dalby Water Treatment Plant.

Other projects underway:

  • Reservoir inspection and cleaning joint tender, tender to be released later in 2020.
  • Skills gap analysis for the region, there is interest from individual member councils.

WBBROC Water Alliance

Strategic Collaboration Planning: Funding was provided to assist the WBBROC Alliance to develop a strategic plan to identify and prioritise options for collaboration among the region’s councils. The 4-year plan will guide strategic collaboration between the region’s WSPs, and identify, quantify and prioritise opportunities for strategic collaboration including shared services, resources and assets. The workshop was held in 2019 with the outcomes report in review by the partner councils.

Undergraduate Placement Program:  This recently approved project will facilitate the engagement of engineering undergraduates to support regional initiatives. The undergraduates will undertake three specific tasks: a desktop review of asset condition assessments for the ROC's sewer-relining program, in which CCTV footage is reviewed, categorised and logged for pre- and post-rectification defects; population of standardised ADAC classifications for SCADA assets with the intention of feeding into a regional SCADA review; and assisting with field validation of asset registers including GIS ground-truthing, to enable further regional initiatives in asset management.

Other projects underway:

  • Joint sewer relining: works are currently underway by two contractors.
  • Drinking water quality management plan collaboration: planning is underway to conduct a joint audit of regional DWQMPs in 2021.
  • Operator training: WBBROC will collaborate with WIMWA to undertake joint operator training. 
  • SCADA group: The group is investigating investing in a joint operations centre for regional SCADA control.

WIM Water Alliance

Water Industry Worker Regional Training Scheme: The WIM Water Alliance received support for a dedicated learning and development officer to develop a regional training program for water industry workers (Cert 2 and Cert 3). Working together has allowed the Alliance partners to hold regional workshops in different locations and leverage the joint participation to secure a suitable RTO. To date there have been 30 participants from Cairns, Whitsunday, Mackay Burdekin & Townsville, with other regional councils outside the Alliance expected to join this year. 

Nitrogen Field Bio-Sensor: This project was recently approved to support a Collaborative Research Project over 3 years to develop a cost effective nitrogen field bio-sensor through a PhD industry scholarship with CQU jointly funded and sponsored by the Whitsunday and Mackay Regional Councils. The project will commence this year with the selection of a suitable PhD candidate.

Other projects underway:

  • Sewer relining and manhole refurbishment joint tender: project in planning.
  • Superintendent to oversee joint STP construction: construction project has commenced.
  • Common register of documentation initiative: Customer service standards, levels of service, water pricing tariffs, water restrictions policy & triggers are being shared comparing similarities/differences for benchmarking.
  • Asset management initiative: Asset criticality framework and assessment  and SCADA Project collaborative sharing across councils ongoing.