Seqwater is the Queensland Government Bulk Water Supply Authority and manages over $11 billion of water supply infrastructure. This includes dams and weirs, conventional water treatment plants, a desalination plant, the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme, as well reservoirs, pump stations and more than 600 kilometres of bi-directional pipeline network. As part of Seqwater’s climate change risk management, this project undertaken by BMT assessed climate change vulnerability of Seqwater’s built assets.
Conducting portfolio wide vulnerability assessment allows large infrastructure owners such as Seqwater to identify their major vulnerable assets to climate change. This is now helping Seqwater to prioritise their climate change risk management efforts and move towards conducting more detailed risk assessments of those vulnerable assets and ultimately using these to prioritise effort for developing detailed climate adaptation plans.
The vulnerability tool developed by BMT presented locations of Seqwater assets, climate change projections, and a number of hazard layers including maps showing flood, bush fire, sea level rise and erosion hazard maps. The mapping tool enables Seqwater to integrate the study results into their existing asset management system.
This multi-hazard study included collection of climate change and sea level rise projections and other hazard data (bushfire, catchment flood) from 14 local government authorities in the south east Queensland region and analysing them to identify the most vulnerable Seqwater assets. We followed the IPCC framework of vulnerability for this study. To determine vulnerability to different climatic hazards, we considered parameters about assets such as its age, material type, relative position (i.e. above or below ground) etc. We also evaluated the interdependencies of some of the critical assets. To support internal Seqwater capacity building on understanding climate change risks of built assets, an online and clickable spatial asset vulnerability tool using ArcGIS story board was also developed.
BMT, in association with Buckley Vann town planners and the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Queensland (UQ), undertook a climate change vulnerability and adaptation planning study for the remote centre of Choiseul Bay, at the northern tip of the Solomon Islands.
In partnership with the University of Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), BMT is helping to prepare new national guidelines regarding climate resilient materials. The new guidelines, known as Practice Note 12.2: Climate resilient materials for infrastructure assets (PN 12.2) will be released by the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) to supplement the existing Practice Note 12.1: Climate Change Impacts on the Useful Life of Infrastructure (PN 12.1), previously prepared by Northern Beaches Council and IPWEA.
During 2009, BMT was engaged by the Gold Coast City Council to undertake a consultancy to provide technical assistance to identify the key risks from climate change across the local government area and to test the readiness of the City to sustain or adapt to the impacts of key climate change parameters such as sea level rise, increased flooding and increased storms and hazard events.
BMT conducted a climate change impact assessment as part of comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement process for the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion. The project involved the construction of a new runway (able to accommodate Boeing 787 aircraft), taxiways and apron infrastructure within the Sunshine Coast Airport site which is a low lying heath environment that is bounded by the Maroochy River as well as the open coast at Marcoola Beach.