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NWW Speaker Series: Managed Aquifer Recharge as Alternative Water Resources

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The Atrium Theatrette
168 St Georges Tce
Perth, WA Australia
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In this Speaker Series talk, we will delve into the area of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) as an alternative water resource. Alex Gardner from UWA, will discuss the regulations surrounding the use of MAR and Dan Nelson from the City of Kalamunda, will present us with the practice of establishing a MAR scheme based on his success at Hartfield Park. Please read on below…

Regulatory Renovation for Managed Aquifer Recharge using Alternative Water Resources

Presenter: Prof. Alex Gardner, School of Law, UWA


Managed aquifer recharge is increasingly used in Western Australia and worldwide as a means of storing treated wastewater and stormwater for later use. This presentation proposes three areas in which to assess the effectiveness of legal frameworks governing MAR: rights to access alternative water resources; legal requirements concerning the quality and quantity of recharged water; and rights to extract recharged water.

The presentation reviews Western Australia’s laws in these three areas. It finds that Western Australia’s water, health and environmental legislation, which was designed on the basis of a traditional linear paradigm of water resource use and disposal, is not well suited to regulating managed aquifer recharge and needs regulatory renovation.

Brief Biography

Alex Gardner is Professor of Law at the University of Western Australia where he teaches Administrative Law, Environmental Law and Water Resources Law to undergraduate and postgraduate students. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Australian National University College of Law, teaching postgraduate Water Resources Law.

Alex researches in Natural Resources and Environmental Law, with a special focus on Water Resources Law. He is the lead author with Richard Bartlett and Janice Gray of Water Resources Law, July 2009. From 2009-2014, he was a Chief Investigator with the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training and, 2012 – 2016, was a Key Researcher with the Co-operative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities. Alex has been a contributing editor to the Environmental and Planning Law Journal for twenty-two years and, since March 2012, the Editor of the Australian Resources and Energy Law Journal.

Alternative Water Resources

Presenter: Daniel Nelson, Coordinator Project Delivery, City of Kalamunda


The presentation will reflect on the initial steps needed to develop a successful MAR project concept, scope and approval process including  lessons learnt though the implementation of the Hartfield Park trial MAR Scheme.

The Shire of Kalamunda manages Hartfield Park, a large multi-use reserve that accommodates a variety of sporting and recreation facilities, servicing an extensive area. It also encompasses an area of protected native bushland. The Shire of Kalamunda currently irrigates the various sporting fields at Hartfield Park with groundwater from the Superficial aquifer. Groundwater extraction is at the limit of the licence allocation of 157,500 kL/annum. The Hartfield Country Club Golf Course irrigates its course with water from the Leederville aquifer and extraction levels are also at their annual allocation limit of 200,000 kL/annum. The Hartfield Park Master Plan (2010) and Community Facilities Plan (2011) identified the need to increase the amount of active playing field space at Hartfield Park and recommended that alternative water sources be identified to ensure the long term sustainability of maintaining the site.

A concept was developed by the City of Kalamunda to harvest  stormwater from the onsite Water Corporation Woodlupine main drain.  This water would normally be channelled away into the urban water run-off system. The proposal recommended extraction from the drain in winter and re-injection into the onsite superficial aquifer under the Department of Water Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) policy. The harvested stormwater is pumped from the recharge bore and used to irrigate the park during the dry season (October to May).

There are limited examples of Managed Aquifer Recharge in Western Australia as such this technology requires bespoke design, innovation and research. The City, through this process have developed a blue print for similar schemes and are confident the site will become a demonstration project for other MAR initiatives using Stormwater in Western Australia. The presentation will outline the challenges with pioneering such a project.

Brief Biography

Daniel Nelson has a diversity of experience and expertise in water management, sporting and recreation facilities, groundwater extraction and sustainability. He was the driving force in the development of the Shire’s Managed Aquifer Recharge Project and has proven experience in finding alternative water sources to ensure the long term sustainability of maintaining recreation sites.
Daniel has been with the Shire of Kalamunda for the past 9 years and is currently employed as the Coordinator of Project Delivery. He has also held senior positions in the field of Irrigation, Parks and Reserves.

Daniel is currently on the state executive team for Irrigation Australia limited (IAL WA Region).
He holds formal qualifications in Irrigation, Project Management, and Outdoor Education and has completed study with the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training.

Daniel is passionate about working towards water saving solutions while continuing to provide green public open space. Dan is also a finalist in the 2017 WA Water Awards: Water Professional of the Year.

This is a free event. No rsvp required.
Hope to see you there!


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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