ASR - A Global Partner for the Sustainable Management of Coastal and Marine Resources

Victoria Desalinization Modeling and Fieldwork

Location: GHD, Australia

Type of Project: Victoria Hydrodynamic Modeling

ASR Projects- Victoria Desalinization Modeling and Fieldwork

Extensive fieldwork and numerical modeling program for the southern hemisphere’s largest desalinization plant

Project Overview:

ASR worked collaboratively with GHD, a global engineering firm, to undertake an extensive series of fieldwork and modeling studies to understand the natural forces associated with the planning of the southern hemisphere’s largest desalinization plant. As a component of this five billion-dollar development, ASR developed a series of models using sequential nests to accurately simulate both large-scale dynamics and fine scale features at the project study site. ASR also designed and deployed a field instrumentation system capable of withstanding the harsh environment of Bass Strait including gale force winds and swells in excess of 10 m while collecting data such as wave heights, current speeds, water temperatures, turbidity and salinity.

Project Outcomes:

To simulate the region around Bass Strait and Tasmania, the South-East Australia (SEA) model used a 1-minute (~1 -2 km) cell size model grid to generate tidal and non-tidal currents and sea level variations for subsequent nesting into the more detailed Bass and Bays nested model. The Bass and Bays model used 800 m grid spacing and described the dynamics of northern Bass Strait, Port Phillip Bay and Western Port with a fully-stratified 3-dimensional model which included atmospheric heat-exchange and was also coupled to a dynamic catchment model that provided flow and loading information for 52 rivers and drains in the region. Finally, for detailed simulations at the study area, a local area grid was used. This grid was developed from high-resolution bathymetry and topography data. The local area model had the capability to resolve the fully stratified 3-dimensional dynamics under a variety of hypothetical scenarios including brine discharge, larval and sediment transport, extreme water levels and other critical areas of concern for the desalinization plant planned operation.

Results from these extensive fieldwork and modeling studies were applied to optimize the design of the desalinization plant’s outfall. Ultimately, this project was responsible for reducing the plant’s environmental impact while generating more than 400 million liters of fresh drinking water per day to supply Victoria’s drought stricken population.

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