Optimising Water Treatment and Pumping


Whitsunday Water (WW) historically utilised 60% of the Council’s total electricity consumption. They have since installed a 400kW solar array and a 450 kVa (current) to 500 KVa (near future) generator at the Bowen Water Treatment Plant (WTP) for emergency resilience purposes. The installation of the solar system has resulted in direct savings. In addition, there was considerable savings by using the storage capacity in the systems and optimising pumping in smaller (hourly) timesteps to meet demand.   


WW has identified that there is still room for improvements in the system to further reduce their electricity consumption, increase cost efficiencies and reduce their carbon footprint. 


The Hub has recruited a Masters Student from CQUniversity to optimise the pumping and treatment system to better use the solar with the reservoir space and provide recommendations for further improvements. Results will be published in peer reviewed journals and presented to relevant Queensland Councils. 


The Hub has engaged Anam Shourobh, a Master’s Student from CQUniversity’s School of Engineering & Technology to work on  the project for two years.


This project aims to: 

  • Identify areas where the WW system can be improved to reduce their electricity consumption and increase cost savings
  • Review the operations before and after the initial improvements and identify the benefits of additional “air space” to allow the plant to be programmed for ideal solar energy demand
  • Assess the value of voltage correction equipment and batteries to optimise solar energy performance throughout daylight hours.  
  • Identify the additional requirements necessary to run a water treatment plant and pump station as a solar-first facility 

Get Involved

To find out more about the study, please contact the Whitsunday Climate Change Innovation Hub on 1300 972 753 or via email at ClimateHub@whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au.