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Sydney Water's plan for the future

Birds Eye View of Sydney. Photo by Jamie Davies

The population of Sydney is constantly expanding, and Sydney Water is focused on creating a new framework to support this growth as much as possible. Sydney Water is now servicing 5 million customers in total across the city itself, the Blue Mountains as well as the Illawarra. However, the number of users is set to double over the next 80 years, which means the wastewater and water networks must be updated to keep up with the upcoming demand.

That’s why at this time Sydney Water is trying to improve their framework and bring in a sense of resilience. Matt Schnelle, the Sydney Water Operational Planner states that they want to make sure that this system will cope with any future challenges. They want to be certain that the water supply systems can eliminate any threats and shocks that can appear. It all comes down to making the system resilient and reliable as much as possible. There are many water supply outages and droughts happening all over the country, so having a dependable system to cope with these problems is incredibly important.

In order to solve this issue, the Sydney Water team has created a new framework focused on infrastructure resilience. This framework has 5 new components, all of which are designed to help people get the type of water they need whenever they need it the most. The first part is reliability, but the second one is resistance. That means the entire water supply system needs to be adaptable and flexible in case any shocks can appear. There are long term stress issues to think about too, like the volatile climate or the water inflows can be unstable.

The redundancy aspect is important, because the system needs to have enough resources, power and water. Then there’s the response aspect, as people need water right away, so the framework has to provide all that water whenever it’s needed.

And lastly there’s recovery. This is essential because the Sydney Water framework needs capabilities that would help it recover all those essential water services in case there’s a failure.

According to Schnelle, these components are viable and they will be able to help support the system to bring in the resilience and power that it can provide in the long term. Assessing the needs of the customers and how they are using water services was essential when Sydney Water created this system.

While the system itself is adaptable, it’s extremely important to make it future-proof and helpful for the entire community even decades after its implementation. That’s not going to be a walk in the park, but Sydney Water is an ambitious idea and one that has a lot of potential. We believe that it will certainly live up to its expectations, and the outcome is definitely something that we are very passionate about with this entire project. Hopefully Sydney Water will put this system to good use and help identify and eliminate these threats holistically, as they want to do at this time.




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