Westernport Water’s Meg Humphrys is the proud winner of the Intelligent Water Networks (IWN) 2020 Hydrovation Challenge for her proposal to assess carbon capture in a restored wetland at the King Road Wastewater Treatment Plant in Corinella.
The Hydrovation Challenge was created by the IWN to celebrate innovation and search for solutions to common challenges in the Victorian water sector through inventive thinking and practices. The IWN is a unique sector-wide partnership between 16 Victorian water corporations and the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
Meg Humphrys is the Wastewater and Sustainability Officer at Westernport Water and is also an award-winning author for her children’s book, ‘When Water Lost Her Way’.
Meg’s winning proposal aims to see if it is feasible to regenerate a wetland with recycled water, and store carbon providing offset opportunities and an overall net sink for carbon. There will be multiple potential benefits from the project such as improved biodiversity, habitat, water quality, and an improved scientific understanding of the capacity to store carbon in water, which is an emerging area of research.
The initiative also addresses a common challenge for the water industry in managing treated effluent and emissions produced from wastewater treatment plants.
Winning the Hydrovation Challenge for 2020 provides Westernport Water with $10,000 in seed funding to go towards Meg’s idea. Meg will also receive $5,000 in funding for professional development.
Quotes attributed to Meg Humphrys, Westernport Water’s Wastewater and Sustainability Officer
“The idea for a wetland had been at the back of my mind for many years. It seemed the logical solution to managing large volumes of wastewater, rather than setting up better drainage to irrigate small volumes of water over land not suited for irrigation, why not restore it back to what it once was?”
“The $10,000 in seed funding will enable the feasibility study, which will be carried out by Deakin University’s Blue Carbon Lab who are leaders in blue and teal carbon research.”
“Winning $5,000 for professional development is wonderful and will be used to grow my knowledge of blue carbon and to visit wetland sites that have a recycled water source.”
Quotes attributed to Peter Quigley, Westernport Water’s Managing Director
“I’m extremely proud of Meg and her colleagues (Jarryd Minahan, Sam Weston, and Renee Sweetman) for the high-quality submission. This feasibility study could really help the water sector to prepare and adapt to the impacts of climate change.”
“We are committed to transitioning our sites to net zero emissions by 2050 and this innovative research project may help us to find solutions to reduce our emissions and improve wastewater management.”
“To win the challenge is a fabulous achievement and is a testament to the capability of our people and the corporation’s focus on innovation and continuous improvement.”
Learn more about the project and view Meg’s winning submission.