eWater products are based upon a strong track record of research and development. This has been structured around the products which are now being released. eWater has worked with partners in the industry looking for opportunities to road test the underlying technology to real world issues and problems.
eWater comprises project teams made up of natural resource managers, scientists, researchers and modellers from our partner organisations. Between 2006 and 2008 these teams focused on planning, researching and development of the predictive models and decision systems for water and environmental management.
Now eWater researchers are working with partners applying our tools to real world simulated situations, across a range of locations referred to as focus catchments. This work facilitates the testing and enhancement of products to ensure their fitness for purpose while enhancing local understanding of the capability of eWater products in the operating environment.
The approach also has the advantage of engaging researchers directly with partners, forging strong multidisciplinary research arrangements.
As we build groundbreaking forecasting and decision tools for the water management industry, these strong partnerships with government and industry ensure our products align with water industry needs. Product development starts with a planning phase where we define product objectives according to user needs and technical feasibility. During product refinement processes we continually reassess product flexibility and check to ensure product fitness for purpose.
The work integrates new knowledge from eWater research with a wide range of existing scientific information and natural resources management knowledge. Our highly flexible product offerings allow us to accommodate the full range of user preferences and regional biophysical diversities.
A strong base of existing and new research knowledge, both ecological and hydrological, feeds into the development of the Source and Toolkit models.
After an extended period of development, eWater today is focussed on product and service delivery. Industry partners are applying and improving eWater core products, and we are working to incrementally improve product functionality and utility. We seek to ensure product relevance and delivery, responsiveness to the latest scientific challenges, improvements in operational efficiency and a valuable return on investment to industry partners.
Researchers from our partner organisations are focussed on understanding the ecological response in rivers to changed flow conditions, whether brought about by water use or by changes in climate, and how best to represent that understanding in a modelling and decision support framework.
Our ecological and water quality researchers have made major advances in understanding low flows and drought across Australia.
Working with our partners, they have improved the capacity to manage risks around low concentrations of dissolved oxygen and fish populations as well as deepening our knowledge about the benefits of floodplain inundation, as well as other work.
These research findings are being tested, along with eWater’s software, in real-life situations across eastern Australia. Focus catchment trials give our partners the chance to work with our prototype and beta-release models and see how they perform on the urban, river and catchment management issues in their regions. Feedback from the partners has been extremely helpful in refining and further developing the models, and in giving a tick of approval to others prior to full public release.