Australian Partners

Jacobs Group (Australia) Pty Ltd

Jacobs is a 70,000 person global consulting firm with 5,000 employees in Australia. Our Australian water resources team combines interdisciplinary scientific, economic and socio-political knowledge to address water challenges across Australia and the wider Asia-Pacific region. We seek to work collaboratively across our offices in Australia as well our colleagues in New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, China and India. We have made significant contributions to the water industry in Australia. Over the last 20 plus years, our organisation has been involved in Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) on catchment hydrology and freshwater ecology . We were one of only two private sector partners in the eWater CRC, where Jacobs forged a strong relationship with eWater and made an important contribution to the development of water modelling tools. Currently we are a member of the Water Sensitive Cities CRC, providing thought leadership on sustainable, socio-technical urban water management solutions, and a 43-Pl member on the CRC for Spatial Innovation. We have extensive experience providing technical and strategic water advice to a wide range of clients and industry sectors (e.g. urban and rural water utilities, government agencies at both state and federal levels, mining, oil and gas, infrastructure, building, power and industrial). This has allowed us to build collaborative relationships with leading water decision makers, and to share our skills and knowledge to foster sustainable water solutions. Our experience in addressing surface and groundwater security in Australia now lends itself to addressing the challenges of water security in the Asia Pacific.

• Integrated basin-scale water planning for people and the environment.
• Urban and rural reforms to secure sustainable water use.
• Hydrologic and hydraulic modelling of urban and rural systems.
• Catchment and in-stream water quality modelling and monitoring.
• Integrated surface and groundwater resource assessments, modelling and development.
• Integrated urban water cycle planning, demand management and conservation.
• Community, stakeholder and indigenous engagement on water resource projects.
• Aquatic, terrestrial and groundwater-dependent ecological assessments, surveys and monitoring.
• Spatial data management, analysis and mapping.
• Sustainable water, wastewater, stormwater and recycled water infrastructure design.

  • Murray Darling Basin Sustainable Yields
    This project sought to comprehensively assess water availability across the full Murray-Darling Basin under future climate and development scenarios. Jacobs undertook catchment, river and groundwater modelling of the Gwydir, Macquarie and Murrumbidgee River catchments, accounting for climate change, farm dam development, future agricultural and forestry land use, and potential bushfire impacts on hydrology. More than 80 Jacobs’ staff were involved in this multimillion dollar project
  • National Atlas of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems
    Jacobs was engaged to develop a consistent, nation-wide inventory of groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs). Jacobs synthesised existing and new datasets to identify, map and characterise GDEs. Two web-based interfaces were developed to display ecological and hydrogeological: 1. A steering committee interface where uses can upload additional data and reports on specific GDEs in a spatial environment 2. A public interface to allow multiple non-GIS users to collate spatial data in an intuitive manner. The National GDE Atlas filled a knowledge gap and provided a tool to support sustainable management of GDEs into the future.
  • Sustaining the Basin Business Cases and Economic Assessments
    Jacobs managed and delivered four business cases, aimed at securing over $700 m in Commonwealth Government investment in the NSW Murray Darling Basin. The business cases covered four projects which collectively comprise the NSW Sustaining the Basin Program and include the NSW Metering project, Healthy Floodplains project, Basin Pipe project and Irrigated Farm Modernisation project. Separate socio-economic assessments, with complete cost-benefit analysis were developed to support each business case. Key aspects of the project included engineering costing, business case development, option assessment, financial and budget assessment, risk analysis and modelling, cost-benefit analysis, nonmarket valuation, distribution analysis and project delivery advice.
  • Planning Framework for the Delivery of Environmental Water in the Murrumbidgee
    Jacobs was engaged to develop water use options and operational frameworks for Commonwealth environmental water to protect and rehabilitate the ecological assets of the Murrumbidgee Valley. Jacobs firstly documented the location, type and environmental watering requirements of freshwater-dependent assets throughout the catchment, as a basis for prioritising likely flow scenarios under extreme dry, dry, median and wet climatic regimes. Jacobs then provided operational advice to meet asset flow targets. This included describing: water accounting in the system; operating regimes for State Water infrastructure; governance and planning arrangements; risk assessment and mitigation; irrigator behaviour; release management, and operational constraints and opportunities.
  • Selwyn-Waihora Catchment Hydrological and Water Quality Modelling
    Jacobs was engaged to analyse the effects of proposed changes to the Land and Water Regional Plan on irrigation reliability and nitrate loads in New Zealand’s Selwyn–Waihora catchment. Jacobs used the eWater Source model to undertake whole-of-catchment modelling and assess the hydrological and water quality impacts of proposed land use change. The Canterbury Plains are groundwater dominant and so Jacobs developed a Network Groundwater Model plugin to better represent spatial changes in surface water-groundwater interactions, multiple aquifer layers, longer travel times and the transport and denitrification processes within groundwater flow pathways.
  • Greater Sydney Water Conservation Potential
    Jacobs was engaged to undertake an assessment of the potential for future water conservation in the Greater Sydney Region to contribute to the future supply demand balance under the NSW Metropolitan Water Plan. The work involved a detailed assessment of historical demands and the analysis of the impact of drought water restrictions, demand management programs and the potential for demand rebound following removal of water restrictions. The project utilised the DSM DSS model to assess water savings and cost-effectiveness of future conservation programs, including: leakage management; water efficient fittings and appliances; and source substitution using rainwater tanks and wastewater recycling.
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