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Aurecon engineer showcases water security innovation in Tourism Australia’s Australia Innovates series

Aurecon engineer Sachini De Silva showcases water security innovation in Tourism Australia.

Along with Design Director Julian Briggs and Aurecon’s Water team, Sachini De Silva co-created a sustainable, off-grid solution to provide access to clean water in remote locations.

24 November 2021 – Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Tourism Australia’s specialist unit, Business Events Australia, has continued to raise awareness and consideration of Australia as a business events destination through international content marketing initiatives such as Australia Innovates, a video series that highlights innovative Australians excelling in their field of expertise. The latest episode in the series showcases the award-winning Gilghi water security project co-created by Aurecon engineer Sachini De Silva.

The Australia Innovates video series forms part of a broader recovery strategy to position Australia as a leading business events destination where delegates can experience innovation first-hand. The documentary-style video series showcases Australians pursuing world first research, discovery, invention, innovation and intervention across various knowledge sectors.

Aurecon Process engineer Sachini De Silva is the latest star in the series. Along with Design Director Julian Briggs and Aurecon’s Water team, Sachini co-created a sustainable, off-grid solution to provide access to clean water in remote locations, with the potential to be scaled internationally to assist in agribusiness and disaster response.

Earlier this year, Aurecon was recognised by Fortune, one of the world's leading business magazines, on its annual Change the World list for the development of the Gilghi project, and in 2020 the Australian Financial Review recognised the project as the Best Social Impact Innovation on the BOSS Most Innovative Companies List.

Sachini said Project Gilghi started as a conversation between a group of Australian engineers.

“With a goal to provide remote access to clean water, the idea was born: a containerised water treatment system that can produce up to 28 kilolitres of water per day using innovative and sustainable technology,” Sachini said.

Gilghi, which means ‘place of water’ in the Barkindji Indigenous language, has been in development for the past five years and is a partnership between Aurecon, Ampcontrol and CPS National.

“Gilghi’s modular design and the way the water treatment processes are packaged to suit the feedwater of the specific location are what make the innovation unique,” Sachini said.

Gilghi is housed neatly inside a shipping container and makes use of available solar power to operate. Water is fed in from sources, including bores, and stored in an inlet tank before passing through three stages of water treatment including media filtration, reverse osmosis and disinfection.

Adopting a ‘plug and play’ approach, Gilghi only requires truck transportation and a forklift to install. Its modular, containerised design means it can be easily applied in settings where a cost-effective water solution is required including areas experiencing drought, local agribusiness, oil, mining and gas sectors, as well as in disaster response efforts.

Since its installation in a remote Australian community, Gilghi has transformed the town’s supply of water for drinking and growing crops. The project has also delivered new training and employment opportunities by engaging local residents to operate and maintain the unit.

“I really do hope that we’re able to roll more units out to other communities in Australia and around the world. Projects like Gilghi are what we hope will make the world a better place,” Sachini said.

“Project Gilghi is only just the beginning, as it has the potential to be introduced in various locations and settings worldwide. We have already begun discussions with a number of international suppliers to help advance water solutions on a global scale.”

Australia Innovates is available on the Business Events Australia website and is promoted across North America, the United Kingdom and Europe through targeted marketing activity in business publications, online media and social media.

“I’m really honoured to be part of the series. Australia is a land of opportunity and I’m excited that we are exporting our ideas around the world and that these ideas are bringing business opportunities back into the country,” Sachini said.

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