Water infrastructure engineering & advisory

Bringing resilient water infrastructure to life

Water infrastructure engineering & advisory

Water security through integrated water management

We use our water infrastructure engineering expertise to plan for a future of integrated water management. The security and resilience of water resources management is a top priority for the water industry. Aurecon works with water utilities, governments, and councils to help them tackle the challenges in meeting the water infrastructure requirements needed to serve growing populations.

As an essential commodity, the efficiency and safety of bulk water comes under considerable community scrutiny. Communities expect utilities to set up and run well-designed, efficient, and cost-effective water infrastructure that stands the test of time. They also want assurance the industry will meet their future water needs in a way that is good for people and the planet.

From economic prosperity through to social cohesion and public health, our teams understand the power of supplying water services to meet the complex needs of a circular economy.

Aurecon is addressing some of the world’s most urgent needs around climate change, access to clean drinking water and creating liveable, water sensitive cities. What allows us to do this is the unique combination of our collective experience and expertise of our water teams in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, and our complimentary advisory solutions.

When everything is changing, how do you stay balanced?

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We are either in drought or planning for the next one

While different countries deal with the ebb and flow of being in or out of drought, at Aurecon we take the approach we are never not in drought – we are either in drought or planning for the next one. Aurecon has worked extensively with various utilities and governments to improve water resilience and develop drought-proof treatment services.

Examples of our work include:

  • Helping a client manage their bio-solids to produce biogas
  • Working collaboratively with some of Australia’s largest water entities to plan and execute the reliable and safe delivery of their water management programmes
  • Developing water-sensitive metropolitan subregions, which integrate high-level engineering services and planning. For example, Aurecon is working with Sydney Water on the Western Parkland City, with an urban design focused on the environment and effective water reuse and resources management

Circular is the new linear

Sustainability and resilience are becoming paramount for the water industry, with a focus on reducing waste, energy, and raw materials.

Traditionally we looked at the water industry in a linear fashion – water is withdrawn, used, and returned. However, to manage water systems and operational processes for long-term sustainability, a circular process is relevant, timely, and achievable if approached in a way that protects nature, views waste as an opportunity, and makes materials last.

Aurecon takes a circular approach to water resources management – designed to keep infrastructure assets at their highest value for as long as possible – maintaining, repurposing, and recycling assets throughout and beyond their operational lifecycle.

Technological innovation, smarter use of stormwater, and greater focus on environmental considerations are collectively contributing to a new era in water storage, water and wastewater treatment, and quality engineering solutions.

We apply our comprehensive knowledge, gained over 80 years in the water sector, to embed circular principles across schemes and operations. This approach draws together our asset management expertise with our water engineering and sustainability services to create out of the box and cost-effective solutions.

Aurecon is a true partner with our water clients and is pioneering a new model of delivery in the sector.

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How we engineer resilient water infrastructure solutions

At Aurecon we have reimagined engineering to focus on people, because water matters to us, our families, and the communities we serve. As engineers, scientists, designers, and advisors we are helping the water industry meet the sustainable management of the water infrastructure challenge.

We take an integrated approach to design, construction, operations, and management. We focus on understanding the needs and expectations of each utility client and their end customers, and work closely with our infrastructure advisory experts to tailor our planning approaches and activities to meet specific needs.

Key areas in our planning, design, and construction processes for water projects include, water security, water use efficiency, climate resilience, sustainable sanitation, and reduced risk from water pollution and floods.

Our water capabilities are also critical in supporting future energy projects, including hydropower and improved energy efficiency for treatment and re-use of water, the design of critical transport links, agriculture, and the development of water sensitive cities.

While the future may pose challenges to water supply due to increasing service demands and greater climate variability, responsive water policy and strategy paves the way for collaborative, innovative solutions.

Our services

Bulk Water

Bulk water encompasses the infrastructure needed for the safe and efficient transfer of clean and waste water from the source to the end point. It also covers the transfer of large quantities of water by the resource industry, and the movement of water from one reservoir to another by water authorities.

Aurecon has a highly qualified bulk water team, who take collaborative and innovative approaches to infrastructure development, and maintenance. Our engineers and project managers have broad experience covering all spheres of bulk water-related engineering, including the use of the latest smart technologies.

The Aurecon team delivers:

  • Dam planning and development
  • Infrastructure and 3D modelling
  • Fluid dynamics, such as modelling pumping lengths and tank inlets
  • Asset management, including condition assessment and future planning
  • Multi-criteria analysis studies
  • Project management from construction through to end-of-life advice

Bulk water best practice is evolving as a result of access to new digital technologies. Aurecon now uses drones to measure the condition of tanks and dam pipelines, to better inform judgements about when facilities need to be repaired or rebuilt. This results in the improved use and extended lifespan of these important and highly valuable assets.

Innovative end-of-life options are also improving the efficiency of bulk water infrastructure. Aurecon often helps to identify future uses for decommissioned infrastructure. One example would be a bulk water utility selling a pipeline to a communications company to utilise the space for their cables.

Bulk water is no longer simply about building the next new big pipeline or pump station. Asset management and water use efficiency are now central to ensuring best practice and long-term, safe bulk water supply.

As an essential commodity, the efficiency and safety of bulk water comes under considerable community scrutiny. Bulk water providers are expected to establish and operate well-designed, efficient, and cost-effective bulk water infrastructure that lasts the test of time.

To help ensure a safe and reliable water supply, contact Associate, Water Phil Engler.


Dams are highly complex pieces of engineering that are vital for safe and sustainable water storage and supply.

Aurecon provides a fully integrated dams engineering service – from planning and design, to operations, maintenance, and decommissioning, with dams safety management and risk assessment integrated throughout.

Our Dams team has delivered successful projects globally spanning concrete, embankment, and composite dams, as well as tailings storage facilities. This incorporates all major structures such as spillways, outlet systems, and electrical and control systems. We apply a “honeycomb” approach, linking together civil engineering, structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, and water and hydraulic engineering expertise, to deliver best practice outcomes for our clients.

We have extensive experience in providing technical consulting services, as well as working client-side, embedded as part of the project team.

The Aurecon team delivers:

Dams engineering has evolved in recent years, particularly in regard to 3D hydraulic (computational fluid dynamic), structural and building information management digital modelling, which is highly efficient and precise, compared to traditional methods. Dams are also increasingly linked to clean energy storage through hydropower – operating as massive “batteries” fed by solar, wind and other sustainable forms of energy.

The communities of the future will rely on safe, smart, and sustainable dams, just as they have for thousands of years.

For safe, smart, and sustainable dams, contact Technical Director, Dams Marius Jonker.

Drainage & Water Quality

Drainage involves discharging water in ways that best mimic nature, and harnessing rainwater to make the most of this precious asset. Water quality, and the long-term technical and economic efficiency of water facilities are essential to achieving effective drainage.

The Aurecon Drainage team includes stormwater and civil engineers, along with world-renowned technical and design specialists. Our experts work together to provide innovative outcomes for clients.

  • Drainage, pit, and pipe design
  • Water quality modelling, including water rainwater harvesting
  • Modelling and design using geospatial technology
  • Data-driven modelling (including flood modelling)
  • Catchment analysis and modelling

Stormwater and the water sensitive city revolution

Stormwater is now regarded as a potential asset, rather than as something to be disposed of. Drainage projects utilise the latest technology to ensure water quality is of the highest possible standard. The projects link into a circular economy that is increasingly focused on incorporating green spaces and reducing the impacts of a warming climate.

In a recent project, Aurecon was engaged to develop stormwater infrastructure to improve the quality of a water body in the centre of a residential development. The project involved cleaning stormwater to the point that it became swimmable.

Aurecon also worked on the highly collaborative Western Sydney Airport upgrade, to develop a large-scale catch-up model of the proposed development. The impacts of green urban spaces and reducing the “heat island effect” (urbanised areas that experience higher temperatures than outlying areas) played a significant part in this project that builds on the water sensitivity of our cities.

New digital technology is also enabling better client outcomes. Aurecon’s engineers undertake robust scenario analysis to design more effective drainage models. For example, the team uses remote sensor data to efficiently model a large catchment, rather than gather data manually on site.

Technological innovation, smarter use of stormwater, and greater focus on environmental considerations are collectively contributing to a new era in drainage and water quality solutions.

Learn how technology can achieve effective drainage and ensure water quality, contact Lead Engineer, Water David Delagarza.

Water Networks & Systems Planning

Water networks and systems planning covers a broad range of needs and drivers across the full asset lifecycle, whether that be in relation to a single asset, complete network, entire system and/or customer base, or the climate in which our clients operate. This drives diversity in our capability and experience across a wide skillset including needs identification, risk analysis, performance assessment, optioneering, system optimisation and support of operations and maintenance activities. In this context, water networks and systems planning plays an important role in identifying and responding to water supply, wastewater, recycled water, and stormwater servicing requirements.

Aurecon offers a strong depth of water networks and systems planning specialists who aim to achieve holistic, and fit-for-purpose planning solutions that deliver the best value to our client’s and their customers. A collaborative and balanced planning approach is central to Aurecon’s way of working. We focus on understanding the needs and expectations of each client and their end customers, and also work closely with our infrastructure advisory experts to tailor our planning approaches and activities to meet specific needs.

The Aurecon team delivers water supply, wastewater, recycled water, and stormwater:

  • Network and systems planning
  • Master planning and strategic analysis
  • Detailed planning, modelling and optioneering
  • Integrated planning and Integrated Water Cycle Management

Future proofing to meet growth and demand

Whilst the growth and demand being placed on our water networks and systems is steadily increasing, much existing infrastructure is approaching its end of life. Aurecon focuses on the interplay between various drivers such as growth and renewal, to develop more optimal planning solutions that enable better operation and maintenance of these systems.

Sustainability is key to future-proofing our water networks and systems. We work with clients to achieve greater network and system resilience, and to develop more sustainable approaches to service customers, including leveraging water supply sources that are not climate dependent.

The Aurecon team is partnering with various public and private sector clients to provide water networks and systems planning services support across residential, industrial, commercial, recreational and community based projects in metropolitan and regional areas of Australia. Aurecon is also supporting water sector clients internationally, including the development of drought management plans and precinct plans as an example.

Smart technologies, such as enhanced geographical information system mapping, are evolving and we are continually integrating these advancements into our planning approaches, to better convey visual information to clients and project teams. These digital tools enhance our planning by enabling a better understanding of data, trends and information. Our collaborative approach facilitates the transfer of this knowledge and expertise to our clients to deliver valued outcomes.

Our team is also paving the way for more integrated water and land-use planning. Smarter water networks and systems planning will better equip cities and towns of the future to better manage this precious resource.

To manage smarter water networks and systems planning, contact Technical Director, Water Mark Wilton.

Water Policy & Strategy

Water policy and strategy underpins the level of service that a water service provider offers to the community. It also outlines the direction taken by an organisation in the broader water infrastructure lifecycle.

As the foundation for water provision, water policy needs to be continually revised and refreshed to ensure it meets community expectations. Strategy drives the work programs, infrastructure delivery and service outcomes provided by a water business. Aurecon works with clients to maximise the value of water services to the community through innovative strategies that meet community expectations and regulatory requirements.

The Aurecon team delivers:

  • Policy, strategy and objectives setting
    • Organisational strategy
    • Asset Management Policy
    • Asset Management Strategy
    • Objectives setting
  • Strategic Planning
    • Water supply strategies
    • Water and wastewater servicing strategies
    • Water sensitive cities & precincts planning
    • Circular economy strategies
    • Water demand and efficiency planning
    • Regulatory strategies
  • Investment decision making
    • Adaptive planning
    • Economic & financial regulatory advice
    • Regulatory pricing submissions
    • Water business cases
    • Water economics
    • Infrastructure portfolio management
  • Risk advisory
    • Risk frameworks
    • Capital program assurance
    • Capital project support
    • Decision and risk analysis

Collaborative solutions

Investment decision making and business case research plays a key role in the development of water policy and strategy. This includes augmentation of water assets to determine how to best meet network needs.

Infrastructure efficiency is also essential to ensure safe water supply. Aurecon has significant experience developing strategic water and wastewater services for new developments. New precincts under development, is one example of how Aurecon collaborates with governments to identify ways local providers will service businesses and growing communities now and into the future.

Aurecon is heavily involved in numerous wastewater projects, including the development of sustainable wastewater strategies. For example, our teams devise innovative ways to manage overflows from sewer systems. Rather than building substantial new infrastructure to prevent overflow, Aurecon develops strategies to prevent stormwater from entering the sewage system in the first place.

We also lead the way in the development of demand management and water conservation strategies. This enables our clients to determine water strategies that aim to reduce water usage and avoid constructing unnecessary infrastructure.

While the future may pose challenges to water supply due to increasing service demands and greater climate variability, responsive water policy and strategy can pave the way for collaborative, innovative solutions.

To understand the value of water services to the community through innovative strategies, contact Associate, Infrastructure Advisory Shane Tyrrell.

Water Treatment

Water treatment encapsulates the effective collection and management of wastewater, and ensures a resilient water supply to our growing cities and regional areas.

Aurecon works with clients to plan for systems growth and management. This involves managing the water cycle from re-use to the discharge of treated water and sustainable recycling of bio-solids. We utilise digital tools to attain the best outcomes, including 3D laser scanning surveys, Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), and drone surveys.

The Aurecon team delivers:

An invaluable resource

Water treatment best practice no longer considers wastewater a “waste”, but a valuable, reusable resource. As such, water treatment activities are now considered as part of a broader conversation in the larger, circular economy.

The adoption of efficient treatment processes has also grown in importance. In the past decade, there has been a shift towards digitised, low-energy treatment technologies and approaches to improve the sustainability of inputs.

Aurecon has worked extensively with various utilities and governments to improve water resilience and develop drought-proof treatment services. For example, we have helped a client manage their bio-solids to produce biogas. Aurecon is also working collaboratively with some of Australia’s largest water entities to plan and execute the reliable and safe delivery of their water programs.

The integration of smart networks is helping to manage plant demand and improve the flow of water to treatment plants. Rather than focusing on treatment alone, Aurecon specialises in utilising digital systems for optimum performance. An example is the application of low-cost metering devices to help run regional water networks.

Securing safe, high quality water is fundamental to the health of our communities. Managing water through smart networks is vital to the supply remaining sustainable well into the future.

Find how managing the water cycle can ensure a resilient water supply to cities and regional areas, contact Design Director, Water & Waste Water Treatment Julian Briggs.


Waterways refer to our rivers and creeks, and the benefits that come from integrating them into our urban environment and daily lives.

Waterways are essential for reliable water supply and provide significant benefits when properly considered as part of urban design. Waterways also pose flood risks and can result in supply shortages when poorly managed. Successful waterways require that infrastructure is designed to interact with the dynamic and seasonal nature of our environments.

The team delivers:

  • Water-sensitive urban design
  • Environmental planning
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Community education
  • Flood modelling
  • Flood engineering and stormwater management
  • Water resource planning and engineering
  • Water quality engineering
  • Hydrology and hydraulics

Adaptive planning

The biggest issue facing waterways is the impact of climate change. Aurecon is well versed in adaptive planning, working closely with clients to consider and plan for scenarios 50 years or more into the future.

Most recently, our Waterways experts have become involved in the development of water-sensitive metropolitan subregions, which integrate high-level engineering services and planning. Aurecon is working with Sydney Water on the Western Parkland City, with an urban design that is focused on the environment.

Another example is the supply chain enabling Inland Rail project, which covers multiple states and crosses many communities with a history of flooding. This massive infrastructure project combines the work of multiple Aurecon teams, including stakeholder engagement, to ensure the infrastructure can deal with future flooding events.

Waterways now benefit from the application of cutting-edge digital technologies, including 2D and 3D modelling, fluid dynamics software, along with survey and drone capabilities linked to satellite technology. This digital edge enables greater accuracy and efficiency and more in-depth waterways analysis.

Smart technology and environmental adaptation are enabling more reliable water supplies and higher quality living standards, ensuring a better future for all.

To learn how waterways are essential for reliable water supply and provide significant benefits, contact Associate, Water David Franklin.

Project Gilghi – sustainable off-grid, containerised water treatment

Our work on Gilghi – a breakthrough hybrid off-grid containerised water treatment plant – is an award-winning example of our integrated approach. It innovatively combines renewable energy requirements with water treatment and sanitisation and aims to improve Indigenous health and access to sustainable clean drinking water.

Project Gilghi won the Australian Financial Review’s BOSS Most Innovative Companies List Best Social Impact Innovation in 2020.

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Digital engineering case studies

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