QUT starts groundwater research at Ebenezer recycling site

One of Queensland’s leading experts on groundwater, Dr Lucy Reading from QUT’s School of Biology and Environmental Science, is supervising a team of environmental science students to conduct groundwater research at Wanless’s proposed recycling site at Ebenezer near Ipswich, Queensland, and its interaction with vegetation and surface water.

Groundwater is one of US’s most important natural resources. It is a major source of water for urban areas, agriculture and industry and often plays a crucial role in sustaining stream flows,

particularly during droughts when it can also be used as an alternative water source. Many ecosystems, including some of our most iconic, depend on groundwater discharge or access to it.

Groundwater research samples taken at Ebenezer site

Wanless has already taken major steps to understand the site’s environmental condition and assess its potential as an innovative resource recovery and recycling precinct. The company has installed a network of bores, which its team uses to monitor groundwater levels and quality. The company has shared existing data with QUT, and the groundwater research team has visited the Ebenezer site to collect its own samples.

Once the samples are analysed, the team will draw up a conceptual model to show groundwater flow directions, aquifers and the potential for groundwater and surface water and vegetation interactions.

QUT collaboration

CEO Dean Wanless explained the collaboration with QUT followed an interest in QUT’s Centre for a Waste-Free World, which develops and implements new waste technologies and processes.

“We want to work with the Waste-Free World team to test some of their innovations at the Ebenezer site and help progress breakthroughs in this field” says Dean. “In the meantime, we’re working in partnership with other QUT research centres, and have welcomed to the site three teams conducting research related to the groundwater, surface water and vegetation.”

“Given the grazing and coal mining history at the site and the current neighbouring land uses, this is an interesting research project,” explains Dr Reading. “As well as developing their skills in groundwater assessment, our students are gaining valuable experience working alongside a commercial company and its contractors.”

Get in touch for more information regarding QUT’s Centre for a Waste Free World and Wanless’s research partnership.