Oral Presentation Australasian Groundwater Conference 2017

Are we over-analysing water when assessing project related impacts?  (#25)

Carolina Sardella 1 , Nicola Fry 1 , Liz Webb 1
  1. EMM Consulting, St Leonards, NSW, Australia

Are the project specific objectives of water quality monitoring sometimes lost in the large amounts of data collected? Are we spending too much time and money characterising the water quality where we could undertake risk-based assessments and only monitor for analytes that are an indication of a potential project related risk?

Case studies where extensive suites of water quality analytes are monitored during operational water quality monitoring programs are presented and discussed. But, has an accurate assessment of the receiving environment’s sensitivity been completed when selecting the analytical suite? And what does an exceedance of a trigger value mean on the receiving environment?

How can we design risk-based monitoring that is appropriate to monitor the potential impacts from the project and include a targeted analytical suite optimised for impact assessment?

Extensive suites of analytes are often expected by regulators and clients based on previous assessed projects, but reduced analytical suites may be more appropriate.

Analytes that can in some instances be made redundant are proposed.

When designing an operational water quality management program, we need to consider a targeted monitoring approach focussing on potential risks from the project, while meeting clients’ and regulator’s expectations..

“Less is more”

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