Victoria University (VU) and Greater Western Water (GWW) share a broad partnership that spans education and research, with a focus on benefits to the environment and community.

On 1 July 2021, City West Water integrated with Western Water to become the merged entity, Greater Western Water. GWW is one of three retail water businesses in Melbourne, and is the only organisation serving western metropolitan and north western rural areas of Melbourne. Spanning from Werribee South in the South, Macedon Ranges in the North and Tarniet in the West. GWW also provides important water and waste water services to Melbourne’s CBD and East as far as Richmond. GWW covers an area of more than 3,700 kms2, 1.183 million people covering metro and rural customers from over 130 different cultural backgrounds operating in excess of $2 billion of infrastructure and assets.

Greater Western Water logo

Research

Greater Western Water and VU collaborate on a number of research projects in the areas of water treatment,sustainable water resource management and environmental sustainability.

Students and researchers from our College of Engineering and Science and our Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities frequently work with Greater Western Water to publish joint research papers and deliver conference presentations.A sample of our research collaborations include investigation into:

  • desalination pre-treatment for recycled water
  • energy and cost-efficient membrane distillation of industrial waste water
  • the use of solar heat in water treatment
  • a computer based screening tool for locating and assessing storm water harvesting sites in urban Melbourne.
  • Accessing excess pressure in pipe networks to create energy.

Water research at VU in collaboration with Greater Western Water.

Education

VU and Greater Western Water partner on education initiatives at all levels of study, from Polytechnic Diplomas (VUPoly), through to Bachelor Degrees, Masters and PhD projects.

Student placements & projects

Greater Western Water offers VU engineering students the opportunity to get hands-on in the water industry experience through Work-Integrated Learning (WIL). The partnership also supports our Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering) and Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) students’ final year projects.

Greater Western Water and VU students have collaborated on projects such as:

  • a masters research project into the combined use of recycled water and storm water via a third pipe system
  • a PhD project on potential storm water harvesting sites in urban areas.

Cadetships

From 2009 to 2016, VU and Greater Western Water collaborated to offer a four-year cadetship program. The program was based on on-the-job competency training, with graduates being offered three qualifications and a full-time role with Greater Western Water upon successful completion.

Qualifications included:

  • Certificate III in Business, delivered internally at Greater Western Water
  • Diploma of Engineering Technology delivered through Victoria University Polytechnic, by VU and Greater Western Water staff
  • Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology, which focuses on the core operations of the Australian Water Industry, delivered by subject matter experts at Greater Western Water sites.

This program was the first accredited technical officer training to exist in the water industry since 1991. In 2009, the program was awarded the Minister’s Award for Excellence for its innovative offering.

Community

Much of the research collaboration between VU and Greater Western Water is focused on improving the quality and sustainability of water processes for Melbourne’s western urban/rural region. It’s anticipated that research outcomes will contribute to healthier environments and resources for local communities in the future.

VU’s research into membrane distillation of industrial waste water aims to reduce costs and operational issues related to the treatment of highly polluted water generated by operations in Melbourne’s West. Applying this new treatment process will address several issues related to sustainability and climate change. The goal is to produce high quality recyclable water without the overuse of energy and resources.

VU’s work on the development of a Geographic Information System (GIS) computer tools for locating storm water harvesting sites in Melbourne will assist in the quality and availability of water for local communities. Storm water is a valuable urban water resource that can be used to reduce pressure on fresh water sources. This research has already been successfully applied to a case study area in Western Melbourne through collaboration with Greater Western Water.

Representatives from VU have also sat on Greater Western Water’s Community Liaison Committee and have been actively involved in developing several Environmental Sustainability Plans and collaborating on projects such as Greening the West.

Contact

To find out more about this partnership, please contact:

Shannon Ryan
Account Coordinator - Major Partnerships
Engagement & Advancement
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 3 9919 5511

Lovelesh Ramsahye
Industry & Community Engagement Coordinator
College of Engineering & Science
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 3 9919 2175

Professor Stephen Gray
Associate Provost - Research Institutes & Centres
Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities 
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 3 9919 8097