24 September 2013 — The Computer Aided River Management system has won the top honours at the 2013 Engineering Excellence Awards Sydney.

The joint winning entrants were the State Water Corporation and Water for Rivers.

The computer system has already delivered 33GL of water savings without reducing production capacity and reduced reliance on water purchases.

Operational efficiencies have been achieved through building physical assets and integrating the latest technologies.

The $65 million sustainable upgrade of infrastructure and operational processes throughout the Murrumbidgee River System was recognised by judges for its use of local materials, storage capacity to ensure reliability throughout drought periods and reduced water losses.

State Water Corporation chief executive officer Brett Tucker said the impact of the system was two-fold.

“It helps us run the river properly for we are now saving 30,000–40,000 megalitres per year and second, it ensures confidence in customers, who now know the water will be there when they are ordering,” he said.

“This project goes to show that we can find the balance between water management and the needs of the community.”

The awards also recognised the important role of engineers in water management, he said.

“We have underestimated our capacity to engineer our way through solutions. However, this win shows that we can achieve a better balance between competing needs when we have smart engineering and a renewed focus.

“Each element of CARM is not new or unique on their own, however we took the kaleidoscope approach, putting existing ideas together in a new way to create new outcomes.”

CARM also won the Excellence Award for Engineering for Regional Communities and received a highly commended in the category of Software and Embedded Systems.

The J.J.C. Bradfield Award is presented to the overall winner of the Excellence Awards by Engineers Australia, Sydney Division. It recognises an accomplishment of exceptional engineering merit.