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Water Science Pty Ltd provides consulting services in:

  • Peer reviews

  • Ecological risk assessments

  • Water quality assessment and management

  • Development and application of Bayesian Network models to assist natural resource managers

Current contracts

thumbnail of Issues Paper CoverScientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing of Unconventional Reservoirs and Associated Activities in the Northern Territory  (Client: NT Government, 2016-present) – the NT government established this inquiry in December 2016.  Justice Rachel Pepper is chair and Prof Hart is deputy chair.  Details of the Inquiry including the ToRs and an Issues Paper, can be found at

Review of the Great Barrier Reef Scientific Consensus Statement 2017 (February 2017) – Prof Hart has reviewed the draft Chapter 3 – The risk of anthropogenic pollutants to Great Barrier Reef coastal and marine ecosystems – of the GBR Consensus Statement.  He will also review the final version of this chapter and the Summary GBR Scientific Consensus Statement 2017.

thumbnail of GBR PhotoReview of Reef (2050) Long-term Sustainability Plan – Progress on Implementation by Great Barrier Reef Independent Review Group (February 2017) – The Reef Review Group undertook this review to provide an independent analysis of the Australian and Queensland governments’ progress in implementing the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan (Reef 2050 Plan).  The Review Group was Di Tarte (Convenor), Prof Terry Hughes, Prof Karen Hussey and Prof Barry Hart.  The report is available here (GBR Review).

Recently completed contracts

thumbnail of PPB Report coverDiscussion Paper of Load Targets for the Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan (Client: Melbourne Water, 2016) – This Discussion Paper, completed by Water Science Pty Ltd and Alluvium Consulting Australia, provides information and recommendations on catchment load target ranges for total nitrogen (TN) and total suspended solids (TSS) relevant to the new Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan (PPB EMP). These load targets are required to address a key objective of the draft EMP that ‘nutrients and sediment loads do not exceed current levels and pollutant loads are reduced where practicable’ . The new EMP has identified future climate change and population growth as the key challenges to this objective being achieved. The Discussion Paper reviews the current understanding of the system (Port Phillip Bay and its catchment) with a focus on nitrogen and sediment, then discusses the key features of the current and new EMPs, and finally addresses the central objective – the load target ranges most appropriate for tracking the effectiveness of the management of the catchment and the protection of the Bays health. The report is available here (Load Targets Report (9 Jan 17)  and the Melbourne Water response is available here.

Independent Technical Review Panel for the Stockman Project (Client: Independence Corporation, 2015-2017) – Western Australian based mining company Independence Group are seeking approval from the Victorian Government to mine the Cu and Zn deposits located at the top of the Tambo River near Benambra – to be called the Stockman Project.  This orebody was partially mined in the 1990’s.  Independence Group have established an Independent Technical Review Panel to review all technical information associated with the project. The Panel consists of John Nolan (Chair), Dr Brian Wrench and Prof Barry Hart.

Costs of achieving the water quality targets for the Great Barrier Reef (Client: Alluvium Consulting Australia for Qld Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, 2016) –

Water quality offset framework (Client: Alluvium Consulting Australia, 2015) – Alluvium Consulting were engaged by Western Water and Smart Water Fund to deliver a Water Quality Offsets Framework (WQOF) for regulatory compliance in waterways.   The water quality framework aims to enable water corporations to deliver a net benefit to the environment and to enhance the liveability of regional towns and communities.  A pilot project to investigate the opportunity of substituting recycled water from the Gisborne RWP as alternative water for environmental flows to support the beneficial uses of Jackson’s Creek.

External Stakeholder Advisory Panel (Client: Hidden Valley Joint Venture, PNG, 2011-2015) – This Panel of 6 emenient persons was established in June 2011 by HVJV to provide advice to the joint venture partners on environmental and social aspects of the Hidden Valley gold mine located near Lae in PNG.  ESAP has met 6 times between June 2011 and September 2012.  The first ESAP Annual Report (2012) is available at ESAP Annual Report 2012. One of the main activities for ESAP in the period 2013-2015 was to produce a Report Card on the Environmental Health of the Watut River system.  Unfortunately the operation has been put into holding mode and the Report Card was completed but never published.

Review of the Victorian Environmental Flows Monitoring and Assessment Program (VEFMAP) (Client: Vic Dept Environment, Water, Land and Planning), November 2014) – Prof Hart completed an independent review of VEFMAP in November 2014.  This review was used with other information by DEWLP to determine Stage 5 of this program which is due to commence in July 2015.

VW WetlandsReview of the Management of Water Assets in Geographe Catchment, WA (Client: WA Department of Water)

Prof Hart completed an Independent Review of the Current and Future Management of Water Assets in the Geographe Catchment for the WA Minister for Water in March 2014.

The review focused on (a) the management of the Vasse-Wonnerup Ramsar wetland, (b) overall catchment water quality management leading into Geographe Bay, and (c) water quality management of local waterways, including the Lower Vasse River,  Vasse diversion drain, and Toby Inlet.

Three reports were produced:

1.  Issues Paper – released 5 December 2013 (Issues Paper (5 Dec 2013))

2.  Discussion Document – released for comment in 31 January 2014 (Discussion Document – Final (Jan 2014))

3.   Final Report – submitted to the Minister for Water on 7 March 2014


GBR PhotoReef 2050 Plan Prioritisation Project (Client: Sustainable Agriculture Branch, Department of Agriculture, Canberra)

Prof Hart reviewed a draft of this report.  The Report covers work done using the MCAS-S tool to assess the priorities for investment for two industries – grazing and sugar cane – in 35 sub-catchments in the Great Barrier Reef.


ERIAS Report CoverRamu II Hydropower Project (Client: ERIAS Group for Ausenco)

Prof Hart assisted the ERIAS Group with advice on environmental flow criteria downstream of the Yonki Dam, Ramu I Power Station and the new Ramu II power station in PNG.


 Ranger Photo2Closure Criteria for the Ranger Uranium Mine, NT (Client: Energy Resources of Australia Ltd (ERA))

Prof Hart provided advice on the interpretation of the term ‘detrimental environmental impact’ and a possible pathway to achieve agreement on water closure criteria for Ranger.


Flagship coverReview of the Water for a Healthy Country Flagship Program (Client: CSIRO, August 2013)

Prof Hart was a member of a 4 person team contracted to review the CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship Program.  CSIRO reviews each flagship program each 4 years.  A previous review of the Water for a Healthy Country flagship occurred in 2009. The review focused on flagship activities in the period 2009-2013, and was undertaken in the period 5-9 August 2013.


Science Review of ARI (Client: ARI, November 2012)

Prof Hart chaired a Review Panel established to review the scientific performance of the Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI).  The review was held over 2-days (27-28 November 2012).  The Review Panel consists of : Prof Barry Hart (Chair), Prof Mike Clark (Latrobe University), Dr Simon Ferrier (CSIRO), Dr Mark Kennard (Griffith University) and Dr Graeme Mitchell (DSE/DPI Chief Scientist Group).

Final report provided to Director, Arthur Rylah Institute in January 2013.


Independent Surface Water Working Group (Client: Energy Resources Australia Ltd & Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, 2012-2013)

This project aimed to undertake an independent review of surface water management and monitoring associated with the Ranger uranium mine in Northern Territory, with particular focus on the concerns of the Mirrar traditional owners. Prof Hart chaired the Independent Surface Water Working Group (ISWWG).

The final ISWWG Report is available [ISWWG Vol 1 – 2013.]


Co-produced water – issues associated with quantity, quality, timing and potential risks to aquatic ecosystems and their environmental values (Client: SKM for SEWPaC, August-September 2012)

Prof Hart was contracted to provide a report on ecological risk assessment frameworks appropriate for assessing coal seam gas and coal mining projects, and to assist SKM with a technical review of the final report.


Review and Comment on Changes made to the Standard Criteria for the Recognised Environmental Credentials Scheme for Commercial Cleaning Products (Client: Accord Australasia Ltd, Sept 2012)

Prof Hart was commissioned by Accord Australasia Ltd to review changes made to the Accord Standard Criteria for the Recognised Environmental Credentials Scheme for Commercial Cleaning Products (published in December 2011) to ensure to ensure the integrity and scientific creditability of these Criteria were maintained.  The original document was reviewed by an expert committee of which Prof Hart was a member.  The changes resulted from issues that became apparent when the third-party assessor undertook the first group of assessments.

Review of the Mt Todd Downstream Impact Risk Assessment Plan (Client: GH&D, April 2012)

Prof Hart reviewed the GHD Draft Report Mt Todd Downstream Impact Risk Assessment Plan. The GHD Report was commissioned by Envirotech Monitoring on behalf of Vista Gold Australia Pty Ltd.  Vista Gold are seeking approval to re-establish and operate a gold mine at Mt Todd located in the Daly River catchment, Northern Territory.

Review of the Port Curtis Integrated Monitoring Program (Client: PCIMP Inc., Gladstone, Qld, February 2012)

Prof Hart chaired an expert review panel who assessed the relevance, quality and effectiveness of the current monitoring program in measuring the ‘health’ of the Port Curtis ecosystem, and provided advice on how this program could be improved in the future.

Mitchell River Aquifer Storage and Recovery (MiRASR) Project (Client: East Gippsland Water, Chair Independent Steering Committee, 2009-2011).

Prof Hart chaired the Independent Steering Committee for this project. The project aimed to the investigation into the viability of an aquifer storage and recovery project at the East Gippsland Water’s borefield at Woodglen.

Lake Tai (China) Water Pollution Treatment Project ( Client: Earth Tech Pty Ltd, Melbourne, 2010).

Prof Hart assisted in the planning and running of a Workshop in Huzhou, China as part of the Australia China Environment Development

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