Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Award winner to bring home vital water knowledge

David Lee January 31, 2018

SHEPPARTON resident, Rosalind Martin has been busy planning her itinerary in preparation for a trip to California this March as part of a self-planned study tour.

Rosalind is a Water Resource Officer at Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) and the 2018 recipient of the Laurie Gleeson Development Award. The highly-regarded award offers $5,000 to a water industry professional to undertake a professional development project.

Rosalind’s video entry contributed to the win, which proposed a two-week study tour to the US, predominantly spending time in California. The state is known for having similar climactic conditions to Victoria and has to deal with a variety of extreme weather events.

Rosalind said, “My three aims are to investigate the communication methods in place to inform the public regarding extreme weather events, flood routing methods used in dams and procedures regarding pre-releases, and river monitoring and data collection.

“As part of the trip I hope to spend two days in San Francisco meeting with Facebook and Google to discuss the role of social media in an emergency, three days in California’s Central Valley to learn about flood management and the local issues they face, and then a week in Sacramento where I will meet with a number of agencies and authorities.”

This will include the California Department of Water Resources, the National Weather Service, Oroville Dam Operations, Yuba County Water Agency, U.S Army Corps of Engineers and the California-Nevada River Forecast Centre.

Rosalind also hopes to find time to visit the Hoover Dam in Nevada and learn more about flood and drought-management techniques in the region.

After the 2010 and 2011 floods in Victoria, the Comrie Review required dam owners to inform people situated downstream of water storages if an immediate threat arose from the dam to the safety of those people.

“I’m interested in finding new ways to help inform downstream communities and learning about their effectiveness in California. I will bring this knowledge back to GMW with an aim of improving communication with GMW customers and downstream communities,” Rosalind said.