Wetland Condition Assessment, Australia

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Our Spatial Sciences team used remote sensing to develop large-scale asset assessment process for one of Australia’s major water utilities, potentially enabling millions of dollars in savings.

This innovative project earned GHD and our client Melbourne Water the prestigious 2016 Award for Spatial Enablement from the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute in Victoria.

GHD was engaged to develop a numerical indicator of asset condition based on an assessment of vegetation cover across approximately 220 stormwater quality assets (constructed wetlands and sediment ponds) managed by Melbourne Water.

The method utilised Object Based Image Analysis to process satellite images of wetlands, quantifying the total area of sparse, moderately dense and dense vegetation as well as total area of open water within each wetland.

This remote sensing technology virtually eliminated the need for fieldwork while producing a comprehensive, reliable and robust dataset for the client. Previously, only 30 percent of the stormwater assets could be assessed every three years using fieldwork. This approach enables the entire wetland asset portfolio to be rapidly assessed.

Melbourne Water estimates AUD 20 million could be saved over five years as a result of this project, by improving efficiencies in maintenance and prioritising capital works across the portfolio of assets.

Spatial Sciences


GHD's award winning spatial sciences team uses Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to acquire, compile, manipulate, interpret and visualise data to reveal geographic patterns and relationships. By bringing together large volumes of disparate data, decisions that were once largely based on guess work, become more quantitative and can be powerfully presented using map-based tools.

GHD has a reputation for innovation. We can be involved at all stages of delivery - from planning and project management, through to data acquisition, processing, modelling, reporting, map production and web deployment.

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