GSP NCP Japan-02: Assessing River Water Turbidity and Its Impacts on Drinking Water Treatment in Greater Osaka, Japan.

GSP NCP Japan-02: Assessing River Water Turbidity and Its Impacts on Drinking Water Treatment in Greater Osaka, Japan.


Project Background          

Osaka Water Supply Authority (OWSA), a special local public entity, supplies tap water and industrial water to homes, schools, commercial enterprises and industrial customers as a bulk water supplier to 42 municipalities (excluding Osaka City) in the Osaka Prefecture.  OWSA operates Japan’s largest single drinking water treatment plant as well as other drinking water treatment plants. OWSA also operates industrial water supply service, act as an industry partner.

Tap Water Supply:

OWSA supplies about 70% of the tap water to the residents of Osaka Prefecture (other than those in Osaka City).
– Daily Water Supply Capacity: 2,330,000㎥
– Annual Water Supply: Approx. 530 million ㎥
– Total Conduit Length: 565㎞

Industrial Water Supply:

OWSA directly supplies industrial water to about 440 companies in Osaka Prefecture for cooling, washing, and other industrial applications.
– Daily Water Supply Capacity: 800,000㎥
– Annual Water Supply: Approx. 105 million ㎥
– Total Conduit Length: 524㎞

More information about public water supply system in Osaka can be found here:

OWSA shall engage RMIT students in a project examining local catchments and water tubidity.

Students will undertake a two-week field trip to Osaka Japan, (20 June-3 July 2020) where they will experience state of the art water treatment process from OWSA and conduct some experiments with new photocatalysis materials at Osaka University.

Project Objective

Suspended solids (turbidity) in catchments varies according to soil conditions, land use, seasonal fluctuations, and river flow interventions such as dams.  This project will assess how turbidity conditions are likely to affect water treatment in Osaka into the future as climate, population and land-use changes.


 The deliverables of this project will be staged with an initial focus on data collection.

Deliverable Description Initial Timing Estimate
Introductory Workshop ·       Introduction on the program and its projects

·       Kick-off the projects

·       Discuss on next steps

Late February 2021
Project Plan Project Plan and return brief March 2021
Capstone part A ·       Collate detailed data on the catchment and river system(s) used for water supply in the greater Osaka region.

·       Review the role of dams and other flood control measures on river water turbidity Review drinking water treatment technology, especially turbidity removal

April and May 2021
Field-trip Site visit and experiments in Osaka:

·       Week 1: Internship experience at a water treatment plan in Greater Osaka;

·       Week 2: Visit selected key water catchment sites in greater Osaka, including a dam under construction.

20/06/2021 – 03/07/2021
Progress report Progress report July 2021
Capstone part B ·       Prepare a report on the project topic using literature review from semester 1, data analysis and field investigations. July to September 2021
Draft report(s) Draft report(s) End September 2021
Final report ·       A presentation on the project report.

·       Final report

End October 2021


This project will be managed through regular meetings between students, the academic supervisor and the project manager to ensure the work is undertaken in accordance with the project plan.

This project will be supervised by Associate Professor John Smith.

Assumptions and Constraints:

Site specific data will be available and accessible to students on the project.

 Risks and Minimisation Strategies:

 Incomplete data collection resulting in inaccurate recommendations.

  • This will be minimised by collecting as much data as possible from as many sources as possible early on.
  • The highest resolution data available will be sourced to ensure accuracy.

 Student attributes:

Students should have a passion for water and practical/civil/environmental engineering, a broad understanding of water storage and treatment processes and (or a willingness to learn) and a desire to work in a fast moving and dynamic team.

The pre-requisite is to have completed 3rd year engineering

Number of students:

This project can be available to civil and/ or environmental engineering students.

Total of 8 students are required for this project.

Application process:

  • Students submit expression of interests including a CV and latest academic transcript to the Greenhouse and Sustainability Program.
  • Shortlisted students will be invited to an interview
  • Shortlisted students are subject to approval from the Japanese partner.
  • Deadline for applications: 28/02/2020


  • Most of the travel costs will be covered by New Colombo Plan for eligible students[1].
  • Students may be required to make a small contribution (approx. 500AUD) to cover costs.

[1] Undergraduate students are to be Australian citizens who have never received any NCP short-term grants before.

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