Australian Centre for Water
and Environmental Biotechnology

Project Dates: 2009 to 2017


Climate change caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is one of the major challenges facing mankind today. Substantial reductions in GHG emissions are inevitable and essentially a shared responsibility by all sectors.

Water and wastewater systems contribute to greenhouse gas emissions through both energy consumption (indirect emissions of CO2) and emissions of fugitive gases such as nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) (direct emissions). CH4 and N2O are two potent greenhouse gases with global warming potentials 25 and 310 times, respectively, that of CO2 on a 100-year horizon. Their contributions to total net anthropogenic radiative forcing are very significant, at 30% and 10%, respectively.

Both CH4 and N2O are trace gases in the atmosphere. They have, however, attracted much scientific attention due to their roles in the tropospheric and stratospheric chemistry. Our greenhouse gas research project focuses on the understanding and mitigation of CH4 and N2O emissions from wastewater collection and treatment systems, as well as from receiving waters.


  • The steering committee consisted of the following members:
  • Nathan Smith (WSAA) – Project Manager
  • Peter Donlon (WSAA)
  • Erik Ligtermoet (Melbourne Water)
  • Miles Dracup (Water Corporation)
  • Tim Kelly (SA Water)
  • Philip Woods and Fabian Sack (Sydney Water)



  • ARC DP130103147
  • ARC DP120100163
  • ARC LP110201095
  • ARC LP100100325
  • ARC LP0991765
  • ARC DP0987204