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Professor Cynthia Mitchell

Biography

Professor Cynthia Mitchell is a leading researcher and thinker with broad experience in future-oriented city and water planning, policy and assessment.

She brings together insights from different disciplines to improve water supply and sanitation systems in developed and developing countries.

Prof. Mitchell uses systems thinking to analyse how the parts of these systems interrelate over time within the context of larger systems, and she uses transformational learning to facilitate the changes in beliefs and behaviours needed for systemic change.

In developing countries, her research focuses on moving away from preconceived ideas to find what existing or new technologies and more importantly, institutional/financial/economic arrangements, will deliver the desired outcomes in both the short and long term.

Prof. Mitchell provides high-level advice to State government ministers as a member of the Independent Water Advisory Panel in NSW that provides strategic and technical advice on urban water planning for the lower Hunter and greater Sydney and the Independent Review Panel which provides advice on the water security program for South East Queensland (SEQ). She is Deputy Chair of the SEQ IRP reporting to their Board. She is Chairperson of Foodswell, a charitable organization offering programs to enable Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to work together to better access sustainable, regular, healthy food now and in the future.

Prof. Mitchell is widely respected within Australia and internationally and her research has won many awards from industry, government and academia.

Prof. Mitchell was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) in 2012 and she received an Honorary Doctorate from Chalmers University in Sweden in 2007 for her interdisciplinary work for the environment. She holds a Diploma of Business (Governance) and was nominated as one of the Australian Financial Review’s 100 ‘Women of Influence’ in 2015 for her contributions to public policy.

Prof. Mitchell is applying her ‘better not bigger’ thinking at home where she has used her practical knowledge of environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable home design to renovate and ensure her 110-year-old cottage in Sydney’s inner west will not only last but also be beautifully comfortable to live in for another 110 years.

Image of Cynthia Mitchell
Professor of Sustainability, Institute for Sustainable Futures
Core Member, ISF - Institute for Sustainable Futures
BE (Hons) (UQ), PhD (UNSW)
Fellow, Engineers Australia
Fellow, Institution of Engineers, Australia
Fellow, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE)
Member, Australian Water Association
Member, International Water Association
Phone
+61 2 9514 4953

Books

Fam, D., Riedy, C., Palmer, J. & Mitchell, C.A. 2017, Transdisciplinary research and practice for sustainability outcomes, Routledge, UK.
'Transdisciplinarity' is a form of research and practice that synthesises knowledge from a range of academic disciplines and from the community. There is now global interest and a significant body of work on transdisciplinarity and its potential to address the apparently intractable problems of society. This creates the opportunity for a specific focus on its practical application to sustainability issues. Transdisciplinary Research and Practice for Sustainability Outcomes examines the role of transdisciplinarity in the transformations needed for a sustainable world. After an historical overview of transdisciplinarity, Part 1 focuses on tools and frameworks to achieve sustainability outcomes in practice and Part 2 consolidates work by a number of scholars on supporting transdisciplinary researchers and practitioners.Part 3 is a series of case studies including several international examples that demonstrate the challenges and rewards of transdisciplinary work. The concluding chapter proposes a future research pathway for understanding the human factors that underpin successful transdisciplinary research.

Chapters

Palmer, J., Riedy, C., Fam, D.M. & Mitchell, C.A. 2017, 'Transdisciplinary research and practice for sustainability outcomes: an introduction' in Fam, D., Palmer, J., Riedy, C. & Mitchell, C. (eds), Transdisciplinary research and practice for sustainability outcomes, Routledge, UK, pp. 1-6.
Mitchell, C., Cordell, D. & Fam, D.M. 2017, 'Beginning at the end: the outcome spaces framework to guide purposive transdisciplinary research' in Fam, D., Palmer, J., Reidy, C. & Mitchell, C. (eds), Transdisciplinary research and practice for sustainability outcomes, pp. 25-38.
Williams, J., Fam, D. & Mellick Lopes, A. 2017, 'Creating knowledge: visual communication design research in transdisciplinary projects' in Fam, D., Palmer, J., Riedy, C. & Mitchell, C. (eds), Transdisciplinary research and practice for sustainability outcomes.
Fam, D.M. & Sofoulis, Z. 2017, 'Trouble at the disciplinary divide: a knowledge ecologies analysis of a co-design project with native Alaskan communities' in Fam, D., Palmer, J., Riedy, C. & Mitchell, C. (eds), Transdisciplinary research and practice for sustainability outcomes, Routledge.
Willetts, J.R. & Mitchell, C. 2017, 'Assessing transdisciplinary doctoral research: quality criteria and implications for the examination process', Routledge, pp. 122-136.
Cordell, D.J., Metson, G., Iwaniec, D., Bui, T., Childers, D., Dao, N., Dang, H., Davidson, J., Jacobs, B., Kumwenda, S., Morse, T., Nguyen, V., Thole, B. & Tilley, E. 2017, 'Transforming cities: securing food and clean waterways through a transdisciplinary phosphorus approach' in Fam, D., Palmer, J., Riedy, C. & Mitchell, C. (eds), Transdisciplinary Research and Practice for Sustainability Outcomes, Routledge, pp. 139-154.
Mitchell, C.A. & Ross, K. 2017, 'Trandisciplinarity in action: four guidelines, a reflexive framework and their application to improving community sanitation governance in Indonesia' in Fam, D., Palmer, J., Riedy, C. & Mitchell, C. (eds), Transdisciplinary Research and Practice for Sustainability Outcomes, Routledge, pp. 172-189.
Willetts, J.R., Mitchell, C.A., Abeysuriya, K. & Fam, D.M. 2012, 'Creative tensions: negotiating the multiple dimensions of a transdisciplinary doctorate' in Lee, A. & Dnaby, S. (eds), Reshaping Doctoral Education: International Approaches and Pedagogies, Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group), London and New York, pp. 128-143.
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Mitchell, C.A. & Howe, C.A. 2012, 'Introduction' in Howe, C. & Mitchell, C. (eds), Water Sensitive Cities, IWA Publishing, UK, pp. 1-5.
Mitchell, C.A., Fam, D.M. & Cordell, D.J. 2011, 'Effectively managing the transition towards restorative futures in the sewage industry: a phosphorus case study' in Howe, C. & Mitchell, C. (eds), Water Sensitive Cities, IWA Publishing, UK, pp. 43-62.
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Today's urban water managers are faced with an unprecedented set of issues that call for a different approach to urban water management. These include the urgent changes needed to respond to climate change, population growth, growing resource constraints, and rapidly increasing global urbanization. Not only are these issues difficult to address, but they are facing us in an environment that is increasingly unpredictable and complex. Although innovative, new tools are now available to water professionals to address these challenges, solving the water problems of tomorrow cannot be done by the water professionals alone. Instead, the city of the future, whether in the developed or developing world, must integrate water management planning and operations with other city services to meet the needs of humans and the environment in a dramatically superior manner. This book has been developed from selected papers from 2009 Singapore Water Week Planning for Sustainable SolutionsA and also papers taken from other IWA events. It pulls together material that supports the water professionals' need for useful and up-to-date material.
Abeysuriya, K., Mitchell, C.A. & Willetts, J.R. 2010, 'Urban sanitation through the lens of Thomas Kuhn' in McNeill, J.R., Padua, J.A. & Rangarajan, M. (eds), Environmental History: As if Nature Existed, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, India, pp. 65-84.
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It is a commonly held idea that developing countries would follow the development path forged by industrialized countries, aided by these 'more developed' countries (McGranahan et al. 2001: 3). Thus, the urban sanitary practices of industrialized countries, which have contributed to the dignity, health, and wealth of people in those countries, have great bearing on the practices and the aspirations of developing countries.
Mitchell, C.A. 2009, 'A transdisciplinary perspective on industrial ecology research' in Boons, F. & Howard-Grenville, J. (eds), The Social Embeddedness of Industrial Ecology, Edward Elgar, UK, pp. 152-161.
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Palmer, J.M., Smith, T., Willetts, J.R. & Mitchell, C.A. 2009, 'Creativity, ethics and transformation: key factors in a transdisciplinary application of systems methodology to resolving wicked problems in sustainability' in Sheffield, J. (ed), Systemic Development: Local solutions in a global environment, ISCE Publishing, USA, pp. 69-77.
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Sustainability is a wicked problem that requires a transdisciplinary approach. The deining characteristics of transdisciplinarity include collaborative, creative, higher order thinking which transcends discipline boundaries, the explicit contribution of an ethical or moral perspective to problem resolution, and the generation of new knowledge and new resolutions not available in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary environments. These characteristics align well with theories on transformative learning and Wilbers theories on consciousness evolution. However we need ways to translate this thinking into practice. Soft systems methodology could provide this practical element, but does not necessarily emphasise transformative learning, or moral perspectives aligned with sustainability i.e. valuing of ecologically restorative, socially just, economically proitable resolutions. This paper explores how integration of a transformative learning process with soft systems methodology might provide a useful transdisciplinary approach to sustainability.
Mitchell, C. 2009, 'Second intermezzo A transdisciplinary perspective on industrial ecology research' in The Social Embeddedness of Industrial Ecology, pp. 152-161.
Abeysuriya, K., Mitchell, C.A. & Willetts, J.R. 2007, 'Cost recovery for urban sanitation in Asian countries: insurmountable barrier or opportunity for sustainability?' in Nair, P. (ed), Urban Public Services: A Development Perspective, The Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI) University Press, Hyderabad, India, pp. 312-332.
Fane, S.A., Turner, A.J. & Mitchell, C.A. 2006, 'The secret life of water systems: least cost planning beyond demand management' in Beck, M.B. & Speers, A. (eds), 2nd IWA Leading-Edge on Sustainability in Water-Limited Environments, IWA Publishing, London, UK, pp. 35-41.
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The water industry in Australia and international is involved in a period of significant change. The conventional roles of water and wastewater utilities are being redefined with the objectives of resource conservation and sustainable development added to existing responsibilities. Least cost planning (LCP) has emerged as the way forward for water utilities in regions where water conservation has become an objective or where ongoing supply expansion is constrained. It involves techniques for the design and evaluation of demand management programs and aims to compare demand- and supply-side options on an equivalent basis. The approach is based on the key ideas that: demand is for the services water provides rather than the actual volume supplied; and that a drop of water saved is equal to a drop supplied. This paper contends that LCP has much to offer the water sector beyond demand management. It is an approach that has potential for options assessment across the water cycle and can aid planning towards more sustainable outcomes within the sector. The paper concludes that LCP concepts and techniques will have worth in addressing the challenges of sustainable development for both urban water systems and catchment management
Mitchell, C.A. & Campbell, S. 2006, 'Synergy in the city: making the sum of the parts more than the whole' in Beck, M.B. & Speers, A. (eds), 2nd IWA Leading-Edge on Sustainability in Water-Limited Environments, IWA Publishing, London, UK, pp. 125-135.
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The pressures on existing infrastructures are significant: demand is beginning to outstrip supply; aging infrastructure poorly maintained presents an increasing risk; and rejection of urban sprawl forces increasing population density. At the same time, the drivers for infrastructure are changing. We are beginning to recognise ecological limits to supply, leading to shifting expectations, for example, from 'remove waste' to 'recapture nutrients'. We now know that a sustainable future requires step changes in material use intensity, which has further infrastructure implications. We have witnessed it already in communications. For water and energy, and therefore, for transport also, the step changes are on the horizon. Community expectations are moving too, for example, from separating home and work towards co-locating them.
Mitchell, C.A., Carew, A. & Clift, R. 2004, 'The role of the professional engineers and scientists in sustainable development' in Azapagic, A. & Perdan Clift, R. (eds), Sustainable development in practice: case studies for engineers and scientists, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK, pp. 29-55.
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Mitchell, C.A., Weise, R. & Young, R. 1998, 'Design of wastewater wetlands' in Constructed Wetlands Manual, Department of Land and Water Conservation, Sydney, NSW, pp. 256-289.
Mitchell, C.A. 1997, 'Environmental Engineering Education - Where do we go from here?' in Duggan, T.V. & Mitchell, C.A. (eds), Environmental Engineering Education, Computational Mechanics Publications, Southampton, pp. 45-76.

Conferences

Watson, R., Mukheibir & Mitchell, C. 2017, 'Local recycled water in Sydney: what's happening and why', OzWater'17, Sydney.
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Fam, D.M., Mitchell, C., Ross, K. & Ukowitz, M. 2017, 'Challenging my and your worldview - recognizing ontological (beliefs), epistemological (knowledge) and axiological (values) assumptions to enrich TD research and practice', International Transdisciplinary Conference, Transdisciplinary Research and Education — Intercultural Endeavours, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany.
Ross, K., Abeysuriya, K. & Mitchell, C. 2015, 'Developing outcome-based indicators for the SDGs: A sanitation case study', 3rd Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development, New York City.
Mitchell, C.A., Cordell, D. & Fam, D. 2015, 'Designing transdisciplinary research for preferred outcomes: The 'outcome spaces framework'', International Transdisciplinarity Conference 2015 "Sustainability and health: emerging topics and new challenges for inter- and transdisciplinary research", TDNet, Basel, Switzerland.
The framework presented in this paper offers an alternative starting point for transdisciplinary research projects seeking to create change. The framework begins at the end: it distinguishes three distinct 'transdisciplinary outcome spaces' and proposes articulating their content for purposive transdisciplinary research projects. Defining upfront the desired improvements has profound implications for how transdisciplinary research is conceived, designed, implemented and evaluated. Three key realms of transdisciplinary outcome spaces are distinguished – situation, knowledge, and learning – and elaborated: (1) an improvement within the 'situation' or field of inquiry; (2) the generation of relevant stocks and flows of knowledge, including scholarly knowledge and other societal knowledge forms, and making those insights accessible and meaningful to researchers, participants and beneficiaries; and (3) mutual and transformational learning by researchers and research participants to increase the likelihood of persistent change. Positioning the framework in the field of transdisciplinary literature reveals that much of the contestation concerning transdisciplinary research and practice may be attributable to the diverse but implicit ontological and epistemological perspectives inhabited by transdisciplinary researchers, leading to a call for more reflexive and explicit attention to these and other formative influences (i.e. sources of funding, project motivation, or locus of power).
Fam, D.M., Ross, K. & Mitchell, C.A. 2015, 'Translating storytelling into principles for designing dry sanitation in rural native Alaskan communities', International Dry Toilet Conference, Tampere, Finland.
Mukheibir, P., Turner, A.J., Mitchell, C.A., Chong, J., Murta, J., Retamal, M.L., Carrard, N.R. & Delaney, C.C. 2014, 'Shifts happen: Making better recycled water investment decisions', Sustainability in Public Works Conference 27 29 July 2014, Sustainability in Public Works Conference 27 29 July 2014, IPWEA, Tweed Heads.
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ABSTRACT: Recycled water has increasingly been considered as a means to deal with water supply-demand imbalances, treated wastewater disposal and stormwater management. It contributes to the sustainability of urban water systems and the regeneration of the urban landscape. However, recycled water schemes are not mainstream, and are often confronted with numerous challenges. By considering the contextual and project related risks associated with a diverse selection of recycling projects in Australia, a range of business related risks have become apparent. There is now evidence that shifts in both the contextual landscape and the objectives of the various players involved can occur over the life of a project, resulting in risk and uncertainty often not foreseen. Many guidelines on recycling have been produced which focus mainly on technical risk. Drawing on the experiences of a diverse selection of case studies in Australia, this paper contemplates the additional risks and uncertainties, often not initially considered at the inception of a recycling scheme. This paper presents an overview and discussion of six key issues to consider when planning a recycling scheme.
Fam, D.M. & Mitchell, C. 2014, 'Forging pathways toward the development of recycled water schemes in Australia through collective action', International conference on sustainability transitions, Impact & Institutions, Utrecht.
Fam, D.M., Abeysuriya, K. & Mitchell, C.A. 2013, 'A transdisciplinary project of Urine Diversion (UD)', The 1st Global Conference on Research Integration & Implementation, ANU Canberra.
Watson, R., Mitchell, C.A. & Fane, S. 2013, 'Distributed recycled water decisions - Ensuring continued private investment', Proceedings of ozwater'13, ozwater'13, Australian Water Association (AWA), Perth, Australia, pp. 1-7.
Fam, D.M., Cordell, D.J. & Mitchell, C.A. 2013, 'Beginning at the end: The curious case of the TD outcome spaces', The 1st Global Conference on Research Integration & Implementation, ANU Canberra.
Mukheibir, P., Boyle, T.M. & Mitchell, C.A. 2013, 'End-use forecasting in the context of building adaptive water services', 8th International Conference of European Water Research Association, Porto, Portugal.
Mitchell, C.A., Murta, J., Retamal, M., Turner, A., Carrard, N. & Chong, J. 2013, 'Recycled water investment decisions: case studies in balancing the costs, benefits, and risks', Asia Pacific Water Recycling Conference, pp. 1-8.
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Watson, R., Fane, S. & Mitchell, C. 2013, 'Distributed recycled water systems - hard to justify in Sydney, but it's a great place to learn', Asia Pacific Water Recycling Conference, Brisbane.
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There are strong drivers for small recycled water systems in the wider Sydney area. However, a particular set of historical and contextual factors unique to Sydney limit the viability of small systems, and need to be overcome if small scale systems are to reach their potential to contribute to improving the value and overall robustness of the Sydney network. This paper identifies those factors and discusses why some of the factors also make Sydney a great place to test and learn from these new systems.
Mitchell, C.A., Abeysuriya, K. & Fam, D.M. 2012, 'Urine Diversion (UD) for P recovery: Learning from experience', 3rd Sustainable Phosphorus Summit, Developing a Blueprint for Global Phosphorus Security, Global Phosphorus Research Initiative (GPRI), University of Technology Sydney.
Mukheibir, P., Mitchell, C.A., McKibbin, J.L., Komatsu, R., Ryan, H. & Fitzgerald, C. 2012, 'Adaptive planning for resilient urban water systems under an uncertain future', Proceedings of OzWater'12 'Sharing Knowledge, Planning the Future', OzWater'12 'Sharing Knowledge, Planning the Future', Australian Water Association (AWA), Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-8.
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Water planners are familiar with some form of variability in climate and demand. However, the uncertainty associated with the frequency and magnitude of the variations, coupled with broader performance expectations, means that long term deterministic planning needs to give way to a new approach. The structured adaptive planning process proposed in this paper aims to meet those objectives and accommodate the uncertainty in the future by developing a portfolio of measures that are both flexible to gradual changes in trends and robust to sudden shocks. A step-by-step process of the planning framework is presented. This is followed by a case study of the inputs and results based on its implementation by the Melbourne water businesses.
Fam, D.M., Abeysuriya, K., Meeks, T., Sharples, J. & Mitchell, C.A. 2012, 'Social learning is essential in transitioning to sustainable water services', Proceedings of OzWater'12 'Sharing Knowledge, Planning the Future', Australian Water Association Convention - Ozwater, Australian Water Association (AWA), Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-2.
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Transitioning the water industry towards more sustainable outcomes requires innovation in two dimensions: the technologies we implement and the people who engage with those technologies. This innovation is challenging, and requires shifts in thinking of both those who use the technology and those who design, construct, and operate the technologies. For users of new technologies, the changes are about every day habits and practices. For those implementing new technologies and systems within the water industry, the challenges are about changes in the existing institutions, professional norms, and belief systems, as well as requisite skills and capacities.
Mukheibir, P., Mitchell, C.A., McKibbin, J.L., Komatsu, R., Ryan, H. & Fitzgerald, C. 2012, 'Planning for adaptive urban water systems under an uncertain future', Climate Adaptation in Action 2012: Sharing knowledge to adapt, Climate Adaptation in Action 2012: Sharing knowledge to adapt, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), Melbourne, Australia.
Watson, R., Fane, S. & Mitchell, C.A. 2012, 'How sustainability assessments using multi-criteria analysis can bias against small systems', Proceedings of the Small Water and Wastewater Systems National Conference, Small Water and Wastewater Systems National Conference, Australian Water Association (AWA), Newcastle, NSW, pp. 1-7.
Fam, D.M., Mitchell, C.A. & Abeysuriya, K. 2011, 'Learning to facilitate learning', 2nd International Conference on Sustainability Transitions, 2nd International Conference on Sustainability Transitions - Diversity, plurality and change: breaking new grounds in sustainability transition research, Lund University, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
Fam, D.M., Mitchell, C.A., Abeysuriya, K. & Lopes, A. 2011, 'Facilitating social learning in transdisciplinary collaboration: a socio-technical experiment in implementing sustainable sanitation', 55th Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, All together now - working across disciplines: People, principles and practice, International Society of Systems Scientists, Hull, UK.
Retamal, M.L., Willetts, J.R., Mitchell, C.A. & Carrard, N.R. 2011, 'Modelling costs for water and sanitation infrastructure: Comparing sanitation options for Can Tho, Vietnam', Proceedings of the 35th WEDC International Conference, 2011. The Future of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Low-Income Countries: Innovation, adaption and engagement in a changing world, WEDC International Conference, Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC): Loughborough University, Loughborough University, UK, pp. 1-8.
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Cost effectiveness analysis is a useful tool for comparing water and sanitation infrastructure options. This method was used to compare a range of sanitation options for the rapidly developing area of South Can Tho in Vietnam. The costs of centralised, semi-centralised and decentralised sewer systems were analysed along with several different treatment and stream separation technologies. The process of estimating and modelling costs can be challenging as considerable data is required, however, by using a variety of cost estimation methods it was possible to undertake a detailed costing assessment to compare very different infrastructure options over their lifetimes and with reference to the service they provide. The results, which detail net present values and levelised costs in addition to a range of financial perspectives can provide a valuable basis for decision making.
Retamal, M.L., Nguyen, D.G.N., Willetts, J.R., Mitchell, C.A. & Carrard, N.R. 2011, 'Comparing household water end-use data from Vietnam and Australia: Implications for water and wastewater planning', Proceedings from Efficient '11 - 6th IWA Specialist Conference on Efficient Use and Management of Water, Efficient '11 - 6th IWA Specialist Conference on Efficient Use and Management of Water. Water Demand Management: Challenges & Opportunities, International Water Association, Dead Sea, Jordan, pp. 1-12.
Fam, D.M., Mitchell, C.A. & Abeysuriya, K. 2010, 'Institutional challenges to system innovation in wastewater management - the case of urine diversion in Sweden', Cities of The Future 2010, Cities of The Future 2010, IWA, Marriott hotel, Boston, USA.
Mitchell, C.A., Abeysuriya, K., Willetts, J.R. & Fam, D.M. 2010, 'Enabling decentralized urban sewage infrastructure by facilitating successful organisations to provide long-term management', Cities of The Future 2010, Cities of the Future 2010, IWA, Marriott Hotel, Boston, USA.
Willetts, J.R., Carrard, N.R., Retamal, M.L., Mitchell, C.A., Nguyen, H., Nguyen, D.G.N. & Paddon, M. 2010, 'Cost-effectiveness analysis as a methodology to compare sanitation options in peri-urban Can Tho, Vietnam', Pumps, Pipes and Promises. Costs, Finances and Accountability for Sustainable WASH Services. A collection of papers from the IRC Symposium 2010., IRC WASH Cost Symposium, IRC (International Water and Sanitation Centre), Den Haag, Netherlands, pp. 144-159.
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It is challenging to make decisions about sanitation scale and technology choice for urban areas, however costing analyses have an important role to play in assisting determination of the most appropriate systems for a given context. The most appropriate technological system is the one that finds a locally acceptable balance between social (e.g., public health) outcomes, environmental (e.g., pollution, resource use and resource recovery) outcomes, and financial and economic outcomes (i.e. the costs and benefits for individuals, public and private organisations, and local society). There are many costing methods available. This paper describes the use of a cost-effectiveness analysis built on integrated resource planning principles. This method is suited to situations where the overall goal is already clear (in this case, that a wastewater service is required) and the analysis is conducted to identify the least cost solution to reach this goal. This costing method was used in conjunction with a deliberative sustainability assessment process that addressed non-monetary factors. The paper outlines the analytical approach adopted in the cost analysis as well as providing detailed discussion of the many decisions inherent in undertaking such an analysis
Fyfe, J., Abeysuriya, K., Glassmire, J. & Mitchell, C.A. 2010, 'Centralised or decentralised? Environmental assessment of distributed wastewater treatment and reuse infrastructure options for a new land release', Proceedings of OzWater'10: Achieving Water Security, OzWater'10: Achieving Water Security, Australian Water Association (AWA), Brisbane, Australia.
Mitchell, C.A., Abeysuriya, K. & Fam, D.M. 2009, 'Sanitary systems: lifecycle thinking leads to consideration of distributed infrastructure', 4th International Conference on Life Cycle Management, The Global Challenge of Managing Life Cycles, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cape Town, South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa, pp. 1-7.
Abeysuriya, K. & Mitchell, C.A. 2008, 'The end of water sector privatisation in an age of cooperation?', Conference Report: International Conference on Water Resources Policy in South Asia, SaciWATERs International Conference on Water Resources Policy in South Asia, SaciWATERs (South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies), Colombo, Sri Lanka, pp. 1-58.
Fam, D.M., Mitchell, C.A., Abeysuriya, K. & Mellick-Lopes, A. 2009, 'Distributed wastewater management in Melbourne, Australia: A case study of transition in practice', 1st European Conference on Sustainability Transitions, Dynamics and governance of transitions to sustainability, Amsterdam.
Fam, D.M., Mitchell, C.A. & Abeysuriya, K. 2009, 'Critical stakeholder engagement in shifting paradigms from removal to recovery in wastewater management - a case study of implementing urine diversion in Sweden', Asia-Pacific Science, Technology and Society Network Conference 2009, Griffith University, Brisbane.
McKibbin, J.L., Fane, S.A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2009, 'Next generation IRP: extending water planning processes and tools to analyse distributed water futures', Proceedings of the 5th IWA Specialist Conference 'Efficient 2009', 'Efficient 2009': 5th IWA Specialist Conference on Efficient Use and Management of Urban Water, International Water Association (IWA) and Australian Water Association (AWA), Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-5.
Mitchell, C.A., Abeysuriya, K., Willetts, J.R. & Macrellis, A. 2009, 'New 'How to' guidance for successful responsible management entities', National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) 18th Annual Technical Education Conference and Exposition, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
Willetts, J.R. & Mitchell, C.A. 2009, 'Impact of transdisciplinary research on doctoral education: Implications for supporting students and for judging quality', Grad School Forum - The Future of Doctoral Education at UTS, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
Mitchell, C.A. 2008, 'Restorative Water Systems: making a new paradigm real', Enviro 08 Australasia's Environmental & Sustainability Conference & Exhibition, Melbourne, Australia.
Mitchell, C.A., Retamal, M.L., Fane, S.A., Willetts, J.R. & Davis, C. 2008, 'Decentralised water systems - creating conducive institutional arrangements (slides)', Enviro 08 Australasia's Environmental & Sustainability Conference & Exhibition, Melbourne, Australia.
Atherton, A.M., Mathieson, B., Mitchell, C.A. & Pamminger, F. 2008, 'Accounting for environmental costs to inform strategic decision-making - exploring Yarra Valley Water's experience', Enviro 08 Australasia's Environmental & Sustainability Conference & Exhibition, Enviro08 Australasia's Environmental & Sustainability Conference & Exhibition, Australia Water Association and Waste Management Association of Australia, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-5.
Retamal, M.L., Kazaglis, A., Fane, S.A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2008, 'From sustainable urban water to restorative developments: applying a holistic framework for water management when renewing our cities', World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden.
Retamal, M.L., Kazaglis, A., Fane, S.A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2008, 'From sustainable urban water to restorative developments: applying a holistic framework for water management when renewing our cities (presentation)', World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden.
Mitchell, C.A., Abeysuriya, K. & Willetts, J.R. 2008, 'Institutional arrangements for onsite and decentralised systems: needs and opportunities for key players in the field of distributed wastewater management', Proceedings of Onsite and Decentralised Sewerage & recycling Conference Comming Clean: Sustainable Backyards and Beyond!, Onsite and Decentralised Sewerage and Recycling Conference, Australian Water Association, Benalla, Victoria, pp. 150-157.
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Carrard, N.R., Chong, J., Atherton, A.M., Mitchell, C.A., Bishop, A., Donaldson, P. & Wilson, M. 2008, 'Costs and Benefits of a Green Village: Demonstrating Lochiel Park's Value', Proceedings of the 2008 World Sustainable Building Conference, World Sustainable Building Conference, www.sb08melbourne.com, Melbourne, pp. 1-8.
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McGee, C.M., Mitchell, C.A. & Retamal, M.L. 2008, 'City limits: pushing boundaries in urban infill development', Proceedings of the 2008 World Sustainable Building Conference, World Sustainable Building Conference, www.sb08melbourne.com, Melbourne, pp. 889-897.
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Fam, D.M., Mitchell, C.A. & Willetts, J.R. 2008, 'The co-evolution of technology and society: a retrospective analysis of the development of Sydney's sewer system', 10th Annual Postgraduate Research Students Conference, Postgraduate Research Students Conference, University Graduate School, UTS, Sydney.
Fam, D.M., Mitchell, C.A. & Mellick-Lopes, A. 2008, 'Is design the answer to cultural acceptability of waterless toilets? a collaborative approach to design research', Changing the Change - Design Visions, Proposals and Tools, Umberto Allemendi & Co., Torino, Italy.
Mitchell, C.A., Retamal, M.L., Fane, S.A., Willetts, J.R. & Davis, C. 2008, 'Decentralised water systems - creating conducive institutional arrangements (paper)', Enviro 08 Australasia's Environmental & Sustainability Conference & Exhibition, Enviro 08 Australasia's Environmental & Sustainability Conference & Exhibition, Auatralian Water Association and Waste Management Association of Australia, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-9.
Decentralised water systems make economic and environmental sense but are only slowly being taken up across Australia. This paper discusses the points in favour of decentralisation and the drivers and enablers which have led to projects being accepted in the Australian context. Further, by comparing and contrasting experiences in Australia and the US, where decentralised systems are prevalent, this paper makes recommendations on steps Australia might take to provide more conducive institutional arrangements for decentralised systems.
Palmer, C.G., Gothe, J., Mitchell, C.A., Riedy, C., Sweetapple, K., McLaughlin, S.M., Hose, G.C., Lowe, M., Goodall, H., Green, T., Sharma, D., Fane, S.A., Brew, K. & Jones, P.R. 2007, 'Finding integration pathways: developing a transdisciplinary (TD) approach for the Upper Nepean Catchment.', Proceedings of the 5th Australian Stream Management Conference. Australian rivers: making a difference, Australian Stream Management Conference, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW, Australia., pp. 306-311.
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Willetts, J.R., Fane, S.A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2007, 'Making decentralised systems viable: a guide to managing decentralised assets and risks', International Water Association (IWA) Advanced Sanitation Conference, International Water Association (IWA) Advanced Sanitation Conference, Aachen, Germany.
Willetts, J.R. & Mitchell, C.A. 2007, 'Transdisciplinarity as a source of insights for sustainable sanitation', International Water Association (IWA) Advanced Sanitation Conference, International Water Association (IWA) Advanced Sanitation Conference, Aachen, Germany.
Willetts, J.R., Crawford, P.W. & Mitchell, C.A. 2007, 'Learning about learning: critical to improving development outcomes', Measuring Effectiveness Conference 2007: Communities and Development, Measuring Effectiveness Conference 2007: Communities and Development, Melbourne, Australia.
Abeysuriya, K. & Mitchell, C.A. 2007, 'Creating change through deliberation and learning systems', ANZSEE Conference 2007 Re-inventing Sustainability: A Climate for Change, Noosaville, Qld, Australia.
Smith, T., Willetts, J.R. & Mitchell, C.A. 2007, 'Implications of the synergies between systems theory and permaculture for learning about and acting towards sustainability', 2007 ANZSEE Conference. Re-inventing Sustainability: A Climate for Change, Conference of the Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics, Australia New Zealand Society of Ecological Economics, Noosa, Queensland, Australia, pp. 1-29.
Palmer, J.M., Smith, T., Willetts, J.R. & Mitchell, C.A. 2007, 'Creativity, ethics and transformation: key factors in a transdisciplinary application of systems methodology to resolving wicked problems in sustainability', Systemic Development: Local Solutions in a Global Environment, Annual Australia and New Zealand Systems Conference, ISCE Publishing, Auckland, New Zealand, pp. 1-10.
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Smith, T., Stephens, A., Willetts, J.R. & Mitchell, C.A. 2008, 'A systemic framework for intervening in a current, local sustainability issue - Traveston crossing dam', Conference of the Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics, Conference of the Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics, Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics, Noosa, QLD.
Smith, T., Willetts, J.R. & Mitchell, C.A. 2006, 'Permaculture as a systems ecology approach to enhancing well-being and ecosystems services: aligning practice, theory and outcomes', Proceedings of the Ninth Biennial Conference of International Society for Ecological Economics on Ecological Sustainability and Human Well-being, Ninth Biennial Conference of International Society for Ecological Economics on Ecological Sustainability and Human Well-being, International Society of Ecological Economics, New Delhi, India.
Smith, T., Mitchell, C.A. & Willetts, J.R. 2006, 'An Ecological Framework for Sustainable Communities:Exploring the Possibilities and Limitations', 2nd International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Second International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Common Ground Publishing, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Willetts, J.R. & Mitchell, C.A. 2006, 'Learning to be a transdisciplinary researcher: a community of practice approach', Proceedings of the 12th ANZSYS Conference, Sustaining Our Social and Natural Capital, ANZSYS Conference, Sustaining Our Social and Natural Capital,, ANZSYS, Katoomba, Australia, pp. 1-8.
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This paper utilises a `community of practice model to reflect on the post-graduate research program at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS. Our work at the Institute involves resolution of complex problems in todays society, a task which requires insights generated through multiple disciplines. Over the last five years we have conducted an evolving program of activities for our post-graduate students to equip them with the necessary skills for this challenge. This program has been transformational for both individuals and the group, which now operates as a cohesive, mutually learning team. In this paper we look to the `community of practice model as a critical lens to examine our program and assist in identifying new opportunities to improve our approach to transdisciplinary research training.
Fane, S.A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2006, 'Appropriate cost analysis for decentralised water systems', Enviro 06 Conference and Exhibition: Building Sustainable Cities Proceedings, Enviro 06: Building Sustainable Cities, AWA, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-7.
Mitchell, C.A. & Edgerton, N. 2006, 'Seeing the forest and the trees : a framework for directing sustainable urban water action.', Enviro 06 Conference and Exhibition:Building Sustainable Cities Proceedings, Enviro 06 Conference and Exhibition:Building Sustainable Cities, AWA, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-8.
Abeysuriya, K., Willetts, J.R. & Mitchell, C.A. 2006, 'Kuhn on sanitation: dignity, health and wealth for the children of the revolution', Proceedings of the Ninth Biennial Conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics: Ecological Sustainability and Human Well-being, The International Society for Ecological Economics and The Indian Society for Ecological Economics, New Dehli, India, pp. 1-23.
The urban sanitation practices of industrialised countries greatly influence the aspirations of most of the developing world for western style sewerage. The practices in industrialised countries arose out of a particular history: the set of economic, social and environmental conditions prevailing in industrialising Europe in the mid-nineteenth century. Examining that history and its logical trajectory may provide insights for resolving problematic sanitation for developing countries. Kuhn's analysis of the history of science, as a series of scientific revolutions whereby scientific paradigms rise and fall in the trajectory of scientific advancement, is a useful framework for examining the history of urban sanitation. It allows us to see a pattern in the history of sanitation and to map past sanitation practices of industrialised countries to various stages in the trajectory. Furthermore, it illuminates the present as leading up to the next paradigm revolution, indicated by the burgeoning of new problems and the emergence of a number of alternative approaches to resolving them consistent with the values of sustainability. We identify emerging concepts aligned with ecological economics that could potentially define the successor to the currently dominant paradigm for urban sanitation. The opportunity for innovation through the application of these concepts is greatest where no substantial investment in conventional sanitation has already been made, namely, cities in developing countries.
Abeysuriya, K., Mitchell, C.A. & Willetts, J.R. 2005, 'Cost recovery for urban sanitation in Asian countries: insurmountable barrier or opportunity for sustainability?', Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics Conference Proceedings, Ecological Economics in Action, Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics, Palmerston North, NZ, pp. 17-29.
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Urban sanitation and waste management services are in crisis in many Asian countries, attributed to a number of factors. In this paper we argue that the crisis is exacerbated by the application of inappropriate economic and technological models for urban sanitation. We examine why the dominant models, including full-cost pricing driven by neoclassical economics, are inappropriate in the context of Asian countries. On the basis of Ecological Economics and Buddhist Economics, we identify a set of principles for arriving at more sustainable solutions. Sanitations role as a service for waste removal and disposal is expanded to a synergistic group of economically feasible services provided through cooperation between service providers, community and government. The STEEP framework is shown to be a useful way to tailor the sanitation options on the basis of contextual factors.
Willetts, J.R., Mitchell, C.A. & Fane, S.A. 2005, 'Ideas and tools to shape long-term management and investment in decentralised wastewater infrastructure', Performance Assessment for On-site Systems: Regulation, operation and monitoring - Proceedings of On-site '05 Conference., Onsite 05: Performance Assessment for On-site Systems: Regulation, operation and monitoring, Lanfax Laboratories, University of New England, Armidale.
Willetts, J.R. & Mitchell, C.A. 2005, 'What does "best practice" mean for managing on-site systems?', Onsite 05: Performance Assessment for On-site Systems: Regulation, operation and monitoring Proceeding of On-site '05 Conference., Onsite 05: Performance Assessment for On-site Systems: Regulation, operation and monitoring, Lanfax Laboratories, Armidale, NSW.
Mitchell, C.A. & Berry, T. 2005, 'Distributed infrastructure: drivers, potentials, management tools and frameworks', Water 05 Implementing the National Water Initiative, Melbourne.
Mitchell, C.A. & Berry, T. 2005, 'Distributed infrastructure in urban centres: opportunities and barriers to development', Australian Sustainable Built Environment Conference, Sydney Hilton.
Mitchell, C.A. 2005, 'Synergy in the city? The new engineering playground', Global Colloquium on Engineering Education, jointly hosted by American Society for Engineering Education and the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Sydney.
Mitchell, C.A. & Berry, T. 2008, 'Distributed infrastructure: drivers, potentials, management tools and frameworks', Water 05 - Implementing the National Water Initiative, Mebourne.
Mitchell, C.A. & Berry, T. 2005, 'Distributed infrastructure in urban centers - opportunities and barriers to development', Australian Sustainable Built Environment Conference, Sydney.
Mitchell, C.A. & Campbell, S. 2004, 'Synergy in the city: making the sum of the parts more than the whole', Proceedings of 2nd IWA Leading-Edge Conference on Sustainability, 2nd International Water Association Leading Edge Conference on Sustainability in Water-Limited Environments, International Water Association, Sydney, Australia.
Mitchell, C.A., Turner, A.J., Fane, S.A., White, S. & Cordell, D.J. 2004, 'Water conservation is dead: long live water conservation', Proceedings of 2nd IWA Leading-Edge Conference on Sustainability: Sustainability in Water-Limited Environments, 2nd International Water Association Leading Edge Conference on Sustainability: Sustainability in Water-Limited Environments, IWA, Sydney, Australia, p. 53.
Fane, S.A., Turner, A.J. & Mitchell, C.A. 2004, 'The secret life of water systems: least cost planning beyond demand management', Proceedings of 2nd IWA Leading-Edge Conference on Sustainability: Sustainability in Water-Limited Environments, 2nd Leading-Edge Conference on Sustainability: Sustainability in Water-Limited Environments, IWA, Sydney, Australia, p. 7.
Mitchell, C.A. 2004, 'Unlocking the potential in water conservation', Australian Water Summit, Melbourne.
Fane, S.A., Willetts, J.R., Abeysuriya, K., Mitchell, C.A., Etnier, C. & Johnstone, S. 2004, 'Evaluating reliability and life-cycle cost for decentralised wastewater within the context of asset management', Proceedings of 6th Specialist Conference on Small Water and Wastewater Systems and 1st International Conference on Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Recycling, 6th Specialist Conference on Small Water and Wastewater Systems and 1st International Conference on Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Recycling, IWA, Fremantle, Australia, pp. 1-8.
Holt, P.K., Barton, G.W. & Mitchell, C.A. 2003, 'Conditions for dominance of flotation in batch electrocoagulation', CHEMECA 2003: Proceedings, Chemeca: Australasian Conference on Chemical Engineering, The Institution of Engineers, Australia, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 1-7.
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Carew, A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2003, 'Visiting the hall of mirrors: engineering academics' conceptions of sustainability', Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education and 9th Australasian Women in Engineering Forum, AAEE - Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Australasian Association for Engineering Education, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 375-384.
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Mitchell, C.A. 2003, 'Strategies for creating sustainable water environment: from supply to service systems', Regional Conference of the Stormwater Industry Association, Yamba, Australia.
Mitchell, C.A. & White, S. 2003, 'Sustainable urban water service systems', Innovations in Water: Ozwater Convention & Exhibition, Innovations in Water: Ozwater Convention & Exhibition, Perth.
Mitchell, C.A. 2003, 'Scholarship education and training in an externally funded research institiute', Raising the profile of research education: ATN conference on research education, University of Technology Sydney.
Holt, P.K., Barton, G.W. & Mitchell, C.A. 2002, 'Mathematical analysis of a batch electrocoagulation reactor', Melbourne, Australia.
Carew, A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2002, 'What do engineering undergraduates need to know, think or feel to understand sustainability', Australasian Association for Engineering Education, AAEE - Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Brisbane, Australia.
Holt, P.K., Barton, G.W. & Mitchell, C.A. 2001, 'Electrocoagulation: performance assessment', 6th World Congress on Chemical Engineering, 6th World Congress on Chemical Engineering, Melbourne.
Carew, A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2001, 'Expert conceptions of sustainability', 6th World Congress on Chemical Engineering, 6th World Congress on Chemical Engineering, Melbourne.
Carew, A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2001, 'Sustainability and engineering: applying the SOLO taxonomy', American Society for Engineering Education New Mexico, June 2001., ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, New Mexico.
Hall, M.R., White, S., Lovell, H. & Mitchell, C.A. 2001, 'To centralise or not? Broadening the decision making process', OnSite 01: Advancing onsite waste water systems, Armidale.
Carew, A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2001, 'Understanding sustainability: Stages in conceptual development of postgraduates and undergraduate engineers', AAEE - Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Brisbane.
Carew, A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2001, 'What do chemical engineering undergraduates mean by sustainability?', New Mexico.
Biswas, W. & Mitchell, C.A. 2001, 'Appropriate biogas technology for sustainable rural development in Bangladesh: increasing the scope for use of spent slurry', International Ecological Engineering Conference, Lincoln University, New Zealand.
McNevin, D. & Mitchell, C.A. 2000, 'Water cycle management and life cycle assessment: on-site vs centralised sewage treatment systems', Second National Conference on Life Cycle Assessment: Pathways to EcoEfficiency, Second National Conference on Life Cycle Assessment: Pathways to EcoEfficiency, Melbourne.
Edgerton, B.D., McNevin, D., Wong, C.H., Menoud, P., Barford, J.P. & Mitchell, C.A. 2000, 'Strategies for dealing with piggery effluent in Australia: the sequencing batch reactor as a solution', WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, pp. 123-126.
Holt, P.K., Barton, G.W. & Mitchell, C.A. 1999, 'Electrocoagulation as a wastewater treatment', The Third Annual Australian Environmental Engineering Research Event,, The Third Annual Australian Environmental Engineering Research Event,, Castlemaine, Victoria.
Edgerton, B.D., Mitchell, C.A., McNevin, D., Wong, D.H., Barford, J.P. & Menoud, P. 1999, 'Strategies for dealing with piggery effluent in Australia: the SBR as a solution', 4th International Specialized Conference on Small Wastewater Treatment Plants, 4th International Specialized Conference on Small Wastewater Treatment Plants, Stratford upon Avon, UK.
McNevin, D., King, A., Harrison, M.J. & Mitchell, C.A. 1999, 'Towards an integrated performance model for subsurface flow constructed wetlands', ECOENG99: Managing the Wastewater Resource, ECOENG99: Managing the Wastewater Resource, Aas, Norway.
Mitchell, C.A., King, A., Cossins, R. & Howes, T. 1998, 'Quantifying transverse dispersion of waste water flows in a subsurface flow wetland to predict surface reaeration rates', Chemeca 98: Australasian Chemical Engineering Conference, Port Douglas, Australia.
Mitchell, C.A., Simi, A.L., Marshall, P.R. & De Bruyn, B.P. 1998, 'Environmental performance benefits arising from the installation of a constructed wetlands to polish oil refinery waste water', Chemeca 98: Australasian Chemical Engineering Conference, Port Dougals, Australia.
Simi, A.L. & Mitchell, C.A. 1998, 'Design and hydraulic performance of a constructed wetland treating oil refinery wastewater', 6th International Conference on Wetland Systems for Water Pollution Control, 6th International Conference on Wetland Systems for Water Pollution Control, Brazil.
Mitchell, C.A. 1998, 'Environment and education', Tools for the Environmental Professional, Tools for the Environmental Professional, The Institution of Engineers, Australia, Sydney.
King, A., Hoverman, J., Howes, T. & Mitchell, C.A. 1998, 'Evapotranspiration effects on the Oxley Creek subsurface flow treatment wetland wastewater balance', Environmental Engineering Research Event, Environmental Engineering Research Event, Avoca Beach, pp. 243-248.
Simi, A.L. & Mitchell, C.A. 1998, 'Hydraulic performance of a constructed wetland treating oil refinery wastewater', International Association of Water Quality Biennial, International Association of Water Quality Biennial, Vancouver.
Mitchell, C.A. 1998, 'Lessons learned: a recent herstory of the University of Queensland and Main Roads', Waves of Change, 10th Australasian Conference on Engineering Education, AAEE - Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, pp. 362-367.
Mitchell, C.A., Jolly, L. & McLeod, A. 1998, 'On the way to reflexivity', Waves of Change, 10th Australasian Conference on Engineering Education, AAEE - Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, pp. 295-300.
Mitchell, C.A. & Baillie, C. 1998, 'On values, role models, and the importance of being me', American Society of Engineering Education Conference, ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Seattle.
Mitchell, C.A. & Crofton, F.S. 1998, 'Role models: the good, the bad, and the MIA', American Society of Engineering Education Conference, ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Seattle.
Mitchell, C.A., Edgerton, B.D. & Barford, J.P. 1998, 'Strategies for dealing with piggery effluent in Australia', Environmental Engineering Research Event, Environmental Engineering Research Event, Avoca Beach, pp. 189-194.
Crofton, F.S. & Mitchell, C.A. 1998, 'Role models and environmental education: the good, the bad, and the MIA', ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings.
This report considers the various ways by which faculty members do and could impact students. The context is environmental education in a broad sense. Examples of some good and not-so-good role model behaviors are given, and areas where better or more role models are needed are identified. Suggestions are also given for identifying, supporting, encouraging and/or developing role models of the environmental engineer and engineering educator of the future.
Mitchell, C.A. 1997, 'Developing a curriculum model in chemical engineering', Changing Problem Based Learning Conference, Changing Problem Based Learning Conference, Brunel University College, Brunei.
Mitchell, C.A. 1997, 'Making the case for change', Changing Problem Based Learning Conference, Changing Problem Based Learning Conference, Brunel University College.
King, A., Mitchell, C.A., Cossins, R. & Howes, T. 1997, 'Preliminary transverse dispersion studies in a pilot scale subsurface flow constructed wetland', Environmental Engineering Research Event, Environmental Engineering Research Event, Noosa, pp. 87-92.
Mitchell, C.A. 1997, 'Environmental engineering: what ought the future hold?', Environmental Engineering Education, pp. 45-75.
The engineering profession as a whole stands at a turning point - either we can choose the path of environmental leadership: take responsibility for our actions, and therefore our future, and embrace the concepts of sustainability and the social context of engineering; or we can choose to be compliant servants. In the medium term, undergraduate environmental engineering, and potentially ecological engineering, provide a vehicle for us to leave behind the 'end of pipe' and 'dig it up and bury it somewhere else' mentality, which has typified engineering in the past. The global environmental crisis, and the response of the engineering profession in Australia to date, are discussed. It is argued that substantial attitudinal and cultural change are necessary, both in the profession as a whole, and in engineering education, if we are to achieve environmental leadership. This chapter examines where we are now, and what needs to be done to improve the present situation. A new foundation for engineering education is suggested, and a means of moving towards it is proposed.
Mitchell, C.A. & Woolley, A. 1996, 'A coordinated approach to the implementation of constructed wetlands in Queensland, Australia', 5th International Conference on Wetland Systems for Water Pollution Control, Vienna.
Mitchell, C.A. 1996, 'Constructed wetlands for on-site systems', Innovative Approaches to the On-Site Management of Waste and Water, Innovative Approaches to the On-Site Management of Waste and Water, Lismore, pp. 61-70.
Mitchell, C.A. 1996, 'Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment', Asia Pacific Conference on Sustainable Energy and Environmental Technology, Asia Pacific Conference on Sustainable Energy and Environmental Technology, Singapore.
Da Costa, J.C. & Mitchell, C.A. 1996, 'Do we practice what we teach?', 8th Annual Convention and Conference, 8th Annual Convention and Conference, Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Sydney, pp. 264-268.
Mitchell, C.A. & King, A. 1996, 'Preliminary hydraulic study results in a pilot scale subsurface flow constructed wetland', Water Quality International 18th IAWQ Conference, Singapore, p. 47.
Mitchell, C.A. 1996, 'That engineering is stimulating, not totally defined, and fun...', SEFI Annual Conference, September, Vienna, SEFI - Annual Conference of European Society for Engineering Education, Vienna, pp. 295-300.
Mitchell, C.A. 1996, 'The three Rs: roles, rhetoric, and responses in educating engineers to resolve environmental conflict', 1st Queensland Environmental Engineering Conference, 1st Queensland Environmental Engineering Conference, Brisbane, pp. 239-246.
King, A., Mitchell, C.A. & Howes, T. 1996, 'Tracer studies and rigorous monitoring in a pilot scale subsurface flow constructed wetland', 5th International Conference on Wetland Systems for Water Pollution Control, Vienna.
Mitchell, C.A. 1996, 'A review of undergraduate environmental engineering education in Australia: Philosophies and curricula', ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND TRAINING, pp. 103-112.
Mitchell, C.A., Abeysinghe, D.H., Rigden, B. & Shanbleh, A. 2008, 'Water quality management for aquaculture', 16th Federal Convention of the Australian Water and Wastewater Association, Sydney.
King, A. & Mitchell, C.A. 1995, 'Subsurface flow artificial wetlands: design and construction at pilot scale to enable rigorous performance and analysis modelling', National Conference on Wetlands for Water Quality Control, Townsville.
Cordingley, M. & Mitchell, C.A. 1995, 'Artificial wetlands: an intergral part of wastewater treatment and water reuse scheme for a fibreboard plant', National Conference on Wetlands for Water Quality Control, Townsville.
Mitchell, C.A. 1995, 'Communication and presentation skills for engineers: the non-stick approach', AAEE - Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Melbourne.
Mitchell, C.A. 1995, 'Environmental engineering education - What should our objectives be?', National Environmental Engineering Conference, Melbourne.
Mitchell, C.A. 1995, 'Artificial wetlands and septic tank effluent: a small scale case study', 15th Federal Convention of the Australian Water and Wastewater Association, Sydney.
Mitchell, C.A., Piel, K. & Vos, S. 1995, 'Forest lake: urban lake water quality in a developing catchment', Second International Symposium on Urban Stormwater Management, Melbourne.

Journal articles

Watson, R., Mukheibir, P. & Mitchell, C. 2017, 'Local recycled water in Sydney: A policy and regulatory tug-of-war', Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 148, pp. 583-594.
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Clift, R., Sim, S., King, H., Chenoweth, J., Christie, I., Clavreul, J., Mueller, C., Posthuma, L., Boulay, A., Chaplin-Kramer, R., Chatterton, J., DeClerck, F., Druckman, A., France, C., Franco, A., Gerten, D., Goedkoop, D., Hauschild, M., Huijbergts, M., Koellner, T., Lambin, E., Lee, J., Mair, S., Marshall, S., McLachlan, S., Canals, L., Mitchell, C., Price, E., Rockstrom, J., Suckling, J. & Murphy, R. 2017, 'The Challenges of Applying Planetary Boundaries as a Basis for Strategic Decision-Making in Companies with Global Supply Chains', Sustainability, vol. 9, no. 2.
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De La Sienra Servin, E.E., Smith, T. & Mitchell, C. 2017, 'Worldviews, A Mental Construct Hiding the Potential of Human Behaviour: A New Learning Framework to Guide Education for Sustainable Development', The Journal of Sustainability Education.
Latest results in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) research and practice show a tendency towards more holistic approaches aiming at deep transformation of the self and the meanings of human existence. Aligned with this, we present the Transdisciplinary Framework of Worldviews and Behaviours (TFWB) to describe the possible formation and expression of a worldview, a complex constellation of meaning and identity from which all human conduct emerges. Four key principles arising from the TFWB are: 1) The whole embodied nervous system is greater than the sum of its separated parts, especially when it comes to intelligence (information processing) and learning (meaning making); 2) The mind is a highly emotion-dependent and mostly unconscious entity; 3) A worldview is a unique arrangement of meaning each person builds, and lives through; and 4) Increasing self-awareness about how a personal worldview is formed and expressed generates increasing opportunities for that individual to explore and build a different meaning for their experience, or to explore and choose different forms to express it (behave). The TFWB informs a new perspective on learning that could be useful for the achievement of ESD's transformative goals, guiding the innovative design of educational initiatives encouraging new conceptualizations about the meanings of being human; thus, facilitating potential behavioural transformations toward a more sustainable existence.
Turner, A.J., Mukheibir, P., Mitchell, C., Chong, J., Retamal, M., Murta, J., Carrard, N. & Delaney, C. 2016, 'Recycled water – lessons from Australia on dealing with risk and uncertainty', Water Practice and Technology, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 127-138.
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Much can be learned from the numerous water recycling schemes currently in operation in Australia, especially with respect to making investment decisions based on uncertain assumptions. This paper illustrates through a number of case studies, that by considering the contextual and project related risks, a range of business related risks become apparent. Shifts in the contextual landscape and the various players' objectives can occur over the life of a project, often leading to unforeseen risk and uncertainty. Through a thorough consideration of the potential risks presented in this paper, proponents as well as owners and managers might make better recycled water investment decisions, enhancing the benefits and minimizing the costs of water recycling schemes. This paper presents an overview and discussion of seven key factors to consider when planning a recycling scheme.
Rosenqvist, T., Mitchell, C. & Willetts, J. 2016, 'A short history of how we think and talk about sanitation services and why it matters', Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, vol. 6, no. 1.
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Mitchell, C., Abeysuriya, K. & Ross, K. 2016, 'Making pathogen hazards visible: a new heuristic to improve sanitation investment efficacy', Waterlines, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 163-181.
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Watson, R., Fane, S. & Mitchell, C.A. 2016, 'The Critical Role of Impact Distribution for Local Recycled Water Systems', International Journal of Water Governance, vol. 2016, no. 4:12, pp. 5-21.
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Small-scale or local recycled water systems are increasingly being installed in urban centers in Australia, and throughout the world. These (often private) systems are in building basements, parks, on industrial sites and within small communities that are already serviced by existing public centralized water and wastewater networks. A consistent and fair assessment of the value of such local recycling systems, particularly in relation to centralized extension, augmentation and replacement, has proved to be problematic. This paper reveals why. It suggests that the traditional characterization of impacts into social, environmental, economic and at times technical groupings misses a key aspect in understanding the relative costs, benefits and risks of these systems: their distribution across the wide range of stakeholder groups. This paper proposes that accounting for the distribution of impacts is critical for assessments that include options of different scales and different levels of responsibility as there is a significant difference in the impact distribution between conventional urban water services and small-scale, local recycled water systems. This will help practitioners better understand the consequences of varying the impact distribution, particularly when moving from substantially public responsibility and ownership of assets to a mix of public and private responsibility and ownership.
Mitchell, C., Cordell, D. & Fam, D. 2015, 'Beginning at the End: The outcome spaces framework to guide purposive transdisciplinary research', Futures, vol. 65, no. January 2015, pp. 86-96.
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The framework presented in this paper offers an alternative starting point for transdisciplinary research projects seeking to create change. The framework begins at the end: it distinguishes three distinct 'transdisciplinary outcome spaces' and proposes articulating their content for purposive transdisciplinary research projects. Defining upfront the desired improvements has profound implications for how transdisciplinary research is conceived, designed, implemented and evaluated. Three key realms of transdisciplinary outcome spaces are distinguished – situation, knowledge, and learning – and elaborated: (1) an improvement within the 'situation' or field of inquiry; (2) the generation of relevant stocks and flows of knowledge, including scholarly knowledge and other societal knowledge forms, and making those insights accessible and meaningful to researchers, participants and beneficiaries; and (3) mutual and transformational learning by researchers and research participants to increase the likelihood of persistent change. Positioning the framework in the field of transdisciplinary literature reveals that much of the contestation concerning transdisciplinary research and practice may be attributable to the diverse but implicit ontological and epistemological perspectives inhabited by transdisciplinary researchers, leading to a call for more reflexive and explicit attention to these and other formative influences (i.e. sources of funding, project motivation, or locus of power).
Fam, D.M., Mitchell, C.A., Abeysuriya, K. & Lopes, A. 2014, 'Emergence of decentralised water and sanitation systems in Melbourne, Australia', International Journal of Water, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 149-165.
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In Melbourne, Australia, a shift is occurring in the approach to wastewater management. With increased pressure from landscape drivers such as population growth, urbanisation, and over a decade of extended drought conditions, a new model of wastewater management is being explored by Melbourne?s metropolitan water utilities in the development of their latest Metropolitan Sewerage Strategy (MSS).With input from key industry leaders and a broad range of stakeholders a collaborative ?vision? of sustainable sewerage services to Melbourne over a 50 year timeframe was developed with decentralised systems emerging as a key, long-term component of service delivery. Drawing on the multi-level perspective (MLP), we investigate the interrelated and reinforcing factors that have driven this shift in perception toward decentralised systems and serious consideration of alternative socio-technical configurations of wastewater management in Melbourne?s future planning strategy. We then explore the process in which cross disciplinary participants from industry, government and civil society articulated their vision of a long term sustainable sanitation future for Melbourne.
Ross, K., Delaney, C.C., Beard, N., Fuller, K., Mohr, S. & Mitchell, C. 2014, 'Smart Metering Enables Effective Demand Management Design', Water, vol. August 2014, pp. 81-87.
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The water demand and water use practices of each community are different. Designing cost-effective demand management programs requires investigating and responding directly to the unique water issues and opportunities of each community (Turner et al., 2010). As presented in this paper, a `mixed method baseline analysis' has proven to be valuable in developing a demand management program tailored to the distinctive community context. A mixed method baseline analysis is comprised of two interlinked components: (i) quantitative smart meter data analysis to create a detailed understanding of the water demand pro¬file; and (ii) qualitative social research to understand the social, cultural and institutional influences that drive existing water patterns. This paper shares the mixed method baseline analysis and resulting implications for a demand management program implemented in the remote Indigenous community of Gunbalanya, Northern Territory, in 2013.
Mukheibir, P. & Mitchell, C. 2014, 'Decision-making under future uncertainty: developing adaptive urban water strategies', International Journal of Water, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 435-447.
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This paper describes a decision-making framework created to develop long term adaptive water supply and demand strategies to respond to future contextual uncertainties, such as climate change and urbanisation. Whilst there are various theoretical methods for decision making under uncertainty, they generally have not been applied to the water sector. Nor have they been brought together in an integrated, practically-grounded process to guide strategic planning and project level decisions, such as the approach proposed in this paper. This approach avoids predictions of the future or modelling intensive analysis, rather it integrates the fundamental characteristics of uncertain system influences (trends and shocks) with two additional thinking tools: the use of scenarios based on a number of uncertainties to describe potential futures, and the focus on investment approaches to guide the packaging of potential response measures.
Mitchell, C.A. 2014, 'Revolutionising how we think about infrastructure', ATSE Focus, vol. 187, pp. 7-8.
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Turner, A.J., Mukheibir, P. & Mitchell, C. 2014, 'Making better investment decisions', Waste Management and Environment, vol. 15, no. 10, pp. 36-37.
Watson, R., Fane, S.A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2013, 'How sustainability assessments using multi-criteria analysis can bias against small systems', Water, vol. 39, no. 8, pp. 69-73.
Fam, D.M., Mitchell, C.A., Abeysuriya, K. & Meeks, T. 2013, 'Facilitating organisational learning to support decision making and planning for sustainability in the water sector', Water Policy, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 1094-1108.
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This paper investigates the process of organisational learning in decision making and planning for sustainability in the water sector. A Melbourne water utility (Yarra Valley Water) trialling sustainable systems of service provision utilised multi-stakeholder experiences to facilitate learning within the organisation. Diverse perspectives of the trial were sought through 50 interviews with staff managing/operating/maintaining the system and household residents using the system. Outcomes from interviews were shared with the project team in a social learning workshop and translated into recommendations for trialling innovation within the water utility and more broadly within the Australian water sector. The facilitated process of organisational learning highlighted the importance of crossdepartmental communication and co-operation, reflective processes of management and the value of a `transdisciplinary approach to planning and implementing novel systems of service provision. The outcome was the development of new procedures to support integrated knowledge development in trialling innovation within Yarra Valley Water.
Abeysuriya, K., Fam, D.M. & Mitchell, C.A. 2013, 'Trialling urine diversion in Australia: technical and social learnings', Water Science and Technology, vol. 68, no. 10, pp. 2186-2194.
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This paper discusses a urine diversion (UD) trial implemented within the institutional setting of the University of Technology Sydney that sought to identify key issues for public UD and reuse systems at scale in the Australian urban context. The trial was novel in its transdisciplinary action research approach, that included consideration of urine diverting toilets (UDTs) as socio-technical systems where interactions between users' practices and perceptions and the performance of the technology were explored. While the study explored a broad range of issues that included urine transport, reuse, and regulations, amongst others, the boundary of the work presented in this paper is the practicalities of UD practice within public urban buildings. Urine volume per urinal use, an important metric for sizing tanks for collecting urine from waterless urinal systems in commercial buildings, was also estimated. The project concluded that current UDTs are unsuitable to public/commercial spaces, but waterless urinals have a key role.
Fam, D.M. & Mitchell, C.A. 2013, 'Sustainable innovation in wastewater management: Lessons for nutrient recovery and reuse', Local Environment, vol. 18, no. 7, pp. 769-780.
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Urine diversion (UD) has great potential to contribute to sustainably managing wastewater by separating urine at the source and recovering nutrients for reuse in agriculture. While factors enabling the UD technology in Sweden are thought to involve policies supporting nutrient recovery/reuse, on closer inspection, the variable success of UD systems has revealed that critical factors for success also relate to human-centred issues of social organisation, participation and incorporation of social knowledges of a variety of stakeholders into the decision-making process in which new technologies are trialled and adopted. Through the analytical lens of strategic niche management, we consider how early experimentation in UD has involved user participation and whether internal processes of learning, networking and visioning have been consciously considered and to what effect. As niche experiments are enabled/disabled not only by informal institutions such as values and social norms but also formal regulatory institutions, we have concurrently analysed the broader environment in which policies and institutions influence, to varying degrees, the uptake of UD
Abeysuriya, K., Willetts, J.R., Carrard, N.R. & Mitchell, C.A. 2013, 'Decentralised and distributed systems: What will it take to make them a sustainable option for urban sanitation in the 21st Century?', Water21, vol. June, pp. 42-44.
Mukheibir, P., Boyle, T.M. & Mitchell, C.A. 2013, 'End-use forecasting in the context of building adaptive water services', Water Utility Journal, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 29-39.
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Water resource managers are faced with planning for an uncertain future constrained by limited knowledge of how demands will change in future and what supplies will be available to match them. By adopting an adaptive management approach, flexible and robust responses can be developed as new information comes to hand. A transparent approach has been developed that avoids complicated probabilistic approaches and encourages planners to consider investment policies to accommodate a range of potential scenarios. Integrated resource planning (IRP) principles are key to this approach and requires that both supply and demand side options are considered. Whilst much focus has been on the supply side, end user interventions have received less attention as a longer term approach. Restrictions have to date been the fall back option to deal with impending droughts, but this is not likely to be acceptable under reduced trending supplies. By focusing on end-use planning, savings through suppressed customer demand can free up further water thereby delaying the introduction of large expensive supply options. By disaggregating the end uses by residential customers into for example, showers, toilets, baths, washing machines, outdoor use, etc., a richer understanding of where residential water actually gets used and therefore where the potential for demand reduction lie. This paper firstly presents a framework for adaptive planning for urban water supplies and secondly, introduces the notion of end-use modelling and planning as a means to reduce consumption. Real examples from work conducted in Australia will be used to illustrate these approaches.
Healey, M., Tyrrell, S., Retamal, M.L., Mitchell, C.A. & Devi, B. 2012, 'A decentralised water master plan for the City of Sydney - developing the baseline', Water Practice & Technology, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 1-12.
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The City of Sydney is working to realise its vision to be a GREEN, GLOBAL and CONNECTED city, a vision articulated in their strategy Sustainable Sydney 2030 by undertaking a bold and ambitious project. The project will showcase how inner suburban areas can be retro?tted with innovative water systems to achieve integrated, resilient and sustainable water cycle outcomes. The baselining process is a major step in the development of a suite of plans that constitute the Decentralised Water Master Plan, including: a Water Ef?ciency Plan, a Stormwater Infrastructure Improvement Plan, a Water Sensitive Urban Design Plan and a Decentralised Non-Potable Water Network Plan. Signi?cant community consultation is being undertaken to ensure the community and stakeholders have opportunities to input into the project. The ?nal plan will not be a ?xed document but will be an evolving document to take into account changing contexts and additional data as it becomes available.
Abeysuriya, K., Fam, D.M. & Mitchell, C.A. 2012, 'Reinventing the toilet - Urine diversion where its needed most', The Conversation, vol. 24 October.
Carrard, N.R., Willetts, J.R., Mitchell, C.A., Paddon, M. & Retamal, M.L. 2011, 'Selecting sanitation solutions for Peri-urban areas: A case study of Can Tho, Vietnam', Water Practice & Technology, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 1-19.
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In peri-urban areas where infrastructure investments have not yet been made, there is a need to determine the most context-appropriate, fit for purpose and sustainable sanitation solutions. Decision makers must identify the optimal system scale (on the spectrum from centralized to community to cluster scale) and assess the long-term costs and socio-economic/environmental impacts associated with different options. Addressing both cost-effectiveness and sustainability are essential to ensure that institutions and communities are able to continue to bear the costs and management burden of infrastructure operation, maintenance and asset replacement. This paper describes an approach to sanitation planning currently being undertaken as a research study in Can Tho City in southern Vietnam, by the Institute for Sustainable Futures and Can Tho University in collaboration with Can Tho Water Supply and Sewerage Company. The aim of the study is to facilitate selection of the most context-appropriate, fit for purpose, cost effective and sustainable sanitation infrastructure solution. As such, the study compares a range of sanitation alternatives including centralized, decentralized (at household or cluster scale) and resource recovery options. This paper provides an overview of the study and considers aspects of the Can Tho and Vietnamese regulatory, development and institutional context that present drivers and challenges for comparison of options and selection of fit for purpose sanitation systems
Fam, D.M., Mellick-Lopes, A., Willetts, J.R. & Mitchell, C.A. 2009, 'The challenge of system change: an historical analysis of Sydney's sewer systems', Design Philosophy Papers, vol. 3/2009, pp. 1-14.
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Despite the obvious health benefits of the sanitary revolution and construction of sewered systems, there are increasing doubts about the long term sustainability of centralised, water-based sanitation. Growing uncertainties such as rapid population growth, emergence of new pollutants, changing hydrological conditions in relation to climate change and global economic instability will require systems to be more open to `flexible and reflexive approaches1 in meeting future sanitation needs. The highly inflexible nature of existing sanitation systems burdened with over a century of capital infrastructure investment and assets that require 30-50 years to pay back, make centralised sanitation both economically unsustainable and institutionally rigid. Social practices associated with water borne sanitation have been embedded within western society for over a century making `radical½ system change and the introduction of alternative technologies and habits of practice challenging.
Carew, A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2008, 'Teaching sustainability as a contested concept: Capitalizing on variation in engineering educators' conceptions of environmental, social and economic sustainability', Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 105-115.
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This study documents variation in engineering academics conceptions of sustainability. We investigated how a group of Australian engineering academics described environmental, social and economic sustainability, and identified a broad range of actions that participating academics associated with achieving sustainability. The study suggested marked variation in the actions that participating academics viewed as coherent with sustainable engineering practice, and therefore, potentially marked variations in the sustainability actions academics might advocate to their undergraduate students. Rather than framing this variation as problematic for teaching and learning sustainable engineering, we suggest that such variation in conception of sustainability, and explicit contestation of this variation in the engineering classroom, offers opportunities to enrich undergraduate sustainability learning and teaching. We develop this argument by using some generic environmental, economic, and social theoretical frameworks to characterize the differences according to the values and assumptions that may underpin the observed variation. Validated frameworks are useful to move beyond discussions based on 'opinion', because they provide a framework for critical reflection by engineering students and academics about the values and assumptions that inform engineering practice generally and sustainable engineering practice, particularly.
Abeysuriya, K., Mitchell, C.A. & Willetts, J.R. 2008, 'Expanding economic perspectives for sustainability in urban water and sanitation', Development, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 23-29.
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The economic principles and tools that are commonly applied to recover costs for urban water and sanitation arise from the dominant perspective of neo-classical economics, with its emphasis on 'full cost pricing' based on the 'user pays' principle. Kumudini Abeysuriya, Cynthia Mitchell and Juliet Willetts examine two other qualitatively different economic perspectives to demonstrate how they lead to different approaches: ecological economics takes a more holistic approach explicitly committed to sustainability, while Buddhist economics brings ethics to the fore and opens the possibility for cooperation between the various actors in creating solutions to benefit individuals, society and the environment. We propose a set of interconnected guiding principles based on an expanded economic perspective that integrates all three perspectives, to enable water and sanitation services for developing countries to align with sustainability
Willetts, J.R. & Mitchell, C.A. 2008, 'Promising innovations for sustainable hygiene systems and eco-systems', Global Future: A World Vision Journal of Human Development, vol. 2008, no. 1, pp. 18-18.
Sanitation systems need to be sustainable and consider not only health, but economy and eco-systems â and they must be suited to each context.
Smith, T., Willetts, J.R. & Mitchell, C.A. 2007, 'An integrating framework for sustainable communities: exploring the possibilites and challenges', International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, vol. 2, pp. 1-9.
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The purpose of this paper is to briefly outline a framework for sustainable communities and to introduce some of the ways that this framework can contribute to an integrated view of sustainability, incorporating both natural and social science perspectives. Several sustainability concepts derived from principles that govern the operation and organisation of ecosystems have been integrated and synthesised to create this theoretical framework. These concepts are drawn from diverse academic disciplines and practice-oriented endeavours, and they each address a different aspect of sustainability. Through the synthesis of these concepts, the framework offers a bridge of common terms and metaphors between the physical and social science perspectives on sustainability. Consequently, it can facilitate an approach that integrates the dimensions of environmental, cultural, social and economic sustainability. To demonstrate the elements of the framework and its potential to help overcome polarisation of the physical and social sciences, the framework is applied to two concepts that are fundamental to sustainability: social justice and environmental pollution. Using the lessons learned from this theoretical exercise and the authors experience to date of sharing the integrating framework with others, the possibilities and challenges of the proposed framework are examined.
Abeysuriya, K., Mitchell, C.A. & White, S. 2007, 'Can corporate social responsibility resolve the sanitation question in developing Asian countries?', Ecological Economics, vol. 62, no. 1, pp. 174-183.
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Urban sanitation and waste management services are in crisis in many Asian countries, attributed to a number of factors. In this paper we argue that the crisis is exacerbated by the application of inappropriate economic and technological models for urban sanitation. We examine why the dominant models, including full-cost pricing driven by neoclassical economics, are inappropriate in the context of Asian countries. On the basis of Ecological Economics and Buddhist Economics, we identify a set of principles for arriving at more sustainable solutions. Sanitationâs role as a service for waste removal and disposal is expanded to a synergistic group of economically feasible services provided through cooperation between service providers, community and government. The STEEP framework is shown to be a useful way to tailor the sanitation options on the basis of contextual factors.
Willetts, J.R., Fane, S.A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2007, 'Making decentralised systems viable: a guide to managing decentralised assets and risks', Water Science and Technology, vol. 56, no. 5, pp. 165-173.
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ecentralised systems have the potential to provide a viable option for long term sustainable management of household wastewater. Yet, at present, such systems hold an uncertain status and are frequently omitted from consideration. Their potential can only be realised with improved approaches to their management, and improved methods to decision-making in planning of wastewater systems. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the value of a novel framework to guide the planning of decentralised systems so that asset management and risk management are explicitly considered. The framework was developed through a detailed synthesis of literature and practice in the area of asset management of centralised water and wastewater systems, and risk management in the context of decentralised systems. Key aspects of the framework are attention to socio-economic risks as well as engineering, public health and ecological risks, the central place of communication with multiple stakeholders and establishing a shared asset information system. A case study is used to demonstrate how the framework can guide a different approach and lead to different, more sustainable outcomes, by explicitly considering the needs and perspectives of homeowners, water authorities, relevant government agencies and society as a whole.
Willetts, J.R., Carrard, N.R. & Mitchell, C.A. 2007, 'Meeting the sanitation MDG target in Asia-Pacific - a lost hope or a potential reality?', Water21, vol. 0, no. October, pp. 44-45.
Carew, A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2006, 'Metaphors used by some engineering academics in Australia for understanding and explaining sustainability', Environmental Education Research, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 217-231.
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Metaphors can be powerful teaching and learning tools which may help us to understand novel, complex or abstract concepts using familiar language and thought structures. Academics routinely use metaphors in their university teaching to explain new or difficult ideas to students. In this article the authors argue that tertiary teachers metaphors for sustainability warrant formal investigation, as they will likely influence the construction and delivery of sustainability curricula. Based on this contention, we conducted in-depth interviews with eight Australian engineering academics which centred around the question What do you mean by sustainability?. From the interview transcripts, we explicated and described four distinctly different metaphors. These were: sustainability as weaving, sustainability as guarding, sustainability as trading, and sustainability as observing limits. We describe each of the metaphors in detail and speculate on some of the underlying assumptions which underpin them. In conclusion, we advance the idea that sustainability might be taught using an explicit multiplicity of metaphors and that each metaphor would express important aspects of the phenomenon of sustainability. This approach would capitalise on the diversity of existing metaphors in the academe, and could result in curricula which reflect the richness and depth that a variety of perspectives can bring to understanding a complex, abstract, flexible concept like sustainability.
Holt, P.K., Barton, G.W. & Mitchell, C.A. 2005, 'The future for electrocoagulation as a localised water treatment technology', Chemosphere, vol. 59, no. 3, pp. 355-367.
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Electrocoagulation is an electrochemical method of treating polluted water whereby sacrificial anodes corrode to release active coagulant precursors (usually aluminium or iron cations) into solution. Accompanying electrolytic reactions evolve gas (usuall
Fane, S.A., Willetts, J.R., Abeysuriya, K., Mitchell, C.A., Etnier, C. & Johnstone, S. 2005, 'Decentralised wastewater systems: an asset management approach', Water Asset Management International, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 5-9.
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Mitchell, C.A., Turner, A.J. & White, S. 2005, 'Sustainable water use: efficient then effective', Built Environment Design Professionals Environment Design Guide, vol. 2, no. DES 27.
Holt, P.K., Barton, G.W. & Mitchell, C.A. 2004, 'Deciphering the science behind electrocoagulation to remove suspended clay particles from water', Water Science and Technology, vol. 50, no. 12, pp. 177-184.
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Ragusa, S.R., McNevin, D., Qasem, S. & Mitchell, C.A. 2004, 'Indicators of biofilm development and activity in constructed wetlands microcosms', Water Research, vol. 38, pp. 2865-2873.
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Mitchell, C.A. & White, S. 2003, 'Forecasting and backcasting for sustainable urban water futures', Water, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 25-28.
Nicholas, A.P. & Mitchell, C.A. 2003, 'Numerical simulation of overbank processes in topographically complex floodplain environments', HYDROLOGICAL PROCESSES, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 727-746.
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Holt, P.K., Barton, G.W. & Mitchell, C.A. 2002, 'Mathematical analysis of a batch electrocoagulation reactor', Water Science and Technology; Water Supply, vol. 2, no. N/A, pp. 65-71.
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Holt, P.K., Barton, G.W., Wark, M. & Mitchell, C.A. 2002, 'A quantitative comparison between chemical dosing and electrocoagulation.', Colloids and surfaces A: Physiochemical and Engineering Aspects, vol. 211, no. 2-3, pp. 233-248.
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This paper provides a quantitative comparison of electrocoagulation and chemical coagulation approaches based on boron removal. Electrocoagulation process delivers the coagulant in situ as the sacrificial anode corrodes, due to a fixed current density, while the simultaneous evolution of hydrogen at the cathode allows for pollutant removal by flotation. By comparison, conventional chemical coagulation typically adds a salt of the coagulant, with settling providing the primary pollutant removal path. Chemical coagulation was carried out via jar tests using aluminum chloride. Comparison was done with the same amount of coagulant between electrocoagulation and chemical coagulation processes. Boron removal obtained was higher with electrocoagulation process. In addition, it was seen that chemical coagulation has any effect for boron removal from boron-containing solution. At optimum conditions (e.g. pH 8.0 and aluminum dose of 7.45 g/L), boron removal efficiencies for electrocoagulation and chemical coagulation were 94.0% and 24.0%, respectively
Carew, A. & Mitchell, C.A. 2002, 'Characterising undergraduate engineering students' understanding of sustainability', European Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 349-361.
Engineering professionals in Australia and internationally are coming under increased pressure to practise engineering more sustainably. In response to this pressure, the Institution of Engineers, Australia, has updated the procedure for accreditation of the engineering baccalaureate to ensure inclusion of sustainability learning. In order to graduate, Australian engineering students must now 'understand sustainability'. This paper reports on a theoretical synthesis of the literature on sustainability and understanding, and an empirical investigation into sustainability conceptions held by a group of chemical engineering undergraduate students at the University of Sydney. During the theoretical synthesis we examined what it might mean for a student to understand sustainability by deriving a suite of sustainability principles and describing the component parts of an expert-like understanding of sustainability. In the empirical investigation, students' written responses to the question 'In your own words, what is sustainability?' were analysed using a modified version of the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO) taxonomy. The SOLO analysis revealed broad structural variation in the way our students understood sustainability.
Holt, P.K., Barton, G.W., Wark, M. & Mitchell, C.A. 2002, 'A quantitative comparison between chemical dosing and electrocoagulation', COLLOIDS AND SURFACES A-PHYSICOCHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING ASPECTS, vol. 211, no. 2-3, pp. 233-248.
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Mitchell, C.A. & McNevin, D. 2001, 'Alternative analysis of BOD removal in subsurface flow constructed wetlands employing Monod kinetics', Water Research, vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 1295-1303.
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A new, mechanistic approach for design and analysis of subsurface flow (SSF) constructed wetlands is presented. The model is based on the assumption that the biological processes in wetlands, like other biological systems, exhibit Monod kinetics. A Monod approach fits well with observed wetland performance. It predicts first-order behaviour at low concentrations, that is, pollutant removal rates which increase with increasing pollutant concentration; and zero-order or saturated behaviour at high pollutant concentrations, that is, a maximum pollutant removal rate. A kinetic analysis of subsurface flow constructed wetlands exhibiting Monod kinetics reveals that loading rate, as well as the zero-order degradation rate constant, are essential parameters for efficient wetlands design for the removal of organic carbon. In particular, Monod kinetics enables the identification of an absolute maximum removal rate which is necessary to prevent undersizing in design. This is significant because it represents a theoretical upper bound on loading rate for wetlands design. The analysis is applied to wetlands data collected in North America by the US EPA in order to extract design criteria for BOD removal. It reveals that maximum loadings for SSF wetlands are at least 80kgha-1d-1 for BOD. In addition, a new dimensionless performance efficiency parameter, Omega, is presented as a more effective means of comparing wetland performance.
Mitchell, C.A. 2000, 'Integrating sustainability in chemical engineering practice and education: concentricity and its consequences', Process Safety and Environmental Protection, vol. 78, no. B4, pp. 237-242.
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This paper begins by reviewing representations of sustainability, and suggesting a revised concentric model which places techno-centric (micro economic and micro thermodynamic) concerns at the core, limited by socio-centric (macro economic) concerns, which in turn are ultimately limited by eco-centric (macro thermodynamic) concerns. This new model has important consequences for how the context and impact of engineering practice might be viewed, and therefore what engineering education priorities ought to be. Accepting this new model requires a paradigm change in engineering education: sustainability cannot be presented as an add-on in engineering curricula. The new model dictates that sustainability is presented as a way of thinking, integrated throughout the course. Accreditation processes can facilitate or stifle the use of models such as that proposed in this paper because they are important drivers for course content and delivery in professional degrees such as engineering. Recently, there have been significant changes in engineering accreditation practices in Australia and North America. A critique of current accreditation documentation shows that UK-based chemical engineering processes lag Australian and North American institutional reforms for their capacity to promote sustainability as an overarching theme.
McNevin, D., Harrison, M., King, A., David, K. & Mitchell, C.A. 2000, 'Towards an integrated performance model for subsurface flow constructed wetlands', Journal Of Environmental Science And Health Part A-toxic/hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering, vol. 35, no. 8, pp. 1415-1430.
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Detailed investigations have been conducted on a set of four pilot scale subsurface flow (SSF) constructed wetlands in order to characterise heat transfer, mass dispersion and biological performance mechanisms. These studies have followed the beds from post construction through unplanted hydraulic base line studies to the current status of mature stands of Phragmites australis. Experimental observations indicate that in unplanted beds, daily thermal fluctuations are depth dependent and range from 1 to 9 degrees Celsius. These fluctuations result in daily thermal inversions, and enhanced mixing and oxygen transport. For planted beds, thermal fluctuations are depth independent, and have a constant amplitude of 2 degrees Celsius. Planted beds may be thermally stratified. Lithium tracer studies corroborate these results for the planted bed. In addition, performance studies indicate that organic pollutant removal is probably limited to organic suspended solids removal, with subsequent biological breakdown. Current first-order plug flow models can not account for these operational issues. A combined model is necessary to account for lateral dispersion, temperature gradients and settling of suspended solids to accurately reflect real biological removal mechanisms
Edgerton, B.D., McNevin, D., Wong, C.H., Menoud, P., Barford, J.P. & Mitchell, C.A. 2000, 'Strategies for dealing with piggery effluent in Australia: the SBR as a solution', Water Science And Technology, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 123-126.
Currently the accepted practice for swine wastewater disposal is lagoon stabilisation followed by land application. This disposal method can exacerbate odour emissions and contribute to soil contamination and eutrophication of waterways. Intensification of the pig industry has increased the impact of individual piggeries; this combined with tightening legislation is causing the pig industry in Australia to look at alternative treatment methods. A pilot scale sequencing batch reactor (SBR) was built to treat piggery wastewater. It achieved NH4+ and odour reductions of greater than 99% as well as 79% removal of COD and a 49% reduction of PO43-on a mass balance basis. The reactor experienced problems with foaming for the first 2 months of operation, which was controlled with vegetable oil until the foaming stopped. Struvite formation also occurred within the reactor and influent pipes but it was calculated that sufficient nutrients were removed to prevent precipitation down stream of the SBR.
Mitchell, C.A. 2000, 'Integrating sustainability in chemical engineering practice and education: Concentricity and its consequences', Process Safety and Environmental Protection, vol. 78, no. 4, pp. 237-242.
Simi, A.L. & Mitchell, C.A. 1999, 'Design and hydraulic performance of a constructed wetland treating oil refinery wastewater', Water Science And Technology, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 301-308.
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This paper considers the hydraulics of a wetland constructed by BP Oil for polishing wastewater from their oil refinery at Bulwer Island, Australia. As this open water surface flow (SF) wetland has a novel design to enhance mixing, a tracer study was performed to analyse the hydraulic flow distribution through the wetland. It is a baseline study, following construction, prior to planting. As introduction to the study, details of the wetland design are provided, together with design justification. The volume of the wetland active zone is estimated as 70% of the total wetland capacity, which compares very favourably with the active volume expected in flat-bottomed ponds. The large amount of dispersion observed along the length of the wetland bed approaches that of a well-mixed system, supporting the claim that this novel bed structure enhances mixing. We expect to at least retain, and possibly improve the degree of mixing by alternating planted shallow zones with unplanted deep zones. The first stage of experimental work at this wetland involves creating a baseline of hydraulic data on which to build a mass balance model of the wetlands performance. Tracer studies will be repeated on the planted, mature wetland to determine the changes to flow, which might occur in the operating system. Together with wetland performance results, these studies will underpin investigations into the pollutant removal mechanisms at BP Oil's Bulwer Island wetland.
Mitchell, C.A. 1998, 'Creativity is about being free...', European Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 23-34.
I began this journey with the notion that creativity is somehow linked to having the freedom to explore and discover and dissemble and reassemble in whatever form we choose. This notion is compared with the ideas of researchers in the field of creativity. As an engineer who believes in a holistic approach, I am most comfortable with the idea of creativity as a multifarious beast, influenced by both personality and the cultural, social and professional environment in which engineers, in this case, find themselves. This being the case, engineering educators therefore have some opportunity to influence these factors, and hence the development of creative thinking in our students. I then examine a case study of a design project in second-year chemical and environmental engineering in an attempt to ground these ideas about creativity in engineering education practice, and present the lessons learned from this experience.
King, A., Mitchell, C.A. & Howes, T. 1997, 'Hydraulic tracer studies in a pilot scale subsurface flow constructed wetland', Water Science And Technology, vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 189-196.
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Current design procedures for Subsurface Flow (SSF) Wetlands are based on the simplifying assumptions of plug flow and first order decay of pollutants. These design procedures do yield functional wetlands but result in over-design and inadequate descriptions of the pollutant removal mechanisms which occur within them. Even though these deficiencies are often noted, few authors have attempted to improve modelling of either flow or pollutant removal in such systems.Consequently the Oxley Creek Wetland, a pilot scale SSF wetland designed to enable rigorous monitoring, has recently been constructed in Brisbane, Australia. Tracer studies have been carried out in order to determine the hydraulics of this wetland prior to commissioning it with settled sewage. The tracer studies will continue during the wetland's commissioning and operational phases. These studies will improve our understanding of the hydraulics of newly built SSF wetlands and the changes brought on by operational factors such as biological films and wetland plant root structures.Results to date indicate that the flow through the gravel beds is not uniform and cannot be adequately modelled by a single parameter, plug flow with dispersion, model. We have developed a multiparameter model, incorporating four plug flow reactors, which provides a better approximation of our experimental data. With further development this model will allow improvements to current SSF wetland design procedures and operational strategies, and will underpin investigations into the pollutant removal mechanisms at the Oxley Creek Wetland.
Mitchell, C.A. 1997, 'Overview of the state of constructed wetland applications and research in Australia', Environmental Research Forum, vol. 5, pp. 397-400.
MITCHELL, C.A., BEALL, J.A., WELLS, J.R.E. & GRAY, P.P. 1991, 'GROWTH AND PROTEIN-PRODUCTION KINETICS OF A MURINE MYELOMA CELL-LINE TRANSFECTED WITH THE HUMAN GROWTH-HORMONE GENE', CYTOTECHNOLOGY, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 223-231.
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Mitchell, C., Ross, K., Puspowardoyo, P., Rosenqvist, T. & Wedahuditama, F. 2016, 'How to design governance for lasting service? Visual resource for workshop, guided stakeholder discussion and group/individual reflection'.
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Murta, J. & Mitchell, C. 2014, 'Making better recycled water investments', Australian Water Management Review, pp. 38-41.

Reports

Mitchell, C., Abeysuriya, K.R. & Ross, K. 2016, A review and comparative analysis of indicative service costs for different sanitation service scales in Indonesia.
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Mitchell, C. & Ross, K. 2016, Findings and Recommendations. A synthesis for key stakeholders community scale sanitation in Indonesia..
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Mitchell, C. & Ross, K. 2016, Governance of local scale sanitation: How to design governance for lasting service? Guidance Material: Introduction.
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Mitchell, C., Ross, K., Puspowardoyo, P. & Wedahuditama, F. 2016, Governance of local scale sanitation: Visual Synthesis Report for key stakeholders in Indonesia.
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Ross, K., Mitchell, C., Abeysuriya, K., Puspowardoyo, P. & Wedahuditama, F. ISF, UTS 2015, Effective governance for the successful long-term operation of community scale air limbah systems: Mid-term Observations Report.
Prepared by the ISF, UTS as part of the Australian Development Research Award Scheme.
Mason, N., Ross, K. & Mitchell, C. 2015, A case study analysis of formal and informal institutional arrangements for local scale wastewater services in Indonesia.
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Al'Afghani, M.M., Paramita, D., Mitchell, C. & Ross, K. 2015, Review of Regulatory Framework for Local Scale 'Air Limbah.
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Ross, K., Abeysuriya, K., Mitchell, C. & Mikhailovich, N. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2014, Governance for decentralized sanitation: Global Practice Scan. A working document., pp. 1-44, Sydney, Australia.
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This research intends to make a significant contribution to a critical gap in sectoral knowledge on how to enable effective governance for decentralised sanitation service delivery
Ross, K., Delaney, C., Mohr, S. & Mitchell, C. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2014, End of project evaluation: Gunbalanya Water Initiative, pp. 1-97, Sydney, Australia.
This report presents an analysis of water use in Gunbalanya and an independent evaluation of the `Gunbalanya Water Initiative (the Initiative), a water demand management program led by Power and Water Corporation (PWC) in 2013. The Initiative was implemented in the Gunbalanya community (Oenpelli) in western Arnhemland, Northern Territory, in response to increasing water scarcity and rising demand from the water system. The community experiences water shortages at the end of most dry seasons (October to December) as the aquifer is dependent on seasonal recharge and unique aquifer characteristics prohibit higher extraction rates. Increasing water demand incurs higher production costs. Where that water continues to the sewer, it can also overload sewage treatment systems. These drivers triggered an analysis of the sources of demand (water use, leaks, etc) to identify and test the local efficacy of targeted demand reduction measures. Implementation of the Initiative was from October 2012 to November 2013 through a partnership between local and Territory governments and the Gunbalanya community. The partners included Power and Water Corporation, the NT Department of Housing, the West Arnhem Regional Council (WARC), and the NT Department of Community Services. In - kind contributions from all partners supplemented grant funding of $298,000 from the Australian Government to deliver the program. The focus of the Initiative was to engage Indigenous public housing tenants and community stakeholders in a water efficiency program. Smart meter data interpretation played a significant role in the Initiatives design, monitoring and evaluation. A mixture of qualitative and quantitative evaluation techniques were used.
McGee, C.M., Wynne, L.E., Milne, G.R., Dovey, C., Mitchell, C.A., Prior, J.H., Sharpe, S.A. & Wilmot, K. 2014, Guiding World Class Urban Renewal: A Framework for UrbanGrowth NSW.
Mitchell, C.A., Fam, D.M. & Abeysuriya, K. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2013, Transitioning to sustainable sanitation: a transdisciplinary pilot project of urine diversion, pp. 1-137, Sydney.
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Ross, K., Delaney, C. & Mitchell, C. 2013, Gunbalanya Household Water and Energy Initiative. Paper 1: Baseline Evaluation. Paper 2: Design Recommendations. Paper 3: Interview Tools. Paper 4: Learning Paper.
Paper 1: Baseline Evaluation. Paper 2: Design Recommendations. Paper 3: Interview Tools. Paper 4: Learning Paper. Prepared by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney, for the Power and Water Corporation.
Hamlyn- Harris, D., Mitchell, C.A., Abeysuriya, K. & Turner, A.J. Bligh Tanner Consulting Engineers and Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2012, Study of local alternative water supplies: Discussion paper, pp. 1-82, Brisbane, Australia.
Mukheibir, P. & Mitchell, C.A. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2011, Planning for resilient water systems - a water supply and demand investment options assessment framework, pp. 1-37, Sydney.
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The Managing Directors of the four Melbourne water businesses have set out a clear vision for the future role of water in shaping a sustainable, liveable, prosperous and healthy city. The Melbourne Water Supply Demand Strategy (WSDS) is a 50-year strategy to balance the supply of water to meet Melbourne's consumptive, environmental, industrial and agricultural water needs. The strategy examines long-term future supply augmentations for the city. The last Melbourne WSDS was completed in 2006. The next Melbourne WSDS is due for completion in March 2012, and is one of the key mechanisms through which the Managing Directors' vision can be achieved. The Institute for Sustainable Futures was contracted by the Smart Water Fund to develop an options assessment framework for the preparation of water supply demand investment strategies, including the forthcoming WSDS, that will meet the MDs' broad vision. This options assessment framework brief indicates there is now widespread recognition across the Melbourne water businesses that a generational shift is required away from conventional deterministic planning towards more flexible and adaptive planning and management. This shift is being driven by the need to maintain water security in the face of increasing uncertainty in key determinants of water businesses, as well as by increasing determination to broaden the objectives that a water system should meet. For example, the recent dry period highlighted that the role of water in a city is wider than that of a commodity. In addition, feedback from key city stakeholders indicates that there is an opportunity for the water sector to play a larger role in actively shaping the future of our city.
Mitchell, C.A., Fam, D.M. & Abeysuriya, K. Institute of Sustainable Futures 2011, Mutual Learning for Social Change: Using social research to support the introduction of urine diverting toilets in the Kinglake West Sewerage Project, pp. 1-23, Sydney.
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Mitchell, C.A., Cordell, D.J., Boyle, T.M. & Jackson, M.L. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2011, Australian Green Infrastructure Council Infrastructure sustainability rating tool: Water category, Sydney.
Mitchell, C.A. & Ross, K.E. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2010, Development of the SIG RAMSI People's Survey. Results from Objective 1: idenitification of survey questions, pp. 1-94, Sydney, Australia.
Fam, D.M., Mitchell, C.A. & Abeysuriya, K. Prepared for Yarra Valley water by the Institute of Sustainable Futures 2010, Kinglake mutual learning for social change project - international and local review of user manuals for urine diverting toilets, pp. 1-16, University of Technology, Sydney.
International and local review if urine diversion instructional material for users
Mitchell, C.A., Fam, D.M. & Cordell, D.J. Water Environment Research Foundation 2010, Effectively managing the transition towards restorative futures in the sewage industry: a phosphorus case study p.84-97 in 'Water Sustainability and International Innovation: The Baltimore Charter - A Transformation in Managing Water', pp. 83-96, Vermont, USA.
The water and sewage industry globally is at a transformation point. Whilst infrastructure is ageing, pressures are increasing and expectations are shifting towards quite different kinds of outcomes, including restorative futures that have a net positive impact. There is a growing realization that conventional approaches will struggle to deliver these kinds of outcomes, so new approaches are necessary. The emerging field of transition management offers some guidance for how to strategically manage a transition toward a restorative future. Phosphate scarcity will be a significant pressure and opportunity for new forms of sewage management in the medium term, so phosphorus recovery from sewage makes a particularly interesting case study for applying transition thinkin
Willetts, J.R., Carrard, N.R., Retamal, M.L., Nguyen, D.G.N., Paddon, M., Do, X.T.D., Nguyen, H.T.T. & Mitchell, C.A. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2010, Cost effectiveness and sustainability of sanitation options: A case study of South Can Tho - Technical Report, pp. 1-49, Sydney, Australia.
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The Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF), from the University of Technology Sydney, in collaboration with Can Tho University (CTU) and Can Tho Water Supply and Sewerage Company (WSSC) completed a 2-year collaborative research project assessing the wastewater infrastructure options for Can Tho City. The comparison of alternatives was made on the basis of cost-effectiveness and on the relative sustainability of the options, as determined through a participatory stakeholder sustainability assessment process with several government agencies in Can Tho.
Willetts, J.R., Carrard, N.R., Retamal, M.L., Nguyen, D.G.N., Paddon, M., Do, X.T.D., Nguyen, H.T.T. & Mitchell, C.A. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2010, Selecting sanitation options: A case study of South Can Tho - Technical report, pp. 1-50, Sydney, Australia.
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Mitchell, C.A. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2009, Quality in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary postgraduate research and its supervision: workshop slides, Sydney, Australia.
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Mitchell, C.A. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2009, Zen and the art of transdisciplinary postgraduate research: workshop resources, Sydney, Australia.
Mitchell, C.A. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2009, Quality in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary postgraduate research and its supervision: ideas for good practice, Sydney, Australia.
Mitchell, C.A. & Willetts, J.R. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2009, Quality criteria for inter- and trans-disciplinary doctoral research outcomes, Sydney, Australia.
Mitchell, C.A., Abeysuriya, K. & Fam, D.M. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2008, Development of qualitative decentralized system concepts for the 2009 Metropolitan Sewerage Strategy. vol 1: synthesis report, Sydney, Australia.
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Mitchell, C.A., Abeysuriya, K. & Fam, D.M. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2008, Development of qualitative decentralized system concepts for the 2009 Metropolitan Sewerage Strategy. vol 2: concepts and case studies, Sydney, Australia.
Willetts, J.R., Carrard, N.R., Abeysuriya, K., Macrellis, A., Mitchell, C.A., Johnstone, S. & Pinkham, R. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2008, Guidance for establishing successful responsible management entities (RME's): scoping paper, Sydney.
Mitchell, C.A., Fane, S.A., Willetts, J.R., Plant, R. & Kazaglis, A. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS/The Cooperative Research Centre for Water Quality & Treatment 2007, Costing for sustainable outcomes in urban water systems - a guidebook, pp. 1-86, Sydney.
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Research Report 35
Mitchell, C.A. & Cordell, D.J. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2007, Demonstration of innovative community based water cycle management system. Stage 1: sustainability screening and evaluation, pp. 1-107, Sydney, Australia.
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This project is the first stage of a Demonstration of Innovative Decentralised Sewage Treatment Technologies and Management Systems Project. This first stage looks at both the development and application of a sustainability screening and evaluation tool. The tool is used to recommend a sustainable and appropriate technology option for community based wastewater systems. Its use is trialled in one of the Priority Sewage Program (PSP) areas at Galston High School. This site is considered appropriate for the technology demonstration as the soil horizon at the School is representative of the Hawkesbury-Nepean area (which the PSP area covers). That is, it has a clay layer overlaying a shale cap which overlays sandstone. The sustainability screening and evaluation tool was developed to address six key sustainability objectives (3 environmental, 1 technical, 1 social and 1 economic). A star rating system was developed, by which technologies (and technology options) for a specific site could be ranked and compared to determine which was the most sustainable and appropriate for that site. The tool is intended to be compatible with that developed by The Institute for Sustainable Futures and CSIRO in the Sydney Water Corporation Edmondson Park project. The six essential sustainability criteria were embedded in an 8-Step tool. The steps and their application to Galston High School are as follows: 1.Define effluent end-use scenarios. 2.Determine water and nutrient quality requirements for end uses. 3.Narrow selection of water quality requirements for site. 4.Generate and define process combinations to meet end uses. 5.Check minimum performance standards (PASS/FAIL). 6.Check appropriate fit-for-purpose water quality cascade. 7.a) Evaluate and rank technology options according to defined sustainability objectives and criteria. b) Address management issues. 8.Monitor and evaluate the chosen technology against objectives/criteria.
McGee, C.M., Mitchell, C.A. & Vassallo, P.B. Institute for Sustainable Futures 2007, Barangaroo energy and water infrastructure, pp. 1-75, Sydney.
Background The purpose of this discussion paper is to ensure that the best possible outcomes are achieved for Barangaroo at least cost. The focus of the discussion paper is infrastructure for energy and water, situated in the broader context of Sydneyâs future needs and the many emerging drivers for sustainable development. The paper examines global drivers for sustainable cities, as well as the current and emerging policy drivers that will shape Barangarooâs development. The paper also recommends a principles framework to guide development at Barangaroo, as well as high-level options for the development of energy and water infrastructure. This discussion paper is one of a series currently being prepared for Baranagaroo, and will inform the development of criteria to guide how the project attracts private sector investment. Opportunities for Barangaroo The Barangaroo site, formerly known as East Darling Harbour, will be developed as a new urban precinct in several stages up till 2020. Covering an area of approximately 22 hectares, the site will include a mix of residential, commercial, community and public domain uses. Sustainability is by definition a key element of Sydneyâs continued global competitiveness. As a precinct scale development located in the CBD, the Barangaroo development offers unparalleled opportunities for innovation. In particular, the ability to influence infrastructure design creates cost effective opportunities for significant precinct-wide sustainability gains. Opportunity even exists for Barangarooâs infrastructure to serve surrounding precincts, assisting to reduce the environmental impact of Sydneyâs CBD as a whole.
Willetts, J.R., Mitchell, C.A. & Carrard, N.R. Institute for Sustainable Futures 2007, Getting the basics right: water and sanitation in South East Asia and the Pacific, pp. 1-20, Sydney.
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Mitchell, C.A., Willetts, J.R. & Carrard, N.R. World Vision Australia and WaterAid Australia 2007, Getting the basics right: Water and sanitation in South East Asia and the Pacific, pp. 1-20, Melbourne, Australia.
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Mitchell, C.A. & Giurco, D. Institute for Sustainable Futures 2006, Sustainable Water Management, pp. 1-31, Sydney.
Total water cycle management represents a significant shift away from our conventional centralised and disaggregated approach. Our first well-intended forays as an industry into this new realm, characterised as transitional, have tended to increase costs, and deliver mixed outcomes for environment and society. In some instances, overall environmental outcomes have improved. In others, we have traded off better outcomes in one sector for greater impacts in another. Similarly in the societal realm, in some instances we have continued to decrease the public health risks, but in others, for example some water recycling scenarios, where action is ahead of understanding and/or regulation, public health risks have been increased. The emerging approach to total water cycle management has the potential to tunnel through these barriers, and deliver improved environmental and societal outcomes at lower total cost. There are three principles that characterise the emerging era: ⢠Reduce water demand ⢠Match source with use ⢠Minimise impacts This report provides some details about why these principles are key to a sustainable future, what they are, and how they manifest in an emerging approach to water, sewage, and stormwater management. In particular, this report focuses on the emerging understanding in urban stormwater management. A revolution is underway in this field. Very recent research and field trials have demonstrated that it is not the load of pollutants to receiving water that matters, but rather the frequency of overland flow events that is the primary determinant of the ecological health of urban streams. So, the emerging stormwater management objective is to retain all small-moderate storms. This shift necessitates a fundamental shift in the nature of the interventions provided by stormwater management.
Mitchell, C.A., McGee, C.M., Lewis, J., Roussac, C. & Stapledon, T.T. Institute of Sustainable Futures 2006, Strategic Planning Workshop, pp. 1-20, Sydney.
ATP has a significant strategic opportunity Capacity to create change and influence Preserve heritage, improve existing facilities and plan sustainable future developments
Edgerton, N., Mitchell, C.A., Church, T. & Jordan, P. UTS 2005, Sustainable total water cycle management strategy, Sydney.
McGee, C.M. & Mitchell, C.A. Institute for Sustainable Futures 2005, New generation builders training development, Sydney.
Etnier, C., Willetts, J.R., Fane, S.A., Mitchell, C.A. & Johnstone, S. Stone Environmental, Inc. 2005, Decentralized wastewater system reliability analysis handbook (Project No. WU-HT-03-57), pp. 1-181, Vermont, USA.
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White, S., Turner, A.J. & Mitchell, C.A. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2004, Review of BASIX - Water, pp. 1-38, Sydney.
This review has been undertaken to provide advice to DIPNR regarding the potential for improvements to BASIX, prior to BASIX going live on July 1st 2004. As a regulatory support tool, BASIX has a great potential to reduce potable water demand. It provides a useful performance based approach to regulation, moving away from prescriptive requirements. The user friendly web based interface allows for the potential for broad reach and reduced compliance costs. The usefulness of this tool will depend largely on appropriate complementary and supplementary measures to support its implementation, including resources such as training and education for developers, builders and householders compliance monitoring economic incentives least cost planning and estate level planning. Without such support measures BASIX risks resulting in perverse outcomes such as increased water use or stakeholder opposition and resistance to cooperation. Many of these options are beyond the scope of DIPNR to implement, which further strengthens the requirement for a whole of government approach to water efficiency implementation. This review found that the key limitations of BASIX were largely a result of its inability to affect more than technical measures to reduce potable water demand at the stage of development consent. This means neither water efficient appliances nor behavioural measures could be influenced either at the development application stage or in the longer term. Furthermore, without compliance monitoring, economic incentives and appropriate training and education for the industry and community, there is little assurance that design savings will be achieved. This report suggests a number of recommendations to overcome these limitations and maximise the effectiveness of BASIX.
Mitchell, C.A., Jha, M. & Tarlo, K. Institute for Sustainable Futures 2003, Gladstone Water Study, pp. 1-37, Sydney.
The Gladstone region is facing a water crisis. Presently, industry is on 25 per cent restrictions, and local government authorities are on 50 per cent restrictions. If significantly below average rainfall continues through the summer of 2002â2003, then industry will be asked to move to 50 per cent restrictions in about the third quarter of 2003. If rainfall scarcity continues, even more severe restrictions will be necessary in about the first quarter 2004. Aim and Scope of the Report The objective of this project is to review the current water supply situation in the Gladstone region, and to apply demand-side and least cost thinking to the analysis of the different courses of action and their short term and long term implications. The report encompasses both quantitative and qualitative aspects of the research undertaken for the project. Quantitative aspects are reported in terms of the actual and potential volumes of water saved or supplied, the time periods associated with the implementation of options, and estimated costs. The qualitative aspects provide a description of the benefits and risks associated with alternative options, and provide insight into stakeholder perspectives by âtelling their storiesâ based on interview material.
White, S. & Mitchell, C.A. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2003, Mapping sustainable urban water futures, pp. 1-42, Sydney.
The water industry in Australia and internationally is on the brink of significant changes in its provision of services. These changes are being driven locally by an increasing interest in long-term holistic thinking (sustainability) (e.g. VicWaters publication of guidelines for triple bottom line reporting); changes in community preferences (e.g. research conducted for the Melbourne Water Resources Strategy Review) and recent technological advancement (e.g. onsite detention systems linked to small bore, flexible, sewer collection systems). The business of the water industry can be viewed as moving from commodity supply to services provision. YVW engaged the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) to help answer a series of questions What are the emerging trends in sustainable urban water service provision. How could YVW deliver sustainable urban water services in the future What are the opportunities for YVW. This report is a summary of the entire project. It includes summaries of our review of YVWs external context and the outcomes of the literature review, Workshop 1 and Workshop 2. The purpose of this document is to bring together the outcomes from the divergent and convergent phases of the project and integrate these into a coherent set of next steps for YVW.
Mitchell, C.A., McGee, C.M., Reardon, C.C. & Hawke, G.A. Institute for Sustainable Futures 2002, Survey of education, training and continuing professional development, pp. 1-33, Sydney.
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The intent of the study, in keeping with ABEC and AGO requirements, was to provide an indication of the extent to which the major providers currently address these issues both generally and with respect to specific topics. Industry and Professional Associations, Universities and TAFE Institutes across Australia were been surveyed to assess the level of energy efficiency and greenhouse related education being offered to building industry practitioners (including both future graduates and those currently practicing).
Mitchell, C.A., McGee, C.M. & Carew, A. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2002, Training in the Building and Construction Industry Stage II Final Report, pp. 1-40, Sydney.
Stage II of the Australian Building Energy Council (ABEC) project on Training in the Australian Building and Construction Industry focuses on enabling education deliverers to create sustainable change. This report has been created as a resource for tertiary education deliverers who wish to develop and deliver training aimed at enabling more sustainable practices in the building and construction industry. The report has been written by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) for ABEC, with input from representatives from the building industry, University and TAFE. Formative learning experiences (University and TAFE) are the focus of this report, although we have included a brief description of âbest practiceâ continuing professional development (CPD) courses that we came across during our research. In this report, we assemble a set of principles and criteria for developing best practice education for the building industry, identify existing best practice examples of education, and review these against the criteria. We then examine likely barriers to the implementation of best practice and outline a draft communications strategy to ensure the outcomes of this study are communicated and taken forward.
Selected Peer-Assessed Projects