Agreement follows Jacob’s success on Queensland’s Emu Swamp Dam project using Seequent’s Leapfrog Works and collaboration tools for geological risk assessment and stakeholder communication

 CHRISTCHURCH, NZ, 10 July, 2019 –Seequent, a world leader in the development of geoscience analysis, modelling and collaborative technologies, has announced Jacobs, one of the world’s leading providers in technical, professional and construction services, has signed a major agreement to use Leapfrog® Works on its civil engineering and environmental projects. Jacobs staff in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong and Canada are covered under the agreement and will use Seequent’s solutions to to better understand and communicate geology and risk. 
 
Jacob’s has successfully used Leapfrog® Works on many significant projects including the Emu Swamp Dam – a proposed 12,100 megalitre urban and irrigation supply dam on the Severn River in Stanthorpe, Queensland, Australia – to gain a clear understanding of the geology and mitigate the potential risks they faced. Jacobs used Leapfrog Works to create a subsurface model of the Emu Swamp Dam which identified potential geological challenges, such as areas in the proposed dam footprint that may require mitigation in the design phase, and successfully communicated these challenges to all stakeholders including engineers, farmers, and the community using Seequent’s highly visual 3D collaboration tools.  

“Effectively assessing and communicating geological risk in the context of proposed infrastructure designs is critical for successful civil engineering,” says Daniel Wallace, Seequent’s General Manager of Civil and Environmental. “Fast and dynamic 3D subsurface modelling made possible with Leapfrog Works has an important role to play. We are pleased to support Jacobs, one of the top engineering consultancies in the world, with our highly visual solution specifically designed for civil engineering and environmental industries.” 
 
Jacobs was contracted to complete a detailed business case for the Emu Swamp Dam project including a reference design – providing all engineering expertise, stakeholder communication, environmental works to offset harm, baseline economics and provisional water sales assessment.  With an estimated capital cost of $84 million and potential to secure approximately 700 local jobs, the project aims to increase security and agricultural proficiency for Queensland, in an area known for drought. Queensland fruit farmers and viticulturists have previously had to truck in water from New South Wales to help increase production.  

The project faced many challenges including determining an economic and safe design, securing significant water resources without affecting downstream flows, incorporating the project into State Water plans and liaising and communicating with a variety of stakeholders from local councils, chambers of commerce and government to private farmers, developers and the local community.   

 “Leapfrog Works had a very positive impact on our understanding and communication of the geology. Using 3D visualisation gave clarity and meaning and allowed us to effectively communicate to all stakeholders. This 3D visualisation was particularly beneficial for those with no technical background. Using an industry-specific tool like Leapfrog Works really helped with the successful delivery of the business case,” says Graeme Jardine, APAC ME Technical Director Engineering Geology, Jacobs Australia.  

The Emu Swamp Dam Project project has been ongoing for many years, and the Federal Government has announced it is looking to co-fund, with private farmers and developers already pledged to provide 29% of the cost. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been extended to April 2020 and with funding approval from Federal and State Government, it will then go to tender. 
 
Jardine says, “We used Seequent’s solutions to communicate with the community and non-technical forums to show them what we’d discovered through our drilling programme. Communicating in 3D really helped people to understand and visualise the project. We were also able to use Leapfrog Works’ movie feature to create fly throughs which we could easily pause during consultations to explain key aspects. These impressive visualisations really helped to bring the project to life.” 
 
It is likely that the decision regarding the Emu Swamp Dam’s go ahead is made in 2019 and could result in more borehole drilling to fully understand ground permeability – the Leapfrog model will help to inform this work when the project progresses to the detailed design phase. 
 
Seequent’s Civil & Environmental Product Manager, Pat McLarin says Leapfrog Works is designed to support civil engineering project workflows to the benefit of the wide cross section of teams and stakeholders that are commonly involved. “We’re delighted Works helped Jacobs deliver the business case for what could be a landmark project in Queensland.” 
 
View the full Emu Swamp Dam case study here