The Queensland Government flagged a significant investment in ICT for water infrastructure management in its 2010-11 budget. The first of these initiatives has now come to market with the Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority, trading as Seqwater, releasing a Request for Tender (RFT) for a data centre solution on 7 February 2011.
It has gone to market for the provision of hosting facilities for its new primary off-site data centre. The data centre, which will operate as an extension of Seqwater’s existing data centre, must be capable of supporting all of Seqwater’s business systems and providing high availability services to Seqwater users.
“Seqwater is seeking to add a higher level of resilience to its Corporate Computing Environment by ensuring that data centre services are ‘High Availability’ and ‘Resilient’”, the tender documents state.
Availability of the IT services is central to the RFT, with only two hours of outage allowed per annum and an availability of 99.977% a mandatory requirement.
The services must also be:
- Able to support a 24x7 data centre environment;
- Resilient and demonstrating high levels of redundancy;
- Highly secure;
- Cost effective for the life of the contract; and
- Able to meet Seqwater’s time schedule.
The initial contract term will be three years (though Seqwater has indicated it will consider longer proposals up to five years), with five one-year extensions available.
Seqwater, which commenced the majority of its operations on 1 July 2008, is the single treated and bulkwater service provider for the South East Queensland region, managing water storage, weirs, treatment plants and bore fields and providing services to over 1000 rural irrigator customers.
Seqwater’s RFT is the first market approach from a detailed list of water-based IT initiatives in the Queensland 2010-11 Budget.
Intermedium’s state budgetIT tool reveals that Queensland planned for a heavy investment in water management in 2010-11, with the state’s Bulk Water Supply Authority (Seqwater) allocated $47.4 million to upgrade their Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. $3.62 million was also allocated for ‘computer hardware and software’, though lack of detail in the Budget Papers makes the specific nature of this initiative unclear.
Other water organisations in Queensland were also assigned budget funding to develop their IT systems in 2010-11, with the Gladstone Area Water Board, Mount Isa Water Board and Sunwater all receiving allocations.
Both the Gladstone Area Water and Mount Isa Water Boards received funding for ‘Systems Development’, with Gladstone also apportioned $1.93 million for Installation of Flow Meters and Mount Isa allotted $510,000 for their Water Metering Project and Control Systems Development.
Sunwater, a bulk water developer supplying 40% of all water commercially used in Queensland and managing around $7 billion in water infrastructure, was allocated $2.19 million for ongoing development of software and hardware.
With a total water-related IT funding allocation of $63.07 million in the 2010-11 Queensland Budget and many of these initiatives yet to be translated into market approaches, it seems that procurement in this area will present lucrative opportunities to vendors who are able to meet water body ICT needs in the near future.
The Seqwater RFT closes on 25 February 2011.