Ekka visitors will get a hands-on lesson on how water catchments work as Seqwater hosts an exciting, new exhibit that mixes virtual reality with a traditional sandbox.

At a first glance, the wooden table that stands about waist high seems like an ordinary sandbox – the only things missing are the buckets and spades.

However with the dimming of the lights and powering of a projector, the sandbox becomes a virtual topographical map that instantly adjusts to the contours of the sand.

Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said the educational and interactive display had been developed by researchers and partners of University of California Davis and was popular among young and old alike.

Mr Dennis said the 'augmented reality sandbox’ installation had been built by researchers at the Queensland University of Technology’s Institute for Future Environments.

A projector casts a topographic map on the sand an a sensor detects changes in the elevation of the sand.

“The exhibit uses 120kg of sand and a Microsoft Kinect sensor to detect changes in the elevation of sand in real time which allows users to create their own hills, valleys and lakes and simulate rainfall.

“It’s a fun and interesting way to give people a better understanding on how our water catchments work.”

The augmented reality sandbox will form part of Seqwater’s display at the Ekka, and will be located near the entrance of the Agricultural Hall.

Mr Dennis said Seqwater would also offer a free water refill station, which was always a popular feature among Ekka patrons.

“Through our partnership with QUT we are also displaying a digital interactive water globe to provide more water education,” Mr Dennis said.

Seqwater's Ekka display will also feature an interactive water globe.

The water globe uses cutting-edge visualisation technology with sophisticated satellite imagery to engage and inspire users to learn how drinking water is sourced, stored and supplied in South East Queensland.

“We recognise the importance of getting people involved in their water supply through education which is why Seqwater is offering these displays at the Ekka,’’ Mr Dennis said.

“A clean, sustainable water supply is vital for households, industries and agriculture. As the region’s bulk water authority water for life is our promise to the community we serve.’’

For more information about Seqwater and its services, visit www.seqwater.com.au.

The 'augmented reality sandbox' will be on show at the Seqwater display at this years Ekka.