Water Journal : Water Journal June 2015
water June 2015 46 Ozwater report Community engagement is growing in importance and Coombe explained how SA Water collaborated with education departments to put a dedicated teacher into the system. Bailey and Cash outlined Unitywater’s 2013 World Toilet Day Art Prize campaign in Queensland; it supported WaterAid’s efforts, while educating customers on the value and role of sewage treatment in healthy communities. A relatively new topic for Ozwater is data analytics. Prevos described a novel way of melding all facets of water treatment plant performance into a simple ‘traffic light’ format, making sense to leadership and senior staff. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Lemon et al. explained how Sydney Water hopes to minimise tree root chokes in sewers, using aerial maps of tree canopy to identify where problems are most likely. Regulation and governance are evidently becoming more rational and sophisticated. Byleveld et al. noted that NSW Health has assisted 74 rural and regional water utilities to develop their quality assurance programs. Stevens et al. introduced the concept of earned autonomy, whereby businesses with appropriate management systems and procedures in place, and a proven track record of compliance, are given greater flexibility in delivering regulated outcomes. EPA Victoria (EPAV) has progressed this approach, which will recognise and encourage excellence in environmental performance. Water for mining, resources and power was also a relatively new theme for Ozwater. neitzel compared regulation of unconventional gas operations in the US and Australia, concluding with a table that summarised strengths and weaknesses in the two countries. Australia had many areas in which improvement was needed. Lane et al., in positive vein, asserted that the appropriate management of water will be a critical determinant for the success of shale gas projects in the highly prospective Cooper Basin. The region’s aridity and seasonal water availability mean that early strategic and collaborative planning will be required to limit the potential for water management to constrain gas production. The authors proposed a long list of actions needed. my oZWater eXperienCe Rebecca Borwell, a YWP member and Graduate Engineer from Midcoast Water, attended Ozwater’15 as the winning recipient of the Australian Water Association/Water Directorate Conference Attendance Award. She provided the following feedback on the event and what she personally gained from it. Ozwater’15 was an excellent experience that provided me with invaluable opportunities for networking while exploring industry innovations and developments. The address, ‘The Business of Managing Water is the Business of Managing Risk’, by Dr Rob Vertessy from the Bureau of Meteorology, was echoed throughout my time at Ozwater, exploring as it did water diversification through utilisation of resource management integrated with communities and lifestyles. By attending a range of sessions including Liveable Cities, Asset Management and Drought Security, which complemented the technological innovations on display at the trade show, I was able to gain industry insight that can be applied to my work at Midcoast Water and throughout my career to achieve holistic outcomes. My Ozwater experience began with a Young Water Professionals workshop, where I met other young professionals and discussed the impacts of Megatrends on the water industry. Through networking with my peers I was able to build relationships and connections with the water industry community. The connections that I made at Ozwater have provided me with valuable contacts that will enable me to continue networking within other water professionals. The technical presentations provided me with insights and inspiration that can be applied to my work at Midcoast Water and my research at the University of Newcastle in the way of both technical content and presentation techniques. The presentations I attended were the highlight of my Ozwater attendance and by networking with presenters I was able to gain insight on what made the projects presented successful, the key challenges to be overcome and tips on how to overcome them; this awareness will be fundamental for building my knowledge to aid my pursuit of holistic and integrated project solutions. I was able to view the products on display at the trade show and have their potential applications explained to me; these experiences provided me with a new knowledge of the industry and how I could apply these technologies to projects I am working on. My week concluded with a tour of the Adelaide Desalination Plant, which encompassed a technical tour of the plant and an insight into their community education programs. The efficient process technology, which incorporated energy recovery, coupled with an interactive education program demonstrated the potential for proactive community engagement that fosters ownership of resources. The integration of engineering processes into SA Water’s education program to collaborate with the community has provided me with inspiration for future community engagement. These opportunities have enhanced my professional knowledge and given me a great leap into my career as a water professional. I would like to thank the Australian Water Association and the Water Directorate for their sponsorship of my attendance to the conference. The experience was extremely valuable in forming a platform for growth as a young professional. The Australian Water Association/Water Directorate Conference Attendance Award provided an outstanding young water professional the chance to win a trip to Ozwater’15 free of charge. To be eligible for the award, entrants had to have less than seven years’ experience in the water industry and work at a Water Directorate member council in the water and sewerage section. AWA provided one full registration gratis to the successful applicant, valued at up to $1,690 and the Water Directorate covered the cost of travel and accommodation up to the value of $2,000 (excl GST). In addition, the Water Directorate covered the cost of attending the Young Water Professionals Workshop and Breakfast.
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