Water Journal : Water Journal June 2015
June 2015 water 51 workshop reports victorian intelligent Water netWorks WorkshoP By Deni Warwick, Victorian Intelligent Water Networks Collaborating To Innovate And Risk Share Changing The Status Quo Of The Water Industry About 30 people from all around Australia joined representatives from the Victorian Intelligent Water Networks group to hear about the collaboration efforts for innovation and risk sharing in Victoria, before exploring where we are using technology well now, and the opportunities, barriers and processes for further innovation and technology uptake in the water industry. The group identified that there are a number of great examples of technology use for increased efficiency and more effective decision- making in all states and territories; however, there are still some barriers to further investment or uptake into business as usual. Typically, the resistance to change was identified as being cultural, and clear examples of risk aversion were identified because of the uncertainty that can be associated with new technology and ways of operating. It was apparent that by sharing information on what has worked well and what hasn’t, there are multiple opportunities to better utilise existing data and technology within water organisations, to provide more efficient services and better satisfy customers. Water services association of australia WorkshoP By Sandi Kolbe, WSAA utilities, Customers And The Digital Age In this workshop Chris Loughlin, Chief Executive of South West Water (SWW), UK, outlined recent price review experience and an extensive customer engagement program that saw SWW achieve “enhanced” status from the UK regulator Ofwat. Research and stakeholder engagement commenced five years before SWW submitted its final Business Plan, putting the customer first as it sought to fully understand customer priorities. Chris also outlined South West Water’s offerings in the digital space, including a number of smart phone apps such as WaterLive (realtime mapping) and BeachLive (live feeds for water quality at 38 beaches). The result of these efforts in customer engagement has been an increase in customer satisfaction by 14 per cent since 2010/11. Reg Chamberlain, Head of Public Affairs, NRMA, provided the view from outside the water sector. He outlined how NRMA has used digital tools to enhance its customer advocacy program. By engaging with customers through online advocacy, it has had success in building an online community that is engaged and responsive. Reg reminded the audience of the need to have a flexible plan and that failure can happen – but to do it quickly and recover. Anika Johnstone, Manager Digital Strategy at SA Water, outlined the six key factors to creating a successful digital strategy and reminded the audience that there needs to be a focus on the people – both customers and staff. Hamish Reid, General Manager Customer and Business Futures, spoke on the need to focus on the customer/user experience and defined the fundamentals of people, platforms and process as critical to success. csiro & australian Water recYcling centre of excellence WorkshoP By Joanne Vanderzalm, CSIRO economic Viability Of Recycled Water For Managed Aquifer Recharge This workshop presented current research supported by the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence (AWRCoE). Approximately 30 participants attended, representing water utilities, water resource managers, regulators, consultants and research institutions within Australia and Indonesia. Presentations included an overview of the AWRCoE’s research related to the economics of recycled water MAR (John Radcliffe and Joanne An interested audience at the WSAA workshop.
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