Water Journal : Current Feb 2016
www.awa.asn.au 8 INNOVATION TO BE THEME OF 2016 CHALLENGES DRIVE FRESH FOCUS Jonathan McKeown Australian Water Association Chief Executive Welcome to the first edition of our new member magazine -- Current. I hope you enjoy the new format, its wide range of articles and reading the views of key people in Australia's water sector. Along with our new website, the magazine will highlight the Association's focus on three core areas: information and advocacy; professional development; and networking and industry development. Through each of these core areas, the Association looks to promote the water sector's achievements and advocate on its behalf to foster sustainable water practices, policies, and to provide opportunities for our members' professional development and network building both in Australia and internationally. Over the past 18 months the Board, Strategic Advisory Council, Branches, and our Specialist Networks have worked hard to shape the Association's strategic direction and 2016 will be a year of consolidation as we reap the benefits of this work, as well as the full benefits of the new digital platform, better communications and a calendar of state and national events that, we hope, has something for everyone. Read more about the Association's strategic plan on page 12. This year commenced with very serious water shortages in several states. If our water storage facilities are not replenished within the first quarter, Governments around the country will face some major water security issues. The very recent flooding in some regions will hopefully alleviate some of this pressure. The Federal election of 2016 will provide opportunities for the Association to advocate for continuing improvements to Australia's water management, including increased water security, availability and quality of rural and regional water, and greater consumer engagement in determining preferred water services. I encourage you to be involved in the development and promotion of the Association's advocacy initiatives. The Federal Government's recent announcement of a $1.1 billion Innovation Package is an excellent opportunity for Australia's innovators and the water sector. The strong Innovation Program the Association has developed over the past two years fits this new national priority. The Association's national Water Innovation Forum and Expo offers a practical platform for people working in water-using industries to discuss key challenges, share knowledge and best practices on water innovations, and showcase their products to potential buyers and investors. The joint AWA/IWA Young Water Professionals Conference also has a strong innovation theme, and is our first major national event for 2016. This conference will help our YWPs assert and define their crucial role in the future of water management. Our YWPs need to have the skills to adapt to shifting markets and seize opportunities for new projects as the water industry as a whole confronts the effects of changing climatic conditions. Events like this are growing our YWP membership; as a result we are strengthening our mentoring program. Find out more about your state's mentoring program -- we are always looking for mentees and mentors alike. Finally, the looming drought is driving the need for improved and diversified supply resilience strategies -- a theme that flavours this year's Ozwater. I encourage all members to participate in Ozwater this year and get involved in the Association's activities as we brace ourselves for another period of water scarcity. From the CEO THE $1.1 BILLION INNOVATION PACKAGE IS AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FOR THE WATER SECTOR.
Water Journal November 2015
Current May 2016