Water Journal : Current August 2017
13 www.awa.asn.au AUSTRALIAN WATER ASSOCIATION PROJECTS IN VIETNAM SHARING AUSTRALIAN INNOVATIONS AND EXPERTISE WITH VIETNAMESE COMMUNITIES AND WATER INDUSTRY. Join the Australian delegation to Vietwater’17 The Australian Water Association, in partnership with the Australian and Vietnamese Governments, is calling for delegates to participate in the third Australian delegation to Vietwater, to be held in Ho Chi Minh City from November 6-10. Delegates participating in the Australian mission to Vietwater will be involved in a series of tailored events designed to connect you with the right people across the Vietnamese water sector. T he Australian Water Association, with support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s InnovationXchange Program and ANZ Bank, is enabling Australian innovations to deliver safe drinking water in rural Vietnam. As part of their program of activities in Vietnam, the Association has facilitated one of their members, SkyJuice Foundation Inc., to pilot low-cost membrane water treatment technology in rural areas of Son La Province, Vietnam. The project in Son La has a special emphasis on women’s empowerment (local women manage the business of the kiosk) and children’s health. It also contributes to the Australian Government’s objective of helping the Vietnamese Government achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 for universal access to basic services including safe and clean water. “We are very happy with the new water treatment system at the school,” said Principal of Chieng Mai Primary School Luong Thi Phuong. “Before the tower was installed, we had to buy bottled water or use very expensive water filters, which consume a lot of electricity.” Paul Smith, the Association’s international manager, said: “There are many opportunities for the Australian water sector to share its expertise in Vietnam. The role of the Association’s International Program is to facilitate these opportunities while improving the livelihoods and economic prosperity of rural areas in Vietnam. We are observing the benefits of increased access to drinking water in rural communities including enterprise development, like tourism, that otherwise didn’t exist.” SkyJuice Chairman Rhett Butler AM added: “This project will be a tremendous catalyst to encourage individuals and organisations to embrace innovative technology solutions to solve pressing global issues like drinking water and sanitation.” Another program the Association has implemented is the Twinning Program, supported by the Australian Water Partnership. This program involves the exchange of personnel and knowledge between five Australian utilities and five Vietnamese utilities. Through the Twinning Program, Cairns Regional Council has been paired with Son La Water Company, Seqwater was paired with Saigon Water, Wannon Water went with Binh Duong, Coliban Water was paired with Phu Tho, and Water Corporation in Western Australia was matched with Hue Water Corporation. “The Association has paired utilities in such awaytobeofvalueto both the Vietnamese utilities and also the Australian utilities,” Smith said. “For example, Cairns Council and Son La Water are both regional utilities looking to share their knowledge to ensure delivery of safe and secure water supplies. Another twinning pair, Seqwater and Saigon Water, are both looking at innovative ways for engaging the private sector.” The Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick has endorsed the program as well, saying “it will enable a new level of cooperation between the Australian and Vietnamese water sectors, ensuring that the expertise and experience of the Australian water sector are profiled and positioned to play a key role in the fast-transitioning water sector in Vietnam”.
Current May 2017