Water Journal : Water Journal May 2013
WATER MAY 2013 44 Conference Report The nal session, on workforce planning and development, looked at the work of Government Skills Australia and a snapshot of the Queensland Water Industry was provided by Michelle Hill from the Queensland Water Directorate. To conclude, a session was held to discuss how the industry can work together more effectively to improve its capacity and then the skills session merged with the education session to look at opportunities for collaboration between the networks. NATIONAL WATER EFFICIENCY CONFERENCE Presenters talked on analysis and modelling, regulations, metering, and the lessons learnt. They re ected on the course of the drought (the panic, the response, the rain, and the subsequent rapid drop-off in programs); the need to keep lessons learned and know-how within the industry for the next drought; and the ef ciency/economics nexus. Key themes were on the water-energy nexus; the complexity of evaluating costs and bene ts of programs; the importance of reporting on the ef cacy of water ef ciency; and examining use factors including appliances and user behaviours. The extensive bene ts of water ef ciency programs were widely recognised and may not be properly considered by economic regulators. The sector needs to further analyse program development and outcomes to demonstrate the holistic bene ts to the community. The next steps identi ed are to 'systemise' programs through collaboration; examine and develop knowledge of bene t; and focus future programs on segments of water use to gain the maximum bene t. The keynotes were Josh Byrne, Environmental Scientist and well-known ABC TV's Gardening Australia presenter and Glen Garner, Senior Management Consultant at IBM's Energy and Utilities Industry Global Centre of Competency. Josh Byrne presented on the design and construction of two 10-star energy-ef cient family homes, which aim to prove that resource-ef cient homes can be built at comparable cost and timeframes to regular houses using conventional building materials and construction methods so they can be replicated by industry and the wider community. The project demonstrates a more sensitive approach to residential subdivision, maximising effective garden areas around the homes to provide natural shading, children's play spaces and local food production -- important to the health and lifestyle bene ts that are rapidly disappearing from our suburbs. Glen Garner gave an insight into where data capabilities are now, and where data used as information and for in uencing behaviour may go in the near future. He highlighted the Dubuque Smart Water Pilot Study (see www.cityofdubuque.org), and the possibilities for in-home-display information rather than relying on people to access a portal. He also gave examples on how having data to form a better picture of the movement and use of water informs decisions on pumping, infrastructure, energy ef ciency and a whole range of operational decisions. While acknowledging that technology won't provide all the answers, there is a great deal still on offer in these segments and in the capability to in uence day-to-day end-use of water. NETWORKING, AWARDS AND CONFERENCE DINNER Holding the three conferences together allowed for extensive networking, with delegates mingling and crossing between streams. Taking networking one step further, the Speed Networking session allowed each participant to meet over 15 industry counterparts in just minutes through a fun and engaging exercise. The dinner was a great occasion to get together and further strengthen contacts made during the conference. In the presence of his proud family, Declan Fahey from Hellyer College was announced by Xylem sponsor, Gabe Vigna, as the winner of the Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize, with Saymaa Selman and Lauren Booth deserving nalists. The Best Conference Presentation was awarded to Geoffrey Enever from Goulburn-Murray Water for his presentation on Skills Transformation For Operational Staff For Modernised Gravity Delivery Systems. Day 3 was packed with innovative and engaging workshops on leadership and in uence, practical innovation, and key principles for engaging the community in decision-making. AWA would like to thank the conference Platinum Sponsor, IBM and the Dinner Sponsor, BMT BWM, as well as volunteers of the conference organising committees: Charles Lemckert, Grif th University; Fiona Hogarth, Power and Water Corporation; Jenifer Simpson, Sunshine Coast Environment Council; Liz Minor, Sydney Water; Mary Catus-Wood, Melbourne Water; Melissa Jomantas, GHD; Merryl Todd, Westernport Region Water Corporation; Michael Fiechtner, SEQ Water; Nicole Latham, Melbourne Water; Rod Williams, Gosford City Council; Julian Gray, Smart Approved WaterMark; Reid Butler, BMT WBM; Andrea Turner, Institute for Sustainable Futures; Steve Atkinson, Water Corporation; Des Horton, City West Water; and Anthony Coates, LGIS. It would have been impossible to put on an event of this calibre without their support.
Water Journal April 2013
Water Journal June 2013