Water Journal : Water Journal March 2011
awa news 32 MARCH 2011 water regular features Young Water Professionals (YWP) Amanda Hazell -- AWA YWP National Committee President After watching floods devastate many communities across our country (with some localities even being affected twice in a short space of time), you can't help reflecting on what a difference a couple of years can make. With many of these regions only two or three years ago on the verge of needing to use recycled water just to supply drinking water to their communities, you can forgive the general public for thinking that perhaps as a water industry we might have got a few things wrong. However, the reality of the situation is that most likely these sorts of situations are going to become more and more frequent. With the progression of climate change it is highly likely that we will continue to go through patterns similar to this. We will continue to see periods of time where we struggle to supply water to our increasing population due to the drying climate, and others where we get so much water that we can't control it. I think the Australian water community has well and truly embraced this concept and we now need to get the community on board to make them realise the decisions we make are for the long-term security of their water supply. The West Australian YWP committee is planning on holding a fundraiser for the floods sometime during February and I am sure that many of the other YWP committees will try to do the same, so keep an eye on your local AWA events calendar. Most of the state YWP committees are only just kicking off the year after the holiday period, but many already have a full calendar of events planned for the year. One of the key initiatives that will be implemented across the country this year is the mentoring program. It has been a big effort from a number of YWP national representatives, AWA staff members and state YWP committee members over the last few years to get the program fully developed for a national group. Queensland will be launching the program relatively early and Western Australia at this stage is planning for a mid-year kick- off, so you may expect to see entoring event planned for your state sometime soon. One of the hardest aspects of launching these programs can be finding enough mentors for the amount of mentees, so if you have a colleague or supervisor in your workplace who you think would make a great mentor encourage them to participate. The other national event that is now only a couple of months away is Ozwater'11 in Adelaide. The South Australian YWP committee has put together a great YWP program which focuses on managing water quality in disaster situations. This is especially topical at the moment, with water quality being impacted in all the areas affected by the floods. I am sure that we will all be able to learn a great deal from the workshop, so I would encourage all YWPs who are heading to Adelaide for Ozwater to also attend the YWP program. A number of states have been a doing a great job of collaborating with other young professional groups, including holding joint events with Young Engineers Australia (YEA) and WaterAid Australia. In South Australia one of our YWP committee members is chairing the Young Professionals Group, which is made up of AWA, YEA, Futurenet and others. These sorts of collaborations across different industries are really important for raising the profile of the YWP and the wider water industry in our community, so if you are interested in working on something similar in your own state or territory please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Water Journal April 2011