Water Journal : Water Journal November 2011
crosscurrent 12 NOVEMBER 2011 water regular features International The World Bank has posted an online brochure that showcases innovative and diverse initiatives from across its water portfolio. Case studies range from the Water Footprints Network that supports businesses improving their water use efficiency, to innovative financing mechanisms helping to expand rural water access in Kenya. Australia has been announced as the winner of the international bid to host the International Water Association's World Water Congress in 2016. Following a series of site visits in Australia, Brisbane has been selected as the 2016 Congress venue during the International Water Association's Governing Assembly Meeting in Vienna. AWA will partner with the International Water Association to deliver the event. National The National Water Commission has released its comprehensive assessment of water reform progress in Australia, calling on governments to stay the distance on their reform commitments. In its 12 recommendations to COAG, the National Water Commission urged governments to show renewed leadership, listen to local knowledge and take communities with them as they decide how to balance economic, social and environmental demands. The National Water Initiative: Securing Australia's Water Future is available from the National Water Commission website at www.nwc.gov. au The National Farmers Federation (NFF) has urged the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) to consider the health of the river, local farmers and dependent communities in making their final decisions regarding the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. The National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia has offered $3.8m to fund 11 innovative new desalination research projects across Australia. Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, announced the successful projects at a ceremony marking the opening of Australia's first dedicated national desalination research facility and Desal Discovery Centre. WetlandCare Australia has launched its 5th annual National Art and Photography Competition to celebrate World Wetlands Day. The aim of the competition is to engage and build the capacity of local communities to protect, promote and restore our precious wetlands. This year sees the introduction of Open and Youth categories for Indigenous artists to complement the established categories in Art and Photography that are open to all Australian residents. For more information please go to: www.wetlandcare.com.au Tasmania In our September Crosscurrent section we ran an item stating that a $54 million rollout of water meters in Tasmania had been criticised on a number of fronts. Southern Water, driver of the project, has since informed us that these claims, which were originally reported in Tasmanian media, had been found to be unsubstantiated, misleading and incorrect. Water Journal apologises for any offence or embarrassment caused to any of the parties involved with the Water Metering project. For an update on the scheme, please turn to page 18. Victoria Lal Lal Reservoir recently overflowed for the first time in 15 years, marking a recovery for Ballarat and Geelong's water storages. Water Minister Peter Walsh said the recovery of the dam was due to above average rainfall and the fantastic water saving efforts of Ballarat and Geelong residents. Water Minister Peter Walsh has announced the appointment of new directors to the boards of Melbourne's water corporations. This year, a record 630 expressions of interest were submitted to the Department of Sustainability and Environment for review by an independent selection panel. Chief Executive of AWA, Mr Tom Mollenkopf, was appointed to the Board of Western Water. Victoria University researchers have received almost $2.7 million in grants from government and industry partners for three innovative desalination projects. The projects will focus on improving efficiency in groundwater desalination techniques, industry guidelines for regulators and policy makers and prevention of biological fouling during desalination. A new suburb being built south of Melton is set to create a benchmark for Victoria by officially becoming Australia's first water-neutral suburb. Toolern, which is expected to house 50,000 residents by 2030, will be the first suburb in Victoria where a potable water substitution target is being included in its precinct structure plan. Homes in the new development will be supplied with Class A recycled water from the Surbiton Park Recycled Water Plant to flush toilets, water gardens and wash cars. Queensland Minister for Energy and Water Utilities Stephen Robertson has asked key water agencies, including Seqwater, to accelerate the recommendations contained in the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry Interim Report. In addition, Mr Robertson has instructed his department to fast-track an investigation into raising the Wivenhoe Dam walls to increase the flood mitigation buffer.
Water Journal December 2011
Water Journal September 2011