Water Journal : Water Journal December 2011
awa news 26 DECEMBER 2011 water regular features Young Water Professionals (YWP) Amanda Hazell -- AWA YWP National Committee President During National Water Week I was fortunate enough to be able to go and visit a local scout group in my area as a National Water Week Ambassador. The scouts, aged seven to 10, were busy working towards their waterwise badges and we completed a number of water awareness activities as part of this. The group was extremely enthusiastic and knew a great deal about water conservation, especially the scouts who lived in homes where their water supply was dependent on rainwater tanks. As a water industry member I was extremely confident to leave them, knowing that making the most of this precious resource was on the forefront of their minds. Sadly, this will be my last article as YWP Chair. At the time of writing, a new YWP Chair had not yet been appointed, but the process is well underway. However, since the last time I wrote we have two new national representatives: Trevor Lynn from Western Australia and Tim Beckenham from Queensland. I hope that Trevor and Tim enjoy their time on the committee as much as I have in the last four-and-a-half years. It is great to be able to reflect on my time in the YWP National Representative Committee; I have had the opportunity to experience so many areas of the water industry. One important thing I have learned is that it's the people working in the water industry who make it what it is. On attending major water industry events I've been amazed to discover that many of the people I talk to have been in the industry for 25 years or more. What makes these people even more impressive is that not only do they have the technical knowledge to get the critical jobs done -- they also have a huge passion for the industry. As adaptations have been needed they have had the courage and the foresight to implement the more innovative options and put them on the table. As someone who works in a water utility, the water industry for me is a very different place than it was a few years ago. When I started my term as YWP President, most of the capital cities were working as quickly as possible to get desalination plants, recycling plants and pipelines built so that they didn't run out of water, and much of rural Australia was also in drought. Fast-forward two years and now much of the east coast has so much water that water restrictions are being scaled back, pipelines have hardly been used and utilities are working out what to do with their desalination plants when they are not needed. Along the way there has been a lot of criticism about why things were built and why certain decisions were made. Happily, as an industry we have been able to pull together and realise that these decisions were made by industry leaders whose goal was to ensure that their customers still had access to one of our most basics services. As someone new to the water industry (and yes, I do still count myself as new -- five years is not very long compared to 30!), it is these people that I am proud to look up to. They and our customers, the Australian community, inspire me to continue to learn as much about our industry as possible. Hopefully, all of us who are new to the water sector will do the same thing, so that when it comes to our turn to make crucial decisions we have the same courage. We need to make sure that the people in our industry stay as strong as they have always been. I would like to say thank you to all the wonderful people who have supported me during my two-year term as President -- all the YWP committee members, both on the National Representatives Committee and the state committees. It is your hard work that keeps our YWP members engaged. Thanks also to the AWA board members who were always there to offer advice and guidance, and my managers at the Water Corporation and Degrémont at Perth Seawater Desalination Plant who supported me in this role. Finally, I'd like to thank the AWA staff members who support the YWP and all the other specialist networks; if it wasn't for them these networks just would not run. Special thanks to Kim Wuyts who has been our YWP AWA contact for over a year now and always does a fantastic job. The experience has truly been a rewarding one for me. National Water Week Ambassador Peter Devellerez helps educate kids become more water-aware at the Herne Hill Scouts Club (WA) during last year's NWW.
Water Journal April 2012
Water Journal November 2011