Water Journal : Water Journal July 2011
awa news 32 JULY 2011 water regular features Young Water Professionals (YWP) Amanda Hazell, AWA YWP President, and Mike Dixon, YWP Ozwater'11 Chair, share their impressions of Ozwater'11. From 9--11 May the Australian water industry, along with our colleagues from the international water community, came together at Ozwater'11 to discuss the most fundamental function of our industry -- 'Water for Health', the most important role that our industry has to play in the Australian community. Ozwater'11 was divided into four streams by Chairman Professor Don Bursill and the Ozwater'11 committee: Healthy Management and Structures; Healthy Systems; Healthy Treatments and Processes; and Healthy People. A team of Young Water Professionals spent three-and-a-half days (including the YWP workshop on Sunday 8 May) discussing the program. For many of these YWPs this was their first major industry conference and their impressions gave five further distinct themes that align with the major theme of the conference. Succession Planning For a Young Water Professional, attending a conference like Ozwater is a great way to get a new perspective on the industry and learn about issues that one may not learn about in one's day-to-day job. This was the case with the YWP Workshop, where we learnt first-hand from our speakers what goes into ensuring water supply and water quality when natural disasters strike. We also had the opportunity to interact and learn from more experienced members of our industry. Both speakers at the YWP breakfast provided excellent comments and advice on how to steer through a successful career. These included ensuring that you love what you do (so you "never need to work a day in your life"), which certainly seems to be the case for many of our long-standing industry members. Both parts of the YWP program also emphasised the importance of having a plan, but being willing and able to easily adapt that plan when changes occur. With the issues it has faced, the water industry in general has had to be very good at this in the last five to 10 years. Healthy Water Quality After 30 years of educating our engineering colleagues about disinfection by-products such as trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids, and microbiological contaminants E. coli and Cryptosporidium, the game is changing for scientists in the water industry. There is a whole host of new and emerging contaminants that we will have to get a handle on in the next decade. These include nitrosamines, iodo-disinfection by-products, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals. From a microbiological perspective we now also know that there exist bacteria that for a long time we haven't been able to identify using standard culturing techniques. New techniques are now affording us greater details. Healthy Debate One thing that is almost always guaranteed when you bring together different groups of people within an industry is debate. Some of the big items that were discussed during the sessions were: water quality guidelines for both drinking water and recycled water; and whether they suitable for our current conditions. In some cases, the questio was posed, are we being too stringent in the regulations we are adopting? In others, it was asked, do we need to tighten things up in order to ensure that we are always continuing to protect public health? Sue Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of the Water Corporation of Western Australia, speaking at the YWP breakfast. The Sunday YWP Workshop involved group work led by Paul Byleveld of the NSW Department of Health.
Water Journal May 2011
Water Journal August 2011