Water Journal : Water Journal April 2014
WATER APRIL 2014 52 Opinion The Australian water sector has long enjoyed a strong international reputation as being innovative, agile, adaptable and responsive. This could not have been more evident to me than when I attended the Singapore International Water Week Water Utilities Leaders Forum last year. This enviable reputation has been established through the global presence and performance of our research organisations and academics, utilities, engineering houses and water technology products. In more recent times, this cohort of Australian water professionals has been joined by our constructors, with the completion of several globally recognised desalination projects. At Ozwater'14 in Brisbane this year the industry will again have the opportunity to showcase its capability, as well at the IWA Water Congress in Lisbon later in the year. The Australian water sector has enjoyed immense success over the last decade. This has been driven and aided by our responses to the millennium drought, population growth in major population centres, water security issues, rationalisation of our irrigation sector and the booming resource sector. These market sectors are now returning to more normal and traditional levels of business activity; therefore, it is logical that we now reach out to geographically located markets that require the deployment of our knowledge and knowhow. We have the opportunity to explore how to export into these other economies the capabilities that we have been developing over the past decade. LAYING THE GROUNDWORK waterAUSTRALIA was established in 2009 by AWA as a wholly-owned subsidiary to promote and develop new business for the Australian water industry both domestically and in international markets. It does this by: • Raising the awareness of the sector’s success in integrated water management in both domestic and international markets; • Providing opportunities for organisations to collaborate to increase market reach; and • Targeting high value market niches especially suited to Australian capabilities. waterAUSTRALIA is the brand under which the Australian water industry is promoted overseas. Over the next 12 months, AWA will focus on identifying international business opportunities, facilitating export growth and amplifying local supplier brands to the international market. AWA is working closely with Austrade and the Department of Industry to run missions internationally to present the Australian water industry to overseas markets and provide top-level business introductions to ensure that those who wish to explore export markets have a high level of business readiness and market awareness in regards to accessible and addressable markets. AWA will be taking trade delegations to the Singapore International Water Week in June and the World Water Congress in Lisbon in September. AWA has also recently established a powerful network of organisations from both the public and private sectors across SE Asia to assist Australian companies to enter these fast-emerging markets. A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT Water is the most essential building block of any nation. This starts with urban water utilities providing good public health outcomes that allow economic growth. However, it also means that the health of our raw water supplies is critical, including the rivers and aquifers that underpin our food bowls, energy and resource sectors and, in many cases, drinking water supplies. Up to approximately 20% of the world's population may at any one point be living either in drought, ood-affected regions, or economic water shortage where countries lack the necessary infrastructure and nancial capacity to take water from rivers or aquifers and deliver it to households. WHERE TO NOW FOR THE AUSTRALIAN WATER MARKET? By Mal Shepherd, AWA Board Member and Industry General Manager for Water & Enviro at John Holland.
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