Water Journal : Water Journal June 2014
WATER JUNE 2014 32 Ozwater Report OVERVIEW Balmy autumn days, interspersed with rain showers, greeted participants to the Ozwater'14 Conference & Exhibition at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in late April/early May. For the 1,100 plus delegates and 200 exhibitors attending, the buzz of interacting with colleagues was as positive as ever and the mood this year seemed particularly receptive to change and new ideas. A far cry from the days of the Australian Water & Wastewater Association (AWWA)* Biennial Conventions when the event had just two streams (water and wastewater), the 2014 Conference offered a cornucopia of 10 parallel sessions, with many sessions over owing. Thanks to the efforts of Ozwater'14 Chair, Helen Stratton, and AWA's National Manager -- Events and Publications, Wayne Castle and their teams, the whole event ran seamlessly. For the geographically challenged, the expanded Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre takes some getting used to, but it handled plenary sessions and the 1,000-person Gala Dinner with ease. Key statistics for content were: Plenary Keynote Speakers -- 6; Platform Sessions -- 128; Specialist Network Workshops -- 6; Af liate Sessions -- 5; and Posters -- 39. Ozwater'14 seemed to have the broadest and most eclectic program ever in the 50 years since the rst event in Canberra was held and attended by 64 delegates. This report aims to provide a taste of some of the many themes, while the winner of the Michael J Flynn Award (for Best Paper) and the Runner-Up are reproduced in full in this issue, with other selected papers to appear in later issues. Several workshops are also reported separately following this report. KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS In chronological order, keynote presentations were as follows: Margaret Catley-Carlson -- an illustrious member of the global water community who is presently serving on the UN Secretary- General's Advisory Board on Water -- gave the opening address, in which she highlighted 10 key areas for change: 1. Real economics to value water; 2. Finding externality values of outcomes; 3. Harvesting energy bene ts of better water management; 4. Harvesting the nutrient load in wastewater; 5. Reuse; 6. Greywater use; 7. Decentralisation; * In 1999 AWWA dropped the word 'Wastewater' from its name and became simply the Australian Water Association (AWA) 8. Charging more for water; 9. New players and new nancing sources for water; 10. Seizing awareness of water. Cheryl Batagol, Chairman of the Victorian Environmental Protection Authority, drew on her diverse experience in sustainability, waste management and water to identify key common themes relating to restorative justice and environmental equity. She explained how the Victorian EPA applies these principles: holding conferences with offenders and urging them to confront their culpability. An escalating path is adopted, aimed at having offenders make restitution and be accepted back into the community. Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, opened the batting on Day 2. He identi ed his key personal interest and concerns -- water security, the environment and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Policy issues related to water have been a focus for Australian governments over the last 10 years, beginning with the National Water Initiative (NWI). This provided an opportunity to encourage a better understanding by the community of the interdependence of water and the environment. Aims included the assignment of a true value to water, a focus on sustainability, promoting more ef cient use, further developing water trading and seeking maximum utility and value from each drop of water. He pointed to the recent sale of water held in reserve by the Commonwealth back to drought-stricken farmers to enable them to nish their crops, thereby providing them with the opportunity to gain a secure return -- an economic bene t that might otherwise have been lost. Christopher Gasson, publisher of Global Water Intelligence, introduced a lighter note, with a owsheet to illustrate how the two sides of Australian politics manage water policy to their best advantage. He then explained how privatisation rst hit the headlines in 1989 in England. The regulatory focus was on the OZWATER'14 CREATES A BUZZ IN BRISBANE Chris Davis and Diane Wiesner provide a comprehensive rundown on this year's Ozwater Conference & Exhibition, which took place in Brisbane from 29 April to 1 May.
Water Journal May 2014
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