THE AUSTRALIAN WATER ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE April 2019 Volume 3 No 1
WORLD HOW IS THE AUSTRALIAN WATER SECTOR WORKING TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABILITY?
Service provision in our remote communities
Managing policy for a changing climate
How water businesses are promoting diversity
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T H E AU ST R A L I A N WAT E R AS S O C I AT I O N M AG A Z I N E
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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN AUSTRALIA Senator Claire Moore on how Australia is travelling in terms of meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. LANCE & MATT This long-standing mentoring pair show how support in the background can lead to huge success. AUSTRALIAN WATER AWARDS Current speaks with 2018 Project and Research award winners to see how winning helped boost business. WATERING OUR WORLD How is Australia working towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals? And what can the water sector do to help? OZWATER’19: SPOTLIGHT ON SUSTAINABILITY This year’s Ozwater program is brimming with expert insight and opinion on sustainability, with Australia’s most revered water event focusing on transformation. WATER FOR REMOTE COMMUNITIES How does services provision shape up in our remote communities? And what’s been done to fill the gaps? WATER OF THE FUTURE With populations set to soar, Current asks how the water sector is working to help keep usage to a minimum. SPECIAL FEATURE: MURRAY-DARLING BASIN The SA Royal Commission Murray Darling Basin report is out and it’s shaken the nation – here’s what AWA members need to know. CHANGING-CLIMATE POLICY As the weather gets stranger, policy is pressured to keep up in an increasingly variable climate.
FLEXIBLE FUNDING While urban service providers often have the luxury of a larger budget, councils often need to make do with less – here’s how some small water authorities are getting it right. ENABLING DIVERSITY True diversity spans all areas of cultural significance, including gender, race, age and ability. How can water businesses add more seats to the table? INDIGENOUS WATER RIGHTS Indigenous Australians face huge challenges in terms of having their water rights acknowledged, but there’s work being done to protect water on country.
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T H E AUST R A L I A N WAT ER ASSO C I AT I O N M AG A Z I N E
From the Chief Executive
From the President’s desk
Senator Claire Moore
Australian Water Awards
The Last Drop
Water security planning
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CHIEF EXECUTIVE Jonathan McKeown Email: email@example.com National Manager – Events and Marketing: Kirsty Blades Email: firstname.lastname@example.org TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Dr Robbert van Oorschot (Chair), GHD; Ted Gardner, Frank R Bishop (rtd), GHD; Chris Davis (rtd), Australian Water Association; Dr Andrew Bath, Water Corporation; Michael Chapman, GHD; Dr Dharma Dharmabalan, TasWater; Robert Ford (rtd), Central Highlands Water; Dr Lionel Ho, Allwater; Karen Rouse, Water Research Australia (WaterRA); Dr Tim Muster, CSIRO Land and Water; David Power, BECA Consultants; Dr Ashok Sharma, Victoria University. Email: email@example.com
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From the Chief Executive
ALLOWING THE SDGS TO GUIDE A SUSTAINABLE WATER FUTURE Our cover story ‘Watering our World’ takes a look at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their current application to Australia. For many in the water sector and the wider community there remains confusion about what the SDGs are and what role they should play. Many dismiss these UN-led goals as too generic and only relevant to the developing world. Nothing could be further from the truth. The SDGs are the strongest rallying call to action for us to provide sustainability and economic growth whilst we minimise the impacts of climate change. The 17 goals provide a lens through which people can assess their own actions to drive sustainability, and push governments to align their budgets and policy objectives with. The Association’s SDG Specialist Network is actively promoting the SDGs across the water sector through our digital platforms and events. Central to all the SDGs is SDG 6: access to water and sanitation for all. For Australia, many people in remote and rural areas are still without access to water and sanitation. The quality of drinking water is variable across remote and rural areas with poorly-agreed and under-capitalised strategies to introduce policies, investment plans, and actions to actually provide access to water and sanitation for all. Beyond rural and remote water issues, the SDGs are directly linked to other areas of increasing water demand. These include urban water planning to accommodate our population growth, increasing future demands for water from the energy, resources, and food sectors, and our agricultural industries. All these require recalibrated levels of water demand and water supply to meet future needs. This will require a whole-ofsector step change. The article ‘Back to the Future’ looks at the pressure on water resources as we move towards a population of 36 million by 2050. There is also an article on how Australia is responding to climate change in how we use water and specific projects that reduce the risks of climate change. Despite being classified as a first-world country, Australia still faces challenges to meet the SDGs. Many of our water utilities and water companies have committed to the SDGs and are now embedding them into their own strategic plans. With wider community engagement, we may be able to pressure our State and Federal Governments to do the same. The Government’s role is vital in monitoring and measuring Australia’s progress against the SDGs. No more practical benchmark is available for assessing the deeply felt desire of all Australians to properly balance sustainability with economic prosperity. As our federal election approaches, water issues need to be pushed to the front of political accountability. The Association has written to all the political parties asking them to explain their election policies and commitments to matters that include climate change, water security, adopting the SDGs, addressing the Murray Darling, urban water reform, water recycling, and the energy, water and food nexus. The Association will share responses with members on our website and during discussions at Ozwater’19 in Melbourne on 7-9 May. Generating more two-way conversations with the wider community on these water issues is something we can all do to raise the priority of a sustainable water future. Finally, with his term coming to an end at Ozwater’19, I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the hard work of our current President Francois Gouws. Francois has been a collaborative and supportive President to our branches, members, staff and to me and I thank him for his unwavering commitment to the Association.
WITH WIDER COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, WE MAY BE ABLE TO PRESSURE OUR STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS TO DO THE SAME.
Jonathan McKeown Australian Water Association Chief Executive
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From the President’s desk
DRIVING CHANGE: REFLECTIONS ON LEADERSHIP This special edition of Current coincides with our largest event, Ozwater’19 in Melbourne on 7-9 May. Ozwater has the theme of “Transforming our World” and this edition focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their aspiration to drive transformation. At Ozwater’19 the Presidency of the Association is transferred to Carmel Krogh OAM which gives me an opportunity to reﬂect over the past two years. The Association has commenced its own digital transformation, requiring new digital platforms, including Water Source, new digital newsletters and a more interactive website. We have also developed and extended our Channeling Change Program and International Program. These initiatives and activities have strengthened our relevance to members, while diversifying our revenue and ﬁnancial sustainability. The professionalism of our events, publications and programs, has been recognised by members, Governments, and stakeholders. Collectively, these activities underwrite the operations of the Association to enable us to maintain Australia’s largest water network. Over the past two years as President, I have chaired a board focused on three speciﬁc opportunities. The ﬁrst was to consolidate the Association’s ﬁnancial sustainability. We have now matched our expanded services with new ﬁnancial skills and improved transparency of reporting, and returned the Association to surplus budgets. The second was to work more collaboratively across the water sector. This has seen new levels of support between the Association and the Water Services Association of Australia, state-based water directorates and organisations, Water Industry Operators Association of Australia, WaterAid and Water NZ to mention a few. This has expanded at state level to the Water Industry Alliance, Institute of Water Administrators, Engineers Australia, Stormwater Australia and many more. By working together, we can achieve so much more for our collective members, the wider community and the SDGs. The third was to work as a team across our elected structure of industry volunteers. I have enjoyed regular interactions and travelling widely to attend many of our Branch functions. It has been rewarding to see the level of enthusiasm and commitment for the Association amongst our volunteers. This reciprocal conversation between the Board, our elected structure and staff ensures the Association maintains its special quality as a member-driven organisation. The best example of this renewed team work of our elected representatives is the development of the Association’s new three-year strategic plan to be announced at Ozwater’19 by our new incoming President. Carmel has led the interaction with elected representatives on what has been quoted as the ‘most collaborative and effective strategic planning process since the Association was formed’. It has involved all branches, several Strategic Advisory Council meetings, a full member survey, and numerous Board discussions. The resulting Strategy ‘22 sets out a new clear purpose for the Association – to inspire and drive a sustainable water future, with a renewed value proposition – to drive prosperity by providing individuals with career enrichment and organisations with business opportunities as we share, connect and inspire. The three strategic goals are to strengthen partnerships, extend our reach, and promote diversity and inclusion. A set of projects and outcomes have been designed to implement the strategic goals and I have every conﬁdence that the targets will be met. It has been an honour to be your President over the past two years and I particularly thank Carmel Krogh OAM, Board directors, the Strategic Advisory Council, Branches, Specialists Networks, and our CEO Jonathan McKeown and the staff for their support and shared passion for the water sector.
BY WORKING TOGETHER, WE CAN ACHIEVE SO MUCH MORE...
Francois Gouws Australian Water Association President
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AWA MEMBERS HONOURED ON AUSTRALIA DAY
hree prominent Association members were recognised in the 2019 Australia Day Awards announced by the Governor-General on Australia Day. Carmel Krogh, the Association’s President-Elect and Director of Shoalhaven Water was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her services to civil engineering with her citation referencing her contributions to the AWA and the NSW Water Directorate. Professor Zhiguo Yuan, Director of the Advanced Water Management Centre, University of Queensland was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to science through urban water management, and to higher education. Civil engineer, and long-time member of AWA, Kevin Flanagan received a Public Service Medal (PSM) for his work with Local Government in Queensland. He’s credited with facilitating several water infrastructure projects in Toowoomba, as well as helping educate the community about the importance of water security. The Association is delighted to see the recognition of these three distinguished contributors to the water sector.
INTRODUCING YOUR NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS Starting a new chapter in the Association’s story, we’d like to introduce you to our next Board of Directors who will come into office at Ozwater’19. Francois Gouws (TRILITY) will become our Immediate Past President and Carmel Krogh (Shoalhaven Water) will be the new President. Jurg Keller (CRC for Water Sensitive Cities and Advanced Water Management Centre, University of Queensland), Louise Dudley (Queensland Urban Utilities) and Jeremy Lucas (Allwater/SA Water) will remain on the Board. New Board members will be Jim Athanas (Xylem Oceania), Peter Dennis (Hunter H2O), Sandra Hall (Advanced Water Management Centre, University of Queensland) and Daniel Sullivan (South East Water). We look forward to working with our new Board over the next two years!
A BIG THANKS TO OUR OUTGOING BOARD MEMBERS We would like to thank Mal Shepherd, Fabiana Tessele, Garth Walter and Mike Muntisov for the outstanding contributions they have made as Directors on the Board of AWA. In their time on the Board, they have contributed to our international activities, digital strategy, awards program, branch events, and this magazine. We look forward to their continued involvement in our activities as members of the Association.
WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE FOR YWPs?
IT’S AQUA-DEMIC! The future of our sector relies on a constant flow of new and emerging talent. To match the skills required by the water sector in the future, the collaboration and partnership between the industry and the education sector is vital. As Australia’s largest water industry body, we see it as one of our key responsibilities to attract and engage the most talented people who can shape a sustainable water future. We are therefore very pleased to announce that our education membership has grown from five to 13 over the past 18 months, including well over 460 students. A special thanks goes to our Education Partners from the University of Queensland, Griffith University, UTS, UNSW, Monash University, Flinders University and the University of Western Australia, as well as our Education Members from the University of Melbourne, La Trobe, University of Newcastle, QUT, Edith Cowan University and the University of Canberra.
CONNECTING AUSTRALIAN AND INDONESIAN WATER UTILITIES The Australian Water Association has partnered with the Peak Water Supply Association of Indonesia and the Australian Water Partnership to facilitate a Water Utility Improvement Program between three Australian utilities and three Indonesian Water Utilities. The utility pairs will focus on exchanging knowledge on asset management, water quality, SCADA systems, financial management and human resources.
The Young Water Professional (YWP) Taskforce is busy preparing for the next National YWP Conference to be held in early 2020. In addition, the Taskforce has started to develop a road map for increasing regional engagement with Association members including the expansion of existing mentoring programs. The Taskforce also looks forward to delivering the Young Water Professional program at Ozwater’19 in May, find out more about the program at www.ozwater.org/ywp and register today.
SAVE THE DATE! key conferences and exhibitions in Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia during 2019:
25-27 June 2019 Indonesia Water & Wastewater Expo & Forum
4-8 November 2019 Vietwater
November 2019 Cambodian Water Conference & Exhibition For more information, visit bit.ly/ international-program
For more information, visit bit.ly/WUIPINDO
BUSINESS MATCHING BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND VIETNAM
The Association is working with the Vietnam Climate Innovation Centre to facilitate business matching between Australian and Vietnamese water companies. This includes development of a business matching and technology exchange website called VTEX that now allows Australian companies to upload their company or product information and be matched with Vietnamese enterprises wishing to partner or purchase goods. To find out more, visit bit.ly/ business-matching
Keep up to date with the latest industry and Association developments at watersource.awa.asn.au
AWA DIGITAL HUB n November 2018, the Australian Water Association launched its new digital hub – Water Source. Informed by the 2017 AWA Member Content Survey, the hub offers members broader access to the latest in water news, research and upcoming conference highlights. And with Water Source up and running, there’s now a one-stop-shop for water industry professionals, as well as members of the public interested in learning more about our most vital resource.
Check it out at watersource.awa.asn.au
LATEST NEWS Aside from continuing to service members with weekly e-newsletters, Water Source features an easy-to-navigate catalogue of daily water news and updates, making it easier than ever to ﬁnd reliable journalism on the sector’s latest happenings.
The hub includes access to Water e-Journal papers and the latest feature articles from Current, offering information and opinion tailored speciﬁcally for members.
SHARE YOUR STORIES The Association is always looking to share news and updates from its members in the form of media releases or editorial submissions. Find more information in the footer on Water Source.
SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT Connect with AWA’s digital community via social media, where you will receive updates, opportunities and daily news delivered to your social platform: @AustralianWater
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Does Australia need recycled water ambassadors to change public perceptions? “We need to pause the Basin Plan”: Community debates the future of the Murray-Darling Basin. Utility customers willing to pay more for liveability projects, study shows.
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Current THE AUSTRALIAN WATER ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE
I N D U S T R Y F E AT U R E S INSIGHTS INTO AND ANALYSIS OF THE FORCES SHAPING THE AUSTRALIAN WATER INDUSTRY.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN AUSTRALIA Senator Claire Moore on Australia’s efforts towards meeting the UN’s SDGs.
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AUSTRALIAN WATER AWARDS Current catches up with AWA’s 2018 Water Award Winners to see what they’ve been up to.
LANCE & MATT Mentoring support in the background can lead to huge success.
WATERING OUR WORLD How is Australia working towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals? OZWATER’19: SUSTAINABILITY This year’s Ozwater program is brimming with expert insight and opinion on sustainability. WATER FOR REMOTE COMMUNITIES Here’s how service provision shapes up in our remote communities. WATER OF THE FUTURE Current asks the water sector how it’s working to help keep usage to a minimum.
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MURRAY-DARLING BASIN The SA Royal Commission Murray Darling Basin report: here’s what you need to know. HISTORY OF THE BASIN Take a look at the history of the Murray-Darling Basin. CHANGING-CLIMATE POLICY As the weather gets stranger, policy is pressured to keep up. FLEXIBLE FUNDING Can small water authorities fund sustainable initiatives, despite budget restrictions? ENABLING DIVERSITY Why leading water businesses are enabling diversity within their workplaces. INDIGENOUS WATER RIGHTS Attention is turning towards protecting water rights for Indigenous Australians. LIQUID LABS This research is contributing to more sustainable water-treatment decisions.
Senator Claire Moore
WORLD LABOR’S SHADOW MINISTER FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SENATOR CLAIRE MOORE SHARES HER OPINION ON AUSTRALIA’S ABILITY TO MEET THE SDGS, BOTH NATIONALLY AND ABROAD. As told to Cecilia Harris
Australian Water Association: What is your opinion on the economic power of water to transform economies and better nations’ livelihoods? Claire Moore: Without effective access to clean water, there is no effective life. The economic futures of communities are completely damned if they don’t have effective water supplies and access to water. We know that without having a clean, safe water supply, diseases will be rampant and people will not be able to live – the health of the community is unable to thrive, sometimes even continue. Aside from sanitation, there is also a very clear link with agriculture, and livelihoods. There are communities that rely on irrigation and also communities that rely on the sea, and water management, water legislation and water access are the basis
of planning for economic security in communities. Australia has a great role to play sharing its expertise, being one of the driest continents on the planet, and we’ve been working effectively in terms of research. The immediacy of economic impact on a community that’s given reliable running water is so practical and so effective, and you can see the immediate changes. You cannot look at SDG 6 in isolation, because the whole SDG agenda is ensuring that there is equality, and ensuring that no one’s left behind, which I just think is the most inspirational, simple and effective message. AWA: What are Australia’s current priorities when it comes to SDGs? How would you like to see this continue or change in future? Moore: Last year Australia provided its ﬁrst voluntary report on our progress across the SDG agenda. Under SDG 6 we highlighted our commitment and our objectives internationally and domestically. The UN featured particular consideration of SDG 6 internationally in the same period. It was devastating to read that the work is just not meeting the necessary targets on water. I genuinely believe that Australia has not adopted a domestic agenda for the SDGs. There are little pockets of action, where the commitment and the knowledge and the practical application of the SDG agenda will blow you away, in some places and organisations, but there’s still a lot to be done in terms of a broader engagement. There is still a lot of work to be done to get governments at all levels, community organisations at all levels, to think in the SDG framework, because it’s not extra work. We just need to get into the mindset about how we link it together. It reinforces best practise to do that, and where it does happen, there are great opportunities. When you have kids involved, they just do it. I’ve been doing some work with kids who are learning about the SDG agenda. They get it straight away: what it means to us, what it means
WE JUST NEED TO GET INTO THE MINDSET ABOUT HOW WE LINK IT TOGETHER. SENATOR CLAIRE MOORE
Senator Claire Moore
Moore welcomed by market vendor at the Markets for Change project accommodation centre.
to our future in the world. That’s what makes it real, and if we could get the same attitude and commitment from our legislators, I think we’ll get it right eventually. AWA: What is your perspective on Australia’s expertise in water management? Moore: Interestingly, I think one of the areas where there is the most amount of engagement with the SDG framework is in the water sector. By nature of the work done within the water industry, water professionals are very much aware of water management as an international issue. It can’t be just somebody else’s business. The water industry in Australia is so involved. They give so much, and they share their knowledge so well, they’re a great exemplar for what we, as a nation, can do better. When you talk with people working in water, it gives you such hope that we have experts working on these problems. They understand it. And when I meet women from the Solomon Islands who have actually beneﬁted from some of the work we’ve done there in water management, you can actually talk together and say, “Hey, this is great!”, I just wish more people in the Australian community could be part of that. AWA: What’s the importance of water in SE Asia? What role can Australia play in helping the region towards sustainable water management? Moore: We’ve had longstanding relationships with Vietnam and Indonesia, where we share professional experience. This type of partnership arrangement is really important. It’s not just giving information and support, it’s actually being in a partnership, and our development program is moving down that track.
But some places still continue to have very fundamental problems with hygiene and water management. Being in Myanmar earlier this year, I spoke with a number of people about the water needs there. They have big issues, because they’ve got wonderful rivers, but no entrenched infrastructure or method for storing water and servicing communities. South East Asia is a very dynamic part of the world, and trans-boundary issues are critical because the populations are so large. The other issue, and it’s one that’s topical, is the role of the Chinese Government in damming rivers upstream of Myanmar. It’s still up in the air, incredibly sensitive, but issues like that are being played out all over the world. And while these complicated scenarios make the SDG goals look impossible, I would argue the attitude should not be about contesting the SDG goals, but rather proactively identifying possibilities for skill and knowledge sharing to get the best result. AWA: What are your thoughts on the link between better water management and the empowerment of women? And what might be done to bolster the outcomes of this dynamic? Moore: We know the theory, we’ve seen the ﬁlms, we read the books, but an image has stayed with me since a visit to Tanzania in 2010. During a trip into the regions we had trouble with our vehicle. We kept breaking down and two kids came up, absolutely burdened down with big water jars, and they shared their water with us because our radiator was overﬂowing. I talked with the driver and those kids walked two and a half hours, twice a day, but they stopped to give us water. They then turned back to go and get more. This experience really put the problem in perspective for me.
Senator Claire Moore
Senator Moore speaking in Brisbane.
The issue has been going on for a long time in our policy, we’ve been trying to get women and children more involved in every aspect of life. This government has focused its international development portfolio on gender, which was welcomed by everyone. It is clearly understood that in community, if you empower women, you actually build up hope, opportunity and strength across the general equanimity of the nation, which is the basis of the SDG agenda. This has been clearly identiﬁed in the water and sanitation process. Our programs are inter-focused: to ensure that women and children are able to have more options in their community, and
WATER PROFESSIONALS ARE VERY MUCH AWARE OF WATER MANAGEMENT AS AN INTERNATIONAL ISSUE. SENATOR CLAIRE MOORE
to make life easier so that we can build up economic opportunities and developments. It’s a very important part of our agenda. We’ve done work with various NGOs at the local level, in terms of providing sanitation at places like markets and schools, which allow women and girls to participate all the time, rather than having times when they can’t go because of their sanitation needs. I’m hoping by now most people know about the impact lack of sanitation has on girl’s schooling; good sanitation means they don’t drop out when they start menstruating. Same with workplaces: putting good sanitation into the markets at the Solomon Islands means that women traders are able to have better conditions, so they’ll earn more money and be more secure. It’s also about valuing the lives of everybody. Somehow, when we hear these awful statistics about infant mortality and maternal mortality in our neighbouring countries and further abroad, it’s easy to forget that the death of a child due to lack of sanitation overseas is just as tragic for those families as it is for ourselves. We need to keep humanising the impact water makes on peoples’ lives.
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WHILE UNIQUE IN ITS DURATION AND NATURE, THIS MENTORING RELATIONSHIP HAS GUIDED ONE YOUNG WATER PROFESSIONAL INTO THE LIMELIGHT. As told to Cecilia Harris
inner of the Young Water Professional Tasmania 2018 award, Matt Robertson has received a bit of attention lately. But the upstart is quick to mention that, although he has worked hard, his success is indebted to the guidance and support he received starting out. And while he enjoyed helping Matt ﬁnd the right work, Lance says the youngster’s success is the real reward.
LANCE STAPLETON, PROGRAM MANAGER TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS – CCR, TASWATER I ﬁrst met Matt when he was in high school – I offered him a scholarship program through Southern Water, back before it became part of TasWater. From the very start, Matt wanted to get his hands dirty. In a business like ours, it’s easy to become desk bound, but it’s important to get out. You’ve got
to understand what you’re designing and the problems you’re solving. Matt’s willingness to do that is just terriﬁc. Our ﬁrst professional experience was when I managed him under my team during the scholarship program. Even when he was working in other departments, it was very important for me to make sure that his time at the company was interesting and challenging – that was the start of my relationship with Matt. But our mentoring relationship has evolved over the years. My role changed from being Matt’s manager to being somebody he could come to for counsel. That relationship had no rank – there was no judgement. It was a genuine mentoring relationship and we could talk honestly about things. One of the things Matt expressed concern about was being frustrated with how the business worked. In particular, Matt had been working on a little project on Bruny Island, and it was moving slowly. He wanted to get through the barriers holding up the project. I helped Matt work through this by showing him that, when something is urgent – a real problem that needs solving
I started my ﬁrst role there with Lance as my manager. The fast – you need to keep forward momentum, despite whole mentoring thing happened naturally. any hurdles. He now has quite a good understanding of what I came into the industry very fresh faced, bubbly and young. it means to actually build momentum, maintain momentum, I had absolutely no business experience. I had no clue about the and not stop the clock at every hurdle – to work through water industry, not even where water came from. Lance guided problems quickly. me through my ﬁrst experience of working life: how it all works Matt’s a terriﬁc young engineer. He’s had broad exposure and why. around the business; he’s seen and done a lot of things. He’s But the thing Lance really helped me with was direction in got down and dirty with a lot of our asset base; he’s crawled through ﬁlters and walked lines with surveyors. You can trust him terms of my career path. There was a point earlier on, about a year into my ﬁrst position, where there was a bit of a shufﬂe with just about anything. He learns very quickly because he’s going on in the company. I could have gone in a couple of put in the effort to learn how to learn. different directions and was having a really hard time deciding if My main motivation for being a mentor is to see people I wanted to leave my current role and go down a more technical succeed. The mentor’s role is to help the mentee succeed and path. Lance really helped me form my own ideas in terms of create an environment for success. The real reward is seeing where I wanted to go. He never said: “You people you had a small role in supporting do should do this or that”, but guided me well; I’d coached him from when he was a through the things I needed to consider. He teenager and, all of a sudden, Matt gave me his two cents, which ultimately led was winning the AWA Young Water me to where I am now, and I’m really grateful Professional of the Year award and for that. presenting his work at Ozwater – he was Lance gave me an opportunity in this being recognised on a national stage. industry, and then pulled me back into And I see his peers looking up to him the industry again when I’d ﬁnished my as an expert and a leader. The role of the studies. He is always there for me if I have student is to overcome the teacher. The role of teacher is to let that happen. When LANCE STAPLETON any questions, and he’s been looking out for me since the start. His guidance was you see people succeed and they succeed instrumental in helping me navigate my early career, as well more than you, then you know you’ve done something positive. as giving me the conﬁdence to do it. He is brilliant; he’s really Mentee technically minded, but he also knows how to get stuff done and his communication skills are crazy good. Any young professional entering into any industry should seek MATT ROBERTSON, ENGINEER, TASWATER out a mentoring relationship. For young people being proactive and throwing themselves into things, work life is often completely Our story goes back a couple of years now. I was ﬁnishing different to anything they’ve experienced. college and applying for university scholarships, and I ended It is good to have someone there to help you through. It up receiving the Steve Balcombe scholarship in engineering. makes it less scary and it really helps. There’s no harm in it. Lance was my interviewer for the scholarship and my supervisor From my experience, the people who want to mentor are more during my initial time at what was then Southern Water. The than happy to help out. Just go for it. scholarship included work experience each summer throughout my university degree. It came time to look for work during my ﬁnal year at university, so I made my resume and I put it out there. I got a call from To get involved in the Australian Water Association’s mentoring Lance asking if I’d be interested in working at TasWater. program, contact your local branch.
MY MAIN MOTIVATION FOR BEING A MENTOR IS TO SEE PEOPLE SUCCEED.
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TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT THE AWA’S 2018 AWARD CHAMPIONS HAVE BEEN UP TO SINCE OZWATER’18 AND GET UP TO DATE ON UPCOMING CONTENDERS FOR THE SECTOR’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS. By Cecilia Harris
he Australian Water Association prides itself in the success of its members, celebrating excellence in both individuals and teams across the water sector every year. In anticipation of the AWA’s 2019 national awards, set to be announced at Ozwater’19, Current caught up with the 2018 winners of the project and research awards to see what some of the country’s leading experts have been doing in the past 12 months, and their achievements have been outstanding. The winners of the Water Industry Safety Excellence category, Fremantle Commercial Diving, have gone on to win two national awards for their FCD SkyHook and are expanding their business to include robotics in tank cleaning. Similarly, champions of the Program Innovation category, Power & Water, have expanded their Community Leak Progam. Meanwhile, the University of Queensland and CRC for Water Sensitive Cities took out the 2018 Research Innovation Award, which led to an innovative partnership with global engineering ﬁrm GHD, and Infrastructure Project Innovation winners John Holland Group are still astounding the sector with their climate-controlled green houses. And while their achievements and focuses moving forward are varied, there is one opinion all the winners have in common: the AWA awards are a platform for growth, networking, collaboration and business opportunities.
2018 WINNER INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT INNOVATION
SUNDROP FARMS PROJECT
John Holland Group (SA) John Holland was the EPC contractor for the Sundrop Farms project, which involved the design and construction of 20 hectares of climate controlled green houses and a 39-Megawatt Solar Thermal Energy System. The system is used to sustainably produce 15,000 tonnes of truss tomatoes per year for markets across Australia. Mal Shepherd, General Manager, Water Services Since winning the award, the John Holland Water Services team has been busy listening to the issues facing our customers, in particular the impacts of climate change. Our people continue to apply adaptive and innovative thinking, which allows us to put forward solutions that deliver resilient and sustainable outcomes. We have been working to develop a signiﬁcant pump hydro scheme in Queensland. We continue to deliver other complex projects around Australia. One of the most signiﬁcant of these has been the 270km Wentworth to Broken Hill Pipeline project for WaterNSW, which will give drought-stricken communities secure and reliable access to water for the ﬁrst time. We are proud to have delivered this project that will supply up to 37.4 megalitres per day of water for WaterNSW through the pipeline, travelling up from the Murray River in Wentworth to Broken Hill and safeguarding the people of Broken Hill from running out of water. We also have completed the Sydney Desalination Plant rebuild as Sydney moves into a period of water scarcity, and made some good progress on Murray
Sundrop Farms’ climate-controlled greenhouse.
Bridge wastewater treatment project for SA Water. Winning awards such as the AWA Infrastructure Project Innovation Award is wonderful recognition of all the organisations and people involved. Being an award winner creates opportunities for both people and organisations to showcase to others what is possible. We have been able to use the project and the award recognition as an example of our capability and capacity to develop, deliver and commission projects of global signiﬁcance. We have moved into international markets and the award strengthens our credentials with potential customers as we compete for new business. The awards present an opportunity to collaborate with client and partners to communicate to the industry what you are doing.
2019 FINALISTS INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT INNOVATION • Enhanced Water Demand Forecasting for SA Water Using Machine Learning – Stantec and SA Water (SA) • Green Square Stormwater Drainage Project – City of Sydney and Sydney Water (NSW) • Groundwater Replenishment Scheme – Water Corporation (WA) • Internet of Things Site Monitoring Solution - SAGE Automation and Melbourne Water (VIC) • Lining of the Molonglo Valley Interceptor Sewer – Interflow and Icon Water (ACT) • Sun and Salt: Logan’s Water Quality Solution – Logan City Council, Downer, Cardno and WSP (QLD)
2019 INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT INNOVATION AWARD SPONSOR
2018 WINNER PROGRAM INNOVATION COMMUNITY LEAK PROGRAM, LIVING WATER SMART
Power & Water Corporation (NT) Launched in January 2017, the community leak program provided community-wide leakchecking services, leak awareness campaigns and a $200 Leak Find and Fix rebate. The program has identiﬁed and ﬁxed over a billion litres of water leaks across the community.
which was great. We got a lot of media coverage; the NT News stopped talking about crocodiles for a minute, which is hard to do in the NT News! It gave us the opportunity to talk about saving water more and in terms of program goals that was great. But also, internally, it was great for the recognition from our Jethro Laidlaw, stakeholders. Power & Water Further to that, our customers Project Lead see that Power & Water are Our community leak project is winning awards and that we’re a component of our demand Power & Water personnel checking for leaks. being recognised for customer management program; the Living on to win a global award – we took out service, which offers our Water Smart program. the Special Achievement Award from our corporation and our program really We had three main drivers for software company, GIS. We went over positive coverage. It’s given us a lot of launching the leak program: customers, to San Diego to collect the award and exposure for what we do; it has let our deferring capital and emergency celebrate. GIS used us as a case study customers know that we’re doing the response to contamination. By detecting and made a video about our program, best we can to service the community. billions of litres of water leaks, it’s obviously really helped our customers who are paying for this water. But it also helped us defer investment on a new dam in Darwin; we managed to defer a huge capital spend. Furthermore, • Energy Master Plan with Katherine’s surface water supply – Sydney Water (NSW) contaminated with PFAS, we wanted • Enhancing Our Dandenong Creek to ensure the water we do have is used – Melbourne Water (VIC) as efﬁciently as possible so that we can ensure Katherine has drinkable water • Proactive Dirty Water Complaints Management in Adelaide Drinking Water Network supplies. Our project has had a positive – Allwater, SA Water and SUEZ (SA) public health outcome as well. • Queensland Water Regional Alliance Program (QWRAP) While we’re still keeping busy saving – Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (QLD) water with major projects in Darwin, we’ve got irrigators inputting efﬁcient irrigation • Revitalising Geographe Waterways schedules now too, so we’ve broadened – Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (WA) the use of our program. And we’re still • World Water Data Initiative expanding the use of our technology in – Bureau of Meteorology (ACT) other ways. Winning the AWA award was very beneﬁcial for us in many ways. We went
2019 FINALISTS PROGRAM INNOVATION
2019 PROGRAM INNOVATION AWARD SPONSOR
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2018 WINNER RESEARCH INNOVATION PURPLE PHOTOTROPHIC BACTERIA FOR RESOURCE RECOVERY FROM WASTEWATER
The University of Queensland and CRC for Water Sensitive Cities (QLD) Developing a world-ﬁrst technology for a next-generation resource recovery process, the UQ CRC for Water Sensitive Cities’ research has the potential to recover vital fertiliser compounds, bioplastics and provide a sustainable animal feed source. Damien Batstone, AWMC, UQ Our project is ongoing, but the direction has deﬁnitely been changing. Originally, we were looking at treating domestic wastewater through a completely new process, able to recover nutrients and everything else. We had the idea to digest the byproduct into methane, and run the front end of the process using the energy. We needed to get digestion up to 100% at the back end, to make the front end work. We’re close to that goal now, but there’s been a big shift in international focus on resource recovery with a focus on value-added products. So now we have changed direction; instead of just making energy, we have much more of a focus on renewable chemicals, biofeeds and other value-added products. The product we’re generating is a lot more homogeneous, a lot more predictable, and is better in many ways. We’ve looked at a couple of applications, and now have active projects in a lot of areas now. One of them is using industrial wastewater and agri-industrial wastewater to generate animal feeds. We’re generating a biosource product, which we’ve tested as a barramundi feed, and it performed pretty well. The aim there is to displace ﬁsh meal, which is a very high intensity product that’s not very
The research team in action.
sustainable. We’ve also received a federal government grant from Department of Agriculture to progress this work as well. Winning the AWA arward has clearly created opportunities. One of the partnerships we formed was with GHD. On the Ozwater’18 awards night, Tim Huelsen, our principal researcher, actually connected with GHD and AquaTech. They went on to put together a Queensland government fellowship, which places Tim within GHD and AquaTech over the next two years, to look at scaling up this technology. That was a contact that was made on the night, and then it was progressed over the following year.
2019 FINALISTS RESEARCH INNOVATION • Combating Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Wastewater Systems: From Quantification to Implementation – SA Water and the Advanced Water Management Centre, The University of Queensland (SA) • Driving Change from Conservatism to Pragmatism: Better Use of Biosolids and Recycled Water by Using Research to Challenge Guidelines – South East Water (VIC) • R2T2 Rapid Response Robot For the Non-Destructive Inspection and Assessment of Critical Water Mains – The University of Technology Sydney and Sydney Water (NSW) • Self-Regulating Suspended Biogas Collector Technology – Environmental Engineers International (WA) • UGOLD: A Decentralised Technology for the Removal & Recovery of Valuable Nutrients from Source-Separated Urine – Advanced Water Management Centre, The University of Queensland and Queensland Urban Utilities (QLD)
2018 WINNER WATER INDUSTRY SAFETY EXCELLENCE FCD SKYHOOK MARK 4
Fremantle Commercial Diving (WA) After several years of development, Fremantle Commercial Diving developed the Skyhook Mark 4, a unique truck mounted mobile fall arrest system, which provides a rated overhead anchor point for two people. The device set a new standard in safety for accessing elevated water tanks and is now in use around Australia. Anthony Old, Fremantle Commercial Diving Director The Sky Hook 4 set completely new ground for safety in Australia. It’s essentially a device that we take when we need to access the roof of water tanks. And its been an absolute game changer. It’s in huge demand and the people that use it, day in day out, just love the product because it saves them a lot of time and effort, and makes their rescue and safety capability literally as low as it can possibly be risk wise. Following our success at Ozwater’18, it’s really blitzed the award circuit! We went on to win the WorkSafe Invention of the Year. Apart from the awards, we have been focusing very heavily on another safety initiative, which is about replacing divers with robots for cleaning drinking water tanks. What we’ve done is develop the world’s best underwater cleaning robots, and since doing that, the uptake from the water industry has been huge. We’ve got robots cleaning tanks for utilities all over Australia, including Hunter Water, Icon Water, Queensland Urban Utilities and SA Water, as well as Water Corporation. Water Corp are now looking at working
Fremantle Commercial Diving on site and ready to clean water tanks safely.
with our organisation to signiﬁcantly increase the number of tanks that can be cleaned robotically. Winning the AWA award has deﬁnitely had beneﬁts for our organisation. It raised our proﬁle within the water sector, and introduced us to organisations we weren’t aware of who had signiﬁcant problems that we could help ﬁx. We spent years, and hundreds of thousands of dollars making this ‘unicorn’ piece of kit. And then all of a sudden it won a national award, and everyone went, ‘Wow, what’s this?’ Companies are now much more comfortable with letting us use our technology.
2019 FINALISTS WATER INDUSTRY SAFETY EXCELLENCE AWARD • Essendon Tanks Renewal Project, CPB Contractors, Melbourne Water and Mattioli (VIC) • HQ3 Dosing Spear, TRILITY (WA) • Potable Robotic Tank Cleaning Program, Watertight Robotics (WA) • Production Safety Improvement Program, Sydney Water (NSW) • Safe Access Over Anaerobic Reactors Covers, Gippsland Water (VIC)
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2018 WINNERS INDIVIDUAL AWARD WINNERS Water Professional of the Year 2018 Winner: Ciara Sterling, Head of Community Inclusion, Yarra Valley Water (VIC) With over 15 years’ experience in the water industry, Ciara is an industry leader in supporting customers experiencing vulnerability, hardship and family violence. She is the driving force behind Yarra Valley Water’s extremely successful WaterCare initiative and Head of the Thriving Communities Partnership, a cross-sectoral collaboration of organisations tackling the root causes of hardship and inequality. Young Water Professional of the Year 2018 Winner: Katrin Doederer, Research Fellow, The University of Queensland (QLD) Katrin demonstrated all the hallmarks of a
very successful and committed early career professional. Not only has she rapidly developed from a successful PhD student to a highly regarded expert in the ﬁeld of disinfection by-products in drinking water, she has also demonstrated her prowess as an effective communicator and productive project leader at the interface between research and practice. Student Water Prize 2018 Winner: Sarah Aucote, Flinders University (SA) Smart Monitoring for Microbial Risk Assessment Sarah’s Honours project investigated assays targeting mitochondrial DNA as a new and novel approach to tracking sources of faecal contamination. Sarah’s research has potential to provide
a decreased cost of performing microbial risk assessments, leading to widespread improvements in monitoring and risk management, which in turn will improve Health Based Target compliance, particularly in regional areas. Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize 2018 Winner: Minh Nga Nguyen, Sydney Girls High School (NSW) Recycling Waste into Biochar: A Sustainable Wastewater Filter and Fertiliser for the Agricultural Industry Nga’s project in Biochar, a sustainable waste water ﬁlter and fertilizer for the agricultural industry, formed a model of application in which agricultural plant wastes are recycled into a multipurpose biochar charcoal.
2 019 C O N T E N D E R S WATER PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR 2019 FINALISTS • Darryl Day, Managing Director, ICE WaRM (NT) • Andrew Forster-Knight, Operational Technology Manager, South East Water (VIC) • Richard Savage, Technical Director – Water Process and Systems, GHD (QLD) • Nick Turner, Senior Principal of Strategic Programs, Water Corporation (WA)
YOUNG WATER PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR 2019 FINALISTS • Kate Bowker, Senior Technical Advisor - Wastewater Recycling, Water Corporation (WA) • Casey Furlong, Integrated Water Management Consultant, GHD (VIC) • Alice Liao, Operations Engineer, Icon Water (ACT) • Matthew Robertson, Process Engineer, TasWater (TAS) • Dr Yulia Shutova, Professional Water Engineer, AECOM (NSW)
• Kevin Yerrell, Operations Manager, Waternish Engineering (SA)
• William Speirs, Bid Manager, Queensland Urban Utilities (QLD)
• Kevin Young, Managing Director, Sydney Water (NSW)
• Boris Ninkovic, Program Manager, Fulton Hogan (SA)
STOCKHOLM JUNIOR WATER PRIZE 2019 FINALISTS • Deadly Heavy Metals Filter: Using Carbon Coated Mussel Shells and High Magnetic Field Magnet for the Filtration of Heavy MetalContaminated Water - Uriah Daisybell, CAPS Coolgardie (WA) • Development and Testing of a Film Based Detector System for Appropriate Ultraviolet Solar Disinfection (SODIS) of Water - Macinley Butson, The Illawarra Grammar School (NSW)
Note: To view the 2019 Student Water Prize Finalists please refer to the enclosed Ozwater Program Guide on Tuesday where the Students will present in Stream 8.
• The Efficacy of Three Commonly Used Water Treatment Techniques on the Disinfection of Paramecium Caudatum Towards Drinking Water Purification - Maria Saito, Queensland Academy for Health Sciences (QLD)
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Sustainable Development Goals
OUR WORLD THE 2030 DEADLINE TO ACHIEVE THE UNITED NATIONSâ€™ SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS IS LOOMING FAST, AND WHILE WE ALL KNOW THE WATER SECTOR PLAYS A CRUCIAL ROLE, WHAT ELSE CAN BE DONE TO HELP AUSTRALIA MEET ALL THE SDGS? By Joshua Hoey
ustralia is one of the world’s most advanced democracies, but we’re behind in key areas according to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the United Nation’s (UN) key indicator for progress and development through to 2030. At present, the nation is on track to reach only a third of the 17 SDGs, if things continue on a business-as-usual trajectory. And while Australia certainly has a lot of work to do in order to become truly sustainable, the water sector knows too well the implications of failing to try.
BUSINESS AS USUAL According to the Social Progress Imperative (SPI), an independent non-proﬁt that ranks countries across 51 indicators similar to the SDGs, Australia ranks 15th worldwide, but is still a Tier 2 country, meaning that it is falling behind similarly advanced democracies. Australia drops to 54th position when it comes to access to piped water, 64th on biome protection, and 103rd on greenhouse gas emissions. “We ﬁnd that [on environmental quality] Australia performs below where we would expect it to perform relative to countries of similar GDP per capita,” SPI Partner Research Director Petra Krylova said. The Australian Government’s report to the UN on progress towards the SDGs found that we are falling behind in the supply of clean water and sanitation services to rural and remote communities, particularly Indigenous communities. Furthermore, the environmental issues in the Murray-Darling Basin and contamination of Tasmania’s lakes indicate Australia can do more to protect our natural waterways.
THE BIG IDEA The SDGs comprise 17 broad goals for development covering society, the economy and environment. In a way, the SDGs grew out of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): a blueprint for development by 2015 that covered eight broad and basic measures, such as halving the poverty rate, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and ensuring environmental sustainability. One critique of the MDGs was that they focused on issues faced more by developing than developed nations, so the SDGs have set goals that apply to all nations. The SDGs also have sustainability, economic growth and tackling climate change at their core. Work is still ongoing, as not all of the indicators have sufﬁcient data coverage or agreed measurement criteria to allow for regular reporting of progress towards the SDGs. With broad, high-level policy such as the SDGs the question often is how useful are they for seeing change on the ground. Chair of Melbourne Water John Thwaites, who also chaired the National Sustainability Council until it was abolished in 2013, said his time as former Victorian Labor Deputy Premier and Water Minister showed him that without a clear set of goals and targets, nothing gets achieved. “The Sustainable Development Goals give us a set of universally agreed set of objectives that we can aspire to, and a spur for action by government and water authorities,” he said. “They provide the opportunity to think much more holistically about the role of water in improving the life of Australians.” At Melbourne Water, Thwaites said the SDGs have been a strong inﬂuence on the utility’s drive to have net-zero emissions by 2030. When it comes to individual projects, he said the SDGs have allowed Melbourne Water to think differently. “With the work that we’ve been doing in the Dandenong Creek to restore the area, we sought to address multiple SDGs,” Thwaites said. “By using the goals and thinking about them, it gave the engineers in that project more options than they would have traditionally considered.”
Sustainable Development Goals
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
02 ZERO HUNGER
AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
08 DECENT WORK AND
LIFE BELOW WATER
GOOD HEALTH AND WELLBEING
09 INDUSTRY, INNOVATION, 15
04 QUALITY EDUCATION
05 GENDER EQUALITY
06 CLEAN WATER
SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES
Of the Goals, SDG 6: Clean water and Sanitation captures the water sector’s core fundamental role. With its eight targets, SDG 6 covers the vital aspects of the water sector every nation needs to achieve to ensure sustainable supply into the future. But the role for water sector is broader than just SDG 6. AWA CEO Jonathan McKeown said the SDG’s provide a powerful template for change for all sectors and the community at large. “There is still limited understanding of the SDG’s and how they can drive change. Our water utilities and many leading corporations are taking a lead but there seems to be limited traction from our national government,” McKeown said. “On 18 February, the senate standing committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade provided detailed recommended actions for the government to adopt to support Australia’s contributions to the SDGs which the Association hopes will be actioned. The Association has established an SDG Specialist Network and our international program in Asia links directly to the SDGs. But we could do so much more here in Australia.”
PEACE, JUSTICE, AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS
PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION
WHERE TO NEXT?
LIFE ON THE LAND
IT’S JUST ONE RELEVANT GOAL. MANAGING WATER IS ONE OF THE BROADEST FUNCTIONS YOU CAN HAVE, AND POTENTIALLY HAS THE BROADEST BENEFITS OF JUST ABOUT ANYTHING IN SOCIETY. JOHN THWAITES, MELBOURNE WATER
Water Services Association of Australia Executive Director Adam Lovell said: “The Australian water industry is now building on a strong legacy of safe drinking water and sanitation services as well as contributing to all 17 goals through partnerships and projects.”
SDG 6 ENSURE ACCESS TO WATER AND SANITATION FOR ALL
SAFE AND AFFORDABLE DRINKING WATER
END OPEN DEFECATION AND PROVIDE ACCESS TO SANITATION AND HYGIENE
IMPROVE WATER QUALITY, WASTEWATER TREATMENT AND SAFE REUSE
IMPLEMENT INTEGRATED WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
INCREASE WATER USE EFFICIENCY AND ENSURE FRESHWATER SUPPLIES
The focus has traditionally been just on water supply or sanitation services, but water is critical for so many aspects of our lives, whether it is health, the quality of our cities, our food, or economic development. Thwaites agrees: “The SDGs comprehensively cover economic, social and environmental factors and are a benchmark we can use to ensure that when we are managing water we are achieving multiple goals across the economy, society, and the environment, rather than a nano-set of objectives”. This means that water authorities and others working in the sector need to also look beyond just SDG 6. “It’s just one relevant goal. Managing water is one of the broadest functions you can have, and potentially have the broadest beneﬁts of just about anything in society,” Thwaites said.
ALL ABOARD Many Australian water authorities are already doing work that contributes to achieving SDGs beyond that of service provision. At Melbourne Water, Thwaites said their mini-hydro project, suppling a signiﬁcant portion of utility’s energy requirements, was underway before the SDGs were developed, but it contributes to SDG 9, 11, 12 and 13. Similarly, South East
PROTECT AND RESTORE WATER-RELATED ECOSYSTEMS
EXPAND WATER AND SANITATION SUPPORT TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
SUPPORT LOCAL ENGAGEMENT IN WATER AND SANITATION MANAGEMENT
Queensland water authority Unitywater launched a major wetlands rehabilitation project to help offset nutrients and improve water quality on the Sunshine Coast. “The SDGs were not directly used as motivation for this project, but we welcome positive synergy with them,” said Unitywater Executive Manager of Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions Scott Barnes. Lovell said more water utilities are embedding the SDGs into their organisation: “Utilities are now integrating the SDGs as part of their corporate planning process and using them to inform strategy.” “Yarra Valley Water has generated a report describing how the utility contributes to the Goals, and Melbourne Water has identiﬁed three broad areas of focus that align its strategy, culture and day-to-day operations with the SDGs,” he said The Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) sees itself as leading the way when it comes to SDGs 5, 10, 16 and 17, the targets for diversity, gender equality and representation. The Council ﬁlls 83% of roles with locals from Island communities, has gender parity well about market averages, and 82.5% of its workforce is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. “We understand this might not be as easy for other organisations, so we would stress that diversity is much more
Sustainable Development Goals
than policy,” TSIRC Engagement and Corporate Affairs Manager Luke Ranga said. “It has to be in the DNA of all levels of your organisation. This extends to your supply chain and business partners.”
STICKING POINTS Yet Australia is still lagging in key areas to do with water. We’re off target for water affordability (SDG 6.1) and protecting water-related ecosystems (SDG 6.6). “The recent ﬁsh kills on the Murray Darling river suggested that we are not adequately protecting all natural waterways and wetlands,” University of Queensland’s Nina Hall said. To address the issue, data from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) shows the government is investing $49.7 million over the next ﬁve years to improve the ecology at 24 of Australia’s Ramsar sites through Landcare’s Regional Land Partnerships program, and another $12 million to establish new Indigenous Protected Areas. SDG 6 also calls for increased support for developing nations, an area that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says is a priority. “Australia’s global, regional and bilateral aid investments in this sector aim to improve access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene and management of scarce water resources,” said a spokesperson from DFAT. Australia’s total water-related aid investment stands at $170 million, according to DFAT, and includes the Water for Women Fund that aims to improve health, equality and wellbeing through sustainable water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects in the Indo-Paciﬁc region. But as a share of water aid, the WASH budget has been slashed from $160 million in 2009-10 to just $25.6 million in the 2018-19 budget. And, despite all our expertise, experience
and technology, many in Australia’s rural and remote communities still don’t have clean water or adequate sanitation. “Agricultural and mining practices, poor management, and natural contamination all mean that clean and safe drinking water is not assured in all rural and remote communities,” Hall said. Since Australia’s 2018 SDG progress report, the TSIRC has seen progress on reliable sanitation, with additional funding and training in partnership with Queensland Health and the Department of Local Government Racing and Multicultural Affairs. According to DAWR, the Government has funded a number of projects in indigenous communities under the COAG Strategy on Water and Wastewater Services in Remote (including Indigenous) Communities. “But there is still a long way to go to ensure adequate supply is available,” Ranga said. Every year, the TSIRC relies on the use of desalination to supply water to communities and communities are then faced with major water restrictions, often including water not being available 24/7. “We need to bring more people to the table, particularly Indigenous Australians,” Range said. “Here in the Torres Straits we have a unique geographical positioning which can bring a vast range of complexities in how we deliver key services to our communities. We must drive rethink current methodologies,” TSIRC Mayor Fred Gela said. While the Australian water sector has been turbulent lately, Thwaites said the sector can still make a difference by taking part in SDG-oriented projects and management. “Water authorities need to communicate what they are doing to implement the SDGs. They’re not well understood by the public and water authorities can play an important role in communicating how broad a role water can have.”
STOCKHOLM RESILIENCE CENTRE Established in 2007, the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) is an international centre of excellence for resilience and sustainability science. Headquartered at the University of Stockholm, the SRC is funded by the Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, with 140 staff working at multiple locations globally. At the heart of the Centre’s vision is research and science that support the sustainable evolution of humans and nature. The Centre has done considerable work on the SDGs, and sees them as a way of understanding how the
economy and society are embedded parts of the natural biosphere; without a sustainable approach to the biosphere, society and economy cannot flourish. The Centre is part of a number of UN bodies focused on the SDGs. One key area of its work is identifying and promoting interlinkages and interdependence among the individual SDGs, allowing for possible synergies and avoiding unforeseen outcomes. One major achievement of this work has been promoting food and food supply as a link to each of the 17 SDGs as part of the EAT Stockholm Food Forum.
Sustainable Development Goals
SOCIAL PROGRESS IMPERATIVE Social Progress Imperative (SPI) and its Social Progress Index are promoting the SDGs and providing an important yardstick for measuring progress. With a global team of researchers, the Index goes beyond a country’s GDP and measures progress on 51 individual indicators across three broad dimensions: basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing, opportunity. “We deﬁne social progress as the capacity of a society to meet the basic human needs of its citizens, establish the building blocks that allow citizens and communities to enhance and sustain the quality of their lives, and create the conditions for all individuals to reach their full potential,” said SPI Global Research Director Tamar Epner said. The SPI was initially established by Harvard Business School’s Michael Porter and MIT’s Scott Stern, who led the scientiﬁc team that developed the Index. It draws on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the work of economists, development thinkers and Nobel Prize winners Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz, and French economist Jean-Paul Fitoussi. Data is sourced from multilateral organisations like the World Bank and the UN, as well as think tanks and global surveys. Beyond fostering awareness of the SDGs and how countries are performing, the Index is also driving on-the-ground change. “The Social Progress Index captures outcomes related to all 17 SDGs, making it an invaluable proxy measure of SDG performance, particularly for areas where ofﬁcial indicators do not yet exist,” Epner said. The Index is able to incorporate locally-relevant data, making it scalable to cities and even small communities.
“This means the Index can help localise implementation of the SDGs at a more granular level, where change can happen quickest but formal SDG indicators are often unavailable or unreliable,” Epner said. When it comes to Australia’s progress, SPI is working with the Centre for Social Impact at the University of New South Wales to develop a granular, state-level Social Progress Index tailored to Australia’s context. “This will help Australia’s policy and decision-makers deﬁne investment and policy priorities to ensure everyone in Australia has access to clean water, irrespective of whether they live in the centre of a city or in a remote area,” SPI Partner Research Director Petra Krylova said.
WAR ON WASTE Since 2017, The Chaser’s Craig Reucassel has turned his cutting satire to waste and sustainability on the ABC’s War on Waste. At a time when Australia’s recycling system is in crisis, the program has done much to draw attention to waste and the perils of plastic. With its focus on waste reduction and sustainability, the program directly addresses many of the Goals. “SDGs 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 all featured in the War on Waste,” says the show’s producer, Jodi Boylan. But while War on Waste taps into a younger audience’s interest in climate change, Boylan says most people still have no idea about the SDGs or the work Australia needs to do to achieve them. “The majority of Australian’s have never heard of the SDGs, and this is an issue. There needs to be a clear achievable guide for everyday Aussies on how they can
apply the SDGs to their lives, households and workplace,” she says. As part of Vivid Sydney, War on Waste also participated in the Banksia Ignite event that focused on the SDGs, strategies to execute sustainability goals, and connected the public with leaders in sustainability. The show has been invaluable to the success of The Last Straw campaign to reduce plastic straw use, while Sustainability Victoria has turned to War on Waste programming as a way to drive and inspire action on waste. “We have made signiﬁcant progress on rescuing food waste and this is attributed to organisations such as FoodBank and Oz Harvest. However, there’s much more we can do with reducing food waste in our homes, on farms and in businesses,” Boylan says.
Craig Reucassel will be presenting a keynote address at Ozwater'19.
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WATER TREATMENT. HIGH SALT OR HIGH SOLIDS. IT’S OUR BUSINESS
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF THIS YEAR’S OZWATER’19. ith one of the world’s most esteemed water conferences just around the corner, the water industry is gearing up to enjoy all the networking, expert opinion and exhibits on offer at Ozwater’19. But, there’s something very special about this year’s program and speaker focus; this year the Australian Water Association has put sustainability in the spotlight. With the water sector at the core of many sustainability standards blossoming under a changing climate, Ozwater’19 will enrich delegates with the most up-to-date information and insights from leading experts. But it wouldn’t be Ozwater without balancing serious thinking with social fun, which is why this year’s conference will continue to provide attendees with exciting networking opportunities, as well as plenty of time to unwind and reﬂect with Australia’s broader water community.
NETWORKING Welcome Reception Melbourne is well-known for its rooftop venues which is why the Association has chosen the newly-opened Crown Aviary for the Welcome Reception Sponsored by Comdain Infrastructure, the Welcome Reception takes place on the Monday evening before the conference so delegates can catch up and connect before the action begins. Happy Hour The ﬁrst day at any conference is packed with keynotes, stream sessions, panel discussions and workshops, and Ozwater is no different. After a full ﬁrst day, the Gentrack Club House provides the space for delegates to unwind over drinks and swap stories with other attendees. Gala Dinner (proudly sponsored by TRILITY) The Gala Dinner will again celebrate the industry’s best and brightest with the announcement of the Australian Water Awards which are proudly sponsored by ANZ. Water professionals from across the sector come together at the Gala Dinner to recognise innovative projects and inspiring people while mingling over food and drinks.
Clockwise (L-R): Gala Dinner entertainment; Jennifer Scott (formerly ANZ) at the Water Leaders Forum; discussions in the exhibition hall; keynote speaker Dr Adriana Marais; Young Water Professionals during the YWP program; Queensland Urban Utilities’ poo powered car.
PROGRAM With Ozwater’19 putting the spotlight on ‘Transforming Our World’, this year’s program is overﬂowing with insights into how the water sector is leading the way towards more sustainable modes of operation, management and service. Featuring no less that six specialist themes, with many more focus topics, the program has been designed to cater for every area of water-sector interest. Presentations will include technical insights, case study examples, as well as poster pitches. Furthermore, the Australian Water Association is honoured to have CEO of Thirst, Mina Guli, and the War On Waste’s Craig Reucassel joining the line-up of keynote speakers. The program also offers presentations from 13 accent speakers.
TAP IT! Ozwater’19 is a tap-water only event! If you bring your reusable water bottle, you can top up at anytime from one of our reﬁll stations at the event, proudly provided by Choose Tap.
The Ozwater’19 Trade Exhibition is still Australia’s biggest water industry exhibition where delegates and trade visitors can discover the latest water innovations and solutions. The great part about the Ozwater’19 Exhibition is that it’s free to visit. All you need to do is pre-register as a free trade visitor, giving you quick and easy access to over 200 exhibitors representing all facets of the water sector. Exciting features of the exhibition include:
The Association and the Ozwater’19 Committee have made an even greater commitment towards sustainability this year. Ozwater has long been a tap water-only event and again, delegates will see reﬁllable tap water stations throughout the exhibition where they can reﬁll their bottles. To promote a circular economy, all delegate satchels have been made using recycled fabrics to divert waste from landﬁll. Inside the satchels, delegates will be gifted with reusable sandwich wraps to eliminate the need for single-use plastic food wrap.
Delegate Lounges where you can meet and network with other delegates and exhibitors. Deep Blue ‘See’ specialising in the latest industrial diving and underwater technology. Aqua-demic Zone so you can ﬁnd out about the latest projects from tertiary institutions. Innovation Hub showcasing the latest ground-breaking technology. Theatrette where you can hear technical presentations from major players in the industry.
TECHNOLOGY The Australian Water Association digital agenda and buyer’s guide will help delegates get the most out of their Ozwater’19 experience. You can ﬁlter the agenda based on sessions, presentation types and key program categories. You can also star your favourites, keep notes, favourite the exhibitors you want to see, and keep track of all the sessions you have attended.
REGISTRATION Registration for Ozwater’19 changes from standard pricing to onsite pricing on 3 May. The difference could save you around $300 so it’s well worth purchasing your conference registration early! Those who only wish to visit the trade exhibition (excludes catering and events entry) can register as a free-trade visitor online now, or onsite from 7 May.
#OZWATER There’s no place quite like Twitter to see what everyone is getting up to at Ozwater. Using the hashtag #Ozwater is a great way to share what you’ve learned at the conference and join in the biggest online water conversation. Delegates can share inspiring quotes they’ve heard from the keynote sessions, photos of exhibitors they’ve visited and notes from technical sessions.
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS VISIT OZWATER.ORG FOR MORE DETAILS ON ALL KEYNOTE SPEAKERS Tuesday, 7 May
Wednesday, 8 May
Thursday, 9 May
Founder and CEO of Thirst, Mina Guli is a global leader and adventurer committed to making a difference in the world. Mina launched Running Dry in 2018, a campaign for water.
Australian writer and comedian Craig Reucassel is best known for his work with The Chaser and for going through your bins on War on Waste.
Grifﬁth University Safety Science Innovation Lab’s Professor Sidney Dekker has won worldwide acclaim for his groundbreaking work in human factors and safety.
Thank you to our generous sponsors PRINCIPAL SPONSORS
GALA DINNER AND YOUNG WATER PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR AWARD SPONSOR
WATER LEADERS FORUM SPONSOR
INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM AND AUSTRALIAN WATER AWARDS SPONSOR
WELCOME NETWORKING SPONSOR
CLUB HOUSE SPONSOR
INDUSTRY SAFETY AND WELLBEING PROGRAM PARTNER
EXHIBITION THEATRE SPONSOR
DELEGATE LOUNGE SPONSORS
INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PARTNER
ASSOCIATION PARTNER AND WATER INDUSTRY SAFETY EXCELLENCE AWARD SPONSOR
CHOOSE TAP PARTNER
YOUNG WATER PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM SPONSOR
PROGRAM INNOVATION AWARD SPONSOR
INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT INNOVATION AWARD SPONSOR
STOCKHOLM JUNIOR WATER PRIZE AWARD SPONSOR
AUSTRALIAN WATER ASSOCIATION ABN: 78 096 035 773 +61 2 9436 0055
PO BOX 222 St Leonards NSW 1590, Australia
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Servicing Remote Communities
DAILY LIFE CAN MEAN ACCESS TO ONLY NINE HOURS OF TREATED DRINKING WATER A DAY DURING THE DRY SEASON. DR CARA BEAL, GRIFFITH UNIVERSIT Y
NO ONE LEFT BEHIND
AUSTRALIA’S GEOGRAPHICAL DIVERSITY IS IMMENSE AND SERVICING REMOTE COMMUNITIES IS A DIFFICULTY KNOWN TO MANY LOCAL UTILITIES. HERE CURRENT EXPLORES WHAT’S BEING DONE TO HELP, AND HOW AUSTRALIA’S EFFORTS WASH UP. By Thea Cowie
small but signiﬁcant population of Australians can tell what time of day it is by whether or not the tap works. “On Torres Strait Islands, daily life can mean access to sometimes only nine hours of treated drinking water a day during the dry season,” said Dr Cara Beal, Grifﬁth University Senior Lecturer in Environmental Health at the School of Medicine. “Desalination is needed to supplement supply, but even then demand outstrips supply and often the councils have to turn the water off – they literally turn the tap off at the main supply. “That certainly doesn’t meet the Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) of access to safely managed drinking water for all.”
SDG6: THE GAP Australia’s progress on meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 is monitored by the National Sustainable Development Council (NSDC). Its latest report stated that: “While the majority of Australians have access to safe drinking water, for many remote
Indigenous communities, the water supplies are unacceptable”. Water safety issues were also highlighted in the 2018 Transforming Australia: SDG Progress Report. “In Western Australia, only 19% of remote Indigenous communities reported 100% microbiological compliance between 2012 and 2014. One in ﬁve of these communities also reported unsafe levels for nitrates or uranium,” the report stated. “In 2016, trachoma was reported in Indigenous communities in NSW, SA, WA and the NT, where 4.7% of children aged ﬁve to nine years were estimated to have active trachoma.”
CHALLENGES ABOUND Beal said sanitation and drinking water systems in Australia’s regional and remote communities can be “poorly designed, inadequately maintained and inefﬁciently operated” compared to urban systems. “There would be few people who have been in these communities for any length
In conversation with Eric Garcin: Designing the BioFactories of the Future We chat to Eric Garcin, General Manager Design, Build & Innovation at SUEZ about how Australian water utilities are starting to embrace new technologies to build the wastewater treatment plants of tomorrow.
You’ve recently returned to Australia after working as the Technical & Innovation Director at SUEZ in Paris. What was your experience like in Europe? I led the innovation and technical exper tise for the Group’s water technology por tfolio. I was for tunate to have the oppor tunity to work with some of the world’s top exper ts and take par t in several challenging R&D projects. Some of the new technologies we developed are now being delivered to market, which is very exciting to see. As par t of this role, I was also in charge of signing off SUEZ’s process performance guarantees for all major projects, worldwide. SUEZ is one of the few to offer process performance guarantees in Australia. How does this benefit Australian water utilities? We believe this approach offers unique benefits to our clients. It reduces risk and places more ownership on us to deliver what we promise. Australian water utilities can adopt new technologies and embrace design and innovation because they have the added safety net of SUEZ’s process performance guarantee. How are Australian water utilities leveraging design and innovation to address current challenges and prepare for the future? Locally, I’ve seen a lot of different approaches. We’re for tunate to be working with some forward-thinking utilities who are determined to make a difference. They’re
Every utility is facing their own unique set of challenges. The value we bring is our deep understanding of the various combinations these technologies can take, and the expected performance results utilities can achieve in future years of operations.” searching for new ways to increase savings, optimise plant performance and reduce environmental impacts. They’re adopting proven, breakthrough smar t technologies to shift away from being energy consumers to becoming BioFactories that can transform waste into valuable new resources. Several years of design and innovation led to the concept of the SUEZ BioFactory. How is this concept disrupting the industry’s approach to wastewater management and reuse? The SUEZ BioFactory is made up of several innovative technologies that aim to create new sources of energy and valuable commodities from the wastewater treatment process. Utilities have star ted combining our patented technologies in new and flexible ways to create their versions of the wastewater treatment plant of tomorrow. CleargreenTM nitrate-shunt and Mainstream Anammox are technologies that are enabling utilities to reduce energy consumption along the wastewater treatment line and allowing maximum carbon redirection for biogas production.
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Servicing Remote Communities
of time that would argue with this,” she said. Distance: Australia is of course a vast and sparsely populated country, which presents a huge challenge when it comes to servicing all communities. The tyranny of distance is something WA’s Rachael Green – Assistant Director General, Service Delivery Regional and Remote Communities within the state Department of Communities – deals with daily. “The distance of remote communities from major centres ... signiﬁcantly increases costs and makes responding to extreme essential service events challenging,” she said. “In addition, reduced access to communications and the impact of major weather events (storms, ﬂoods), impacting the ability to liaise with people and access the site, can also compromise remote monitoring of operations.” Social and cultural challenges: There are also signiﬁcant cultural and social challenges associated with designing, maintaining and operating services in Remote Indigenous Communities (RICs), noted Beal. “There’s still a lack of understanding of what the Indigenous communities need in terms of sustainable and resilient water
and sanitation supplies. We’re still not matching a sanitation or water system that is ﬁt for purpose, or ﬁt for the place, or ﬁt for the person,” she said. For instance, one respondent to a recent UQ survey of organisations providing water, sanitation and/or hygiene services to Indigenous communities stated: “A lot of communities have good quality drinking water, at least initially … we often quickly see a lack of maintenance, meaning that everybody goes back to using their old water source – because the big fancy system doesn’t work”. High water consumption: The report highlighted challenges associated with high usage levels in remote communities. “Interviewees noted that water infrastructure in remote communities is designed for a high amount (around 1000 L/person/day) and that many … have even higher daily water consumption of 1500 L/person/day,” the report stated. This was linked to habitual and infrastructural reasons, including “undetected leaks, use of sprinklers over long periods (left on over the weekend; placed on roofs to cool houses), as well as some low awareness of water-saving and a low sense of responsibility due to not being responsible for paying the water bill.”
TASWATER PUTS AN END TO BOIL-WATER ALERTS Twenty-four months to remove 24 regional towns from Boil Water Alerts and Do Not Consume Notices; that was the challenge levelled at TasWater General Manager Systems Performance & Major Projects Dr Dharma Dharmabalan in 2016. “They called me into the board meeting and asked ‘can you do it?’,” he recalled. In the end, Dharmabalan and team his team did it – more than a fortnight ahead of schedule, and within the allocated budget. In total, 17 water treatment plants and four water transfer pipelines were installed to help rid Tasmania of public health notices (PHNs). Dharmabalan said the key to the program’s success was the team behind it including the consultants, contractors and regulators. “I set up the team that had the right attitude, the right skills and a collaborative mindset,” he said. Dharmabalan said weekly meetings with his project team were hugely important, as was the establishment of a communications and consultation team dedicated to handling customer inquiries and feedback. “Their job was to get the sense of each community – some were really fixed to their beliefs, saying ‘we don’t want chlorine’, others were saying ‘we need chlorine to save our health’. We consulted on everything from where the tank sites or treatment plant was going to go, to what
THE DISTANCE OF REMOTE COMMUNITIES FROM MAJOR CENTRES... SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASES COSTS. RACHAEL GREEN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITIES
INITIATIVES Across the country, State and Territory Governments are working to improve remote and regional water and sanitation delivery, and Western Australia is particularly proactive at the moment. After receiving several damning assessments of water and sanitation provision in the state, the Western Australian Government has dedicated signiﬁcant resources to resolving the problem through its Remote Essential and Municipal Services (REMS) program. The Department of Communities’ Green said that: “Since 2015, water quality results in remote communities have signiﬁcantly improved through the installation of chlorine treatment units and ﬁltrations systems such as reverse osmosis units.
TasWater works underway
kind of treatment plant we were building and chemicals we were using. They are all fit for purpose solutions.” Treatment processes selected across the communities included membrane ultrafiltration, carbon filtration, calcite filtration, ultra violet (UV) and chlorine disinfection. But now that the PHNs have been lifted, Dharmabalan said TasWater’s work is not done. “The thing most regional projects fail with is they don’t first select the right process and then they don’t allocate funds for ongoing monitoring and maintaining the assets,” he said. “All our new plants are fully automated to meet the community needs well into the 21st century.”
Servicing Remote Communities
JUST BECAUSE THINGS HAVEN’T GONE WRONG FOR 20, 30, 40 OR 50 YEARS, THAT DOESN’T MEAN THEY WON’T GO WRONG TOMORROW.
“Other innovative strategies have been used, including improved bore management, separate lines for drinking water and general use water, as well as some innovative, more experimental technologies.” One innovative move came in October 2017 when the Department of Communities entered into an agreement with the Department of Health as a result of changes to the Plumbers Licensing and Plumbing Standards Regulations 2000. The agreement has allowed a more collaborative approach to ongoing maintenance of basic infrastructure. “Suitably qualiﬁed Aboriginal environmental health workers are now permitted to undertake basic plumbing work if identiﬁed while they are in the community and a plumber is not readily available,” Green said. “These works include: replacing leaking taps, washers and shower hoses, replacing piping under sinks, basins and troughs ... capping a burst water main, damaged waste pipe or drain [and] clearing blocked waste pipes and drains.” The state is also embarking on the
$52-million Essential and Municipal Services Upgrade Program (EMSUP), which aims to provide a more reliable water supply, drinking water quality that meets Australian standard and local jobs and training in 10 remote Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley and Pilbara.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES Only time will tell how initiatives – such as those being rolled out in WA – will help Australia meet SDG6. As Beal noted: “there are many that are attempting to address these issues around the country, but I’m very cautious in saying that they are successful – I’m still questioning the monitoring and evaluation of the programs”.
Unfortunately it’s easier to say what does not work, than to say what does work. “What doesn’t work is not collaborating with the community before, during and after any water or sanitation projects are implemented. There needs to be genuine collaboration and genuine co-design,” she said. “What doesn’t work is not budgeting into water infrastructure projects genuine relationship building – travel and time talking.” It was also important to build in-community skills capacity to operate and maintain infrastructure, Beal adds. “We know that if you don’t make a system that is ﬁt for purpose, place and person then that eventually will fail.”
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HAVELOCK NORTH: WHAT CAN HAPPEN WHEN REGIONAL WATER TREATMENT GOES WRONG Tourism New Zealand describes Havelock North as “a pretty country town known for art, honey and friendly restaurants”. In 2016, it also became the site of the country’s worst water contamination incident, which was linked to at least three deaths and more than 5000 cases of campylobacteriosis. “A bore that was connected hydraulically for groundwater was connected to a paddock where sheep were grazing. Some of the bacteria in the sheep manure found their way into the bore that supplied the community,” explained Dr Dan Deere – one of two international experts who advised the subsequent Government Inquiry into the incident. Soon, more than a third of the town’s residents fell ill. “In New Zealand it has been commonplace not to have chlorination for bore waters – even Christchurch hasn’t had chlorination until recently,” Deere said. The subsequent Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry pointed to “a widespread systemic failure among water
suppliers to meet the high standards required for the supply of safe drinking water to the public” and recommended mandatory treatment of all public drinking water supplies in New Zealand, and the establishment of a dedicated drinking water regulator. For Australia, Deere said the message was: “we’ve got these barriers, but don’t get complacent and let them fail or give up on maintaining them. Just because things haven’t gone wrong for 20, 30, 40 or 50 years, that doesn’t mean they won’t go wrong tomorrow. We need to keep on top of our game.” Associate Director at Bligh Tanner, Michael Lawrence, has also been keeping a close eye on the incident and warned that in some Australian locations complacency may already be creeping in. “The Board of Inquiry into the Havelock incident found that the repeated detection of E. coli was defined as unsafe, and in Queensland we have many places where this regularly occurs,” he said, pointing to Queensland drinking water quality incidents last reported in 2017.
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BY 2050 AUSTRALIA’S POPULATION WILL HAVE INCREASED BY 50%, REACHING 36 MILLION. HERE CURRENT TAKES A CLOSER LOOK AT WHAT IS BEING DONE TO ADDRESS THE PRESSURE THIS WILL PLACE ON OUR MOST PRECIOUS RESOURCE. By Thea Cowie
ith the population set to double in the next 30 years, the resources today consumed by 24 million Australians will need to be shared much further. Additionally, as our climate continues to change, there’s likely to be fewer resources to go around. For many, this prospect is hard to imagine. But for the water sector, it’s a strong motivation for advancing the sustainability of water provision and waste management services.
PROVIDING FOR A BIGGER AUSTRALIA Well-managed cities will be integral to Australia’s ability to cope with projected population growth, said Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) CEO and 2018 IWA Global Water Award laurette Professor Tony Wong.
“The way we manage our water resources and urban water systems is increasingly shaping the economic performance, liveability, sustainability and resilience of our cities,” he said. “The majority of new residents (80% or more) will choose to live in capital cities and 70% of them will be accommodated through urban densiﬁcation through urban renewal.” Innovations in urban water management cannot be separated from innovations in urban planning, design and architecture. Wong believes that the key to successful innovations in urban water management is having hybrid centralised/ decentralised infrastructure, and hybrid green/grey solutions. “The importance of hybrid centralised/ decentralised infrastructure has to do with enabling piece-wise infrastructure investment and avoiding or deferring major
augmentation of trunk (centralised) infrastructure,” he said. “While the importance of hybrid green/ grey infrastructure has to do with the need to meet multiple water management objectives related to urban water services and urban liveability.” Already, the Australian water sector is pioneering efforts in these spaces.
HOUSING: INNOVATION AND REDUCED DEMAND Green Square In Sydney, the $8 billion public/private Green Square Town Centre development is set to become the site of Australia’s biggest stormwater harvesting and recycling scheme. “Instead of letting 900,000 litres of polluted stormwater ﬂow out to sea each day, residents can use it to ﬂush toilets, wash clothes and irrigate gardens,” the City of Sydney’s website states. Stormwater harvested throughout the 278-hectare redevelopment area will be piped to the Green Infrastructure
Centre where it will be ﬁltered, chlorinated then stored for non-potable uses. Sustainable water utility Flow Systems is helping deliver this project and many others around the country (including Sydney’s Central Park Water, which is set to be the biggest Membrane Bioreactor recycled water facility in the world). But late last year Flow Systems went into voluntary administration. “The CRC is very interested in understanding what were the conditions that made its business case ﬁnancially non-viable, because technically it’s the way of the future,” Wong said. Aquarevo In Melbourne’s south-east growth corridor, the Aquarevo housing development is taking shape. Thanks to a unique partnership between Villawood Properties and South East Water, homes within the Aquarevo development will be plumbed with three types of water: drinking water, recycled water and rainwater. Homes will also be ﬁtted with South East Water’s OneBox® device to control the water technology in each home, remotely monitor the pressure sewer, and read each home’s water and energy use. It’s hoped the combined approach will reduce mains drinking water demand by up to 70%. Villawood Properties Executive Director Rory Costelloe said the development was encouraging
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THE UTILITIES OF THE FUTURE WILL NEED TO THINK ABOUT THE WHOLE CIRCULAR ECONOMY – THE NEXUS BETWEEN WATER AND ENERGY... TONY WONG, CRCWSC dozens of the nation’s builders to adopt sustainable solutions. “Aquarevo is a blueprint for sustainable urban development that could be replicated across Australia,” Costelloe said. “Australia’s premier builders have also embraced Aquarevo’s vision and have collectively delivered nearly 40 innovative home designs that are tailored to include its water and energy efﬁcient features.” Meanwhile, South East Water is also working on the Fisherman’s Bend project in the heart of Melbourne. Fisherman’s Bend By mid-century, 80,000 people are expected to live in Fisherman’s Bend – each of them using less than 100 litres of potable water per day. The 480-hectare urban renewable project also aims to have reduced net sewage discharge by 50% by 2050. “It’s an exciting opportunity to deliver a water-sensitive city using integrated water solutions that maximises locally available water; minimises water and sewage loads; reduces ﬂooding; and transforms urban amenity,” said South East Water’s Future Water Strategy General Manager Phil Johnson. Initiatives to help achieve these ambitious goals include buildings designed to capture rainwater, a sewer mining plant, and utilising recycled water and rainwater for non-potable uses in buildings and public spaces. “The system will utilise smart grid technology to maximise the capture of rainwater for reuse in buildings, while maintaining enhanced ﬂood mitigation to the area,” according to the Fisherman’s Bend Sustainability Strategy.
“The system will also utilise digital meters to monitor and control the network to measure water and control quality.” Wong said the project is another example of how the future of urban water services and infrastructure is going to be decentralised. “But always coupled with the existing infrastructure to basically enable infrastructure to do more with less,” he said. “These scenarios will lend themselves to potentially greater private sector co-investments.” Spotless Spotless Integrated Facilities Services’ Government Operations Manager Michael Leggett said: “While desalination, groundwater and recycling are all growing in importance, our individual actions to conserve and use less water are key”. As such, the provider of maintenance works and services to over 22,000 existing social-housing properties in Western Australia has been trialing its own water saving initiative. Spotless implemented an innovative Internet of Things (IoT) sensor solution – using small mobile sensors that capture water-consumption data remotely and in real time – in a sample of properties. With promising results, the provider is looking to expand the trial. “The sample properties showed an average water consumption of 2572L per day prior to the trial,” Leggett said. “This was reduced to 1757L per day on trial completion, representing a 30% reduction achieved through actionable intervention, as well as annual savings of approximately $558 per household. “If similar results were applied to 10% of the social-housing portfolio, The Housing Authority of Western Australia could make potential savings of more than $1.2 million and over 654M litres of water each year.”
SERVICE PROVISION IN 2050 With water provision to increasingly involve decentralised, site-speciﬁc, precinct-scale solutions in future, what role will water utilities need to play? Wong said thatwater utilities will need to ﬁrst take a much more engaged role in delivering liveability to the community.
MILLENNIUM DROUGHT: THE SILVER LINING
They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The Millennium Drought sorely tested communities, industries and the environment year after parched year, from 1996 to mid-2010.But, it also gave the sector a head-start on preparing for the demands of Australia’s population by 2050, said Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities CEO Professor Tony Wong. “Up until then there was great dependency on just one source of water – that being water from dams largely,” he said. “The construction of desalination plants really came out of a situation where the problem was so acute that the government needed certainty in their decisions. That certainty provides us now with a period of stability to introduce the broader strategy of securing a diverse water source.” Since then, we’ve seen significant advancements in storm water harvesting, sewage and wastewater recycling, and our water consumption habits have stayed lower than that of the last century. “The community are a lot more aware of the scarcity of water, the availability of other resources, and the role they can play,” Wong said. The Millennium Drought also pointed to cities as catchments. “During that long millennium drought of nearly 13 years it was not that it didn’t rain, it just rained less. “Yet we found some occasions were urban cities where flooded,” Wond said.
8 “It’s no longer provision of water supply and sanitation services – they actually need to think about how their services will also inﬂuence liveability,” he said. “Secondly, the utilities of the future will really need to think about the whole circular economy – the nexus between water and energy, the nexus between water and food, and the nexus between water and health.” And ﬁnally, the water utilities of the future will need to harness the potential of the digital economy. “Harness that information and real time control to operate the assets much more efﬁciently,” Wong said. Water utilities of the future really need to get involved in that broader agenda, rather than simply providing water and sanitation services.”
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HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE WATER UTILITIES OF THE FUTURE
Traditional water management paradigms are not up to the tasks of the 21st century: increases in population and urbanisation, declines in resources and climate change. That’s the conclusion that the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities made in its 2018 report: Water Utilities of the Future – Australia’s experience in starting the transition. What does the CRC think utilities should be doing now to transition to an effective water future?
Manage urban water sustainably and enhance liveability.
Use advances in intelligent networks and operations to improve productivity.
Partner in local economic development.
Seek the least cost, highest community return solutions at catchment scale.
Foster evolving urban spaces that are appropriately serviced.
Collaborate with other organisations to plan and deliver services.
Focus on customer value.
Be agile organisations with robust commercial capability.
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TURBID WATERS SA ROYAL COMMISSION THE SA ROYAL COMMISSION’S MURRAY DARLING BASIN REPORT HAS PLACED THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN PLAN UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT ONCE MORE. HERE’S WHAT AWA MEMBERS NEED TO KNOW. By Cecilia Harris
t’s been a long and tumultuous two years for the Murray Darling Basin and the communities within its reach, and now the release of the Royal Commission Murray-Darling Basin Report has put the basin plan under the national spotlight. Established in 2012, the Murray-Darling Basin Plan aims to provide a coordinated approach to water use across the basin’s four states and the ACT. Balancing environmental, social and economic considerations, the goal of the plan is to set water use to a sustainable level. Although the basin carries a long history of debate, the 2017 Four Corners report on water theft sparked a fresh set of dilemmas for the trans-boundary catchment. Following revelations of NSW irrigators taking billions of litres of water earmarked for the environment, as well as poor law enforcement and lack of transparency, Governor of South Australia Hieu Van Le AC established the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission on 23 January 2018, under the administration of the South Australian Labor Government, in order to assess the management of the river system. On 29 January 2019, Commissioner Bret Walker SC handed his ﬁndings
to government, which, among many important points, found the Murray Darling Basin Plan (MDBP), established under the Water Act in 2012, is not meeting its requirements.
COMMISSIONER’S ASSESSMENT One of the key assessments of the MDBP put forward by Walker ﬁnds that not enough water has been returned to the environment. In 2010, the Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan recommended 6900GL for environmental water in order to ensure ecological stability. However, in the ﬁnal plan, 2700GL were allocated. The ﬁnal allocation decision was made by the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), and Walker states the decision for environmental returns was made to accommodate the social and economic uses of the river at the expense of the environment. Furthermore, Walker states the error in allocating lower than necessary environmental ﬂows was a result of unlawful maladministration. Given Walker’s assessment outlines a gross misinterpretation of the Water Act, the Commissioner has concluded that the MDBP is insufﬁcient in reaching its aims of balancing social and economic considerations with environmental ﬂows.
While the assessment made by Walker casts doubt on business-as-usual for the MDBP, the report also offers recommendations for how the basin states and territories might move forward.
RECOMMENDATIONS The Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission report made several
recommendations for the basin plan, including: Overhaul water allocations under the Murray-Darling plan, redirecting more water for environmental ﬂows; Review the entire basin for climate change risks based on the best available science; Establish an independent authority to conduct research into climate change and guide basin communities
on how to adapt, and form an independent basin-wide environmental monitoring program; Amend the Water Act and include a provision recognising Aboriginal interests; Create uniformity between basin states in terms of penalties; Promote a sustainable future water recovery buyback scheme, repealing the 1500GL cap.
ith these opinions and arguments reaching the Australian public ahead of the 2019 state and federal election season, governments around the nation are preparing policy. Here’s what federal parties want to see prioritised when it comes to the Murray-Darling Basin.
GREENS Greens leader Richard Di Natale The Murray Darling is our nation’s food bowl. The river is central to Aboriginal culture. It has outstanding environmental signiﬁcance and is a key water source for South Australia, including many regional towns and cities. $13 billion of taxpayers’ money was meant to go towards saving the river. Now the SA Royal Commission has reported its ﬁndings, and the failure of policy and government has been laid bare, there is no choice other than a Federal Royal Commission to properly investigate this matter. POLICY POINTS: establish a national royal commission; overhaul the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, placing the environment at the core; ensure that any future modelling is done in the context of climate change; ban corporate irrigator donations to political parties; and, ensure that any new plan delivers water buybacks to ensure proper environmental ﬂows.
LIBERAL-NATIONAL COALITION Minister for Agriculture and Water David Littleproud We’ve made signiﬁcant inroads in delivering water back to the Murray-Darling Basin, with the recent [Productivity Commission] review ﬁnding nearly all of the 20% of productive water, which needed to be recovered for the environment, has been. We’ve also taken big steps forward on compliance, which was indeed an issue in the basin. Nobody who is doing the right thing has anything to fear from compliance. NSW has taken the issue seriously and real progress is being made. For the ﬁrst time we have bipartisan agreement, between states and the Commonwealth, on how to return water to the Basin. This has come about through leadership and goodwill; not through ﬁghting. As a Basin MP myself, as we experience a second serious drought this century in large parts of the Basin, I continue to hope for serious rain. POLICY POINTS: continue to advance the Plan as it stands; and maintain bipartisanship between states.
LABOR Labor Water Spokesman Tony Burke After the summer we’ve had, you’d have to say there is some possibility that at some point the MurrayDarling Basin Authority conducts its own reviews as it does under law, may well decide that more water has to be returned to the system to health than was previously recommended. By removing the cap we are making clear that if we end up having to provide more water for the rivers then this will not be a barrier to doing this. This cap was set at a level that provided some assurance for those communities during the early years of the plan. But it does not make sense to keep it there as a permanent level because ultimately it will come up against the ﬂexibility that the Authority needs and what it might recommend. POLICY POINTS: remove the 1500GL water buyback cap to help reach environmental ﬂow aims in the basin. References: smh.com.au, afr.com, theguardian.com, theaustralian.com.au, abc.net.au
WHAT NEXT? Due to the complexity of the basin plan and the many differing stakeholders involved, responses to Walker’s recommendations have been varied. While increasing environmental ﬂows and assessing climate risks has been recommended by leading scientists and academics in the ﬁeld since the plan was established, many
communities suffering under the current drought are experiencing serious water shortages. Many rural communities within the basin rely on water allocations for irrigation, tourism and liveability, and increasing water allocations for environment will likely have economic and social repercussions. “[Communities] need certainty. They need to know they have a future in the
towns they love, communities they work in and the places they raise their families,” NSW Minister for Water Niall Blair said. “We will ﬁght tooth and nail for our rural and regional communities.” Furthermore, some sides of government are arguing that to meddle with the MDBP any further would cast the future of these communities into uncertainty once more.
STATES OF PLAY: WHAT THEY SAID VIC Minister for Water and Agriculture Lisa Neville: The Royal Commission was set up to examine water theft but has instead decided to unpick the Murray Darling Basin Plan itself. Any suggestion of starting again or signiﬁcantly increasing the targets would be a disaster for the environment and jeopardise progress made so far. All Basin States need to move forward in implementing the Basin Plan, providing communities with conﬁdence that the balanced social, economic and environmental outcomes of the Plan can be achieved. Former NSW Minister for Water Niall Blair: They just want to take the easy ﬁx, change the rules, undo the negotiated parameters, buy the water off our farmers and send it down to South Australia - and we can’t accept that. We know the recommendations and way put forward by the South Australian royal commission ... will be to the detriment of and hurt our regional communities. We’ll continue to have a look at the detail of the report but, at this stage, we’re not going to sign up to a plan at all costs. Australian Conservation Foundation Director Dr Paul Sinclair: Despite the denials of some politicians, industry ﬁgures and regulators, the royal commission has detailed signiﬁcant failures by those charged with restoring our most important river system. The ﬁndings of the royal commission ﬁt a consistent pattern of behaviour from Australian governments that has resulted in environmental disaster and the catastrophic loss of wildlife. Prime Minister Scott Morrison: It’s very important that as we continue to manage what is a very difﬁcult, sensitive and complex issue, that we maintain the bipartisanship in how we continue to progress that matter.
National Irrigators’ Council Chief Executive Steve Whan: It’s not necessary [to remove the cap], there’s still room under the cap. It seems to be a breaking down of the bipartisanship, which is vital to the success of the plan. Former Minister for Water and Agriculture and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce: You can’t take water away from these places and say that there will be no negative economic impacts. This is something that was done in a bipartisan way, which got all states on board to sign off on. You are never going to have the perfect outcome. It’s not possible with such divergent and strong views. NSW Greens Senator Merheen Faruqi: The continued abuse of the Murray Darling System is nothing new and, sadly, what we are seeing now is the inevitable result of years of neglect and incompetence, especially by the National Party. The Nationals must be held to account. For years there has been over-extraction from the system, restricting environmental ﬂows that allow the Murray Darling to function. This has been devastating for communities and the environment. Climate change is the elephant in the room. If we don’t take urgent action to stop our planet warming, extreme heatwaves and drought will become more and more common. Northern Victorian Irrigation Communities Chair Nick James: We are all in this great little community here in the Goulburn Valley, and you look around and it’s slowly moving from ‘the food bowl’ to ‘the dust bowl’. We’re not looking for a short-term ﬁx. We’re not looking for a good rain or some environmental water to come on he market. We’re looking for long-term solutions to make it sustainable for the next generations.
Top three benefits of VFDs for irrigation pumping Variable frequency drives (VFDs) are now widely used for irrigation pumping applications due to the many cost saving opportunities they provide. Here, we look at the top three benefits irrigators can take advantage of by installing VFDs on irrigation pumps.
ENERGY SAVINGS THROUGH SYSTEM FLEXIBILITY
smaller zone at the BEP resulting in less system maintenance required, equipment will have a longer life cycle, and energy costs will be greatly reduced.
One of the major benefits of VFDs is that they can be programmed to run the pump at a certain speed and flow rate. In the past, irrigators needed to size the pump for the worst possible case and then use a combination of valves to try to run the system at the best efficiency point (BEP). However, it is difficult to meet the BEP in all zones this way, so there are inevitably zones where the pump is oversized. This results in increased wear on the system, higher energy consumption and higher costs. VFDs allow irrigators to customise the way the system runs so that pump speed will slow down, and flow and pressure are reduced to operate a
REDUCED WATER LOSS
By ensuring pumps operate at the optimum pressure for the irrigation application, VFDs have cost and environmental saving benefits for water. If an irrigation system is operated with more pressure than required, sprinklers will mist, which creates smaller water droplets through the nozzle that are more easily moved by the wind and evaporated into the atmosphere. This results in a loss of water as it is less likely to reach the crop. VFDs also allow irrigators to adjust pumps to automatically suit conditions
so that water is not delivered unnecessarily. This improves scheduling, avoids root zone waterlogging and ensures there is no water wastage, increases the chances of higher crop production and reduces energy costs.
VFDs have other features that help to further reduce maintenance costs and increase the life cycle of pumps. VFDs are soft-start devices so problems associated with water hammer and excess power draw during start-up are eliminated, and flow or pressure surges are reduced. This decreases wear, particularly on bearings and seals.
THE FRANKLIN ELECTRIC ADVANTAGE Franklin Electric’s line of VFDs – DrivE-Tech – was designed and developed to optimise, control and protect pumping systems, and is compatible with different types of pumps, including vertical multistage, centrifugal and submersible. It can be used for water supply and irrigation applications, and is suitable to operate most new or existing systems up to 15kW. The DrivE-Tech enclosure is manufactured from die-cast aluminium, and is sturdy, lightweight, easy to cool and compact in size. The panel has an IP55 rating, so it can be installed in humid and dusty places.
DrivE-Tech Solar is also available for efficient pumping and movement of water. This uses the sun’s energy to generate DC power from solar arrays, which is then converted to AC power to operate the electric motor of a new or existing above or below ground water pump. It has an enclosure rating of IP65, with an aluminum body and 304SS metal parts. It also offers operation of 3 phase 230V or 400V motors to power pumps with motor needs up to 15kW–30 amps maximum. The knowledgeable team at Franklin Electric can help you find the right VFD for your installation to make sure you’re getting the most benefit from it.
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STATE OF THE MURRAY CURRENT TAKES A LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF THE MURRAY-
HISTORY OF BASIN MANAGEMENT
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agrees to the National Water Initiative, elevating the importance of sustainable use of water resources. The National Water Commission is established to implement it.
The River Murray Commission is established to oversee the agreement.
The River Murray Waters Agreement is reached, setting out the shares of water available to each state.
The Murray-Darling Basin Agreement is established, superseding the River Murray Commission and taking a broader scope.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison urges State and Federal politicians to continue to support the Basin Plan.
Commissioner Bret Walker SC hands his final report to SA Government. The report finds the MDBP ineffective and the course of management potentially illegal.
Unsatisfied with MDBA’s investigation, the South Australian Government establishes MurrayDarling Basin Royal Commission with the aim of assessing MDB management.
Commissioned by the Council of Australian Governments, the Murray-Darling Basin Water Compliance report is submitted from the MDBA. Recommendations including a ‘no meter, no pump’ policy, and other measures to improve transparency and compliance.
-DARLING BASIN DARLING BASIN.
The Murray-Darling Basin Plan is signed into law, aiming to redress the over-allocation of water licences and return more water to the environment.
Long-term state environmental watering plans are established to compliment the Basin watering strategy.
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority is formed, replacing the MurrayDarling Basin Commission.
NOVâ€™17 Co-commissioned by NSW Government, Ken Matthews AO leads independent investigation into NSW water management and compliance. Report finds water-related compliance and enforcement arrangements in NSW have been ineffectual and require significant and urgent improvement.
The Basin environmental watering strategy is published, building on the Basin Plan, advising stakeholders of ways to plan and manage environmental watering at a Basin scale.
Four Corners report on MDB irrigator water theft and maladministration goes public.
Climate Change Policy
TURNING UP THE
AS THE WORLD STARTS TO TRANSFORM ITS HABITS AND EXPECTATIONS UNDER A CHANGING CLIMATE, PREPARATION FOR COMPLEX AND UNFORESEEN DYNAMICS WILL BE A CRUCIAL ELEMENT OF ADAPTATION FOR THE WATER SECTOR. By David Barbeler
hotter climate, an increased population, and greater expectations on water managers to do more with less; that’s the three-prong reality of the water sector as we move into the decades ahead. According to Productivity Commissioner Dr Jane Doolan, it’s crucial the water sector begins to adapt to these pressures and demands right now. “If we look at the future pressures, climate change is a very signiﬁcant one but it’s not the only one. It will be combined with population growth, and affordability pressure from communities,” Doolan said. “So there will be more people, potentially less water in many areas of Australia, and those communities are starting to have greater expectations and greater demands from their water managers. They’ll expect water managers to do more with less. ”
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Climate Change Policy
THE HEAT IS ON By 2030, the annually averaged warming across all emission scenarios is projected to be somewhere around 0.5 to 1.4°C above the climate of 1986–2005. And as the decades continue to roll by, Australia will only become hotter – with models showing up to a 5°C increase in many areas by 2090 under a high emission scenario. However, other models suggest warming could be limited to 1.2°C under an intermediate emission scenario. This poses a problem for many in the water industry: what climate modelling scenario should the water sector plan for? “Dealing with uncertainty and highly complex science is another challenge,” explained Seqwater Principal Policy Ofﬁcer – Sustainability and Advocacy Emma O’Neill. “Infrastructure decisions demand certainty but we don’t know how severe the future changes to the climate will be. This requires consideration of multiple scenarios and adaptive management approaches.” Sydney Water Corporation Luther Uthayakumaran agrees: “The challenge is that a lot of the climate models point to very different scenarios. “For instance if we have 10 different models, they could point to very different temperatures and extremes. When that happens the range is so high that it becomes hard to make a planning decision based on it.”
KEY CHALLENGES O’Neill said another big challenge is that science and climate change have become politicised. However, as temperatures continue to soar – 2018 was Australia’s third-warmest year on record, and only one of Australia’s warmest 10 years occurred before 2005 – more and more people are once again embracing the need to plan for climate change. “In some cases people have an entrenched belief or scepticism about climate change that needs to be understood and overcome before progress can be made,” O’Neill said.
DEALING WITH UNCERTAINTY AND HIGHLY COMPLEX SCIENCE IS ANOTHER CHALLENGE. EMMA O’NEILL, SEQWATER
“However, it seems like climate change has become a frequent area of public discussion as the observed impacts become unequivocal. This has helped to make sure the issue can stay on the agenda and overcome the potential for scepticism to derail thinking about adaptation.” Uthayakumaran, who will be presenting at Ozwater’19 on climate change and water demand, said another key challenge for the water sector will be reducing people’s demand for water. “We need to change people’s behaviour in the way they use different quantities of water – that’s something we’re trying to grapple with at the moment,” Uthayakumaran said. “Because at the moment, the day to day variations of demand is driven by the weather – that’s actually the biggest factor. And climate change impacts weather, so therefore it is very important.” Another key challenge is the impact climate change is having on infrastructure, said Uthayakumaran: “The infrastructure was built with climate conditions of the past that were different.” So how is the water sector meeting challenges of climate variability at a policy and regulation level? O’Neill believes policy is increasingly recognising the challenges of climate change for water supply. “For example, the Queensland Government’s Bulk Water Opportunities Statement recognises the broad challenge of climate change for water supply,” she said. Uthayakumaran pointed out that there are increasing requirements on organisations to include climate-risk as part of their enterprise risk proﬁles. This applies to water organisations as well.
THE HEAT IS ON: 2018 was Australia’s third-warmest year on record. In fact, only one of Australia’s warmest 10 years occurred before 2005.
DIFFICULT TO PLAN: The wildly differing potential climate scenarios that have been predicted make it difficult to plan long-term infrastructure.
PASSING THE TORCH: Many senior water managers and politicians who have helped shape Australia’s national water reform are now retiring. Now’s the time for the next generation to stand up.
DIFFERING SCENARIOS: Models show up to a 5°C increase in many areas by 2090 under a high emission scenario. However, other models suggest warming could be limited to 1.2°C.
WEST IS BEST: Experts point to Perth as a good example of a city that is drought proofing itself against future climate change pressures, with almost half of its water coming from desalination.
Climate Change Policy
GO WEST One Australian city leading the way in adapting to a changing climate is Perth, said Synergies Economic Consulting Martin van Bueren. The city has experienced a signiﬁcant drop in average rainfall over the past 45 years, relative to pre-1975 levels. “Out of necessity, the WA water sector has already embraced adaptive management for a changing climate and major changes have been made to water supply sources,” said Van Bueren. “Here in Perth, the Water Corporation has invested heavily in desalination and wastewater recycling. Perth is now getting around 50% of its water supply from desalination, and this share, in combination with groundwater replenishment using recycled water, will continue to grow.”
OPPORTUNITIES “There are opportunities for the water sector to work collaboratively with others across the urban water cycle to help make sure building adaptation and resilience happens collaboratively and efﬁciently,” O’Neill said. “For example, Seqwater will be looking to engage more closely with local water service providers to make sure we are working together to understand adaptation needs.” Van Bueren said as pressure is placed upon our supply systems, technological solutions will evolve in water resource management. “New pressures often breed new ideas. And the free ﬂow of information between the major water utilities and other players in the water sector will be important if we are to generate more innovative ideas,” he said. Another opportunity, added van Bueren, was to build on Australia’s reputation as a world leader in water services technology, and export this knowledge abroad. “Australia is also well regarded as an international leader in water policy reform and development of water markets. There’s an opportunity in selling this know-how overseas and building a services industry off the back of this experience,” van Bueren said.
THE NEXT GENERATION There have been 25 years of national water reform through COAG, and out of that has come the National Water Initiative where lots of progress has been made. However, Doolan warned that there has been some “backsliding” in recent years, and it’s time for the next generation of water managers to step up and take charge. “The generation of water managers who were involved in that whole reform agenda really understood the main issues. But they’re all retiring and moving on, and that includes some of the politicians as well,” Doolan said. As such, one of the recommendations in the Productivity Commission’s 2017 National Water Reform ﬁnal report was that all COAG governments commit to a new National Water Initiative. “We’ve got to make sure we don’t lose the key foundations that we’ve spent 25 years building. And then we’ve got to build on it again for the future,” Doolan said. References: climatechangeinaustralia.gov.au, bom.gov.au, watercorporation.com.au, clw.csiro.au
ENHANCING DANDENONG CREEK
Dandenong Creek rehabilitation site.
When it comes to forward-looking water infrastructure projects that address climate change and sustainability issues, urban density pressures and water managers doing more with less, Productivity Commissioner Dr Jane Doolan nominated Melbourne Water’s ‘Enhancing our Dandenong Creek’. In 2013, Melbourne Water and EPA designed a program to protect public health and improve storm water quality in Dandenong Creek, which had a significant heavy metal pollution problem. A Natural Amenity Working Group was established in 2014 to represent a range of local community views, and projects to revitalise the creek were identified for a five-year program. Project goals included constructing new habitats for threatened fish species, increasing the natural amenity and signage of the creek, focusing on pollution prevention and managing uncontrolled sewage spills. Managing the bulk sewage spills was particularly necessary because bulk sewers in Victoria are required to meet the standard of not overflowing during one-in-five-year high rainfall events. The Ringwood South Branch Sewer near Dandenong Creek, Melbourne, was one of a few sewers that did not meet that standard, and the cost of improving it to the standard was about $100 million. Instead of upgrading the Ringwood South Branch Sewer, Melbourne Water opted to fund a program that would improve Dandenong Creek’s ecological heath as cost-effectively as possible.That included Melbourne designing a catchment improvement plan that addressed stormwater pollution through a behavioural change program. The program also focused on improving biodiversity through a fish breeding and habitat construction program, and returning some piped sections of the creek to a naturalised open waterway. These measures were complemented by targeted, lower-cost improvements to the sewer network to reduce overflows.The total cost of the program was $14.5 million over five years. Ozwater’19 Site Tour: Monday, 6 May
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STUNTED GROWTH Limited resources loom as an ever-present challenge for many smaller councils, potentially hindering development of projects that may require extensive collaboration and coordination undertaken over the course of years. Compounding the scope of challenges faced, councils may simply lack the resources and know-how needed to apply for government funding. Given the long-term outlook required for water management and sustainability projects, the concern is that prescriptive government funding frameworks serve to narrow the focus of councils, rather than encouraging forward-thinking innovation. Arup Water Strategy & Planning Practice Leader Elaine Pang said these types of funding arrangements “mean that a lot of small councils that just have to do business as usual with very little money are not really getting a look-in”. “Only the councils that scramble and have the resources manage to even apply,” Pang said. “Even then, some of them might not put together a good business case, because they aren’t necessarily experienced at crafting a winning submission – so the money doesn’t necessarily go to where it is most needed.”
“Planning and development can impact how water is managed, just by the nature of what kind of activities you allow in a certain area, and that happens in a local government, but would not happen in a larger utility,” he said. “Beyond that, local governments are affected by how water is managed in much the same way their communities are affected. Not only do they live in the community, they are chosen and resourced by the community – so they keenly feel the impacts and have a vested interest in getting it right.”
CONSIDERING OPTIONS CONSIDERED
Hieatt stressed the importance of councils adopting a ﬂexible approach to project development, acknowledging that, amid a traditional reliance on state and federal grants, a key problem with funding “is that we are myopic in where it comes from”. “We need to look towards other sources of funding: vested stakeholders that can contribute to water management activities,” he said. “When managing water in a local community, there’s a lot of people affected, and local businesses, commercial industry and agriculture would invest if brought into projects.” Frontier Economics’ Anna Wilson pointed to a number of partnership options councils may consider in pursuing Burdekin Shire Council Water and Waste Water Manager Shaun projects, including engaging with water utilities, entities with Johnston noted that most projects fall down at the planning wider catchment or waterway management responsibilities or stage, with councils pressed for resources not having “time to private partners. plan ahead and formulate good funding applications”. While stressing that comprehensive industry engagement “It is the ad-hoc nature of rounds and rigid timeframes for helps pinpoint and prioritise high-value projects, Wilson also delivery of the politically driven funding processes of the states that are the biggest single barriers to the money getting to where highlighted the importance of deﬁning roles and responsibilities from the outset. it is most needed,” he said. As a starting point, Wilson recommends councils undertake a If councils do not play a proactive role in projects, valuable “bottom-up assessment of where they consider action on water local information may not be utilised, with Johnston stating it can make “for an incomplete and disjointed effort, and a lot of people management is required”. “Councils need to start by determining who might beneﬁt or working at opposite causes”. be impacted by a project and if so by how much,” she said. “A second question then relates to the ability of these parties to capture any beneﬁts – for example, will it reduce their future costs, or can they generate additional revenue as a result of the project?” Wilson pointed to various mechanisms to aid project development, such as standardised partnership agreements, governance arrangements and cost-beneﬁt analysis guidelines. With funding potentially coming from multiple sources, Wilson ANNA WILSON, FRONTIER ECONOMICS said project partners will “have different objectives, ways their funding can be provided and different processes for reaching a decision within their own organisation”. Johnston also highlighted the challenges councils face in “One of the biggest problems can be having no understanding promoting what is required locally, with bigger players potentially of that upfront,” she said. uninformed about the aims of local government. “It does come down to that two-step process: do you know “Once again, it’s a resource matter,” he said. “There’s a lot what you care about, and then is there some way in which you of small councils that just don’t have the resources to ever get are communicating that with others?” on stage and be seen who’ve got a lot of good ideas and have taken a lot of good initiatives.” Local Government Association of Queensland Water and Sewerage Infrastructure Lead Arron Hieatt also highlighted the Ongoing engagement has been a feature of Rockhampton inherent beneﬁts of council involvement in projects, Regional Council’s (RRC) promotion of terrestrial aquaculture noting that “local governments do a variety of things that affect opportunities in the region, encompassing both public and water management”. private sector collaboration.
COUNCILS NEED TO START BY DETERMINING WHO MIGHT BENEFIT OR BE IMPACTED BY A PROJECT.
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RRC Economic and Business Development acting Senior Executive Wade Clark, working in the economic development arm, Advance Rockhampton, stressed the importance of sustainable protein production as populations grow, describing aquaculture as a “massive opportunity” for the region. Clark said the council has embarked upon a range of initiatives that have been informed by State Government policy. “The council has been quite proactive in terms of trying to gain a maximum amount of economic opportunities. We’ve deﬁnitely been working with the Government on their aspirations, but then also considering how do we as a region position ourselves in the best possible way to take advantage of policy direction.” Clark said this approach has seen the council look “further aﬁeld”, with it having secured a federal grant for a delegation to visit Singapore towards the end of last year to promote opportunities in the region. Clark also pointed to development of the Aquaculture Industry Development Plan to promote further industry engagement. “The best way I believe we can effectively assist development of businesses to launch within the Rockhampton region is to develop the plan,” Clark said. “That’s part of the plan, to bring those players together and engage with others, and engage with the State and Federal Governments.”
FLEXIBLE GOVERNMENTS More ﬂexible government funding frameworks could assist development of smaller projects, with Pang stating that “from the long-term perspective it’s important to not be hostage to the political cycle”. Pang pointed to changes to the NSW Government’s Safe and Secure Water Program criteria, with the program relaunched in October last year, as an example of government action to promote greater funding ﬂexibility. The NSW government has advised that under the changes funding is no longer contingent on cost-beneﬁt ratios, allowing for project funding “based on need and known issues, rather than on economic viability”. “They’re going to screen the whole state, collect criteria, and then they’re prioritising,” Pang said. “Changing to this prioritisation method is deﬁnitely a major step in the right direction. We need to think more long term: what are the long-term beneﬁts of what we’re doing, what is the best way to spend our money and what is the path of least regret?” Johnston said there is a good argument for the State and Federal Governments “to have a funding pool with no dedicated funding round attached to it”, set aside for local bodies “who can come up with projects most needed”. Johnston also pointed to the potential for “itinerant ofﬁcers to assist small councils in application preparation”, helping with funding-related issues. “The bigger councils have a dedicated person, or even group of people, to do the funding, while the little councils often don’t even have a dedicated ofﬁcer,” he said. “It’d probably need two or three people per state to make that work and give the smaller councils a more level playing ﬁeld. “It makes the world of difference having that resource.”
FUNDING THE FIELD
The City of Kalamunda’s Hartfield Park Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) project has been eight years in development, originally stemming from its 2010 Hartfield Park Master Plan, which had identified a need for additional irrigated community sports fields at the multi-use reserve. Due to insufficient groundwater allocations, alternative water sources to ensure the long-term sustainability of the site were investigated, and the MAR concept subsequently developed. “Essentially, we take water from a main stormwater drain, filter it and then direct-inject it into the Leederville aquifer, which is a semi-confined aquifer,” City of Kalamunda Water Projects Manager Daniel Nelson said. Nelson stated that the council had initially committed around $100,000 towards research and development, with the project subsequently receiving additional funding of $1 million as part of a greater state government election pledge of $6 million to deliver the Hartfield master plan. Given the long-term nature of the project and the demands of managing council resources, Nelson said funding flexibility was important, stating that “if there were really strict timelines on the funding source we would have had to abandon a lot of the project”. “Whoever takes on a project like that really needs to own it and make it theirs,” he said. “You really need someone to champion the project, particularly when you’re looking to do something slightly different. It took a long time to get approvals through the relevant State Government departments, specifically for the water harvesting project.” Nelson stated that the goal had initially been to secure 50,000 kL per year, offsetting an extra 5 ha of playing space, with studies revealing the potential to go to 250,000 kL at full-scheme. “We conducted a successful three-year trial, and now have the support to go to a full-scheme system, and are currently implementing the full-scheme system infrastructure over two financial years,” he said.
OPPOSITES ATTRACT HOW ARE SOME OF THE WATER SECTOR’S LEADERS CHANNELLING CHANGE? HERE CURRENT FINDS OUT HOW THE SECTOR IS FOSTERING INCLUSIVITY – BOTH FOR EMPLOYEES, AND THE COMMUNITIES THEY SERVE. By Elle Harding
hree out of four Australians want their employer to take action towards achieving an inclusive workplace. But even with overwhelming public support, it’s easier said than done. While diversity is often associated with ensuring equanimity between men and women, it is also about including and supporting the contribution of all perspectives, including ethnicity, socio-economic background, physical and mental ability, and cultural variance too.
MORE THAN WORDS “I’ve been in the water sector for nearly 40 years – but it seems like only yesterday that I was a young female trainee engineer stumbling head ﬁrst into a male-dominated industry,” said Carmel Krogh, director of Shoalhaven Water and AWA president-elect. “Diversity in the water sector looks very different today than what I ﬁrst experienced all those years ago when I was trying to ﬁt in.
“But one thing rings true throughout the years, and that is respect. "Without respect for differences – in abilities, views, expectations – then diversity is only lip-service.” Krogh said the water industry needs to be mature enough to embrace inclusion and equality – and recognise that this is not always the easy road. According to Krogh, the next step for the industry is learning to recognise and peel back layers of our unconscious biases, which has been a focus of recent AWA ‘Channelling Change’ workshops. “That way, we see how much we get stuck in the safety of thinking only through our own experiences – and only then can we see just how beneﬁcial diversity is,” Krogh said. “Indirect discrimination on the basis of age occurs where conditions or criteria are applied consistently to all employees, but the application of these conditions or criteria has a disproportionate impact on employees because of their age,” Banks said.
PRACTICE OVER THEORY It is often easier to take the perspective of someone who shares your beliefs or experiences than to explore differing perspectives. While most workplaces in the water sector have policies and procedures in place to stop discrimination and promote diversity, unconscious discrimination can inhibit us from achieving true inclusion and equality. The Australian Public Service Commission states that unintended discrimination has an evolutionary basis as “a way of processing vast amounts of information and making quick decisions.” Because this is something we do not have a lot of control over, the Commission recommends that “there is a need to be aware of and take steps to mitigate implicit discrimination in our thinking generally and in our professional practices.” We also need to be aware of these from a legal perspective, with substantial anti-discrimination and case law in Australia dealing in both direct and indirect discrimination against employees for reasons including age, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation and disability. Gilbert + Tobin Partner Di Banks points to prominent 2011 case Talbott v Sperling Tourism & Investments Pty Ltd – where a 75 year old bus driver was dismissed because of his age – to show how unconscious bias is legally deﬁned.
BENEFITS NOT BURDENS But an inclusive workplace has far greater beneﬁts than toeing the legal line. The recent Inclusion@Work research project by Diversity Council Australia highlights that when organisations act to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace, it beneﬁts everyone – not just particular groups. “There is a growing body of evidence that shows the correlation between ﬁnancial performance and an inclusive workplace,” Jacobs Senior Principal and Executive Ambassador for Inclusion & Diversity Dr Andrew Spinks said. “For most leaders, the evidence that relates diversity and inclusion to being more productive, proﬁtable, innovative, and engaged is hard to ignore.” Yet diversity on its own is simply not enough, Spinks said: “We know diversity without inclusion can harm people and performance. In workplace cultures where the emphasis on inclusion and embracing diversity is seen as a strength, personal, and business growth is greater”. Spinks adds that Jacobs has prioritised three streams in the industry when considering diversity: workforce, workplace and marketplace. “This goes beyond single employers. If we are to create a strong and sustainable industry, we need to challenge ourselves as a single uniﬁed workplace to embrace and drive inclusion,” he said.
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DIVERSITY IN ACTION Sydney Water People and Corporate Services General Manager Angela Tsoukatos said the water sector will likely become a much more innovative place too, if it tackled diversity correctly. “Diversity is a spark that, when carefully tended, can ignite the kind of innovative thinking that the water sector needs to effectively respond and adapt to current and future challenges and opportunities,” she said. Tsoukatos points to Sydney Water’s focus on gender and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as an example of how diversity looks in action – and how it can collaborate with other water utilities to see it move sector-wide. “Having targets helps us stay focused and measure the impact of our diversity and inclusion plan. At Sydney Water we have focused on improving our HR processes. For example, as part of our recruitment process we use a tool to
check job advertisements for gender bias language to ensure they appeal to both men and women,” Tsoukatos said. Sydney Water has also developed a reverse mentorship program to transfer knowledge between the four different generations in its workplace, and joined other water utilities in launching its ﬁrst Reconciliation Action Plan. To broaden its appeal as an employer, it has implemented a ﬂexibility program to attract a more diverse talent pool and assist in retaining talent within the organisation. “For the new generation coming into the workforce now, being able to work ﬂexibly and more efﬁciently is an expectation, not a perk,” Tsoukatos said.
SUPPORTING INTERNATIONAL DIVERSITY Son La
DRILLING DOWN Unitywater CEO George Theo said the water sector is witnessing exciting collaborations, which are helping develop the workplaces and communities of the future. “We have working groups made up with representatives from across the company, each of them sponsored by one of my executive managers, and each also working with external organisations,” Theo said. Theo recommends managers look externally when seeking to implement a robust diversity and inclusion program. A number of government and not-for-proﬁt groups, such as the Diversity Council Australia or the AWA’s own ‘Channeling Change’ forum, provide an objective view and keep organisations up to date with best-practice solutions.
In the rural Vietnamese village of Son La, the AWA has collaborated with local organisations on a social inclusion program for women and ethnic minorities. Working in some of the country’s most impoverished rural communities where piped water is not accessible, the team has helped build decentralised drinking water kiosks – all owned and operated by local women. They sell the water under a commercially-viable business model where they recover the costs to maintain the treatment system and generate revenue to cover salaries for the female operators, as well as a small margin for a reinvestment fund. Son La’s poverty and proximity to the Chinese border means that the trafﬁcking of women and children was rampant. But since the village gained access to safe drinking water, they have been able to attract ecotourism, providing services such as homestays, cooking classes, and the sale of handicrafts. AWA International Manager Paul Smith said the social inclusion program has been so successful, it has helped create a safer environment for everybody. “From what we could see, the women and children would accept the lure because there weren’t many prospects in Son La,” Smith said. “On the back of the project and the revenue they have been able is to generate, many women are now able to stay in Son La and build sustainable businesses, countering the criminal gangs.”
T H E A U S T R A L I A N WAT E R A S S O C I AT I O N M A G A Z I N E
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“The working groups have focused on not only creating initiatives, such as opportunities for women to get into maintenance traineeships, but ensuring that there is a job there at the end of it for them,” Theo said. On top of seeking expert help, the key to Unitywater vision is the expectation that targets are not used for their own sake, but to better represent the South-East Queensland region.
WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD Shaping the world in which we live for the better – something the water sector has a lot of experience with – requires a commitment to diversity, to innovation and to collaboration.
“The fundamental importance of water for all humanity means that every layer of every society has a stake in its sustainable use,” Krogh said. “Promoting and embracing a stronger diversity of people will harness a broader skill set to address our sustainability challenges. "It will also engage the community that we serve with more inclusiveness. This in turn, can strengthen our shared resilience to create a healthier world.”
country WHILE AUSTRALIA’S FIRST NATIONS OWN 20% OF THE COUNTRY’S LAND, THEY CONTROL LESS THAN 0.1% OF AUSTRALIA’S WATER RESOURCE. WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE TO ACHIEVE INDIGENOUS WATER RIGHTS? By Josh Hoey
he release of the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission report in January sparked a national uproar with findings of government negligence and unlawful actions in drawing up the plan. But in all the commotion, the Commission’s critique of a serious lack of Indigenous representation and control of water management was largely unheeded. Among other issues, it found First Nations have been left out of consultation on some Water Resource Plans (WRP). But Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) guidelines said there was no legal obligation to accommodate Aboriginal views, that they didn’t demand the action of other parties, and didn’t need to be included in WRPs. The Royal Commission was diplomatic, stating that while such guidelines may have been an “administrative mistake” they were still “suggestive of discriminatory treatment.”
WHERE WE’RE AT But this lack of Indigenous representativeness and rights when it comes to water management isn’t limited to Australia’s largest River system; it’s across the board. The National Water Initiative in 2004 formally recognised Indigenous interests in water. Yet despite this, the Productivity Commissions review of the NWI over a decade later in 2017 found that while there had been some progress towards consulting with First Nations about water plans, this hasn’t translated into including Aboriginal cultural values and outcomes in water plans. “There’s some progress in relation to projects, funding, and support for First Nations to develop their capacity,
particularly in Victoria, but there hasn’t been a lot of substantive improvement. We think there really is a need to improve the NWI”, Murray Lower Darling River Indigenous Nations (MLDRIN) Executive Officer Will Mooney said. MLDRIN is a coalition of 26 traditional owner groups from across the basin region, and its role is to represent and advance the rights of First Nation groups to manage water in the basin system.
NATIVE TITLE Native Title decisions have seen many Aboriginal communities regain control of their land. But despite Native Title also applying to water, Aboriginal control of water has been difficult to achieve because of the current system of already existing water licences. “Native Title interests in water can only be what is termed non-exclusive. That means they are always held in conjunction with the rights of other users of that water,” University of Melbourne Law Professor Lee Godden said. Even more concerning is the reality that those Native Title rights can in effect be extinguished if water supply is compromised. On the Lower Darling in New South Wales, the Barkindji Nation have a Native Title determination that recognises their right to fish, use water for ceremonial and domestic purposes, and to maintain their connection to important places. New South Wales water sharing plans (WSP) are required to identify any water allocated for Native Title rights, yet the WSP for the Murray and Lower Darling doesn’t recognise the Barkindji Native Title and allocates zero water for Native Title Rights.
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“Because the water sharing plan has zero allocation for Native Title rights, there is no protection for their interests in that system. They can’t fish or have ceremonies if there is no water in the Darling or if the river is so sick the fish are dying,” Mooney said. In Victoria, the Wotjobaluk people face a similar situation. A Native Title determination recognises their right to fish in the Wimmera river and Lake Albacutya, but the lake is empty. “Because of extraction in the system and because of climate change the frequency of inundation is now down to around once in 50 years,” Mooney said. Across Australia there are many examples where the current management of natural water is ruling out the Native Title holder’s ability to exercise their rights, which are recognised in law.
MURRAY LOWER DARLING RIVERS INDIGENOUS NATIONS
INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS Australia is a signatory to multiple international conventions that recognise the value of Indigenous knowledge for the sustainable management of water. The Ramsar Treaty and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) both recognise the value of Indigenous conservation knowledge, and call for signatories to consult and cooperate with Indigenous peoples. UNDRIP in particular states that signatories must obtain “free and informed consent from Indigenous peoples before approving any project affecting their land or territories,” including water. Australia’s own Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act recognises “the role of I ndigenous people in the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of Australia’s biodiversity.” Yet, the recent MDBA Royal Commission found that Australia is violating its obligations to Aboriginal people under these conventions. “There’s a serious deficiency in the way that Australian policy and legislation recognises and gives force to Aboriginal people’s rights that are recognised at an international level,” Mooney said. “The report took the Australian government to task and said, ‘there’s actually a need for a stronger legal platform for the recognition of Aboriginal rights in water management.’” Mooney and others are calling for Aboriginal water rights, as well as mandatory inclusion in consultation processes and representation in water management bodies to be enshrined and protected in legislation. “We have seen governments by and large consulting, with some representative inclusion,” Godden said. “But there are no clear steps at a broader level to move beyond what are at this stage representative models to more substantive Aboriginal participation and decision making.”
INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE The importance of Indigenous knowledge in managing the world’s water systems is widely recognised. “There is a body of cultural knowledge which is accumulated from tens of thousands of years of living alongside these waterways, understanding their dynamics, and understanding benchmarks in terms of what are healthy flows, what’s a healthy eco-system,” Mooney said. But Australia still struggles to incorporate Aboriginal knowledge when planning and managing water systems, according to Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC)
Indigenous peoples have a strong connection with the waterways of the Murray Darling Basin; over 40 First Nations call the Basin home and have been living in connection with the flows of Australia’s largest river system for thousands of years. During the Yorta Yorta Native Title case in 1998, a confederacy of these First Nations was formed that would ultimately become the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations (MLDRIN). Today, MLDRIN includes delegates from 25 First Nations from across South Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria. Its core role is not only representing the water rights of First Nations in the Basin, but for traditional owners in the Basin to support and acknowledge each other. “Unlike New Zealand, we don’t have a treaty here, so it’s much harder to negotiate on equal terms with a settler colonial state that says that it owns all the water and all the land,” said MLDRIN Executive Officer Will Mooney. Despite this, the confederacy has seen some success with the Victorian Government and water authorities. “Some of them are starting to recognise they are working on Aboriginal country, on waterways that have cultural heritage significance, and understanding the impacts of how delivering on the demands of their customers could potentially improve outcomes for Aboriginal people. “One priority for MLDRIN is to see Aboriginal people empowered to manage water themselves. We don’t want to see just non-aboriginal water managers and frameworks drawing on Indigenous knowledge or appropriating that, or taking it out of its context.” Mooney said incorporating Indigenous knowledge should be about empowering communities to become part of, and lead, water management plans. “We want to see the First Nations given opportunities to mobilise their own knowledge and do water management themselves,” he said. “That’s about better environmental outcomes as well as social and cultural outcomes.”
Engagement and Corporate Affairs Manager Luke Ranga. “We have ecosystems and cultures here in Australia that span thousands of years, yet often Indigenous representatives are not included in the conversation,” Ranga said. Furthermore, experts in the field say traditional Aboriginal knowledge is devalued and deprioritised in the context of a Western, colonial, scientific framework. But Mooney said the crisis on the Darling is a red flag for change.
Nations have contract law agreements with the State Government for joint management of water resources. The Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority is one example on the Murray River where an agreement between the Ngarrindjeri and the South Australian Government established an integrative river basin management plan jointly managed by the Ngarrindjeri. The Authority won the 2015 Australian Riverprize for innovative and sustainable river basin management.And, in the north, the TSIRC say they have seen success with sustainable fishing programs and the Indigenous Rangers program.
THEY CAN’T FISH OR SECTOR ACTION “There is a need for water utilities working in places like HAVE CEREMONIES IF Sydney and Melbourne to start to think about inclusion, THERE IS NO WATER IN THE participation,” Godden said. mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto now backing the DARLING OR IF THE RIVER IS SO UluruWith Statement, which calls for a legislated Aboriginal voice SICK THE FISH ARE DYING. in parliament, is it time for the water sector to throw its WILL MOONEY, MLDRIN
“These issues highlight that now it’s time to give more credence to Indigenous knowledge as an input to water management,” he said. Victoria’s Aboriginal Water Program, first announced in 2016, is one example of how Aboriginal communities can be part of water management and have self-determination. “There’s a commitment at a higher level for Catchment Management Authorities, water corporations, and the Victorian environmental water holder to genuinely listen to and negotiate with First Nations around their water objectives,” Mooney said. The program includes funding for a range of activities, including values mapping, capacity building, and funding for a network of Aboriginal Water Officers. South Australia may not have the high level legislative recognition of Indigenous rights in the area, but many First
weight behind greater representation and a treaty with Aboriginal people? “Yes, absolutely, there is a strong role that can be played by the water sector,” Godden said. “The urban water sector is a glaring omission, where Native Title opportunities are less. There is a need for water utilities working in places like Sydney and Melbourne to start to think about inclusion, participation.” And while there are many players involved in ensuring Indigenous water rights are realised in Australia, Mooney said it’s time for everyone worldwide to start meeting Indigenous communities half-way. “Anywhere you go around the world there are Indigenous communities working in colonised spaces to both restore and protect rivers and have their rights recognised,” Mooney said. “Their success depends on the available resources of the political context they are working in.”
ABORIGINAL WATER PROGRAM For the first time since European colonisation of Australia, Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians have the chance to play an active and meaningful role in planning and managing the state’s water under the Aboriginal Water Program (AWP). Launched in 2016, the AWP allocates $9.7 million through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to recognising Aboriginal values and objectives for water, and supporting Aboriginal access to water for economic development. One of the key parts of the program is ‘values mapping’ or waterway assessment, where Aboriginal communities, led by Indigenous elders, map the cultural values of significant waterways. “Aboriginal waterway assessments establish Traditional Owner’s values and uses for specific priority waterways in their
country,” says DELWP spokesperson Michael Pollock. “This information helps to build Traditional Owner’s confidence to participate in water planning and management decisions and facilitates exploration of economic development opportunities through water.” The AWP has provided funding for Aboriginal Water officers at four Catchment Management Authorities (CMA) and a further 10 with Traditional Owner Corporations across Victoria. While the AWP has not seen any changes to water allocations so far, Aboriginal values and uses are now part of seasonal watering plans, environmental watering plans, and water management strategies in the state. “Melbourne Water are incorporating the Wurundjeri’s values and objectives for the watering of Bolin Bolin Billabong in Bulleen,” Pollock said.
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PAStech Network Solutions
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Fraenkische Rohrwerke Gebr. Kirchner GmbH & Co. Glacier Filtration
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SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT FOR
WASTEWATER SYSTEMS WORKING IN WASTEWATER TREATMENT NATIONWIDE, PROFESSOR ANAS GHADOUANI HAS TESTED OUT HIS RESEARCH ON HUNDREDS OF TREATMENT SYSTEMS. HERE’S HOW GHADOUANI’S TEAM HAS CREATED NEW OPPORTUNITIES OUT OF ESTABLISHED PROCESSES. By Cecilia Harris
he whole point of our research is the sustainable treatment of wastewater in regional Australia,” said Anas Ghadouani, The University of Western Australia (UWA) Professor and Program Chair for Environmental Engineering and Head of Aquatic Ecology and Ecosystem Studies. And while this aim is the same for most regional councils, the approach developed by the UWA research team is new. “We have been taking a holistic approach to the water cycle in our research, instead of focusing on particular aspects of the cycle, we are looking at the whole thing,” he said. “The idea is if we assess various parts of the cycle, investigating
the processes involved in order to understand how things work, we can improve the function of those systems, whether they are man-made or natural. “Our approach is not to immediately augment the existing man-made asset, if there are any involved, but to ask why the asset isn’t working and see if one of the natural or man-made elements needs help.”
SUPPORTING NATURAL ASSETS With regional Australia relying more on natural processes when treating wastewater, Ghadouani’s work revolves a lot around helping manage sludge levels in stabilisation ponds. “In regional Australia, we use a lot of waste stabilisation ponds as a way of
IT’S LIKE A PUZZLE. IT'S NOT EASY TO WORK WITH BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS, BUT WE HAVE LOTS OF TECHNOLOGY THAT WE USE FOR DIAGNOSIS OF ALL SORTS OF ISSUES. ANAS GHADOUANI
treating our wastewater, this is nothing new,” Ghadouani said. “But we now have new regulations, as well as new expectations from the public, and discharge treatment requirements have increased significantly. Specifically, one of the biggest issues is the management of sludge accumulation in these systems. "Sludge is a big problem for Australia and for the world in general because it is treated like waste.” Ghadouani said the further benefit of his approach is that it is far more sustainable. “Our goal is to make sure that the treatment within the system doesn't require any chemicals, so at the end of the day we have a resource,” he said.
BY THE NUMBERS It sounds like a lot of work – and it is – but Ghadouani’s team has been accumulating a portfolio of technological solutions to aid the new method. “It’s like a puzzle," Ghadouani said. "It's not easy to work with biological systems, but we have lots of technology that we use for diagnosis of all sorts of issues. “We’re looking at various technological configurations that
are used by utilities and how we can optimise those technologies. We want to learn how both the technology and biology of these systems contribute to treatment.” Ghadouani said sludge accumulation is one of the primary issues to overcome in regional wastewater treatment contexts, and reducing sludge production is a key aim. “Really, you need to work the systems so that they are producing minimal sludge in order to achieve the right outcome from a discharge point of view,” he said. “For a long time, utilities didn't have ways to ascertain how much sludge was being produced. "One of the biggest impacts our research has had with utilities is what we have learned using our ROV (remotely operated vehicle), which measures sludge accumulation over time. “Then we have software that helps
the utility understand how much sludge they have to deal with, and also plan for the sludge removal, or enter a partnership with companies for sludge reuse. Despite the fact that it looks like a no-brainer, we didn’t really have the numbers on how much sludge we produce, in remote Australia especially.”
RESOURCE MINDED “Most waste stabilisation ponds discharge water either into the environment or into a recycling scheme. As such, wastewater in regional Western Australia is an essential resource. That's how we approach it,” Ghadouani said. Ghadouani would like to see this attitude adopted more widely in wastewater treatment processes, whether regional or urban. “Creating truly sustainable treatment of wastewater in regional Australia is a goal with lots of implications for how we might manage waste most sustainably,
as well as for how we view waste as a resource,” he said. “It makes lots of business sense too – we have demonstrated that lots of sludge can be transformed into higher value products.” And while the team’s research requires a mind-boggling amount of data collection and analysis, given the method’s reliance on natural contexts, Ghadouani said the complexity of the issue is part of what he loves about his job. “It's not an easy one, because there are different configurations, different climates, different situations, different loads, different populations,” he said. “All of these variables mean that we have to find site-specific and cost-effective solutions, while responding to the constantly changing pond environments. "But this is what makes the work so exciting.”
HOW IT WORKS
Natural process and 'friendly' bacteria join forces to treat the waste
The key is how the systems are managed/operated and how they respond to changes in the environment
No chemicals or external energy input required
Sludge management and removal are also critical to the delivery of sustainable wastewater treatment in regional Australia
Anas Ghadouani is currently Professor and Program Chair for Environmental Engineering and Head of Aquatic Ecology at the University of Western Australia.
WHAT DOES THE
National Young Water Professional of the Year WIN? Courtesy of Award Sponsor:
The Frank Bishop Scholarship This Scholarship was developed in honour of one of the Association’s founders, Frank Bishop. With a focus on professional development, it provides winners with: • Complimentary access to AWA & IWC online leadership course ($385 value) • Complimentary full delegate registration to Ozwater including invitation to present in YWP Program ($1,770 value) • Complimentary access to your relevant state conference ($640 value)
Work Experience Trip to China With TRILITY’s support, we are thrilled to offer the 2019 National Young Water Professional of the Year an all-expenses paid trip to China. The one-week itinerary and program is developed by TRILITY with the Beijing Enterprises Water Group Limited (BEWG) and includes: • Flights • Accommodation • Meal and transfer allowances • Water project site visits • Sightseeing
A new perspective for our
2018 Young Water Professional of the Year Dr Katrin Doederer was the recipient of the 2018 National Young Water Professional of the Year Award and the first to travel to China courtesy of TRILITY. Along with checking out some of the city’s sites, Katrin visited Beijing Enterprises Water Group’s drinking water and wastewater treatment plants, a desalination plant and the company’s headquarters. Despite language barriers and cultural differences, Katrin said no matter where you are in the world, water professionals share the same dedication to providing clean and safe water. To learn more about Katrin’s experiences visit bit.ly/ywp-experience or register for the Ozwater’19 YWP Program to hear Katrin’s keynote.
If you are a Young Water Professional making a difference in the industry or you know someone who is, make sure you nominate for the State and Territory Awards, opening June 2019.
T H E AU ST R A L I A N WAT E R A S S O C I AT I O N M AG A Z I N E
T E C H N I C A L PA P E R S SUMMARIES OF THE LATEST TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES AND INSIGHTS FOR WATER PROFESSIONALS.
100 101 103 106 108
WATER METERING Achieving sustainable beneﬁts for the community. WATER SUPPLY Analysing water consumption patterns to optimise water conservation. SEWAGE TREATMENT Adding value to the Maleny community. SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS Incorporating SDGs into decision making. ENERGY MANAGEMENT Integration of solar and backup generation to adapt to our extremes.
111 112 114 115 116
WATER CHLORINATION Meeting chlorination disinfection goals in drinking water distribution. INDIGENOUS PARTNERSHIPS Developing more meaningful partnerships with traditional owners. ENERGY CONSERVATION Reducing ongoing electricity costs with low capital investment. WATER SECURITY PLANNING Reviewing concept and development in South East Queensland. WATER EFFICIENCY Using rhodamine-WT to track water ﬂow through a constructed wetland.
To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal www.awa.asn.au
executive summary water metering
Enhancing water meter in-service testing and replacement decisions ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE BENEFITS FOR THE COMMUNITY E Johnson
chieving a sustainable beneﬁt from water metering for the community requires minimising the proportion of customers who will be disadvantaged by deﬁciencies in current practices, such as those related to in-service testing and replacement decisions. An alternative approach is required to the status quo, which generally results in only an average number receiving the beneﬁts of applying traditional approaches. The current national discussion about the cost and reliability of electricity and National Broadband Network (NBN) services has also made Australian customers more conscious of their utilities and associated costs. Motivated by the fact that, because of short budgetary cycles, investment requirements in water assets are not necessarily aligned with long-term customer interests, it has been recommended that pricing should drive efﬁciency, sustainability and innovation (Infrastructure Australia, 2017). Current water meter in-service testing and replacement decisions are guided by existing Australian regulations, standards and guidelines. Application of these current practices has identiﬁed the need for methods/techniques to enhance the decision-making process and accurately estimate the volume of apparent losses. Applying these methods/techniques should facilitate increasing sustainable beneﬁts for all metered customers and related stakeholders due to improvements in meter accuracies. Aspects identiﬁed that could enhance current meter in-service testing and replacement decisions include the following: • Current generalised default values for average water demands and usage proﬁle weightings are not necessarily appropriate for application to all meter applications and customers.
Investment requirements in water assets are not necessarily aligned with long-term customer interests. • Testing the statistical signiﬁcance of error decay models based on a ﬁtting linear regression curve to the results of tests employing six ﬂow-rate points provides a more accurate and objective approach to assessing the relative weighted error and level of apparent water losses. • Optimal replacement theory that considers the time value of money provides a useful technique to identify the impact that error decay rates have on meter replacement periods. • Indications are that physical water quality characteristics, such as high water temperatures and high levels of free chlorine, accelerate wear and tear of mechanical meters. • Comparison of a meter’s ﬂow range capabilities with that of a customer’s historic water billing records facilitates identifying those cohorts potentially
subjected to an increased rate of mechanical wear and tear. It was further noted that solid-state digital electronics that have no moving parts (e.g. static meters) are generally not subject to the same measure error decay characteristics as that of mechanical meters. This potentially restricts the applicability of current standards and guidelines. Edgar Johnson is a professional engineer with more than 35 years of Australian and international experience in water management.
To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal
executive summary water supply
Smart water metering technology for water management in urban areas ANALYSING WATER CONSUMPTION PATTERNS TO OPTIMISE WATER CONSERVATION T Randall, R Koech
he demand for freshwater worldwide has increased largely due to the worldâ€™s growing population as well as changing lifestyles and eating habits that have been associated with higher water consumption. The typical response to the problem of scarcity of freshwater resources is to use a variety of methods to conserve water. Perhaps the most effective strategy that is widely used for effective urban water management is water metering. Conventionally, water meters have to be physically read at a set time interval (mostly on a quarterly basis), a process that can be both labour and time-intensive. While this may be adequate for billing purposes, it provides limited information on actual water use behaviour, leakage and seasonal variation (Aravinthan et al. 2012). Hence, in more recent times, a developing technology known as Smart Water Metering (SWM) is now being used in many countries including in Australia (Drubin, 2016). SWM technology allows water authorities to gain water meter readings remotely and at a higher frequency, and in a format that can be utilised for various purposes including demand and consumption management, leakage detection and water conservation (Drubin 2016; Oren and Stroh 2013). The emerging SWM technology therefore presents many opportunities to water authorities; however, the infancy of this technology also creates various challenges. The speciďŹ c objectives of this study were to: a) Use a case study of Port MacquarieHastings Council (PMHC) to analyse the
water consumption patterns of different types of consumers and identify opportunities for water conservation and management. b) Discuss the trends and drivers of the SWM technology, and suggest further research necessary in order to optimise water management and conservation.
Currently in Australia, water utilities have mainly implimented smart water metering projects on a pilot basis. In agreement with previous research in other Australian cities, the water consumption patterns at PMHC were found to vary both spatially and temporally. Generally, water consumption in most properties was highest and lowest in summer and winter, respectively. The proportion of potential water loss to the total water usage ranged from 1.56 to 46.73%. The case study demonstrated opportunities for water saving, which include providing consumption feedback to the consumers and taking the necessary interventions (e.g. leakage repair). Currently in Australia, water utilities have mainly implemented smart water metering projects on a pilot basis. In a recent study, Beal and Flynn (2014) found
that in Australia and New Zealand, overall, the adoption of smart water meters is on the increase. The study also found that the key drivers of smart water meters include: better engagement with water consumers; improvement in water infrastructure planning, and potentially deferring or augmenting some investments; better peak demand forecasting and management; reduction in manual meter reading; and reduced operating costs. A number of challenges associated with the use of smart water meters include data management, interpretation and analysis in addition to privacy (Boyle et al. 2013). Aspects of smart water meters that are either under research or need further research include: feedback data to consumers; user interface and intelligent water networks; ďŹ‚ow and pressure monitoring; and investigations and resolution of issues. Terry Randall is Group Manager Water and Sewer at Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. Dr Richard Koech is a Lecturer and Head of Course in Agriculture at Central Queensland University.
To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal
executive summary sewage treatment
More than sewage treatment services ADDING VALUE TO THE MALENY COMMUNITY R Kulkarni, A Mills, K Crouch, S Lowe case study delving deeper into how a water utility working with the local community, council, Indegenious people and contractors can add broadervalue to the social, economic and environmental aspects at Maleny. Being mindful of community interests, population growth, and environmentally sound locations in sensitive areas, water security zones and water supply sources to the South East Queensland region, Unitywater engaged into partnership with the local community, SCC, regulators and contractors to develop an innovative infrastructure solution to provide sewage treatment services to the Maleny community. This comprised of a modern treatment technology and a natural puriﬁcation process for disposal of treated efﬂuent. In 2012, Unitywater negotiated a lease for farm land, which provided a kick-start to develop an irrigated forest (IF) and treatment wetland (TW) site within the Maleny Community Precinct (MCP). This was made possible due to keen participation shown by the local community and vested stakeholders. After all, an example is better than a concept.
STAKEHOLDERS Understanding sustainability values deeply rooted in stakeholders’ participation and in community engagement, some key elements for reaching out to, and educating the community included: O Identiﬁcation of key stakeholders. O Working with the Jinibara People. O Developing key messages and presenting project vision at local events. O Media clippings and news articles. O Partnership with community groups, such as Maleny Green Hills, Maleny Golf Club, Friends of Pattemore House, Barung Landcare and Lake Baroon Catchment Group.
Unitywater conducted educational tours to promote interest in the ‘green engineering’ solution. Under the Caloundra City Plan 2014, the development application required public notiﬁcation due to the impact of the project site being in the rural zone. There was only one notiﬁcation received from a local environmental group that favoured the proposed development.
ENGAGEMENT Unitywater has held several tree planting day events with the local communities and conducted educational tours to promote interest in the ‘green engineering’ solution:
22 March 2013: Unitywater staff joined Jinibara elders in celebrating the collaborative approach by planting the last native wetland plants. World Environment Day, 5 June 2013: Nearly 2500 native seedlings planted by local community members, bush-care volunteers including school children from Maleny River School. 5 September 2013: SCC’s ‘Kids in Action Program’ engaged 350 students to plant approximately 1000 native seedlings. 7 May 2015: Goulburn Malwaree Council. June 2015 and May 2016: Both events
executive summary sewage treatment
supported plantation to the vulnerable Richmond Birdwing ButterďŹ‚y. 12 October 2016: Approximately 30 water industry delegates from IWAâ€™s World Water Congress. It is estimated that over 1000 visitors have visited the site since commissioning.
BIODIVERSITY Unitywater has established over 80,000 plants of 140 different types grown on a contour-based pattern. The TW site has resulted in 80% dense coverage. The IF and TW site has created a microcosm for many of the different wildlife wetland habitat in the precinct. A four-year biodiversity study with the local university recommended a habitat condition rating of â€˜moderateâ€™ and a conservation value rating of â€˜low to moderateâ€™, which is set to improve as the site matures.
BENEFITS REALISED Community beneďŹ ts. STP upgraded to meet future growth and quality compliance. O Environmental protection to the Obi Obi Creek via a multi-barrier approach. O Native vegetation gain by reforestation. O Creation of sustainable multi-purpose O O
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community assets for locals and visitors to enjoy. O Improvements in biodiversity and aesthetics to make Maleny a â€˜liveableâ€™ rural town. O Overall increase in nursery sales â€“ an example of creating circular economy. OReputational beneďŹ ts for Unitywater from community and stakeholders. O Recover, Reuse, and Recycle achieved.
OTHER BENEFITS Early approval of the development application through a trans-disciplinary approach. O Early mitigation of risks prior to it becoming a hindering issue. O AWA Queensland Water Award in 2014 and a UN Environmental Award in 2015. O One of the key targets identiﬁed under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG6) achieved. O
LESSONS LEARNED It is important to ﬁrst recognise Indigenous people’s rights over their traditional lands and motivating them to become ‘partners’ in any proposed development. A multi-disciplinary approach where engineers cooperated with local bush-care groups, indigenous people, regulators, council staff and contractors. Opening the site to the public is
I N N O VAT I O N F O R N AT U R E
likely to raise a few challenges: People/pets coming in contact with treated efﬂuent. O Easement traversing, slope stability, landslips and erosion aspects. O Potential for vegetation ﬁre. O Pests and diseases. O A mechanism to track visitor numbers and collect feedback. O Ongoing maintenance and functionality of the community’s valued asset is more important than habitat/biodiversity improvements. O Better engagement from the community in continuum decision-making processes. O Scalability, operation, maintenance and renewal of a nature-based treatment solution – ‘a new territory’ for the business to adapt. O Open, shallow water encourages recontamination of the reuse water and promotes growth of algae, weeds and birdlife that destroy wetland plants. O Dealing with an engaged community can be ‘exciting’ but sometimes O
challenging, as opposed to the stress and difﬁculties faced with a hostile community. This case study was presented at the Ozwater’18 Conference in Brisbane. Ramraj Kulkarni is a Wastewater Engineer planning sewage treatment plant upgrades in Unitywater. Andrew Mills project managed the Maleny STP and treatment wetland and irrigated forest construction. Kylie Crouch focuses on environmental planning, sustainability, and total water cycle solutions. Scott Lowe is an Environmental Advisor with Unitywater.
To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal
T H E I N V E N T H Y P E R M I X ® - A G I TATO R Maintaining the desired quality of treated water during storage is key to providing drinking water of the highest standard. Within storage tanks or reservoirs, the volume may stagnate leading to undesirable outcomes such as stratification, odour, ice formation, sedimentation and increases in residual concentrations of dosed chemicals. This effects the final product quality. Using the INVENT HYPERMIX® is a highly efficient and simple method of ensuring complete volume movement, preventing problems stemming from storage stagnation. The end result is assurance that the stored water always matches the treated water quality.
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executive summary sustainable business
From tools to toolbox: sustainability and investment appraisal for water projects INCORPORATING THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS INTO DECISION MAKING A Reidy ublic infrastructure plays a crucial role in transitioning to a more sustainable society. Water infrastructure provides beneﬁts in areas such as urban cooling and climate change resilience, community wellbeing, health outcomes and restoring biodiversity losses, while also contributing to global efforts that address the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Many water infrastructure providers have adopted commitments to sustainability practice in corporate plans and statements, and the delivery of
the organisation’s portfolio of projects is integral to achieving sustainability targets. Front-end decision making, often captured within the business case for major infrastructure investments, plays a signiﬁcant role in delivering broader sustainability outcomes that align with policy directions. However, for many organisations, a gap remains in systematically translating sustainability commitments, goals and targets to decision making at the front end of projects. For emerging sustainable solutions to infrastructure problems,
THE ASSESSMENT HIERARCHY
such as integrated water management (IWM) initiatives, the value created may be difﬁcult to fully represent in economic modelling. Regulatory frameworks often fail to support decision making on investments that address emerging challenges, such as climate change. Drawing from the range of responses from a survey and interviews as part of PhD research, a multi-layered evaluation hierarchy for integrating sustainability in investment analysis is proposed (Figure 1). The hierarchy recognises that analysis for project initiatives must take
CDM and funding
Life cycle analysis
DIMENSIONS OF VALUE
INPUTS AND ENABLERS
A deeper understanding of value may be gained through working with a range of stakeholders, including the community. account of long term, strategic impacts of investments to align with policy directions, together with short term, tactical performance measures to ensure transparency and accountability. In this model, beneﬁts are measurable indicators that align with broader policy directions and include considerations of beneﬁts to the wider community, beyond the boundaries of the infrastructure provider. Business beneﬁts take account of the stewardship role that infrastructure businesses hold, and the ability for decision making to build legitimacy and trust with customers and communities. A deeper understanding of value may be
gained through working with a range of stakeholders, including the community as end users of infrastructure. Value should be assessed across the economic, development, environmental, social and cultural domains, acknowledging the inter-linkages that exist across these domains. A sustainability approach focuses on value creation with an understanding that some elements cannot be fully represented through monetary valuation alone. The evaluation hierarchy is underpinned by the inputs that include risk analysis, cost assessments, funding models and an understanding of operational
readiness. Institutional frameworks for governance, leadership and capability are critical in supporting sustainability practice across the project lifecycle. This approach challenges the premise that better investment analysis should focus on assigning monetary value to a broader array of economic, environmental and social items within the cost beneﬁt analysis tool. Taking account of the unique characteristics of infrastructure and the public good that infrastructure may provide, a toolbox approach is multi-layered and ensures that projects align with broader strategic directions, that value may be created through investments, and that underpinning analysis should ensure robust and transparent project appraisal. Dr Angela Reidy is a Civil Engineer and Principal at Inxure Consulting. To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal
Recent Environmental Projects: • • • • • • • •
Hay Wastewater Treatment Plant Langi Kal Kal Wastewater Treatment Plant Surbiton Park Biosolids Digester Facility Upgrade Dubbo Wastewater Plant and Pumping Station Kiribati Water and Sanitation Project & Sewer Outfall Marshall Islands Water and Sanitation Project Kiribati Sea Wall Jimmy’s Beach Replenishment sand pumping station Design & Construct
executive summary energy management
Water supply energy and resilience for Whitsunday Water INTEGRATION OF SOLAR AND BACKUP GENERATION TO ADAPT TO OUR EXTREMES Y Hughes, T James
hitsunday Water provides potable water and sewerage services to 12,000 residents and over half a million tourists in the Whitsundays throughout the year. In March 2017, the Whitsunday region was severely impacted by Tropical Cyclone Debbie that crossed the coast 15km north of Proserpine and very slowly tracked over the Bowen Water Treatment Plant at the banks of the upper Proserpine River. This prevented access for four days for temporary generation to be connected so that water supplies to the region could be restored. Council faces obstacles from ongoing weather events and high energy prices that challenge our mission to deliver high quality water services at affordable prices. Council has addressed these integrated challenges by undertaking a project to upgrade our Bowen Water Treatment Plant (BWTP) from the perspective of resilience and sustainability. The project consisted of ďŹ ve interlocking components:
Construction of a 400kW solar array capable of generating over 620MWh of clean energy, resulting in annual savings of up to $200,000 and a reduction of over 570t in greenhouse gases;
Integration of 450kW of stand-by generation to be remotely activated for emergency operation;
Installation of a new main switchboard for efficient power distribution to the existing site facilities;
Consolidation of three pole mount transformers into a single highly efficient 1000kVA pad mount transformer to optimise energy use;
Upgrade of the BWTPâ€™s operating systems to increase remote system control and operational visibility.
Since its completion, the use of solar energy at the BWTP has resulted in a reduction of over 150,000kgs of CO2, 65kgs of NOx, 15kgs of SO2, and has saved over 120 metric tonnes of carbon going into the atmosphere. The project was successfully completed on time and on budget in January 2018. Since its completion, the use of solar energy at the BWTP has resulted in a reduction of over 150,000kgs of carbon dioxide (CO2), 65kgs of nitrogen oxide (NOx), 15kgs of sulphur dioxide (SO2), and has saved over 120 metric tons of carbon going into the atmosphere, which is the equivalent to over 13 hectares of deforestation. Whitsunday Water are tracking a 40% energy saving for the Bowen WTP facility which we believe is a satisfactory starting
point as we learn to operate with a high cost (grid) and a zero-marginal cost (solar) energy supply option. Essentially we are operating the plant to maximise day-time water production but setting the target reservoir levels overnight on a relatively conservative basis, because we do not have both Bowen reservoirs online and because we are collecting the data for future optimisation. As a result of the upgrades, during the Tropical Cyclone Iris threat in March 2018, Council was able to successfully
put the plant into ‘standby’ mode, ready to be remotely activated at Proserpine Water Treatment Plant if required. Actual monthly electricity bills show a consistent 40% reduction compared to the previous two years, which we expect we can improve with further network optimisation and operational changes. Reviewing our operational data, it is clear that we are leaving energy in the solar panels by not starting our reservoir at a low enough starting point during lower demand periods. Lowering the reservoir water start level will increase capacity and will allow for additional savings due to higher usage of self-generated electricity. Yestin Hughes is Whitsunday Water’s Assets and Planning Manager. Tenaya James is the Contract Supervisor for Whitsunday Water. To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal
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executive summary water chlorination
Cost-effective chlorination strategies for drinking water MEETING CHLORINATION DISINFECTION GOALS IN DRINKING WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS I Fisher, G Kastl, A Sathasivan
hlorination has been used for many decades as a cheap and simple method of secondary disinfection within drinking water distribution systems. The three major goals for such chlorination are to: - Maintain a minimum residual chlorine concentration throughout the system; - Keep disinfection by-product concentrations below regulated health limits, and - Keep chlorine concentrations below aesthetic (taste/odour) guidelines.
This paper describes a procedure to search for and identify cost-effective chlorination strategies to meet these goals within multiple-source distribution systems. This procedure is based on new, accurate and efﬁcient process models of chlorine decay and disinfection by-product formation, which have been shown to apply over the full range of system operating conditions. To gain the considerable beneﬁts available from the procedure, these new models are embedded in the MultiSpecies eXtension (MSX) within the EPANET distribution system simulation package, or one of its commercial derivatives. Only then can the ability of alternative chlorination strategies to meet the deﬁned goals simultaneously be objectively compared through system simulation. It also allows the accurate representation of chlorine decay and by-product formation in multiple-source systems for the ﬁrst time. If no chlorination strategy can be found that meets the deﬁned disinfection
goals at the current level of treatment, one option is to remove more of the dissolved reactants that remain in water after treatment. Models to predict the degree of removal of dissolved organic carbon by enhanced coagulation were combined with the chlorine-decay and DBP-formation models to form an augmented procedure that accounts for the effect of this additional removal. Other removal processes could be similarly modelled if greater removal were required. The other major option is to replace chlorination with chloramination. However, chloramine decays due to both chemical and microbial processes. Microbial decay can easily be more than an order of magnitude greater than chemical decay. Using the same approach to ﬁnding cost-effective chloramination strategies is not currently feasible due to inadequate understanding of the microbial processes involved.
If no chlorination strategy can be found…one option is to remove more of the dissolved reactants. Applications of these procedures to real Australian distribution systems are also summarised. These range from modelling chlorine concentrations alone in a simple system (in the development of the new wall-decay
model) to calibrating and validating process models of bulk and wall decay along with trihalomethane formation, in a system with multiple ground- and surface-water sources of distinctly different quality. In some cases, the effects of additional treatment on in-system chlorine concentrations were to be determined before the treatment was carried out. In another, the decision to convert a chloraminated system back to chlorination was based on whether predicted minimum in-system concentrations could be achieved with chlorination of the water source instead. Dr Ian Fisher applies techniques assessing chloramine decay through his consulting company, Watervale Systems, in co-operation with Western Sydney University. George Kastl is a Chemical Engineer with over 30 years’ experience, mainly in the water industry with Sydney Water, WorleyParsons and MWH. Arumugam Sathasivan is a Professor in the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, Western Sydney University.
To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal
executive summary indigenous partnerships
Progressing reconciliation through Indigenous partnerships within Australian water utilities DEVELOPING MORE MEANINGFUL PARTNERSHIPS WITH TRADITIONAL OWNERS M Thomas, D McKinnis, S Brown his paper explores the deep-time connections that Traditional Owner nations have with ‘water’ in the Corangamite catchment of Victoria. In three parts it describes the historical connections that the Traditional Owners have with water; some initiatives that Barwon Water has undertaken to develop more meaningful partnerships with Traditional Owners; and suggested ideas for strengthening future ties.
TRADITIONAL OWNERS: CONNECTIONS TO COUNTRY The Traditional Owners of the land on which Barwon Water operates and services hold deep-time connections to Country that stretch back more than 60,000 years. To place this in context, if the entire 160km length of the Barwon River represented Aboriginal presence in Australia, then European settlement would be the equivalent of the last half-kilometre of the river’s length. While European settlement has been ﬂeeting, its impact has been signiﬁcant. Culturally, European settlement led to the widespread destruction, displacement and desecration of Traditional Owner societies, practices, language, culture and ways of sustainably managing Country. Environmentally, settlement has wrought enormous change dominated by increased population, changed land-use, introduction of new and invasive species accompanied by the loss of native species, major changes in vegetation,
industrial farming, water extraction, and—somewhat ultimately—changes to the Australian climate itself. Traditional Owner connections to water are evident in two aspects. First, access to fresh sources of water were (and remain) a necessity for survival; inﬂuencing diet, cropping, habitation patterns, sustenance and movement across country. Secondly, water was (and remains) important from a cultural and spiritual aspect. Ron Arnold, Guligad elder from the Gadubanud nation, has described the importance of the Barwon River to his people: “Water is sacred to the traditional way of life. Its value is intangible. The Barwon River is a very ancient system. For our people, the wetlands and river has sustained births, deaths, marriages, food, trade, festivals, medicines, totems, shelter … It gives us a spiritual connection to country.”
STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP INITIATIVES Through a process of strategic renewal (Strategy 2030), Barwon Water has progressed a number of initiatives with the intention of working in partnership with the Traditional Owners. These initiatives have included: • Publication of Barwon Water’s ﬁrst Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP); • Generating opportunities to incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander supplier diversity and business opportunities within the organisation; • Strengthening economic opportunity
for the region’s indigenous youth (of the 2018/19 trainee intake more than 60% were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander); • Appointment of an Aboriginal person in the position of Aboriginal Partnerships; • Inclusion of Traditional Owner design, art, culture, and room names within the new headquarters building; and • Development of a ‘Caring for Country’ approach as part of Executive decision making.
FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES Barwon Water is at the very start of its journey to understand how the principles and philosophy of ‘Caring for Country’ can be applied in the implementation of its RAP. Central to developing these effectively, initial exploration with Traditional Owners have highlighted some potential opportunities or initiatives that could be considered more broadly in the future. Whilst much work remains, potential opportunities across the broader water sector may include: • Access to Utility Land. Creating greater opportunities for Traditional Owners to connect to Country through allowing special-use access on utility-owned land. • Cultural corridors. Access to land could potentially be extended to include the region’s waterways as cultural zones. Activities within these areas could include a return to aquaculture and historical agricultural practices. • Traditional practices in Higher
Education. A return of aquaculture and indigenous agricultural practices in utility-operated or managed areas could represent an opportunity for University, High-School or Gordon TAFE students, as well as community groups to learn from Traditional Owners. â€˘ Aboriginal employment. Greater employment opportunities for Aboriginal people within the water sector. This concept could be extended by having exclusive Board positions reserved for Aboriginal leaders, providing insights and strategic leadership at the very highest levels. â€˘ Staff Education. Water utilities should consider innovative ways to continually educate their workforce about Caring for Country, cultural practices, the intrinsic value of water, and deeper knowledge of local water catchments from Traditional Ownersâ€™ perspectives. â€˘ Water utilities should consider renaming their assets and facilities after local indigenous names.
â€˘ Funding models. Are there new or innovative funding models that can be applied by water corporations to facilitate the implementation of cultural heritage projects?
CONCLUSION This paper has sketched the importance of regional waterways in the lives of the Traditional Owners of the Barwon tribes. The developing partnerships between Barwon Water and Traditional Owners in its service region is helping us incorporate history, traditions, and culture into where we work, how we operate and how we plan. Given the lack of historical engagement with our Traditional Ownersâ€”not only from the water industry but more broadly across societyâ€”there remains a lot of ground to cover. With this in mind, the ideas and actions discussed should be used as a springboard to consider not just all that has
come before, but what is possible for a better future.
Michael Thomas is the Business Development and Research Coordinator at Barwon Water. David McKinnis is an Environmental Co-ordinator at Barwon Water. Shu Brown is the Aboriginal Partnerships Advisor and a proud Adnyamathanha Yura, meaning â€œPeople of the Rockâ€? of the Flinders Rangers.
To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal
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executive summary energy conservation
Successful energy conservation measures REDUCING ONGOING ELECTRICITY COSTS WITH LOW CAPITAL INVESTMENT AT WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS I Ali, M Gow his paper illustrates energy conservation initiatives at two of the Logan City Council’s wastewater treatment plants. Several initiatives described in this paper have great potential in reducing ongoing electricity cost. Most the actions require very low capital investment and, in some circumstances, require only operation adjustments. As a result of our ongoing efforts, we have budget saving for $350K in the 2017/18 ﬁnancial year. Examples of such actions described in this paper are:
• • • • •
sustainable energy conservation plan. The Treatment Program at Logan City Council has involved working progressively with a focus on running our treatment plants in an energy-efﬁcient way.
Reduction of pump ﬂow rate Shifting off-peak operation Change of blower control philosophy Reduction of odour control fan speed Change of ideal dissolve oxygen set point in oxidation ditches • Ongoing monitoring and energy audit together with energy benchmarking • Management of aeration diffusers: cleaning, off-gas, pressure testing.
Imtiaj Ali is a Senior Process Engineer at Logan City Council. Michael Gow is a Graduate Wastewater Treatment Engineer.
Several actions which are not included in this paper should be considered in a
To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal
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executive summary water security planning
Water security levels of service REVIEWING CONCEPT AND DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH EAST QUEENSLAND A Killen
his paper provides an insight into the Level of Service (LOS) objectives in South East Queensland (SEQ) to inform the 2019 LOS objectives review by State Government. The paper reviews the LOS concept and development in water security planning, analyses the application of LOS Australia-wide, identiﬁes opportunities in SEQ to improve LOS, and discusses methods for engaging with a variety of stakeholders. LOS objectives for water security exist in most cities in Australia and set minimum standards that a water service provider must meet to ensure adequate supply of water. The objectives usually refer to the frequency and severity of restrictions, and the frequency of low storage volumes. In SEQ, LOS objectives are set in legislation and reviewed by the Queensland Government’s Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) every ﬁve years. The paper reviews the original LOS concept paper (Erlanger and Neal 2005) that determines acceptable LOS for water security based upon balancing tradeoffs between community desires, the associated costs (social, economic and environmental), and ensuring a reliable supply of water into the future. LOS was grouped into three components: maintaining adequate supply over the long-term, short-term measures (restrictions) to protect against running out
Most cities had projected demands stated in their water security planning. of water, and contingency plans to ensure basic water needs for a community can be met in an emergency. Since the Erlanger and Neal paper, LOS has been referred to in several key documents but ‘The National Urban Water Planning Principles’ seems to be the most referenced document among water service providers, with some State Governments incorporating the guidelines into their policies and frameworks. A scan of LOS application in Australia found that most cities are not uniform in their approach, terminology or speciﬁcations. Nevertheless, similarities can be drawn between systems for the frequency of restrictions, but the deﬁnition of restriction severity is ambiguous and duration is often not stated. Most cities had projected demands stated in their water security planning with identiﬁed methods to address any shortfalls and most cities also had severe drought objectives although the format of this varied across cities.
Prior to starting the LOS review in SEQ, an exercise was conducted to ascertain opportunities to improve LOS. The main subjects that arose were: Ensuring each LOS objective was effective in achieving water security. The need to put pressure against unnecessary pricing increases. Management and application of LOS geographically across a large network. The need to adequately engage wider stakeholders and the community on a technical subject. The 2019 SEQ LOS review has therefore been designed to be as technically effective and inclusive as possible while aligning with key documents in the water planning sector. Abi Killen is an adviser on catchment water quality in rural communities, with over six years of experience in the water sector from working for South West Water in the UK. To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal
executive summary water efficiency
Calculating the hydraulic efﬁciency of a constructed wetland USING RHODAMINE-WT TO TRACK WATER FLOW THROUGH A CONSTRUCTED WETLAND IN A MEDITERRANEAN CLIMATE S Smith
The use of dye tracers is a cost-effective and valuable method to measure the hydraulic parameters of a constructed wetland.
easurement of the efﬁciency of constructed wetlands is critical for maintenance of their functions and contribution to improving water quality in urban areas. A ﬂuorescent dye tracer, Rhodamine-WT, was used to track water ﬂow through a stormwater-reliant, free water surface (FWS) constructed wetland in a Mediterranean climate. The mean hydraulic residence time (HRT) was calculated and compared to the design HRT, in order to gain an appreciation of the hydraulic efﬁciency of the wetland system. The actual HRT (4.0 days) was calculated to be less than the design parameters (7.0 days), giving the system a hydraulic efﬁciency of 0.57. Water movement was also tracked across the wetland proﬁle to determine movement patterns within the system
and identify any areas of short circuiting. A remediation design was then implemented and tested under experimental conditions. The remediation design increased the HRT from 4.0 to 5.6 days. This equates to a hydraulic efﬁciency of 0.80, which indicates good performance. Improvement to the ﬂow patterns within the wetland was also demonstrated, with the inﬂuence of short circuits reduced. Nonetheless, further changes need to be implemented within the wider wetland area to encourage even distribution of water. Wetland processes are highly time dependent, therefore the ability to measure and maintain the efﬁciency of constructed wetlands is essential. This study demonstrates it is possible to improve the hydraulic residence time of a
constructed wetland through changes to vegetation and obstructions to ﬂow. It also demonstrates the beneﬁts of dye tracer studies in tracking the lateral movement of water through the constructed wetland. The use of dye tracers is a cost-effective and valuable method to measure the hydraulic parameters of a constructed wetland and should be incorporated into the ongoing management plan for stormwater-reliant free water surface constructed wetlands. Shelley Smith is a Project Coordinator in the parks and environment space for City of Perth.
To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal
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How is the water industry transforming our world? Here are our top 10 must-see sessions in the Ozwater’19 Conference Program
Impact of Climate Change on Water Demand Luther Uthayakumaran, Sydney Water
The Water Resource Challenges for Two Indigenous Communities in Australia and the Pacific Russell Beatty, Hydrology and Risk Consulting
Creating Partnerships for Sustainable Development Through Deliberative Engagement Sarah Watkins, Melbourne Water
Groundwater Contamination, Remote Communities and Indigenous Health Nina Hall, School of Public Health at The University of Queensland
Planet, People, Prosperity: Tracking our Journey Towards Sustainability Grace Rose-Miller, Yarra Valley Water
An ISO International Standard for Water Efficiency Labelling to Support SDG 6 Carol Grossman, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
A Sustainable and Resilient Water and Used Water Masterplan for the Indian Megacity, Bengaluru Gaurav Bhatt, Jacobs
7–9 May 2019 | Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
Lessons from the First Victorian Water Sector Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan Jill Fagan, Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning
VR Training – Innovation Resulting from Industry and Academia Collaboration Scott McMillan, Melbourne Water and Ben Horan, Deakin University
Review of Baseflow Contribution from Water Sensitive Urban Design David Buck, Central Queensland University
T H E AU ST R A L I A N WAT E R A S S O C I AT I O N M AG A Z I N E
A S S O C I AT I O N E V E N T S SHARING EXPERTISE ACROSS THE WATER INDUSTRY
Winners of the 2018 WA Water Awards, proudly supported by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and Water Corporation
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EVENTS CALENDAR Plan your continuous learning with the latest listing of the Association’s events calendar. SA STATE CONFERENCE Last year’s SA State Conference was loaded with opportunities for water professionals to connect. NT WATER IN THE BUSH Northern Territory water professionals came to celebrate the nation’s top-end water sector. QWATER’18 Delegates made the most of an impressive speaker line up and caught up with peers.
TAS GALAH DINNER Take a look at some of the highlights from the latest TAS Galah Dinner.
BIOSOLIDS CONFERENCE The AWA/ANZBP National Biosolids Conference tackled the sector’s future challenges in style.
VIETWATER’18 The Australian delegation to Vietwater’18 offered an array of networking opportunities.
NSW LEGENDS OF WATER Once again, the NSW’s best were lauded, while attendees enjoyed a glamorous evening of networking.
EVENT CALENDAR M AY
2 6-10 15 16 30-31 30 31
QLD: YWP 2019 MENTOR PROGRAM LAUNCH NAT: OZWATER’19 WA: SUNDOWNER
19 June Water Industry Breakfast
Join the AWA WA branch for a topical panel discussion on “Managing water in WA; is our approach sustainable?”
25-27 June Indonesia Water & Wastewater Expo & Forum
WA: NORTH WEST REGION WATER FACILITY STUDY TOUR
Held in Jakarta, INDO WATER is the biggest Expo & Forum for the fast growing water, wastewater and recycling technology in Indonesia.
QLD: WOMEN OF WATER NETWORKING EVENING
J U LY
WA: COMMITTEE NOMINATIONS CLOSE
12 QLD: TECHNICAL MEETING 14 VIC: YWP BALL 19 WA: SUNDOWNER 19 SA: TECHNICAL SEMINAR 19 WA: WATER INDUSTRY BREAKFAST 20 SA: SUNDOWNER 20 ACT: WATER MATTERS CONFERENCE VIC: KOROROIT CREEK VOLUNTEER 23 PLANTING 25-27
INT: INDONESIA WATER & WASTEWATER EXPO & FORUM
ACT: ACT WATER AWARD NOMINATIONS CLOSE
QLD: QLD WATER AWARD NOMINATIONS CLOSE
TAS: WHERE THE WATERS MEET CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION
SA: YWP SEMINAR
TAS 31 July Where the Waters Meet Conference & Exhibition
Tasmania’s premier water event, featuring a members-only breakfast, full day conference proceedings, trade exhibition and networking opportunities.
FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO REGISTER, VISIT BIT.LY/AWAEVENTS 120 www.awa.asn.au
FROM NETWORKING TO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, THE AUSTRALIAN WATER ASSOCIATION’S CALENDAR IS OVERFLOWING WITH EVENTS FOR EVERY TYPE OF WATER PROFESSIONAL.
01 8-9 14-15
VIC: 57TH ANNUAL DINNER
14-15 August North Queensland Regional Conference
NSW: STATE CONFERENCE, ORANGE
The conference will include a broad range of presentations related to the water industry and the vital services it provides to the North Queensland community.
QLD: NQ REGIONAL CONFERENCE, TOWNSVILLE
VIC: YWP PD EVENT: THE POWER OF STORYTELLING
WA: WA WATER AWARD NOMINATIONS CLOSE
S EP T EM B ER
5 6 11
ACT: WATER LEADERS DINNER NT: NT WATER AWARD NOMINATIONS CLOSE WA: STUDENT WATER PRIZE PRESENTATION EVENING
QLD: GALA DINNER & AWARDS NIGHT
SA: SA WATER AWARD NOMINATIONS CLOSE
O CTO B ER
VIC 1 August 57th Annual Dinner
The AWA’s largest state dinner, this year’s annual Victorian celebration offers opportunity to meet up with friends and colleagues from the water space over a delicious dinner.
NSW 8-9 August State Conference
Hosted in Orange, the AWA NSW Branch are pleased to invite members to register for two days of expert insight and networking.
VIC/TAS: WATER AWARD NOMINATIONS CLOSE
VIC: TECHNICAL SEMINAR: “OUR WATER LIFE”
17-18 21-27 25 31
SA: TECHNICAL SEMINAR
NT: WATER IN THE BUSH CONFERENCE NAT: NATIONAL WATER WEEK WA: GALA DINNER & AWARDS NIGHT NSW: NSW LEGENDS OF WATER DINNER
FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO REGISTER, VISIT BIT.LY/AWAEVENTS www.awa.asn.au 121
Out and about STATE CONFERENCE | SA ast year’s South Australian State Conference showcased the many ways the South Australian water sector professionals are leaders. Examining leadership challenges and needs for the state’s sector moving forward, delegates soaked up insights from water experts from around Australia.
L Melissa Bradley (Water Sensitive SA)
Victor Cantone, Carmen Wentrock and Ifty Rehman Jim McGuire, (GM Strategy, SA Water)
Jim McGuire, Dr Andre Taylor, Elsie Mann and Jessica Burgess
GALA DINNER & AWARDS NIGHT | SA he achievements of the South Australian water sector were celebrated in style at the Annual Gala Dinner & Awards Night, with the state’s award winners announced in preparation for Ozwater’19. Attendees enjoyed hearing from the Hon David Speirs and took the opportunity to relax with peers.
Award winners (L-R): Boris Ninkovic, Julien Anese, Adele Hay, Andrew Knight, Kevin Yerrell, Brooke Swaffer, Alex Iannella, Alana Duncker and Ben Van Den Akker
South Australian Minister for Environment and Water, the Hon David Speirs
Sarah Hughes (WSP), Lisa Blinco (SA Water) and Liz Hobart (WSP)
WATER IN THE BUSH | NT
Tropical Water Solutions team: Janel Gaube, Tony Boland, Lenin Villamar, Daniel Lane and Victor Calderon
Qi Tian (Power and Water Corporation) and Daria Surovtseva (Power and Water Corporation)
he 29th Water in the Bush Conference brought together water professionals, the community and industry from across northern Australia, with delegates renewing friendships and networks, and participating in conversations about the current and future state of water in the North.
Darryl Day (ICE WaRM) awarded 2018 NT Water Professional of the Year. Presented by Branch President Natalie Fries and National President Francois Gouws
Craig Walker (Biotech Laboratories)
Kylie Climie (Power and Water Corporation) and Christina Bruno (Tonkin)
AWARDS DINNER | WA he 2018 WA Water Awards recognised the outstanding achievements and innovations of the stateâ€™s water industry, providing a unique opportunity to showcase the very best of WA water knowledge and successes. Attendees enjoyed a keynote speech from Professor Peter Newman.
T Professor Peter Newman delivering a keynote speech
Winners of the 2018 WA Water Awards
Rachel Evans (WA Branch President), Petja Albrecht (WA Branch Committee), Anne-Elise Charles (WA YWP Committee), and Daniel Charles
Director General Mike Rowe with Water Professional of the Year, Nick Turner (Water Corporation)
Don’t miss the opportunity for you or your organisation to enter the 2019/20 State Water Awards with the opportunity to progress to the National Water Awards at Ozwater’20 in Adelaide
AWARD CLOSING DATES
ACT 19 Jul 2019
26 Jul 2019
10 Oct 2019
30 Aug 2019
6 Sep 2019
13 Sep 2019
22 Nov 2019
10 Oct 2019
National Water Industry Safety Excellence Award
Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize
28 Feb 2020
13 Dec 2019
Entries will open
WEDNESDAY 5 JUNE 2019 For more information visit www.awa.asn.au/awards or call the Australian Water Association on 02 9436 0055
Out and about QWATER’18 | QLD Craig Ball (ProMinent Fluid Controls)
Matt Dawson (TRILITY) and Leah Sertorio (QUU)
Wade Rugless (Zinfra), Paul Kwong (Aquatec) and Chris Harpham (SUEZ)
ast year’s QWater’18 focussed on collaboration and the critical role knowledge-sharing can play in the development of the region. Attendees enjoyed catching up after a busy year, with plenty of opportunities to relax at Queensland’s sunny Sea World Resort Conference Centre.
L QWater’18 Leadership Challenges Panel: Louise Dudley (QUU), Patrick Newell (Pensar), Mike Williamson (Unitywater) and William Speirs (QUU)
Jeff Fisher (GHD), Saskya Hunter (GHD), Tim Pettigrew (GHD) and Jenny Danslow (Advisian)
Katrin Doederer (UQ) and Amanda Binks (Seqwater) Luke Opray (Downer)
Mansell Wellings (Royce Water Technologies), Campbell Parminter (Royce Water Technologies), Rod Wellings (Royce Water Technologies) and Craig Walker (Biotech Laboratories)
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Out and about GALAH DINNER | TAS
Bonnie Bonneville (Jacobs), Darren Green and Royce Aldred (TasWater) AWA TAS Galah 2018 YWP Award Winner Matt Robinson (TasWater) with Tim Gardner AWA TAS State President and Executive Chairman of Award Sponsor Stornoway
Adrian Blinman (Hydramet) and Sarah Jones (Macquarie Franklin)
Fulton Hogan attendees
osted at the Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart, the iconic Tasmanian Galah Annual Dinner and YWP Award Ceremony was definitely one to remember. Water professionals enjoyed entertainment, networking and incredible food, all with a hint of galah pink!
AWA TAS Galah 2018 Committee representatives in attendance
AWARDS LUNCHEON | VIC he annual AWA VIC Awards Luncheon celebrated the many achievements of the Victorian water industry and highlighted stand-out individual and collaborative accomplishments. Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to unwind with peers and network with water professionals from around the state.
Melbourne Water (L-R): Rhys Coleman, Dale Irwin, Caroline Carvalho, Heath Baker, Sarah Watkins, Martin Oâ€™shaughnessy, Bridget Russell, Claudette Kellar, Elvira Cadan L-R: Matthew Blencowe (WAGO), Christien Blencowe (WAGO), Luca Fornasier (WAGO), Anya Vynokur (AECOM), Peter Hillis (AECOM), Peter Insole (AECOM), Frederic Blin (AECOM) Richard Moulton (AVFI), Celeste Ward, (Stantec)
Award winners & AWA Reps (L-R): David Kirby (KBR), Andrew Forster-Knight (South East Water), Mukta Sapkota (University of Melbourne), Russell Riding (Melbourne Water), Sarah Watkins (Melbourne Water), Stephen Coward (SAGE), Aravind Surapaneni (South East Water), Casey Furlong (GHD), Jonathan McKeown (AWA) and Lindsey Brown (AWA VIC President)
Brett Millington (IWN), Dona Tantirimudalige (YVW/IWA) and Rebekah Foster (CHW/IWA)
NATIONAL WATER WEEK 2019 21-27 OCTOBER
Congratulations to the winners of our 2018 Colouring Competition...
...and the winners of our 2018 Short Film Competition Primary School Winner
High School Winner
Hallidays Point Public School
Sumedh Joshi, Chatswood High School
See the winning entries and ďŹ nd out more at
Out and about VIETWATER’18 | INT Vietwater VIPs visiting the AWA stand
Harum volup ici tenda e omnihil et, nimus essiti
Paul Smith (AWA), Marian Neal (Australian Water Partnership) and Jonathan McKeown (AWA)
he Australian Water Association coordinated the 4th Australian delegation to Vietwater’18, held in Ho Chi Minh City last November. Delegates enjoyed hearing from international experts, site tours, all the excitement of the Vietwater exhibition hall., as well as soaking in all the hospitality Vietnam has to offer.
Vietwater’18 Australian delegation site tour to Dong Nai Water Company
Vietwater’18 Pavilion Austrade (L-R): Shannon Leahy (Austrade Vietnam), Sally-Ann Watts (Austrade Indonesia), Martin Connolly (Wastelink) and Yvonne Chan (Austrade) Vietnam)
TECHNICAL TOUR AND XMAS PARTY | ACT hy not combine a technical site tour and an industry briefing with some barefoot bowling? That’s what the AWA ACT Branch got up to at their end-of-year celebrations in 2018. After enjoying a site tour of the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre, attendees spent the afternoon networking over canapes and barefoot bowls.
Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre site tour
Attendees trying their hand at barefoot bowls
Uncompromising Blockage Protection
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Out and about AWA/ANZBP BIOSOLIDS NATIONAL CONFERENCE | NAT Jessica Allen (Arkwood Organic Recycling), Dr Jean Davis (Sydney Water), Derek Van Rys (Sydney Water) and Dr Ruth Fisher (UNSW)
Diarmaid Connaire (CDEnviro), Dr Brent Gibbs (Downer) and Louis Du Preez (Tauranga City Council)
Monique Gastaldin & Johanna Johnson (Logan City Council) at the Conference Dinner
he Australian Water Association and the Australian & New Zealand Biosolids Partnerships Biosolid National Conference returned to Brisbane in February to consider the concept of â€˜Biosolids in the Circular Economyâ€™. Attracting a record number of delegates, the biannual conference examined key developments of the water industry and drove discussion, debates and collaboration, helping set the future direction for the sector.
Kirsty Blades & Elana Huthnance (Australian Water Association), Katie Bell (AECOM) at the Closing Networking Drinks
Delegates at the Conference Dinner along with the Best Poster Winner, Jing Wei (The University of Queensland)
Out and about LEGENDS OF WATER | NSW Erin Vais, Casey Magee and Emily Ryan
Suhasini Sumithru and Sandy Leask
nce again the NSW AWA Branch celebrated the Legends of Water for 2018! Recognising the achievements of water industry leaders who have been committed to creating a more sustainable water future and have dedicated their careers to promoting the importance of water.
Graham Attenborough and Emma Pryor with 2018 Legends Kevin Young, Cynthia Mitchell and Gary Mitchell
Harum volup ici tenda e omnihil et, nimus essiti
Sascha Moege and Sarah Hesse
HEADS OF WATER FORUM & GALA DINNER | NSW he NSW Heads of Water Forum brought together leaders of the industry to discuss the current issues and future direction of our sector. Attendees heard from Hunter Water Managing Director Jim Bentley, Sydney Water Liveable City Solutions General Manager Paul Plowman and IPART Water Regulation & Compliance Director Erin Cini. This was followed by the Gala Dinner where the NSW Water Award winners were announced
A moment before 420 water industry professionals arrived
Heads of Water Forum
Carmel Krogh (Shoalhaven City Council), Jonathan McKeown (AWA), Gary Mitchell (Water Directorate) and Tanya Cameron (AWA)
Margit Connellan (SUEZ) and Dougal Hains (Clough) 2019 NSW Water Award Winners
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The Last Drop
WITH A CAREER SPANNING MANY SECTORS (AND KILOMETRES), AMY DYSART HAS WORKED IN ROLES FROM AQUACULTURE, THROUGH TO INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT. HERE, DYSART REFLECTS ON WHAT SHE’S LEARNED FROM HER WORK WITH REMOTE COMMUNITIES.
IT TOOK ME A LITTLE WHILE TO get into the water industry, after a two-year gap year I studied biotechnology at Murdoch. I soon realised I was not suited for a laboratory and started working in aquaculture. I worked in Broome with pearls, then in Darwin for a private venture in prawns. By then it was also clear that my husbandry skills weren’t cut out for the outdoors either, and I started working with Power and Water in 2005 as the CRC Project Ofﬁcer for the remote water supplies program. It was a great time to enter the water sector with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines introducing the risk based approach and getting actively involved in the AWA NT branch committee. A couple of years later I moved into a water quality specialist role, overseeing 72 remote communities and introducing the water quality monitoring program. We worked collaboratively with the Department of Health to prioritise water supplies that had contaminants – arsenic, uranium, ﬂuoride and nitrate – all above the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines recommendation levels to implement improvement programs. We simply couldn’t solve all the problems at once. We needed to work out which issue to tackle ﬁrst. It was huge learning experience for me. It was so diverse, I had to be involved in everything; developing the strategy of what needed to happen, implementation of programs, as well as advancing the capital upgrades to address identiﬁed issues. I continued to study part time
and leverage the water network as support to the wide-ranging work activities, an opportunity that comes from working in small jurisdictions. After I had my second child, I started thinking about what else I could do. Although we have a service gap in Australia for some of our remote communities, I wanted to experience ﬁrsthand water and sanitation in the international context.
This is where SDGs provide the holistic long-term global vision, by recognising the interdependency of everything we do. When an opening for WaterAid Country Director in the Solomon Islands came up, it didn’t take much convincing and we were off. We packed up the family, rented out the house and moved to the Solomon Islands, with a nine-month-old baby and a three year old. It was an amazing and challenging experience, a real privilege to be immersed in a completely different way of operating for two and half years. It was a new country program so we had to set up everything from scratch, which I couldn’t have done without the support of my husband. WaterAid has a very strong development philosophy to guide the establishment of water, sanitation and hygiene programs that are appropriate for the context. This is deﬁnitely something that can’t
be underestimated. Context is everything – one size doesn’t ﬁt all. The Solomon Islands has very a small population with more than 5000 villages spread over 1000 islands. I thought I appreciated remote challenges, but the Solomon Islands made remote NT look like downtown Sydney. I now have a new scale of relativity for everything, work and life, and a much greater appreciation of the opportunity we have in Australia. In the day-to-day, it is easy to lose touch with the world view. This is where SDGs provide the holistic long-term global vision, by recognising the interdependency of everything we do. You can’t just focus on SDG 6 in isolation; this will support other goals and vice versa. It requires a collaborative mindset, which we’ve got to make the time to do and continue to do among the competing priorities. We already come together across the sector through organisations like the Australan Water Association and Water Research Australia, so can leverage off these forums to consider SDGs. I think because we understand the water cycle and the foundational role water has to life, we in the water sector are in a strong position to collaborate and impact the SDGs.
Amy Dysart is currently acting as Business Service Senior Manager at Power & Water Corporation in the Northern Territory.
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