HDS Australia’s Duncan Howie and Phil Castles recently attended the OzWater’15 conference held from May 12 to May 14 at the Adelaide Convention Centre. The conference was hosted by the Australian Water Association, the peak body for the water industry in Australia. OzWater is an annual conference and trade exhibition, which attracted over 3,000 participants in 2014.
Key events at OzWater’15 included the announcement of a new strategic link between the Australian Water Association and the Bureau of Meteorology during the conference opening address. This new link is expected to improve information sharing between the water industry and meteorologists, which is critical for predictions of where the future stresses on the water cycle will lie.
Other highlights of the conference opening session included big picture observations from Bernard Salt (KPMG) about the innovative infrastructure solutions that will be needed to meet future demands in the water and wastewater sectors. Cathryn Ross (OFWAT) also presented at the conference opening session and noted the value of political independence in the water sector, particular with regards to giving long term confidence to industry investors.
The conference included presentation sessions across six streams and well as additional workshop sessions.
Of particular interest to HDS Australia were those sessions and presentations on wastewater treatment, plant operations, water reuse, stormwater management, water management for remote and regional communities, water asset management and regulatory reform. Some of these technical papers will be added to our resource library.
The closing session of the conference was a panel session about creating customer driven organisations in the water industry, which has typically been an industry dominated by engineering considerations.
Duncan and Phil also supported the WaRDA (Wastewater for Regional and Decentralised Applications) stand at the conference (pictured). As part of the Leadership Group of this cluster, it was very encouraging to see the interest in the specialised field of wastewater service provision.
OzWater’15 was a fascinating event with a widely varied and interesting program. It was a great opportunity for HDS Australia staff to see current innovations and directions in the water and wastewater fields and we look forward to attending the next event in 2016.