Date: 13-Mar-2020

The unfolding COVID-19 issues have exposed some challenges in our preparedness as an industry body and we know many members are immersed in emergency and contingency planning.  We will keep to our philosophy during emergencies of doing our best not to contribute to the problem, only providing useful information to members as we become aware of it, and responding to requests for further information as they are made.

The Water Services Association of Australia has provided two recent updates to its members (COVID-19 Information and COVID-19 Information for Members) and they along with other groups like the Water Services Sector Group are providing support for water utilities nationally (more to come on the latter soon).

Member enquiries to date have focussed on emerging supply chain issues including shortages of certain chemicals, laboratory supplies and meters.  At our Technical Reference Group meeting last Friday (6 March), the group expressed concern that should the “crisis” continue for an extended period, there is an emerging risk to service providers of regulatory breaches;  e.g., if it is no longer possible for laboratories to conduct pathology testing due to reagent shortages.

We are in the process of compiling some advice to our various key regulators of these potential impacts.  If you have concerns you wish to add beyond the types of risks listed above, other supply chain shortages you are aware of, or other issues on the topic you wish to raise, please contact, or use the Zoho forum topic opened for this.

At this stage, we are not changing plans to hold any of our events, but we realise that may change as members start looking at travel bans etc.  We will do our best to maintain these great networking opportunities but also look at webinars etc if this issue becomes protracted.  If anything does have to be cancelled, we will look at credits for future events or refunds as necessary.  

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