Highlights from the qldwater Annual Forum 6-7 September

Highlights from the qldwater Annual Forum 6-7 September

Highlights from the qldwater Annual Forum 6-7 September
Date: 20-Sep-2017

It was a big week and impossible to thank everyone who contributed in a short e-flash, but we will follow up with future articles on specific subjects.

-        Around 90 people attended the forum over two days; thanks once again to Royce Water Technologies, Lonza, Aqseptence Group, Water Research Australia and Hydramet for their support of the event, along with Ixom and Dial Before You Dig.

-        QUU’s excellent tour of Brisbane’s water and sewerage infrastructure was well received with the Spring Hill Reservoir and Eagle Farm Pump Station highlights.  Ken Vaheesan’s presentation at the pump station illustrated just how critical a piece of infrastructure it is, and Col Hester’s seemingly infinite knowledge of the history of the region made for another great session.  We were thrilled to see Col awarded AWA’s Water Professional of the Year on the Friday evening.

-        The Vendor Showcase was a bit of fun and has given us some good ideas for next year, with thanks to Aqseptence, Antec and Royce Water Technologies.  Congratulations to Rod Wellings from Royce for taking out the prize for the best pitch; we will work with Rod to develop some articles to promote the range of technologies Royce offers for the sector.

-        Livingstone Shire Council was a popular winner for the Ixom Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test, just pipping the Tugun desalination plant sample.

-        Keynote presentations from the Boston Consulting Group and Isle Utilities did a great job of provoking thought on industry continuous improvement and reform.  Chris Andrews from Ventia helped steer participants through the challenges of automated metering solutions, while Damian Batstone did a great job of presenting a range of innovative solutions for resource recovery, supported by the economic analysis on which were most likely to be viable.

-        Both DEWS and DEHP contributed significantly to the regulator sessions (as well as other reference group meetings during the week) and our member representatives provided a number of “beefy” case studies to simulate discussion.  The most commended presentations included Greg Hoffman’s analysis of ratepayer surveys and how to elevate the profile of water and sewerage to improve investment, and Andrew Connor’s handling of the challenging “collateral damage” topic.

-        Both Geoff Rintoul and Nathan Litzow demonstrated that they were worthy recipients of the QWRCIP scholarships.  Kudos to QUU, Logan and City of Gold Coast for making people available to help with their professional development at a challenging time of year.

-        While we acknowledge our management of question time following panel discussions can be improved, the workshop session over drinks designed to provoke some thought around some of the financial sustainability and asset management challenges for the sector was spirited and interesting.

Visit our Annual Forum webpage to view photographs and the presentations provided on the day (members must log in to access the presentations).  A separate log in will be sent to the Forum attendees.

On behalf of the qldwater Technical Reference Group, thanks again to all who were able to make the time to participate.  The group met on the Friday and we have more than enough topics for workshops and other events in 2018, including an expanded DEHP discussion, future governance of the sector, buried infrastructure and the infrastructure “cliff,” automated metering and system leakage as well as cybersecurity.  Discussions have commenced with City of Gold Coast in hosting our 2018 forum to look at W&S challenges arising from hosting the Commonwealth Games… if they’ve recovered by then.

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