SA branch conference wrap-up

Posted: 15 September 2016

The annual Australian Water Association South Australian branch conference was held on 12 August 2016 at the Pier Hotel, Glenelg with around 100 people attending the day. The theme of the conference was “Water 2020” which was aimed at understanding opportunities in the South Australian Water market and the challenges ahead as we enter the state’s second economic regulatory period.

Following the successful Young Water Professional’s breakfast  and a tour of the Glenelg WWTP, delegates enjoyed morning tea in the trade display area. The event was officially opened by Minister Ian Hunter MLC who spoke about the announcement of the River Murray irrigation allocations. Neil Palmer delivered the first keynote of the day outlining the future opportunities for research and adaption of technologies for the Future of Water. Dr Gayle Newcombe then spoke about the public perception of SA Water’s tap water though the real life experience of the SA Water Taste Test initiative. It was interesting to see the extent of SA Water’s community consultation which is raising awareness about water quality, gaining an understanding of public attitudes and ultimately demonstrating the high quality of SA Water’s product.

After lunch the conference split into three streams. Papers covered the themes of water and wastewater treatment, management of assets and applications of data analytics. The technical papers were varied and interesting coving topics such as deoxygenation of coal seam gas water, the role of phytoplankton as precursors for disinfection by products and hydraulic performance of the Mannum to Adelaide pipeline to name a few. The best paper award for the technical session was awarded to Shane Zhong of SA Water for his paper on ‘Automated Metered Water Consumption Analysis’.

The afternoon session saw an interactive workshop style session where delegates discussed novel options for water management for the fictional “Gus’ Gooses”, facilitated by Kain Lawyers and EY. We then heard from Sandy Pitcher, Chief Executive of the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, on the role of water for irrigation in the economy of South Australia, and outcomes of a recent study that explored using the Adelaide Desalination Plant to offset reductions in River Murray allocations. 

Finally the day was closed off with an inspiring and engaging presentation from Graham Brown, CEO of Junction Australia. Graham talked to the possible futures facing South Australia, and issued a call to action to everyone in the room, and the water industry generally, to do what they can to make South Australia a thriving state and avoid the “gentile decline”. 
John, Roch and Graham
Minister Hunter
Conference presentations
Trade displays