WA Conference: Global Water Challenges & opportunities
17 June 2016, Perth
“There’s a hole in our bucket – global water challenges and opportunities”, hosted by the Young Water Professionals of the WA branch of the Australian Water Association, brought together a great mix of water professionals at the WACA on 17 June. The topic was set to challenge those who attended about what they knew about how water was managed around the globe, and what their role was in how it is used, managed, and governed. Much of our regular water conversation focuses on water challenges in Western Australia –
groundwater and surface water supplies, a drying south west, water for remote communities, desalination –
yet our growing connection on a global scale means our interests in water should expand beyond our state and national borders.
The morning session began with three keynote presentations. Rachel Siewert – Greens Senator discussed the need to challenge the norm, and be advocates for change and best practice management of all our water resources. Dr Samantha Hall, from Simply Carbon, inspired with entrepreneurial leadership, the role of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers, and her research and programs around climate change, carbon and the water-energy nexus. And the final keynote from Christine Parfitt presented the ‘Bottle for Botol’ program in Bali to significantly reduce the single-use plastic water cups and bottles in Balinese schools and communities. She demonstrated how just a few people can make a real and lasting difference to educating people about, and protecting our water systems and oceans – the recipients of the plastic waste generated.
The next three sessions showcased case studies from around the globe including; water treatment in Cambodia, virtual water management technology in Africa, recycled water in the middle east, groundwater challenges from across the globe, reforestation and catchment management in Lombok, Indonesia; and the two workshops brought together the mix of professionals and experience amongst the attendees with stimulating and constructive conversations. The final workshop focused on WASH: Water, sanitation and hygiene and was a very fitting finish to the day – asking “what type of professional are you?”. Technical solutions aren’t always the solution to our many types of water challenges.
And it wouldn’t be a conference without some networking, so while the sun set over the WACA grounds, delegates and speakers enjoyed a beverage and canapés whilst discussing the highlights of a very successful day.
Much thanks to the presenters and delegates for attending, Young Water Professionals sub-committee for organising such an inspiring and educating day and to our sponsors, Trility
for supporting the event.