WA Awards Showcase 2020

WA Water Awards Showcase and Sundowner

19 February 2020 | Perth CBD

This event held at The Shoe in Yagan Square aimed to showcase three of the winners of the AWA WA Water Awards for 2019, which were announced at the Gala Dinner on Friday 25 October 2019. 

Innovating for Sustainable Water and Environmental Outcomes (Award sponsored by Water Corporation & Department of Water and Environmental Regulation)

Winner: Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale, in conjunction with Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec
Project: Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale Integrated Water Management Strategy
Presenters: Steven Harding - Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale & Danni Haworth - Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec

Steven Harding started the presentation by explaining the reasons for why the project came about. Due to a combination of the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale being the fastest growing Local Government in Western Australia and uncertainty regarding water security, the Shire had concerns that they wouldn’t be able to meet future water supply requirements for irrigation of Public Open Space, predicting that they will need 1.3 GL by 2050. The Shire engaged Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec to create a program to assist them to assess when they will need additional water and what would be the best source.  Danni Haworth from Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec then explained the process they went through. WGA presented 22 concept water supply options to the Shire, which were narrowed down to 12 short listed options which were then costed. The program was designed to allow updates and for the Shire to go back each year to assess when they will require water.

Program Innovation Award

Winner: Water Corporation & Department of Water and Environmental Regulation 
Project: Drainage for Liveability- Greening our drains for a water sensitive city
Presenters:  Suzanne Brown - Water Corporation & Tim Sparks - Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

Suzanne Brown from Water Corporation started the presentation by stating that the aim of this program was to de-risk and bring down some of the institutional barriers preventing work being done on drainage assets. Local government were approaching Water Corporation wanting to complete work and enhance drainage assets but were constantly being met with reasons that it couldn’t be done. 

There are numerous stakeholders involved in drainage assets in WA including Water Corporation and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, and it can be difficult to get all parties to agree when they have different operational objectives. A review of their processes found there was no institutional visage, MOUs weren’t working and while the drainage assets were functioning regarding flood aspect, they were largely fenced off trapezoidal drains that provided no community amenity. 

Water Corporation and DWER were clear that at the end of the process they didn’t want to create another MOU that sat on the shelf and didn’t get looked at. They are trying to have shared visions instead of operating in silos and create reasons for saying yes rather than no. The result of this has been the creation of the Drainage for livability guidance. 

There have been a number of projects completed to date which have ranged in scale from small pocket parks such as the Russel Park in the City of Bayswater, where it was noted that the smallest changes can immensely increase the livability of an area, to the Lambertia Creek living stream project in the City of Canning. With over 2,500 km of drains managed by the Water Corporation there are a potentially a large number of projects that could be completed.

Research Innovation Award 

Winner: Environmental Engineers International
Project: Treatment of Highly Alkaline Industry Wastewater through SPORE
Presenter:  Peter Rice

This project came about when Environmental Engineers International were approached by a client to come up with a better solution to storing oxalate which forms during the refining process of alumina. The current solution is to store the waste product in large lagoons and use a liquor burner. EEI researched using anaerobic respiration rather than aerobic respiration to treat the product. This resulted in the development of the Smart Primary Oxalate Removal Enhancer (SPORE). In the process, water is fed into the SPORE reactors. The biomass of the bacteria in the reactor increases over time increasing the rate of removal exponentially. There are several benefits to this process including reduced chemical intervention, versatile to the size of the lagoon and the byproducts sodium hydroxide and methane can be collected for reuse as well as financial savings. 

It’s hoped the inspiration gained from these wonderful people and projects encourages you to put forward your best ideas and innovations for the next WA Water Awards.

We would like to thank our WA Branch and YWP committee volunteers, Garth Walter, Craig Dickson and Kristy Ferguson, together with Jo Higgins and the team at The Shoe, who assisted us in organisation of this event. 

View all the photos from the event in our gallery below:

WA Awards Showcase 2020 Photo Gallery