WA Water Industry Breakfast - Managing water in WA

19 June 2019 I Perth

The 2019 WA Water Industry Breakfast – Managing water in WA, is our approach sustainable? was held in the Grand River Ballroom at the Pan Pacific Perth, 207 Adelaide Terrace, on Wednesday 19 June 2019. Our program partners for the event were Herbert Smith Freehills and Ventia and was proudly supported by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and the Water Corporation. 

WA Branch President, Rachel Evans opened the breakfast with an acknowledgement to country and a thank you to our WA Branch Committee including the announcement of the new Branch Committee members and Committee members stepping down. 

Rachel Evans presented Don Crawford with the Don Montgomery Award for outstanding service to the WA Branch and Committee. 

Jason Ricketts, as representative of program partner, Herbert Smith Freehills, welcomed guests before hearing from our keynote speaker, the Hon Dave Kelly BA MLA, Minister for Water; Fisheries, Forestry; Innovation and ICT; Science.  

Following a plated breakfast Susan Worley, Director Science and Planning from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation provided a presentation on water resources and management in Western Australia. Our Panel Facilitator Mike Rowe, Director General, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation got the panel discussions underway and introduced the panel members, Chris Tallentire, Office of Minister Kelly, Dr Justine Lacey, Principal Research Scientist CSIRO, Rob Breden, Enwave and Evan Hambleton, Water Corporation. 

We all know managing our finite water resources carefully and sustainably is critical; this is nothing new. This management becomes challenging in a changing climate when the economic realities of suggested measures push up against established or desired land uses or industries.  What comes first - prosperity or sustainable water resource management?
The State Government manages our water resources through legislation and this provides a framework for protecting, conserving and allocating the resource. But do water users understand this system and what water is available for consumption?  How are the community involved in water decisions?  How do organisations maintain a social licence to operate in the water dependant industries?  Who should pay for water resource planning and management?

Our climate is changing and this impacts our water planning. Are our systems flexible and adaptive to cater for this change? With our variable climate, and especially after what some perceive as wet recent years, there is the potential for a push back on the long-term narrative of water scarcity. How can we effectively communicate, engage and educate in this environment?
The Panel explored the opportunities available to us focusing on the quadruple bottom line approach through the lens of the utility, the private sector, and government, incorporating financial, social and environmental angles.

Peter Spencer, WA Vice President closed the proceedings thanking our speakers and program partners and reminding everyone that the 2019 WA Water Awards being open for nomination. 

A very big thank you goes out to our WA Breakfast Event Team including Petja Albrecht, Don Crawford, Cristiano Carvalho, Claire Horsley in conjunction with WA Branch Manager, Kyllie Whitehead for their hard work in putting together this very successful event on the WA calendar.