Water Efficiency Specialist Network Committee

We are driven by the interests of our members, and you are most welcome to contact us with any ideas and enquiries for this network.

Co-chairs

Adam Jones, Water Efficiency Lead, Senior Environmental Engineer, BMT
Adam is the Water Efficiency Lead for BMT, and is based in Sydney.  He has spent his 13 year career primarily on water efficiency auditing and analysis throughout Australia across a range of industrial, commercial, government and residential sites.  With his team the majority of his work centres around the careful analysis and targeting of cost effective water use optimisation opportunities for large, non-residential sites. Wherever possible this has an increasing focus on the broader systems and networks to find true win-win improvements for all stakeholders.

He has extensive experience in auditing all kinds of water using sites - including industrial plants, hospitals, defence bases, mines, shopping centres, office buildings, universities, TAFE’s, entertainment facilities, stadiums, hotels, swimming pools, parks and many others.

He has also been involved in training government, consultant, operations and water utility staff in water efficient management of sites under their control.

Simon Fane, Associate Professor and Research Director (Water), Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney
Simon is a Research Director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at University of Technology Sydney and co-leads the Institute’s water group. He has been an urban water researcher, policy maker and advocate for over 20 years and is recognised as an expert in sustainable urban water management, adaptive planning and water efficiency. Simon gained his PhD on ‘Planning for Sustainable Urban Water’ at the Institute in 2005. Since then Simon has lead a wide range of research and consulting projects for Commonwealth, State and Local government, water utilities across the country and NGOs. Simon has recently returned to his role at the Institute after five years worked directly for the NSW Government in urban water policy and planning.

Committee members

Andre Boerema, Manager, Residential Products and Services, Sydney Water
For over 17 years André has managed the full lifecycle of many of Australia’s largest, most successful water efficiency initiatives. The programs he has managed have resulted in over 638,000 (or 40% of) Sydney households participating. Together, these households are saving in excess of 17.8 Gigalitres every year.

The most enduring of these services is Sydney Water’s Waterfix Service which today is evolving to provide a wider range of plumbing services and more specifically financial solutions to more comprehensively engage the residential strata sector.

Chris Philpot, CEO, Smart Approved WaterMark
Chris is a sustainability communications professional with a passion for water efficiency and a proven track record of promoting sustainable water use at a local, national and international level.  Chris currently heads up Smart Approved WaterMark – Australia’s only certification scheme for water efficient products and services.  Chris has experience in the not for profit, communications and marketing sector. He has a detailed knowledge of the global water sector, having worked previously as Communications Director at Waterwise in the UK and Sydney Water.

Jethro Laidlaw, Program Manager Demand Management, Power and Water Corporation
Jethro Laidlaw has worked in water and energy demand management in the Northern Territory for the last decade. Currently he is the Program Manager for Demand Management at the Northern Territories Power and Water Corporation working in communities across the region. With often very high per capita water use, remote locations and scarce water resources demand management in the Territory is always an interesting challenge. Previously Jethro has helped design and run three other demand management programs where he has always had a focus on ways to improve and effectively evaluate program outcomes. 

Marcia Dawson, Principal Analyst, Sydney Water
Marcia has almost fifteen years’ experience in analytics and research to inform strategic infrastructure planning and policy decisions within water industry. She is a qualified Environmental Engineer, from the University of Wollongong and Data Scientist from the University of Sydney. I am intrigued by the challenge of merging strategic thinking and data driven approaches to drive change. She currently leads strategic long-term water demand forecasting and scenario planning activities at Sydney Water. Since 2008, Marcia has played a significant role in the assessment and prioritisation of water efficiency programs at Sydney Water and regional utilities throughout her career She has also been responsible for:
reporting against Sydney Water's Operating Licence requirements for water efficiency.
providing analytical insights into the true effectiveness and costs of implementing demand management programs.
providing evidence based assessments and recommendations to inform policy decisions for water efficiency programs, including regulatory policies.
piloting and researching tools to inform the design and implementation of water efficiency programs.
informed the development of Sydney Water's new approach to water efficiency - economic level of water conservation tool.
assessment of options and their potential impact on long term water demand.

Michael Smit, Technical and Sustainability Manager, Kingspan Environmental
Michael Smit is the Technical and Sustainability Manager at Kingspan Environmental and was the Executive of the Rainwater Harvesting Association of Australia. Michael has a science background and experience in managing water conservation, natural resource management, and strategic and statutory land use planning. Michael believes Cities are integrated environmental, social and economic systems and all our actions should improve how urban systems perform. Michael has an Honors degree in urban planning and qualifications in economics, urban design, urban horticulture and philosophy.

Neels Kloppers, Water Services, Gladstone Regional Council
Neels has more than 25 years multi-national experience in the water industry and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil (Urban) Engineering. His experience spans over multiple disciplines including local government, private sector and utility providers, in both engineering and management capacities. His professional interests focus on asset management, operations, water demand and water quality. 

Neels was recently honored with the 2017 Queensland IPWEA Asset Management Award for CCTV Waste Water Data Management.

Peter Coombes, Director, Urban Water Cycle Solutions

Dr Peter Coombes is a director of Urban Water Cycle Solutions that operates as an independent research, policy and consulting Think Tank. Peter is currently editing the Urban Book of Australian Rainfall and Runoff, and was a Professor at Swinburne University. He was a Chief Scientist in the Victorian Government. Peter was the Managing Director of Bonacci Water, an Associate Professor of Integrated Water Cycle Management at University of Newcastle, an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Bimolecular Engineering at Melbourne University and former chairman of the Stormwater Industry Association. Peter was a member of advisory group to the Prime Ministers Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, the Victorian Government’s Our Water Our Future policy, to the National Water Commission, the United Nations and a research leader of innovative WSUD strategies at eWater CRC. His research interests include Integrated Water Cycle Management, Water Sensitive Urban design, hydrology, policy, economics, complex systems and molecular sciences. He has written over 200 scientific publications and designed more than 120 sustainable projects. Dr. Coombes was also a co-author of Australian Runoff Quality and a former chair of the Stormwater Industry Association.

Reid Butler, Principal, REIDenvironmental
Reid has been working on sustainable water management for nearly 25 years and in that time has been involved with many of the most influential programs in Australia. For example, Sydney Water’s Every Drop Counts program targeting water efficiency achieved great water savings across a range of customer sectors and set the benchmark for other utilities to follow. Reid was part of the development of the program and delivered over 1,000 water audits for Sydney Water, as well as each of the other major urban utilities in Australia. 
He has developed policies and technical guides for water management in Australia and internationally, designed and constructed numerous water efficiency and re-use projects and shares his knowledge through industry training forums and as a guest lecturer at Sydney University.

Russell Beatty, Principal Water Resources Engineer and Economist, Hydrology and Risk Consulting
Bio is coming soon - please check back later.