WA 2020 Water Awards Showcase

WA Water Awards Showcase and End Of Year Networking Event 2020

Wednesday 25 November | UWA Crawley  

The 2020 WA Water Awards Winners’ Showcase kicked off the countdown to Christmas on Wednesday, 25 November. The event was hosted at the UWA EZONE Student Hub, the Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences’ new learning and collaboration home. Our program partners for the event were Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec and Syrinx. 

The event was divided into three parts, first we had the privilege of hearing from all our 2020 Award Winners about their projects before our YWP Vice President, Chenoa Lange, interviewed the individual award winners in a panel discussion. After the presentations and panel discussion, there was a well-catered opportunity to share a drink and a chat with industry colleagues.  
The first presentation was Kathy Meney of Syrinx with a short presentation about the Australian Fine China Project – a decentralised model for high density infill developments. This project won the Innovating for Sustainable Water and Environmental Outcomes Award (sponsored by Water Corporation and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation), which recognises the achievements of innovators in Western Australia in fostering the advancement of sustainable water management. The award recognises Syrinx’s role in establishing the first Department of Health approved decentralised system using rainwater for potable purposes. As Kathy noted, her lessons learned from the project were that change take times; there were fifteen years between planning and the scheme becoming fully operation. Also, that an innovative idea takes many more innovative ideas to be fully implemented!  

These principles were also evident in the next presentation by Lisa Chan from Suez. She represented the team that delivered the Water Corporations’ Beenyup Advanced Water Recycling Project Stage 2 project and won the Infrastructure Project Innovation Award (Metro). This award recognised the innovation and process optimisation building from Stage 1 of the Groundwater Replenishment project, with optimisation of the process design increasing recovery and enhanced availability for Perth’s newest climate independent drinking water source. 

The presentations then moved from innovation in new technology to innovation in rehabilitation and renewal of existing assets. The Infrastructure Project Innovation Award (Regional) was won by Busselton Water and GHD.  First, Chris Vigus from Busselton Water stepped up to talk about how he saw trust as a critical component of innovation, enabling new approaches.  Daniel Visser from GHD to provide the technical details that of a design that delivered substantially improved safety, operability for the Busselton Water Filtration Plant No. 1 while overcoming the challenges of no as-constructed drawings!   

The final organisational award was the R&D Excellence Award, which recognised the joint CSIRO and Water Corporation project on improved management of Naegleria fowleri in drinking water distribution systems. Dr Geoffrey Puzon of CSIRO provided an overview of how a combination of field and lab based microbiological approaches was used to provide real world answers to the complex problem of how to predict and control the occurrence of dangerous amoeba in extensive drinking water distribution systems. Geoff’s presentation recognised the importance of collaboration in research, with acknowledgement of ten contributors to the project across CSIRO and Water Corporation.  

After a short break, our three individual award winners Raveena Raju (WA Student Water Prize), Kevin Massez (WA Young Water Professional of the Year) and Chris Elliott (WA Water Professional of the Year) faced the audience for an interview facilitated by Chenoa Lange (WA YWP Vice-President). The discussion was interesting and entertaining – and I think everyone in the room was glad to hear from Chris Elliot that problems like dead camels in water reservoirs are not the issue for water quality they once were!    

To view all event photos, visit our photo gallery below.
FlickR Photo Gallery

Thank you to WA Committee member, Alan Toomey (Jacobs) who served as MC for the event and Kyllie Whitehead as Branch Manager and lead event organiser, as well as the other WA Committee members Helen McGettigan, Blair Shackleton and Moe Oe, who assisted with event organisation and photography. Thank you again to our program sponsors, WGA and Syrinx, for their support of the event and Professor Anas Ghadouani from UWA for providing such a great venue for us to host the event.