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An update from the NSW Branch

NSW Branch President Nanda Altavilla reflects on the past few months.

It’s award season in New South Wales. Our Heads of Water Gala Dinner was a record breaking event with 470 attendees at the dinner to celebrate our award winners that were selected from over 160 entries. I thank our awards subcommittee who worked over the busy holiday period to evaluate all entries, select the nominees and eventual award winners. Congratulations to our award winners who will be showcased at Ozwater in May. Best of luck!

With so many members coming to Sydney for the dinner, our committee held a pre dinner forum. Four leaders in the water industry and beyond presented on the topic of Sustained by Water: How innovation can be applied to ensure the sustainable management of water resources. Our speakers demonstrated how the challenges of climate change can catalyse innovative solutions for creating sustainable ecosystems and communities. Andy Held from CSIRO AquaWatch program gave us a glimpse into how water quality data gathered by satellites and processed by advanced computing can manage our precious water resources. Melanie Collett from AECOM showed how integrated water cycle management solutions coupled with strong community engagement catalyses water resilient and liveable cities. Darren Wharton from Sydney Water showed how the Sydney Water Upper South Creek Advanced Water Recycling Centre will catalyse a circular economy in new urban development. Liam Manning from Saphi Engineering showed how the world’s first microclimate control project ‘SIMPaCT’ uses application of smart sensors coupled with machine learning from SAPHI can manage irrigation to reduce ambient temperatures in Bicentennial Park. Thanks to AECOM for your support by sponsoring this event.

The YWPs continue to engage and network with our current and future water professionals. In conjunction with Sydney Water, the YWPs organised a tour of the Purified Recycled Water Demonstration Plant and Discovery Centre at Quakers Hill. This plant is an important step in our water journey to build climate resilient cities. Also this month, the YWPs will be hosting some careers nights and inspiring students of University of Western Sydney and the University of Western Sydney to join the sector.

The call for papers is now open for the NSW Conference Water - the Key in Unlocking a Sustainable Regional Future to be held in Albury 28 - 30 August. In line with our committee’s strategy we are extending our reach to the south of the state and invite submissions from Victoria, our boarder state.