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ACT Water Awards kick off water awards season

The winners of the Australian Water Association's (AWA) ACT Water Awards were announced at the ACT Water Leaders Dinner on 5 September at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra.

The ACT Water Awards are a way of recognising the contribution of the AWA's members for their inspiring leadership and innovative programs, research or infrastructure projects.

AWA Chief Executive Jonathan McKeown attended the dinner and congratulated all finalists and winners for their hard work and outstanding achievements.

“It is inspiring to see such a diverse mix of award entries from government, academia and the private sector, and to see one of Australia's leading agencies, the Bureau of Meteorology, recognised in the ACT Water Awards,” Mr McKeown said.

“This year, we have seen projects that showcase innovation in safety, water sensitive urban design and environmental management.

“We have seen research that aims to improve forecasting of future events and water treatment processes that will lead to more sustainable water technologies.

“The ACT's young water professionals display the qualities that water professionals of the future will need to meet the demand that climate change and population growth will place on our water supplies.

“The Australian Water Association would like to congratulate the water professionals and organisations who embody our purpose to inspire and drive a sustainable water future.”

The winners of this year's ACT Water Awards will automatically be entered into the equivalent national Australian Water Awards category, which will be presented at the AWA’s annual water conference and exhibition, Ozwater’20 in Adelaide on 5-7 May 2020.

The winners

Program Innovation Award
Integrated Water Accounts for the Canberra Region – Bureau of Meteorology

The Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Bureau of Statistics produce annual national water accounts of different types, for differing but complementary purposes. A collaboration between the two organisations has produced an integrated set of water accounts for the Canberra region that will aid water resources and environmental management in the ACT.

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award
ACT Healthy Waterways Project – ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate

Healthy Waterways successfully delivered an ambitious program of water sensitive urban design infrastructure containing 600,000 seedlings of native water plants, shrubs and trees. Complementary activities in public education, water monitoring, research, tool development and catchment coordination have set a strong foundation for the ACT to extend the benefits of Healthy Waterways into the future.

Student Water Prize
Incorporating Agricultural Analysis into Hypoxic Blackwater Modelling to Improve Forecasting of Future Events – Jimmy Parascos, Australian National University

Parascos’ project establishes the bioavailability and dissolved organic carbon leaching rate constant for pasture in the middle reaches of the Murray-Darling Basin. The project improves upon the Blackwater Risk Assessment Tool and removes restrictions which only allowed the model to operate in river red gum dominate basins.

Young Water Professional of the Year Award
Portia Condell, Environmental Support Officer, Icon Water

Condell works as an Environmental Support Officer in Icon Water’s Catchment Protection and Land Management team. She is responsible for key aspects of managing the Canberra and Queanbeyan water supply catchments and reducing the risk on the water supply network from bushfires and vegetation encroachment.

She displays the qualities that water professionals will need in the future in order to meet the challenges of climate change, water scarcity, increased population and threats to our catchments.

The AWA wishes to congratulate all the award finalists and winners and thank our generous sponsors for their support of these important industry awards.