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Happiest hour for Australian Water Awards winners

In an Australian Water Association-first, the winners of four Australian Water Awards were announced live during the Ozwater’20 Online Happy Hour on 11 June.

Typically, the Australian Water Awards are announced during the Ozwater Gala Dinner, which takes place in May each year and brings together about 1000 water professionals from across the country.

With restrictions on gatherings of that size, the Australian Water Association (AWA) adapted its three-
day conference, exhibition and awards ceremony into a completely digital experience.

The virtual awards ceremony is the first of two to be streamed, live recognising excellence and innovation across the water sector.

The award categories announced last night were: Research Innovation, Program Innovation, Infrastructure Project Innovation and Water Industry Safety Excellence.

AWA CEO Chief Executive Corinne Cheeseman congratulated the winners for the vital role they play in the industry and the wider community.

“If there’s one thing the world has learned over the past few months, it’s that water is essential and the work we do as a water industry is essential,” she said.

“The finalists and winners of these awards have found innovative ways to sustainably manage our water resources, protect our people and support our communities.

“On behalf of the Association, I would like to congratulate the finalists and winners of this year’s awards, who truly embody our purpose to inspire and drive a sustainable water future.”

As major sponsor of the Australian Water Awards for the past six years, ANZ's Director Sustainable Finance Solutions, Andrew Lawson said the organisation understands the importance of recognising excellence during challenging times.

“ANZ's purpose is to shape a world where people and communities thrive. Support for an essential resource such as water is crucial to us living our purpose," he said.

“The water sector has had a tough time dealing with one of the worst droughts on record, and now it has had to adapt and innovate in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s even more important this year to recognise excellence under such challenging circumstances.”

The winners

Research Innovation Award

Sponsored by Water Research Australia
Innovative Sensor Suites and Intelligent Robotics for Condition Assessment of Concrete Sewers – University of Technology Sydney and Sydney Water

Sydney Water, in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney, has developed innovative sensing and robotic toolkits that advance capability for assessing the condition of concrete sewerage pipes. The technology provides crucial data, informing timely decisions to save renewal costs and prevent harm to the environment, health and economic activity.

Program Innovation Award

Flows for the Future – Department for Environment and Water

Communities and industries need healthy water catchments. The Flows for the Future Program aims to improve the health and resilience of catchments in the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges. Collaborating with landholders and industry, the program funds the design and restoration of “low flows” on dams and watercourse diversions, restoring natural flows throughout stream systems.

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award

Sponsored by SMEC

Yarra Valley Water Waste to Energy Project – Yarra Valley Water

The Waste to Energy project is a key part of Yarra Valley Water's strategy to embrace renewables and help keep bills stable for customers at a time when the cost of living is a challenge. The facility contributes to their ambitious, self-imposed target to generate 100% of their own renewable energy by 2025 to reduce reliance on coal-fired electricity and minimise greenhouse gas emissions.

Water Industry Safety Excellence Award

Sponsored by the Water Services Association of Australia

Ventia’s Mechanical and Electrical Contract to Yarra Valley Water – Ventia

Ventia’s Mechanical and Electrical team working on Yarra Valley Water’s network has successfully implemented a new, safer procedure for upgrading tertiary filter media at wastewater plants. This innovative approach greatly reduces dust suppression as well as eliminating the risks previously associated with completing the task, including working at heights and in a confined space.

Don't miss the second Australian Water Awards awards ceremony, which will be streamed live during the Ozwater’20 Online Happy Hour on 25 June.

The Australian Water Association wishes to congratulate all the award finalists and winners and
thank its generous sponsors for their support of these important industry awards.