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New South Wales Water Awards celebrate innovation in the sector

The winners of the New South Wales (NSW) Water Awards were announced last Friday evening at the NSW Heads of Water Gala Dinner which was held at the Hilton, Sydney.

The NSW Water Awards aim to recognise the contribution of the Australian Water Association's members for their inspiring leadership and innovative programs, research or infrastructure projects.

Australian Water Association (AWA) Chief Executive Jonathan McKeown attended the awards dinner and congratulated all finalists and winners for their hard work and outstanding achievements.

“This year, we had a total of 28 entries across all organisational and individual award categories, which demonstrates the dedication and commitment the NSW water sector has to ensuring a secure water future,” McKeown said.

"On behalf of the entire Association, we’d like to congratulate the professionals and organisations who are truly making a difference to the water sector and the wider community in NSW."

The winners of this year's NSW Water Awards will automatically be entered into the equivalent National Australian Water Awards category, which will be presented this year at Ozwater’19 in Melbourne on 7-9 May 2019. 

The winners

Program Innovation Award

Energy Master Plan – Sydney Water

The Energy Master Plan Program provides the long-term vision and direction for delivering customer-focused energy management and fit-for-purpose assets. It balances risk, cost and performance to maximise value for Sydney Water’s customers for generations to come.

Research Innovation Award

R2T2 Rapid Response Robot – For the Non-Destructive Inspection and Assessment of Critical Water Mains – University of Technology Sydney and Sydney Water

R2T2 is a world-first end to end robotic solution to address a global issue by preventing multiple pipe failures in the same geographic area. This new technology gives Sydney Water the ability to quickly assess pipe quality at the point of failure to prevent future breaks and reduce costs.

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award

Green Square Stormwater Drainage Project – City of Sydney and Sydney Water

To ensure liveability and accessibility for its thriving future communities, a new 2.4 km stormwater drainage system was built in partnership by Sydney Water and the City of Sydney. The project is a showcase of the way urban water resources should be utilised and managed in an uncertain environment where climate change plays an increasing role in efficient management of this most precious resource.

Student Water Prize

Real-time Monitoring of Cyanobacteria: Validation of Fluorometers as a Tool for Optimising Treatment Processes – Florence Choo, University of New South Wales

Florence is a final year engineering PhD student at the University of NSW and was a visiting research student at SA Water. Florence is the recipient of the WaterRA Nancy Millis Scholarship and the UNSW Women in Engineering Award. Her work focuses on monitoring cyanobacteria in real-time for drinking water processes.

Young Water Professional of the Year Award (sponsored by Monadelphous)

Dr Yulia Shutova, Professional Water Engineer, AECOM

Yulia has over 10 years’ experience in water and wastewater infrastructure planning and design. Yulia’s passion for the water industry is evident through her leadership of fundraisers, her active involvement as an AWA committee member and her knowledge sharing with future water professionals. She is also an accomplished researcher and has published a dissertation and over 10 journal and conference articles in collaboration with water utilities, research organisations and universities.

Highly Commended:

Ronica Koey, Communication and Engagement Advisor, Sydney Water

Ronica is a true advocate of the water sector, a born innovator and a natural leader. Ronica has not only contributed professionally by promoting, protecting and engaging the sector, but her passion and drive to make a difference at Sydney Water and beyond is infectious.

Water Professional of the Year Award (sponsored by TRILITY)

Kevin Young, Managing Director, Sydney Water

Over his 38-year career in the water industry, Kevin has become a truly accomplished industry leader. Most notably he has successfully led Sydney Water’s transformation from an asset-focused utility to being customer-centric, which has seen the utility’s reputation amongst its customers reach an all-time high.

Kevin champions many programs and projects within Sydney Water, including the Keep Wipes out of Pipes campaign which became an international phenomenon. He is currently the Chair of the WSAA Utility Excellence Committee and a Director of WaterAid Australia.

Highly Commended:

Kurt Dahl, Managing Director, Permeate Partners

With over 20 years’ experience, Kurt is a long-term advocate of local water solutions, with a suite of award-winning projects embedding water awareness into the community. Kurt’s contribution to the water sector is exceptional, extending well beyond the market-leading innovation his own business offers.

Kurt is an exceedingly generous person, persistently contributing leadership and vision, as well as a great deal of action (time, money and knowledge) to charities, industry forums and ongoing development and growth of the local water sector.

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