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NSW Water Awards Winners Announced at Gala Dinner

The winners of the NSW Water Awards have been announced at our NSW Heads Of Water Dinner on Friday, 26 February at ICC Sydney. The night was a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate contributions of the Association's members for their inspiring leadership and innovative research, programs and infrastructure projects.

The finalists and winners of the NSW Water Awards are testament to the resilience and innovation of our industry and our members as they continue to provide essential services for the community. We sincerely congratulate all winners for their dedication and hard work.

The winners will go on to represent NSW in the national Australian Water Awards, which will be presented at the Association’s annual water conference and exhibition, Ozwater’21 in Adelaide on 4-6 May 2021.


R&D Excellence Award

Development of Wastewater Epidemiology for NSW - Collaboration on SARS-CoV-2 Monitoring in Wastewater - Sydney Water, WaterRA & Water Unit – NSW Health

This collaborative, world first research project is operationalising sewage surveillance research in support of the COVID-19 pandemic response in New South Wales and Australia. This leading project has been presented world-wide and is held in high regard globally as a leading sewage surveillance program.

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award (Regional)

A Water Quality Digital Revolution Partnership for Bathurst - D2K Information & Bathurst Regional Council

Australian company, D2K Information, partnered with Bathurst Regional Council to implement D2K’s CCP Watch digital product, for its drinking water treatment plant with the objective of improving performance and oversight. CCP Watch has proven its objectives and is helping underpin a water quality secure future for the Bathurst region.

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award (Metro)

Geospatial Planning Tool - Sydney Water, Arup, Aurecon & GHD

The Geospatial Planning Tool is a game-changer for the water industry, allowing automation of scenario planning and integrated product thinking. The tool uses spatial analysis and in-built planning logic to automatically produce; baseline integrated water servicing concepts, growth forecasts, system generation, asset sizing and cost estimation. This has improved strategic level planning timeframes by 65%.

Organisational Excellence Award

Global Challenge - Partnering to Invest, Influence and Tangibly Impact Sustainable Development Goal 6 - Arup

Global Challenge takes a cross-disciplinary approach to deliver local solutions with global impact. Arup has worked with community entrepreneurs in Vanuatu to develop a market-based approach to the country’s sanitation challenges and communities in rural India to develop apps capable of empowering them to better manage their water resources.

Kamal Fernando Mentoring Award

Dammika Vitanage, Asset and Infrastructure, Sydney Water

Dammika has dedicated over 30 years of his career to actively mentoring the next generation of water professionals through his work with Sydney Water, co-operative research centres, and large multi-partner R&D project roles.  His caring approach enables mentees to collaboratively engage in innovation, build networks and develop leadership skills. Australia is a global leader in smart water management, because Dammika took the time to bring together the industry to create collaborative partnerships to drive Australian water innovation, whilst supporting the next generation of professionals.

Student Water Prize

Controlling Hydrogen Sulphide and Siloxanes in Biogas for Enhanced Cogeneration Efficiency - Chris Skellern, The University of Sydney

Chris completed his Chemical Engineering Sydney Industry Placement Scholarship at Sydney Water. Most significantly, Chris demonstrated that treating biogas reduces the amount of maintenance needed and the amount of engine oil used in the cogeneration engines.  The outcomes of Chris’ project have greatly increased Sydney Water’s understanding of the various options available for treating biogas and drawn attention to the potential for more sustainable approaches on all of Sydney Water’s sites.

Young Water Professional of the Year (sponsored by Xylem)

Shannon Davies, Environmental Engineer, AECOM

Shannon is a bold and adventurous environmental engineer, with a vision for a sustainable water future for all people. At 28, she has already fostered meaningful outcomes within water operations, process design and strategic planning, and has inspired collaboration across continents and cultures. Shannon’s passion for growth has seen her volunteer and work in India, present at the 2020 Young Water Professionals Conference in Brisbane, and actively contribute as a volunteer for; AWA, Engineers Australia and Engineers without Borders, encouraging young people to choose a career in the water industry as a way to make as positive contribution to the community. 

Water Professional of the Year

Dr Annette Davison, Principal Risk Analyst, Risk Edge

Annette is the embodiment of professional excellence in water quality risk governance and an ambassador for the water industry who is dedicated to building a secure water quality future for all. Throughout her career, Annette’s passion for a risk-based approach to water safety has changed the industry focus from end point testing to a preventative approach. She has innovated within and beyond her own company and sector, founding 3 organisations over the last 5 years; to help improve and transform water quality data and information governance, leading to tangible public health outcomes and achievement of SDG 6.

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