Skip to content
Resources > Latest News > Wa marks national water week with water awards

WA marks National Water Week with water awards

The winners of the Australian Water Association's (AWA) Western Australian Water Awards were announced last week at the WA Water Awards Dinner on 25 October at The Westin Perth. It was a fitting way to celebrate National Water Week.

The Western Australian (WA) Water Awards recognise the contribution of the AWA's members for their innovative research, programs and infrastructure projects, and their inspiring leadership.

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

“There were a number of innovative award entries this year and it is inspiring to see nominations from a mix of local and state government, universities, as well as private and public sector organisations,” McKeown said.

“This year, we have seen projects that are showcasing innovation in estuary management and drainage solutions for liveability.

“We have seen research around sludge management and wastewater treatment, and infrastructure projects that have seen the upgrade of water assets for safety and integrity.

“WA is approaching population growth and community expectations with a focus on sustainability, liveability and water sensitive urban design principles.

“Our young and experienced water professionals are passionate and enthusiastic advocates for water awareness, and their efforts will continue to inspire positive change in the industry and wider community.

“The AWA would like to congratulate all finalists and winners, who all embody our purpose to inspire and drive a sustainable water future.”

WA Water Minister Dave Kelly, who launched the Waterwise Perth Action Plan last week, said innovative projects like those showcased in the awards were needed to secure the state's water future.

"These awards are recognition for the innovation and excellence that is happening across the state's water industry – something that is critically important," he said.

"Such innovation and leadership is all part of making Perth a leading waterwise city by 2030 and securing a waterwise future for WA."

A number of this year's WA Water Award winners will go on to represent the state in the national Australian Water Awards, 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

Drainage for Liveability – Water Corporation and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

This program aims to enhance the value of stormwater assets such as drains and basins to the community. The program builds relationships with local authorities and other catchment stakeholders to foster improved approaches and achieve improved water cycle and community outcomes.

Research Innovation Award

Treatment of Highly Alkaline Industry Wastewater through SPORE – Environmental Engineers International

Environmental Engineers International’s SPORE technology provides an innovative solution to treating an extremely high pH organic wastewater stream. This patented technology can save a typical refinery up to $20 million per year in operational costs. The lessons learnt from this project can be applied to a wide range of industrial wastewater treatment applications.

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award

Kununurra Diversion Dam Gantry Crane – Water Corporation and Vector Lifting

Water Corporation and contractor Vector Lifting completed a project to replace the historic gantry crane atop the Kununurra Diversion Dam to secure the town’s water future. The new crane utilises the latest technology in automation and load-limiting mechanisms to make it safer and easier to operate and will play an important role in shaping Kununurra’s future for years to come and ensure the ongoing operation of the Kununurra Diversion Dam.

Water Sensitive Urban Design (Grahame Heal) Award

City of Albany's Centennial Park Wetland and Yakamia Creek Living Stream
GHD and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation
Project owner and partner organisation: City of Albany

This City of Albany project, in partnership with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and GHD, aimed to remediate a severely degraded drain with limited environmental and social values. The integrated design approach balanced traditional hydraulic and drainage needs with water treatment, local ecological and community goals for the wetland. The project delivered a productive, nutrient stripping wetland and living stream which is an outstanding community and environmental asset.

Innovating for Sustainable Water and Environmental Outcomes Award (Sponsored by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and Water Corporation)

Integrated Water Management Strategy – Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale and Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale, together with Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec, developed a plan for water security in an area predicted to undergo significant urban growth. The plan, which encapsulates a region-wide approach, is designed to support population growth in a way that maintains liveability standards in line with the expectations of the community.

Student Water Prize (Sponsored by GHD)

Unravelling Stream Ecosystem Functioning in Urban Landscapes to Improve Management of Water Quality and Habitat – Jen Middleton, University of Western Australia

Jen Middleton’s research aims to understand the impacts of anthropogenic disturbance on stream ecosystem function to improve restoration management. By applying ecological, biogeochemical and molecular microbial techniques, Middleton has been able to determine whether catchment or more local attributes determine water quality, and the extent to which riparian vegetation may modify within-stream characteristics locally.

WA 2019 Young Water Professional of the Year, Rebecca Ferguson (centre), with Highly Commended Nicole Locke (left) and Finalist Emma Plant.

Young Water Professional of the Year Award (Sponsored by TRILITY)

Rebecca Ferguson, Catchment Management Officer, City of Bayswater

With a wealth of experience, Rebecca Ferguson has been an integral part of several award-winning projects in her role at City of Bayswater, including the remediation of Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary, and the creation of living streams throughout the Morley Activity Centre. Ferguson is also passionate about community engagement, aiming to get as many people as possible contributing towards the sustainability of the region to create a community that is passionate about protecting and preserving the environment.

Young Water Professional High Commendation

Nicole Locke, Water Corporation

Water Professional of the Year Award

Jeremy Maher, Manager Sustainability and Environment, City of Bayswater

Jeremy Maher has built his career developing and delivering industry-recognised, sustainable projects that improve our waterways and protect the environment, while also making an improvement to the liveability of the urban form. Maher is an advocate of the importance of stormwater management, wetland protection and sustainable urban design, as well as mentoring young water professionals and educating the community to realise better outcomes for our environment and community.

The Australian Water Association would like to thank our Diamond Program Partners Water Corporation and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Platinum Partners SACYR Water and Westforce Construction, Gold Partner Steel Mains, Student Water Prize Award Partner GHD and National Young Water Professional Award Partner Trility.