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Get a sneak peek at the top Ozwater’19 papers

The largest water industry conference in the southern hemisphere, Ozwater’19, is just a month away. Hosted by the Australian Water Association, this year’s event will focus on ‘transforming our world’ and will see more than 200 presenters take to the stage to discuss the important topics impacting the industry.

With more than 160 sessions across eight key streams, there’s a wealth of information to discover. Get a feel for what's on offer by checking out the top 12 Ozwater'19 papers below, which have been judged by a diverse and independent panel of water sector professionals. The presenters of these papers will then be judged on-site for the delivery of their paper, with the winner of the Ozwater’19 Best Paper announced at the conclusion of the event.

East meets west: Developing a validation and community acceptance program for indirect potable water reuse

Presented by Daniel Healy, Seqwater. Wednesday 8 May, Stream 5, 1.15pm.

Seqwater’s Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme is about to undertake a three-year journey validating process performance, gaining community acceptance and regulatory approval for indirect potable reuse. The current study reviewed the success of several water reuse schemes and demonstration programs on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, in southwest United States, through site visits and engagement with industry representatives. The findings included a comparison of Log Reduction Values for process barriers and opportunities for further research, the best approaches for community engagement including leveraging off the medical community, and the linkage between an effective process validation and community acceptance.


A utility that values disability: Project “Wider World”

Presented by Dave Woodmore, SA Water. Tuesday 7 May, Stream 6, 1.15pm.

SA Water prides itself on the fact that we put customers at the heart of everything we do. Our conversations with customers living with disability have pointed us in directions that will benefit all customers and make us a more valued organisation.


Thermotolerant MI Agar and whole genome sequencing for differentiation of faecal contamination from bloom events

Presented by Gary Hallas, SA Water, Australian Water Quality Centre. Wednesday 8 May, Stream 6, 10.45am.

The implementation of microbial health-based targets will include using Escherichia coli (EC) as a faecal indicator to categorise catchments and determine water treatment requirements to ensure safe drinking water. The discovery of non-faecal EC capable of forming blooms in reservoirs has the potential to affect this risk assessment process. We describe a new method for culturing EC and identifying isolates using Whole Genome Sequencing. This will determine if they are bloom or faecal strains, their likely host source, and if they are of human health concern. This paper reports the assessment of this method using over 200 EC isolates.


Developing a next generation machine learning system for enhanced urban water management: Autoflow

Presented by Khoi Nguyen, Griffith University. Thursday 9 May, Stream 6, 1.45pm.

Advanced metering technologies coupled with informatics has allowed for the emergence of intelligent system to assist water utilities in overcoming many urban water management issues, including early leak detection, water demand forecasting, or water end-use management. This study aims at introducing a breakthrough architecture where smart water meter is combined with artificial intelligence to provide customer and utilities an autonomous end-use analysis system that is able to turn the overall water consumption into a repository of end-use categories. Trials have been undertaken in many regions across Australia such as Melbourne, Sydney, and Southeast Queensland where promising results have been recorded.


A tale of two treatment plants: Lessons in community engagement

Presented by Kate Thomas, Logan Water Infrastructure Alliance, Tamara Weaver, Logan City Council and Tania Keelan, Downer. Wednesday 8 May, Stream 5, 10.45am.

The City of Logan in south east Queensland is one of Australia’s fastest growing local government areas. To service population growth in key development areas in southern Logan, two major wastewater treatment plants have been proposed over the past decade. Logan City Council’s (Council) approach taken to planning these facilities, almost a decade apart, included radically different community engagement programs. This case study reviews the approaches taken, changing government and community attitudes towards infrastructure planning and community engagement, and the (sometimes surprising) outcomes of Council’s engagement programs for the treatment plants.


Mackay Regional Council – Time for Change – demand management program

Presented by Nicole Davis, Mackay Regional Council Water Services and Jacquiline Stewart, Mackay Regional Council. Wednesday 8 May, Stream 5, 10.45am.

The Social Marketing Strategy was introduced to enable a Demand Management Program to be implemented, which engaged and educated customers to minimise water consumption. This was primarily focused on outdoor use, peak water demand to achieve the objective of deferring capital investment for the Mackay Regional Council. The strategy has provided higher levels of customer satisfaction, more proactive communication from Council and has opened two-way conversations with the customer. As a result, customer leaks are being fixed quickly, saving both Council and the customer money. There is also less “bill shock” within the community as customers can track their consumption and hence expenditure.


Going real time in water conservation

Presented by Sean Cohen, SUEZ. Thursday 9 May, Stream 6, 1.45pm.

In our vision for a Smart Nation people are empowered by technology to improve their lives. Singapore’s National Water Agency PUB is gaining a deeper understanding of household water  usage patterns and what motivates water-saving behaviours, in order to design and implement programs in a more targeted manner. With smart devices at the centre of its Smart Shower Programme and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) WaterGoWhere project, PUB is collecting rich information and creating customised programs to educate, engage and motivate  Singapore households to embrace water-conservation in the home. The program resulted in water savings of 5% or 6.9 litres per capita per day.


Sunraysia modernisation project 2: Collaborating with customers to build resilience of the Lower Murray Water rural irrigation business

Presented by Andrew Kremor, Lower Murray Urban and Rural Water Corporation. Wednesday 8 May, Stream 5, 1.15pm.

Lower Murray Water (LMW) worked closely with its customer committees to develop a project to deliver water for 2,000 hectares of new horticulture developments adjacent to its existing irrigation infrastructure. The challenge was to design the project to meet the requirements of both existing customers and new proponents within the risk appetite of LMW. The project is jointly funded by the Commonwealth Government and private sector investors. The benefits include price benefits to customers, new jobs for the community and a $40 million Net Economic benefit to Victoria and Nationally.


Intelligent Water Networks: Trials of data integration, visualisation and analysis tools

Presented by David Bergmann, South East Water. Wednesday 8 May, Stream 3, 1.15pm.

Continued acceleration of technology, increasing operational complexity, more inter-reliant and integrated systems, and Customers expectations regarding our use of technology to serve them, represent an opportunity to improve our operations and transition to leading edge digital utilities. Collaborative trials coordinated by the Intelligent Water Networks Data & Analytics Program demonstrated that data can be sourced and integrated from disparate sources, stored, organised and then visualised in a way that supports better and faster decision making in Water Corporations.


Engaging a community that doesn’t exist

Presented by Sandra Glass, South East Water. Wednesday 8 May, Stream 5, 10.45am.

The challenge of working with a community that does not yet exist faced South East Water when engaging on the Aquarevo Water Recycling Plant (WRP). The WRP is just one of the sustainable initiatives of the Aquarevo, on track to be Australia’s most water efficient urban housing development. The WRP, which looks like a greenhouse, will also be a first in Australia. The purpose of the engagement was to use a range of methodology and tools, including virtual reality, to achieve successful engagement outcomes to fully inform potential purchasers and other stakeholders.


Modelling Western Australia’s water demand and supplies

Presented by Daniel Ferguson, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation. Tuesday 7 May, Stream 3, 10.45am.

Water use in Western Australia more than doubled over the past thirty years. During this time groundwater replaced surface water as the main water source and mining surpassed irrigated agriculture as the state’s major water user. To prepare for future population and economic growth, climate change and water deficits, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has projected the demand for Western Australia’s water resources and water uses to 2060. The Water Supply-Demand Model aligns water planning to the state’s long-term land use and development objectives and underpins strategies for secure and sustainable water resources and supplies into the future.


Managing electricity price volatility to meet customer and regulator expectations

Presented by Marcus Crudden, Essential Services Commission with Andrew Kremor, Lower Murray Urban and Rural Water Corporation. Tuesday 7 May, Stream 5, 10.45am.

Electricity prices and price volatility have both increased significantly over the past two years driven by transformational changes to the electricity generation mix and fuel costs. Electricity costs represent 30% of Lower Murray Water’s Rural irrigation business controllable costs. Therefore, the increased prices and volatility represents a major risk to the corporation and its customers. Lower Murray Water has collaborated with its customers and worked closely with the regulator, the Essential Services Commission, to develop an electricity price collar mechanism designed to protect the sustainability of the Rural business from electricity price volatility.


You can view the full Ozwater'19 program here. And for even more Ozwater'19 content, click here to view all our stories.