Home' Future Water : Future Water 2016 Contents 68 >> Future Water >> Australian Water Management Yearbook
WATER + WASTEWATER TREATMENT
So, what does it all mean?
As with any parliamentary process, there is also a public process
and a political process. But what the Inquiry does do is start to
legitimise an industry that for a long time has sat in the shadows
and been a niche player in the broader water industry. It provides
an opportunity to start to influence the policy debate by throwing
new ideas into the mix at the most senior levels of government,
and with the right coalition of political support, these can be
reasonably expected to filter down over time.
Importantly, it is hoped that this connection will start to influence
the way in which stormwater and infrastructure intersect. Along
with headline nation-building projects, we need to ensure that the
humdrum of development and renewal at the local and municipal
level is capable of supporting good community outcomes, and is
able to contribute to net positive benefits with respect to reducing
flood risk, improving amenity and environment, and conserving and
augmenting water resources.
It will be interesting to see what the next couple of years bring,
but in terms of raising the profile of stormwater in Australia, things
have never looked better.
In 2009, the United Nations reported that more than half of the
world’s population lived in urban centres. This proportion is set to
increase to 66 per cent by 2050, when it is estimated that city
dwellers will live and share their neighbourhoods with an additional
2.5 billion people.
As our cities grow and evolve, it is imperative that we manage our
natural resources to ensure that they continue to provide clean,
healthy environments for ourselves, and for the next generation.
Access to adequate supplies of safe and fit-for-purpose water will
be increasingly important to meet the needs of a growing population,
while the responsible management of run-off from both increasing
sprawl and density in existing urban areas will be needed to increase
our resilience to natural disasters (such as flood and heatwaves), and
to avoid further environmental and social degradation.
The modern stormwater industry seeks to balance traditional
issues with emerging priorities that are being placed on our
infrastructure. Practitioners are experienced in working at the
coalface, often pragmatically dealing with issues in a complex
environment where policy requirements are often unclear, but
the demand for good outcomes and multiple benefits are not.
The growing need to work in multidisciplinary teams, to lead and
influence, to understand and assimilate different points of view and
technical requirements, will be core skills required in the future.
Challenges and change bring opportunity. Fiscal constraints are
an ever-present reality. New and emerging technologies are
developed to provide technical solutions. Increasingly, we are
seeing new business models that empower greater choice. We
are increasingly looking to solve nexus issues around water,
energy and food. In a more connected world, information has a
new currency to support decision-making and engagement with
community. As economies around the world transition to make
better use of all of this knowledge, there is the potential to develop
new markets and trade opportunities.
The theme of ‘Rising to the Challenge’ was deliberately chosen to
reach out beyond a core of industry practitioners to engage with
a broader group of committed and talented people who need to
work together to develop the solutions of the future.
Stormwater 2016 will be held in Surfers Paradise this year,
between Monday 29 August and 2 September. For more details,
please visit the conference website: www.stormwater2016.com.au.
Stormwater Quality Improvement Devices
In late 2014, Stormwater Australia released a consultation document
seeking the views of industry about the need for, and details of,
an evaluation protocol for assessing the performance veracity of
permanent Stormwater Quality Improvement Devices (SQIDEP).
Working with an Advisory Committee comprising mainly proprietary
device suppliers, the consultation draft set out and sought views on
technical standards for undertaking testing and reporting of field
trials, along with standards of independence and disclosure.
Feedback was received, allowing the views of the wider industry to
be heard. It was heartening to see from the feedback that there was
much support for the initiative, which was considered long overdue.
Stormwater Australia expects to develop a protocol and approach
that meets the combined needs of those manufacturing and
selling treatment technologies, the end users who have to install
and operate treatment systems, designers and consultants, and
regulators who have to have confidence that environmental and
performance standards can be met cost-effectively.
The next 12 to 24 months should indeed be exciting times.
THE THEME OF ‘RISING
TO THE CHALLENGE’ WAS
TO REACH OUT BEYOND
A CORE OF INDUSTRY
ENGAGE WITH A BROADER
GROUP OF COMMITTED
AND TALENTED PEOPLE
WHO NEED TO WORK
TOGETHER TO DEVELOP
THE SOLUTIONS OF THE
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