Brisbane recently hosted OzWater’22, the Australian Water Association’s national conference. Stormwater Queensland President, Katie Fletcher, attended the event and reports her key takeaways:

With over 1,000 delegates, the OzWater’22 conference was a great opportunity to learn about the other parts of water, namely potable water and wastewater. Historically, the content at Australian Water Association events doesn’t delve too far into stormwater management as our members would recognise it but there have been a few useful takeaways in the stormwater space:

  • The water industry do think about water sensitive urban design but it’s through a different lens. I’m hearing much less about the design specifics of constructed wetlands and more about the use of WSUD for improvement of drinking water quality.
  • “Digital Twin” is the word of the month. Following a workshop on day 1 of the conference, it seems as though many in the water industry aren’t aware of just how much real-time, dynamic flood modelling goes on DURING a crisis and that the concept of a digital twin isn’t an entirely new concept. The opportunities may lie in how we use these models to convey information and to link with other systems for improved asset management and public safety.
  • I was happy to be able to support Pride in Water at their booth and encourage members of Stormwater Queensland to reach out and get involved with this organisation. It is currently a small cohort with commendable aims of supporting greater inclusion in the water industry. Feedback from attendees tells me that the water industry, and particularly rural areas, have a long way to go with LGBTQI+ safety and inclusion. Reach out to Pride in Water (or InterEngineer, the Engineers Australia group) for further details or to join their mailing lists.
  • AWA and Arup are jointly undertaking an industry survey on the Future of Water. The purpose of the survey is to present a national perspective from all voices of the Australian water sector’s emerging challenges, trends, opportunities and responses to inform the future of sustainable water management in Australia. The survey is seeking at least 5,000 responses and closes 19th May, so jump in. I did it in 8 minutes while participating in another meeting so it’s not hard! Complete the survey here.