International water industry to learn from South Australian expertise

Water industry experts from around the world will meet in South Australia this week at the 2018 Smart Water Summit.

The two-day Smart Water Summit, hosted by the Water Industry Alliance and ICE WaRM, will see around 200 participants visiting Adelaide to learn from South Australia’s long experience in the conservation and management of water.

Water Industry Alliance CEO Rachel Barratt said the summit will showcase Adelaide and South Australia to the world and look into business opportunities in water industry solutions.

The Water Industry Alliance is a cluster of 150 water-related organisations focused on sharing South Australia’s water expertise with the world.

“The summit will bring speakers and experts from Australia and globally to look at what Adelaide is doing in the industry,” Barratt said.

“There’s lots of international interest about what we’re doing here.”

Michael Toh, Chief Information Officer at the Public Utilities Board of Singapore’s National Water Agency said they want to learn from Australia’s experience.

“Our countries share similar water challenges including dense urbanisation, climate change, drought and flooding and we think Australia has managed these issues well,” Toh said.

South Australia is the driest state in the driest continent on earth and has become a world leader in water treatment and reuse technologies.

Last year South Australian water industry experts were appointed to deliver a stormwater harvesting pilot project for the Chinese city of Jinan under the Sponge City program.

Government delegates from Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province, travelled to South Australia in September 2017 to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australia China Sponge City Consortium.

The pilot project is part of AU$400 million being invested in Jinan over four years to address the city’s huge water supply, pollution and flood risk issues.

The Australia China Sponge City Consortium is made up of six South Australian companies, including Syntec Global, Alano Water, Water Data Services, Aqueon, Hassell and Australian Water Environments. It opened an office in Jinan in May 2017.

The CEO of The Water Council, Dean Amhaus, said visiting Adelaide will help his Milwaukee-based organisation find innovative solutions to critical global water challenges.

“South Australia has a great competitive advantage and together we believe that our two countries can provide some unique solutions that can address some of the greatest global challenges,” Amhaus said

Beginning on Thursday, March 22 at the Adelaide Convention Centre, the summit will tackle a range of issues including, water sensitive cities, food and agriculture, energy, research, smart technology, the digital economy and workplaces of the future.

On the final day guests will tour a variety of water projects in South Australia including a stormwater scheme at Adelaide Airport, the state’s desalination plant, and the Managed Aquifer Recharge Scheme at the Greenfields Wetlands located in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

Originally published on The Lead SA.