The annual OzWater international water conference and exhibition is always an outstanding opportunity to build relationships and share information among the water industry, and OzWater’19 didn’t disappoint. We made the most of the three-day event in Melbourne from 7–9 May by presenting four sessions and hosting a booth at the trade exhibition.

This year’s event attracted thousands of local and international water professionals to explore the theme, Transforming our world.

Five CRCWSC speakers presented during four sessions:

Chris Chesterfield, Project Leader, IRP3, spoke about Guiding integrated urban and water planning during the session on Opportunities and challenges in governance, policy, regulation and structure—Planning in an uncertain future’.

Chris introduced our integrated research project (IRP3), which aims to explore how urban development can be deliberately guided through planning to achieve water sensitive outcomes at a range of scales. He covered the need for and the scope of the project, the preliminary conceptual framework for integrated planning, and early insights from research to date.

Dr Marguerite Renouf, Project Leader,  IRP4, addressed Quantifying the hydrological performance of infill development during the program stream on Building sustainable cities and thriving communities—Servicing the future’.

Marguerite discussed how water sensitive urban design can affect the hydrological performance of infill sites. As part of IRP4, Marguerite’s team estimated the hydrological performance of two infill typologies (business as usual and water sensitive) on a hypothetical site and compared it with a typical existing typology. Marguerite explained how the research shows good design can enable increased densities without further altering hydrological flows.

In a joint presentation with Stuart Wilson, Deputy Executive Director of WSAA, our Chief Operating and Finance Officer, Ben Furmage, spoke about Water for growth and the growing body of evidence showing the economic, health and environment benefits from investing to ensure our growing cities are liveable. Stuart and Ben addressed how we move from in-principle acceptance of these benefits to on-ground action. They asked the audience to consider:

  • What is impacting our ability to get projects off the ground that will provide long term health and liveability benefits?
  • What does the customer want and who pays?
  • What is the role of developers?
  • What are the new innovative partnerships that are needed and how will they work?

The session showcased work being done by WSAA and its members in this area and built on the findings of the CRCWSC’s Comprehensive Economic Evaluation Framework (IRP2).

A Q&A panel and roundtable discussions featured industry representatives: Dr Jane Doolan (Commissioner, Productivity Commission), Jim Bentley (Managing Director, Hunter Water), Louise Dudley (Chief Executive Officer, Queensland Urban Utilities), and Rachel Dapiran (Executive Director Planning, Infrastructure and Technical, Victorian Planning Authority).

Dr Briony Rogers, CRCWSC Chief Research Officer, and Katie Hammer, Project Manager,  IRP1, walked the audience through Implementing a transitions agenda for creating Australian water sensitive cities.

Briony and Katie encouraged the audience to advance Australia’ water sensitive city transition agenda by considering implementation strategies and actions. They reflected on insights from the CRCWSC Visions and Transitions Strategies project (IRP1) and discussed the tools and processes available and under development to guide the transition journey for cities to become more water sensitive. Participants then shared ideas for implementing a water sensitive cities transition agenda across Australia.

Our booth at the Trade Exhibition also attracted a lot of interest, with conference registrants visiting us to meet our speakers and to find out about the latest CRCWSC research, tools and outputs.

Ozwater is Australia's international water conference and trade exhibition, run annually by the Australian Water Association.

The Ozwater’19 Conference featured inspirational international and national keynote speakers, other invited speakers, scientific and technical papers, case studies, workshops, panel and poster sessions. The event offered a unique opportunity to network and engage with industry leaders and experts from across Australia.

Finally, our CEO, Professor Tony Wong, spoke to the OzWater’19 audience about the newly proposed Transforming Cities CRC, to harness the power of water to drive more sustainable cities. You can read more about the bid for this CRC here.

At a glance: OzWater’19

  • More than 4,700 delegates from Australia and overseas
  • 380 presenters
  • 8 program streams
  • Over 220 trade exhibitors (which was sold out!)

We hosted our own water conference in March. You can read the wrap-up here.

Last updated: 21st May 2019