A team of passionate Australian water professionals have been recognised on the world stage, taking out the Global Winnovators Award to help some of the poorest communities with access to clean water and basic sanitation.

Organised by international development charity, WaterAid, the Winnovators challenge saw 32 teams from around the world participate.

Hunter Water registered three teams, who worked to solve real water challenges in Colombia, Eswatini and India.

Together Hunter Water’s teams raised almost $44,000 for the charity, with one of its teams taking out both the Asia-Pacific and Global awards.

“Congratulations to Team Mareiwa on this outstanding achievement, and to all of our staff involved for their hard work and commitment over the last few months,” Graham Wood, Hunter Water’s Acting CEO, said.

“Hunter Water is really proud to be home to so many talented and dedicated professionals, who are passionate about making a difference to the lives of others.

“All of the teams should be commended on their incredible fundraising efforts and on their work to solve real water challenges for these communities in need.”

Team Mareiwa’s Lauren Randall said their challenge involved coming up with solutions for Colombia’s La Guajira region.

“Winnovators has been an opportunity for us to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of the Indigenous Wayuu people of La Guajira, Colombia, where 84 per cent of the Indigenous Wayuu population doesn’t have access to clean water close to home,” Ms Randall said.

“Mareiwa’s solution is called ‘Wise Water’, which is a holistic and robust intervention inspired by the Wayuu deity Mareiwa – Goddess of water, creator of life and wisdom. It incorporates six key elements, designed to address the three major barriers to safe water access for the Wayuu people.

“We are thrilled to have won both the Asia Pacific and Global challenges, and we hope that our work can help change the lives of these communities.”

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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