Sydney Water Innovation Festival graphic

After its successful debut in 2021, the Sydney Water Innovation Festival is back – bigger and better than ever, and with a few notable changes.

With Covid lockdowns behind us, this year there will be two live venues – the launch and Urban Plunge Tech Summit will be held at Parramatta Square on Friday 25 November, showcasing techniques and innovations that can help to make swimming and aquatic recreation in our waterways possible, delivered smarter and safer.

The Innovation Hub on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 November will be held at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney’s Darling Harbour. The hub creates a safe and inclusive space for industry, government, academia, local communities and global stakeholders to inspire, connect, collaborate and innovate to solve some of the greatest challenges facing the water industry and broader society.

Chris Gould, General Manager, Business Development at Sydney Water said, “If you are in any way connected to the water industry and haven’t done so, you should register now, because the festival is not to be missed. 

“We are really excited that this year you can attend the festival either in-person, or virtually by viewing selected content being streamed online.”

You can register at

The festival will play host to an impressive list of keynote speakers and captivating talks, including Stan Grant – ‘How heritage can shape resilience’, Todd Sampson – ‘Brain power’, and Naomi Simson – ‘Customer centricity and business success’.

The event plays host to a range of thought leadership keynotes and panel discussions, technology ‘pitches’ in ‘shark tank’ styled sessions, design and data sprints and ‘Fireside chats’, all of which aim to fast-track the development of new and innovative ways to solve some of our greatest challenges in the water sector.

Dr Alex Cech, Chief Technology Officer at Isle Utilities, one of the delivery partners for the festival said, “We want to tackle some of the toughest societal and environmental problems using the best of digital platforms and tools, to inspire fresh ideas and to create tangible outputs.

“The design sprints pull together creative minds to brainstorm and ideate over five days to accomplish what might otherwise take a year.” 

“The motivation for the Sydney Water Innovation Festival 2022 is to encourage a culture of innovation and create a better life with world-class water services,” Mr Gould said. 

The festival has leveraged the global innovation ecosystems of Blue Tech and Isle Utilities to identify and source innovative technologies across six themes:

  • Water security, resilience and environmental performance
  • Liveability and sustainability
  • Smart cities
  • Circular economy
  • Customer experience
  • Diversity and inclusion

Once again, the festival is collaborating with Northumbrian Water Group in the UK, the grandfather of Innovation Festivals in the water sector, to bring the festival to life in Australia and share ideas from around the globe.

One of the lighter highlights of the festival will be The Brilliant Debate – ‘The Splashes’, which is the water sector’s equivalent of the Ashes in cricket, hosted by leading Australian comedian Claire Hooper. The Australian and UK Brilliant Debate teams will be competing on “Swimming holes or British baths – who does urban swimming better, Australia or the UK?” 

SWIF22’s key focus will be on reconnecting people with urban waterways with the opening of swim sites as part of Sydney Water’s Summer of Swimming in conjunction with the Urban Plunge initiative. 

Chris Gould concluded, “We are delighted to have the support of Utility Magazine as a Bronze Sponsor to spread the word to its subscribers and readers”.

To view the full Sydney Water Innovation Festival program go to

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