A message from WSAA:
Water plays a pivotal role in the health and wellbeing of our day to day lives. Safe drinking water, clean beaches, waterways and green spaces all underpin our physical and mental health – but cities and urban communities are changing and there are new challenges to balance water, waste, energy, transport and telecommunications.
As our urban communities have become ‘water wise’, water utilities are looking to create value beyond the traditional taps, toilet and drainage services.
Historically stormwater channels have been concrete lined, designed to reduce flooding. As these need renewal, water utilities, in partnership with local councils, are naturalising these channels and creating an opportunity for the community to connect with their local environment.
Working to create smart cities, utilities are investing in leading edge technology to improve the services they provide. Smart sensors and meters provide real time information to prevent water main breaks, costly clean ups and avoid inconvenience to customers.
Food waste is a valuable source of energy. Instead of disposing in landfill, water utilities are embracing the circular economy to capture waste and convert it to green energy for use at treatment plants and back to the grid. It also reduces greenhouse gas emission and energy costs.
Water utilities are securing water supplies for the future. One example is replenishing groundwater with treated wastewater. The groundwater is then treated to drinking water standard. Following in the footsteps of Singapore, the US and South Africa, Australia now has its first large scale potable reuse scheme
Water utilities are using innovative regulatory solutions that save money and benefit the community. One example is managing nutrient discharges from sewage treatment plants. By re-engineering the river bank, discharge and sediment issues have been resolved. Millions of dollars are saved by avoiding treatment plant upgrades. Costs which would otherwise be passed onto customers.
There is no doubt that water is an essential part of our life and our communities.
But it is more than just taps and toilets. It enriches our lives. The industry is committed to providing sustainable water, wastewater and stormwater solutions – ensuring that life’s greatest resource is protected and valued.
Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.
After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.