The winner of the Water of Origin competition has been announced at the 44th Queensland Water Industry Operations Conference and Exhibition on 5–6 June 2019.

The winner in the fiercely contested competition between Queensland and New South Wales was Shoalhaven Water from NSW.

The Water of Origin is a tongue in cheek competition pitting Queensland’s best tasting tap water against NSW’s best tasting tap water around the same time as the State of Origin rugby league match.

In 2019, Mackay Regional Council represented Queensland and Shoalhaven Water represented New South Wales.

Previous winners of the Water of Origin competition include:

2018 NSW – Port Macquarie Hastings Council

2017 Queensland – Toowoomba Mt Kynoch Scheme

2016 Queensland – Barcaldine Regional Council

2015 Queensland – Richmond Shire Council Richmond

2014 Queensland – Bundaberg Regional Council Lovers Walk Scheme

2013 NSW – MidCoast Water Bootoowa WT

Water of Origin is one of the competitions held by the Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA) to recognise the important work of water providers in Australia.

Over the coming months, WIOA will host the Ixom 2019 Best Tasting Tap Water competition.

Water authorities from various regional and metropolitan areas will first participate in state heats, where water samples will be judged on qualities like colour, clarity, odour and mouthfeel during blind taste tests.

A water tasting wheel will also be available, so that audience members can see the attributes that water professionals use when judging water.

The winners from each state will be announced throughout the year, before the state winners battle it out for the national title during National Water Week in October.

The winner of last years’ national title, Wannon Water in South West Victoria, will host the 2019 national title.

The winner of the competition will go on to represent Australia at the annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Competition held in West Virginia, USA.

There is a meaningful undertone to the light-hearted competition. As Craig Mathiesen, WIOA Chief Operations Officer explains, it recognises the hard work of those who ensure safe, clean drinking water is available to us, every day.

“Members of the general public would probably be surprised to learn the complexities involved in delivering high-quality water to our taps each day.

“The competition is a testament to the excellent quality of Australian water and to the diligence and commitment of the operational employees who deliver it to our communities’ day in, day out.

“Many of us turn on taps for a drink, to cook or shower, with little consideration of what it takes to operate and maintain the water infrastructure.

“We want to celebrate our unsung heroes — the water operators and the maintenance crews who work all year-round to ensure we have high-quality water, which is essential to keep us alive,” he said.

Stephen Rasdell, Ixom’s General Manager of Water, said that there’s an important reason for Ixom’s involvement in the taste test competition.

“We have been involved in Australian water treatment for some 80 years and are incredibly proud of the work being done in this space. Ixom has the expertise and experience to ensure high-quality drinking water is supplied to homes around Australia.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of this event and to celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and communities in supplying and maintaining exceptional water quality,” said Mr Rasdell.

Siobhan Day is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and Pump Industry magazine, and has been part of the team since early 2019. With a background in management in the non-profit sector, Siobhan has extensive experience in communications, professional writing and client management. She holds a Bachelor of Business and Communications and is currently completing a postgraduate degree.

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