Welcome to New WAter Ways

So how did you celebrate Water Week? Hopefully you attended our great Water Industry Night on Tuesday to hear about the opportunities for improving the amenity of our main drainage system. If not, there is still time to get a ticket for the WA Water Awards Dinner on Friday night which will celebrate achievements in the WA water industry.
And coming up in a couple of weeks is our next WSC Speaker Series talk by  Bernie Masters on vegetated floating islands, which can enhance the ability of natural and constructed wetlands to reduce nutrients and other pollutants, while creating wildlife habitat and improving wetland aesthetics. Hope to see you there!


Water Industry Night - October 2016: Drainage for Liveability

Water practitioners from around Perth gathered at the Department of Planning on Tuesday 18 October.
As they sipped drinks and nibbled food sponsored by Urban Quarter (thank you UQ!) they were informed about the newly launched Drainage for Liveability Program.

Suzanne Brown, Manager Drainage and Liveable Communities at Water Corporation teamed up with Tim Sparks, Manager Urban Water at Department of Water, and spoke of how their shared vision and drive has resulted in a Partnership Agreement that is uncomplicated and accessible. Together the agencies spoke about the mutual use of green spaces and drainage areas - free of fencing, barbed wire, rubbish and vandalism, to enhance our communities and increase useable POS in our increasingly dense urban areas. Local councils were encouraged to bring their most innovative ideas to the table, emphasising the new "make it happen" ethos.

We then heard from Jeremy Maher, Environmental Coordinator at the City of Bayswater, who presented his ongoing experience with both agencies in enhancing drainage in the City of Bayswater. As a council with the reputation of being in the top 8 contributors of nutrients to the Swan-Canning Rivers (gulp!) drainage has been challenging to say the least. However, the rigmorale of sign offs and checklists are a thing of the past - this new Drainage for Liveability Program has made the changes necessary to get WSUD assets in the ground in a simple, fast and effective way. 

The room was filled with enthusiasm for what lies ahead! Click here to view the presentations from the evening.


Prepare for summer with Waterwise rewards

The Water Corporation has launched its Waterwise Garden Rewards - a new program to help the community save water in the garden. Customers will be rewarded for buying mulch, soil improver and soil wetting agent would be available as part of the program, to prepare gardens for the hot summer ahead. (DPC Media Statements)


Laying the foundations for good design in WA

Natural light, ventilation and green spaces are key aspects of the draft apartment design policy which will help guide construction of well-designed apartments in Western Australia. (DPC Media Statements)


Australian Water Outlook

Australia is facing unprecedented challenges when it comes to how we plan and manage our water resources. The nation’s future prosperity is inextricably linked to how well our water resources will meet the needs of a growing population, diversified industries, and protection of the environment. Climate change and rainfall variability are placing increasing pressures on every aspect of the water industry as it grapples with aging infrastructure and increasing urbanisation. (AWA)

Broome solar trial a first for Water Corporation

The Government has started a 12-month trial using hybrid solar-diesel power to deliver drinking water from its borefield to Broome. (DPC Media Statements)


Costs cut for small-scale sewerage services

Tens of thousands of dollars a year tied up in regulatory red tape is being redirected into reducing sewerage costs for small communities. The Liberal National Government, through the Department of Water, has implemented a licensing class exemption for small local governments acting as water services providers, with 15 shires exempted since April this year. This exemption alleviates the regulatory burden for these shires, and the estimated $60,000 a year saved on compliance costs will instead be redirected towards assets to help ensure sewerage services are affordable for customers in these mostly remote regional areas. (DPC Media Statements)


Grants available for smarter water usage

The Federal Government is offering increased grants of up to $2 million for dryland regional communities to develop water sources for community and industry use. Applications should be submitted by November 30, 2016 for the first round of the $21.6 million Watering WA Towns grants program, a component of the new $30 million Watering WA initiative made possible by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program. (DPC Media Statements)


Call for nominations to showcase irrigation innovations

Western Australian businesses, local governments and community groups are being urged to nominate for the 2016 Irrigation Australia (WA) Awards of Excellence. From recycling wastewater to keep our public spaces green, to industrial-scale irrigation innovations that are diversifying and growing our food production sector - WA is a world leader in efficient and sustainable water use. (DPC Media Statements)


Waterwise Benefits of Artificial Turf Flowing in City of Swan

New synthetic playing fields in Ellenbrook are expected to save the City of Swan about 30,000 kilolitres of water each year. The new facility in the Ellenbrook Sports Hub opened during September and at 32,000sqm, it is the largest synthetic playing surface in the southern hemisphere. It is comprised of four soccer pitches and the rubber subsurface is made of recycled materials. (WALGA/CoS)


Guideline for groundwater monitoring in the onshore petroleum and geothermal industry

A draft of the guideline was released for an eight week public comment period to March 2016.  Comments received were assessed and incorporated into the guideline before it was finalised. Groundwater monitoring in the vicinity of onshore petroleum and geothermal activities is a vital tool to demonstrate the ongoing protection and management of valued water resources. Current best practice by operators ensures that groundwater monitoring commences prior to on-ground disturbance activities, through the life of the activity and then beyond site decommissioning and rehabilitation.
This approach will ensure that adequate ‘checks and balances’ are in place, facilitating responsible development practices.
The Department of Mines and Petroleum and the Department of Water recognise that there is a high level of public interest in protecting groundwater resources.
This Guideline has been developed in collaboration by these two agencies.
Additional input from other Government agencies, industry bodies, petroleum companies, stakeholders and interested community members during the consultation period also helped shape this Guideline. (DoW)



Work starts on water tanks west of Cunderdin

The Water Corporation will start work next week on a $20.6 million project to construct two 37.5 million litre water tanks west of Cunderdin. The new tanks would improve water quality and provide increased storage for the Water Corporation's Goldfields and Agricultural Region Water Supply Scheme. (DPC Media Statements)


Onslow caravan park wins waterwise award

Discovery Parks Onslow has been awarded as the 2016 Waterwise Caravan Park of the Year, as part of National Water Week. Discovery Parks Onslow was recognised for achieving significant reductions in scheme water use through detecting and repairing a significant leak, the use of recycled water for watering gardens and improved monitoring of water use. (DPC Media Statements)


Blackwood River in focus on World Rivers Day

World-class science that reveals how underground water keeps the South-West's only year-round river flowing is in focus for World Rivers Day. (DPC Media Statements)


New irrigated agriculture project for Fitzroy Crossing

A Fitzroy Crossing pastoral company's plan to significantly expand its irrigation footprint has received the go-ahead from the Liberal National Government. (DPC Media Statements)


Water investigations kick off in the Midlands

An exploratory drilling program is now underway in the Irwin area, near Dongara, as part of the Government's $40 million Water for Food program. The $4.7 million Midlands groundwater and land assessment project was investigating groundwater availability, land capability and crop suitability in the Midlands area between Gingin and Dongara, one of the most economically promising irrigation zones in Western Australia. (DPC Media Statements)


WA's development contribution policy updated

The policy guiding the contribution developers make to community infrastructure when undertaking developments in the State has been updated and is available for public comment. (DPC Media Statements)


Customer-first outlook key to successful infrastructure

Water utilities have work to do in achieving higher customer perception and satisfaction, but the good news is there’s plenty of opportunity for those prepared to embrace an innovative mindset. (AWA)


Water sector overdue for pricing model switch

Regulatory pricing models that are customer-centred and give water businesses greater autonomy are the way of the future, according to a leading Australian economist. (AWA)


NCCARF CoastAdapt Beta Release

CoastAdapt Tool has been launched for beta testing with resources to help decision-makers plan for coastal climate impacts. A final version will be released in early 2017 and NCCARF is seeking feedback. (NCCARF)


Report highlights water security fears

New Australian research has shown major public concern over water security, highlighting the need for greater public discussion of the work being done to secure the nation’s water supply. More than half of the public say they lack confidence that Australia currently has sufficient water security to meet social, environmental and economic needs into the future. (AWA)

Macquarie group's urban rooftop micro farm in the Sydney CBD

Created by Urban Growers, the 11th storey garden features fruit trees, vegetable gardens and herb gardens, interspersed with tables and seats for staff to work at or relax. The rooftop also has a beehive care of The Urban Beehive and is home to 3 rescued battery hens.
The garden is open to everyone in the building and is looked after by a collective of about 100 staff: “They can use it for informal meetings or a quiet working space… People are noticing the benefits of time spent outside or working in nature. It feels good,” says Macquarie’s head of workplace community, Kate French Blake.
The benefits of green roofs are significant - they reduce the urban heat island effect, keep building temperatures more constant and habitable, improve biodiversity, allow for small-scale agriculture and storm water management and improve property prices. There are also many psychological benefits including increased opportunities for networking and building community connections. (202020 Vision)

Breakthrough study quantifies Aboriginal water wellbeing

For the first time, the relationship between environmental watering and its effect on Aboriginal people's wellbeing has been quantified in the northern Murray-Darling Basin. The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) surveyed three communities in the region to identify the importance of environmental water to Aboriginal people, releasing results in a report earlier this year. (AWA)


Australian Drinking Water Guidelines to be expanded

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is expanding microbial health based targets in a draft framework to be added to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG). (AWA)


Why ‘green cities’ need to become a deeply lived experience

Australian cities are inherently diverse places, but that diversity can lead to conflict between different values about what cities should and can be. Our series, Conflict in the City, brings together urban researchers to examine some of these tensions and consider how cities are governed and for whom. (The Conversation)


Director urges waterway health report cards

We need to listen to what the world's waterways are telling us in order to improve their health, according to University of Queensland Sustainable Water Program Director Dr Eva Abal. (AWA)


Utilities advised to find ‘right’ water data

Water businesses need to collect the 'right' data from a broad range of sources if they're to make smart decisions, says a leading researcher from CSIRO's Data61. (AWA)


Millennials transforming water utility customer service

In-home water management, pre-paid services, distributed generation and very high expectations.
These are just some of the things Australian water utilities can expect in the early 2020s when Millennials replace Baby Boomers as the majority of customers, according to Accenture Utilities Consumer Services Lead Charlie Richardson. (AWA)


Big focus on water security and health in 30-year plan for Victoria

Managing threats to water security and improving the health of waterways and coasts are two of the main focuses of the Victorian government’s 30-year Infrastructure Strategy guide. (AWA)


Green shoots for mammoth recycled water project

A bold plan to use recycled water to almost triple South Australia’s commercial greenhouse capacity has received a major boost towards realisation. (AWA)


Water shortages a major factor for refugee flows

Water challenges are a contributing “push factor” to refugee flows from Syria, which the global community should take seriously far beyond the Middle East. That's one of the key messages from the Stockholm International Water Institute’s Water Report 2016. (AWA)


CRC for Water Sensitive Cities

Two new publications help to navigate the governance and legal complexities of water sensitive cities

Working toward environmental and economic sustainability is vital to ensuring a viable and prosperous future. Sustainable urban water management (SUWM) is essential for this goal; and it plays an important role in the design and management of water sensitive cities

Heat vulnerability in Melbourne’s Jewish community

Summer is coming! And with it will likely come new record-breaking heat waves. But who is most vulnerable to heat stress? And what can be done to help? New CRCWSC research looks at the impacts of these regular summer heat waves on ethnic populations in Melbourne.

New WAter Ways Events

Water Sensitive Cities Speaker Series

If you would like to present your findings, work or ideas as part of our Water Sensitive Cities Speaker Series, we would love to hear from you:

Vegetated floating islands

When: 12-1pm, Friday 4 November, 2016
Where: The Atrium Theatrette, Department of Water, 168 St George's Tce, Perth
Presenter:  Bernie Masters
Vegetated floating islands enhance the ability of natural and constructed wetlands to reduce nutrients and other pollutants, while creating wildlife habitat and improving wetland aesthetics. Since the 1970s, wetlands have been widely used around the world to improve water quality but the understanding that most nutrient reduction is carried out by bacterial/algal biofilms rather than by plants is less than 20 years old.  In Australia, four companies manufacture and install floating islands  that maximise biofilm development. They promote their islands as an additional way of reducing pollutants including nutrients and suspended solids within existing wetlands and waterbodies to supplement the role of plants and biofilms. The presentation will summarise current research  on the effectiveness of floating islands and give examples of both successful and failed floating island installations around Australia.
Brief Biography: 
Bernie Masters holds a science degree in geology and zoology from the University of WA. He has worked as a geologist, wildlife conservation officer, member of Parliament and environmental consultant. In 2007, he co-founded FIA Technology Pty Ltd, a company that makes and installs vegetated floating islands for water quality improvement, wildlife habitat creation and aesthetic improvement of constructed and natural wetlands. Bernie helped pioneer the use of constructed wetlands for water quality improvement in Australia in the 1980s. He has chaired the state government's community advisory committee on the Ludlow Tuart Forest National Park Management Plan and is a member of the South West Catchments Council, president of the Busselton Naturalists Club and chair of the Busselton Dieback Working Group.
This is a free session. No rsvp is required.

We are always looking for the latest in ideas, systems and treatments that involve all aspects of water. If you would like to present your findings, work or ideas as part of our Water Sensitive Cities Speaker Series, we would love to hear from you:


New WAter Ways Training Sessions

New WAter Ways Training Sessions aim to provide introductory information on processes and concepts for local government and industry planners, engineers, landscape architects, asset managers and developers.
There are now 7 training sessions. The dates for 2017 have been announced. Pencil these dates in your diary – we will start taking your registrations from January 2017. If you are new to the NWW training sessions, we suggest, if possible, attending them in the order they appear below:
  1. Better Urban Water Management - 21 February 2017
  2. Introduction to stormwater management practices - 21 March 2017
  3. Groundwater management for urban development – 23 May 2017
  4. Local water management strategies – how to get it right - 20 June 2017
  5. Biofilters – 25 July 2017
  6. Retrofitting for WSUD – 15 August 2017
  7. Maintenance – 19 September 2017
There is no cost for attendance at these sessions, however registration is essential as places are limited – Please email
Please visit the new page dedicated to the NWW training sessions here for full details of each training session.

Other Events

2016 WA Water Awards Dinner – registrations closing soon

When: Friday, 21 October 2016
Where: Parmelia Hilton, Perth
The evening aims to celebrate our members and promote the outstanding work contributed by individuals and organisations in the water sector, recognising innovation and excellence in the technology, business and delivery of their water industry projects.

Free spring waterwise irrigation workshops

When: each Saturday, from 22 October -26 November, 2016
Where: various locations (see link)
With summer around the corner, the Liberal National Government, through the Water Corporation, has partnered with South Metropolitan TAFE to deliver six free waterwise irrigation workshops across Perth. More than 40 per cent of household water use occurs outside the home and Water Minister Mia Davies today encouraged the community to take part in the workshops. The workshops will educate participants about choosing the right irrigation systems, efficient irrigation of lawns and gardens, subsurface watering, and how to use your irrigation controller. Places are limited. To register, click here.

AWA – Webinars: The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

When: 1-2pm AEDT, 31 October 2016
Where: Online
Hosted by Dr Nina Hall and Associate Professor Eva Abal from the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute, this webinar will explore the Sustainable Development Goals for water and sanitation, examining their relevance, implications and operationalisation in the Australian water sector. This webinar will provide a current snapshot of the need for SDGs in our region and encourage a discussion of training needs on implementing the SDGs for water and sanitation in Australia, to inform the scope of a later AWA training module.

Perth Zoo Water Quality Information Exchange Site Visit

When: 9am – 12pm, 25 October 2016
Where: Perth Zoo
Perth Zoo wishes to extend an invitation for an information exchange site visit for Local Government representatives who are responsible for water quality. The purpose of this informal event is to network and to share information on water quality challenges and management approaches including chemical, mechanical, and biological treatment. Perth Zoo has over 2.5ML of surface water throughout its grounds. Most of their water bodies are concrete based, leading to significant challenges with eutrophication and algal management.

UDIA Study Tour – 2016 Award Winners

When: Thursday 3 November 2016
Where: 2 tours – northern and southern suburbs
View Awards for Excellence winning projects in the Northern and Southern Suburbs that demonstrate planning, environmental and engineering innovation. Project visits include a site tour and commentary from the developer. These projects have the highest level of peer recognition in the development industry.

EA- Stormwater Management (Source Control)

When: 3-4 November 2016
Where: Perth
By 2050, the Commonwealth government aims to have Australia’s population reach 35 million. This significant increase will have implications for resources of all types, not least of all water, and the way we manage stormwater. This two-day course covers the principles of water sensitive urban design (WSUD) relating to source control of stormwater. The content features a balance between the three domains of WSUD (stormwater) practice - quantity control, pollution control and stormwater harvesting.

Stormwater Industry Innovation Forum

When: 7.30-9.30am, Friday, 4 November, 2016
Where: Parmelia Hilton, Perth
We’re thrilled to have Andy Reese, the Vice President at AMEC Foster Wheeler, with us. Andy has over 35 years’ experience in a wide variety of stormwater management, water resources, hydraulic and hydrologic engineering research and management roles. He will share his knowledge of the history of how local government stormwater utilities came about in the USA, and also what he had learnt from setting up more than 20 stormwater utilities for local governments in the USA.

Fuel Industry Networking Event

When: 9.30-11.30am, Friday, 4 November, 2016
Where: Parmelia Hilton, Perth
SPEL has recently acquired an FRP manufacturing facility in NSW and had spent a lot of resources applying LEAN Manufacturing processes. We’d love to introduce one of our key fiberglass engineers, Javier G Flores Nakashima, who will speak about UL1316 and the intricacies of fibreglass tank manufacturing. He’ll be joined by guest speakers Elisha Radwanowski, Executive Manager, Australasian Convenience & Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA) and James Harris, Director, Switch PM

Free Workshop: Riverwise gardening - Bassendean

When: 7-9pm, 2 November 2016
Where: Bassendean Community Hall
We've got some exciting news for Perth gardening enthusiasts - in 2016/17 our RiverWise Gardening workshops are going to be delivered by the one and only, Josh Byrne.

Free Workshop: Riverwise gardening – Pepermint Grove

When: 2-4pm, 5 November 2016
Where: The Grove
We've got some exciting news for Perth gardening enthusiasts - in 2016/17 our RiverWise Gardening workshops are going to be delivered by the one and only, Josh Byrne.

EA- Australian Rainfall and Runoff 2016 Update / Hydrology and Water Resources Panel Annual Meeting

When: 14 November 2016
Where: Auditorium, Engineers Australia, 712 Murray St, West Perth
Please join us for a short annual meeting of the Hydrology and Resources Panel, which will precede a technical session on the update to Australian Rainfall and Runoff.  Since publication, Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR) has remained one of the most widely used guidelines published by Engineers Australia. With nationwide applicability, balancing the varied climates of Australia, the information and the approaches presented in ARR are essential for policy decisions and projects involving:
  1. infrastructure (roads, rail, airports, bridges, dams etc.)
  2. town planning;
  3. developing flood management plans for urban and rural communities;
  4. flood warnings and flood emergency management; and
  5. estimation of extreme flood levels. 

Perth Water - Catch it if you can

When: 23 November 2016
Where: Perth
Reduce, reuse, recycle - a mantra that has been immensely successful in relation to material waste, both in its advertising power and the simplicity of its approach. How can we use the same basic principles to improve water sustainability in our local catchments?
The Australian Water Association will present a technical workshop highlighting the techniques and technologies that can help you to maximise the potential of your local catchment, from individual house blocks to community buildings, through to large scale urban development, as well as what to think about, basic tools to understand constraints and understanding cost-benefit analysis.

AWA 2016 Biosolids and Source Management Conference

When: 14 – 15 November, 2016
Where: Novotel, Melbourne on Collins
The conference preliminary program features a number of industry specialists from across Australia and New Zealand. Amongst the diverse set of speakers, we welcome internationally-renowned Biosolids specialist, Bill Barber who will offer an insightful address exploring the global trends in Biosolids treatment and beneficial uses.  As part of the two day program, ANZBP Chair Paul Davodelsky will be hosting a workshop titled ‘Human and Health in a Rapidly Changing World’ in which delegates have the opportunity to explore and discuss how the industry and the regulators can stay one step ahead of the game when managing emerging risks.  Check out the vibrant program showcasing the impressive work coming out of industry-leading projects. The conference will aim to change the way we think about our work and inspire us to not be inhibited by the status quo.



Improve transparency and reliability of water market information

Closing date: 30 November 2016
Open to SME's - $100,000 and up to a further $1 million Commonwealth Grants available to meet WATER MARKETS challenge. Grants are now open in the Commonwealth Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) seeking solutions to five challenges across government, including the challenge to improve transparency and reliability of water market information.  Read more…
Shelley Shepherd
New WAter Ways
Phone: 0403 170 040

New WAter Ways presents this information in the spirit of keeping the water community up to date with relevant events and courses available to build technical expertise. This should not be seen as an endorsement by New WAter Ways or its partners in respect to the content or accuracy of any course or information presented. While every attempt is made to present accurate information on events, dates, scholarships, jobs etc no responsibility is taken for the accuracy of any of the information

New Water Ways represents a partnership of the Department of Water, Department of Planning, Western Australian Local Government Association, Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA) and Swan River Trust.

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New WAter Ways · PO Box 248, Leederville · Perth, WA 6903 · Australia

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