The inaugural SWAN APAC Alliance Workshop, held on 22 July at the beautiful location of Peppers Resort on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, was a resounding success. The expert speakers and facilitators delivered an invaluable event for the water industry, addressing key challenges of our water systems in this digital age and opportunities for disruptors to play a key role in our future.
Systems for the Digital Age
Smart technology gives us unparalleled clarity and speed of understanding. The keynote speakers across the day echoed the need to incorporate smart infrastructure and empower organisations to act quickly. Our human resources also needs to be developed and upskilled in line with the equipment that organisations are administering.
Leak detection was a big topic from every corner of the industry. At the interactive roundtable workshops, delegates shared ideas and trials that capitalize on the use of new technology and data to reduce time to detection and maintenance processing.
The weather and environment also play a massive part in how we manage our assets. We are experiencing one in ten thousand year weather occurrences more frequently than ever before, and this puts an enormous strain on infrastructure systems. In response, forecasting systems and algorithms have to be adapted to improve our water resilience and supply management, particularly in regional areas where water is most scarce.
Distributed infrastructure are being explored in communities to match localized demand and resource availability. These network systems foster greater involvement from the community users as well as reduces the reliance on centralized systems. The effective management of these systems within our existing models will be key to its success.
A superb talk from Jennifer Rebeiro, CIO of City West Water, took the audience on a deep dive of efficient product development methodologies. This has significant potential to accelerate the implementation of innovative solutions and emerging technology through a lean framework of defining problems, testing and evaluating success.
Ecosystem of Innovation
Being a new participant in the water sector, I’ve consistently observed the openness of professionals and corporations who freely share their knowledge and tools of success to the overall betterment of the industry. It shows a powerful desire to collaborate and foster an ecosystem of innovation.
WaterStart is proud of our role in supporting economic development in the Queensland water sector by facilitating access to funding for technology pilots and the sharing of knowledge. Large service providers and smaller communities are both benefiting from these valuable initiatives developed through our outcomes-focused approach.
Over 130 participants from Queensland and around the world attended the event to share their ideas and passion. The incredible turnout has further strengthened the network of professionals within the water industry and our commitment at WaterStart to make Queensland the Home of Water Innovation.
Special thanks to George Theo, Chairman of SWAN APAC Alliance, for the tremendous effort poured into this year’s event. We’re already excited for the SWAN workshop next year and the evolution of our industry and all participants.
General Manager Australia, WaterStart