OzWater 2016

Last week saw the Ozwater 16 meeting in Australia where delegates from the international water industry. The event is ran by the Australian Water Association (AWA) and is a "must attend" for water industry pros and anyone with a commercial interest in water. Last years event attracted over 2500 people. AWA consider themselves to the "hub for water professionals" and this is obviously the opinion of the audience as decision and policy makers meets with students, researchers and scientists alike at this event. It is hoped that from the conference Australia can learn from the world and vice versa. Austria is the driest inhabited continent in the world and they often have extended periods of drought which are then followed by torrential downpours. This weather pattern is one which is expected to become more familiar around the world thanks to climate change. Added to this is the rapidly growing population of the world , not just Australia which puts a great strain on water supplies. One of the speakers at Ozwater was Amir Peleg. Mr Peleg is the chief executive on an Israel-based company called TaKaDu who have developed a smart leak detector. This detector uses sensors to detect leaks and alert the proper authorities who can then fix the problem before the end-user is even aware that there was a leak to begin with. The technology is already in use in 9 countries and covers 65,000km. The Intergrated Event Management software allows water utilities to find issues such as leaks, bursts, water pressure issues and even water quality issues.
“Traditionally, everyone thinks of the water industry as low tech, plumbers and that sort of thing, but it’s not about the technologies, not about smart sensors, not about clouds – all the ingredients exist already. It’s about the people: management, staff, public, politicians. Sometimes they need to make a change, accept that in the past things weren’t that good and we need to make it better and, to do that, you need data.”
It is the hope of TaKaDu that more water utilities will use their software in future. Other speakers at the Ozwater conference included Paul Collier from consultancy group - Beca. He spoke of how water and energy needs around the world feed into eachother:
“Much energy production requires significant amounts of water, which has in recent years given rise to a growing international focus on what is described as the water-energy nexus. These factors are compounded by a growing water scarcity, which is creating a global drive for alternate water sources, such as recycling and desalination.”
Currently there are more than 1700 desalination plants in the world and these use 75,000 gigawatt hours each year and only 1% of this is renewable. So, not using renewable energy to power these desalination plants is just eating up more energy, adding to one problem to fix another. One thing is for certain, the longer the world carries on the path it is, the sooner there will be just too many people and not enough freshwater to go around. What are your thoughts on this story, please let you comments below.
May 21, 2016
In: Industry News
Tags: OzWater 2016, TaKaDu, Amir Peleg, Australia, Desalination, Convention, Save Water, Recycle Water, Leak, Leak Detector

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