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Water experts converge for national water solutions

At a time when millions of Australians face water shortages, and community and government begin to recognise the challenges posed by climate change, Ozwater09 will gather hundreds of water experts in Melbourne to chart the nation’s path to sustainable water management.

The Ozwater conference and exhibition is hosted by the Australian Water Association (AWA) in partnership with the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, and represents one of the largest water sector events in the southern hemisphere in 2009.

Held from 16–18 March and boasting the theme ‘From Challenges to Solutions,’ the event will feature eminent speakers and delegates addressing a wide variety of critical water-related topics and showcase the latest developments and innovations in the water sector.

Leading local and international organisations, utilities, environment and resource agencies and groups from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the United States will be represented in these discussions and also provide invaluable international experience and perspectives.

Mr. Tom Mollenkopf, Chief Executive of the AWA said, “Ozwater has carved a reputation as being not only the leading water event on the Australian calendar, but also as a program that provides the highest quality presentations and speakers, critical opportunities for debate, and a multi-streamed program that is simply second-to-none.”

According to Mr. Mollenkopf, Ozwater09 presents unique opportunities for the water sector and related industries.

“As an independent and not-for-profit organisation, AWA has no ‘company line’ to toe, so the speakers and program provide a huge diversity of high-quality research and learning. The result of which is a respected, well-rounded and truly broad conference experience for delegates,” he said.

Several reports will be released to coincide with the conference, which also features plenary sessions, panel debates, facility tours and awards ceremonies in its full and varied program.

According to Allen Gale, Ozwater09 Chairperson, “Ozwater is a must-attend event for policymakers, experts and professionals in the water industry.

This event will be by far one of the largest and most comprehensive events of its kind ever to be held in Australia.”

World’s leading water experts to speak at Ozwater09:

UK-based environmental scientist, explorer and author Tim Jarvis has undertaken expeditions to some of the world’s most remote regions, including Antarctica and the Arctic, and holds the world record for the fastest unsupported journey to the South Pole. He is author of several books including the bestseller The Unforgiving Minute about his three polar expeditions to date. Tim will be Ozwater09’s leading keynote speaker, providing the context for debate and discussion on water issues in a world increasingly affected by climate change.

Scarcity, and dealing with a world where there is less water available, is inevitably a central theme for the conference. Professor Mike Young has an enviable reputation as one of Australia’s foremost water experts. An ecological economist, Prof. Young specialises in the development of policy principles and their application to resource management issues. A member of the highly respected Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, Prof Young is a passionate and knowledgeable speaker on current issues, providing a wealth of economic and scientific expertise, and has been awarded the Centenary Medal and the Eureka Prize for water research. Pulling no punches, Prof Young is a must-see on the Ozwater09 program.

Professor In S. Kim is currently a professor at Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, as well as the Executive Director of the Centre for Seawater Desalination Plant (CSDP). Prof. Kim has authored three books, published over 300 papers and is internationally recognised as a leader in some of the most cutting-edge water treatment technologies related to water reuse, desalination and environmental nanobiotechnology.

Further international perspectives will be provided by US representatives Maureen Stapleton, General Manager of the San Diego County Water Authority, and Peter Binney, Director of Sustainable Planning for Black & Veatch.

As General Manager, Stapleton oversees a dynamic agency that is aggressively pursuing a comprehensive array of water supply and infrastructure for over 3 million residents in a region that experiences many of the supply and climate challenges faced by water authorities in Australia.

Peter Binney has more than 30 years of private and public sector experience, including a period as Director of Aurora Water in Colorado, where he conceived and developed the innovative ‘Prairie Waters Project’, designed to provide a sustainable level of water availability – despite severe drought conditions – to the growing community. Peter Binney was recently honoured by the American Council of Engineering Companies with the General Palmer Award for his contributions to professional engineering and to the state of Colorado, and is set to be an engaging speaker.

For more information on the Ozwater09 program and speakers, visit www.ozwater09.com.au

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