It was great to see the Victorian water sector well represented at Ozwater 24 in Melbourne last week, among a record attendance of 1,800 delegates. With three days of multi-streamed conference sessions and a massive trade exhibition, there was truly something for everyone.

One of my key takeaways – and yes I know it will sound parochial! –  is that the Victorian water sector is at the forefront of efforts to tackle the big challenges of our time. I was pleased to be a panel speaker at a session organised by Aurecon on the use of carbon credits in the water sector. Discussion in the room indicated that Victorian water corporations are comparatively well advanced on the pathway to net zero, in taking focused actions to reduce their Scope 1 and 2 emissions combined with a considered approach to the appropriate use of carbon offsets.

I also enjoyed the opportunity to participate in Ozwater’s Young Water Professionals program, in a session aimed at building communications and influencing skills around complex issues like climate change. Delegates worked in groups to brainstorm their approach and then deliver a 2 minute ‘elevator pitch’. The intelligence and enthusiasm of the young professionals in the room was inspiring, and I left the session feeling confident that the future of our industry is in good hands.

Another feel-good experience at Ozwater was the WaterAid breakfast and the chance to hear about their work to improve access to water and sanitation services in Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste. The breakfast was also the official launch of Walk for Water 2024, and while we probably won’t make the fundraising leaderboard (topped last year by Yarra Valley Water), I know the VicWater team are keen to fire up the Fitbit on 30 September and help support this worthwhile cause – check out the WaterAid website for more information.