Water Research Australia is excited to announce we will be hosting several sessions at OZWATER’24 in Melbourne.

Held over three days from April 30 to May 2, the event is Australia’s largest water industry networking event, where you can join your peers to see how industry is addressing current and future water challenges.

OZWATER’24 participants can attend the sessions below to find out more about WaterRA’s research impact.

DAY 1 – Tuesday 30th April (3.50pm)

WORKSHOP – How to adapt and adopt social license in the water industry?

Social license as a holistic concept is relatively new to the Australian water industry, but has been widely practised in the mining and forestry industries for many years.  It refers to the approval or support for a company or project by the surrounding stakeholders and community.

This workshop will introduce participants to the concept of social license in the water industry, both in Australia and internationally. The session will start with a few short presentations on the topic, including:

  • What is social license?
  • Why is social license important for the water industry?
  • What are possible applications of social license in the water industry?
  • What are the recent models on social license with applications to the water sector?
  • What’s required to maintain and build social license especially post-Covid?
  • Examples of case studies of social license applicable in the water industry and leverageable to multiple water contexts

At the end of the workshop, participants will have a good understanding of the concept of social license and its application in the water industry. They will also be able to take the knowledge and information they have learned back to their organizations. The workshop is ideal for people for who would like to learn about social license and its relevance for the water industry.

DAY 2 – Wednesday 1st May (3.50pm)

PANEL – Developing a water responsible & circular hydrogen economy

The development of an Australian green hydrogen economy has become a national priority due to hydrogen’s crucial role in the decarbonisation of the economy. The magnitude and speed of the economy’s transformation is unprecedented, presenting a significant challenge but also a unique opportunity to make it sustainable in the long-term. A critical aspect of this will be meeting green hydrogen’s need for water in a sustainable way, especially important in water stressed area. To successfully complete this challenge, coordinated collaboration with many sectors is required.

While it is still uncertain what role the water sector will play in a hydrogen economy, it is certain that its role will be crucial. In Australia, collaboration between energy and water industries has started with multiple water utilities being involved in green hydrogen projects. However, further research and innovation are required to overcome some of the existing barriers and unlock the benefits of hydrogen. The water sector needs to identify circular economy opportunities, establish and maintain social licence, share the benefits equitably, and create an enabling regulatory environment.

This session will be held to bring together water utilities to discuss how the water sector can make a difference in the development of a hydrogen economy, its key challenges and pressures, and identify collaborative research and innovation opportunities that can enable a water-responsible and circular hydrogen economy.

DAY 3 – Thursday 2nd May (11.50am)

PANEL – Purified recycled water in focus

Discover the future of purified recycled water (PRW) at our expert panel session! Delve into industry challenges and opportunities with global leaders. Gain insights into PRW treatment validation and strategies to build community and regulator trust. Meet our panellists:

  • Kathy Northcott, Veolia (AUS)
  • Andy Salveson, Carollo (US)
  • Suzanne Sharkey, National Water research Institute (US)
  • Mike McCullough, Monterey One Water (US)

WaterRA students

Heavy metals recovery and biochar production from biosolids via integrated mild acid pre-treatment and pyrolysis
Ibrahim Hakeem, RMIT University | Day 1, 1.10PM – Room 216
Unravelling the PFAS conundrum, PFAS fate explored through biosolids, pyrolysis & co-pyrolysis
Nimesha Rathnayke, RMIT University | Day 1, 2.10PM – Room 217
A comprehensive evaluation of energy recovery and fugitive emissions in a full-scale WWTP towards net-zero emissions
Kaili Li, University of Queensland/Icon Water | Day 2, 1.20PM – Room 220
Biosolids-derived biochar for land application: Heavy metals and phosphorus recovery
Ibrahim Hakeem, RMIT University | Day 2, 2.35PM – Room 217
Predict – then – optimise strategies for water flow control
Vincent Barbosa Vaz, University of Melbourne/South East Water | Day 3, 12.25PM – Room 217
Optimal deployment of smart meters with embedded sensors in water networks
Rehan Mendis, Monash University/South East Water | Day 3, 2.35PM – Room 216


Bookmark this page to find out more about WaterRA’s sessions as more are announced or click here to read more about OZWATER’24 and to register.