Last week we were delighted to go ahead with the Water Asset Management Forum – both in person with COVID Level 2 rules in place, and online.

It was the inaugural event, co-hosted by IPWEA NZ and Water New Zealand. It was a full day, including an open discussion over lunch on the Three Waters Reform.

The networking dinner on the Wednesday night allowed for networking with many of the presenters who were in attendance.

The opening had a strong focus on Te Mana O te Wai and the importance water plays in the circle of life and its significance in Maori culture and therefore Aotearoa as discussed by Tina Porou.

Smart metering of the future was presented by Hugh Black-Manson, and the social behavior changes which it enables were discussed.

The challenge of finding non-monetary measures for the value of water and reflecting the cultural and environmental importance of it was discussed from different perspectives by various presenters. That lens of Te Mana O te Wai needs to be used from every angle of our approach to water asset management. Hugh touched on this, as did the following speaker, Chris Thurston and at the end of the day economist Peter Nunns.

James Thorne and Philip McFarlane hosted an interactive workshop that explored the concept of asset condition monitoring and how to use the information created in decision making.

James Thorne during Workshop one

Workshop 2: Dan Jones and Greg Preston ran a through in depth workshop session on Code of Practice using a newly developed tool which allows asset manages to clearly define their asset data needs in a way that meets the requirements of ISO 19650-1:2018. Participants worked together to populate the tool and share insights onto the current processes within their workplace – and the challenge of merging these asset details through the Three Waters review process.

Rob Tinholt took us into a world of opportunity and optimism for the future use of bio-solids and waste minimization – showing us what is currently possible and the potential we can tap into.

Nicola Chisnall detailed the journey which Wellington Water has been through in recent years to prioritise its investment and balance the delivery of outcomes and management of risk with customer expectations and resources.

Paul Harris had a fascinating deep-dive into various international case studies from global water businesses with different methodologies. Paul’s wealth of experience came through in this truly technical talk.

Sarah Sunich showed an enthralled audience how wet weather waste water overflow can be addressed within a common framework in order to improve environmental, cultural and community health impacts.

And to conclude Peter Nuns demonstrated the economists point of view of better pricing of water services and carrying out social cost benefit analysis.

A huge thanks goes out to the sponsors who made this event possible:

Platinum Sponsor:

Gold Sponsors:

Silver Sponsor:

We are now shifting focus to our next event, the Future-Fit Aotearoa conference which is being held in Auckland on 2-4 February 2022.