NSW Water Award winners announced

Monday, 01 June, 2009

The NSW Water Awards, hosted by the Australian Water Association, were held in Darling Harbour as part of the AWA NSW Gala Dinner, with several hundred guests attending to help recognise excellence in the sector.

The NSW Water Environment Merit Award (WEMA) was awarded to Blackmans Swamp Creek Stormwater Harvesting Scheme by Orange City Council and Geolyse Pty Ltd, for developing a major stormwater use scheme that may become an international example of best practice stormwater harvesting.

The Regional Water Supply Strategy by Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour Councils was recognised at the ceremony when it was awarded the NSW Water Construction Award. Judges deemed that this project — both built and non-built aspects — demonstrated innovative approaches in the delivery of infrastructure and offered the flexibility to meet the needs of multiple stakeholders in securing the future supply of water for both the Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour regions.

Research into the domestic, non-potable use of recycled water received the NSW Water Research Merit Award. Sydney Water employee Michael Storey’s research into 'Recycled Water in Washing Machines — Addressing Aesthetic & Technical Issues' represents an important step into improving the uptake of recycled water in households.

Phillip Costa MP announced the recipient of the new Peter Cullen Scholarship, in honour of the late Professor Peter Cullen, who contributed significantly to a new way of thinking about managing water resources in Australia.

The scholarship went to University of NSW PhD student Celine Steinfeld for her studies into water management in the Macquarie Marshes and Gwydir Wetlands. Steinfeld will receive $20,000 each year for three years to help with the cost of her studies as well as being invited to participate in a mentoring program run by the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, of which Professor Cullen was a founding member.

Several students and young professionals were also recognised on the night, as part of the sector’s commitment to ensure that talent is attracted to, and retained, within the water industry. Dr Kerry Schott, Managing Director of Sydney Water, presented the Sydney Water Gold Medal, a tertiary student prize recognising academic excellence to John McKibbin from the UTS for his project 'Toward Sustainable Sanitation: An Intergraded Resource Planning Approach for Assessing Alternate Sanitation Futures'.

The AWA Undergraduate Water Prize for excellence in water studies and research went to James Pirozzi, a recent graduate of UWS, for his project 'Regional Design Stream Flow Estimation for Eastern NSW', while the NSW Young Professional of the Year was awarded to Alix Campbell from GHD.

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