Young water professionals embark on water resilience challenge

A group of NSW Young Water Professionals (YWPs) recently participated in a series of workshops and site tours in rural NSW to explore the topical issues of water scarcity and water Image: Zenah Bradford-Hartkeresilience.

In early February, the ten YWPs flew to Parkes in central-west NSW to embark on a water resilience challenge. Run by the Australian Water Association and sponsored by GHD and UNSW-GWI, the program begun with a tour of the Parkes Advanced Water Recycling Facility, a working example of a town that has successfully reduced the demand on their drinking water system by using recycled water on council grounds, parks, sporting facilities, golf courses and municipal facilities. Following this, the group participated in a training session on the topic of Collaboration, facilitated by Stuart Waters from Twyfords. The session taught participants about engagement and decision making in complex situations and how to collaborate effectively.

The second day of the program saw participants travel to Dubbo to The Exchange building, an abandoned former post office and telephone exchange which is now a community and co-working space. Here, they participated in a workshop on Design Thinking, with the Design Thinking Sprint seeing groups of people ‘interview’ someone experiencing the issue of water scarcity in Australia and explore solutions using the ‘Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test’ method.

On the final day, YWPs visited the Orange City Council Chambers where they worked through some of the problem statements and new insights collected throughout the weekend. The group has since been working on raising awareness and continuing advocacy around water resilience, and will deliver further outcomes based on the knowledge and skills they acquired throughout the water resilience challenge.

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