Sharing MidCoast Water experience

MidCoast Water managers Graeme Watkins and Brendan Guiney address the State water management conference being held at Port Macquarie today.
MidCoast Water managers Graeme Watkins and Brendan Guiney address the State water management conference being held at Port Macquarie today.

TWO MidCoast Water managers are keynote speakers at a water management conference in Port Macquarie today - sharing experiences with other NSW councils and water authorities.

Brendan Guiney, executive manager of infrastructure development, and Graeme Watkins, strategic operations will both be speaking at the Local Government NSW Water Management Conference, being held at Port Macquarie's Glasshouse.

More than 200 delegates from across NSW and interstate are expected to attend the conference, with delegates including councillors, general managers, water managers and professionals as well as policy makers from government agencies and key industry stakeholders.

"This is an opportunity for MidCoast Water to showcase the work we are doing in diverse areas from energy reduction to relationship building," general manager Robert Loadsman explained.

"It is a credit to our organisation that we have two of our senior people involved as keynote speakers."

Brendan will share his experiences in a presentation titled 'A tale of three countries' - about partnerships with water utilities in the Pacific and the mentoring relationship MidCoast Water has developed with them.

Through an Asian Development Bank program, MidCoast Water has established twinning relationships with both Tonga and Samoa.

These relationships have included exchange visits and professional support from MidCoast Water in areas of accounting for water loss and working to reduce losses, improving water quality and the introduction of asset management principles to achieve longer term sustainability.

Graeme will speak on energy management at two of MidCoast Water's sewage treatment plants, Dawson and Stroud.

Over the last 18 months significant progress has been achieved in reducing electricity usage at the two plants through a range of actions including improving aeration efficiency, changing some motors to operate off -peak use and moving to intermittent operation in some areas to save on electricity charges.

Some of the longer term projects Graeme will address including lowering the pressure of the effluent reuse system and lowering energy requirements for other parts of the process.

Graeme will also take part in a panel discussion on direct potable reuse - drinking water through recycling.

The conference will provide a forum for debate and discussion on urban water supply, sewerage and broader water management issues. It will enable delegates to learn more about the latest policy initiatives and trends, to receive updates on emerging technical issues, to increase their professional development and to network with industry colleagues.

Key themes to be discussed at this year's conference will include proposed reforms to local water utilities in NSW, water recycling and drinking water quality management.