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Workshops and Panels

Take a look below to find out more about the workshops and panels for Ozwater'24. Wanting to know when each session is taking place? Take a look at our Preliminary Program.

View Preliminary Program

Arup & IBM  

Arup and IBM will run a facilitated workshop on the Australian Water Markets & Blockchain. This interactive 3-part workshop will explore the potential of blockchain technology to improve the accountability and transparency of the Australian water markets. 

Participants will discuss the potential benefits and challenges of using blockchain to facilitate water trading. They will also develop ideas for how to design a blockchain-enabled water trading platform that meets the needs of all stakeholders. 

Tessele Consultants  

This workshop is strategically designed to encourage collaboration among a diverse group of stakeholders within our region. Our collective goal is to develop innovative solutions that effectively address the intricate interdependencies between water, food, energy, and transport. 

Sydney Water  

Aligning with next year’s Ozwater theme of “Accelerating Action” - this workshop “Leap frogging Climate Change” is focussed on how to fast track decision making and governance within government to proactively act at the pace required for climate action. 

We are still asking for permission to act when we need to ask for forgiveness. There is a need to transform traditional government governance from needing certainty, being risk-averse, thorough and time-insensitive to get ahead of the pace of climate change to become agile, innovative and accountable with faster decision making. “What will it take not only to meet our net zero targets but exceed them?” 

There will be the inclusion of an interactive discussion to identify what needs to change for faster decision making within our own water utility, industry, regulators, and elsewhere.  

FTI Consulting  

Join local voices in a panel discussion to consider key themes from the ESC’s 2023/2024 water price reviews, including how water businesses are addressing issues around water security and resilience while trying to keep consumer prices affordable.  

Attendees to this Panel can will have the opportunity to: 

  • Engage in a discussion of good governance and business processes around efficiency and prudency of costs – both operating and capital – including procurement and project risk management.  
  • Understand how to link investment proposals to consumer-focused outcomes and engaging with the community in developed pricing proposals.  
  • Discuss examples of innovations in managing risk and opportunity. 
  • Look into the role of regulator in fostering best practice – ESC’s PREMO framework. 

Pacific Biotechnologies Australia  

Traditional engineered solutions, particularly for wastewater treatment and resource recovery, are being challenged like never before.  Nature-based solutions have progressed technically in recent times and can offer not only economic benefits but also provide chemical free, low energy, carbon neutral and fully circular solutions.  These environmentally compassionate solutions are aligning with water authority mandates across the county and provide a viable, cost-effective solution to expanding and ageing infrastructure.  
Join our panel to discuss what role can nature-based solutions play in the infrastructure mix and what are the benefits? 

Extent Heritage & The International Councill on Monuments and Sites, ISC Water 

The Water and Heritage committee within ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) aims to build connections with the water world to progress better understanding of the knowledge and experience contained in the World’s water cultural heritage - tangible and intangible - and promote learning and use of this heritage to sustainably address water-related challenges of the present and future. 

The panel would: 

  •  Introduce ICOMOS ISCWater and its goals to the wider water world 
  •  Identify challenges and opportunities around water heritage and the traditional knowledge relating to it, including through case studies, in particular with regard to sustainable development 
  • Explore the directive coming from the mid-term review of the UN Water Action Decade for a platform to achieve greater engagement between the heritage and water worlds

Water Research Australia 
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. 


Join a panel of Australian experts to discuss the use of carbon credits in the water sector.  

Most utilities are creating or have created net zero plans, and carbon offsets are often a necessary part of this plan. We haven’t noticed a lot of coverage on this topic at OzWater in the past so this panel is an opportunity for the panellists to share their experiences and for the audience to ask questions on a useful but potentially unfamiliar topic.

Australia New Zealand Biosolids Partnership 

This panel session brings together biosolids producers, end users, regulators and experts from across the sector to discuss the challenges and opportunities of managing biosolids in an uncertain future. Discussion themes include: 
Resource recovery: Making the most of biosolids in a resource constrained world; community and economic benefits; carbon sequestration benefits; reducing carbon emissions; soil health benefits 

Risk: identifying and managing contaminants; moving towards a risk-based approach to modern contaminants; managing storage, transportation, odour and market risks; source control 

: Protecting human health and the environment now and for future generations; the role of guidelines and regulation; advancing regulation in line with current research 

: Ensuring the biosolids sector can respond to emerging challenges and opportunities; adaptive planning; product development and technological innovation; community and stakeholder engagement and education 

AWA Operations Specialist Network 

Join the AWA Operations Specialist Network to discuss everything odour.  

  • Odour assessment and management  
  • Linking odour and corrosion  
  • Effective Solutions and innovations in odour management   
  • Actions to avoid- Lessons Learnt  
  • Risks involved - technical and community 

Then a specialist panel will be formed with some targeted questions from a moderator, as well as questions from the crowd in an open forum. We would also like to have a survey questionnaire on the tables or online form that the crowd would answer to provide information more broadly that we can share at the forum or possibly after through the Operations Specialist group.    


With challenges like climate change, growing populations, and ageing infrastructure affecting the water sector, the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming an urgent necessity to solve and mitigate these challenges. However, the rapid adoption of AI creates new challenges that need to be identified and addressed. 
This panel is dedicated to dissecting the multifaceted implications of AI in water utilities and establishing a road map for its responsible integration. The ambition extends beyond discussing best practices to tackling immediate challenges and plotting a course for the future. A few topics of interest are provided below. 
This panel aspires to be a cornerstone in setting the agenda for responsible AI in water utilities, emphasising both its inevitability and the critical need for its responsible stewardship. 

AWA Water Quality Specialist Network 

Can we accelerate action? How can we accelerate action? What are the barriers? What happens if we don’t accelerate action? 
The Water Quality Specialist Network is asking, will you... PAY NOW or PAY LATER? 
In the spirit of popular game shows like Who Wants to be a Millionaire, The Price is Right, and Wheel of Fortune, our game show panel will feature four distinct areas of discussion, each posing unique challenges and choices for our contestants. With the help of our selected game show contestants and audience members, we'll present them an option to PAY NOW or PAY LATER, with fabulous prizes awaiting their choices! 
The objective of this session is to explore the consequences of inaction today on the future of the water industry, our communities now and generations to come. While addressing critical topics, we aim to add a touch of fun and engagement to the Water Quality Specialist Network, providing a refreshing break from technical presentations. Don't miss your chance to play and win these fabulous prizes while gaining valuable insights into the water industry's challenges and choices!

AWA Water Efficiency Specialist Network  

With the county entering a new dry period, this interactive workshop grapples with where water efficiency really fits as a drought response measure in Australia and how it can best contribute to long-term water security and resilience. 
Hear from speakers with direct experience with water efficiency responses in the past and understand their lessons learned, pragmatic ideas and how to apply these to the current context.

Arup and iDiC 

Arup and iDiC will run a facilitated workshop on First Nations Procurement that will be broken into three parts: 
(1) Learning and context setting, stepping through the 3 C’s of supplier diversity: Competitive Advantage, Corporate Social Responsibility and Compliance 

(2) Challenges and barriers.  Using break-out groups, we will workshop the challenges and barriers to First Nations businesses, including how to address these.  
(3) Tips for engaging with First Nations Businesses and some practical case studies and learnings from the iDiC and & Arup relationship. 

Greater Western Water  

We know diverse organisations do better. We also know many Water industry organisations want to hire more people with disabilities. Yet 53% of working age Australians with disabiliites are in the workforce. We know organisations want employees and customers feel safe enough to disclose their disabilities. Yet many employees with a disability choose not to disclose it to their employer. 
The covid pandemic and the current Australian skills shortage create a once in a generation opportunity to get more people with disability into the workforce. We know also that there are barriers that stop disabled people from applying for or being recruited into roles that they are qualified and able to do with suitable adjustments. This panel will address unconscious bias and barriers that people with disabilities face, and raise awareness of the work WaterAble does and the supports that exist to help organisations employ more people with disabilities. 

Water Research Australia 

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.