Busselton locals harness international innovation

Busselton Water’s resolve to become one of the most innovative and efficient water corporations in the country was given a major boost this month, when a senior team flew the flag at OzWater, Australia’s biggest international water industry conference in Brisbane.

Hosted by the Australian Water Association, the annual event brings together a who’s who of the local and international water industry to discuss issues facing the sector and provide a platform for information exchange.

Busselton Water’s CEO Chris Elliott, Projects Officer Murray Johnsen and Board Member Geoff Oddy attended the three-day event, which included more than 160 conference sessions and showcased around 200 leading water sector suppliers.

“OzWater’s ‘innovation hub’ allowed us to explore the latest technologies designed specifically for the water sector which, once developed and assessed, could help shape the future of our local water industry in Busselton,” said Busselton Water CEO Chris Elliott.

“It was a tremendous opportunity for us to foster relationships with other water industry leaders – particularly those who are pushing the boundaries and taking the water industry into the future. We were exposed to some of the most innovative products and new technologies which could ultimately assist us in improving our local services.

“From operational improvements, generation water efficiency techniques and network management, through to strategies for managing climate change and virtual reality technology to assist in the planning of water assets – it was all there under one roof,” he added.

Already an early adopter of new technologies, Busselton Water is one of the first water utilities in Australia to fully employ Itron’s innovative smart radio frequency meters across all of their residential customers to reduce costs and promote water-use efficiency.

“Our smart meter network allows us to collect valuable information about community water consumption patterns and to quickly and accurately pinpoint hidden leaks in the system,” Mr Elliott said.

“By using these advanced meters, our meter reading personnel no longer have to walk up and down each street and can instead receive the data wirelessly.  It helps us to better manage production and plans for future supplies.

“These radio frequency smart meters are one of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to innovation – and we’re looking ahead and how we can do more of the same in the future.”

The team from Busselton Water with representatives from Itron, Busselton Water’s smart meter supplier. (L-R) Busselton Water Projects Officer Murray Johnsen, Itron Director – Sales (Water & Heat) Australia, NZ and Pacific Islands Rob Tanner, Itron Vice-President Water & Heat Asia Pacific Dominique Lerouge, Itron President – Water Gavin van Tonder, Busselton Water CEO Chris Elliott, Itron Sales Manager – Water David Raslan and Busselton Water Board Member Geoff Oddy.