I am incredibly proud of how our industry came together over the summer months to face and start the recovery from the bushfires that impacted large parts of our country, and now we are facing another enormous challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you well know, water utilities supply the most essential of essential services to our communities. Our drinking water remains high quality and safe to drink. In these unprecedented and challenging times the industry is taking actions to ensure the continued safe supply of high-quality water and wastewater services in Australia and New Zealand.

WSAA is committed to supporting you to do this in the way we know best, connecting you with your peers, sharing knowledge and collaborating (digitally of course!).

Over the past week we have held online meetings of our Customer and Leadership Committee (CIL) and Utility Excellence Committee (UEC). These were planned meetings that moved online and also discussed current actions from our members in relation to COVID-19. 

We have also brought together Communications Managers from Australia and NZ (over 45 on the line) and our Water Quality and Health Network (over 60 on the line). 

And we will be:

  • Mobilising WSAA’s Strategic Priorities Committee to oversee a dedicated COVID-19 Working Group comprising network chairs and experts in Health and Safety, People and Culture, Water Quality and Finance and Regulation (to name a few).
    • Maintaining a robust supply chain including fuels and PPE is critical and will be included in the working group.
  • Coordinating with our regional members and associations to ensure the whole of sector is supported.
  • Prioritising communication and sharing of information around hardship and plans to alleviate that pressure.
  • Working with key stakeholders to ensure the services we provide as an industry are classified as ‘essential services’, including our work and our workers.
  • Using our members’ website to share relevant and timely updates with committees, networks and groups.
  • Collaborating with the Global Water Research Coalition to form an international community of practice.

I also want to thank the WSAA team for quickly moving all our meetings online and reaching out to our committees, networks and groups to ensure collaboration continues.

Of course, this remains a fluid situation and we will continue to provide new information and support as it develops. Stay safe.

25 Mar 2020

Adam Lovell

Adam Lovell

Executive Director