IWN’s success shows in the numbers

Now in its second decade, IWN and its unique industry collaboration are going from strength to strength – delivering for members and continuing to grow. Here’s a quick look at its latest results.

Now in its second decade, IWN and its unique industry collaboration are going from strength to strength – delivering for members and continuing to grow. Here’s a quick look at its latest results.

Almost 12 years ago, Intelligent Water Networks (IWN) was established as a safe sandpit for the Victorian water industry to trial new technologies and ways of working.

Now, with 17 member organisations in Victoria and Tasmania, we are proud to deliver increasing value for members. This is particularly the case as they face the challenges of climate change, ageing infrastructure and population growth.

While the pandemic brought much uncertainty to our industry, it proved IWN’s unique innovation-focused collaborative model could not only survive through adversity – it could thrive. Over the last 12 months, we have grown and changed, setting the scene for a robust second decade.

Delivering value to members

In 2022, our programs provided a total of $4.7 million of value across our 17 member organisations. Our members comprise 15 of Victoria’s water corporations, TasWater and the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action.

Despite being in the second year of a pandemic, our value to members was up from $4.6 million in 2021. It has continued the upward trend from $1.4 million in 2019.

We delivered this value via our established Champions leadership program, which builds capability and leadership skills in the water sector. IWN also provided 10 technology and innovation programs that focused on different industry areas. They ranged across diverse fields, from asset management and biosolids to digital metering and pipeline intelligence.

We ran 29 innovation trials through these programs with our member water corporations, compared with 22 the previous year. Our trials continue to focus on common challenges and opportunities that our members face. They include themes of a digital twin, alternative energy and the circular economy.

Following member feedback, we added two new programs during the year. The first was our Alumni Program to strengthen our growing network. The second was a Diversity & Inclusion Technology Program to trial assistive technologies for the water industry.

Powered by our growing team

IWN is a people-powered organisation. Our success comes directly from the hard work of our growing team, most of whom are available on an in-kind basis from our member organisations.

We have two full-time positions in our IWN Office. They are supported by 64 members from our member organisations, our Executive Group members, Champions, Program Managers and Deputy Program Managers. This group of passionate people from across our industry increased from 55 in 2021. It included our first TasWater team members and three new roles that enable succession planning and ongoing connection with our network.

In 2022, we began seeing the benefits of our diversity focus, cemented in 2021 by our first Diversity & Inclusion Plan. Within the first 12 months of our plan, our Executive Group moved from 10 to 40 per cent female participation. IWN also saw Program Managers increase from 0 to 40 per cent female representation. Even better, Champions are now at 44 per cent. While diversity and inclusion is about much more than gender, we are proud of this shift to better reflect and serve our industry. We’ll keep striving to make more progress in this important area.

We’re fortunate to have Heidi Biggin from Central Highlands Water as our inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Technology Program Manager. Heidi’s advocacy for people with a disability in the water industry saw her receive a special commendation in the Australian Water Association’s (AWA) 2022 Victorian Young Water Professional of the Year category.

We were also proud to see our Biosolids & Resource Recovery Program team’s involvement in a biosolids to biochar project celebrated by the AWA last year. Along with Greater Western Water, RMIT and South East Water, we received the AWA Victoria R&D Excellence Award for this revolutionary technology that has the potential to turn biosolids into a circular economy.

Opportunities to get involved

If you’re interested in IWN, there’s an always excellent opportunities to get involved.  Keep an eye on our IWN Events page.

It’s free for anyone who works at our member organisations on a first-in basis. It’s a great way to learn more about our programs and meet our team and people from across the Victorian and Tasmanian water industries. Make sure you don’t miss out by joining our newsletter so we can send registration details straight to your inbox once they’re finalised.

You can also find out more about us on iwn.org.au

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