Who are Intelligent Water Networks?

About ten years ago, Victorian water industry leaders asked: “Should all our water corporations innovate individually, or should we collaborate?” Could one organisation provide a safe sandpit for technology trials and a conduit to share knowledge and information? With VicWater’s support, Intelligent Water Networks (IWN) was established to trial and showcase new technologies, innovations and thinking for our water corporation members.

About ten years ago, Victorian water industry leaders asked: “Should all our water corporations innovate individually, or should we collaborate?” Could one organisation provide a safe sandpit for technology trials and a conduit to share knowledge and information? With VicWater’s support, Intelligent Water Networks (IWN) was established to trial and showcase new technologies, innovations and thinking for our water corporation members.

Today, we have 17 member organisations, including 15 Victorian water corporations, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and TasWater.

IWN has evolved into a thriving organisation. As a not-for-profit, we use our members’ financial contributions to support the costs of technology trials run across Victoria and, more recently, in Tasmania.

Our two full-time staff – Program Director and Deputy Program Director – work alongside our broader team comprising staff at our member organisations through their in-kind support. Our structure includes our Executive Group, Program Managers, Deputy Program Managers, Champions, and program support roles totalling more than 40 people from across our members who give their time above and beyond their working roles. Together, we run 11 programs for our industry, as outlined below.

Alumni Program

Established in May 2022, this program is an extension of our Champions (Leadership) program. It has been set up to maximise leadership connections across the water industry and beyond, driving mentoring, skills development, and subject matter expertise opportunities.

Asset Management & Optimisation Program

This program aims to help water corporations manage assets effectively by improving decision-making processes, tools, and technologies. We are establishing an Asset Maintenance Community to focus on optimal asset management and innovative ways to optimise performance.

Biosolids & Resource Recovery Program

The effective management of biosolids is a pressing issue for the water industry. Stockpiling is labour intensive, occupies a large land area and risks polluting land and water tables. This program works with regulators, universities, and research bodies to identify new technologies and drive best practices to maximise biosolids re-use.

Champions (Leadership) Program

Launched in 2015, this program was established to promote innovative practices, build networks, encourage collaboration, and develop professional and leadership skills within the water industry. One member of each water corporation participates in the two-year program. It includes online learning, personal coaching, workshops, and peer collaboration opportunities.

Data & Analytics Program

This program provides an opportunity for our member water corporations to collaborate to improve operations and assist in the transition to digital utilities of the future. It focuses on technology, increased operational complexity, systems integration, and rising customer expectations.

Digital Metering Systems Program

This program focuses on sharing digital metering knowledge, learnings and resources between water corporations to streamline digital metering adoption and management throughout Victoria and Tasmania.

Diversity & Inclusion Technology Program

IWN formalised our Diversity and Inclusion Plan in 2021. Since then, we have established this program to look at technologies to help our member organisations provide more inclusive work environments. We also align with other water industry inclusion programs, such as WaterAble and Pride in Water.

Edge Technologies Program

This program looks at technologies that water corporations are less likely to investigate or implement independently. These technologies are on the cutting edge toward Industry 4.0. We aim to foster technology collaborations between members, ensuring access to new technologies.

Energy & Carbon Program

This program focuses on developing a shared understanding of how the water industry can reduce emissions, optimise energy use. It has the dual benefit of reducing operating costs and work collectively to achieve zero emissions.

Knowledge Sharing & Collaboration Program

As the name suggests, this program is about sharing knowledge and information among our member organisations. It supports our other programs in sharing lessons learned and emerging opportunities. Our annual Knowledge Sharing Conference also helps foster networks between water industry professionals.

Pipeline Intelligence Program

This program focuses on collecting intelligence from water reticulation, sewer and recycled water networks to optimise planning and proactive management. Ultimately, the aim is to drive business efficiencies and improve customer outcomes.

Find out more or get in touch

We pride ourselves on connecting with and listening to people at our member organisations. Please head to the Intelligent Water Networks website at iwn.org.au if you’d like to learn more about us or get in touch over email at enquiries@iwn.org.au

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