Water Research Australia’s premier scientific and technical conference on research and innovation – Next Water 2023 – combined over 180 delegates from across the world to participate in lively and engaging discussions regarding the future of, and research opportunities in the water industry.

At this year’s event, held in Sydney on February 22nd and 23rd, discussions were guided by the overarching theme Water Wisdom to Future Flow. Next Water saw attendance from utilities, researchers, health regulators, government, non-government organisations and consultants.

Astronomer Professor Alan Duffy kicked off proceedings, taking delegates on a journey of discovery looking at the search for water beyond Earth. Water expert Professor John Thwaites shared valuable insights on how researchers can better engage with government, and globally renowned researcher Dr Fiona Kerr

Joining the headliners were over 60 top-class speakers from Australia and around the world shared their views on the biggest trends and challenges facing the water industry, including:

  • The diversification of water sources;
  • Recognising First Nations water wisdom and research;
  • Current and emerging challenges;
  • Innovating with technology and ingenuity;
  • Wastewater in the circular economy;
  • Monitoring for human health;
  • Planning for resilience;
  • Managing our blue-green future; and,
  • Net Zero.

The event also incorporated a successful Water Leaders’ Lunch, a tour of Australia’s largest smart blue-green infrastructure R&D project, and a dinner celebrating our Research Leadership Program with the awarding of the 2023 Nancy Millis Award.

“Next Water is a prime example of the commitment, passion and determination of our BIG Team – showcasing how collaboration drives innovation,” WaterRA CEO Karen Rouse said. “Now, more than ever, as challenges we are facing seem to come more frequently and on a global scale, our community’s ability to come together and innovate is what will drive the sector forward.

“Next Water exceeded our most optimistic expectations and the excitement was like nothing I’ve ever experienced,” Rouse said. “The delegates loved being back in person, listening to our fascinating keynotes and discovering all the latest advances in water.

“The event’s success demonstrated how our BIG Team of members, our supporters and our partners all share in our vision to be the leading source of water science and wisdom for healthy communities and healthy planet.”

Next Water 2023 was generously supported by sponsors Global Water Institute at UNSW, Veolia Australia and Melbourne Water.

Click here to view all the action from Next Water and look out for further information, including event presentations, on the Next Water website soon.