Accelerating innovation for Australian water utilities

Accelerating innovation for Australian water utilities

Thursday, 21 January 2016

The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) and Isle Utilities have signed a new agreement to extend their relationship through the Technology Approval Group (TAG) program for another three years.

“The TAG program has been a breakthrough, removing many of the challenges faced by water utilities in identifying and influencing technologies. WSAA is pleased to continue its role in conjunction with Isle Utilities by encouraging greater collaboration and cheaper subscriptions between members”, said Mr Adam Lovell, Executive Director, WSAA.

Isle’s Chairman, Dr Piers Clark said “This agreement is a great endorsement of the partnership that WSAA and Isle have developed over the past four years. We look forward to continuing our relationship, and together bringing even more innovative, game changing technologies to the Australian water sector.”

“The signing of this new agreement follows the success of TAG in the Australian market over the last four years. During this time, over 80 Australian and international technologies have been presented to over 30 WSAA members through quarterly forums, with 50 per cent of these technologies then being installed by utilities”, said Mr Lovell.

“A key benefit for utilities is the ability to influence the final design of technologies through feedback at forums and trials so the final product is best suited to their specific requirements”, said Dr Clark.

Through the TAG process, utilities have participated in 40 individual and collaborative trials, which help validate the usefulness and suitability of the technology and aid transition to market.

TAG member, Unitywater is seeing the benefits from new technology adopted through the TAG program. Unitywater has adopted a number of innovative technologies from TAG trials ranging from ice pigging, a new way to clean water mains, to Cloevis chemical dosing, a cost effective nitrous free acid for controlling odours and corrosion in sewers. Mr Simon Taylor, Unitywater’s Executive Manager Infrastructure Planning and Capital Delivery confirmed the benefits of TAG, “As a regulated business Unitywater needs to act prudently and efficiently in all of its business decisions. The TAG program helps utilities promote knowledge sharing and form partnerships with industry that ultimately deliver benefits to customers”, said Mr Taylor.

Another TAG technology, SewerBatt, has been one of the most successful TAG trials to date. SewerBatt, an easy to use, low cost acoustic condition assessment for sewer mains, was collaboratively trialled by 10 utilities. Post trial, the SewerBatt technology has been implemented by at least three utilities and is helping to reduce operational costs associated with sewer inspection programs.

Notes

  • TAG accelerates the market uptake of ‘step-change’ technologies by engaging the industry during the pre-commercial stages of development and by leveraging external investment from venture capital investors.
  • TAG is run by Isle Utilities on behalf of WSAA members.
  • WSAA is the peak body representing the urban water industry in Australia. Its members provide water and wastewater services to over 20 million customers in Australia and New Zealand, including many of Australia’s largest industrial and commercial enterprises.
  • Isle is an independent technology and innovation consultancy that brings together technical and commercial specialists to facilitate relationships. Through its global innovation forum, the Technology Approval Group (TAG), they have a strong track record in identifying emerging technologies and accelerating their market uptake. The forum revolutionises the way new technologies are adopted and commercialised - connecting expertise, investment and inspired ideas to bring them to life.

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