Jul 02, 2008

WateReuse Launches Australian Division

Agreement signed June 30 to launch association's first international division

The WateReuse Association and the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) signed an agreement on June 30 to launch the first international division of the Association. WSAA represents Australia’s water utilities and WateReuse has served the water reuse and desalination communities in the U.S. for more than 20 years.

WateReuse Association President Richard Atwater believes that the establishment of the Australian Division heralds a new era for the Association.

“The Australian Division is the first division of the Association established outside of the United States and we are delighted to now have an Australian Division given that recycled water and desalination are such important issues for Australia,” Atwater said. “In fact, in many respects Australia leads the world in the use of recycled water and desalination.”

WSAA Chair Kerry Schott is looking forward to the opportunities to further enhance the exchange of information and research outcomes between Australia and the U.S.

“Climate change has hit Australia very hard, resulting in rapidly declining inflows into water storages. Linking the research undertaken by such a prestigious organization as the WateReuse Foundation will enable Australia to keep up with best practice techniques and technology advances in water recycling and desalination,” Schott said.

Australian water utilities will be able to join as Class A members of WateReuse Australia and other interested organizations, such as consulting engineering firms and equipment suppliers, will be able to join as Class B members.

“There has been no trouble getting Australian water utilities to become members of the Australian Division,” said Ross Young, executive director of WSAA. “This demonstrates the desire of the Australian urban water industry to tap into the network of knowledge relating to recycled water and desalination.”

WateReuse Association Executive Director Wade Miller is excited by the possibilities that lay ahead with the formation of the first international division of the Association in Australia.

“I have been to Australia several times presenting on recycled water issues and inspecting projects and I am always amazed at the extent to which water, and in particular recycled water and desalination, are such high-profile issues in the Australian community. I have every confidence that the formation of the Australian Division will assist Australia in dealing with its water challenges going forward,” Miller said.

The WateReuse Association of California was formed in December 1990 when the Association of Water Reclamation Agencies (AWRA), a policy & regulatory organization, merged with the California Association of Reclamation Entities of Water (CAREW), a technical organization. In 1993, the Association formed an affiliate organization—the WateReuse Foundation—whose purpose was to conduct applied research on alternative water supplies such as the reuse of reclaimed water.

After a decade as a state association, the Board of Directors decided that alternative water supply needs stretched far beyond the borders of California. The organization was reincorporated as the WateReuse Association in April 2000. The Board hired its first full-time executive director on August 1, 2000, and established an office in the Washington, D.C. area.

The Association has members in five countries and 33 states. Six states have formed State Sections: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Texas. In addition, the California Section has four local chapters. State Sections and International Divisions complement the organization with their ability to focus on unique legislative, regulatory, and funding issues in a particular location.