15 February 2011 - Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth.
As a nation, it must constantly adapt and innovate in order to ensure that there are sufficient water resources to sustain all of the elements required by a modern society.
Each year, the World Bank holds a week of thematic meetings where stakeholders from across the organisation come together to discuss development in a specific policy and practice area.
In 2011, and for the first time in the Bank’s history, the organisation awarded an entire day to a single country – Australia.
The Australian Water Story seminar was organised by the Victorian Government and run by the Australian Trade Commission. The one day event was held 31 January at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC and was part of a the World Bank’s annual Water Week dedicated to discussions, conferences and meetings on water-related issues.
Aurecon’s Norman Walker, Principal Engineer, Water Asia Pacific was invited to present a paper on the Monash University Water Strategy and Nathan Rabe, General Manager, IDSS was invited to attend as a senior representative of our international development assistance business.
The event was a showcase of Australian technical and policy experience in water resource management, delivery and environmental management. Invitation only speakers were drawn from academia, government, research bodies and key players within the engineering, advisory and international development assistance (IDA) sectors.
“This unique event created a real buzz within the World Bank community,” said Nathan. “Senior vice presidents from the World Bank were keen participants and were excited to hear about the solutions and innovations companies like Aurecon are delivering across diverse water and IDA projects.”
The seminar agenda included:
“In opening seminar proceedings, Kim Beazley, Australian Ambassador to the USA highlighted to delegates that at the event, Australia was presenting the A-list of its expertise in water,” said Norman.
In addition to presenting at the seminar, both Norman and Nate met with various branches of the World Bank and travelled to New York to meet with the UN agencies as part of the official trade mission.
“Australia experiences such diverse climatic conditions and faces unique water challenges, ranging from drought to floods and cyclones, so this forum was an excellent opportunity to highlight Australia’s ability to contribute innovative water outcomes to solve diverse challenges in the developing world,” added Norman.
“A key commitment for Aurecon is to further grow our profile and our Water/IDA business with the World Bank,” said Nathan. “The seminar was an important event for Aurecon, as we were able to meet representatives from the World Bank to discuss our expertise delivering water programmes across South East Asia and Africa.”