Asia-Pacific water leaders visit Australia for Learning Week

The International WaterCentre (IWC) has welcomed more than 30 participants from across the Asia-Pacific region for the Asia-Australia Learning Week 2019 (5–9 August), to discuss the role of decision support tools in water policy development, investment planning and the on-ground management of water resources.

Learning Weeks are developed around specific themes and designed to stimulate dialogue and knowledge sharing between experts, policymakers, and practitioners, from both Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific region.

The Asia-Australia Learning Week 2019 is funded by the Australian Water Partnership (AWP) and facilitated by the IWC, in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and delivery partners eWater and Alluvium.

The Asia-Australia Learning Week 2019 is the third time the IWC has led a Learning Week.

“The IWC has led the successful delivery of the 2016 and 2017 Learning Weeks,” says Pablo Orams, Senior Project Officer and Learning Week Project Manager at the IWC. “This experience, together with our strong relationships with the ADB, the AWP, various governments, and academic and industry organisations from across the Australian water sector, has allowed us to build a comprehensive training program for the 2019 edition of the Learning Week. We are excited to welcome a diverse group of participants and to share our experiences, as well as learning from theirs.”

This year’s participants include senior government and water utility representatives from various ADB Developing Member Countries (DMC) from across the Asia-Pacific region, as well as key ADB staff working in water resource-related projects with DMC representatives. Represented countries include the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Mongolia and China.

Participants visit Canberra and Melbourne, locations that offer unique opportunities to explore Australian working examples of decision support tools and systems at use in the water sector.

About the Asia-Australia Learning Week

The Asia-Australia Learning Week 2019 is an intensive 5-day custom-designed training program that focuses on leveraging results through collaborative approaches in water sector investment for countries, cities and river basins. 

Participants take part in a facilitated learning process, to draw relevant lessons from Australian experiences and to translate those experiences into their own country and work contexts. The aim is to help participants to adopt, use or enhance context-appropriate and fit-for-purpose decision support tools and systems in their home country.

The Learning Week also gives participants the opportunity to establish new networks, both between the fellow participants and with their Australian counterparts, which builds the potential for future bilateral collaborations between ADB DMCs and Australia.

This theme of this year’s Learning Week is Decision support tools to guide water policy development, investment planning and on-ground management of water resources. During the week, participants explored:

  • decision support tools and their role in advancing the water sector
  • policy, planning, management and practical considerations of applying decision support tools across different geographical scales, governance structures, institutional levels and water users
  • transition pathways for the enhanced use of decision support tools, including the overall history, current situation and future directions in the Australian water sector
  • case studies that showcase the adoption and utility of decision support tools at both regional/catchment and local scales
  • real agency experiences with decision support tools, and the adaptive management principles that unpin their use and refinement, with a focus on both the rural/catchment context (e.g. dam operations) and the urban context (e.g. water and wastewater utilities).

The week also features guest speakers from leading Australian organisations, including Geoscience Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology, the Murray-Darling Basin AuthorityCSIROWaterNSWGoulburn-Murray Water and the Water Services Association of Australia, and university partners Griffith University and The University of Queensland.

Source: International WaterCentre

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