Supporting Indonesia’s water technology industry: Outcomes from the 8th Indonesia Water and Wastewater Expo & Forum

The 8th Indonesia Water and Wastewater Expo & Forum (IWWEF) was held on 18–20 September in Jakarta, attracting over 5,000 visitors including Australian young water professionals, technology providers and utilities.

The Australian Water Partnership (AWP) supported the Australian Water Association (AWA) to host an Australian delegation and program, sharing Australia’s water knowledge with attendees from Indonesia and ten other countries and regions.

The event was organised by the Indonesian Water Association (PERPAMSI), which has been working closely with AWA through the Australia-Indonesia Water Utilities Improvement Program (WUIP) supported by AWP. The WUIP links three Australian water utilities with three Indonesian water utilities to transfer water management knowledge and expertise, with a focus on improving Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI).

Three workshops for WUIP partners were held during IWWEF, with Yarra Valley Water, South Gippsland Water and Unitywater participating in all three.

The first focused on GESI, giving an opportunity for representatives to exchange knowledge, learnings and experiences with each other to assist with the development of tools to support GESI implementation by Indonesian water utilities and wastewater utilities. WUIP partners agreed on a set of actions to advance their GESI activities, including identifying key challenges facing women and individuals from disadvantaged groups and developing solutions to overcome these challenges; providing support to PERPAMSI to profile female water professionals across the Indonesia water sector; developing ‘women of water’ networks and support services for Indonesian PDAMs; and further sharing of tools and approaches for GESI.

The second workshop allowed WUIP participants to discuss and refine action plans that were developed following Ozwater’19 and to identify areas for broader knowledge sharing across the Indonesia and Australian water sectors.

The final workshop focused on asset management, non-revenue water and water safety planning, with Australian Partners sharing their experiences.

GESI focused workshop as part of the Australia-Indonesia Water Utility Improvement Program at IWWEF 2019 (Credit: AWA)

Sandrika Ryan, Project Engineer, Chair AWA QLD Editorial Committee and AWA QLD YWP Communications Coordinator said, “The immediate positive impact of our work between each utility pair was evident and sparked many thoughts for others to be part of the knowledge sharing. Particularly when the session turned into an open floor discussion, the Australian utilities were able to provide solutions to real problems happening this very minute in these Indonesian communities.”

An open forum on GESI was also organised for IWWEF attendees, with delegates hearing about different GESI activities and approaches that strengthen engagement between the Australian, Indonesian and international water sectors, and opportunities to get involved in the Australia-Indonesia GESI activities. Presentations from Indonesian organisations covered empowering women—with initiatives and insights from Government and water utilities—and AWP Australian Partners shared their GESI approaches, successes and incentives.

A ‘world café’ session for Young Water Professionals (YWPs) was organised by AWA to allow YWPs working for Indonesian water utilities to connect and share their career knowledge and experiences with their peers and to develop tools to identify solutions to complex issues facing Indonesia’s water sector. PERPAMSI Vice President Benny Andrianto gave a keynote address in the world café session, with further opening remarks from AWA Chief Executive Officer Jonathan McKeown and AWP Program and Communications Officer Caitlin Windross.

Young Water Professionals workshop participants at IWWEF 2019, including AWP representatives Marian Neal (far left) and Caitlin Windross (5th from left, back row). (Credit: AWA)

As a result of this session, Indonesian and Australian YWPs are now discussing steps to develop a framework and roadmap for the establishment of a YWP companion system, enabling ongoing knowledge sharing beyond IWWEF and contributing to the growth of YWP networks between Australia and Indonesia.

AWP Partnerships and Knowledge Manager Dr Marian Neal said, “One of AWP’s main objectives is to enhance capacity development in priority countries. One of the key ways we do this is by allowing important knowledge and skills to be transferred to emerging leaders to better equip them to contribute to the sector throughout their burgeoning careers. We see great value in supporting these programs, as emerging professionals bring fresh and innovative solutions to complex issues.”

On the final day, the Australian delegation presented on technological innovations and standards as part of a Water Quality Technology Seminar. Sponsored by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Liveability Victoria International, the seminar was an opportunity for Australian delegates to present their innovations and technologies to IWWEF attendees. Many Australian companies also exhibited their products and services at the Australian Pavilion as one of over 200 exhibitors present at the event.

Australia Water Association booth at the IWWEF 2019 (Credit: AWA)

AWA International Projects Officer, Robbie Goedecke, who helped to lead the Australian delegation, said, “AWA and PERPAMSI are grateful for the enthusiasm and professionalism that all delegates demonstrated as well as the contributions of many water professionals who shared their knowledge and expertise to further connect the Australian and Indonesian water sectors. We look forward to facilitating activities that continue to inspire the Indonesian water sector to achieve safe and sustainable water for all.

Related news: AWA | Australian water professionals share expertise in Indonesia

Feature photo: Indonesia water utility site tour at IWWEF 2019 (Credit: AWA)
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