Twinning program strengthens knowledge of Vietnam’s water professionals

The Australian Water Association’s Australia-Vietnam Twinning Program, between five Australian and five Vietnam water utilities, is nearing its 12-month milestone. The program, supported by the Australian Water Partnership, is focused on knowledge sharing and building the capacity of individual water operators and water utilities to overcome common challenges and implement shared water objectives. This is intended to lead to improved service delivery across the following areas:

  • Water quality
  • Water efficiency
  • Water sustainability
  • Water security

The program involves the following twinning partnerships:

  • Son La Water Company & Cairns Regional Council, Water & Waste
  • Saigon Water Corporation & Seqwater
  • Binh Duong Water Company & Wannon Water
  • Phu Tho Water Supply Company & Coliban Water
  • Hue Water Company & Western Australia Water Corporation

The program has directly involved 142 water professionals across Australia to date, of which 56 have been female. Since the commencement of the program in March 2017, each of the Vietnam twins has completed at least one trip to Australia, while each of the five Australian twins has completed at least two trips to Vietnam.

As part of the program, each of the five Australian twins coincided one of their visits to their Vietnam twin in order to attend Vietnam’s annual water exhibition, Vietwater’17, in November last year. During this time, the twins participated in a mid-term monitoring exercise which was coordinated by researchers at the University of New South Wales Global Water Institute and Peter Moore PSM, Past President of the Association. At the event, the twins presented to an external audience, including Nick Schofield, chief executive of the AWP, on the outputs which have been delivered to date through their twinning partnership. These include:

Binh Duong Water Company & Wannon Water

These twins have delivered the transfer of, and the customisation and implementation of, an asset management register, and developed a new asset management unit for Binh Duong.

Phu Tho Water Supply Company & Coliban Water

These twins have worked on the development and implementation of a water quality data management system for the Phu Tho Water Supply Company (PTWSC), as well holding discussions on tools and approaches to support the ongoing implementation of PTWSC’s water safety plan.

Hue Water Company & Western Australia Water Corporation

These twins have delivered practical approaches to support asset management capabilities. This has included the transfer of knowledge to support the operationalisation of Hue’s water safety plan; as well as developing customer and community engagement strategies to raise awareness of the value of water and improve billing and metering efficiencies..

Saigon Water Corporation & Seqwater

These twins have supported water safety planning and asset management within Saigon Water. This has occurred through improvements towards on the ground training in maintenance scheduling; renewal and refurbishment planning and a condition and criticality assessment in the asset management space; and risk assessment and water security planning training in the water safety planning space.

Son La Water Company & Cairns Regional Council, Water & Waste

These twins have supported the development and implementation of a water quality safety plan and asset register principles to support asset management across Son La Water Company. Cairns has also transferred a tool to assist Son La with the scheduling and prioritisation of projects, as well as assisting with the design and implementation of a new water intake.

The feedback from the Twinning Program continues to be positive, with all Australian twins reporting that the experience continues to be highly rewarding for both the utility in general, as well as for individual staff. Each Australian utility is also starting to see their involvement as providing them with an opportunity to make a difference and add value to each of the Vietnamese water utilities.

If you would like to learn more about the twinning program, please watch the twinning highlights video, or attend the twinning workshop at Ozwater’18 in Brisbane. If you or your organisation are interested in getting involved in the twinning program please contact Robbie Goedecke, Australian Water Association International Projects Officer

This article was originally published by the Australian Water Association.

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