WIOA has developed a new strategic partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Intelligent Water Network (IWN), formalised during 2020. This is a commitment to collaborate and share information around new and innovative technology solutions, communication platforms, and virtual and/or public forums.

The IWN has been working with WIOA for many years regularly to share information and showcase new processes or technology solutions with the front-line operations staff. The IWN partnered with WIOA in staging two days for their members on the Virtual Water platform.

Collaborating with organisations such as IWN is an important part in the collection and sharing of information with operational people in the water industry. Communicating the results of the various IWN research and technology trials can help the operational side of the water industry to increase efficiency, productivity, and improve customer service outcomes.

George Wall from Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA) continued in the role as chair of the Water Industry Reference Committee on for the Australian Industry Standards.

The Water Industry Reference Committee has been assigned responsibility for the NWP National Water Training Package which provides the only nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications for occupations involved in water industry operations (generalist, treatment, networks, source, irrigation, hydrographic survey, trade waste), treatment (drinking water, wastewater) and irrigation.

WIOA completed the development of an Information and Communication Technology (ICT), web based solution, to assist in the administration and overall management of the national certification scheme.

The final solution was tested with the assistance of some water utilities in early 2020.

The Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA) recognised many operational employees for demonstrating excellence in their field in 2020.

Virtual Water provided WIOA and sponsoring organisations the opportunity to continue to recognise very deserving operational staff through the presentation of numerous awards. The very successful and competitive best tasting tap water competitions were also staged as part of Virtual Water with the various winners announced on the Live days.

Awards included:

  • Operator of the Year
  • Yong Operator of the Year
  • Networks/Civil/All Rounder Operator of the Year
  • Best Tasting Tap Water Competition winners
  • Kwatye Cultural Recognition Award
  • Spirit of Australia Awards
  • PASS Award

In 2020, WIOA  was supported by TRILITY and Southern Divers to be able to make charitable donations on behalf of WIOA members.

The members were selected randomly in the leaderboard challenge in the Virtual Water platform that saw 4 donations made. Other donations were made on behalf of the Spirit of Australia and Kwatye Award winners.

Some of the charities that received our support included:

  • AIME Mentoring (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience)
  • Blaze Aid
  • Cancer Council of Australia
  • Cancer Council, South Australia
  • Caloundra Men’s Shed
  • Daffodil Cottage, Cancer Care Centre
  • Feed the little children in the Kimberley
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation
  • Rural Aid Australia
  • Sailability Bayside
  • SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY

The WIOA website is critical for the association to be able to provide current information to our members and stakeholders. We have plans to further develop the content and functionality of the site during 2020 to include access to a members portal which will allow members to keep their details up to date.

During 2020 the WIOA websites received a total of 70,628 entrances.

Our presence in social media channels also increased during 2020 with WIOA communicating with members via Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and providing more content on the WIOA YouTube channel.

WIOA is investigating additional ways our online presence can be more effective for members and to provide content that is valued by our members.

The outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia created highly uncertain circumstances for households, businesses and governments.

Prior to 2020, concepts such as “lockdowns,” “mask mandates” and “social distancing” were unknown to most of us. Today they are part of our everyday language as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all aspects of our lives.

Water is an essential service and water utilities are well prepared to manage their response to COVID-19. There is no evidence that drinking water will be affected by the COVID-19 virus or that it is transmitted by drinking water or wastewater systems.

Australians are renowned for coming together to provide help and support for each other during times of need, and we all know that 2020 has been one of the toughest years experienced by us all.

With that in mind, WIOA with the support of award sponsor TRILITY, created a new Spirit of Australia Award to recognise WIOA members who demonstrate the Australian spirit of mateship. The compassion and unconditional kindness of these members who have supported others during these challenging times was acknowledged with one winner awarded in each state.


More Information and the winners can be found on the Spirit of Australia Page.

Water from the Rossarden Water Treatment Plant in Tasmania has taken out the top prize in WIOA Ixom’s Best Tasting Tap Water in Australia competition.

The Rossarden Water Treatment Plant, which is run in partnership with water services provider TRILITY, beat the other State competition winners from around the country to win the coveted award.

The plant services around 110 connections and uses a modern multi-barrier approach that incorporates UF filtration, granular activated carbon, calcite remineralisation and disinfection via sodium hypochlorite.

The award recognises our engineers and scientists’ excellent work in delivering great-tasting, safe, and reliable drinking water to Tasmania’s regional communities. The community of Rossarden can now celebrate after being acknowledged as having the best tasting tap water in Tasmania and Australia

Rossarden’s water will now go up against the global competition in the International Best Tasting Tap Water Competition in West Virginia in 2021.



Congratulations to Adrian Rijnbeek from Xylem who has been accepted as the 40th member of the WIOA IDIOTS (Inducted as Delegates of the Inextricably Obstructed Tap Society).

Congratulations to Adrian Rijnbeek from Xylem Water Solutions who became the 40th Member to be Inducted as a Delegate of the Inextricably Obstructed Tap Society. The Award recognises members for their commitment to the vision and philosophies of WIOA and their active promotion of the Association. Some of Adrian’s achievements with WIOA include:

  • WIOA Member since March 2005
  • Victorian Young Operator of the Year 2008
  • Committee member from 2012 to 2018
  • Board member from 2017 to 2020
  • Vice President 2015 & 2016
  • President 2017 & 2018

Adrian has been a regular MC at conference dinners, taste tests and other events. He has been a great help at conferences and events assisting with the setup, packup and anything else that needs doing and has actively promoted WIOA through his role with Xylem.

Adrian has shared his technical knowledge by helping develop the program and then assisted in running the pumps training day as part of the annual Network Operator Development Program.

IDIOTS is a term of endearment for IWOA members as the award recognises the services of individuals to the Association. The IDIOTS award is presented to an individual in recognition of their commitment to the vision and philosophies of the Association and the active promotion of WIOA through distinguished service to the Association.