In the absence of opportunities for face to face events, WIOA was innovative in providing a highly interactive 3-D virtual conference and expo platform – Virtual Water.

The platform brought together water industry operational employees, suppliers to the industry, and stakeholders from all over the country to hear the latest updates, share knowledge and technical information and experiences from a range of presenters. Virtual Water delivered 23.45 hours of content, video-streamed from within the virtual auditorium.

WIOA hosted 10 “live days” on the platform with the first day occurring on Wednesday 22 July 2020. Live Days included a keynote and technical presentations where speakers delivered engaging and informative content and facilitated 2-way conversations through question and answer sessions. The Intelligent Water Network hosted an additional two live days for the benefit of their members.

Virtual Water includes an expo that provided Corporate Members the opportunity to showcase their products and services in a virtual environment. The Virtual Water expo simulates a live conference with exhibitors engaging with the attendees from their virtual expo booths. Exhibitors provide their information to attendees through videos, PDF documents, or other brochures as well as by chat, audio, messaging and email functions.

Virtual Water Opens its Doors

Since opening the doors to the Virtual Water platform, 1,252 individuals have registered to access the platform. This is just under the number of people who would traditionally attend the Victorian Conference and Exhibition, our largest event. The number is close to the average combined attendance at our conferences in NSW, Queensland.

During the period that the platform has been operating, the exhibition has received over 11,205 booth visitations, with 1,583 clicks on the content (videos and documents) that our exhibitors have made available.

Over the Live Days, there have been 90 presentations by operations staff from every Australian State, including nine Keynote addresses. A total of 81 of the presenters have given their approval to post a recording of their presentation to the On-Demand section of the auditorium to allow everyone to access and watch in their own time.

Virtual Water’s expo and on-demand content will remain live through to April 2021.

Virtual Water Sponsors

  • Acrodyne-Limitorque
  • Alternative Lining Technologies Australia
  • Bergmeier Environmental
  • Endress+Hauser Australia
  • Hydroflux
  • Intelligent Water Network
  • McBerns Innovative Solutions
  • Piping & Automation Systems
  • Southern Divers
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific Australia
  • Yokagawa

Congratulations to the operators of the Marian WTP in Mackay who have been acknowledged as not only has the best tasting water in Australia in 2019 but also the second-best in the world as judged in 2020.  The voting was very close but the sample representing Queensland from the Mackay Regional Council came out just ahead of the other state champions.

The decision was handed down in February 2020 at the 30th Annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition in West Virginia, USA, when Mackay’s H20 came runner up to Desert Hot Springs, California.


Despite Australia having yet to win the grand prize, an Aussie water has now won second place for the third time – with Wannon Water and their tap water from Hamilton Water Treatment Plant in Victoria finishing second in 2019 and Marysville Water from Victoria placing second in 2016.