The event program features fascinating keynotes, thought provoking presentations, and will allow delegates to discuss focussed questions on our overarching theme Water Wisdom to Future Flow. Click below to discover what's in store at Next Water 2023.

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 Prof Alan Duffy | Astronomer, science communicator & Director of the Space Technology
and Industry Institute 

Professor Alan Duffy is Director of the Space Technology and Industry Institute at Melbourne's
Swinburne University. A professional astrophysicist, he creates baby universes on supercomputers
to understand how galaxies form and to probe the nature of dark matter.

Before this, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Melbourne and a postdoctoral
 research associate with ICRAR at the University of Western Australia. Alan obtained his PhD from
the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics and spent two years as a postgraduate at the
Sterrewacht, Leiden Observatory in The Netherlands.

Alan is a member of SABRE, the world’s first dark matter detector in the Southern Hemisphere,
based at the bottom of an active gold mine in the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory in
Victoria, Australia.

Every fortnight Alan tries to explain breaking science from UFO sightings to the latest NASA
discoveries on his space segment with ABC Radio Melbourne. He is also a regular on Network TEN’s
The Project and Nine’s Weekend Today. Most recently Alan presented two episodes of ABC’s
Catalyst and was a presenter on Stargazing Live produced by ABC/BBC.


Next Water'23 Sub-Themes

Next Water conference sessions have been constructed to consider our overarching conference theme - Water Wisdom to Future Flow.

 There are 10 sessions that will explore and discuss the following themes:

Theme 1

Diversification of Water Sources

Each day, water managers are presented with challenges arising from climate variability, population growth, and evolving customer expectations. Purified recycled water is core to achieving diversification of water sources. Hear from water leaders on the future of water recycling.

Theme 2

Addressing Current & Emerging Challenges

Analysis, testing, and treatment are essential to addressing the challenges of contaminants and pathogens of concern, including PFAS, microplastics, bromide, and biological organisms.  Listen to some of the ways in which the water industry is addressing these.

Theme 3

Innovating with Technology and Ingenuity

Showcasing enablers for transitioning utilities of today to those of the future, including remote monitoring of wastewater and environmental waters, machine learning-incorporated digital twins, and removal of antibiotics from polluted waters.

Theme 4

Wastewater in the Circular Economy

Wastewater presents the water sector with a ubiquitous potential resource.  Channelling the reuse/recycle culture to maximise our resources, how can we harness the value of wastewater to underpin economic growth, reduce environmental impacts and generate healthy liveable communities? 

Theme 5

Monitoring for Human Health

The COVID-19 pandemic saw the water industry rapidly increase its capacity and capability in monitoring wastewater for the most optimum public health outcomes. Hear about the health burden of water-based pathogens, the tracking of variants through genetic sequencing, and continuous innovation to monitor for public health threats. Participate in a Q&A session on wastewater surveillance, and panel session on microbial health-based targets.

Theme 6

Net Zero: The Research Behind the Race

Emissions, greenhouse gases, and green hydrogen present both challenges and opportunities to the water sector. Listen to the research behind the race to net-zero and understand where some of the opportunities lie. Participate in a panel session on the water sector’s net-zero landscape and become a champion of net-zero transition.

Theme 7

The Human Factor 

Our cities, towns, and communities rely on ongoing water research and development enhance community outcomes now and into the future. How can the water sector better engage with its customers and strengthen the social licence to operate? How can the water sector ensure that it attracts and retains a dynamic, high performing, and skilled workforce?

Theme 8

Recognising First Nations Water Wisdom and Research

How can the water industry help build a just, equitable, and reconciled Australia? First Nations wisdom must underpin all we do in the water sector. Listen to and walk with those from the indigenous community to understand how we can work together to achieve more sustainable land and water management.

Theme 9

Planning for Resilience

Australia’s catchments are feeling the effects of climate change impacts. More than ever smart management of water bodies is required, and the use of data, decision-support tools, and models is crucial. Hear how leading researchers and water utilities are developing the tools needed to secure future supplies that meet community and environment needs and preferences.

 Theme 10

Managing Our Blue-Green Future

A look into cyanobacteria management, water quality monitoring, and the potential algal-related challenges of discharging recycled water into reservoirs and lagoons. 



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