A PROJECT in South East Queensland managed by Kiama engineer and councillor Andrew Sloan has won the highest honour the Australian water industry can present.
The Australian Water Association recently awarded the National Program Innovation Award for 2014 to the Moreton Bay Total Water Cycle Management Plan.
The award is presented to the initiative which demonstrates the most significant and innovative means of improving sustainability within the Australian water industry.
"The Moreton Bay Total Water Cycle Plan was developed in partnership by the local council and water utility to determine the most cost-effective way to cater for growth, protect waterway health and to improve amenity for the 350,000 residents in the Moreton Bay Council region," Mr Sloan said.
"It identifies strategies and actions agreed to by all agencies involved with the management of water, catchments or town planning in the area.
"Actions are now in place to ensure water sources are secure and sustainable for the long-term, with many other actions identified to improve the management of urban stormwater and wastewater and minimise flood impacts.
He said the plan was the first of its kind in South East Queensland.
"It is a very complex process which I started and managed for the water utility, but we have successfully found the most cost-effective way to manage the competing demands for water," he said.
"It is a very satisfying moment to have it recognised by water peers at the highest possible level.
"It is definitely the highlight of my 20-year career so far."
The 2014 National Awards for water excellence were presented at Australia's leading international water conference and exhibition Ozwater, which took place in Brisbane in late April/early May.
It aims to turn the spotlight on projects and people that represent excellence in water and wastewater management.
The Australian Water Association's chief executive, Jonathan McKeown, said the array of project types entered for this year's awards was an indication of how paramount water and wastewater is to so many industries and parts of people's lives.