New Water Directorate

Following the corporatisation of many water utilities, the NSW Division of the Institute of Municipal Engineering Australia (IMEA) has recently encouraged and assisted the establishment of a Water Directorate.

"As the State Government moves out of this industry, expertise in this area lives on, spread over some 100 Councils," said Gary Mitchell, Executive Officer of the Water Directorate. "This presents an opportunity for Local Government to provide leadership and fill this void.

"As a result, forward thinking technical managers within NSW Local Government have set up this forum to draw Local Government expertise together, and focus on issues affecting water and waste water management." The Water Directorate will provide direction for the water and sewerage industry. It will improve communication and information sharing, leading to greater efficiencies.

Gary Mitchell said that currently NSW has 123 operating authorities, managing assets valued at $7 billion and serving 1.2 million people. He said the Directorate is currently developing a Business Plan covering 33 specific actions.

One of these was the establishment of a Water Health Panel. This Panel will keep Councils informed about issues, such as giardia and crytosporidium. It will also ensure incident management systems, risk assessment and education packages are appropriate for Local Government.

The Water Directorate is located with the IMEA at in Kent Street Sydney.

For further information contact Gary Mitchell, telephone (02) 9267 0746.