International recognition of the city of Wagga Wagga as an urban centre, demonstrating excellence in water management is the goal of a new initiative launched during the week long water festival organised by Charles Sturt University (CSU) and Wagga Wagga City Council.
Known as the Wagga Wagga ‘Global Water Smart City’ project, the major strategic initiative is a ten year action plan to establish the regional Australian city as an international reference for sustainable and smart use of water resources in an urban environment.
The project is being launched during the 2006 Wagga Wagga Innovation Festival’s Wealth from Water
being held on the University’s Wagga Wagga Campus and at venues throughout the city from Monday 15 May until Friday 19 May.
The ‘Global Water Smart City’ project has been endorsed by Wagga Wagga City Council and developed in conjunction with Professor of Hydrology Shahbaz Khan
and his team of water specialists at Charles Sturt University.
“As the city sits in the heart of the Murrumbidgee Basin, we will endeavour to integrate smart knowledge with smart solutions and smart showcasing so that by 2015, Wagga Wagga will be a light house for urban centres around the world that are facing increasing demands on their finite water supplies,” said Professor Khan.
Professor Khan is highly regarded internationally as both lobbyist and scientist for sustainable water use. He is the Australasian regional coordinator for one of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) major water programs known as HELP. Through this work, he has gained world recognition from the UN for the Murrumbidgee River catchment as the global benchmark for sustainable irrigation.
“The ‘Global Water Smart City’ project will also leverage off the city’s existing strengths and reputation in urban water management practices, such as effluent reuse and salinity management,” said Wagga Wagga Mayor Kerry Pascoe.
“Establishing Wagga Wagga at the centre of urban water management in the next ten years is a strategic opportunity that has the potential to attract significant global recognition and economic opportunities for the city in the future,' added Councillor Pascoe.
Key events of 2006 Wagga Wagga Innovation Festival Wealth from Water include:
- As well as attracting water specialists from across Australia and the Riverina, the Festival will also see international delegates from the Asia-Pacific region attend a regional planning meeting at CSU on Thursday 18 May of the UNESCO Hydrology for Environment, Life and Policy (HELP) program.
- A debate for farmers, students, academics, industry and the public on the question Is it possible to have sustainable water management in an arid environment? in Joyes Hall, CSU, Wagga Wagga from 2pm to 5pm, Thursday 18 May.Click here to see speakers.
- Launch of the Wealth from Water Festival and the Wagga Wagga ‘Global Water Smart City’ project by Federal Member for Riverina Kay Hull on Thursday 18 May in the Museum of the Riverina, Wagga Wagga Civic Centre from 6pm to 7.30pm.
- The touring exhibition from the National Archives of Australia, Just Add Water will be hosted by the Museum of the Riverina, Wagga Wagga Civic Centre.
- Educational programs including talks and field trips for senior Riverina high school students from 9am to 2.30pm in Wagga Wagga on Friday 19 May.