IWC teaches integrated water management to Indonesian water professionals
Through AusAID’s Australian Leadership Award Fellowships program, IWC is hosting eleven Indonesian water sector members of Persatuan Perusahaan Air Minum Seluruh Indonesia (PERPAMSI), for two months in Australia. The Indonesian cohort arrived on 14 January 2012.
IWC Project Officer Diane Cousineau says the program aims to facilitate knowledge sharing and to promote innovative water resource management in Indonesia. “This is a great opportunity for participants, some of whom have never been to Australia, to gain knowledge and experience about integrated water management (IWM) through the program lectures, guest speakers, field trips and study tours,” Diane said.
The program covers critical water topics such as catchment management and aquatic ecosystem health, community engagement, water sensitive urban design, sustainability and development and water supply and distribution. Participants were introduced to IWM during a visit to North Stradbroke Island and a Brisbane River Field Trip to Lake Wivenhoe, a water reserve northwest of Brisbane in January.
Participants learned about water treatment and Australian Drinking Water Guidelines during their visit to Sydney in February. They also had a study tour of the Mary River in South East Queensland and visited the Wide Bay Water at Hervey Bay, a seaside city in Queensland. The program is now wrapping up in Cairns (North Queensland) with participant presentations on IWRM theory and practice they have learnt from the program. The participants return to Indonesia on 10 March 2012.
Program participant Eko Saputra, a water supplier employee in East Java said the program had increased his knowledge and understanding of key water issues. “I never imagined I would learn so much. IWC has opened my mind on what we (water sector in Indonesia) can do better,” Eko said. “In our country the quality of water in the river is low. Because of that, production cost increases. Eko said water losses and low water pressure were also two other major problems for his company.
“Sometimes we can’t service our customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” he said. However, Eko said IWC had made him more aware of the importance of improving and caring for the health of river systems to help solve water problems in the long-term. “If we take care of our rivers’ health we will have better water, cheaper production costs and better service for our customers. I hope to share this knowledge with my company and company partners,” he added.
IWC designs and delivers professional tailored development programs to international water professionals. PERPAMSI has been representing utilities since 1972 and has a key role in the development of Indonesia’s integrated water resource management response.