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International water leaders discover Gippsland treasures

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Kassie and OS students

International water leaders discover Gippsland treasures

Future water industry leaders from around the globe have finished a week as guests of Gippsland Water exploring the region and the water corporation’s facilities.

Students from the University of Queensland’s International Water Centre have spent the past week learning how Gippsland Water serves the needs of its 60,000 residential customers as well as its major industrial clients in an efficient and environmentally sensitive way.

“We’re always delighted to welcome these students from as far afield as, Mexico, the United States and Zambia. While they can learn from the way we do business, we certainly have some of our processes challenged during their visit,” said Managing Director of Gippsland Water, Mr David Mawer.

The three students are studying a Masters of Integrated Water Management, an industry leading program that brings together the University of Queensland, Griffith University, Monash University and the University of Western Australia and have been hosted in the homes of Gippsland Water staff and their families.

“These people go back to their home countries and make significant difference to the ways people live. While we take running clean water and a functional sewerage system for granted, that’s not the case in many parts of the world,” added Mr Mawer.

“We’ve had students who have gone home and taken up senior positions in government where their knowledge of water, sanitation and sewerage has allowed people to live fuller, healthier, more productive lives. It’s a great pleasure to host them for a few days here in Gippsland,” concluded Mr Mawer.

“Sharon Karlesky from the USA said the experience in Gippsland was a valuable and enjoyable one. "This week spent at Gippsland Water was a fantastic opportunity. At the Gippsland Water Factory we saw innovative technology at work to treat not only domestic sewage but also industrial waste. Another fascinating facility is the Soil and Organic Recycling Facility which turns organic and bio-waste into valuable compost.

The Gippsland staff were wonderful in patiently answering all our questions and supplying us with information. The host families were welcoming and gracious, making sure we felt at home and taking time to show us some of the regional sites.

You can be sure we will share our experiences with our fellow students," concluded Sharon.

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Gippsland Water supplies fresh clean drinking water to more than 70,000 customers, and wastewater services to more than 63,000 customers across an area of more than 5,000 square kilometres. It maintains a $1 billion infrastructure network, which includes more than 2,000 kilometres of water mains, 15 water treatment plants, over 1,700 kilometres of sewer mains and 14 wastewater treatment plants.

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