National Water Week

National Water Week 2016: Water - life - growth

What is National Water Week?

National Water Week logoEach year, National Water Week makes a splash across Australia inspiring individuals, communities and organisations to work together to build community awareness and understanding around water issues and opportunities for growth and innovation. This year's National Water week’s theme is ‘Water - life - growth’ encouraging sound water practices and investment in all the water sources to ensure we don’t exhaust our current sources in potentially challenging times ahead.

National Water Week provides an opportunity to remind ourselves and teach others that water must be used wisely if there is to be enough to meet the needs of our future generations. While the week is dedicated to encouraging communities to take action to protect our vital water sources, it’s also a celebration of innovation and water achievements that have and will contribute to Australia’s sustainable future and economic prosperity. 

Suez supporting National Water Week 2016

Suez are giving the Australian Water Association sponsorship to offer an Australian university a one year educational membership to mark National Water Week.


Why "water - life - growth"?

Water is something we use every single day for many parts of our lives. We use water to hydrate ourselves when we’re thirsty, to keep the plants alive in our gardens, to shower, brush our teeth and wash the dishes. But water plays an even bigger role in our daily lives than we might think. Water is vital to make sure the different industries we all rely on are supported sustainably, like agriculture to grow the food we eat. Water is fundamental to make sure our environment is healthy, and to make our cities and communities a happy place to live. If we want life and growth in the future, we need to make sure we use our water wisely today.

The Australian Water Association encourages everyone to get involved 

The Australian Water Association is the national coordinator for National Water Week and works with their members, interested organisations, schools and communities to promote National Water Week events, activities and educational resources, and increase involvement across the country.

What have you got planned for National Water Week? If your organisation, school or local community is hosting a canoeing education event or perhaps an art competition for students, we want to hear about it! Tell us what you’re up to and we’ll promote it here to encourage others to follow your lead.

Events happening around the country

Coliban Water - National Water Week Poster Competition for Primary School Students
WA Water Awards Dinner - Celebrating achievements in the WA water industry
Water Corporation - Term 4 competition: Brag about National Water Week
Central Highlands Water - Poster Competition for Primary School Students, Secondary College debate, Poster competition prize presentation, Tertiary student lab tour, and Primary student tree planting and waterwatch
Lower Murray Water - National Water Week on Show for Primary School Students
VicWater - Information on activities happening in Victoria for National Water Week
Isaac Regional Council - Moranbah Water Treatment Plant Open Day and Colouring-in Competition
Busselton Water - Schools Billboard Competition: National Water Week message goes up in lights
SERCUL - Canoeing on the Canning: Professional Development Day
WIOA - Victorian Water Interest Day and Best Tap Water Competition
Port Macquarie-Hastings - Photography Exhibition, Water Stories at the Library, and Catchment to Tap Water Tour
Mount Vital - Staff gold coin donation Burger Lunch raising funds for The Water Project
Townsville City Council - National Water Week Billboard Design Competition
Seqwater - Water for Life poster art competition and naming ceremony of a park in South East Queensland water catchment area
New WAter Ways - Water Industry Night
Conservation Volunteers Australia - National Water Week activities at project sites in Western Sydney
Bundaberg Regional Council - Photography competition for all ages
Cairns Regional Council - Free community workshop to learn how to help your garden survive and thrive on less water
Smart WaterMark - National Water Week photo competition with a chance to win a camera

Resources to help you celebrate

Education resources for students and teachers

Australian Water Association, Teacher Resources, Water Education Network – Australian Curriculum water topics
ABC, River Kids: 30/05/2016, Behind the News – The challenges facing the Murray River
ABC, Poo Crew: 12/06/2012, Behind the News – What happens when you flush the loo
South East Water Corporation, Water Education Microsite - Animations about water cycles and water sources, plus games for younger students 
South East Water Corporation, Natural Water Cycle Colouring Sheet – Colour and learn about the natural water cycle
Water Corporation, Teaching resources for teachers, eLearning games for students, and a dedicated page for students to explore water themes

Water sources around Australia

Have you ever thought about where your water comes from? Sure it comes out of your tap or irrigation sprinkler, but do you know where the water starts? Australia relies on many different water sources to provide our water needs.

  • Surface water - water on the Earth’s surface which can be found in a stream, river, lake, wetland, ocean or a dam.
  • Groundwater - water that occupies the spaces between particles of soil (sand, silt and clay) or rock beneath the earth’s surface. Groundwater is found in unconfined (shallow) aquifers and confined (artesian) aquifers. Unconfined groundwater occurs near the land surface and receives direct rainfall recharge. Confined groundwater occurs beneath a layer of impervious material and may be under pressure.
  • Desalinated water - Desalination is the removal of salt, especially from sea water. Desalination is an advanced process to provide a new source of clean drinking water to states that cannot rely on rainfall.
  • Stormwater - rainwater that has run off roads, rooves, paved areas etc. and is usually conveyed by constructed drains.
  • Wastewater - 99.97% water and comes mostly from showers, baths and washing machines. After you’ve used your water, it enters a wastewater pipe, and then into the sewer mains and eventually it reaches one of our wastewater treatment plants.
  • Recycled water - the use of treated wastewater or appropriately treated drainage water. Before being recycled, wastewater is treated, according to stringent health regulations, to meet the appropriate standard for its intended use. When reused for a beneficial purpose, this water is known as recycled. Increasing the amount of water we recycle is vital to maintaining a reliable, safe and sustainable water supply and becoming climate resilient.
  • Groundwater replenishment - an innovative concept where treated wastewater is further treated to drinking water standards and recharged into groundwater supplies. It is then stored and taken out later for further treatment and supply to a drinking water system. This source is currently only available in WA.

Past National Water Week themes

2015 – Water innovation for future generations
2014 – There are more sources than you think
2013 – Liveable communities
2012 – Valuing our water
2011 – Healthy Catchments, Healthy Communities
2010 – Many sources, many uses, everyone’s responsibilities
2009 – Securing our Water Future
2008 – Clean Water Essential for Life
2007 – Water for Life
2006 – Water for Life
2005 – Water for Life
2004 – H2O in 2020