‘Disrupt or be disrupted’ is the ultimatum being put to delegates at the Institute of Water’s 2019 Annual Conference.

Hosted by Sara Venning, Institute of Water President Elect and Chief Executive Officer of Northern Ireland Water, the conference is titled ‘Disrupt or be Disrupted: how disruption is transforming the water sector’.

Disruption is taking centre stage across the industry and the conference will consider the transformation that is taking place with emerging digital technologies and business models. These innovative new technologies and models, including robotics and automations, will undoubtedly benefit our businesses and change the shape of future customer services.

With global keynote speaker James Honeyborne – creator and Executive Producer of the renowned award-winning BBC Blue Planet II, the conference will explore disruption to the environment and the role of plastics within the water sector. We will also look at the importance of reputation within our organisations and how we can attract the best talent in the sector.

NI Water Chief Executive, Sara Venning said:

“Esteemed business expert, Sir John Parker will lead us into the conference, which will consider how the demands of the water industry are constantly evolving and will take a glance into the future to see how technological advances can improve our responses and bring benefits to our customers, as well as environmental considerations.”

“I’m very excited to welcome Blue Planet’s creator James Honeyborne, as well as globally renowned leading disruption expert Leo Johnson and technology expert Oliver Rees who will take us through the changing nature of the workplace. We have an excellent speaker line-up over the two days and look forward to announcing more information very soon.”

“I’m really looking forward to welcoming delegates to the wonderful city of Belfast in June for the conference events where we can all learn, create and share our ideas for the future.”

Water sector professionals are invited to come along for the latest industry thinking, digital technologies, environmental and reputational issues, mixed with a social programme that’s not to be missed.

Lynn Cooper, Institute of Water Chief Executive said:

“I’m delighted to be returning to Belfast where we can be sure of a very warm welcome. Sara has assembled an excellent mix of speakers from inside and outside the industry that will challenge the current thinking of the water sector and I’m confident that our Conference will once again have something to offer anyone with an interest in the water industry.”

The three-day conference takes place on 26th – 28th June 2019 and will be held at the Titanic Belfast. The Institute of Water’s Annual General Meeting and Meet the Leaders events will be on the 26th June, followed by the full conference on the 27th and 28th June.

Bookings are now open and people are encouraged to book early to secure the best deals on travel and accommodation and to ensure they don’t miss out on any of the specialist sessions or speakers. Flights to Belfast are regular with short flight times and operate from most UK airports.

Places can be booked online now by going to instituteowater.org.uk/disrupt19

Don’t forget to book your place at our associated conference events…

Institute of Water AGM – Book here.

National President’s Dinner and Awards – Book here.

Meet the Leaders – Book here.

Z-Tech Social Night – Book here.

Young Persons Network Launch – Book here. 

The conference and associated events are supported by Visit Belfast.

Never been to an Institute of Water Conference before? Watch our video to get a flavour of what to expect.

NI Water is pleased to announce the completion of a £4 Million investment at Caugh Hill Water Treatment Works outside Dungiven.

The improvement work involved the construction of a new sludge press, which is an essential element of the water treatment process at the plant. The sludge press will improve the efficiency of the water treatment process, bringing essential cost savings to the business as well as improving the water quality and service to our customers.

Paul Harper, NI Water Director of Asset Delivery said:
“Water is a vital part of our infrastructure and impacts on our daily lives. We are delighted to have completed this major investment at the plant, which will greatly improve the water treatment process and deliver benefits to our customers such as improved water quality.”

Work started on site in August 2017 and was completed ahead of schedule this month. A new filter was also added to enhance the overall process. This new filter will also bring environmental benefits, as the water used in the process is recycled, which maximises water usage at the plant and will enhance the water quality in nearby rivers.

Councillor Brenda Chivers Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council added:
“I am delighted to visit the plant today to see first-hand the improvements that have been made at the Caugh Hill site.

“It was fascinating to see how the Water Treatment Process works in practice and how this new sludge press will make the overall process more efficient. The council welcome this major investment in the area, which will greatly benefit the local community.”

Murphy/Dawson WAM JV was the contractor for this Major scheme, with Doran Consulting providing technical and project management support.

An innovative and exciting new pilot cross-border Land Incentive Scheme has been launched in the River Derg catchment, which will support farmers in adopting farming practices that help to protect the quality of river water that is the source of drinking water for communities in Counties Donegal and Tyrone.

This scheme is part of a major €5.3M cross-border EU INTERREG VA funded project called Source to Tap, which aims to improve water quality in rivers and lakes in the Erne and Derg catchment areas which provide water that serves parts of counties Fermanagh, Tyrone, Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Longford.

Diane Foster NI Water Project Manager said:
“The Source to Tap project is led by NI Water in partnership with Irish Water, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, East Border Region, Ulster University and The Rivers Trust and is funded by the EU’S INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).
“We are delighted to launch this initiative as part of the overall project, which will give the farming community the opportunity to apply for 100% funding to support farmers in making small changes in farming practices such as using a contractor to spray rushes and installing stock fencing on watercourses.”

The overall aim of the scheme is to protect raw water quality at source by reducing contaminants getting into the water in the first place and raise awareness of the importance of protecting our precious drinking water resources.

The scheme will run from 25 July 2018 to 31July 2020 and will be operated on a first come first served basis through the Source to Tap project. The project employs three Project Officers who will work closely with farmers in the Derg area to guide them through the application process and help them identify what improvements can be made on their farms to benefit both their farm businesses and the water environment.

Speaking at the launch event, UFU deputy president, David Brown said: “This project is win-win for both the environment and agriculture. Farmers understand the importance of water quality and want to help make a difference. This project will help to give them the advice and tools to do so. It is a great example of collaborative working and we are very pleased to be a part of it.”

Michael Chance, Chairman of the Donegal Irish Farmers’ Association said that this scheme will be of huge benefit to the people of Donegal and Tyrone:
“This is real money and will be hugely beneficial in contributing to the enhancement of farmland in the Derg Catchment area while ensuring the protection of our water source for generations to come.”

Michael Clarke, Co. Tyrone Chairman of the Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers’ Association added:
“While this particular project directs funding towards improvement at source and this assists greatly with prevention of pollution, its impact will benefit complete communities in all walks of life and as such we fully support the initiative.”

Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in Ireland.

Further details are available by contacting +44 (0)7799 774702 or by e-mail at: info@sourcetotap.eu