Hon Dave Kelly BA MLA

Hon Dave Kelly BA MLA

Former Minister for Water; Forestry; Youth

    Students celebrated as waterwise competition reaches new heights

    21/10/2022 1:00 PM
    • Record 270 students from WA high schools participate in annual waterwise challenge
    • Water Corporation event aims to inspire future water sustainability champions
    • Northam Senior High School crowned winners at final pitch event

    Western Australian high school students have pitched a series of innovative water-saving ideas to industry experts at the annual event attended by Water Minister Dave Kelly today.


    Known as the WA Schools Think Tank Challenge, the event sees Year 9 and 10 students from around the State design ways to encourage and support Western Australians to use or reuse water more efficiently.


    Twenty-two schools and nearly 270 students from Perth, Mandurah, Northam and Albany took part in the largest edition of the competition since it began in 2019. 


    The 2022 challenge encouraged teams to create innovative solutions to the question: We care about the environment in which we operate. How do we prepare for the future?


    Ideas were presented at one of four local workshops in August, with students first learning about innovative water recycling initiatives such as groundwater replenishment, before using design thinking methodology to create their own project ideas.


    The top two schools from each workshop attended today's final event, with Northam Senior High School crowned winners for their project to create bricks for new homes using biosolids - an organic by-product of the wastewater treatment process.


    Supported by the McGowan Government, the WA Schools Think Tank Challenge provides a platform for young people to make their voices heard on issues that are fundamental to water security in WA now and into the future.


    For more information visit www.watercorporation.com.au/Education/WA-Schools-Think-Tank-Challenge.


    Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:


    "Climate change means we can no longer rely on traditional water sources and must instead look at innovative ways of recycling water and using it in the most efficient way possible. 


    "It's this kind of innovative thinking the WA Schools Think Tank encourages and it was fantastic to see almost 270 students share some really impressive waterwise ideas. 


    "Young people are not just the voices of tomorrow but the voices of today, so it's important they understand the challenges and opportunities facing water security in WA and have the chance to help design solutions. 


    "On behalf of the McGowan Government, I congratulate all participating schools and Water Corporation for hosting such a wonderful event."


    Minister's office - 6552 6100  

    2022 Finalists:

    SchoolProject Name Details
    Ocean Reef Senior High SchoolWater Wizz AppEncourages households to save water through a smartphone application that gathers water use data from 'smart caps' attached to household pipes. Customers receive personalised information about their water use, can set goals, and can control their appliances' water flow via the app. The aim is to increase awareness of household water use through gamification techniques.
    Peter Moyes Anglican Community SchoolIn ControlA short film aimed at young adults that shows the importance of preserving WA's precious water resource. The film outlines how water scarcity is impacting the environment in the face of climate change, and how small actions like turning off a dripping tap can help to save water.
    Newman CollegeWaterwise MonthWaterwise Month sees customers incentivised to save water through healthy competition and incentives like discounts and prizes. For a select month each year, Water Corporation customers would compete to save water, with the person who saved the most water crowned the winner.
    Perth CollegeMt Whaleback Project RedirectionThe project tackles a complex, real-world problem faced at Mt Whaleback mine in Newman. New pipes would take wastewater from mining processes to be recycled, and then pumped back into Newman offering a great solution for the mine and community.
    Northam Senior High SchoolBiobricksA project which combines solid biomass with other materials like sand and clay to create bricks for new homes. The aim is to offer a potentially cost-effective option for new home builders, and a unique solution to reuse waste by-products.
    Peter Carnley Anglican Community SchoolAgricultural Water Reduction SystemThe project would create an Agricultural Water Reduction System, consisting of a trough with a sensor pad that livestock step on to receive fresh water. The aim is to minimise water loss in agricultural practices.
    Great Southern Grammar (Albany)BlufoodsAims to improve current water-using processes in the food services sector. As part of the program, grey water from restaurants and hospitality venues would be captured and reused on nearby community gardens, and a money back scheme is offered to businesses that finds ways to reduce their water use.
    Mandurah Baptist CollegeWaterlog AppAn app to track water use in households via attachments to taps and pipes. Households would receive live data about their water use via the app, and then compare that to neighbourhood averages and their own goals. Families can then choose to donate their water bill savings from reduced water use to Aboriginal communities in need.