Wimmera students talk water quality at GWMWater conference

WIMMERA students have learnt about the water sector at a GWMWater conference on quality water.

GWMWater spokesman Andrew Rose said the participating schools researched the topic ‘what does water quality mean to you’ for the conference.

“This is the seventh year we’ve run the conference and the purpose is to introduce and educate students on issues of water supply, water quality and water security,” he said.

“This particular conference was on water quality and each school developed a paper, presentation and electronic advert based on the question of water quality.

“Each school then presented their findings.”

Year 9 and 10 students from Edenhope College, Horsham College, Birchip College and Marian College in Ararat attended the conference.

“We also had a video link with students from Tauranga Girls School in New Zealand,” Mr Rose said.

“One of things they said which was interesting was that they had a drought recently – it didn’t rain for four weeks. 

“It is a different world and it is good for young people in our region to hear that different perspective.”

Mr Rose said each school presented a different take on the topic. 

“They all localised it to their area and each school operates on a different water system,” he said. 

“Edenhope College talked about groundwater and Lake Wallace, Horsham talked about Lake Wartook and the pipeline, Marian College is from the Grampians and students have their own specific issues and Birchip College now uses the pipeline as well.”

Mr Rose said the conference also included presentations from former GWMWater employee Nasir Shar, who now works with water issues in a Western Australian ore mine, and former water quality officer Nadine Reithmuller, who works in the Northern Territory. 

Mr Rose said Horsham College won a $1000 prize for the best school presentation.

The Horsham students spent five weeks researching quality water and students Tom Murray, Alex Harding, Olivia Smith, Tim Wilson and Angus McDonald presented at the conference on behalf of the class. 

“About 600 year nine and 10 students have now been through this sort of program and its a wonderful experience for them,” Mr Rose said.

“They are treated like adults and have a collaborative learning experience. 

“The conference exposes young people to career opportunities in the water sector. 

“It is a vital sector that will become more and more critical in the future with climate change.”

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