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Capacity building

The impact of Australia’s growing population and variable rainfall means we need a range of measures to secure Sydney’s water supply now and in the future.

Effective and integrated education builds the capacity of the people of greater Sydney to play an informed and active role in working towards a sustainable water future.

Projects such as; Advancing Sustainability Leaders, Water Engineer Engagement and Education Training; and Showcase support key water stakeholders, such as local government to effectively deliver a wide range of water initiatives.

Advancing Sustainability Leaders

Advancing Sustainability Leaders is an innovative leadership development program for managers, senior staff and emerging leaders from all areas of local government in the Sydney Water or Sydney Catchment Authority operating areas.

This included managers in roles as broad as engineering, communications, design, policy, finance, facilities, sustainability, planners and cultural services.

The year long leadership program involved actively working on a local council water project and developing skills to become an effective sustainability leader and catalyst for sustainability at work and in the community.

The program was offered free of charge. Equivalent leadership programs cost up to $8,000. Selection was highly competitive and applicants were assessed against selection criteria.

The Advancing Sustainability Leaders program was an initiative of the NSW Government through its Water for Life program and funded by the NSW Climate Change Fund.

Water Engineer Engagement and Education Training

Research has indicated that despite strong community interest in stormwater and rainwater recycling by government; community awareness and understanding of existing and proposed recycling projects is low. Many people are unable to identify existing recycling infrastructure in their local areas. However, they react positively when they hear about local initiatives.

To address this, Water for Life, within the Metropolitan Water Directorate developed a recycling communications strategy which included the ‘Water Engineer Engagement and Education Training’ (WET) program. WET aims to increase the capacity of water professionals who manage water recycling initiatives (such as engineers, project managers and planners) to use community education and engagement to improve and promote their projects.

The one day pilot training program was undertaken on 30 May 2013 and involved 24 participants from 14 Sydney local councils who wanted to learn more about practical, cost effective techniques for engaging the community in water recycling and stormwater harvesting projects. The program was free of charge.

Further iterations of the WET program will be delivered by Water for Life for technical water staff, working within local government in the Sydney Water or Sydney Catchment Authority operating areas.

The WET program is an initiative of the NSW Government through its Water for Life program and funded by the NSW Climate Change Fund.


Showcase is Water for Life’s major engagement and education forum. This one-day event is a must for anyone involved in water issues, working for sustainable outcomes or engaging the community about the environment.

Participants of Showcase:

  • Hear from experts on cutting-edge engagement, social research and education approaches like behavioural insights, communities of practice and choice modelling
  • Explore practical techniques for designing and evaluating their projects
  • Discover where water planning is heading in greater Sydney and the lower Hunter
  • Network with other engagement, education and communications professionals from the water and sustainability sectors
  • Celebrate significant water education and engagement achievements over the past year

Showcase was held in November 2013 and 2014 at the Australian Technlogy Park, Eveleigh. The event was free of charge.

Showcase is an initiative of the NSW Government through its Water for Life program and funded by the NSW Climate Change Fund.

More information

If you have questions about these programs or would like more information please contact us