Churchill Fellow investigates low-cost innovative water treatment solutions for regional and remote Australia

22 Sep 2019

(Above) Eric visiting the remote town of Al-Hamra, Oman.

Water Treatment Engineer and Churchill Fellow Eric Vanweydeveld, recently returned from Oman, the UAE and Israel, where he investigated proven low-cost innovative water treatment solutions for regional and remote Australia.

“My Churchill Fellowship gave me a very good understanding of what other nations, facing similar water scarcity challenges to Australia, are doing successfully to manage water supplies in regional and remote communities,” said Mr Vanweydeveld. “I learnt from their expertise and experience in dealing with the similar challenges we currently have in Australia.”

Mr Vanweydeveld gained insights by travelling to three countries and met with various international professionals and leaders in the field of water management. He hopes to be able to apply the learnings in a practical way to influence and shape future water projects to improve health, wellbeing, economic and social outcomes in Australia.

“The Churchill Fellowship provided me with the opportunity to learn a new way of approaching challenges and problems by looking at things in an innovative way,” said Mr  Vanweydeveld.

(Left) Eric visiting the Nahal Zin Canyon near Sde Boker, Negev Desert, Israel. (Right) Eric visiting the Shafdan R&D and Innovation Centre, south of Tel Aviv, Israel


Key learnings from Mr Vanweydeveld’s investigations are as follows:

  1. Increased knowledge about the countries’ expertise in water management, innovative water technologies and water solutions for small, decentralised, regional and remote water supply systems.
  2. Better understanding of how these countries promote, apply and embrace innovation in their water sector and their water industry in general.
  3. Assessment of water management strategies and if innovative solutions are applicable in the context of small regional and remote Australian communities to address similar water scarcity challenges.
  4. Ability to assist the Australian water industry with the advancement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal.
  5. Ensuring access to water and sanitation for all.

“My Churchill Fellowship is a topical subject given Australia’s current drought and the recent debates around global warming,” added Mr Vanweydeveld. “I now have more knowledge about how Australia can better manage water scarcity in regional and remote communities.”

You can read more about Eric 
Vanweydeveld’s Fellowship in his report via

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