International Desalination Association selects Australia for 2011 World Congress

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• Australian Water Association (AWA) and Western Australia's Water Corporation are strategic partners

TOPSFIELD, MA, Sept. 3, 2009 -- The International Desalination Association (IDA) announced today that Perth, Australia will be the host city for the 2011 World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse. This marks the first time that the IDA World Congress, the premier global event for the desalination and water reuse industry, will be held in Australia.

An industry consortium led by the nation's premier water body the Australian Water Association (AWA) and Western Australia's Water Corporation has been successful in securing this major international water event for Australia. Both organizations will be IDA's Strategic Partners in planning and presenting the World Congress.

More than 1,800 delegates from approximately 80 countries are expected to attend the World Congress in Perth over five days in November 2011. In addition to an extensive technical program, there will be a major Exhibition showcasing the latest water desalination and recycling equipment and technology.

Patricia Burke, Secretary General of the IDA, acknowledged the role of its Strategic Partners, Water Corporation and AWA, in bringing the World Congress to Australia. Water Corporation has led the recent introduction of large scale seawater desalination for public drinking water supplies in Australia. AWA is the leading organization representing water professionals in Australia and is widely recognized for its promotion of sustainable water management through collaboration, advocacy and professional development.

"The Water Corporation is a global leader in planning water supplies in response to climate change, and is an ideal partner for our 2011 Congress," Burke said. "The Corporation has made big strides in the adoption of seawater desalination for Perth's water supply as well as advanced technology to treat wastewater for recycling and poor quality groundwater sources in remote areas."

Water Corporation CEO Sue Murphy said the World Congress would direct the global desalination industry's attention to Western Australia and give the Corporation a huge opportunity to show the world how it was responding to climate change, which had already had a major impact in reducing the region's rainfall.

"We began moving towards desalination at the beginning of this century -- much earlier than expected -- because our traditional surface water and groundwater sources were suffering badly," Murphy said.

"We are also applying desalination technology in recycling of treated wastewater for industrial use and in a trial of groundwater replenishment that will involve recycling highly treated wastewater and that has the potential to produce huge volumes of drinking water in the future."

Tom Mollenkopf, CEO of the Australian Water Association, which represents the water industry including national desalination and reuse interests, stated, "To attract an event of this caliber represents international recognition of the Australian water sector's capability and world leading practice. Perth offers leading practical examples and is home to the recently established Australian National Centre of Excellence in Desalination."

IDA supports the development of technological solutions to lower the costs of desalination, reduce its energy needs and mitigate or eliminate environmental concerns. It holds World Congresses every two years, attended by scientists, engineers, members of the public sector and others involved in the desalination industry. This year's World Congress is being held in Dubai, 7-12 November. Its theme is "Desalination for a Better World."

Site selection for the World Congress is made following a rigorous bidding process. Criteria include the credentials and reputation of the proposed strategic partner; availability of solid logistical support, from excellent lodging for attendees, presenters and staff, to good travel connections; reasonable Customs and visa processes; and excellent on-the-ground support capabilities. Since 1985, the IDA World Congress has been held in the Bahamas, Bahrain, Bermuda, Gran Canarias, Japan, Kuwait, Singapore, Spain, United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai), and the USA.

About IDA
The International Desalination Association (www.idadesal.org) is a non-profit organization comprising over 2,200 members from 60 countries, including scientists, end-users, engineers, consultants and researchers from governments, corporations and academia. IDA is associated with the United Nations as part of a growing international network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

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