An overview of water utility improvement program between Vietnam and Australia (2016-2018)

In 2016, the VWSA and Australian Water Association commenced a Water Utility Improvement Program to share knowledge and expertise between five Australian and five Vietnam water companies. 

Funded by the Australian Government the program involved the below water companies that focuses on asset management, non-revenue water, water quality safety, human resources and business planning. 
The selected water utility twins include:
1. Son La Water Company – Cairns Regional Council, Water and Waste
2. Phu Tho Water Company – Coliban Water
3. Thua Thien Hue Water Company – Western Australia Water Corporation
4. Sai Gon Water Corporation – Seqwater
5. Binh Duong Water and Environment Company – Wannon Water and Westernport Water
The program has been implemented across 24 months in which mutually beneficial relationships were formed and capacity developed within both the Vietnamese and Australian utilities. A number of missions were completed in which Australian utilities visited their twin utilities and vice versa. Each of the five twins have achieve varying outcomes, however, there are common results observed across all the twin sets. Below are some highlights and successes: 
Improved capacity of the five Vietnam water utilities to delivery improved water services for over 10,681,765 customers of Son La, Phu Tho, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong
Productive working relationships established between the participating WUIP practitioners and between the five Australian and Vietnam water utilities 
Development of staff from Vietnamese and Australian water utilities through gaining international experience and appreciation for both countries&; culture and water sectors, leading to an increase in job satisfaction. 
Development of staff from Vietnamese water utilities through exposure to technical expertise and experience from across Australian water sector
Improvements across all 5 Vietnam utilities over the course of the program in the areas of non-revenue water, water quality compliance, business planning, human resource planning and customer engagement, asset management. 
Have a closer look at each of the twins 

Son La Water Company and Cairns Regional Council, Water and Waste
Three trips were undertaken as part of Son La Water Company and Cairns Regional Council, Water and Waste. Missions to Vietnam included the delivery of training workshops and development of training and tools to assist Son La in the development of water quality safety plans, the latest workshops focus on helping Son la Water Company with the new design and construction of the water intake. 

Figure 1: Representatives from Cairns Regional Council visiting Son La Water Company, May 2017

Figure 2: Cairns Regional Council having a workshop at Son La Water Company, November 2018

Phu Tho Water Company and Coliban Water

To date, the focus of the relationship has been on development of automation solutions for Phu Tho Water Company to record and manage data at the treatment plants, develop water safety plan and improve water quality. 

Figure 3: Phu Tho WC visiting Coliban Water, May 2018

Figure 4: Representatives from Coliban Water visiting Phu Tho Water Supply Company, Phu Tho Province, November 2017
Hue Water Corporation and WA Water Corporation
To date, four missions have been completed as part of the Hue Water Company and WA Water Corporation twinning. Water Corporation has dispatched 11 experts to HueWACO and jointly organised around 15 thematic workshops with over 550 participants. Assistance has also been provided to HueWACO to develop an asset registration process as well as training on techniques for design, construction and supervision of water supply infrastructure. 

Figure 5: WA Water Corporation holding a workshop at HueWACO, March 2017

Figure 6: Representatives from HueWACO visiting Water Corporation in Perth, Western Australia, May 2017
Saigon Water Corporation and Seqwater 

The focus of the twinning arrangement between Saigon Water Corporation and Seqwater has been on support for the development and implementation of a water quality safety plan, transferring tools and approaches to support asset management and business planning, development of asset registers and asset condition assessments.

Figure 7: Representatives from Seqwater and Saigon Water Corporation visiting Lake Wivenhoe, Queensland, May 2017

Figure 8: Representatives from Seqwater visiting Saigon Water Corporation, Ho Chi Minh City, September 2017

Binh Duong Water Company and Wannon Water and Westernport Water

During missions to Biwase, Wannon Water delivered a short course on asset management and assisted with the development and implementation of Biwase&;s asset management register for sewerage systems. Support has also been provided to operationalisation of water safety plans and developing asset management strategies and policies. Conversely, Wannon Water identified areas of learning from Biwase, including customer and community engagement as well as technologies to reduce non-revenue water.

Figure 9: Wannon Water visiting Biwase, Binh Duong, April 2017

Figure 10: Representatives from BIWASE visiting Wannon Water in Warrnambool, Victoria, December 2017
VWSA and AWA also jointly arranged workshops at Vietwater and Ozwater to encourage exchange of knowledge and experiences among the participating utilities. The water utilities involved also had the opportunities to discuss lessons learnt and share output amount the larger group and water sector of Australia and Vietnam. The program will share the outcomes at Ozwater19 in Melbourne Australia and the AWA and VWSA welcome you to join.  AWA and VWSA are now planning for the next steps for the program&;s continuation.  Please contact XXX from VWSA if you would like to get involved.

Figure 11: Australian and Vietnam water utilities at Ozwater'17, Sydney, May 2017

Figure 12: Water Utility Improvement Workshop at Vietwater'18, HCMC, November 2018

Figure 13: Australia and Vietnam Water Utilities at Ozwater'18, Brisbane, May 2018

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