20 years supporting SA Water

Did you know our Adelaide team have been working with SA Water for over 20 years?

Our relationship with SA Water began back in 1996 shortly after the corporation was established; and this year marks 20 years of a valued relationship between our two businesses.

All companies have particular challenges they must overcome and, as the state-owned water provider for one of the driest states in Australia, SA Water’s challenge is to manage around $14 billion worth of assets — including reservoirs, bore fields, pumping stations, wastewater treatment plants, pipelines — to ensure its 1.6 million customers across the region have ready access to water, wastewater and sewerage services.

A commitment to helping SA Water effectively manage its assets and make wise investment decisions in infrastructure upgrades and new developments has always underpinned our relationship with SA Water. Over the last 20 years, we have become a trusted partner; working with SA Water to deliver cost and asset management services across the project lifecycle on many of their minor works and major capital projects.

We have been a member of the estimating panel since its inception and are frequently called upon to provide estimating support; and we regularly work with the finance team, providing replacement valuations and depreciation schedules to support the effective, ongoing management of water assets. We also provide cost estimating support to KBR which currently holds a five year project management and procurement contract with SA Water to manage the delivery their metropolitan infrastructure capital works program (PMP).

The long term relationship has delivered value for SA Water and for our business. We have an excellent working knowledge of SA Water’s regulatory requirements, estimating templates and guidelines. Our long history of working on SA Water assets and large pool of historic cost data means we can provide robust cost estimates for projects, even when the full scope has not yet been developed. The cost data is also a valuable basis for comparison when negotiating with contractors. We have also been able to apply lessons learned in other markets to our service delivery approach for SA Water. For example, we’ve introduced probabilistic estimating to SA Water project teams who now routinely review potential risks and opportunities associated with different options, undertake a fair comparison of options and explore risks and opportunities for project elements. Ultimately, this reduces the level of uncertainty in the project budget and minimises the required contingency allowances.

Conversely, we have benefited greatly from the relationship with SA Water. As well as providing us with varied and interesting project work and the opportunity to introduce junior staff to the water industry, we have been able to transfer skills and lessons learned from SA Water projects to project deliveries in other markets. Our work has also seen us develop a strong reputation in the water infrastructure market.

Looking forward, new technology, climate change and the need to balance the public purse means projects and assets will continue to evolve and change, providing new challenges for us. We look forward to another 20 years of assisting SA Water to deliver world-class water assets to the people of South Australia.

Image: Adelaide Desalination Plant; image courtesy of SA Water.