A group of Seqwater employees, with a passion for improving water and sanitation in the developing world, have been celebrated as the Asia Pacific winners of WaterAid’s Water Innovators Program 2017.

The elated winners were selected from more than 11 teams who took part in a challenge to devise solutions for water, sanitation and hygiene problems in Nicaragua – a country where 1.1 million people don’t have access to clean drinking water.

One of the members of the team, Seqwater Business Analyst Tracey Geeson said the group had spent the past eight months developing project management plans, designing solutions and learning new skills as water innovators.

“As South East Queensland’s bulk water supplier, our team at Seqwater focused our attention on improving water quality and quantity issues that currently exist in a remote community in Nicaragua called Kuwi Tigni,” Ms Geeson said.

“In acknowledgement of the Spanish-speaking country we were supporting, we called our team ‘Agua Viva’ which translates into ‘Living Water’.

“Our solution was to create a specially designed surface water intake that could be used in a remote community like Kuwi Tigni where resources are limited.”

Seqwater's Tracy Geeson accepts WaterAid Innovators Award from WaterAid Australia CEO Rosie Wheen  

Aside from the technical challenge, the program also challenged teams to use $500 of seed funding to raise as much money as possible, with proceeds to support WaterAid projects.

Using a novel approach, the Seqwater team held a Cow Poo Lotto as their flagship fundraising event and managed to raise more than $20,000.

“Our team – and our organisation – are all incredibly proud to have been named winners of this program,” Ms Geeson said.

“For myself and the team it has been a journey of collaboration, learning and innovation.

“The fact that the work we have done will make a real difference in water scarce communities makes it all the more rewarding.

“We could not have achieved what we did though without the generous support and guidance of our fellow Seqwater colleagues across the organisation."

Speaking at the award presentation, WaterAid Australia Chief Executive Rosie Wheen said Team Aqua Viva had performed extremely well in all aspects of the challenge.

“One of the things that really stood out was their strong team engagement,” Ms Wheen said. “They really brought out the strength and skill of each team member throughout the process.”

“We were also impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of the team as they fundraised and engaged with people across the business. Congratulations”. 

Ms Wheen said she was thrilled Seqwater had chosen to support WaterAid – and the millions of people in the world without access to clean water and proper sanitation.

The Seqwater Water innovators Team during their Cow Poo Lotto Fundraiser