Australia is a huge, flat, dry country with big cities, productive agriculture, and vast empty expanses. These conditions present considerable challenges for water managers, both municipal and agricultural. This issue of Municipal Water Leader focuses on Australia’s impressive municipal water suppliers and entrepreneurs.

In our cover story, Anna Jackson tells us about SA Water, based in Adelaide, South Australia. The agency provides water to the 1.2 million residents of Adelaide, but also to a further half million people spread out across the 380,000-square-mile state. With thousands of miles of pipeline and a versatile supply of surface water supplemented by eight desalination plants, SA Water is doing impressive things.

We also profile four Australia-based tech companies that are active around the world. Taggle Systems has created rugged low-power radios that can provide water meter readings across miles in the most inhospitable environments. Osmoflo builds large desalination plants for the industrial, resources, and municipal sectors, as well as providing portable emergency water supply plants and remote monitoring and control services. RedEye’s data- management platform provides easy access to engineering and as-built data for the operators of complex water and power facilities. And SWAN systems delivers decision- support software to Australian farmers that collates information from a variety of sources to optimize water and nutrient application rates. All these companies are active internationally, and several are looking to start operations in the United States.

We also speak with Chris Knepler of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission about how U.S. companies can do business in Australia. Finally, we hear from three participants in a December 2018 tour sponsored by Water Strategies about their impressions of Australia’s water management and water-related policies.

In addition to being a beautiful country with wonderful people, Australia is a hotbed of innovation for water management technology and practices. I hope that this issue of Municipal Water Leader introduces you to something new—and perhaps gives you a few ideas for your agency or business.

Kris Polly is editor-in-chief of Municipal Water Leader and Irrigation Leader magazines. He is also president of Water Strategies LLC, a government relations, marketing, and publishing company he began in February 2009 for the purpose of representing and guiding water, power, and agricultural entities in their dealings with Congress, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal government agencies. He may be contacted at