WHEN the president of China decrees that the entire nation must “go to war against pollution”, things happen. Fast.
Since President Xi Jinping passed the revised Environmental Protection Act at the beginning of this year, all levels of government have been quickly working to literally clean up their act along with the air and water quality in the notoriously polluted country.
"There is a huge need and a huge interest from China in our knowledge of clean tech to improve the liveability of Shandong."
This war on pollution is why the trade delegation from South Australia, which concluded today, found that clean technology and environmental protection was top most on the minds of their Chinese counterparts.
The best placed to help the Chinese meet this presidential order are South Australian water companies, an industry that has developed world-leading knowledge and technology over decades of solving the state’s own water woes.
Andy Roberts, the CEO of the Water Industry Alliance, said his Chinese counterparts in Shandong Province understand the expertise found in South Australia and were keen to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise a framework to work together.
“There is a huge need and a huge interest from China in our knowledge of clean tech to improve the liveability of Shandong,” Roberts said.
“South Australia historically has had to work hard to solve the problem in our own backyard and can use the knowledge gained to improve the environment in Shandong.”
The MoU signed with the Shandong Academy of Environmental Planning opens the way to direct talks to further business relationships with South Australian water companies.
Andrew Townsend, the owner of Micromet, a South Australian company that has ground-breaking wastewater treatment technology, told a gathering of potential business partners in Qingdao that his continuous flow electrolysis technology could quickly and easily help alleviate water pollution.
“Normal wastewater treatment cycles take more than 24 hours, but Micromet’s system takes only an hour and the scalable technology can help everything from a 100 person camp to the city of Beijing,” Townsend told 240 Chinese companies attending the last day of the Shandong-South Australia Cooperation and Development Forum.
Minister for State Development, Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton Smith, who oversaw the signing of the MoU said that South Australia has long been a leader in the efficient use of water out of necessity.
“Economic powerhouses including China, India and the United States are looking to South Australia as a global leader in effective water management and policy. South Australian businesses have an unique opportunity to export this knowledge and expertise to the world.”