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Water Research Australia | Privacy Policy


Water Research Australia Limited ACN 127 974 261 (WaterRA, we, us) is committed to protecting the privacy of your personal information. We may need to collect, hold, use or disclose your personal information to perform our functions and activities.

Our Privacy Policy (Policy) covers:

  • the kinds of personal information that WaterRA collects and holds;
  • how WaterRA collects and holds personal information;
  • the purposes for which WaterRA collects, holds, uses and discloses personal information;
  • how an individual may access personal information about the individual that is held by WaterRA and seek the correction of such information; and
  • how an individual may complain about a privacy issue and how WaterRA will deal with such a complaint.

We take the privacy of your personal information seriously, and have accordingly implemented practices, procedures and systems to protect your privacy.

The following sets out how WaterRA will handle personal information, and applies to all WaterRA operated programs, including the Australian Water School.

For the purpose of this Policy, the term ‘member’ includes WaterRA member organisations, representatives of member organisations, staff of member organisations, and any affiliated organisations or individuals.

1.1 Remaining anonymous or using a pseudonym

WaterRA understands that anonymity is an important aspect of privacy, and some individuals may wish remain anonymous or use a pseudonym when dealing with WaterRA in relation to a particular matter.

You have the option to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym when dealing with WaterRA. However, it is not always possible for an individual to remain anonymous or adopt a pseudonym when interacting or dealing with WaterRA, and WaterRA will inform you if this is the case.

2. Collection of personal information


2.1 What kind of personal information do we collect and hold?

WaterRA only connects personal information that is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, one or more of our functions or activities. Once collected, we will only use and disclose your personal information for the purpose (or purposes) for which it was collected and as described in this Policy.

The types of personal information that we may collect and hold include, but are not limited to:

  • names, titles, addresses and private/residential and business/organisation contact details (e.g. telephone numbers, facsimile numbers, email addresses, and postal addresses);
  • information about identity (e.g. age, gender, marital status, date of birth, signature, country of birth, passport details, birth certificate, drivers’ licence, and Tax File Number);
  • information about employment (e.g. occupation, employment history and references);
  • information about education (e.g. qualifications and academic records);
  • information about finances (e.g. credit card details, payment details, bank account details and subscriptions to WaterRA publications);
  • photographs, video recordings and audio recordings;
  • information regarding the products and services that you have purchased or enquired about, together with any additional information necessary to deliver those products and services and to respond to your enquiry or enquiries;
  • cookie and clickstream data;
  • any additional information relating to you that you provide to use through our website; information in documents submitted when applying for funding, scholarships or similar arrangements (e.g. project proposal information, budgets, curriculum vitaes (CVs));
  • information required to nominate members or students for scholarships and awards;
  • information from persons who participate in WaterRA sponsored seminars, conferences or other events and programs; and
  • information logged through website usage such as user address, user domain name, IP address, date and time of site visit, pages accessed and documents downloaded, search words/phrases used, previous site visited, and type of browser used.

On occasion, we may collect and hold sensitive information, such as information (or an opinion) about your:

  • racial or ethnic origin;
  • political opinions or associations;
  • religious or philosophical beliefs;
  • trade union membership or associations;
  • sexual orientation or practices;
  • criminal record;
  • health or genetics; or
  • biometrics.

If you would like to know more, or have any questions about the kinds of personal or sensitive information we collect, please contact us via the contact details set out at section 9 of this Policy.

2.2 How do we collect personal information?

We may collect personal information:

- directly from you, for example, when:

  • we contact you;
  • you contact us;
  • you visit us or when we visit your premises;
  • you or your organisation sign up to become a member or subscriber;
  • you participate in a research project or a survey;
  • you register or attend an event or an online training course through WaterRA or the Australian Water School; or
  • you complete a survey or enter a competition;
  • through the use of cookies, pixels, server logs, proxy logs, and other website optimisation technology on our websites and;
  • from third parties whom you have authorised to provide us with information;
  • from third parties who provide services to us or organisations of which we are a member;
  • from publicly available sources, such as public web pages and published databases;
  • via routine monitoring of our information technology, digital platforms (either third party or owned) and telephone networks; and
  • from audio and video recordings in public locations and other spaces.

We do not collect or retain sensitive information unless:

  • it is supplied by you and you consent to its collection; and
  • the information is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, one or more of our business functions or activities.

By supplying us with sensitive information, you consent to our use of that information in any of the ways and for any of the purposes described in this policy.

If you want to know more, or have any questions about how we collect personal information, please contact us via the contact details set out at section 9 of this Policy.


3. Security of personal information


3.1 How do we hold and secure personal information?

WaterRA takes active measures to protect the personal information it holds from misuse, interference and loss, as well as unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.

We store your personal information in hard copy format and digitally, on site and with third party providers. All hard copy material is secured using locked filing cabinets or office security. We protect your privacy by restricting access to your personal information to those staff, contractors or authorised office bearers who need it, either to process information or to provide you with membership services. WaterRA is responsible for handling personal information in accordance with legislation. All digital material is secured using file access controls.

We have agreements with our service providers, including digital data storage providers, to ensure the protection of personal information they store. These providers may be located in Australia or overseas.

We only keep your personal information for as long as it is required and for the purpose for which it was collected or as otherwise required by law. If we no longer need to hold your personal information for any reason, we will take reasonable steps to de-identify or destroy that information. These steps may vary depending on the nature of the information, the way it was collected and how it was stored.

If you want to know more, or have any questions about how we hold and collect personal information, please contact us via the contact details set out at section 9 of this Policy.


4. Use and disclosure of personal information


4.1 How do we use or disclose personal information?

We may use your personal information to provide you with a particular product or service, and for other general purposes, including but not limited to:

  • processing payments;
  • providing membership or subscription services such as magazines, newsletters and other publications, project forums, project information, WaterRA and industry news, and other member benefits;
  • inviting you to partake in WaterRA events (in person or online) including: conferences, technical seminars, annual general meetings, members’ meetings, professional development activities, and networking activities;
  • maintaining membership or subscriber records for our publications or members;
  • providing you with WaterRA news;
  • distributing materials to WaterRA board and committee members;
  • inviting you to partake in WaterRA events and initiatives;
  • assessing funding applications, for example, through a membership committee, board or panel;
  • voting on candidates elected to office-bearing positions and judging committees for awards and honours;
  • facilitating a project team or group; or
  • processing nominations for a scholarship or award.

We may use your personal information for purposes related or ancillary to the main reason we collect it, such as:

  • internal accounting and administration;
  • regulatory reporting and compliance; and
  • helping us to identify and inform you about other products and/or services that may be of benefit to you.

Our use of your personal information may extend beyond these uses, but will be restricted to purposes that we consider relevant to our functions and activities.

From time-to-time, we may disclose the personal information that we hold about you to the third parties that we work with, such as our external service providers, or to contractors or agents we collaborate with (such as off-site file storage facilities and financial institutions which transmit payments on our behalf).

WaterRA will only use and disclose your personal information for the reason we collected it unless:

  • you’ve consented to the other use or disclosure;
  • you would reasonably expect, or have been told, of the other use or disclosure;
  • it is required or authorised by an Australian law;
  • it will prevent or lessen a serious threat to someone’s life, health or safety (including public health and safety); or
  • the other use or disclosure is required to take appropriate action in relation to suspected unlawful activity or serious misconduct, or is reasonably necessary for enforcement-related activities carried out by, or on behalf of, an enforcement body.

We may disclose personal informationoverseas from time-to-time, for example, in the course of a research project with an overseas entity, through publishing information or by storing information on a server located overseas. WaterRA does not sell, in whole or part, the personal information it collects.

If you want to know more, or have any questions about how we use or disclose personal information, please contact us via the contact details set out at section 9 of this Policy.

4.2  Accidental or unauthorised disclosure of personal information

We will make our best attempt to protect any personal information we hold from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. WaterRA will take seriously and deal promptly with any misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure of personal information.


5. Correction of and access to your personal information

If we have accurate personal information about you, it enables us to provide you with the best possible service. We take reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is accurate, complete and up-to-date whenever we collect, use and/or disclose it.

Members may access their personal information through the secure ‘View Account’ link on the website. Alternatively, you can access your personal information by contacting us via the contact details set out at section 9 of this Policy.

If you find that the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date, irrelevant, or misleading, please contact us via the contact details set out at section 9 of this Policy. We will require you to verify your identity and specify, as clearly as possible, the information that you wish to access. We will not charge you for lodging a request to access your own personal information, but may charge reasonable administrative costs. The fee will be determined on a case-by-case basis and you will be informed beforehand of the likely cost.

In some circumstances, we may need to decline requests to access or correct personal information including but not limited to where access is unlawful, or where your information is integrated with information about other people.


6. When you visit our website


6.1 Cookies

A cookie is a small piece of text sent to your browser by a website you visit. It helps the site remember information about your visit, which can make it easier to visit the site again and make the site more useful to you.

For example, we use cookies to remember your preferred language, to count how many visitors we receive to a page, to help you sign up for our services, and to protect your data without personally identifying you.

The cookies described below are used by WaterRA.

6.1.1 Functionality

Cookies used for functionality allow you to interact with a service or site to access features that are fundamental to that service, such as a user’s language preferences and maintaining information relating to a user’s session.

Some functionality of the WaterRA website is not run by WaterRA, and third parties may capture and store your personal information (either onshore or overseas). These third parties may not be subject to the Privacy Act. WaterRA is not responsible for the privacy practices of these third parties and encourages you to examine each of their respective privacy policies.

6.1.2 Security

Cookies used for security authenticate users, prevent fraud and protect users as they interact with a service. For example, some of the cookies used by WaterRA authenticate users, which help ensure that only the owner of the account can access that account.

6.1.3 Analytics

We use cookies for analytics to help collect data that allows us to understand how users interact with our websites. These insights allow us to improve content and to build better features that improve your experience of our website.

The types of data collected may include your IP address, browser and operating system, screen size, geographic location, search terms and pages visited, actions performed on pages, and the date and time of webpage access. Your email address (if provided) may be linked to your interactions with the website.

This data is collected for the purpose of improving our website to provide you with a better experience. We may also use this data for scientific research, including measuring the impact and outcomes of our research.


7. Emailing WaterRA

When you send an email to a WaterRA address (e.g. [email protected]), the content of your email and your details, including your email address, become part of our records.

Any personal information provided, including email addresses, will only be used or disclosed for the purpose for which it was provided.

Your email address will not be added to any of our mailing lists unless we obtain your consent.


8. Complaints


8.1 How to complain to WaterRA

If you have a privacy-related complaint about us, please contact us via the contact details provided at section 9 of this Policy. We take privacy seriously and will investigate any queries or complaints promptly.

8.2 How to complain to the OAIC

You also have the option of contacting the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is you wish to make a privacy complaint against WaterRA and if you are not satisfied with how we have handled your complaint in the first instance.

The OAIC website contains information on how to make a privacy complaint.

If you make a complaint directly to the OAIC rather than to WaterRA in the first instance, the OAIC may recommend you try to resolve the complaint directly with us.


9. Contact us

Please contact WaterRA if you wish to:

  • query how your personal information is collected, held, used, or disclosed;
  • ask questions about this Privacy Policy; or
  • obtain access to, or seek correction of, your personal information.

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: (08) 7424 2445

Address: 250 Victoria Square, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia

Postal Address: GPO Box 1751, Adelaide SA 5001, Australia

10. Availability of this Policy

If you wish to access this Policy in an alternative format (e.g. hard copy), please contact WaterRA via the contact details set out at section 9 of this Policy.

This Policy is available free of charge.


11. Policy reviews and updates

WaterRA regularly reviews and updates this Policy to ensure that it reflects our current personal information handling practices.

This Policy was last reviewed on 23 March 2022 and updated on 23 March 2022.

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