NEW Western Water managing director Neil Brennan is hoping his local knowledge will help him in his new role.
Mr Brennan, a Sunbury resident, has returned to the company after working at Central Highlands Water for 15 years.
"It's a bit of back to the future.
"But being 15 years [since I left], the change to the business and the area has been enormous."
Mr Brennan said numerous changes to Western Water had been driven by growth from an expanded population.
"The attraction to returning was the innovation that Western Water has used.
"I think it's been a big step forward, especially with storm and recycled water use, which is pretty much renowned around the area."
Mr Brennan has taken over from John Wilkinson, who retired on July 6 after 10 years at the helm.
Mr Brennan said the company's recently announced five-year water management plan presented a great challenge.
"The challenge with [Western Water is] the growth that it faces and the infrastructure investment that's needed over the next five years.
"They have really attacked the challenges in an innovative way and that has been the attraction to come back here."
Mr Brennan said that future droughts were also a concern.
"We're pre-drought, and it's the way industry has to look at.
"Things that have worked in the drought and the engagement with the community, we need to keep those things going and not get ourselves back into the situation of the early 2000s."
Mr Brennan said that as a resident and Western Water user, he had taken a keen interest in what the company had been doing.
"The last [client] survey they had was a 90 per cent favourable result, so [I] really want to keep that up there.
"You hear in the community what's working and Western Water is pretty well accepted.
"The challenge is for me to keep it up there."