Secure Water Supplies: Enabling the Growth of South Australia

Published: 1 February 2017

 On Friday 9th December 2016 the Young Water Professionals gathered to discuss the topic of secure water supplies and explore how the water sector can enable the economic growth of our state.

Secure Water Supplies Event in SAFacilitated by Shirley Robertson from ENZEN Australia, the panel of speakers from the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, SA Water, Ernst & Young and Salisbury Water shared their ideas and perspectives. 

A strong, competitive, nationally and internationally recognised South Australian water sector is a critical foundation for our state’s economic development. 

Access to secure water supplies is often critical for businesses to operate efficiently and effectively. So, it goes hand in hand that growth in the water sector enables the growth of other industries, like mining and food production, and vice versa.

One of the things that government can do is to put in place the right policy frameworks which facilitate water sector development by driving innovation and investment from the private sector.

Water allocation, fit for purpose water supplies and appropriate water pricing support and drive growth. The point was made that the discussion shouldn’t be about do we have enough water, but with the various sources of water available, how does the water sector and industry approach the challenges of different water sources for different purposes to maximise economic growth.

The Water Industry Act, the legislative reform that has enable economic regulation and competition in the South Australian water sector has changed the approach of our major water utility, SA Water.

SA Water are needing to be more pragmatic with their infrastructure investments and are diversifying the types of services they provide.

Private investment in the water sector is also gaining momentum. How does a once monopoly like SA Water now operate in a more commercially challenging space?

Opportunities for new water policy reform that support government priorities and could assist industry growth and development still exist. The challenge for government is how to get more industry involvement in policy development.

A common theme throughout this discussion was challenge and opportunity. Source SA are keen to hear your perspectives and to keep the conversation going. If you have ideas you would like to share please contact our editors.