Water Security for all Australians
Water reform in Australia has delivered solid progress on managing the nation’s water resources during
the past two decades, which has delivered tangible benefits to governments, communities and industries.
Thirteen years on from the signing of the National Water Initiative (NWI), water reform in Australia is now back in the spotlight with the Productivity Commission undertaking an inquiry that will assess progress in achieving the objectives and outcomes of the NWI and the need for any future reform.
Water Security for all Australians is the Australian Water Association’s advocacy platform. When we say ‘water security’, we are referring to the certainty the Australian community can have that its water needs will be met into the future on an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable basis.
Under this umbrella there are four key areas which need to be taken into consideration when determining water security:
- safe and affordable drinking water;
- water to support industry and agriculture;
- water management to create liveable communities; and
- water to protect the environment.
The Association has produced two discussion papers on the topic, the original 2016 paper and a discussion paper that was discussed at Ozwater’17.
Download 2017 Water Security Discussion Paper
Download 2016 Water Security Discussion Paper
The discussion papers highlight the issues and provide information for discussion on ways forward.
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The discussion papers discuss the work that has been completed and is currently being done for the purpose of securing water. Some of the key work has included:
- Commonwealth Government – National Water Initiative
- Australian Capital Territory – Water Strategy - Striking the Balance - 2014-44
- New South Wales – 2017 Metropolitan Water Plan - Water for a Liveable, Growing and Resilient Greater Sydney
- New South Wales – various Regional Water Resourcing Plans (2016 – 2017)
- Northern Territory - ‘Our Water Future Discussion Paper: A Conversation with Territories’ – 2015
- Queensland - Water for life - South East Queensland’s Water Security Program - 2016-2046
- Victoria – Water for Victoria 2016
- Western Australia – Water for Growth – Water Supply and Demand Outlook to 2050 – 2016
International Water Frameworks
The 2017 discussion paper discusses a series of International Frameworks which aim to enhance future water security. These include:
- United Nations Water Security Framework
- European Union Water Framework
- Water Governance in OECD Countries - A Multi-Level Approach 2011
International and National Water Scorecards
The 2017 discussion paper discusses a series of International Scorecards which aim to review current levels of water security. These include:
National Water Accounts – Australian Bureau of Meteorology
Water in Australia - Australian Bureau of Meteorology 2014/15
State of the Environment Report - Australian Government 2016
Australian National Outlook – CSIRO 2015
Asian Development Bank – Asian Water Development Outlook 2016