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Global water trends reflected in Australian reports

Despite being one of the driest countries on earth, a recent international report shows the Australian water sector is experiencing similar trends to Europe and North America.

Deloitte's Water Tight 2.0 report looks at top trends in the global water sector and Deloitte National Water Leader Matt Williams said they are quite similar to local trends.

“It was interesting that the issues that have come out from the global perspective are fairly consistent with the State of the Water Sector report that we do locally,” Williams said.

“Australia is probably one of the driest countries in the world – so we're getting an industry view from that perspective – and then you compare it against the globe it's not wildly different.

“Issues in the Deloitte AWA State of the Water Sector Report – the value of water, customer, operational efficiency, technology through digital, and the role of the regulator – all come through globally.”

The report finds top issues for the global water sector are water scarcity, changing demographics and operational efficiency, which are all amplified by climate change.

“Demand for water continues to rise, declining water quality has grown to be a global concern, water loss through leakage continues to prove a major issue, both in the developed and developing world, and the long-term impact of climate change is unpredictable which makes planning difficult,” the global report stated.

“Ultimately, the world needs flexible and resilient water systems that anticipate and monitor changes in circumstances.”

Global trends identified in the report include the value of water, the value of data, the potential of technology and the power of the customer.

It also looks at the need for operational efficiency, the future of regulation and new financing methods.

One area Australia could learn from other countries was data management, Williams said.

“My experience from talking to some of the European countries is they've been able to use data to predict the need for asset management and the recurring nature of that work,” he said.

“That's something we think Australia should be doing more of and we are increasingly to talking to our clients about that.”

The full report can be viewed here.

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