Urban water security

Wednesday, 16 June, 2010

Infrastructure Australia engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers to help identify opportunities to enhance existing water supply security strategies and to form practical recommendations for change at the federal, state and local government levels.

Infrastructure Australia’s initial infrastructure audit identified concerns that best practices in planning for security in the face of climate change, and in water pricing and independent regulation, were not being adopted by all jurisdictions.

PricewaterhouseCoopers recommends:

  • improving institutional structures and processes for water security planning;
  • strengthening the independence and authority of pricing and regulatory agencies;
  • removing institutional and legislative barriers to rural-urban water trading;
  • developing a market model that enables large urban water users and bulk water suppliers to trade entitlements for supply;
  • introducing regimes to allow third-party access to water and wastewater networks; and
  • relooking at the need for permanent water restrictions and developing arrangements whereby individual large water users could decide the level of supply reliability they receive.

Infrastructure Australia is now developing a plan of action to respond to the findings and recommendations in the PricewaterhouseCoopers report.

Infrastructure Australia is also undertaking a review of regional water security issues.

Infrastructure Australia welcomes feedback on the findings and recommendations in the report. The report is available on Infrastructure Australia’s website at www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/publications.aspx.

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