Water reform must continue

Friday, 16 September, 2011

The National Water Commission has released its comprehensive assessment of water reform progress in Australia, providing 12 recommendations to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).The Australian Water Association (AWA) advocates for the continuation of the national water agenda as raised by the National Water Commission and adds its voice to the call for leadership from governments across the continent.

AWA Chief Executive Tom Mollenkopf has said that while AWA and the National Water Commission may occasionally differ on the detail within the water agenda, the fundamental need for such an agenda is clear.

“Water is, and always has been, a precious and essential resource, the sound management of which relies on well-considered policies, not good luck.

“This report comes at a crucial time. AWA has been increasingly concerned about the risk of complacency in water matters, particularly following the recent rainfall in parts of the nation.

“It is important to recognise that it is the variability and volatility of rainfall in Australia, rather than a general lack of water, that causes our water problems. It is times like now, when the dam levels are up, that we should look at the long term by continuing to encourage sound water practices and investment in diverse sources of water - whether these be recycling, desalination interbasin transfers or demand management”, said Mollenkopf.

“Australia has earned an enviable reputation in the global community on the efficiency and effectiveness of our water sector in our particularly demanding environment. At times like these, we must not squander the opportunity to secure our water future.”

The recommendations from the National Water Commission to COAG are available from http://www.nwc.gov.au/www/html/3130-recommendations.asp?intSiteID=1.

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