Working together for the future of Greater Adelaide’s water

Water is among the most precious resources of any city and Watertrust Australia is proud to be driving an independent, collaborative process to explore the future of Greater Adelaide’s water sector. Take a look at what we’ve been doing to identify future governance arrangements for integrated water management, to support the water sector in meeting future challenges for this important region.

The water sector of Greater Adelaide faces difficulties over the coming decades, including the challenges of population growth and climate change and having sufficient water to meet demands. It is broadly recognised that integrated water management (IWM), where management of all facets of the water cycle are brought together, offers an opportunity to address these challenges. It has also been observed that current governance arrangements are a limiting factor to addressing the challenges, with the South Australian Government committing to IWM governance reform.

Given the different, and sometimes competing, stakeholder interests in future governance arrangements, preliminary discussions with stakeholders revealed that stakeholders saw considerable value in Watertrust’s independence in exploring arrangements. With that in mind, we recently convened an independent process to begin to explore future options for IWM governance. Working with a bespoke team of local, national and international leaders, we completed a preliminary review of IWM governance reform across Australia, 20 targeted surveys and 15 interviews with a diverse set of stakeholders, and convened an Executive Forum, involving 44 executives and senior managers from 30 stakeholder organisations.

A landscape photo with the Adelaide Convention Centre behind a bridge over a river

Our work established a shared high-level of ambition for reform and agreement among stakeholders on what the group hoped for from the planned IWM. There was an agreement regarding the need to define attributes of ‘good governance’ and the need for more detailed analysis of the value of reform and various governance options and  genuine and ongoing engagement with stakeholders.

A decision charter, which will articulate the scope of the decision and the process by which a decision will be made regarding future IWM governance arrangements, is currently being developed. This will include a description of four focus areas that stakeholders will continue exploring together:

  1. Continuing to develop specific desired outcomes of IWM
  2. Developing agreed principles for IWM governance
  3. Building the case for reform, and
  4. Exploring and assessing governance options.

Watertrust Australia is proud of the independent but critical role we have been able to play in this work and look forward to being part of the longer term planning for Greater Adelaide’s future.

Share this article:

Tagged in: