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A Federal System Water is mainly a State responsibility NORTHERN TERRITORY Transboundary issues– QUEENSLAND WESTERN especially in the AUSTRALIA Murray-Darling Basin SOUTH AUSTRALIA NEW SOUTH Federal Government WALES involved in coordination, funding, VICTORIA A.C.T AUSTRALIAN and MDB planning CAPITAL TERRITORY TASMANIAMURRAY-DARLING BASIN
Annual inflows to Perth Dams 1000 Annual Total 900 1911-1974 av (338 GL) 1975 - 1996 av (177 GL) 800 2001-08 av (81.8 GL)Total Annual* Inflow to Perth Dams** (GL) 700 600 500 400 300 2009 (124.1 GL) 200 100 0 1911 1913 1915 1917 1919 1921 1923 1925 1927 1929 1931 1933 1935 1937 1939 1941 1943 1945 1947 1949 1951 1953 1955 1957 1959 1961 1963 1965 1967 1969 1971 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 Notes: - A year is taken as May to April - 2009/10 inflow to 21st October 2009 Source: WA Water Corporation.
The National Water Commission – Roles 1. Advance the COAG National Water Initiative 2. Advise on, and administer, the Australian Government Water Fund Drive National Water Reform
Australia‟s Reform Process Commenced in 1994 - COAG Water Reform Framework Renewed in 2004 with new 10 year COAG commitment - National Water Initiative (NWI)Objective: “A nationally-compatible market, regulatory and planning based system of managing surface and groundwater resources for rural and urban use that optimises economic, social and environmental outcomes”
The National Water Initiative Define tradeable water entitlements Require compatible registers of water entitlements and standards for water accounting Reduce barriers to interstate water trade Assign risks of changes in water availability Prepare water plans with provision for the environment Improve pricing for water storage and delivery Deal with over-allocated or stressed water systems Deal with interceptions of water flows Meet / manage urban water demand
The National Water Initiative (NWI) Water Planning Water Markets Water Regulation
Some Key Elements of Reform Institutional • separation of policy, service provider and regulator • corporatising the provision of water services ― high level of transparency, accountability, benchmarking performance • devolution of responsibility to lowest possible level Pricing • volumetric, full cost recovery
Some key elements of reform (cont) Entitlements and planning - clear entitlements including statutory provision for environment - transparent statutory based planning Markets - separation of water access entitlements from land - opening up water trading
Progress... Most states now have NWI consistent legislation and planning processes New Commonwealth Water Act and new governance arrangements for the Murray-Darling Basin Federal government investment – e.g. AU$12.9 billion „Water for the Future‟ program Water trading playing a key role in risk management, response to drought and autonomous adjustment Water is being recovered for the environment, including through purchase on the market
Progress... Urban water supply augmentation recognising the need for a less climate dependent portfolio (e.g. desalination, recycling) Consumption-based pricing achieved in both rural and urban systems Independent economic regulation promoting transparency & rigour in price setting in most jurisdictions Water availability assessments under different climate change scenarios
Environmental flow Science + monitoring, reporting of outcomes = adaptive management Identify environmental assets Ensure water sharing plans meet environmental asset watering needs Ensure security of environmental water entitlements Climate change – Resilience theory Environmental water managers – funding, skills, best practice, access to data and science
River and Wetland Health FARWH: Framework for the Assessment of River and Wetland Health Overarching framework allowing existing jurisdictional programs to report nationally Can be applied within and across jurisdictions Six elements to assess River & Wetland Health 1. Hydrologic disturbance 2. Water quality and soils 3. Aquatic biota 4. Fringing zone 5. Physical form 6. Catchment disturbance
New institutional roles Bureau of Meteorology (water data and accounting) Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (water market and charging rules) New Murray-Darling Basin Authority (stronger role in Basin planning) Urban water reform (eg Queensland Water Commission, water grid)
More information ww.nwc.gov.auwww.water.gov.au