Viable urban areas need access to safe, reliable and a ordable water and sanitation services. Water is critical to all life—it sustains our communities, our economy and the environment on which we depend. Given this, water utilities are a critical part of our cities—delivering services today and helping maintain our future health, wellbeing and prosperity.
But, water utilities around the world are facing signifcant challenges:
Population and urbanisation are increasing, but the capacity of the planet’s natural capital to provide a cleanandreliablesourceofwaterfor,andtoassimilate the waste and pollution generated by, this growing population is declining.
A changing climate is creating greater water insecurity, and culminating in greater severity and frequency of ood, drought and extreme temperature conditions.
Economic constraints are limiting government, business and households’ ability to pay for the investment needed to maintain the levels of service they expect.
The Australian experience shows it is unlikely that the traditional urban water management paradigm can meet the challenges facing our cities in the 21st century. We need ‘utilities of the future’.
Around the world, much effort has been made to envisage the roles and functions of urban water utilities of the future. As this vision becomes clearer, so too has the size and breadth of action needed to achieve it. Transitioning to a utility of the future will see water utilities:
partner with the public, private and community sectors to develop new business models that provide a broader array of solutions to a more informed community
foster greater collaboration in developing proofs- of-concept for policy and regulatory reforms that fundamentally rede ne ‘business as usual’
enhance utility customer service culture, effciency and effectiveness.
No doubt this transformation is challenging, but there is much utilities can and indeed are doing. This paper draws on research undertaken by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities and practical case studies to show what water utilities can do TODAY.
2018 Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities Ltd.
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This research looks at how water sensitive urban design (WSUD) has been adopted in modern statutory planning frameworks and whether current frameworks are sufficient to maximise the uptake of WSUD opportunities in Australia’s cities.
The Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) has developed a Water Sensitive Cities (WSC) Index that offers users the ability to benchmark cities (at the metropolitan or municipal scale), based on performance against a range of urban water indicators that characterise the water sensitive city.
In this audit, we assessed whether DELWP, and councils in their roles as planning and responsible authorities, are managing and implementing the planning system to support the objectives of the Act and the desired outcomes of state planning policies.
We also examined:
• progress since our 2008 audit in improving oversight of the system and its performance
Future Transport is the NSW Government’s 2017 update of the 2012 Long Term Transport Master Plan. It examines the impact of new technologies and sets out a plan for a more efficient and reliable transport system.