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The state of the Australian water sector

Commentary and results from the AWA/Deloitte State of the Water Sector Survey 2012


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The state of the Australian water sector

Australia is one of the world’s hottest and driest continents, and as such water will always be an important issue. The Deloitte State of the Water Sector Survey provides unique insight into the views of water sector professionals across the country.

In November 2012, Deloitte launched a report based on the second State of the Water Sector Survey, conducted in conjunction with the Australian Water Association. Almost 2,000 respondents at all levels, functions and regions within the water sector took part in the survey – a 67% increase on the number of respondents in 2010.

The State of the Water Sector Report 2012 focuses on the major challenges the water sector faces – both now and in five years’ time – as identified by those in the water sector. It also looks at how well the nation is responding to these issues, which include:

  • Sustainability and climate change
  • Infrastructure management and maintenance
  • Water supply security
  • Water catchment management
  • Skills shortages
  • Regulation and reform
  • Water markets and pricing
  • Coal seam gas extraction
  • The Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Since 2010, there have been some significant changes in the circumstances surrounding the water sector. These include the drought-breaking rain over much of the country and the commissioning of major infrastructure such as desalination plants. Comparing the 2012 results with those from 2010, we can gain insight into the water sector’s changing priorities and how they reflect community sentiment and Australia’s unpredictable climate.

As well as presenting the key survey findings at a national level, the report also includes sections on each state and territory (except Northern Territory). The state and territory reports highlight where individual jurisdictions expressed notably different views from the national average, and explore possible reasons for these variations.

Water sector researchers interested in accessing the survey data for academic or research purposes can lodge a research proposal with the National Office of the Australian Water Association here.

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