The state of the Australian water sector
Commentary and results from the AWA/Deloitte State of the Water Sector 2010-15 Survey
Two years ago, water – or the lack of it – was very much front of mind for communities and decision makers in almost every major city and region across Australia. Much has changed since then with devastating floods across large parts of the eastern seaboard creating an almost complete reversal in popular understanding of water issues in those states, while in Western Australia record dry summers have served, by contrast, to reinforce a ‘drought’ mindset.
Whether continued drought or flooding rain, water issues remain top of mind for communities generally, and management of water a top priority in this driest of continents. With this imperative, Deloitte’s water team, in conjunction with the Australian Water Association, undertook a major survey of the water sector during August/September 2010. Almost 1200 sector participants, across all levels/functions/regions/years of experience, took part in the State of the Water Sector Survey. The findings, at a national level, are found in the Preliminary Report, released at the first AWA National Water Leadership Summit in November 2010, and individual reports for Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia were released subsequently.
In November 2011 a further report, State of the water sector: the view from the top, incorporating the comments and insights on the survey’s findings by water leaders drawn from across the sector nationally, was released at the 2nd AWA National Water Leadership Forum held in Canberra.
The reports focus on the issues those involved in the industry see as being its greatest challenges – as well as their assessment of the nations’ progress or scorecard in dealing with these challenges, including
- Sustainability, climate change and resource management
- Infrastructure management and maintenance
- Institutional reform
- Funding models and investment
- Water markets and pricing
- Talent: attraction and retention.
The individual state/territory reports highlight those Survey findings where the differences from the national average in views expressed are of statistical significance and worthy of further exploration and interpretation. The final report in the series, The view from the top, provides commentary on the survey findings from selected industry leaders whose collective insight and experience provides a lead for priority setting and action for all those involved in the sector, whether regulators, managers of utilities, policy advisers or providers of expert technical advice.
Readers can download soft copy of the reports below or contact us to receive select hard copies. Water sector researchers interested in accessing the survey data for further academic or research purposes can lodge a research proposal with the National Office of the Australian Water Association at link.