National Water Reform Inquiry Submission

Posted 6 September 2020

 

On the 21 August 2020, members of the Connected Waters Initiative (CWI) made a submission to the National Water Reform Inquiry. This submission drew upon some of the collective works from the multidisciplinary UNSW Connected Waters Initiative, based in the School of Law, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES), School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering at UNSW. 

The submission argues that while Australia has come a long way in water management under the National Water Initiative (NWI), the design and implementation of the NWI is not sufficient to meet future water challenges, particularly regarding groundwater. The authors submit further reforms and changes are required. The submission highlights a number of issues that have seen slow progress, and identify four priorities that should be considered and addressed by governments, civil society and industries if we are to achieve a sustainable groundwater future for Australia, including:

1.     Water quality: improving understanding and integration of water quality in decision making

2.     Water planning and energy sector integration: enhancing understanding and management of energy sector impacts on groundwater

3.     Compliance and enforcement: increase investment and share learning about intelligent water regulation

4.     Strategic monitoring and improvement: rebuild and intensify system wide monitoring and benchmarking 

A full version of this submission is available to read here.

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