Building Resilience to Climate Change in Urban Water Supplies: Are current policies on track for achieving this goal?
The Millennium Drought, which affected much of Australia, initiated one of the largest climate adaptive responses in Australia to date, effectively determining the future direction of urban water strategies. Within the last six years over $30 billion has been invested by governments and water utilities in large scale centralised water infrastructure. Policy requirements for the inclusion of local water supply approaches has also seen considerable private investments, mostly in the form of household water tanks, and has created opportunities for public-private partnerships to develop innovative business and technological solutions. However, there is a growing body of evidence which suggests that the actions taken to climate proof the nation's water supply may not necessarily be the most effective and that current policies may even be reducing resilience within the urban water sector. Building resilience in the urban water sector is progressively being recognised as a critical strategy for addressing the impacts of increasing climate variability and change. The degree of resilience within the system can be influenced through the choice of individual water supply approaches and the manner in which they are integrated into the urban infrastructure network. This paper will provide an overview of the characteristics of resilience as they apply in the urban water sector and discuss how resilience can be assessed through an analysis of water supply policies. It will further report on preliminary findings regarding the presence of resilience properties in water strategies from Australia's major urban centres.
Climate Change 2012: Water and Climate: Policy Implementation Changes; Proceedings of the 2nd Practical Responses to Climate Change Conference
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Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified
Natural Resource Management