Planning for resilient water systems - a water supply and demand investment options assessment framework

Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS
Publication Type:
2011, pp. 1 - 37
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The Managing Directors of the four Melbourne water businesses have set out a clear vision for the future role of water in shaping a sustainable, liveable, prosperous and healthy city. The Melbourne Water Supply Demand Strategy (WSDS) is a 50-year strategy to balance the supply of water to meet Melbourne’s consumptive, environmental, industrial and agricultural water needs. The strategy examines long-term future supply augmentations for the city. The last Melbourne WSDS was completed in 2006. The next Melbourne WSDS is due for completion in March 2012, and is one of the key mechanisms through which the Managing Directors’ vision can be achieved. The Institute for Sustainable Futures was contracted by the Smart Water Fund to develop an options assessment framework for the preparation of water supply demand investment strategies, including the forthcoming WSDS, that will meet the MDs’ broad vision. This options assessment framework brief indicates there is now widespread recognition across the Melbourne water businesses that a generational shift is required away from conventional deterministic planning towards more flexible and adaptive planning and management. This shift is being driven by the need to maintain water security in the face of increasing uncertainty in key determinants of water businesses, as well as by increasing determination to broaden the objectives that a water system should meet. For example, the recent dry period highlighted that the role of water in a city is wider than that of a commodity. In addition, feedback from key city stakeholders indicates that there is an opportunity for the water sector to play a larger role in actively shaping the future of our city.
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