Water Journal : Water Journal December 2014
water DECEMBER 2014 28 Feature article Survey respondents include, among others, local government officers, consultants, engineers, planners, policy/strategy officers scientists, land developers and economists. Overall, there was a good representation from the breadth of organisations involved in Adelaide’s urban water management. The areas in which the participants primarily worked included stormwater and wastewater management, integrated water management, water governance, strategy and policy, design and planning, and capacity building. About 70 per cent of participants had more than 10 years’ experience working in the area of urban water management, thus providing outstanding support for the reliability and validity of survey results. ResulTs and discussion While the survey asked participants various questions on institutional issues related to implementing an IUWM strategy in Adelaide, in this article we focus on some of the challenges related to the ‘new’ water sources. These challenges include organisational/corporate culture within the water sector; institutional capacity; institutional uncertainty about access rights; institutional uncertainty about ownership of water; and compliance with environmental and health regulations. oRganisaTional culTuRe and insTiTuTional capaciTy Organisational culture is defined in many different ways in the culture literature. However, the most commonly known definition of organisational culture is “the way we do things around here” (Lundy & Cowling, 1996, p. 168). Another important issue related to implementing the ‘new’ water projects is institutional capacity, and building institutional capacity is important to encourage institutional change (Brown and Farrelly, 2009); also as Wakely (1997) argues, institutional capacity determines the ability of an institution to perform effectively at its own tasks and coordinate with others in its field. Therefore, the survey asked the participants to indicate their agreement/ disagreement about the following statements: • Organisational/ corporate culture within the water sector is a barrier to implementing integrated urban water management strategy in Adelaide; • Institutional capacity is a barrier to implementing integrated urban water management strategy in Adelaide. Organisational culture within the water sector, particularly within Government departments and SA Water, was considered a major barrier to implementing IUWM in Adelaide. More than 68 per cent of respondents perceived organisational/corporate culture as a barrier to implementing IUWM (see Figure 1). The respondents (around 62 per cent) also indicated that institutional capacity was a barrier, and pointed out that this was mostly due to limited resources and fragmented roles and responsibilities (Brown & Farrelly, 2009; Mukheibir et al., 2014). insTiTuTional unceRTainTy abouT access and owneRship With urban water supply sources now including ‘new’ sources such as stormwater and recycled wastewater, clarifying entitlement arrangements is a complex task. The current entitlement arrangements governing these sources of water are not clearly defined and this would need to be done by legislation, especially for stormwater. Similarly, there may be issues when storing either of these resources using Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR), because when these resources are stored in an aquifer, generally the person or entity injecting the water does not retain legal ownership rights, or have any guarantee that they can recover their water. These rights and guarantees need to be established. Furthermore, the complex entitlements regime and related issues about security to access may create a barrier to future investment in a range of ‘new’ sources that potentially substitute potable supply. So what do the key stakeholders in the South Australian urban water sector think about these barriers? As illustrated in Figure 2, around 50 per cent of the key stakeholders surveyed agreed that institutional uncertainty about access rights and ownership of water was a barrier to diversifying supply portfolio and implementing an integrated urban water management strategy. They also elucidated that access rights and ownership issues depended on the source and are mostly related to the non-prescribed sources. Some also suggested these barriers were more evident in case of stormwater reuse and MAR schemes. Figure 1. Key stakeholder perceptions on organisational culture and institutional capacity as barriers. Figure 2. Key stakeholder perceptions on institutional uncertainty about ownership and access rights as barriers.
Water Journal November 2014
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