Water Journal : Water Journal December 2012
conference reviews water DECEMBER 2012 55 engender a water ethic, meaning each person knows where their water comes from, how much they use, what they put into it and where it goes when they are done with it.” Further to this, Ms Cantú contends that conflict management is key to watershed and water resources management, challenging conventional practices, attitudes and professional certainties. It confronts entrenched sectoral interests and requires that water resources be managed holistically for the benefits of all. “The conflict management process does not begin with the identification of a particular conflict. It fits in the planning stage of a project or program of water resource development, anticipating conflict among stakeholders. There are tools and methods. This work is just as important as the skill sets that we have used for the past decades,” she said. Building on these views, Claydon observed in his conference summation: “To be successful at this may require new approaches to leadership and management, new visions and new attitudes, enhanced skills and abilities in communications and delivering clarity of message, in addition to new technologies. It may also require new organisational structures and cultures and smarter ways of interacting in political processes.” Emphasis on the latter was a clear message in the keynote address from Professor John Thwaites from the Monash Sustainability Institute in Melbourne, and a former Deputy Premier and Minister for the Environment, Minister for Water and Minister for Planning in the Government of Victoria. In an insightful and entertaining presentation, Professor Thwaites painted a clear picture of the present-day political decision- making landscape and proposed these “Ten Commandments of Influencing Governments”: 1. Know what you want to achieve 2. Know what the Government wants to achieve 3. Understand your target politician and the political life cycle 4. Collaborate – come as a team 5. Be prepared 6. Be persistent 7. Timing is everything: Carpe Diem – be an opportunist 8. Send in your best players 9. Say something new, clear and interesting 10. Prioritise and compromise. Finally, several International Riversymposium 2012 participants spoke about seeking multiple outcomes in river management, to benefit not only the river, but also to provide economic and social benefits. With the theme of the conference recognising that the world is urbanising rapidly, and looks set to continue to do so, several papers and discussions explored concepts of “liveability” in addition to productivity, sustainability and resilience. The current tight and difficult fiscal environment has again directed attention to achieving more outcomes, more efficiently for any given level of investments – “more bang for the buck”. Claydon concluded his conference summation by noting that, over the last decade or two, crises of flood, drought and/ or looming ecological degradation had provided unprecedented opportunities for advances in the policies, programs and practices of river and water management – changes have been made that would never have otherwise gained the support of the community, industry or politicians in “normal” circumstances. He closed by posing the question: “What opportunities does the current global financial crisis provide to seek out alternative, cost-effective, productive, resilient, economically affordable, culturally appropriate, socially acceptable and ecologically sustainable solutions for rivers in a rapidly urbanising environment?” The International WaterCentre, as manager of the International Riversymposium, is committed to continuing this dialogue and is seeking input on key messages for the future. Please go to www.riversymposium.com for more details on how you can contribute. The 16th International Riversymposium will return to Brisbane from 23–26 September 2013 and will focus on the role of rivers in linking water, energy and food – and, no doubt, on how to manage the connections. Details are available on the website. Celeste Cantú shares her “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” adoption on climate change. Delegates speaks with principal sponsor Melbourne Water at their exhibition booth. Dr Jayasuriya Dasarath from the Bureau of Meterology launches the Australian Water Accounting Standard 1 at the Welcome Function.
Water Journal February 2013
Water Journal November 2012-1