Water Journal : Water Journal March 2011
feature article feature articles 66 MARCH 2011 water efficiency and affordability in the actions that shape water consumption (for example, water-sensitive urban design in the case of builders and developers, recycled water systems, water-efficient appliances). This should also apply to the "virtual water" used in the production of the goods that are imported or exported from a region. Citizens will have a well developed sustainability ethic that informs all of their decisions. This will be backed up with appropriate tariffs, transfers and taxes that encourage good behaviour. Proper alignment of economic incentives and environmental regulation is essential for creating water-sensitive cities. Principle 10: Accurate and useful information, including smart metering. Informed citizen choice depends upon full knowledge of the resources available, the potential benefits of different options and the evaluation of ongoing performance. Cities will draw more fully on intelligent information and management systems across a full range of networks, including smart water system design, to provide information to system managers and users. These systems will synthesise data from across the water cycle and share it across utilities and customers to inform decision making. Suggested actions to progress Theme 3: 1. Provide customer and industry-focused information on the economic, social and environmental costs associated with different water supply choices. 2. Develop a local resource and utilities atlas to communicate to customers. 3. Build a sense of urgency for change to more sustainable urban form. 4. Develop pricing principles that cost externalities (including nutrients and energy) to support the different values of various water sources. 5. Create a water pricing strategy that is flexible and adaptive, linked to the availability of the resource. 6. Continue to build on community and stakeholder trust in the water sector (particularly surrounding the use of recycled water) by delivering clear and reliable advice on alternative water sources. 7. Engage with customers to understand their needs for intelligent networks and smart meters. Explore the opportunities they present. 8. Establish minimum standards for water-using appliances and provide customers with information to enable continued efficient water use. 9. Investigate the potential to further develop water markets that might eventually provide greater choice for consumers. Theme 4: Adaptive and Collaborative Water Sector Principle 11: Sustainable cities will be served by adaptive and integrated approaches to urban development. Sustainable cities of the future will be realised when the sectors that supply services to cities work more closely with governments, planners, businesses and the community from the first stages of urban planning. Given the linkages between water, city shape and design and energy consumption, a transformation in these and other sectors to more integrated planning will underpin the development of resilient cities in the future. This integration will occur at all scales of planning. Principle 12: Sustainable cities will be served by a multi-faceted water management system. The water sector will become more diverse and dynamic, drawing on integrated solutions within the water sector, across sectors and including government and the community. Spaces like these improve the "liveability" of a city and the wellbeing of the population. The water sector needs to work with other sectors and the community to achieve more water-sensitive cities.
Water Journal April 2011