Water Journal : Water Journal July 2011
crosscurrent 12 JULY 2011 water regular features International Climate change could cut water flow in several of the American West's largest river basins by up to 20 per cent this century, according to a report published by the US Department of the Interior. The Colorado, the Rio Grande and the San Joaquin are three of the rivers mentioned in the report, which said an 8 per cent to 20 per cent decrease in average annual stream flow is expected. The report, prepared in response to the Secure Water Act of 2009, outlines increased risks to water resources in the American West for the 21st century. Sydney Water's desalination project in Kurnell has been named Desalination Plant of the Year at the Global Water Summit 2011 in Berlin. The Global Water Awards recognise the most important achievements in the water industry. PUB, Singapore's national water agency, and Hyflux Ltd, through their wholly-owned subsidiary, Tua Spring Pte Ltd, have signed a 25-year Water Purchase Agreement for Singapore's second and largest desalination plant. The plant is expected to commence operations in 2013 and will add another 318,500 cubic metres of desalinated water per day to Singapore's water supply. The 2012 Stockholm Water Prize is now open for nominations. The Prize honours individuals, institutions or organisations whose work contributes broadly to the conservation and protection of water resources and to improved health of the planet's inhabitants and ecosystems. The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) is launching a new strategy to promote the use of green infrastructure by cities and towns to reduce stormwater runoff. Green infrastructure decreases pollution to local waterways by treating rain where it falls and keeping polluted stormwater from entering sewer systems. As part of the strategy, EPA will work with partners including local governments, watershed groups, tribes and others in 10 cities that have utilised green infrastructure and highlight them as models for other municipalities around the country. The International Water Centre launched a new Water Leadership Program at Ozwater'11. This program is customised for leaders to middle management level who want to be more effective at exercising influence, driving change and advancing integrated water management projects. It is supported by AWA and WSAA. The Government of Morocco and the World Water Council are launching their call for candidates for the 4th edition of the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize. Organised every three years in conjunction with the World Water Forum, the Prize is awarded to an institution, organisation, individual or group of individuals in honour of their outstanding contribution to the development and use of water resources. Candidate nominations close 31 August 2011. National The National Water Commission (NWC) has released four reports that look at water pricing options. The NWC's Review of Pricing Reform in the Australian Water Sector report shows that approaches to reforms have been patchy across states and territories, and makes nine recommendations on future reforms. The Productivity Commission has released its draft report into Australia's urban water sector. The report found that there is a 'compelling' case for reform of the sector. Unclear roles and responsibilities have contributed to inefficiencies, undue reliance on water restrictions and costly water conservation programs. The report suggests that gains are likely to come from improving the performance of institutions with respect to governance, regulation, and procurement of supply and pricing. The final report will be forwarded to the government by 31 August 2011. The 2009--10 national performance reports of the urban and rural water sectors have been released by the National Water Commission. Household water consumption has increased slightly during 2009--10 as water utilities ease water restrictions or move to permanent water conservation measures. Customers of almost every utility experienced an increase in typical residential bills, a result of increased water consumption as well as the industry's significant capital investments and rising operating costs. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released the first annual water monitoring report. The report found that reforms in the water industry in the Murray-Darling Basin have led to expansion in the size of water markets and an increased capacity for market participants to engage in trade. The National Water Commission (NWC) is undertaking a project to assess the reliability of using satellites to estimate groundwater nationally. The project will study the ability of GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellites to estimate variations in groundwater using a combination of space gravity and hydrological modelling. The project aims to establish if this novel approach to groundwater monitoring can be considered for practical use. The Australian Government's household rebates under the National Rainwater and Greywater Initiative are no longer available for rainwater tanks or greywater systems purchased after 10 May, 2011 and the scheme will cease altogether in November. The rebate had supplied householders up to $500 towards the cost of having a rainwater tank or greywater system plumbed into their homes. The Federal Government has released its Sustainable Population Strategy. It has not set a population target, but includes major initiatives to drive growth to regional areas. AWA previously commented on the Issues Paper that preceded development of the Strategy.
Water Journal May 2011
Water Journal August 2011