Water Journal : Water Journal February 2014
WATER FEBRUARY 2014 14 CrossCurrent International A report published in March 2013, Water Sensitive Urban Design in the UK, surveyed built environment professionals and found that 83% of respondents believed water management was considered too late in the planning and design process of developments. As growing pressure is placed on the planet's limited water supplies however, businesses are stepping up their innovation game, with new and emerging inventions offer hope for overcoming water scarcity. Rotterdam for example, is planning ahead with water plazas, green walls and oating neighbourhoods to safeguard itself from threats posed by climate change. The World Bank has launched a new initiative, Thirsty Energy, at the World Future Energy summit and International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The program is designed to help developing countries plan and manage their energy capacity in tandem with water resource management; governments identify synergies and quantify tradeoffs between energy development and water use; piloting cross-sectoral planning to ensure the sustainability of energy and water investments; and design assessment tools and management frameworks to help governments coordinate decision-making. Astronomers may reprioritise their search for extraterrestrial life after nding giant water "geysers" spewing from Ceres, an enormous rock in orbit beyond the planet Mars. The rst discovery of water vapour around an asteroid, the nd lends weight to theories that space rocks helped kickstart life on Earth. National The National Water Commission has released the Australian Water Markets Report 2012--13. This is the sixth annual statement of water trading activity informing market participants about market structure, trading activity, prices and policy decisions in uencing market performance. Key ndings include: 2012--13 started with high carry over from the previous year and a high proportion of catchments received 100% allocations; rainfall was below average in most of the Murray--Darling Basin (MDB) during the year, increasing the volume and value of allocation trade; and the value of trade in Australian water markets overall decreased from $1.6 billion in 2012--13 to $1.4 billion in 2012--13 as a result of a reduction in entitlement trade. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Senator Simon Birmingham, has announced the appointment of Dr Jane Doolan as a new Commissioner to the National Water Commission. "Dr Doolan will bring a great wealth of knowledge and experience to the Commission's role in providing independent advice to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on national water reform progress," he said. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released an update to the 2011 Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) as part of its rolling revision of the guidelines. The recent update includes: New Information Sheets for Water Treatment Operators, which replace Information Sheets on Disinfection; an update of the 1996 Chemical Fact Sheets on benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes; and a new resource -- Guidance for Issuing and Lifting Boil Water Advisories. Further information is available on the NHMRC website. Government Skills Australia is developing an occupation and competency framework for the water industry. The online tool will live within the new companion volumes of the National Water Training Package (NWP). The framework will contain water industry occupations with NWP quali cations and provide a guide of typical workplace tasks, skills, knowledge and quali cation level. To read the project update and review the draft framework please go to the website: www.governmentskills.com.au/water/25-water/105-water- competency-framework The Commonwealth Government's decision to sell back to farmers up to 10 billion litres of its water allocation in the Murray- Darling Basin could prove to be a win-win for irrigators and the river. On the surface the decision seems to make no sense. The Government bought the rights to water from farmers in the rst place to restore the health of the river, why would it sell them back? But the new decision re ects the variability of water supply and prices. For more please go to theconversation.com and look for stories on the Murray-darling Basin. The establishment of a national regulator is seen as a key prerequisite to pushing through further asset privatisations in the Australian water sector. The call comes in the wake of a paper published recently by Infrastructure Australia, which identi es 10 water infrastructure assets with a hypothetical enterprise value of A$37.5 billion (US$33.1 billion) which could potentially be sold to the private sector in order to generate cash to tackle the country's growing infrastructure de cit. A new report has warned that more needs to be done to protect Australia's drinking water supplies from extreme weather events driven by climate change. An analysis of 41 water utilities in Australia and the US found water quality was put at most risk by a combination of extreme weather events, such as bush res and then a ood, rather than a single event. New South Wales For the 18th year in a row, Sydney Water's drinking water has again passed the test after a rigorous independent report to the Independent Regulatory and Pricing Tribunal (IPART). Sydney Water was independently audited by Cardno against ve areas of its Operating Licence, receiving the excellent result of Full Compliance for drinking water quality, managing assets and the priority sewerage program, and High Compliance for recycled water quality and customer and consumer rights.
Water Journal December 2013
Water Journal April 2014