© 2018

Reforming Water Law and Governance

From Stagnation to Innovation in Australia

  • Cameron Holley
  • Darren Sinclair

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. The Murray-Darling Basin—Progress and Challenges in Multi-jurisdictional Water Governance

  3. Water Markets—Property, Regulation and Implementation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 99-99
    2. Adam Loch, C Dionisio Perez-Blanco, Dolores Rey, Erin O’Donnell, David Adamson
      Pages 123-139
    3. Cameron Holley, Darren Sinclair
      Pages 141-168
  4. Collaboration and Participation—Litigation, Coordination and Water Rights

  5. Future Governance Challenges—Cumulative Impacts, Resource Industries and Climate Change

About this book


This book identifies the most effective water policy tools and innovations, and the circumstances that foster their successful implementation by taking a comparative look at a world-leading ‘laboratory’ of water law and governance: Australia. In particular, the book analyses Australia’s 20-year experience implementing a hybrid governance system of markets, hierarchical regulation, and collaborative integrated water planning.

Australia is acknowledged as a world leader in water governance reform, and an examination of its relatively mature water law and governance system has great significance for many international academics and jurisdictions. This book synthesises practical lessons and theoretical insights from Australia, as well as recommendations from comparative analysis with countries such as the United States to provide useful guidance for policymakers and scholars seeking to apply water instruments in a wide range of policy contexts. The book also advances our understanding of water and broader environmental governance theory and is a valuable reference for scholars, researchers and students working in law, regulation and governance studies – especially in the field of water and environmental law.


water law water governance water strategy water policy water management sustainable development water crisis water quality water market water rights water planning integrated water resources management (IWRM) environmental law ecojustice water reform Murray-Darling Basin

Editors and affiliations

  • Cameron Holley
    • 1
  • Darren Sinclair
    • 2
  1. 1.UNSW SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.University of CanberraBruce, CanberraAustralia

About the editors

Cameron Holley is an associate professor of law at UNSW Sydney. He publishes widely in the areas of environmental law, natural resources law, and water law, with a focus on regulation and governance. An empirical researcher, he has worked closely with Australian and international government and non-government organisations on a range of environmental and natural resource management research projects. His current research agenda is centred on the legal and governance aspects of water compliance and enforcement, the Anthropocene and the energy, water, food nexus.

Darren Sinclair is an associate professor at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra. His expertise lies in the fields of environmental policy, regulation and governance, and occupational health and safety regulation and governance in the mining sector. He has published widely on these topics and has also been a consultant to various government agencies and industry. Currently, he is engaged in research on water regulation and governance, the regulation of mercury emissions and climate change governance in the financial sector.

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