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Establishing an Innovative, Community-Based Decentralised Water Service: Challenges and Benefits

  • Cr Debbie Blumel
  • Peter Henderson
  • Peter Waterman
Chapter

Abstract

In Australia, the innovative management of water resources and water infrastructure is of critical importance, given that the continent is characterised by scarce water resources, a burgeoning population, and is already experiencing the pressures of climate change. In examining how regional Australia can play a role in managing water supply/demand issues, this chapter addresses three objectives. Firstly, it explores the regional advantage to be gained by moving towards the delivery of decentralised water services, particularly in peri-urban settings. Secondly, the key features and advantages of these services are illustrated through a case study example from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, where novel, community-based infrastructure has been installed, based on the principles of Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM). The case study highlights the implications of such systems for both water security and sustainability, including how the latter can be assessed. Thirdly, commentary is provided on the challenges and barriers to be overcome in establishing new arrangements for water entities, such as ‘Community Water Limited (CWL)’. Through this case study, this chapter raises the argument that innovation for water security involves both technological and structural innovation. Indeed, it requires a paradigm shift, with major changes in thinking, attitudes and behaviour. Most importantly, as a new market mechanism with distinct value in regional settings, the establishment of community-based water companies needs specific policy and legislative support, if regional Australia is to be able to innovate for sustainability, water security, and climate change adaptation.

Keywords

Climate Change Adaptation Water Service Sustainability Assessment Water Security Water Company 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cr Debbie Blumel
    • 1
  • Peter Henderson
    • 2
  • Peter Waterman
    • 3
  1. 1.Sunshine Coast Regional CouncilQueenslandAustralia
  2. 2.Environmental Management Solutions Pty LtdQueenslandAustralia
  3. 3.University of the Sunshine CoastQueenslandAustralia

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