Aither — Enhancing the value of water: six universal steps to improving water management

Huw Pohlner of Aither speaks about enhancing the value of water: 6 universal steps to improving water management at the 2016 World Water Congress and Exhibition, Brisbane, Australia

This video guides how the Australian water experience can inform improved water management for other countries around the world through the lens of valuing water. Valuing water is the benefits that people receive from the water around the world — all people, including future generations. Valuing water happens implicitly all the time, and by explicitly valuing water decision-making can be more informed and transparent.

Six steps to enhancing value through improved water management

Please note that these steps are up for discussion.

  1. Determine water availability, as well as risks and projections;
  2. Determine water demand;
  3. Reflect value of water in administrative allocation decisions, e.g., how water is allocated by governments at a macro scale;
  4. Ensure access to water is based on a system of water rights;
  5. Introduce settings to optimise water use, through allowing individuals to engage in a process that allows these individuals to make decisions about water use, e.g. in the Murray Darling this is through water markets;
  6. Underlying this is the need for ongoing adaptive and participatory management.

Each of these steps is supplemented with recommendations, outcomes, and inputs required for achieving each of these steps.

Australia is a member of the High-Level Panel on Water with the World Bank and UN to make progress toward Sustainable Development Goal 6, and valuing water is a component of achieving these goals.

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