The National Water Commission is busy sharing the knowledge derived from their research programs. Here are six reports released late last year that you may be interested in:
Water for Australia’s Arid Zone – Summarises the main findings from investigations at five regional demonstration sites and outlines the process involved in developing the new thematic palaeovalley map of arid and semi-arid Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.
National-scale vulnerability assessment of seawater intrusion – Identifies several opportunities to progress and develop effective resource management and protection of Australia’s coastal aquifers through additional monitoring, research, stakeholder education and communication.
Recognising the broader benefits of aquatic systems in water planning: an ecosystem services approach – Encourages a more comprehensive, systematic and transparent consideration of the multiple benefits of aquatic systems in water planning.
Three groundwater reports—the final publications in the Waterlines series—illustrated that given their value and criticality, our groundwater resources warrant greater investment in monitoring and management to support sustainable management:
The National Atlas of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (GDE Atlas) presents the current knowledge of GDEs across Australia, and shows known GDEs as well as ecosystems that potentially use groundwater.
The GDE Atlas is a tool to assist the consideration of ecosystem groundwater requirements in natural resource management, including water planning and environmental impact assessment.
The atlas, funded by the National Water Commission and hosted by the
Bureau of Meteorology, presents the first-ever comprehensive picture of Australia’s groundwater-dependent ecosystems. follow this link to find out more.
The Commission’s 2011 Biennial Assessment pointed to the interactions between water and associated areas of policy including natural resource management, energy, and climate change. The assessment suggested that given the recent development and implementation of climate change policy initiatives it would be prudent to analyse the interactions between climate change and water in further detail. This newly released Water policy and climate change in Australia report was commissioned in response to that need.
The Report provides a comprehensive analysis of the interactions between climate change policy and water policy across seven key sectors that supply water, use water or otherwise affect water policy. These were urban water, rural water, the environment, agriculture, electricity generation, forestry and mining. An assessment framework was used to identify and assess the potential impacts on water resources and service provision of:
- climate change mitigation policies or actions designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- climate change adaptation policies or actions designed to better manage the impacts and/or risks associated with climate change.
Based on this assessment, the report makes five overarching recommendations to address areas where improvement is warranted. They focus on areas assessed to be priorities because of the high ‘materiality of climate change related impacts, and because current policy settings may be insufficient to deal with changes brought about by climate change. Each recommendation is supported by a number of more detailed actions. Follow this link to learn more about the Water policy and climate change in Australia report.
The National Water Commission is running a full day National Groundwater Workshop during OzWater 2012. The workshop, to be held on 10 May, will explore Australia’s Groundwater Challenge:past, present and future.
It will provide a unique opportunity to learn about the latest science and knowledge in key groundwater areas and gain an understanding of Australia’s groundwater resources. The workshop will also highlight the future challenges for integrated groundwater management. There will be time during the workshop for Q&A and panel discussion.
If you have already registered to attend OzWater there is no additional fee for this workshop. However, if you would like to attend this important workshop you will need to register for OzWater. Registration can be completed at http://www.ozwater.org/registration
The National Water Commission looks forward to meeting you at the workshop.
More than seventy Indigenous community representatives gathered at the First Peoples’ National Water Summit in Adelaide last month to develop advice to the Commission on how Indigenous water should be managed. The two day Summit was convened by the First Peoples’ Water Engagement Council (FPWEC), which was formed to provide advice to the National Water Commission on national Indigenous water issues.
Summit attendees discussed numerous Australia’s First Peoples water-related topics including:
- gaining respect and recognition for cultural values and aspirations
- potential allocation of water entitlements to support economic development and cultural needs
- opportunities to improve decision making and partnerships in water planning and management.
Attendees then worked together to develop a national position on how Australia’s First Peoples can gain access to water and how water can be better managed to provide for Indigenous needs.
FPWEC Chair Phil Duncan said:
‘The Council will now use the Summit outcomes to develop formal advice to the National Water Commission on Australia’s First Peoples’ water issues. ‘This will inform the Commission’s findings as it develops a position on how Australia’s First Peoples’ water should be managed in the future.
‘Last year, through our Biennial Assessment submission, we advised the Commission that more could be done to address Australia’s First Peoples’ expectations in the allocation and management of water resources.
‘The Commission recommended that Australian states and territories better use engagement processes to explicitly account for Australia’s First Peoples’ water values and requirements in water planning.
‘It also identified a requirement to build Australia’s First Peoples’ capacity to participate in water planning and management, including recognition of Indigenous knowledge of water systems and found that specific allocations of water for Australia’s First Peoples remains patchy.
To learn more about the work of the FPWEC and other indigenous water planning projects follow this link.
National Water Commission Communique