Publication (Extension publication): Living with Water - Sustainability in a Dry Land. Adelaide Festival of Arts Getting it Right Symposium, 11-12 March
|Publication Type:||Extension Presentation / Publication|
|Publication Name:||Living with Water - Sustainability in a Dry Land. Adelaide Festival of Arts Getting it Right Symposium, 11-12 March|
|Cullen, Peter (2002) Living with Water - Sustainability in a Dry Land. Adelaide Festival of Arts Getting it Right Symposium, 11-12 March.|
Adelaide Festival of Arts
Getting it Right Symposium
11-12th March, 2002
Living with Water - Sustainability in a Dry Land
CRC for Freshwater Ecology
University of Canberra
In the two centuries that whites have inhabited this continent we have rarely understood the ways in which water determines how the Australian landscape works. We have been driven by a series of enduring myths that turn out to have defied ecological and economic literacy, at great cost to the Nation. The beliefs that “water flowing to the sea is wasted”, and that we can convert “water into gold”, have driven many of our aspirations for water. Australians have long been optimistic about capturing the waters to create wealth, but they have rarely understood the variability of our rainfall, or the impacts of the developments they have undertaken.
The Murray-Darling Basin has seen the most concerted efforts at water development and management, and carries many of the scars of our mistakes. We have damaged the ecosystems of the Basin by trapping winter streamflow that starve the rivers of flow in winter and turned them into a bank-full irrigation channels in summer, totally reversing the natural flow pattern of the rivers and connected wetlands. We have extracted excessive amounts of water, and built weirs to help distribute the water; these have also turned out to provide ideal habitat for both blue-green algae and for carp. By our water extraction, and our building of levees to control floods, we have isolated the river from its floodplain, and this has had massive impacts on populations of native fish and birds, as well as the River Red Gum forests of the Basin. In irrigation areas where excess water has been applied the groundwater has risen, causing waterlogging, and commonly bringing salt to the surface.
We now face a situation where we have escalating pressures for a declining resource. There is a widespread realization that we have over-exploited the water resources of the MDB, and that we need to return some water to maintain environmental systems and provide the ecological services needed by the wider community. We are battling to develop effective organizational structures to let us manage land and water in this country.
Having degraded the waters of the Murray-Darling, some are now looking to develop water resources in the north of Australia. The North does have abundant water in some situations, and there may well be possibilities for development. It is important that we learn from the mistakes of the past, and make sure we do not repeat them. The main lessons would seem to be:
· Massive public investment for the financial benefit of a few is inequitable,
· We need to be confident that we have profitable crops that will grow in the area with the available water,
· Rainfall and streamflow in Australia is very variable, and planning for average conditions is inappropriate,
· Applying additional water to soil can have impacts on groundwater and salinity that put the investments at risk in the medium to long term.
Rivers, their floodplains and their estuaries are single integrated systems and floodwaters have major ecological benefits to the health of the river system.
2. The Pressures on our Water Resources
2.1 Maintaining River Health
The National Land and Water Resources Audit has demonstrated that the health of our rivers is considerably degraded in both agricultural and urban areas. A national assessment of river ‘health’ using the AusRivAS monitoring assessment system found that at 31% of sites macroinvertebrate communities were significantly impaired, at 8% they were severely impaired and at 1% they were extremely impaired. The degree of impairment generally was related to land use in the catchment and disturbance of the river system (ASEC, 2001).
We have found that if we extract too much water we can expect to lose native fish and birds, and to increase the frequency and severity of algal blooms in weir pools. Returning water to the rivers for environmental flows is one intervention likely to help restore river health. There are, however, others, such as removing weirs, providing multi-level offtakes on storages to reduce cold water pollution, better land use to reduce salt and nutrient loads in waterways and the removal of exotic species such as carp. The challenge is to select the best suite of interventions to restore river health in the most cost-effective way in each specific case. We do not as yet have widely-accepted tools for achieving this. Some farmers believe they should be allowed to capture flood-water in dams since this water just “goes to waste”. We now appreciate that it is these flood flows that connect a river and its floodplain, and provide breeding cues to native fish. It is the flooding of wetlands that triggers massive bird breeding events.
2.2 The Urban Imperatives
Urban communities pay considerably more for their water supplies than rural users, and in any market-based system they will be able to purchase water and hence divert it from agricultural or environmental uses. In political terms urban communities have many more elected representatives, are articulate in pressuring Governments and they are impatient with restrictions on their use of water, or with threats to the quality of the water that might come from other uses.
Rural communities who see water as the key to wealth are annoyed with what they see as waste of water in urban communities, especially the lavish irrigation of lawns and gardens and the use of water for amenity purposes such as domestic swimming pools. This urban-rural tension will increase as cities take water from existing rural communities.
Governments have embraced planning policies that encourage the continuing growth of the major urban areas with little effort to encourage growth in other areas. The water demands of these urban areas are growing. Governments have been active, however, in encouraging water savings in urban areas and have reduced the demand per head significantly over the last decade in many areas. It may well be that the easy wins have been had and further efficiencies will be more difficult to achieve.
Urban communities are seeking to protect their water supplies, and those cities that do not have closed water supply catchments are likely to find that they have considerably increased water treatment costs. It is of interest that the city of New York recently decided it was cheaper to resume its catchments and protect them for water supply, than pay for improved water treatment. If agriculture is allowed to continue in the catchments for our major cities it is likely to come under increasing pressure to minimize the export of pollutants to streams. A higher level of land management is likely to be demanded, and it is likely there will be a transfer of funds from city consumers to facilitate this.
2.3 The Insatiable Thirst of Agriculture
Adding water to land through irrigation can markedly increase the productivity of land. Irrigation uses between 75-80% of the water in Australia. As we now appreciate we have over allocated the water resource and are seeking to prevent further extraction; those who want water are now having to purchase it from those who already have it. The market that is establishing to achieve these transfers means that those on inappropriate soils can sell their water and get a financial windfall, and the water is able to be used in places where it can be more productive.
The water market is seeing some water move from low value crops to higher value crops, although perhaps not as quickly as might have been expected. The market has also seen the activation of many previously unused (sleeper) licences, increasing water extraction from the system. The water market may well put at risk enterprises that use water to irrigate pasture or relatively low value crops like rice, as water moves to higher value crops like cotton, grapes and specialty crops. This move, however, means that considerably greater wealth can be created from the water we are extracting (Thomas, 1999).
3. The Need for Action
The pressures on our water resources are certain to increase with our population and our affluent life style. It is apparent that our present institutional arrangements are not coping with the water issues we are now confronting.
The flows in our rivers are very variable, and so we must consider the security of supply of water. There is little point a farmer having a “right”, for which he invests in infrastructure to deliver water, if that water is only available 1 or 2 years in every ten. The more the resource is over-allocated the lower the security of the supply for all participants.
Whenever a new upstream water development takes place, it extracts water that once flowed down the river to downstream users or to maintain the environment. These downstream users are disadvantaged by the new development, in that the certainty that they will get their customary amount in any year is reduced. The issue of equity becomes difficult here. The downstream user may have invested many years ago, and it may be that his infrastructure is inefficient, causing leakage that loses water and adds to groundwater levels. The new upstream developments may be on better soils, may be more efficient and produce considerably greater economic value of production. Does the downstream user have a right for compensation? If so, is it from the upstream developer, or the Government that has failed to have an effective allocation system? This is a contentious issue, since any disadvantaged downstream user would like to think they should be compensated, and they normally think the taxpayers should be the ones paying the compensation.
The challenge for our water allocation system is to decide what weight should be given to historic use, past and current investment and future needs, including those of the environment and urban uses.
I suggest that the overall goal for water management in Australia is:
· to ensure that water of appropriate quality is available in the long-term to meet the needs of individual Australians,
· to support the primary and secondary industries on which we depend, and their communities, and
· to maintain the health and amenity of our waterways to ensure they provide the ecosystem services on which we depend.
4. An Ethic for Water in a Dry Country
Australians need to reflect on how they depend on water and we need to develop a new ethic for the use of water in Australia. It is this new personal ethic that needs to be debated and agreed, and used then as a foundation for the institutional arrangements.
Perhaps the place to start here is the maxim of doing to others as we would like them to do to us. In water terms this can translate to some simple statements:
· No user has the right to extract, divert or contaminate water that produces unacceptable changes to the health of the river downstream.
· No user has the right to extract more water than is needed and has no right to extract water to the extent that damages downstream users.
· No user has the right to contaminate water that damages the downstream users
· All people have a right to sufficient water of appropriate quality to maintain themselves.
· Water should be a public asset, and those extracting water for any purpose should pay the full costs of extraction, on a volume basis, including for the mitigation of any unavoidable impacts.
· We all have an obligation to understand where our water comes from and how it is disposed to ensure we minimize our impacts.
These principles might seem self evident, but they need to be debated, perhaps further developed and then agreed upon. It is not apparent that these principles are guiding how we treat water at present, but they provide a framework for water management in the 21st century. Once agreed, they then need to be used in establishing the regulatory and institutional arrangements we develop to meet our objectives.
Nancarrow and Syme (2001) undertook a survey of various stakeholders regarding environmental flows in the River Murray. They found there was pessimism that Governments had the political will to resolve these difficult issues and that greed and self interest in the community would be a barrier to resolution. They did however find a number of areas of high agreement between the various interest groups (urban and rural) that provides a way forward.
· The moral responsibility of those upstream to look after the interests of those downstream;
· The natural environment had the same rights to water as people do;
· The recognition that there will need to be some personal sacrifice if there is to be effective planning;
· The acceptance that water has a wider range of values than can expressed in dollars; and
· The ownership of water by everyone and its management for the overall public good.
This survey of a limited number of urban and rural stakeholders suggests there is reasonably widespread support for the sorts of principles identified above.
5. The Elements of Water Conflicts
There are five elements obvious in conflicts about water (Cullen, 1998).
Interest elements describe the personal advantage one gets from a particular decision. Generally this refers to getting access to water cheaply so as to maximise the financial return to the individual. In general there is only a certain amount of water available, so people may believe that it is necessary to sacrifice the interests of others so their particular needs can be met. In addressing interest elements it is important to be clear as to who are the beneficiaries.
Value elements relate to our fundamental belief systems. Individuals might not get a personal benefit, but they feel strongly about how a resource is used. There are differing values as to whether the resource should be used for the productive benefit of individuals and communities or left for the environment. There are also values about whether resources should be publicly or privately owned and about the role of Federal and State Governments. People can co-exist with different values but conflict arises when players feel that another set of values is being foisted onto them.
Data elements arise when there is doubt about the data that is available and how it is being interpreted. People might not trust the data that is available, or they may believe that important data is not available. Some might believe that the tools used to analyse and present the data advantages one position over another. Defining the health of our rivers and assessing how much water is needed to give healthy rivers are classic situations where imperfect information makes resolution difficult. Joint fact finding exercises are one way to resolve data disputes
Labelling elements arise when people generalise with stereotypes about various protagonists. Cotton growers and “greenies” often have their positions misrepresented to try and advantage some other viewpoint. Indigenous interests are often treated in this manner as well.
Structural elements are introduced by the organisational structure we erect to manage the resource. Conflicts between water agencies, agriculture agencies, fisheries and nature conservation, as well as environment protection agencies, are common. Significant conflicts may occur between State and Federal interests. These conflicts tend to be driven by forces outside the people in the agencies involved. The individuals involved in these conflicts often have limited authority to do other than represent their agency/state viewpoint.
6. Some Principles for Managing Water
Most protagonists in water disputes would like the Government to make a clear ruling in their favour. If Governments do not act, or act in the interests of others in the dispute, then those disadvantaged are likely to try and challenge the Government’s position in the courts, to seek compensation from the Government, or both. A Government decision that leaves the winners gloating and the losers scheming is not a satisfactory position. Governments would much prefer to see a negotiated settlement that is acceptable to the various interests. A key role of Government is therefore to provide a bargaining arena that facilitates such resolution.
Much has been learned over the last 20 years about ways of resolving environmental conflicts (Cullen, 1998). Seven principles have emerged:
· All the players and interests need to be actively engaged in seeking a resolution if the outcome is to have validity and be understood by the protagonists. The diversity of catchment interests may include agriculture, urban, indigenous, fishing, recreation and tourism. This is the core principle of Integrated Catchment Management.
· Knowledge needs to be presented in a believable and understandable form and be available to all protagonists.
· There needs to be some process to manage the negotiation process to avoid stalling and stalemate, and to help facilitate finding solutions that might be acceptable.
· A good solution will meet everyone's needs as much as possible. This can be possible where people have different needs. The underlying needs must be recognized and addressed rather than the wants or positions being asserted by individuals.
· Participants need to search for a good solution rather than a lower common denominator solution that each can live with.
· The solution needs to be clear and well documented with measurable outcomes so that it is not challenged later by someone who thinks they might gain a greater advantage.
· Governments need to articulate State and National interests if it wants them built into plans, and will have to provide resources specifically to achieve them. Funding to deliver contracted outcome seems a necessary way forward, with clear evaluation of outcomes as a condition of final payments.
7. Establishing Bargaining Arenas
State Governments are establishing catchment groups of various sorts to encourage bargaining at the local and regional level between the various interests. Some of these are broad ranging, in an attempt to integrate the various aspects of natural resource management, while in other States community groups have a narrower focus, and there may be overlapping committee structures. In most cases, State agencies are also represented on these groups, or are providers of technical and management advice.
There is a challenge in determining membership of such organisations. Most are appointed by State Ministers in an effort to ensure that a broad range of interests is represented. This makes it more difficult to argue they are community-based groups, and can reduce the credibility of the group. Yet direct election such as is used in local government has often failed to provide the breadth of representation to address these issues.
The regional catchment model would seem to be a major part of the way forward. It has the advantages of looking at a whole catchment, which is often the appropriate boundary, and at least seeking to involve a wide range of local stakeholders who meet frequently to understand their resource, the pressures on it and what are possible actions. It means that those who make the decisions have to live with them in the local context (Donahue & Johnston, 1988).
A difficulty with this approach is where upstream people are a long way from, and have little contact with downstream people, especially when they are in different industries (eg tourism and fisheries compared to conventional agricultural industry). This seems even harder when a State boundary divides upstream and downstream users. In some situations catchments might not be the appropriate geographical unit, and we might do better to think of “problem-sheds” (Donahue & Johnston, 1998). For example issues like inter-basin transfers to supply adjacent cities cannot be readily handled within a single catchment.
There is also a tension between the responsibility of a Minister and their Department for financial and other aspects, and the autonomy of regional groups to invest public funds.
8. Providing the Knowledge to Inform Debate
State agencies have a responsibility for having information about the extent and condition of the water resources that they claim to manage. Few have an adequate knowledge base and due to the Federal system in Australia it is hard to compare information across State boundaries because much of it is not compatible. Several jurisdictions are now developing data warehouses that make data available on the Internet to those seeking access.
Providing access to the models and the technical skills to interpret the raw data is an even greater challenge that has been often underrated and under-resourced by the agencies.
We now understand that water planning needs to be at whole system level. This means considering surface water and groundwater for the entire catchment, including the estuary region or terminal wetland. We also now appreciate that rivers and their floodplains are ecological systems that need to be understood as this rather than as hydraulic structures. The ecology rather than the hydrology determine the environmental needs of rivers.
Finally we know that the tensions about use of water are played out in local ecosystems, so local knowledge rather than generalised knowledge is important to participants.
9. The National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality
Governments are attempting to build State and National interests into the decision-making by establishing end-of-valley targets for water flow, and pollutant-loads such as salt and nutrients. The Federal Government has been prepared to provide funds directly to regional groups in the context of the National Action Plan to help achieve such targets, but this has been fiercely resisted by State Governments and by some of the State agencies involved. Western Australia is reputed to be refusing to even talk to the Commonwealth about such an arrangement.
The States have the constitutional responsibility for land and water management. The task seems largely beyond them. They claim they do not have the financial resources needed to do the job effectively, although in most situations it appears the political will to make hard decisions is a more significant part of the problem. The fear of being liable for compensation for past decisions is a major concern to Governments. This has led some to call for a referendum to change the Constitution to transfer the management of land and water resources to the Commonwealth, who may be able to do better.
The common State response is to seek to transfer as much as possible of these costs to the Federal Government on the grounds they are national problems. The same Governments commonly decline to take many of the necessary actions to avoid or reduce the problem on the grounds of State sovereignty. When matching State and Federal funds are available, as under the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, it seems to take years to negotiate agreement as to what should be done. Significant resources appear to be consumed in supporting various bureaucracies to negotiate with one another rather than spend on either the knowledge generation or the on-ground actions.
10. Options for the Federal Government
There are four broad strategies in the area of water-management that could be pursued by the Federal Government.
· Withdraw from the area
· Invest in knowledge
· Invest to meet Commonwealth objectives
· Facilitate institutional change
Given the Constitution, which gives the States the rights and obligations to conserve water resources, one could argue that the Commonwealth Government has no role in this area. It is however apparent that the States have not been effective in land and water management, and this failure impacts on neighbouring States. In the case of the Murray-Darling Basin, failure to manage water effectively will impact on the water available for Adelaide. One good reason for continuing Federal involvement is the interstate tensions that have dogged water management since before Federation. Another is our international obligation under Biodiversity conventions. It is also likely that our trade position could be impaired if it is seen that we are not using the land in a sustainable way.
10.2 Investing in Knowledge
The Commonwealth has a long history of investing in knowledge for managing land and water. Historically it has assisted States with stream flow and water quality monitoring. More recently it has funded the National Land and Water Resources Audit. It supports research through the Land and Water Resources Research & Development Corporation, CSIRO, various CRC’s and in other ways. It has built community understanding through many of its investments from the Natural Heritage Trust.
These have been important investments, and in my view should be maintained and possibly expanded. The Commonwealth could get a better return on these investments by:
· Negotiating agreements with the States on core indicators, scales of data collection, methods and data reporting formats and insisting on common formats so data from various States can be aggregated for National purposes and used to compare State performance.
· Maintaining a program that builds upon the National Land and Water Resources Audit, which would serve to provide an evaluation of the outcomes of investment in land and water management.
· Ensuring that all data collected by the Commonwealth, or with Commonwealth support, be publicly available on the Web, and that papers and reports of research funded with Commonwealth assistance should also be accessible on the Web.
· Insisting on quality assurance mechanisms that ensure excellence in the research it supports, and that the research actually generates new knowledge rather than just repeating studies done elsewhere.
· Overseeing knowledge exchange strategies to ensure the knowledge that is available is accessible to those who would benefit from it.
10.3 Investing to Meet Commonwealth Objectives
The Commonwealth has been investing in direct on-ground activities for some time. The Natural Heritage Trust committed large amounts in aggregate across many programs that empowered many local communities. It may have not got the outcomes it sought because of the lack of strategic focus, technical assessment and accountability.
In many other areas the Commonwealth attempts to get States to invest in appropriate areas by providing matching funding. This strategy leads to an interesting game where the States will not act until the Commonwealth provides matching funding, and even then sometimes will not invest in the hope the Commonwealth will pick up a greater proportion of the costs.
The transaction costs of the present model are enormous, and may well be beyond what we can afford. It is not clear that the Federal government is getting a good return for its investment in natural resource management under this model. One way is to move beyond this model of partnership funding where the State and Federal agencies spend so much energy trying to leverage each others funding. Direct Federal funding to regional bodies to deliver clearly defined outcomes consistent with an acceptable regional plan might have much lower transaction costs. If States wanted regional bodies to access such funds they would need to invest to help regional groups develop plans that would meet Federal requirement. This would move away from any models of joint accreditation, joint funding and joint evaluation, which have not been effective.
10.4 Facilitating Institutional Change
The more we manage ecological variables to maximise production of crops, livestock, timber and water, the more we simplify the ecosystems and make them less able to cope with change. They become less resilient. Gunderson et al (1995) has pointed out how our institutions go down the same path. Organisations are created to handle a particular issue, and as they identify the critical factors for that issue they move to manipulate those factors with greater and greater efficiency. This commonly leads to more rigid management systems that are less able to scan the system for longer-term changes. A culture develops that does not encourage new ways of looking at the system or the issue; blinkers are donned and the agency is often unable to see that the world in which it operates has changed fundamentally. It matters little whether these changes are biophysical ones such as salinity or social attitudes as in the case of forestry. Success seems inevitably to lead to failure, and the creation of societies that are more and more dependent.
The National Competition Policy has been a very successful tool for getting States to change institutional arrangements in return for generous Federal payments. This approach has been used to separate purchaser from providers, and regulators from managers, to push for pricing reform, and to get environmental requirements for water met.
Within a Basin such as the Murray-Darling or Lake Eyre there is advantage in a partnership arrangement between the various involved States and the Commonwealth. The States do have on-ground knowledge and links with community interests that the Federal Government does not have. In an arrangement where the States bargain around a common table with each other and the Commonwealth, there are strong pressures to keep the States honest, and to critique the proposals from other States. The key to making this work more effectively than the present models would seem to require additional technical expertise to balance the State representations, majority voting rather than consensus and open meetings to hold all players accountable for their activities.
In strengthening an organisation like the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, it would be desirable to ensure all Federal funding for natural resource management in the Basin comes through the Commission, providing the States do the same. The so called “glass jar” model where all Governments contribute funds in an open way to a common fund, and that payments are made from this fund to bring about desired outcomes. This gets away from the difficulties when staff are contributed as in-kind, with all the difficulties of auditing such contributions.
Debates over water policy are really debates about the sort of society and the sort of environment we want to live in (Gottlieb, 1988). Allocating water to a new use means the traditional use, be it agriculture, fisheries, the environment or recreation, must do with less water. The physical and institutional structures we build to manage water advantage some interests over others and the public investments we make advantage some users over others.
Our current approaches to land and water management are not working, and it appears beyond the capacity of our present institutional arrangements to make a real difference and achieve the sorts of biophysical outcomes desired by most Australians. We have damaged the aquatic ecosystems upon which we depend, we have degraded much of our landscape with salinity and other problems, and few of those involved in using our waters feel they are getting a “fair go”.
A National Water Policy must ensure water is available to meet the needs of individual Australians, to support the primary and secondary industries on which we depend and to maintain the health of our waterways to ensure they continue to provide the ecosystem services on which we depend.
Australians need to develop a personal ethic with regard to water that we do to others what we would like to be done to us. This means we have no rights to extract or contaminant waters in ways that detract from downstream users or the environment.
Some key principles for going forward in the current situation have been developed.
· Water resource decisions need to be informed by knowledge of the resource, the amount, variability and quality of water and how the extraction of water will alter the aquatic ecosystem in the long term.
· Knowledge is also needed as to how the water will be used, and the impacts of these activities on the land and water resource in the long term
· Taking water for one use means taking it from another, and there will be impacts on the security of supply for downstream extractors and on the environmental health of the river
· A broadly based community judgement should be made as to the acceptability of these impacts and the benefits to the community.
· The community, and each individual, needs to treat others as it would like to be treated. This particularly relates to the obligations of those upstream for those downstream.
· Governments have a key role in establishing bargaining arenas for allowing these decisions to be made, for articulating the wider community interest, for providing the knowledge to inform decision-making, for providing community resources and for ensuring decisions are implemented and enforced.
We have conflicts over how we use water due to the varying direct interests of protagonists, differing value systems, not understanding enough about the resource, our tendency to use pejorative labels for those we fear or don’t understand, and due to the institutional arrangement we create to manage our resources. Different resolution strategies are appropriate for each of these elements, but some general principles to guide us have been identified above.
There are a number of ways the Federal Government can intervene in these areas that are predominately matters for the States. The key roles are in proving information and knowledge, to direct funding of various activities and in using leverage to make institutional structures more effective. The present strategy of attempting to leverage State funds may not be the most effective way forward given the very high transaction costs involved and it is important that other strategies are explored.
Australian State of the Environment Committee, 2001. Australia State of the Environment 2001, Independent Report to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Heritage, CSIRO Publishing on behalf of the Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra.
Cullen, Peter (1998) The Role of Science and Scientists in Environmental Conflicts. Aust. J. Env Mgmt 5. (Supplementary) 55-59
Donahue, John M. & Barbara R. Johnston (1998) Water, Culture and Power. Local Struggles in a Global Context. Island Press. Washington.
Gottlieb, Robert (1988) A Life of its Own. The Politics and Power of Water. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. San Diego.
Gunderson, L.H., C.S. Hollings & S.S. Light (1995). Barriers and Bridges to the Renewal of Ecosystems and Institutions. Columbia University Press. New York. 593 pp.
Nancarrow, Blair E. and Geoffrey J. Syme (2001) River Murray Environmental Flows and Water Quality project. Stakeholder Profiling Study. Aust. Research Centre for Water in Society. Rpt to Murray-Darling Basin Commission.
Thomas, John (1999) Water and the Australian Economy. Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. Melbourne.