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Strategic and Innovation Priorities for Australian Water Utilities—A CEO%s 360-Degree Perspective

  • July 2014
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 111 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

Further Reforms May Remain Unclear as Multiple Advancements in the Water Industry Continue

This research service focuses on the growth and improvement potentials of the Australian water industry and water utilities. This water industry is highly fragmented, with several small and medium-sized participants. Furthermore, the water industry is different by state/territory. Australia’s urban water sector’s administrative arrangements vary by jurisdiction and within jurisdictions; they also vary between metropolitan and regional urban areas. However, the focus for all water utilities is common—to mitigate water scarcity and rising energy prices, and improve customer service.

Executive Summary
-This study determines the growth and improvement potentials of the water industry and water utilities in Australia.
-The Australian water industry is highly fragmented, with more than 90% being small and medium enterprises.
-In addition, the water industry in Australia varies according to state or territory. Australia’s urban water sector’s administrative arrangements vary by jurisdiction and within jurisdictions, and they also vary between metropolitan and regional urban areas.
1 Australia lacks in freshwater availability in comparison to other Asia-Pacific countries by size of area. It faces the threat of water scarcity, and the problem is likely to be aggravated by the effects of climate change.
2 A large difference in the number of water utilities serving various jurisdictions may bring barriers in technological innovation, disparities in national water sustainability, and convergence of treatment solutions.
3 Administrative and regulatory bodies play important roles in the management of Australia’s water industry. As water governance is somewhat fragmented, these entities and institutions need to collaborate effectively to ensure Australia’s water security.

Executive Summary—Key Takeaways
1 Innovation and efficiency in the supply chain must be continuously asserted to mitigate the effects and threats of water scarcity in Australia. These include desalination, smart water systems, and recovery of resources.
2 Economic regulation is likely to remain an important tool in the Australian water industry. This is aimed to reduce or eliminate monopolistic practices, improve water services, and enhance cost efficiencies.
3 A gradual switch is needed from full government involvement to partial private ownership through privatization and public–private partnerships. This encourages holistic development and knowledge sharing in new technology deployment and innovative management solutions.
4 Water utilities need to adopt an open approach in dealing with water consumers as one of the steps in business and service sustainability.
5 Climate change has resulted in ever-changing weather patterns, which would require water utilities to create new solutions to handle unforeseen water crises.
6 Australian water utilities that utilize supervisory control and data acquisition system (SCADA) or any other information and communications technology (ICT) platforms for water management must identify and manage threats, be they hidden or obvious.

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