The Productivity Commission released the National Water Reform Inquiry Report on 31 May 2018 – its first triennial progress assessment against the objectives and outcomes of the National Water Initiative (NWI) 2004.
The NWI is a commitment shared by governments to help Australia manage its water resources. The Commission found that since its creation in 2004, good progress has been made against its objectives.
The Goyder Institute for Water directly addresses a commitment within the NWI – to identify and address knowledge and capacity needs and coordinate knowledge and capacity-building efforts. The report acknowledges the Institute’s important role and the progress made by the South Australian government to meet their commitments through funding water-related research at the Institute.
A key finding of the report indicated that ongoing research and capacity building will be central to Australia’s capacity to sustainably manage water resources. The Commission also highlighted the importance of partnerships and collaboration through organisations like the Goyder Institute and Centres of Excellence as well as more informal research collaborations. The Productivity Commission urged governments, water utilities and research institutions to continue working together to advance knowledge, build capacity, develop technology and devise innovative solutions.
The Goyder Institute is founded on the principles of collaboration and welcomes any opportunity to partner and advance the National Water Initiative.
Several specific research areas and knowledge gaps where highlighted in the report around:
• adjusting water resource management to respond to climate change
• facilitating an adaptive approach to managing environmental water
• supporting the adoption of outcomes-based environmental regulation for the urban water sector.
Goyder Institute projects are in place to help address these knowledge gaps, such as the Climate Resilience Analysis Framework and Tools project, the Ecological connectivity of the River Murray project, and the Stormwater Interventions and Water Sensitive Urban Design projects. These projects bring together researchers from South Australian Government, CSIRO, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide and UniSA.