In the last twenty years, policy makers in Australia have been forced to acknowledge that it is not possible to perpetually supply more water at a low cost. Consequently, the country has begun to focus on water resource management through legislative and institutional change attempting to allocate water in a more economically efficient and socially and environmentally acceptable manner. This book provides insight into the challenges of institutional change, as well as valuable lessons on the design of property rights for complex resources. Contributors from across disciplines address pertinent issues, such as irrigation in the Murray-Darling basin, one of Australia's largest drainage divisions; the progression from common law riparian rights to share-based entitlements that encourage sustainable water use; and the potential outcomes of the recent National Water Initiative, a wide-ranging strategy to improve water management and simultaneously maintain healthy groundwater and river systems.
'The book shows…the complexity of water management and the diversity of issues associated with efficient and sustainable exploitation of water resources in Australia. In doing this, it provides a valuable introduction for anyone who is interested in a general discussion about the range of issues that are currently the focus of much policy debate.' Economic Record 'A valuable resource for any water professional struggling to get across the range of issues that are currently the focus of much debate and change.' Ecological Management and Restoration
1. An Introduction to Australian Water Policy 2. The Hydrological Setting 3. Historical Development of Water Resources in Australia: Irrigation in the Murray-Darling Basin 4. Legal Frameworks of Australian Water: Progression from Common Law Rights to Sustainable Shares 5. Uncertainty, Risk and Water Management in Australia 6. The Institutional Setting 7. Coping with the Reforms to Irrigated Agriculture: The Case of Murray Irrigation 8. Hydroelectricity 9. Ecological Requirements: Creating a Working River in the Murray-Darling Basin 10. Urban Water Management 11. Acknowledging Scarcity and Achieving Reform 12. Urban Reuse and Desalination 13. Water Trading and Market Design 14. Adaptive Management 15. The Social and Cultural Aspects of Sustainable Water Use 16. Lessons from Australian Water Reform Index