Why Water Management?
Three reasons water management is important – water is essential to life, only 3% of the earth’s water is fresh, and two thirds of that is held in arctic ice sheets. Combine this with the simple fact of exponential growth in human population and you have a good reason to consider water management as an alternative to flushing it as quickly as possible out to sea.
Water Management Starts With Water Measurement
Water management therefore starts with the simple awareness and measurement of how much you have in a given catchment area. From this stems awareness and measurement of its uses, be they drinking, sanitation, environmental, commercial, leisure or for agriculture. As a lot of water crosses legal boundaries (ref the Murray Darling Basin) and much of it is kept in ancient little-understood underground acquifers, policy makers are often working blind when it comes to water management.
Water Management Divisions
Industry – 20%
Municipal – 10%
Workers in the Water Management Field have been pre-occupied with questions around agriculture. Does the world have enough water to produce the food that is required by our ever-expanding population? An assessment of this by the International Water Management in Sri Lanka found that 2.8 billion people lived in areas of water scarcity. Among the reports many conclusions, was that water management is necessary.
Water Management for Urban Planners, Landscape Architects and Civil Engineers
Half of the world population live in cities. This brings several water management challenges:
• Producing sufficient food for the city
• Recycling city greywater and storm water
• Treatment of waste water
The CSIRO has adopted the movement of Australian Cities to a more sustainable model of urban water management as a priority. The “Water For A Healthy Country” is the flagship initiative which aims to contribute to the creation of solutions in the water management area. The research has 7 key focus areas in regards to Urban Water Management:
1) Integrated Systems Analysis – Conducting whole system analysis to facilitate better water management.
2) Recycling and Diversified Supply – Improving knowledge and options to facilitiate better use of recycled storm water and waste water
3) Distributed Systems – Scientific study of mainstream adoption of distributed water management systems.
4) Advanced Water Treatment. Improving water management by developing advanced water treatment systems
5) Sustainable Asset Management. Developing tools so ultilites can conduct better water management.
6) Intelligent Networks. Improving sensor network technologies to optimize better water management and the quality and reliability of water supply.
7) Urban Water Environments. Developing a greater understanding of pollutants in water management and technologies to mitigate their impacts.
Urban water management – the concern of Landscape Architects, Consultants, Construction Professionals, Engineers and Developers, is very much a part of the future scientific planning of Australia’s water resources. Water management supply options being considered include re-use, recycling, desalination, storm water management, and managed aquifer recharge. Everyone working in the build environment field will be engaged at some level in water management in the future.
The National Water Initiative of the Council of Australian Governments is a blueprint to improve water management in Australia. The National Water Commission assesses progress on water management reform against targets agreed by the National Water Initiative in biannual water management assessments.