Our International Engagement Manager (Asia) Jianbin Wang and Professor David Pannell, project member on IRP2 (Comprehensive Economic Evaluation Framework) participated in a high level seminar in Beijing last month. The seminar—Valuing Water in the Era of an Ecological Civilisation—was organised jointly by the Development Research Centre of State Council and the World Bank. Both David and Jianbin presented to the seminar.

Jianbin’s presentation—Valuing multiple benefits delivered by multi-functional grey and green water infrastructure—explained how to apply the CRCWSC's Non Market Value Tool and the Benefit Cost Analysis Tool, using both Australian and Chinese case studies. David provided an overview of trading and entitlement reform in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Jianbin Wang explaining the multiple benefits delivered by nature-based solutions.

David also presented at one of the technical workshops following the seminar, where he explained how to value water, using the Non Market Value Tool and the Benefit Cost Analysis Tool. The Non Market Value Tool is an excel-based database that contains values from Australian studies, that can be used to value investments in water sensitive practices. Companion guidelines explain how to conduct benefit transfer for water sensitive practices, including choosing appropriate methods for the particular context. Users can then use the Benefit Cost Analysis Tool to assess investments for water sensitive cities. They aim is to support balanced and systematic decision making about these investments, and to provide evidence for business cases.

Professor David Pannell explains how to apply the Non Market Valuation Tool and the Benefit Cost Tool.

The seminar and workshops marked the start of a program of research projects, to identify, evaluate and realise water values in China. As part of this program, the CRCWSC is working with the World Bank to develop a methodology to value the benefits of nature-based solutions for urban flood management in China. The World Bank will release this methodology later in the year. Chinese case studies demonstrating how to apply the methodology and IRP2 guidelines and tools are also being identified.

Our involvement is already reaping rewards. It demonstrates the widespread applicability of tools developed by the CRCWSC, which are now being trialled in developing countries, as well as in Australia. We will bring the lessons from this experience back to Australia, and there are plans to expand the range of values presented in the Non Market Value Tool spreadsheet. The World Bank is also interested in translating the guidelines into Mandarin.

Last updated: 8th Jul 2019