Both industry and government require clear evidence about the benefits and costs of investments in new systems and infrastructure before they are willing to invest. The full economic costs and benefits of current approaches to providing water supply infrastructure are being explored as part of the project, and the project’s research will tie in with relevant cost-effective technologies being developed as part of the CRCWSC.
The aim of this project is to provide decision makers with the knowledge and tools that will allow them to make decisions about water infrastructure investment that strike the best balance between economic, social and environmental outcomes, so that benefits to the broader community are maximised. Specifically, the project will:
- estimate the benefits and costs of strategies and systems for water-sensitive cities;
- disseminate these findings; and
- provide best practice guidelines for the integrated economic evaluation of existing and new approaches to water infrastructure investment.
This project will provide industry and government with new knowledge and tools to make sound water infrastructure investment decisions that strike the best balance between economic, social and environmental outcomes. It will help to address key industry issues that, to date, have not been the focus of targeted research in Australia or internationally, such as:
- the economics of water conserving technologies and infrastructure for urban areas;
- an economically optimal mix of water sources;
- the benefits of improving urban liveability through enhancing water sensitivity;
- the incorporation of non-market values when calculating costs and benefits; and
- the use of a real options decision framework.