Western Australian local needs and challenges
A number of needs and challenges that must be addressed to achieve the vision of a sustainable, resilient, productive, and liveable Western Australia (WA).
To develop water sensitive on-ground practises, we need to understand how to engage citizens to improve water awareness, knowledge, and behaviours. We need frameworks and evidence to support full life-cycle benefit-cost analyses that also consider non-monetary values; guidance on how to use urban and water system design to deliver multiple benefits; and coherent understanding of groundwater systems and interactions with surface waters. Efficient and effective operations and maintenance systems will be important to achieve water sensitive city outcomes in the long term. Integrated planning across sectors, agencies, and water systems; and integrated monitoring and evaluation through better data sharing are integral.
Social capital is an essential part of success on the journey to a water sensitive WA. We need to create networks for communication, capacity building, and influencing; better translate scientific knowledge into practice and policy outcomes; support and build leadership capacity of individuals and organisations to lead change; build practitioner capacity through knowledge sharing, demonstration, and networks; and improve water literacy beyond water savings to help drive change.
We need to develop governing structures to enable an environment that supports a successful transition towards a water sensitive region. We need to put in place incentives that encourage implementation of water sensitive practices, and we need to apply effective and sustainable funding mechanisms for these practices (drainage and whole-of-water cycle). The development, communication, and translation of a shared vision and narrative for different target audiences are necessary. We also need coordinated and aligned legislation, regulation, and policy for driving water sensitive outcomes; integration and improved collaboration across organisations and sectors; and improved frameworks for evaluation of costs, risks and performance of water sensitive practices.