The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) has released its climate change position for the urban water industry.
WSAA said the water industry is uniquely positioned to mitigate Australia’s impact on the climate, respond and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate on the delivery of services, and improve the resilience of communities and the environment in adapting to a changing climate.
The urban water industry will achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. WSAA said the urban water industry is achieving net zero sooner where it aligns with customer expectations.
WSAA Executive Director, Adam Lovell, said, “We know that Australia and New Zealand will continue to experience ongoing changes to climate including more variable rainfall, more heat extremes and more frequent and intense storms.
“This position seeks to outline the contributions of the urban water industry to meeting the challenges of climate change.
“Collaboration and partnership with customers, communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the Māori people, government stakeholders and other sectors will be key as we seek to meet these challenges.
“Mitigation and adaptation to climate change is an ongoing process, and we will review and revise this statement regularly to stay relevant in this rapidly evolving area.”
In addition to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and sooner where it aligns with customer expectations, the urban water industry commits to:
- Reduce water loss in networks and encourage efficient water use by customers
- Build resilience in water infrastructure through holistic adaptation to climate change, including diversifying water sources and improving treatment processes
- Recognise the importance of cultural flows and benefits of integrating Indigenous knowledge and practice in water management
- Support green, cool and healthy environments
- Implement circular economy principles in the management of water, waste and energy
- Support healthy waterways to protect and restore ecological and community values
- Engage with customers and communities to achieve a balance between climate change action costs and outcomes, including respecting the needs of current and future generations
The urban water industry’s commitment to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals provides the framework for achieving these commitments.