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WSAA has released an update to its climate change position for the urban water industry, outlining the contributions of the urban water industry to meeting the challenges of climate change, and replacing the March 2021 Urban water industry climate change position.

This Position has been updated considering the sectors strengthened commitment to climate change following the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in 2021, increased commitments by water utilities towards reaching net zero, the release of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report as well as ongoing extreme weather changes experienced in Australia and New Zealand.

The water industry is uniquely positioned to mitigate our impact on climate, respond and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate on the delivery of our services, and improve the resilience of our communities and the environment in adapting to a changing climate.

WSAA said through collaboration and partnership with its customers, communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the Māori people, government stakeholders and other sectors, the urban water industry commits to:

  •  Reduce water loss in networks and encourage customers to value efficient and effective water use
  • Strengthen economic and environmental resilience through smarter and better use of water, infrastructure, and holistic adaptation to climate change
  • Develop lasting relationships with Indigenous communities and businesses to ensure a partnership and stewardship approach to shared challenges in water resource management
  • Leverage its unique advantage in water management to improve climate adaptation and urban liveability through green, cool and healthy environments
  • Implement circular economy principles in managing resources including water, waste, energy and natural capital, to foster the transition to a more circular future
  • Support healthy waterways to restore and regenerate ecological and community values
  • Engage with customers and partner with communities and other sectors to build understanding of the trade-offs and cascading risks arising from its interdependencies, to achieve a balance between climate change costs and outcomes, including the needs of future generations

 The urban water industry’s commitment to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals continue to provide the framework for achieving these commitments.  

Water utilities face different circumstances, capacity and capabilities to achieve these commitments. The industry will continue to work together and collaborate with our stakeholders to meet the challenges of a changing climate.

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