G'Day USA - Australia Week
To manage water challenges well in a land where the climate swings from serious droughts to devastating floods as quickly as Australia’s does, requires the development of innovative policies, administration and technologies.
This experience can be of great value to other countries dealing with similar water challenges, as demonstrated at a three-day forum as part of G’Day USA: Australia Week where Australians shared their expertise in water conservation, management, policy and product development.
“There are many similarities in the water management issues being faced by Australia and the United States,” said Grame Barty, Austrade’s Regional Director for the Americas.
The United States certainly experiences the extremes of droughts and floods that Australia has very recently been required to manage, and the water forum provided a chance for others to see just how Australia has responded to these issues.
International WaterCentre CEO Mark Pascoe contributed to the sharing of water expertise in Los Angeles by speaking about the water-energy nexus, drawing on the thesis work of IWC Masters student Nathan Cammerman.
In Colorado, Mr Pascoe presented the adaptive management work of the South East Queensland Healthy Waterways Partnership in evaluation and monitoring of management actions.
Research from Australia’s Centre for Water Sensitive Cities at Monash University was the topic of Mr Pascoe’s presentation in Washington, where he discussed how the developing world can use this knowledge to accelerate their own progression towards water sensitive cities.
Growing recognition of Australian leadership and capability in water management comes at a time when the US is beginning to address its own social, environmental and economic security challenges related to water shortages, says Mr Barty.
“Australia’s experience has key lessons that can be drawn for developed and developing nations alike,” said Kim Beazley, Australian Ambassador to the USA. “Important among these are seeking a bipartisan response politically, bringing all stakeholders together, ensuring community awareness and support, and having a framework based on markets and good science that drives the right policy outcomes.”