Business Best Practice: Water that works: Sustainable water management in the commercial sector

The commercial sector must find innovative approaches to water usage and wastewater management to ensure a sustainable demand on Australia's water resources. Cost reductions offer the strongest incentive for action, with the possibility of new market opportunities. [Research and Policy article - Full content is only available to CEDA members]


Report highlights

Water That Works: Sustainable water management in the commercial sector is the first in a new series of CEDA studies called Business Best Practice reports, which look at key issues for Australian business.

Water That Works explains the issues, trends and best practices for water management in the commercial sector. In ten separate papers, it explains how Australia's water delivery systems have evolved, and sets out the current state-of-the-art practices in water management. Notably, the report includes twelve case studies that show how improved water management can cut costs and boost revenue through new market offerings.

The authors are some of the best-known figures in the Australian water debate. They include National Water Commission chairman and chief executive Ken Matthews, James Cox and Richard Warner from the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), Frontier Economics consultant Michael Woolston, and public policy pioneer Gary Sturgess, the former adviser to NSW Premier Nick Greiner and current head of the Serco Institute.

Undertaken in partnership with Serco, Water that Works is one of the largest research projects ever tackled by CEDA.

CEDA's view

While not as large a water user as the agricultural or domestic sectors, the commercial sector does use substantial amounts of water - around 14 per cent of Australia's total water supply. As Australia's water challenge grows more urgent, we believe that commercial businesses will need to play a role in meeting it - and that they will be under pressure from the public to do so. Water That Works is a valuable contribution to the water debate and one that offers the commercial sector ideas for implementing sustainable, cost-effective water management practices.