Adaptation to the extreme climate and weather events experienced in Australia and New Zealand has already cost the urban water industry millions of dollars.
To address the changing climate effectively, it is essential that the water industry build climate resilience into their long term planning and decision-making processes.
In a first for the urban water industry, seventeen utilities collaborated to produce these guidelines which provide a framework for increasing the resilience of water utilities and the communities they serve. Information is drawn from the extensive experience of the water industry to identify best practice and provide clear principles to guide the industry toward an organised, pragmatic and defensible approach to adaptation.
These guidelines are designed to assist water utilities with all stages of the adaptation process, from initial appreciation of the issues, through to the implementation and monitoring of response actions. Importantly, they also consider inter-dependencies with other utility sectors, such as energy and telecommunications providers. While these guidelines do not attempt to analyse the science, they do recognise that the impact of climate change may vary significantly from region to region across Australia and New Zealand.
The utilities that contributed to this project recognise the importance of building climate change resilience and with this in mind have agreed to share the outcomes of the project.