2014 - Water Governance for Resilience funded by the Carlton Connect Initiative

Thursday 25 September 2014 – Friday 26 September 2014

Workshop Summary

Discussion Paper: Resilient Water Governance, Dr Anita Foerster

This workshop gathered agency and water industry professionals and academics to explore the attributes of water governance systems that will enable effective and efficient adaptation to climate change and support more resilient communities and ecosystems. The workshop included a joint video-conference session with a parallel workshop at Stanford University, which has been convened to discuss responses to the drought in the Western United States. Participants shared  insights and best practice examples of what works, opportunities and barriers for further reform.

Workshop participants were invited to consider the following questions:
*Do current governance arrangements support managing water resources for multiple objectives – economic, environmental, social and cultural? What tools and organisational arrangements can be used to strengthen this capacity?
*Do current systems of water allocation appropriately balance the need for stability and certainty for socio-economic objectives, with the need for flexibility and responsiveness to share the risks of climate change equitably, respond to changing values and priorities, and provide for ecological resilience?
*Are there opportunities for better integration of interacting sectors / areas of water governance? How should better integration be achieved?
*Is decision-making on water allocation and management located at an appropriate scale of governance? How can we best foster networks and connections between various scales of water management?
*What aspects of water governance best lend themselves to collaborative, stakeholder approaches to decision-making? 

AGENDA including links to presentations

Thursday 25 September 2014

Session One: Water Governance in a climate change context - Promoting Adaptation and Resilience

Robert Argent (Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO) - Water Resources and Water Information in a Changing Climate

Anita Foerster (Melbourne Law School) – Principles and Approaches for Resilient Water Governance 

Phillip Wallis (Monash Sustainability Institute) – Discussion of Workshop Themes and Objectives

Session Two: Case studies of policy approaches, legal models and mechanisms for resilient water governance. 

Jason Alexandra (Consultant, previously Murray-Darling Basin Authority) – Water Reform in Australia: experiments in ‘adaptive governance’

Jane Doolan (University of Canberra) - Adaptation Planning for Water Resources (with Graeme Turner, Vic. Dept of Primary Industries and Environment)

Cathy Wilkinson (Office of Living Victoria) - Urban Water Reform – Governance Challenges

Alex Gardner (University of Western Australia) - Managing Groundwater as a ‘drought reserve’ in a drying climate

Sue Jackson (Griffith University) - What about social and cultural values? Where do indigenous interests fit in resilient water governance?

Friday 26 September

Water Governance Q & A -  Video Conference with Stanford Workshop

Panel Preparation Documents

* Panel Brief

* Report: Water Governance and Climate Change: Drought in California as a Lens on Our Climate Future, prepared by Jacqueline Peel and Janny Choy, December 2014.

Melbourne Panel: Robert Argent (BOM, CSIRO); Jason Alexandra (Ex MDBA); Beth Ashworth (Vic. Environmental Water Holder); Graeme Turner (DEPI); Alex Gardner (UWA); Dominic Keary (Yarra Valley Water); Mark Bailey (Goulburn Murray Water).