National water planning report card 2013

Water Climate change Conservation Australia

Provides a summary of the status of water plans across Australia.

Executive Summary

This National Water Planning Report Card 2013 follows the first baseline assessment undertaken in 2011. It provides a consolidated summary of the progress of water planning across Australia against an evaluation framework based on key elements of the National Water Initiative (NWI) and its associated Water Planning Guidelines.

Under Australia’s constitutional arrangements, state and territory governments are largely responsible for water resource management and they develop water plans at varying scales. Water plans may combine multiple catchments or they may deal with a single surface or groundwater resource, depending on specific circumstances. Water plans seek to manage water resources sustainably, under changing pressures, to maintain the future viability of the resources and all consumptive and non-consumptive uses that depend on them.

This report does not compare state and territory water planning frameworks against each other nor does it advocate a particular water planning model. Rather, it seeks to facilitate a national discussion on the quality of water plans and planning frameworks, as well as identify areas of better practice and those for improvement. It should be noted that the
report card is a desktop assessment. It focuses on the policy and legislative processes for water planning and does not examine on-ground implementation arrangements in detail.

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