Water utilities provide services that are essential for a liveable city. Utility activities and operations are crucial in safeguarding the health of the community and environment by providing safe drinking water, swimmable water bodies and healthy waterways. Utilities provide water that enables cooler, greener cities and this greening, in turn, plays an important role in reducing flooding. They also ensure productive economic development through water security. Economic growth also benefits from urban habitat and healthy waterways: value capture is not the sole domain of transport infrastructure.
Beyond the regulated, essential services provided by the industry, there are other opportunities for utilities to contribute to the liveability of their cities and regions. Working from the premise of ‘what gets measured gets managed’ this paper proposes an approach that includes a suite of liveability indicators that the water industry can draw on to measure its contribution in a consistent way. It provides a process for selecting the most appropriate indicators and provides information on how to measure, who else is measuring and why.
The ‘menu’ of indicators was drawn from a wide range of sources ranging from the well-known Property Council of Australia Liveability Index, to research by ARUP, to WSAA member surveys and consultation with Local Councils. The ‘menu’ covers such categories as amenity and wellbeing, productivity, and sustainability and future focus. They are a compilation of those already in use both in the water industry and as liveability indicators for cities.