The CRC for Water Sensitive City ThinkTank has released its first 'thought piece' on the future role of water utilities, proposing a broader remit in which the water utility of the future manages water for life and liveability, rather than delivering traditional ‘taps and toilets’ services.
“Specifically, the utility of the future considers customers’ broader expectations (such as liveable communities, environmental health and resilience to climate change). It partners with the public, private and community sectors to develop new business models that provide a broader array of solutions to a more informed community. It influences policy and regulation to redefine ‘business as usual’. And it enhances its customer service culture, efficiency and effectiveness.”
The paper outlines the challenges facing urban communities and key elements of a future vision for water utilities, discusses the pathways utilities can use to transition to that future vision, and presents Australian examples of where water utilities are playing a leadership role in broader city planning.
The paper, Water Utilities of the Future: Australia's experience in starting the transition, is available here.
The CRC welcomes feedback and comment on the ideas set out in the report.