Local networks can play a critical role in water security

A renewed focus on localised and networked water systems could increase water supply capacity and improve the resilience of critical water delivery systems, a new briefing paper has suggested.

The paper Distributed Water Systems: A networked and localised approach for sustainable water services describes how instead of just relying on water services from large centralised, energy dependent systems, people and organisations are taking advantage of local water resource opportunities. This is having many benefits such as increasing people’s ability to absorb the impact of water shortages, supporting business linkages, reducing impacts on stressed waterways and empowering communities.

Lead author Mr Che Biggs, based at the University of Melbourne, says that climate change, ecosystem stress and oil scarcity require a fundamental rethink about the design of water systems. The briefing paper calls for an gent evaluation and support for emerging innovations in the water sector.

“The choices we make now about critical services like energy and water will be with us for many decades. Therefore, it is important we acknowledge what options exist, understand the risks involved and recognise where innovative trends are moving.”

A full media release with key findings are attached below.

Download the briefing paper

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Che Biggs