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Lessons from Oz to the Okanagan : water policy and structural reform in a changing climate Belzile, Jacqueline Adrienne Aug 26, 2011

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 LESSONS FROM OZ TO THE OKANAGAN:  WATER POLICY AND STRUCTURAL REFORM IN A CHANGING CLIMATE  by Jacqueline Adrienne Belzile  B.A. (Hons.), McGill University, 2003  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Resource Management and Environmental Studies)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  August 2011  © Jacqueline Adrienne Belzile, 2011 ii   ABSTRACT Motivated by a decade-long drought and a strategic shift towards Ecologically Sustainable Development to ensure global competitiveness, Australia’s federal government has invested billions of dollars in the water sector, spurring innovation in data gathering, modeling, water management practice and policy reform. The aim of this exploratory research project was to illuminate the context in which Australian water reforms and innovations have taken place, and to compare that to the Canadian water context through the eyes of participating Canadian water experts to identify insights, opportunities and barriers to the transfer of lessons on sustainable water management from Australia to Canada, particularly to the Okanagan region of British Columbia.  I organized a two week water management tour in May 2010 and took two water experts from British Columbia to Australia to meet with water policymakers, water managers, stakeholder organization representatives, water service providers and users to discuss their drought adaptation and water reform experiences. Data was collected via participant observation during the tour and semi- structured interviews with the Canadian water experts prior to and following the tour. Field data was complemented by a comparative review of Australian and Canadian water policy literature, key water legislation and policies, and technical reports.  The resulting comparative policy analysis highlights socio-cultural dimensions of the lessons transfer process and the importance of considering cultural lenses, as I argue that approaches to water management are value-laden and specific because they work in socially dynamic systems in particular environments. First, I provide a comparison of the Canadian and Australian water contexts, exploring similarities and differences in geography, water infrastructure, water resources, water uses, federalism and water policy. Second, I analyze the recent phase of structural reforms surrounding the Australian Water Act of 2007 and the proposed Murray-Darling Basin Plan, and suggest that this constitutes one of the first large-scale attempts at water reform in line with principles of ecological governance.  Third, I describe lessons learned by the Canadian water experts on social change, water governance, water reforms and the research process – including discussions of the social value of water, economic approaches to water reform, water markets and stakeholder engagement. iii  PREFACE The following research was conducted with the approval of the University of British Columbia’s Behavioural Research Ethics Board, certificate number H10-00604.     iv  TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ......................................................................................................................................... ii Preface ......................................................................................................................................... iii Table of Contents .......................................................................................................................... iv List of Tables .................................................................................................................................. x List of Figures ................................................................................................................................ xi List of Boxes ................................................................................................................................. xii List of Abbreviations .................................................................................................................... xiii Acknowledgements ..................................................................................................................... xiv Dedication .................................................................................................................................... xv Introduction .................................................................................................................................. 1 Anthropology and Water: Researcher Lens and Reflexivity ............................................................... 2 Recognizing approaches to water management as situated and value-laden .............................. 2 Thesis Overview .................................................................................................................................. 3 Methods chapter ............................................................................................................................ 3 Context chapter .............................................................................................................................. 3 Ecological governance chapter ....................................................................................................... 4 Lessons chapter .............................................................................................................................. 4 Research Contribution ........................................................................................................................ 4 Methods: Research Design and Execution ...................................................................................... 5 The Idea .............................................................................................................................................. 5 Chapter Summary ............................................................................................................................... 6 Research Aim ...................................................................................................................................... 7 Research Questions ............................................................................................................................ 8 Research Design ................................................................................................................................. 9 Project overview ............................................................................................................................. 9 The ‘natural history’ of the project .............................................................................................. 10 Collaborative project development: finding a purpose ........................................................... 10 Method selection and rationale ............................................................................................... 11 Fieldwork relations ................................................................................................................... 12 Research design details ................................................................................................................ 12 v  Sampling strategy ..................................................................................................................... 12 Water management tour overview .......................................................................................... 13 Data Collection ................................................................................................................................. 18 Pre-trip and post-trip interviews .................................................................................................. 18 Ethnography ................................................................................................................................. 19 Analytical Approach .......................................................................................................................... 19 Data preparation .......................................................................................................................... 19 Coding ........................................................................................................................................... 20 Data Representation ......................................................................................................................... 22 Maintaining Qualitative Rigour ........................................................................................................ 22 Comparing Contexts: Australian and Canadian Water Resources ................................................. 24 Chapter Summary ............................................................................................................................. 24 A Brief Parallel History of Water Resources and Policy Development in Australia and Canada ...... 24 Getting situated ............................................................................................................................ 24 Comparing Australia and Canada – the national level ............................................................. 25 Comparing New South Wales and British Columbia – state / provincial level ......................... 25 Comparing the Okanagan Basin with the Murray-Darling Basin– the regional level ............... 26 Significance of place ................................................................................................................. 27 Water myths: scarcity vs. abundance ........................................................................................... 28 The best use of water ................................................................................................................... 31 Dams ......................................................................................................................................... 32 Water use by sector .................................................................................................................. 33 The powers that be: federalism and water policy ........................................................................ 36 Interpretation of powers .......................................................................................................... 37 (Ecologically) Sustainable Development – the Two Nations’ Paths Diverge .................................... 39 International context .................................................................................................................... 39 Prompted by crisis Australia races ahead with water reform ...................................................... 40 Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) reforms ............................................................... 41 Water markets and water rights .............................................................................................. 42 National Water Initiative .......................................................................................................... 43 Water access entitlements and planning framework .............................................................. 44 Context and Values – Understanding Differences in Perspectives .................................................. 47 vi  Observed differences in cultural lenses ....................................................................................... 48 Economic rationality vs. social engineering ............................................................................. 49 Pragmatism, trust in experts and stakeholder engagement .................................................... 50 Why are different national value lenses important? ................................................................... 50 Learning to Live Within Ecological Limits: The Murray-Darling Basin Plan ..................................... 51 Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 51 Chapter Summary ............................................................................................................................. 52 Ecological Governance ..................................................................................................................... 52 Large-scale Structural Reform: How Did They Get Here? ................................................................ 53 The dilemma: hurt now, or hurt more later? ............................................................................... 53 Drivers of change .......................................................................................................................... 54 Urban dominance ..................................................................................................................... 55 Food security and the changing role of agriculture in Australia .............................................. 56 Crisis .......................................................................................................................................... 57 Taking the Leap: Commonwealth Water Act of 2007....................................................................... 60 Changing course: redefining the relationship between society and environment in the Basin Plan ............................................................................................................................................... 62 Commonwealth takes the lead: Murray-Darling Basin Authority ................................................ 63 Balancing act: science-based policy paired with political judgment ............................................ 64 Requirements for the Basin Plan .................................................................................................. 66 The Murray-Darling Basin Plan: Realigning Human and Environmental Water Needs .................... 68 The goal of the Basin Plan ............................................................................................................ 68 Key outcomes ............................................................................................................................... 68 How it works: details of the Basin Plan ........................................................................................ 68 Environmental water requirements ......................................................................................... 68 Sustainable diversion limits ...................................................................................................... 71 Closing the gap ......................................................................................................................... 72 Putting environmental water to work ...................................................................................... 72 Transitional arrangements and risk allocation ......................................................................... 73 On the Ground: Reactions to the Basin Plan .................................................................................... 75 Potential impacts .......................................................................................................................... 75 Devaluation of assets may undermine irrigator credit............................................................. 75 vii  Pocketing effect ........................................................................................................................ 75 Stakeholder perceptions .............................................................................................................. 76 Questions of fairness ................................................................................................................ 77 An accumulation of stresses create an unbearable burden ..................................................... 78 Lessons from Oz to the Okanagan: Through the Eyes of Trip Participants ..................................... 80 Chapter Summary ............................................................................................................................. 81 Lessons on Social Change: Building the Social Value of Water in Canada ....................................... 81 The Canadian challenge ................................................................................................................ 81 Water is one of Australia’s top priorities ..................................................................................... 83 How to change: building awareness by connecting people to their waters everyday ................ 84 Creating feedback loops ........................................................................................................... 85 Ideas for creating feedback loops in the Okanagan ................................................................. 86 Other water management opportunities presented by improved water literacy ....................... 88 Matching water quality to water use ....................................................................................... 88 Source water protection and reservoir expansion ................................................................... 89 Ideas for further exploration on social change ............................................................................ 90 Lessons on Water Governance ......................................................................................................... 90 Delegated water governance and subsidiarity ............................................................................. 91 Where to draw the line? Subsidiarity and leadership .............................................................. 92 Concerns on the ground ........................................................................................................... 95 Governance alternatives .............................................................................................................. 95 Corporatization ......................................................................................................................... 95 Science-based decision-making ................................................................................................ 96 Stakeholders and accountability .................................................................................................. 97 Iterative engagement: experimentation and the evolution of New South Wales’ water sharing plans ............................................................................................................................. 98 Watershed planning and water sharing plans ........................................................................ 101 Ideas for further exploration on water governance ................................................................... 101 Lessons on Water Reform: Striving to Stand on the Three Pillars of Sustainability ....................... 102 Taking an economic approach to water ..................................................................................... 102 Water markets and discussion about reallocation ................................................................. 102 Social impacts and stakeholder engagement ............................................................................. 104 viii  Ideas for further exploration on water reform .......................................................................... 107 Lessons on Water Management Tour Process: Context, Verification, and Inspiration ................. 108 Conclusion ................................................................................................................................. 111 Lessons on How to Change ............................................................................................................. 111 Identifying key principles ............................................................................................................ 111 Developing questions for reformers .......................................................................................... 112 Driven to Change: Ecological Governance in the Murray-Darling .................................................. 113 Social Barriers and Opportunities: Canadian Crisis of Ignorance ................................................... 115 Australia’s economic approach to sustainability ........................................................................ 116 Future Pathways to Sustainability: Changing the Canadian Relationship to Water Resources ..... 118 References ................................................................................................................................. 119 Meeting Note (MN) References ..................................................................................................... 130 Appendices ................................................................................................................................ 131 Appendix A: Literature Review for Trip Participants (April 2010) .................................................. 131 Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 131 Australian water resources in context ....................................................................................... 131 Water management and water policy in Australia .................................................................... 132 History of approaches to water in Australia ........................................................................... 132 Water reform in Australia .......................................................................................................... 135 International context .............................................................................................................. 135 Drivers of change .................................................................................................................... 136 Council of Australian Government reforms (CoAG reforms) ................................................. 136 National Water Initiative (NWI) .............................................................................................. 137 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................. 142 Water management tour – site visits ......................................................................................... 143 New South Wales Irrigators Council ....................................................................................... 143 New South Wales Office of Water .......................................................................................... 143 Sydney Water ......................................................................................................................... 143 Irrigation Australia .................................................................................................................. 143 National Water Commission ................................................................................................... 144 Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) ................................................................................ 144 Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) .................................... 145 ix  eWater Cooperative Research Centre .................................................................................... 145 Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd. ................................................................................................. 145 Riverina Wine Grape Marketing Board (RWGMB) ................................................................. 146 International Water Centre .................................................................................................... 146 Appendix B: Interview Guides ........................................................................................................ 149 Pre-trip interview guide: Ted van der Gulik ............................................................................... 149 Pre-trip interview guide: Anna Warwick-Sears .......................................................................... 152 Post-trip interview guide: Ted van der Gulik .............................................................................. 155 Post-trip interview guide: Anna Warwick-Sears ......................................................................... 158    x  LIST OF TABLES Table 1.  Linkages Between Research Aims and Research Questions .................................................... 9 Table 2.  Trip Itinerary and Descriptions of Meeting Participants ........................................................ 15 Table 3.  Checklist of Strategies for Ensuring Rigour in this Qualitative Study .................................... 23 Table 4.  Comparison of Land Area and Population Estimates for Areas under Comparison .............. 25 Table 5. Comparing OECD Irrigation Water Statistics for Canada and Australia .................................. 36 Table 6. Summary of Murray-Darling Basin Plan Requirements in Section 22 of Water Act 2007 ...... 67 Table 7.  Changes to Distribution of Environmental and Consumptive Uses for Surface Water ......... 71 Table 8.  Overview of Systems of Water Rights in Canada ................................................................. 133   xi  LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1.  Typology of Organizations and the Scales at Which They Operate ...................................... 16 Figure 2.  Coding Hierarchy and Final Codes ........................................................................................ 21 Figure 3.  Location of the Okanagan Basin, a Sub-watershed of the Larger Columbia River Basin ..... 27 Figure 4.  Location of the Murray-Darling Basin ................................................................................... 28 Figure 5.  Major Water Withdrawals for Use and Consumption by Sector in Australia and Canada ... 34 Figure 6.  National Water Initiative Framework for Assignment of Risk (Section 49) .......................... 46 Figure 7.  Cultural Lens ......................................................................................................................... 48 Figure 8.  Key Elements Used in the Development of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan ......................... 70 Figure 9.  A Road Sign in Canberra ....................................................................................................... 86 Figure 10.  The Key to Subsidiarity ....................................................................................................... 93 Figure 11.  Political Map of Australia Showing the Location of the Murray-Darling Basin ................ 132 Figure 12.  NWI Assignment of Risk Framework (Section 49) ............................................................ 141     xii  LIST OF BOXES Box 1.  Objectives of the National Water Initiative .............................................................................. 44 Box 2.  Objects of Australia’s Water Act 2007 ...................................................................................... 61 Box 3.  Tailoring Urban Water Conservation Programs: Sydney Water ............................................... 96 Box 4.  Sustainability Win-win-win – Murrumbidgee Irrigation’s Barren Box Storage ...................... 103 Box 5.  Innovation Under Duress: How Snowy Hydro Generates Profits with Limited Water ........... 109 Box 6.  Objectives of the National Water Initiative ............................................................................ 138 xiii  LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ALR Agricultural Land Reserve  BC British Columbia BC MOE British Columbia Ministry of Environment BC MoAL British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Lands CEWH Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder CoAG Council of Australian Government CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation DEWHA Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts DSEWPC Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities eWater eWater Cooperative Research Centre GL Gigalitre IA Irrigation Australia IWC International Water Centre MDB  Murray-Darling Basin MDBA  Murray-Darling Basin Authority MI Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd.  ML Megalitre MN  Meeting Notes NSW New South Wales NSWIC New South Wales Irrigators’ Council NSWOW New South Wales Office of Water NWC National Water Commission NWI National Water Initiative OBWB Okanagan Basin Water Board OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OKIM Okanagan Irrigation Management tool QLD Queensland RWGMB Riverina Wine Grape Marketing Board SDL Sustainable Diversion Limit WSP Water Sharing Plan xiv  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The following work is the product of a collaborative endeavor and would not have been possible without the support of a number of individuals on both sides of the Pacific. My heartfelt thanks go to: Mark O’Donohue who started me off on this research path; Ted van der Gulik and Anna Warwick-Sears who came with me to Australia and who shared their many insights before, during and after our Australian adventure; Mark Pascoe, Andrew Gregson and Peter Beattie who put me in contact with all the right people and shared their knowledge; all of the Australian research participants who took the time to enlighten us about their drought challenges and current water reform experiences;  Anthony Dorcey for invaluable lessons in negotiating the thesis process and life in general; and the ladies of the UBC Program on Water Governance for the chance to work on interesting projects as well as for their moral support and friendship. The Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability is truly an interdisciplinary wonder, and I am thankful for both the department’s financial support and stimulating environment.   Special thanks go to my supervisor Gunilla Öberg, whose unfailing support, enthusiasm, and penetrating questions have made this project possible and made me a better person over the past few years. Finally, my enduring gratitude goes to my wonderful family and to my husband – the original “patron of the thesis”.   xv  DEDICATION   To Nick and fellow water lovers1  INTRODUCTION Motivated by a decade long drought and a strategic shift towards Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) to ensure global competitiveness, Australia’s federal government has invested billions of dollars in the water sector, spurring significant innovation in data gathering, modeling, water management practice development and policy reform (ADSEWPC 2011; NSWIC, MN 9; NWC, MN 40). With over two decades of water reform experience, Australia has become a global leader in water management and reform (Pigram 2007, v; Crase 2008, 2). They have abandoned more traditional command-and-control approaches to water management based in the old development paradigm, in favor of more systems-oriented and adaptive management approaches characteristic of the ESD paradigm (Hussey and Dovers 2007, xi; McKay 2008, 50-52).  To explore how Canada, British Columbia (BC), and the Okanagan in particular can learn from Australia’s drought management and water reform experiences, I organized a two week water management tour to Australia, taking two water experts from BC to meet with stakeholders from the federal to the ground level to discuss their experiences of drought adaptation and water reform. The project aimed to illuminate the context in which Australian water reforms and innovations have taken place, and compare that to the Canadian context through the eyes of the Canadian experts to identify insights, opportunities, and barriers to the transfer of lessons on sustainable water management from Australia to Canada.  The project was developed based on my idea that water use and management decisions are decisions about social priorities that reflect the particular relationship between a people (or society) and their waters. As population growth and increasing climate variability put pressure on water resources around the world, water problems have come to be recognized as people problems rather than solely technological or physical ones (de Loë and Kreutzwiser 2007, 87; Brandes 2009, 63). Why should the Okanagan, British Columbia, and Canada look to the Murray-Darling Basin, New South Wales, and Australia for ideas on how to manage water and, perhaps more importantly, how to manage people’s relationships with water? These two sister nations share many similarities in terms of history and culture, however in many ways they lie at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of water resources. Nonetheless, as we shall see there are many insights to be gained into increasing the social value of water, the process of water reform, and making a paradigm shift from 2  the development mindset of the ‘hydraulic mission’ to one of ecologically sustainable development in water policy and management.  Anthropology and Water: Researcher Lens and Reflexivity Mine is not an anthropological study in the classic sense – there was simply too little time in the field and too narrow and an object of study to produce a full ethnographic account. Rather it is a comparative policy analysis from an anthropologist’s perspective. The value this perspective adds to this exploratory endeavor is twofold: reflexivity (I am aware of my own perspective and its influence on the data) and socio-cultural contextualization (being able to identify ways in which Australia’s water policy and management approaches fit within a wider picture of Australian culture). Having reflected on my own biases as a female Canadian with training in anthropology and work experience in the more technical world of large-scale agricultural irrigation control systems, I can clarify my personal lens and what it has to offer: a perspective that can bridge the social and technical, and distinguish between them.  Having both a background in anthropology and interdisciplinary training in water enables me to observe differences in the dialogue between Canadian and Australian experts and identify points of agreement and disagreement, which can then be situated using the two nations’ water policy literatures to build an account that includes relevant dimensions of the cultural context. Tracing Clifford Geertz’s “webs of significance”(2001, 333) helps to reveal where and when the Canadians and Australians perspectives differ, and begins to answer the question of why they differ by referring to the wider contexts of values and history that frame them. Less fact and more observation theorized,  Geertz contends that anthropology’s strength lies in its “thick description”, its view of “culture as context”, and its ability to describe these “webs of significance” within which we can interpret what peoples’ actions signify (2001, 334-341).  Recognizing approaches to water management as situated and value-laden Why is this useful? What does my anthropologist’s view add to the discourse on sustainable water management strategies? Bringing in culture as context allows us to situate Australian ideas and models, giving clues as to why water management strategies developed as they did, why they work, and what aspects of them might be transferable to the Canadian context.  3  From this vantage point, I argue that approaches to natural resource management are value-laden and specific, rather than objective and universal1, because they work in socially dynamic systems in particular environments. There may be universal principles behind them, but any given water management structure or policy will by its very nature be suited to a particular place, a particular history, and a particular view of humanity’s ‘proper’ relationship to water. I believe recognizing this situated-ness as more than differences in physical, legal, or engineered systems (all of which are important) opens a space for consideration of how ideas can be evaluated in relation to relevant values and reworked to be tried in different contexts. Rather than focusing solely on the content of policies or programs that can be transferred, I explore the values and histories that frame these water reforms, seeking to understand how they can be used to inspire solutions that meet the particular needs of the Okanagan context.  Thesis Overview As with most exploratory research, new material was discovered that took the research project beyond the boundaries of its initial conception. As a result I have structured the findings into three main chapters on context, ecological governance, and lessons learned. The first paints a high-level picture of the comparisons between Canadian and Australian water experiences. The second takes an in-depth look at the latest phase of Australian structural reforms in the Murray-Darling Basin. And the third brings lessons home through a series of insights and ideas identified by the Canadian trip participants. Methods chapter Recognizing that one of shortcomings of descriptive qualitative research is often the transparency of the research process itself (Anfara, Brown, and Mangione 2002, 29; Baxter and Eyles 1997, 508), the Methods Chapter aims to pull back the veil and reveal the inner workings of this qualitative research endeavor. The research aim, research questions and research methodology are presented here.  Context chapter The transfer of lessons on water management from one context to another requires an understanding of how the two contexts compare. By exploring similarities and differences in geography, water infrastructure, water resources, water uses, federalism and water policy this chapter describes the different trajectories Canada and Australia have taken in water. The cultural                                                             1 For further discussion on assumptions of universality and objectivity in scientific research see the Science and Technology Studies (STS) literature (Jasanoff, Markle, Petersen, and Pinch 1995; Leach, Scoones, and Wynne 2005) 4  lens concept is introduced to help elucidate the ways in which water culture influences water management problem framing and solutions.  Ecological governance chapter This chapter presents the latest phase in Australia’s water reform process: the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Driven by visible degradation and prolonged drought, the Basin Plan aims to rebalance human and environmental uses of water in Australia’s food bowl. I argue that this reform process constitutes one of the first attempts at large-scale ecological governance. Lessons chapter  True to the original purpose of the project, this chapter brings lessons from Australia’s drought and water policy reform experiences to Canada to inform sustainable water management in the Okanagan and British Columbia. Insights, opportunities, and barriers are identified through the eyes of Canadian trip participants and areas for future research are suggested.  Research Contribution The Australian water experiences and Canadian reflections documented in this study offer insight into: transformative change and water crisis; long-term and large-scale structural water reforms; and the relationship between pathways to sustainable water management and culturally held values and beliefs regarding water and governance. More applied contributions of the research are the professional development benefits of the Australian water management tour for the Canadian trip participants, who are integrating their new knowledge of Australia into the British Columbian water dialogue.    5  METHODS: RESEARCH DESIGN AND EXECUTION The Idea Given the great volume of investment and innovation in Australia with regards to sustainable water management (Pigram 2007, v ), the challenge for this project was: how best to bring some lessons from Australia to the Okanagan within the scope of a Master’s thesis project? The idea behind the research design is to look at the people, those experts in both BC and Australia working on water reform and attempting to build sustainable water management approaches, and get them interacting and sharing experiences.  There have been a number of Australians visiting Canada and sharing their experiences in presentations and meetings (van der Gulik, 25 April 2010), so why not bring Canadians to Australia to see things in their native context and gain a better understanding of what is going on? Thus emerged an idea for a research project that would take a small group of BC water experts (the ‘trip participants’) to Australia for a two-week intensive water management tour, giving them the opportunity to see firsthand the results of extreme drought and to understand how these innovative approaches they had been hearing about fit within the broader picture of Australia’s waters by speaking to a range of stakeholders. The idea being that such an exploratory project could uncover similarities and differences between the two contexts, using the power of expert knowledge to reveal key lessons in a very short period of time. My suspicion was that while the substantive ideas shared in these sessions with visiting Australians were likely clear, the context within which to understand each side’s perspective may have been lacking. It is very difficult to build in one sitting a picture of the similarities and differences if one is not familiar with both contexts. One of the strengths of an anthropological perspective is that it continually requires one to question the underlying assumptions that different people are bringing to situations2 (Benedict 1934, 17; Sahlins 2000, 16; Schein 1999, 6). Clifford Geertz sees culture (a central object of anthropological inquiry) as a context – “an imaginative universe within which [people’s] acts are signs”(1973, 340).  We all come from different places and have different worldviews (at the higher societal levels these are called culture), but there are also cultures of expertise that cut across spatial and traditional cultural boundaries (Jameson 2007, 210-211). People working within the same field of expertise, in this case water, can discuss technical and theoretical                                                             2 As Ruth Benedict points out “No man ever looks at the world with pristine eyes. He sees it edited by a definite set of customs and institutions and ways of thinking… The life-history of the individual is first and foremost an accommodation to the patterns and standards traditionally handed down in his community” (1934, 2).  6  issues in-depth fairly quickly, but this shared understanding may mask deeper underlying differences that are important to the transfer of ideas from one place to another.    The project’s approach is somewhat unique (but builds on the long-standing practice of professional meetings when travelling) and offers  a different take on how to get at information quickly and provide a deeper understanding of context to inform decision making on the transfer of ideas from one context to another. Since I have not been able to find any studies taking the same approach, I have developed my research process drawing heavily on my anthropological training, on my course work at IRES (including a directed study on participant interaction in focus groups),and on what I have learned through working for the UBC Program on Water Governance. In terms of literature, I am drawing heavily on the water policy and governance literatures from Canada and Australia, on the climate change and drought adaptation literature, integrated water resources management literature, complex adaptive systems literature, and on other primary sources such as Canadian and Australian water laws and policies, as well as technical reports on water issues in both regions of interest. My professional background in large-scale irrigation control systems and automation has also been helpful in understanding the more technical aspects of agricultural irrigation discussions.  One of the benefits of harnessing the power of expert dialogue has been that it enables a higher level discussion and more comprehensive assessment of gaps than would be possible for a Masters student researching alone. The two trip participants who collaboratively developed this project and who, along with me, make up the Canadian team are: Ted van der Gulik, Senior Engineer and irrigation specialist at the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, and Dr. Anna Warwick-Sears, Executive Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board.  Chapter Summary In this chapter I describe the research methodology. First, the research aim and research questions are presented and linked together. Next, I describe the research design and execution, including information on how the project developed (a project overview, a natural history of the project, method selection and rationale), project details (sampling strategy, water management tour overview, data collection), data analysis (data preparation and coding) and data representation (strategies for maintaining qualitative rigour).  7  Research Aim The aim of this thesis is to  illuminate the context in which Australian water reforms and innovations have taken place, and compare that to the Canadian context through the eyes of trip participants to identify (in relation to the Okanagan and BC): o Opportunities for strategic learning, collaboration, and replication o Potential barriers to the transfer of lessons, techniques, or water policy models to Canada o Insights into climate change adaptation, water policy reform, and the social impacts of drought and rapid policy change. The aim is focused mainly on the transfer of lessons from one place to another; however, it includes  a fourth objective focused on the benefits to the trip participants: To determine what participants are gaining from the experience of the water management tour.  While the underlying focus on people had guided the research design of the project from its inception, it was not until I began interviewing that I realized the project needed an additional aim focused specifically on the individual Canadian participants traveling to Australia. For each of them this experience involved considerable commitment and personal expense, and was perceived of as personally valuable in ways beyond pure empirical curiosity. What they gained from the trip is an equally important result of the research project and situates the project in another dimension: that of professional development for individual trip participants. Because of their positions in British Columbia, this also translates into tangible outcomes in the water sector provincially as they bring the perspectives they have developed on the trip home and begin to apply them, elevating the discussion about what we can learn from Australia by framing ideas within a context of comparison. Thus the project has been beneficial in terms of professional development for the Canadian team and in terms of research deliverables. The project looks at how Australians have confronted the worst drought on record and undertaken massive water reform  and provides an opportunity to see what a similar region has done in a water crisis, how they have managed to transform their relationship to water and to develop a water sensitive society. The Australian water sector is booming, and while we met with a number of key players, the end result is by no means a complete description of the Australian and Canadian 8  comparison – rather it provides an introduction to how the two water policy and management contexts compare based on the situated experiences of the Canadian team.  Research Questions The main question this exploratory research project addresses is: In light of what is learned about the differences between the Canadian and Australian contexts, what lessons can Canadian water experts learn from their Australian counterparts’ experiences of extreme drought and water policy reform to inform sustainable water management in Canada, British Columbia, and the Okanagan region? Embedded within this broad question are more specific questions, including: o How do the Canadian and Australian water contexts compare, in terms of hydrology, demographics, water use profiles, water laws and policies, and water governance? o What have been the drivers of change in water management and water policy in Australia? o What role does crisis (in this case drought) play in driving societal change with respect to water consumption behavior and water policy? o What lessons can the Canadian experts (policy influencers) take away from the Australian experience, in terms of: a) water reform development and implementation; b) water governance; c) irrigation; and d) urban water conservation? o How do the Canadian and Australian water professional cultures differ in their approaches and values? What impact, if any, do these differences have on the lessons that can be transferred? o What opportunities, barriers and insights did the trip participants identify through their Australian experience?  o What learning goals did the participants have for the trip? o What key questions did the participants have for the Australians? Table 1 links these questions to the specific research aims they address, providing a better sense of how the research means are designed to achieve the research ends. The degree to which each of these questions was addressed depended largely on what data emerged in the meetings with Australians and what ended up being most important to the trip participants.  Certain questions were asked explicitly, such as those about key questions and learning goals, and served as reference points to track the learning process of individual trip participants. Other questions, such as those 9  about the legal or hydrological contexts, were addressed through a combination of literature review, interview questions, and observations in the field.  More abstract questions, for example those about differences in water expert cultures, were addressed primarily through analysis of the data. The three analysis chapters that follow highlight where particular questions became significant, describe the results, and put the various pieces together into broader thematic pictures.  Table 1.  Linkages Between Research Aims and Research Questions Research Aim Research Questions Define, through the eyes of trip participants, opportunities for: • Strategic learning • Collaboration • Replication • What lessons can the Canadian experts take away from the Australian experience in terms of: a) water policy reform, b) climate change and/or drought         adaptation, c) Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)         implementation, d) innovative social programs related  to water, e) balancing of urban and agricultural water needs f) sustainable water management? • What opportunities do the participants identify through their Australian experience? • What ideas do they want to bring home? Why? • What ideas do they want to share with the Australians? Identify potential barriers to the transfer (from Australia to Canada) of: • Lessons • Techniques • Water policy models • How do the Canadian and Australian water contexts compare (in terms of hydrology, demographics, water use profiles, water laws and policies, and water governance)? • How do the Canadian and Australian water cultures (and water experts) differ in their approaches and values? What impact, if any, do these differences have on the transferability of lessons, techniques, and policy models? • What barriers do the trip participants identify through their Australian experience? Gain insights into: • Water policy reform • Climate change and/or drought adaptation • Social impacts of drought and rapid policy change • What have been the drivers of change in water management and water policy in Australia? • What role does crisis (in this case drought) play in driving social change with respect to water consumption behavior and water policy? • What insights do the trip participants identify through their Australian experience? Determine what participants are gaining from the experience of the water management tour. • What learning goals do the participants have for the trip? • What key questions do the participants have for the Australians?   Research Design Project overview I organized a two week water management tour in May 2010 and took the two Canadian water experts (trip participants) to meet with water policymakers, water managers, stakeholder organization representatives, and water service providers in Australia. A critical literature review (see Appendix A) was provided to trip participants prior to the pre-trip interviews that established 10  participant expectations, key questions and trip learning goals. During the trip participant observation provided data on ideas exchanged and each individual’s learning process. Post-trip interviews with participants explored opportunities, barriers, and insights as well as addressing how expectations, key questions and learning goals played out.  The ‘natural history’ of the project James Baxter and John Eyles recommend that qualitative researchers make clear the “natural history of the research”, by including: i) the “original purpose(s) of research”, ii) a description of “how research developed over time”, iii) a “rationale for methodology”, and iv) references to “fieldwork relations” (1997, 518). I believe describing this ‘natural history’ to be particularly important when developing new research approaches, as they may be, even more so than standardized approaches, creatures of circumstance.  Collaborative project development: finding a purpose My original interest in Australian water management was sparked by a case study I did for a class on the risk controversy over wastewater recycling in Toowoomba, Queensland. Toowoomba was the first municipality in Australia to propose wastewater recycling for drinking water as a measure to deal with severe drought induced shortages. What began as a municipal planning decision soon erupted into a political and social debate that divided the community and captured the attention of the nation3. Such rapid social change related to water governance seemed to me to be unheard of in a developed country; begging the question: why not look to Australia to find new solutions to water issues here in BC? Serendipitously, shortly after I completed the Toowoomba case study, IRES had a visiting Australian researcher from Queensland named Mark O’Donohue, and together we began a research proposal for a project to bring lessons from Australia to the Okanagan titled Lessons from Oz to the Okanagan. The trip participants became involved early on. When O’Donohue and I traveled to the Okanagan we recruited Dr. Anna Warwick-Sears, Executive Director of the Okanagan Basin Board, to the project. Ted van der Gulik and I had met initially at a BC Water Governance workshop in Langley, and when he heard that I was putting together a project that would take water experts from BC to Australia, he contacted me to suggest that we combine forces as he had been planning to do a similar trip. The original research aim described above was identified in an initial                                                             3 A local referendum was called to decide on the issue of potable reuse, and Toowoomba residents voted No; but as the drought worsened, Premier Peter Beattie put through the Western Corridor Recycled Water scheme which now recycles water for all of South-East Queensland including Toowoomba. The water is currently being used for industrial purposes; however, should dam levels drop below 40%, the water could be connected into drinking water supplies to ensure a level of drought-proofing (Beattie 2009). 11  funding proposal developed by this core group, which also included Gunilla Öberg (my supervisor) and Mark Pascoe at the International Water Centre in Brisbane and other partners in the Okanagan.  When the larger project conceived of in the funding proposal fell through because the application was not successful, I choose to downscale and restructure the project to fit a Master’s thesis. The number of participants was reduced, a two-way exchange of experts and researchers was replaced with a water management tour, and focus groups were replaced with in-depth pre-trip and post-trip interviews with trip participants. I continued to consult with the trip participants, giving them more structured decision-points as the project solidified. Their early input focused the water management tour on four key areas: water reform development and implementation, water governance, irrigation and urban water conservation. Later on we collectively decided on a final itinerary out of three possible trip plan options I had developed with our Australian contacts.  Method selection and rationale Two main methods were used in this study: semi-structured expert interviews and participant observation.  Semi-structured interviews – those in which the interviewer uses an interview guide of pre- determined questions to guide, but not limit, the discussion – were selected as they allow good coverage of topics in a fixed period of time. These intensive interviews are particularly well suited to interviewing experts, as they make efficient use of time and ensure chosen issues are addressed while allowing the researcher to introduce new questions and follow leads that arise in the interview process (Bernard 1995, 210; Flick 2006, 164). They have much of the “freewheeling quality of unstructured interviews” which “get people to open up and let them express themselves in their own terms”(Bernard 1995, 209), but allow for cross-comparison of interviews because of the fixed questions in the interview guide.  Participant observation is the central method in anthropological research, and “involves establishing rapport in a new community; learning to act so that people go about their business as usual when you show up; and removing yourself every day from cultural immersion so you can intellectualize what you’ve learned”(Bernard 1995, 137). In this case participant observation was employed in a more limited fashion than in traditional anthropological fieldwork to meet the objectives of: understanding similarities and differences the two national water expert cultures, and to build a descriptive account of what was discussed in meetings between the Australian and Canadian 12  experts. Participant observation also took place on the road when discussions of water issues came up – this was intentionally limited in scope to focus on the participants roles as experts, leaving out the personal life dimension that is a typically included when anthropologists study people in everyday life. The method was selected for its ethnographic power, which draws in part on the constant reflexivity it requires of the researcher and allows issues of interaction to be monitored in addition to the content (as is the focus in nonparticipant  observation) (Flick 2006, 217-220). Fieldwork relations Interpersonal dynamics are an important component of qualitative research4 , and are mentioned here to give greater context to the research results.  The relationship between me as researcher and the trip participants grew closer over the course of the field trip, as did the relationship between the trip participants who knew each other from working together prior to the trip. This change in dynamic is reflected in the interview transcripts: the pre-trip interviews are cordial and are more characteristic of an expert interview with someone known to the interviewer. The post-trip interviews, while still expert interviews, have more of the flavor of ethnographic interviews, as interviewer and interviewee draw on a shared experience and engage in the co-construction of meanings (Flick 2006, 166), continuing dialogues begun on the trip. The other fieldwork relation of significance is that between the Canadian team and the Australian meeting participants. These meetings as a whole went well, with interested parties on both sides engaged in a dynamic dialogue about their work, largely without need for researcher prompting or intervention. I had not known in advance whether the meetings would require an active chair, and had asked van der Gulik to step in if there was any issue with meeting flow, but this proved unnecessary. In most cases, meetings began with introductions, followed by a presentation, then open discussion. As demonstrated by frequent questions and story-telling, participants in the meetings seemed to enjoy having the chance to explore issues of significance and to hear how similar issues are dealt with in other places. Research design details Sampling strategy Research subjects included two main categories of research participants: Canadian trip participants and Australian meeting participants.                                                              4 “One could argue that the success of qualitative studies depends primarily on the interpersonal skills of the researcher. In general qualitative research texts, this caveat is often couched as building trust, maintaining good relations, respecting norms of reciprocity, and sensitively considering ethical issues. … Because the conduct of the study often depends exclusively on the relationships the researcher builds with participants, interpersonal skills are paramount.”(Marshall and Rossman 2011, 118) 13  Trip participants were recruited as project collaborators and both play key roles in decision-making for water management in the Okanagan. As the aim is to “see through their eyes”, the main focus is on the trip participants, who committed the most amount of time to the project, from development, to interviews and travelling on the tour.  Australian meeting participants were identified through snowball sampling combined with online research and targeting. “In snowball sampling you locate one or more key individuals and ask them to name others who would be likely candidates for your research” (Bernard 1995, 97). Snowball sampling was selected because it is ideally suited to the recruitment of experts because they are a “relatively small population of people who are likely to be in contact with one another”, one of the few situations in which “snowball sampling is an effective way to build an exhaustive sampling frame” (Bernard 1995, 97). Australian participants were recruited via my Australian contacts, my supervisor Gunilla Öberg’s contacts and those of van der Gulik. These contacts generated four main Australian contacts that were able to connect us with most of the groups we requested as well as suggesting other key groups we should see based on our initial request for targeting of organizations knowledgeable about water reform implementation, water governance, irrigation, and urban water conservation. In preliminary stages I asked key informants: i) who they would suggest we see based on what we were looking to learn; and, ii) if they knew people in organizations of interest identified through the literature review and trip participant requests. Emails were sent to those they suggested with an introductory letter explaining the project goals and what would be involved in participating. Follow-up emails were sent to those who expressed an interest and meeting times were established. To get a good cross-section of perspectives, different levels of government and organizations operating in different parts of the same system were selected. Due to the limited time frame, organizations were limited to those who could meet with us in Sydney, Canberra, Cooma and Griffith.  Water management tour overview The trip option selected by the group offered a good balance of meetings with national, state and regional organizations, while allowing us to see some of the water management infrastructure. Table 2 provides a detailed description of the trip itinerary including meeting dates, locations, and descriptions of the organizations and people we met with5. In addition to the organizations listed in the table, we were scheduled to meet with the National Farmers Federation, which acts as the main                                                             5 For confidentiality reasons identification information has been excluded where requested. 14  federal lobby group for farmers in Australia. Unfortunately, due to flight delays we were unable to meet with them and are therefore missing this piece of the puzzle.  We also met informally with two irrigation farmers: one on whose farm we were staying in Griffith, who gave us a tour of his sheep and rice farming operations with mainly low security entitlements; and the second who grew mainly grapes and tree fruits, and had a smaller high security entitlement based operation. Figure 1 illustrates the range of organizations we visited and the different levels at which they operate. Trip description The trip started off in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW), where we began by meeting with two of the key contacts who had helped me connect with others and build the itinerary. Andrew Gregson (CEO) and Mark Moore (Policy Analyst) of the NSW Irrigators Council (NSWIC) gave us an overview of how water management works in NSW and an introduction to the main irrigation issues. The following day Mark Pascoe (CEO) flew down from Brisbane and gave us an introduction to the work of the International Water Centre (IWC) and situated the Australian context in the wider international water sector for us.  On our next leg, we travelled to Canberra where we spent the first day meeting with national research organizations. eWater’s  Gary Jones (CEO) and Ralph Ogden (Executive Manager, Urban- Ecology-International) spoke to us about their extensive model development and research tools. Then we headed over to the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) campus, where we met with Scott Keyworth (Manager of Research Adoption) of the Water for a Healthy Country Flagship and Lu Zhang (Researcher), who gave us an introduction to the CSIRO Sustainable Yields Project and some of their climate change research.  The second day in Canberra focused on meetings with federal agencies. We started off at the National Water Commission (NWC) with James Cameron (Deputy CEO) and Murray Radcliffe (Senior Manager, Assessments and Policy Coordination) who walked us through the history of water reforms and their role in auditing the National Water Initiative. Followed by a joint meeting with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s (MDBA) Rob Freeman (CEO) and the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts’ (DEWHA) Simon Banks (Director of Environmental Water Delivery),  15  Table 2.  Trip Itinerary and Descriptions of Meeting Participants Date Location Organization Name Description Met with May 3 Sydney, NSW New South Wales Irrigators’ Council (NSWIC) (www.nswic.org.au)  The peak body representing irrigators in NSW; lobby governments on issues concerning working rivers, coordinate industry policy, and provide information to irrigators. Andrew Gregson (CEO) & Mark Moore (Policy Analyst) May 4 International Water Centre (IWC) (www.watercentre.org)  A joint-venture between 4 Universities, SEQ Healthy Waterways Partnership, & the International River Foundation, supported by the QLD government. Focuses on education, training, applied research and expert services – sharing Australia’s water expertise with the international community. Mark Pascoe (CEO) May 5 Canberra, ACT eWater Cooperative Research Centre (www.ewatercrc.com.au) Linking researchers across over 47 organizations with a mission to provide “technologies and knowledge [that] will enhance the ability of industry to make water management decisions that are cost-effective, transparent, and scientifically defendable”(eWater website, 2010). Prof. Gary Jones (CEO), Dr. Ralph Ogden (Exec Manager, Urban-Ecology-International) Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) (www.csiro.au)  Australia’s national science agency since 1949, the Healthy Water for a Healthy Country Flagship is the nation’s largest research partnership focused on water, with the aim “to achieve a tenfold increase in the economic, social and environmental benefits from water by 2025”(CSIRO website, 2010) backed by an annual budget of $86 million. Scott Keyworth (Manager, Research Adoption Water for A Healthy Country Flagship) & Lu Zhang (researcher) May 6 National Water Commission (NWC) (www.nwc.gov.au)  Established under the National Water Initiative to provide advice to the Council of Australian Governments on water issues and implementation. The NWC provides baseline data on national water resources, audits and accredits state water plans, conducts biannual assessments, and benchmarks performance and compliance with reforms. James Cameron (Deputy CEO), Murray Radcliffe (Senior Manager, Assessments and Policy Coordination) Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) (www.mdba.gov.au)  &  Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA)  www.environment.gov.au/)  Established in Dec 2008, MDBA is the first single entity to have responsibility for planning integrated management of the water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin. Replacing the MDB Commission, the Authority has the power to prepare a comprehensive, enforceable Basin Plan.   DEWHA is the federal agency overseeing the buy-back of environmental water (supervised by the Environmental Water Holder) and works closely with the MDBA and the Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water who will ultimately approve the Basin Plan. As of 14 September 2010, DEWHA has been replaced by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.  Rob Freeman (MDBA – CEO)  Simon Banks (DEWHA – Director of the Environmental Water Delivery) Federal representative (withheld to ensure confidentiality) (1 representative) May 7 Cooma, NSW Snowy Hydro (www.snowyhydro.com.au/) The private hydro utility that manages the Snowy Mountain Scheme, an integrated water and hydro-generation system (3800 MW), that regulates flows to the Murrumbidgee & Murray Rivers.  David Harris & Andrew Nolan (Manager, Water Resources) May 10  Griffith, NSW Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd. (www.mirrigation.com.au)  Murrumbidgee Irrigation Limited (MI) is a private irrigation company (owned by irrigators) that provides irrigation water and drainage services to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA). MI manages $500M of infrastructure assets and services over $2.5 billion in water entitlements. (4 representatives) May 11 Riverina Wine Grape Marketing Board (www.wgmb.net.au)  A Statutory Authority, which represents the interests of wine grape growers from the Riverina region. Providing farmers with a voice, the Board sets minimum grape prices & payment conditions, pursues late payments by winemakers, and manages payments through the Board. Brian Simpson (CEO) & Irrigator May 13 Sydney, NSW Irrigation Australia (www.irrigation.org.au)  Australia’s national irrigation association, covering rural and urban irrigation, the association provides training, information resources, and other services to members. Tim Gilbert (filling in for Chris Bennett, CEO) May 14 Sydney Water (www.sydneywater.com.au) Australia’s largest water utility, “Sydney Water provides drinking water, recycled water, wastewater services and some stormwater services to more than four million people in Sydney, Illawarra and the Blue Mountains.”(Sydney Water website) (2 representatives) NSW Office of Water (www.water.nsw.gov.au) The NSW Office of Water is the state agency that is responsible for the management of surface and groundwater in New South Wales. The office deals with water planning and interstate program implementation, water allocations and licensing, policy and legislation, infrastructure projects, etc. The office is also in charge of developing Water Sharing Plans for NSW under the NSW WMA. Rob O’Neill (Director Water Policy & Planning) & Derek Everson (Manager Surface Water Management) 16                 National State Regional Research  Government Stakeholder Representation Service  Purveyor CSIRO eWater Murray-Darling Basin Authority DEWHA NSW Office  of Water Irrigation Australia National Water Commission International Water Centre NSW Irrigators Council Riverina Wine Grape Marketing Board Snowy Hydro Sydney Water Murrumbidgee Irrigation Figure 1.  Typology of Organizations and the Scales at Which They Operate 17  who explained the Murray-Darling Basin Plan – the need for it, the reasoning behind it, and the process involved in delivering it. We wrapped up the day with one more federal meeting which helped to elucidate the political context surrounding water in Australia.  With the high level picture clearer in mind, we headed off to see some of water infrastructure involved; meeting with David Harris (Counsel) and Andrew Nolan (Manager, Water Resources) at Snowy Hydro in Cooma, NSW. They explained the history of the Snowy Mountain Scheme, which serves two functions: power generation and river regulation for the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers – two of the main working rivers in the Murray-Darling Basin. They also outlined how the drought had forced them to transform their business model. After our meeting we headed out to visit Lake Eucumbene, the largest reservoir in the system, and spent the next few days driving through the Scheme, and ultimately following the Murrumbidgee River out to Griffith.  The Riverina region, in which Griffith is located, was selected as the agricultural area to visit as it is a prime wine grape and tree fruit growing area, which shares similarities with the Okanagan. In Griffith we met with representatives of Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI), who gave us an overview of how the water markets and irrigation purveyors work in NSW. They described how both the water reform process and the drought had influenced their operations and infrastructure development, and impacted local irrigators. We also met with Brian Simpson (CEO) of the Riverina Wine Grape Marketing Board and one of his growers (who also happens to be Canadian). Brian shared with us the experiences of wine grape growers in the region and the irrigator showed us his advanced drip irrigation system and talked to us about the challenges faced by winegrowers in the region.  We then returned to Canberra and flew back to Sydney to do two final days of meetings. The first day back, we met with Tim Gilbert (filling in for Chris Bennett, CEO) of the Irrigation Association (IA), the national irrigation association who gave us insight into the technical standards and training situation in the irrigation sector. Our final day started off with representatives at Sydney Water, where we heard about urban conservation programs and the effects of the drought on Australia’s largest water utility. Wrapping up the tour, we met with Rob O’Neill (Director of Water Policy and Planning) and Derek Everson (Manager Surface Water Management) at the NSW Office of Water, the state agency that oversees water and heard the state perspective on a range of issues we had discussed throughout our trip. 18  Data Collection Research data for the project included:  • Pre- and post-trip interview transcripts • Participant observation field notes, and  • Various printed and electronic materials from the Australians, including presentations given by Australians and reports they provided to us in meetings. Pre-trip and post-trip interviews The pre-and post-trip interviews were conducted mainly in Canada with the Canadian trip participants prior to the trip and upon return to Canada, respectively. Interview guides are enclosed in Appendix B. Pre-trip interview questions focused on:  o Participant's views on sustainable water management in Canada o Participant's expectations about the Australia tour o Key questions they want to explore on the tour, and o Definition of their personal trip learning goals.  Post-trip interview questions focused on:  o What the participants learned from the trip o How their key questions were addressed o How their learning goals played out, and o What they see as opportunities, barriers and insights to transferring Australian water models and approaches to Canada. Each interview took between an hour and an hour and half. The pre-trip interview with Ted van der Gulik was conducted by phone, while the interview with Dr. Anna Warwick-Sears was conducted half by phone and half in person the day after our arrival in Sydney, prior to our first meeting with Australians. Van der Gulik‘s post-interview was conducted in person at his office, while Warwick-Sears’s post- interview was conducted by phone. All interviews were digitally recorded and later transcribed verbatim, and supplemented with my notes. In later stages, content analysis of the data focused on: similarities and differences in the Canadian and Australian contexts, key themes that emerged, and lessons learned by participants. 19  Ethnography Participant observation during the Australia trip provided additional insight into how the two national water cultures compare and contrast, as well as first hand data on the content of meetings and site visits.  While participating in meetings, site visits, and discussions about the meetings among Canadian trip participants I observed: how the Canadian and Australian subjects talked about sustainable water management options, what areas of agreement or tension arose, how their different water cultures aligned or diverged on specific issues and approaches to water, and what meeting content was most salient to each group.  Based in part on my knowledge of focus group interactions, developed in a directed study with Gunilla Öberg (for the article we co-authored on utilizing participant interaction in focus groups (Belzile and Öberg, in press)), I put a lot of effort into framing the expectations of the meeting participants, by providing details on the Canadian team and a list of objectives for the tour to the Australian participants when setting up the meetings, and by providing information on each of the organizations to the trip participants in the literature review and briefing them prior to meetings on who we were going to see. I then stepped back in meetings and limited my role to taking detailed notes and offering up clarifying information or asking clarifying questions when necessary. This was done to facilitate dialogue while limiting my influence by keeping issues focused on what they wanted to talk about.  Meeting notes were recorded by hand and later transcribed. Subsequent analysis of field notes looked at both content (what was said) and discourse (how it was said) to uncover: participants' views on opportunities, barriers, insights and new relationships with Australians.  Analytical Approach My research analysis followed the three phases to data analysis in qualitative research identified by John Creswell: “preparing and organizing the data… for analysis”, “reducing the data into themes through a process of coding”, and “representing the data” (2007, 148).  Data preparation Upon return from the field I completed the post-interviews, and prepared the data for analysis by transcribing all of the interviews verbatim and typing up all of the hand-written meeting and field notes. Verbatim transcription was chosen to preserve the original wording of quotes, to minimize the introduction of researcher bias in the early stages of analysis, and to enable tracking of the development of the interaction between the interviewer and interviewee to facilitate contextualization of the findings within the larger dialogues going on during the trip.  20  Three different documents were assembled to cut at the interview data from different directions. The first cut involved combining the pre- and post- interviews for each trip participant into a composite document to trace how the individual’s understandings evolved through the trip experience. The second cut involved assembling the pre-interview data from both participants into one document, and the third cut did the same for the post-interviews. These two documents allowed for cross-participant interview comparison, to investigate how they see things in comparison to each other – thereby situating the understandings of the individuals, while also getting at the agreements and tensions between their perspectives. Transcripts, presentations and reports given to us by the Australians were also used as supplementary data. Coding Taking the approach of “immersion in scripts” (Agar in Creswell 2007, 150), initial codes were developed by reading and re-reading interview transcripts and meeting notes, while taking notes and tracking emerging themes. Forty-six preliminary codes were developed in this phase and laid the groundwork for further code development. Based on what emerged in this initial phase, I determined what the three main messages of the work should be: ecological governance, comparative contexts, and lessons for import (shown as Tier 1 codes in Figure 2). Going back to the list of Preliminary Codes, I then began to categorize them under these three messages, which entailed the development of a number of sub- categories (shown as Tier 3 in Figure 2). Finally, combining the Tier 1 and Tier 3 themes produced a series of ten final codes: three on context (Structural, Geographic, Resources), three on ecological governance (Adaptive Management, Water Reform, Best Management Practices), and four on importable lessons (Insights, Barriers and Opportunities, Importable Ideas, Research Design). Figure 2 lays out the coding hierarchy and demonstrates how the final codes were developed. These final codes were used to code the interview transcripts, meeting notes, and presentations. In addition to these thematic codes, the interview questions were also turned into codes to enable comparisons between the two participants as well as to allow linkages to be drawn between pre- and post-interviews.   21    Figure 2.  Coding Hierarchy and Final Codes Env. Rehabilitation Ecological  Comparing Contexts Importable Lessons Tier 1: Key Project Messages/Findings Environmental Flows BC Water Act Modernization MD Basin Plan Drivers Tier 2: Final Codes Insights Adaptive Management Importable Ideas Structural Geographic Resources Research Design BMPs Water Reform Barriers & Opportunities Water Policy & Law Federalism Differences Economics Social / Cultural Physical  Financial Data Human Learning Goals  Definitions Things to Share Key Questions Conservation Programs Modeling & Tools Signage Lack of Data Vision/Leadership Implementation Verification Prof. Dev. Water Markets Governance Models Tier 3: Categories based on Preliminary Codes 22  Data Representation Each of the main messages and their multiple dimensions are explored in detailed in a separate analysis chapters. Throughout these analysis chapters data are presented where relevant in quotations, tables, and figures. Wherever possible data-derived concepts are distinguished from data results in descriptions, and participant-constructs are distinguished from researcher-constructs. A note on referencing style: inline citations have been used according the Chicago-style (Turabien 2007), with the exception of meeting notes (MN) that are presented as ‘organization name, MN page number’ in order to preserve attribution within my field notes.  Maintaining Qualitative Rigour Drawing on James Baxter and John Eyles’ (1997) list of questions that can be addressed to help ensure methodological rigour, Table 3 provides a checklist of questions that have been used to help ensure methodological rigour in my research project. The table also outlines the strategies that I have used throughout the study to maintain qualitative rigour and research process transparency. Two issues of method that have not yet been discussed are worth highlighting from this list: validation and transferability. To validate the data two strategies have been employed: i) triangulation of interview results, presentations and meeting notes; and ii) participant validation. Research participants have been given the opportunity to review the thesis and flag any issues of misrepresentation or interpretation6. In terms of transferability, it must be recognized that this is an exploratory study and that there is much greater depth to be explored on particular issues should someone choose to take them up for further research in the future.                                                              6 Note this validation does not include the Literature Review for Trip Participants in Appendix A, which has been included as an artifact of the research design to improve process transparency. Not all research participants chose to give feedback on the final thesis, and therefore any errors in interpretation are solely my responsibility.  23       Table 3.  Checklist of Strategies for Ensuring Rigour in this Qualitative Study Baxter & Eyles (1997, 518) checklist of questions  Research Methods and Strategies Overview What was the natural history of the research? • Original purpose of research: To explore possible opportunities, barriers and insights into the transfer of sustainable water management lessons from Australia to the Okanagan, BC.  • Rationale for methodology: (Interviews) To study the pre- and post- trip perceptions of BC experts. (Meetings) To bring together water experts from BC and Australia and to observe how they interact and what they share, and to identify range of options in terms of lessons, barriers, and insights. What data were collected and by what methods? • (Pre- and Post- Interviews): Digitally recorded, complemented by hand-written notes; later transcribed verbatim. • (Meetings): Detailed hand-written notes, obtained copies of presentations by Australians; later typed notes. How was the sampling done? • (Interviews): Purposefully selected Director of OBWB, sought out for collaboration by MoAL representative who was planning a similar trip. (Trip team = 3 including researcher.) • (Meetings): Australian participants identified through a combination of targeted and open snowball sampling through trip team’s and supervisor’s contacts, informal meetings with farmers set up on the road. (Australian meeting participants = 24) How was the data analysis done? • (Interview Coding) Immersion in transcripts to develop initial thematic codes; organized codes into hierarchy and developed 3 master codes (ecological governance, context, lessons), then coded transcripts with master codes. • (Meeting notes) Coded using master codes, and combined with interview results into master outline.  What results are presented? • 2 analysis chapters (Context and Lessons) focused on description • 1 analysis chapter (Ecological Governance) on theory development • All three chapters integrate data (participant quotations, meeting content) and researcher commentary (data derived) with relevant literature on water policy and management in Canada and Australia. How credible and dependable are the data- construct links? • Analytic validation through triangulation of interview results, presentations and meeting notes. • Effort made to clarify data-derived vs. data results in descriptions, as well as participant-constructs vs. researcher-constructs. How credible is the theory/hypothesis? • Specification of relationship between data and theories, situated within context of relevant literature. • Participants given opportunity to review thesis and give feedback How transferable are the findings? • Exploratory study – insights may be transferable when considered within the context of research limitations (because of the nature of study the results are broad, but relatively shallow – starting points for future research identified where possible). 24  COMPARING CONTEXTS: AUSTRALIAN AND CANADIAN WATER RESOURCES Canada and Australia share many similarities in history and culture, however, they have taken drastically different courses with regards to water. Australia has become a world leader in water management innovation (Pigram 2007, v), has undertaken 20 years of water reform to dramatically reshape their relationship with their waters (fed rep, MN 50), and is actively implementing their national vision of sustainable water management for the future (NWI 2004). In contrast, Canada lacks a clear national vision (de Loë 2008, iii), ranks among the highest water wasters (Shrubsole and Draper 2007, 42), is plagued by turf wars and jurisdictional fragmentation over water (Boyd 2003, 262-263; Bakker 2007, 7), and suffers from public water illiteracy and apathy believed to be rooted in a pervasive myth of water abundance (Sprague 2007, 32). Why have these two sister nations taken such different paths? How do these different paths shape the Canadian and Australian expert participants’ perceptions and influence their dialogue on what lessons Canada can learn from Australian in terms of sustainable water management?   To understand how the Canadian and Australian perspectives differ, in this chapter I compare key contextual elements (geographic comparisons, water resources, water use profiles, water policy) to understand more about the particulars of each place that shape its water culture, give an introduction to the Australian Water Reform Era and introduce the concept of the cultural lens to understand perceptual differences. Chapter Summary In this chapter I build on the literature review distributed to trip participants prior to the trip, bringing in additional literature, government sources and relevant meeting data to illustrate similarities and differences between the Australian and Canadian water contexts. I develop the concept of the cultural lens as a means of clarifying how cultural differences contribute to the framing of water problems and acceptable solutions.  A Brief Parallel History of Water Resources and Policy Development in Australia and Canada Getting situated In this section I compare some key geographic and demographic characteristics between three scales: national (Canada, Australia), provincial-state (British Columbia, New South Wales) and regional 25  (Okanagan Basin, Murray-Darling Basin). In Table 4, I have compiled land area and population data on these areas to illustrate the relative land areas and populations at different scales of comparison.     Table 4.  Comparison of Land Area and Population Estimates for Areas under Comparison  Land Area Population National   Canada 9,093,507 km2 34,108,800  (2010) Australia 7,702,468 km2 21,955,256  (2009) Provincial/State   British Columbia 925,186 km2 4,531,000  (2010) New South Wales 801,315 km2 7,134,421  (2009) Regional   Okanagan Basin 8,024 km2 7 350,927  (2009) Murray-Darling Basin 1,059,000 km2 2,004,560  (2006)     Sources: Statistics Canada, 2005a; Statistics Canada, 2005b; ABS 2008; ABS 2010a; ABS 2010b; ABS 2010c; ABS 2010d;         Summit Environmental Consultants 2010, 2.  Comparing Australia and Canada – the national level Vast sparsely populated nations, both Canada and Australia are characterized by a diversity of landscapes and hydrological features. Both Canada and Australia have the majority of their populations concentrated in urban areas situated near a dominant geographic feature, leaving large areas mostly uninhabited, such as Canada’s far north or Australia’s western deserts. Canada’s five major cities are located near the Canada-United States border, and Australia’s five major cities are all located along the coast. Canada is somewhat larger than Australia both with regards to surface area and population (recent estimates are shown in Table 4).  One of the most significant geographic differences that impacts national water issues is that as an island Australia’s water management decisions take place in a closed national context. In contrast, the majority of the population in Canada lives close to the 300 waterways and aquifers that “cross or form the Canada-United States border” (Environment Canada 2005, 3). Thus, international transboundary water issues with the United States play an important role in Canada’s water management and politics. Comparing New South Wales and British Columbia – state / provincial level British Columbia is very mountainous; a province covered by a web of narrow watersheds, dominated by a few iconic rivers with many smaller tributaries, and the world’s largest coastal temperate rainforest (IWC, MN 19; Wikipedia 2011). Land suitable for agriculture is limited in the province (5% of total land), and, as with other parts of Canada, urban (or sub-urban) development on prime agricultural land is a                                                             7 “All but 23 km2 of which is located in Canada” (Summit Environmental Consultants 2010, 2). 26  problem (BC Agricultural Land Commission nd; Statistics Canada 2005, 1). To address this issue, BC introduced the BC Land Commission Act in 1973, which established the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR):  a provincial zone in which agriculture is recognized as the priority use. Farming is encouraged and non-agricultural uses are controlled. The ALR covers approximately 4.7 million hectares. It includes private and public lands that may be farmed, forested or vacant. [… ]In total the ALR comprises those lands within BC that have the potential for agriculture production.   (BC Agricultural Land Commission nd) There are numerous small unconnected watersheds in BC, home to what van der Gulik calls “small agriculture” (in terms of the size of the agricultural sector), as only about 200,000 hectares of the province’s roughly 92.5 million hectares is agricultural land and most of this is dryland (or rain fed) agriculture (IWC, MN 19).  In contrast, New South Wales (NSW) is dominated by one large watershed: the Murray-Darling Basin and is home to a large agricultural sector which covers 81% of the state (or 64.8 million hectares) (Australian National Resources Atlas, 2009). The landscape is made up of coastal lowlands abutting the mountains of the Great Dividing Range in the east, and slopes leading away from the mountains to the flat interior in the West (ibid). In addition to having a multi-billion dollar agricultural sector, NSW is also the most irrigated state in Australia (ibid).  Comparing the Okanagan Basin with the Murray-Darling Basin– the regional level The Okanagan region of BC, a semi-arid valley lying in the rain shadow of the Coastal Mountains, is the driest region in the country (OWSC 2008, v, 5). The landscape is dominated by a series of long deep lakes that provide irrigation water to sustain the region’s many vineyards and orchards; creating the pastoral landscape valued by the thousands of tourists and seasonal residents that flock to the Basin every summer (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 14; OWSC 2008, 4). The Okanagan Basin is a sub-watershed of the much larger Columbia River Basin as shown in Figure 3, which spans a total area of approximately 416, 015 km2 (258,500 miles2), roughly 15% of which is in Canada (39,500 miles2) (USGS 2002, 1).  The Murray-Darling Basin is one of the largest watersheds in the world at roughly 1 million km2, and it spans across four states (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia) as shown in Figure 4 (MI, MN 60). Given the Basin’s size we were only able to see a small portion of the Basin during our water management tour, though we spoke to various groups involved in water management in the New South Wales portion of the Basin, as well as the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), which is responsible for managing the Basin as a whole. We followed the Murrumbidgee river, one of the two main working rivers in southern NSW’s, from near its headwaters in the Great Dividing Range mountains 27  out to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA). MIA covers an area of 6,600 km2 (or 660,000 hectares), and is a prime wine growing and horticulture region, comparable to the Okanagan in this way (though the regions are in different climatic zones and therefore grow some different crops) (Murrumbidgee Irrigation 2010a, 2). Figure 3.  Location of the Okanagan Basin, a Sub-watershed of the Larger Columbia River Basin                   Significance of place These differences in geography frame differences in economic and social dynamics around water. The water markets in the Murray-Darling, for instance, are made possible by an extremely flat landscape with extensively developed river regulation infrastructure. They also work in part because, with the exception of Adelaide located at the end of the Murray River, there are no major urban centres vying for water in the MDB – they are mainly agricultural water markets, irrigators trading with irrigators and increasingly the Commonwealth (NSWIC, MN 3; van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 4-5). The opposite is true in BC; where the mountainous profile creates steep, narrow, multitudes of small watersheds flowing mainly to the sea. Trade across these largely unregulated rivers would be nearly impossible throughout much of the province (IA, MN 85). The one place in BC with the infrastructure Source:  © Natural Resources Canada, by permission. 28  and volume of flows that would make a water market feasible is the Okanagan Valley (IWC, MN 19). However, there is a clear difference here as well that would change the nature of the water market model that would need to be adopted: the urban and irrigation water supplies are integrated (Sydney Water, MN 90; NSWOW, MN 100). And with the limited farm land in the province and the ALR as a provincial priority, careful design would be required to ensure that water for agriculture was protected (IA, MN 86). These issues will be explored in more depth in the lessons chapter, but provide a preliminary look at the ways in which context is a critical determinant of what lessons can be transferred from one place to another and highlights the importance of thinking about how imported ideas might work.  Figure 4.  Location of the Murray-Darling Basin            Water myths: scarcity vs. abundance From a social perspective, a nation’s natural endowment of fresh water is critical to shaping the course of its development and water identity. National myths about water highlight certain characteristics of a coutry’s water resources, and in so doing minimize the significance of others. In Canada’s case, the myth Source:  © Murray-Darling Basin Authority, by permission. 29  of water abundance highlights the dominant presence of water in the landscape, the sheer volume of which overinflates peoples’ perceptions of the nation’s renewable water resources. In Australia’s case, the myth of water scarcity highlights how little water is resident in the landscape, while minimizing appreciation of the extreme variability of the nation’s climate. National (and international) perceptions of a nation’s water resources are important because debates over water use are debates over social priorities – and these debates take place largely in the political arena.   Canadian water experts often despair of the ‘myth of water abundance’ that perpetuates a notion that Canada possesses one-fifth or one-quarter of the world’s supply of fresh-water (Sprague 2007, 26; Pentland 2009, 61; Boyd 2003, 13-14); whereas the reality is that Canada holds approximately 6.5 percent of global renewable freshwater supply (Bakker 2009, 18). As Ralph Pentland asserts: “[t]hat 7 percent of the world’s renewable water supply meets the ecological needs of about the same proportion of the world’s land mass, so from an ecological perspective, we have no water to spare”(2009, 61).  There is also a mismatch in supply and user distribution: “While 60% of our renewable water resources flow north, the majority of Canadians (85%) live along the southern border” (Brandes, Maas, Reynolds 2006, 48), where only 2.6% of this global freshwater is available (Sprague 2007, 25). As John Sprague points out, the myth typically catches Canadians due to their lack of knowledge about the distinction between water stock (“the fresh water resident in lakes”) and renewable water supply (“the amount of water that is replaced in one year through precipitation and aquifer discharge”) (Belzile 2008, 1). Environment Canada estimates Canada’s water stock at approximately 20% of the water resident in all of the world’s lakes (Sprague 2007, 23). Canada has over 2 million lakes, covering approximately 8% of Canada’s surface8 (McLaughlin 2009, 70). Many of these represent primarily non-renewable resources created by glacial melt in the past, the most iconic example being the Great Lakes with “only 1%” of their waters being “renewed annually by precipitation and inflow from rivers and groundwater”(Morris et al. 2007, 11).   When making arguments for water conservation and the need for increased water literacy and awareness at home, I believe efforts to debunk this myth of abundance by invoking ecological needs and the mismatch between water resource location and users make sense.  However, when comparing our national resources to those of Australia, arguments that imply Canadians lack water appear somewhat hollow. Canadians may be mistaken in their estimates of water abundance; nonetheless, on a per capita basis Canadians are relatively speaking water wealthy – Canada’s internal                                                             8 Yet “national estimates of lake volume, river and glacial runoff and groundwater are coarse if not absent” (McLaughlin2009, 70). This raises a second issue about which Canadian experts despair: a lack of good data. 30  renewable water resources9 have been estimated to 2,850 km3 (or 2,859,000 GL) as compared to Australia’s estimated 492 km3 (or 492,000 GL) (FAO 2011a; FAO 2011b)10.  As with myths, statistics are important both for what they hide as well as for what they reveal. Australia has its own guiding water myth, which is supported by these contrasting statistics: the myth of water scarcity. Just as the Canadian myth of abundance obscures the distinction between water stock and renewable supply, the Australian myth of scarcity conceals the high degree of climatic variability – the reality that when there is water, there is lots of it. While Canada possesses renewable water resources an order of magnitude greater than those of Australia, their yearly precipitation estimates are much closer: Canada’s is estimated at 537mm/year and Australia’s at 534 mm/year (ibid). Looking to average precipitation data can however be misleading because, as the Canadian team was informed on numerous occasions, there is no such thing as an ‘average water year’ in Australia – “it’s a land of droughts and floods, and nothing in between” (NSWIC, MN 6; Irrigator, MN 77). Australia’s ancient soil combined with a climate that is characterized by acute variability in precipitation and high potential evaporation, result in Australia having “very low runoff in comparison with other continents”(Letcher and Powells 2008, 19). As Lin Crase observes:  Australian hydrology is variable, both spatially and temporally. This has led to the misguided perception that Australia is a dry continent. In fact, Australia has ample water resources for most human needs but the historical allocation of the resource to achieve social and economic ends has resulted in a difficult policy landscape. (Crase 2009, 18). Similarly, John Quiggins concludes that “the [Australian] water crisis is a political problem and requires a political solution”(2007, 15). Both of these scholars point to social construction of water scarcity as a problem; they are not ignoring the physical problems of too little water to meet existing human water demands, rather they are pointing to the social and political structures that shaped the development of those needs in the first place.                                                              9 Internal Renewable Water Resources (IRWR): “include the average annual flow of rivers and the recharge of groundwater (aquifers) generated from endogenous precipitation – precipitation occurring within a country’s borders.” (WRI 2005, 3).  10 FAO distinguishes between two types of water resources: “renewable water resources”, which they compute “on the basis of the water cycle” and represent “the long-term average annual flow of rivers (surface water) and groundwater”; and “non-renewable resources”, which they define as “groundwater bodies (deep aquifers) that have a negligible rate of recharge on the human time-scale and thus can be considered non-renewable” (FAO 2003, 3).  31  Given the dramatic differences in their water stocks, it is not surprising that Canada and Australia lie at opposite ends of the water resources spectrum or that their waters are framed in opposing myths of abundance and scarcity. Neither one is false, as Andrew Biro points out, a ‘myth’ is “not a false representation of reality, but rather, a strategic misrepresentation” that serves a purpose within society (2007, 326).  Indeed the myths discussed above are not ‘Myths’ in the formal sense (fully formed stories passed down to teach lessons about origins, morality or values) rather they are more acephalous myths (similar to so-called ‘urban myths’) based on commonly held perceptions that colour national discourse around water. I suggest that in identifying and challenging these myths water experts in Canada and Australia alike are attempting to shift the public dialogue away from what resources we have to how (as societies) we choose to value and use those resources. When Canadian water experts challenge the myth of water abundance in efforts to shift public (and political) perception towards a more “realistic view of their water supply”, they express hope that debunking the myth will help to foster a greater awareness of water issues and encourage an ethic of water conservation and stewardship (Sprague 2007, 32; Shrubsole and Draper 2007, 48; Morris et al 2007, 11). Similarly, when Australian water economists Crase and Quiggins push to move the dialogue away from scarcity and towards the politics of water use, they are focusing attention on the (re)definition of social priorities, and how to best reform the systems that support different water uses (Crase 2009, 18; Quiggins 2007, 15). In both cases by challenging the myths water experts are trying to engage people in a more nuanced and complex dialogue about the value of water, and to emphasize that choices about water use are fundamentally choices about social priorities.  The best use of water Ideas of what constitutes ‘best use’ of water evolve over time, guided by changing notions of the proper relationship between humans and nature, society and environment. As dominantly British colonies, Canada and Australia developed early on in accordance with the Victorian worldview, in which the best uses of water were considered to be productive ones. “The environment was seen as harsh and as something to be conquered and improved” (Handmer, Ingle Smith, and Dorcey 1991, 6). In keeping with these industrial era ideals the so-called “hydraulic mission” emerged  – a civil engineering mission “to exploit rivers to their maximum potential to meet the needs of society for water supply, energy and food”(Brichieri-Colombi 2009, 6).  The main vehicle for river exploitation being dams, built to channel water to such ends as irrigation development, hydroelectric generation, and water supply provision. The 32  Australian and Canadian contexts presented colonizers and later water developers with different challenges and opportunities, which are reflected in the design and intended purpose of their dams.  Dams To address the high variability of the Australian climate, dams were designed with the primary intent of drought-proofing and tended to be larger than in other parts of the world. According to Lin Crase, the British brought with them social norms and land use practices adapted to European climate and soils, which were largely at odds with the natural Australian environment (2008, 4). Evidence of the mismatch between European models and the realities of the Australian water context is the fact that “for a given level of supply security, Australian dam storage capacities need to be twice that of the world mean and six times that of Europe”(Musgrave 2008, 30). Simply to obtain a degree of water security comparable to that expected by European models of agriculture, water storage in Australia is often higher than annual water use (McKay 2005, 36). For example, water storage in the Murray-Darling is 2.8 times its annual flow “to ensure a high degree of drought-proofing” (ibid) and to deal with inherent climate variability (NSWOW, data verification). Originally, most irrigation systems were developed as insurance against droughts, and intensive irrigation development did not begin in Australia until the 20th century (Musgrave 2008, 32, 39). After World War I, soldier settlement schemes gave returning soldiers agricultural blocks (often less than 50 acres) with newly developed irrigation systems (Davis 1967, 660; Musgrave 2008, 36). While these schemes doubled the irrigated area in many states and shifted Australia from an importer to an exporter of food; they largely failed due to poor planning (resulting in salinity and waterlogging problems) and the new farmers’ inexperience (ibid). Despite these problems, state funded irrigation infrastructure expanded with the aims of more intensive irrigation and closer settlement, particularly in Victoria and NSW (Davis 1967, 663).To support this expansion most big dam construction took place between 1960 and 1979, when a total of 50,000GL of storage capacity was constructed, bringing large dam storage from 9,509GL (1 GL=109 liters) to 78,919GL by 1990 (McKay 2005, 36). Rather than building dams for irrigation and drought-proofing, most dams in Canada are designed with the primary purpose of generating hydro power11. “With an installed capacity of 67,121 MW (year 2000) Canada is the world’s biggest producer of hydro power […] with production of more than 13% of the                                                             11 There are examples of Australian dams developed primarily for power generation, such as the Snowy Hydro Scheme, though it also has a secondary function as irrigation infrastructure. Snowy Hydro is obligated to release irrigation water to NSW and Victoria according to a legal formula, which can impact the water management decisions made about power generation (Snowy Hydro, MN 56-57). See Box 5 in Chapter 4 for details on how they have changed their business model to deal with the challenge of balancing these priorities.  33  global output” (IWPDC  2004). As of 2004, there were approximately 450 hydroelectric plants in operation across the country, and more than 800 dams used for power generation, irrigation and flood control (ibid).  In British Columbia, BC Hydro’s system has a capacity of close to 11,500 MW, over 87% of which is hydroelectric (Industry Canada 2010, 1). In the Okanagan, the situation is closer to that of Australia – dams and other infrastructure have been constructed mainly to deal with climate variability and ensure water for irrigation and municipal uses (OBWB 2011, Water supply and demand page). Beyond the structural differences in design and purpose, the actual withdrawals and consumptive uses of water by sector can give us insights into how the Canadian and Australian water contexts compare.  Water use by sector In Figure 5, I have compiled available government data into rough national profiles of water withdrawals and consumption for Canada and Australia12. These profiles are necessarily rough, given the differences in data sources and metering – they are used here simply to give a sense of the different patterns of water use in each nation. Energy is the number one withdrawer of water in both nations, and agriculture is the primary consumptive user.  This order is consistent with expected patterns of usage, as energy production requires a great deal of water for cooling purposes (much of which can be reused) and agriculture is globally the highest consumptive user (Clarke and King 2004, 32-34).  Of greater interest is how the two nations differ, because these patterns help to explain some differences in their national water discourses.  In both the literature and my data, discussions about water use in Australia appeared to be quite dichotomous, often pitting agricultural uses against urban uses; a polarization which makes sense given that withdrawals for the two sectors are approximately equal and they are the top two consumptive users. By comparison, the Canadian water use profile appears to be more evenly distributed across municipal, agricultural, and industrial uses. Certainly there are regions, like the Okanagan, where municipal and agricultural demands are in direct competition for water resources (municipal is 31% and agriculture 55% of use) (Summit Environmental Consultants 2010, viii). However, overall at the national level there is not the same competition between two dominant uses.                                                             12 In the Canadian charts “Thermal Power Generation” has been changed to “Energy” for clarity of comparison. Canadian water consumption data excluded rural data and gave mining as “n/a” (Environment Canada 2010). The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Water Account Australia 2000-01 (Trewin 2004, 16) had much more detailed data, but similar high level categories for sectors; therefore I have added the subcategories to arrive at composite numbers to create the comparable data categories shown in the charts.  34        13                                                              13 Note this distribution is national and not reflective of the water use distribution in the Murray-Darling Basin region because most of the power generation development is along the coast (NSWOW, data verification). In 2004- 2005 83% of water consumed in the MDB was for agriculture, 13% for water supply industry (mainly irrigation water supply losses), and 2% by households (ABS 2008).  Energy 7% Manufacturing 3% Agriculture 68% Municipal 20% Mining 2%  0% Australia's Water Consumption by Sector  (2000-2001) Energy 58% Manufacturing 1% Agriculture 20% Municipal 20% Mining 1% Fishing & Forestry ˂1% Major Waterwidrawals by Sector in Australia  (2000-2001) Energy 62% Manufacturing 13% Agriculture 11% Municipal 11% Mining 1% Rural 2% Major Water Withdrawals by Sector in Canada  (2006) Energy 13% Manufacturing 12% Agriculture 65% Municipal 10% Canada's Water Consumption by Sector  (2001-2006) Figure 5.  Major Water Withdrawals for Use and Consumption by Sector in Australia and Canada Based on data from Environment Canada (2010, 2011) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (Trewin 2004, 16) 35  Nor is the Canadian discourse as focused on best water uses or trade-offs between sectors, given that there has not been a widespread water crisis stimulating this dialogue as there has been in Australia. As Warwick-Sears pointed out in her pre-trip interview:  We’re [(OBWB)] very good at building community too, and getting support across different sectors of the community – you know, getting people to work together to do things. We just haven’t asked them to do super hard things… (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 3) Not surprisingly, when there has been crisis, conflict over water uses has followed. One of the reasons the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) mandate was expanded to take on a much stronger role in building community collaboration around water issues was because the 2003 drought created “real social conflict… between farmers, municipalities, and fisheries people” in Summerland (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 12).  Another possible reason for the difference in emphasis on agricultural water is that agriculture, and in particular irrigated agriculture, plays a much bigger role in Australia than in Canada. Using the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) statistics on irrigation water I have built Table 5 to illustrate these differences.  While Canada is larger in land area, its total agricultural area is equivalent to 14% of Australia’s agricultural area; and irrigated land represents a higher proportion of agricultural land in Australia (5.4%) than in Canada (1.2%). Another notable trend visible in Table 5 is the dramatic efficiency improvements that have been made in Australian irrigation since the mid-1990s. Unfortunately, there is no information after 1996 on Canadian irrigation efficiency to compare this with. Application rates dropped dramatically from 8.7 ML per hectare in 1996 to 4.3 ML per hectare in 2003, and had dropped to 4.2 by 2004. These drops are likely the combined result of a number of factors:  irrigation efficiency improvements, water reforms, and the introduction of water markets that allow flood irrigators to suspend planting and sell their water allocations for income in dry years.  The drought itself would have caused increased efficiency as less water availability triggered increased water conservation practices, such as the changing of crop mixes (eg. less rice). The difference in Canadian and Australian application rates in 1996 “may also reflect differences in net evapotranspiration: whilst rainfall may be similar, evaporation in the [Murray-Darling] Basin [(where 52% of Australia’s total water consumption takes place (ABS 2008))] is in the order of 1-1.5m per year (far greater than rainfall)” (NSWOW, data verification).  36  Table 5. Comparing OECD Irrigation Water Statistics for Canada and Australia14 Indicator Canada (1996) Canada (2003) Australia (1996) Australia (2003) Agricultural water withdrawals (million m3) (irrigation + other) 4,106  -- 15,503 -- Irrigation water withdrawals (million m3)  3,846 -- 17,957 (1997) -- Irrigation area (hectares) 740,000 785,000 2,057,000 2,402,000 Total agricultural land (hectares) 62,135,650 62,943,618 465,200,000 447,007,000 Irrigation water application rates (ML per hectare of irrigated land) 5.2 -- 8.7 4.3 The powers that be: federalism and water policy While Canada and Australia share similar Westminster government systems, the two federations differ in important ways that affect the degree to which each Commonwealth can play a direct role in water policy and management.   A key element of difference stems from the forms of federation laid out in the countries’ respective constitutions and the relative powers that each bestows on different levels of government. The Australian Constitution (1901), like that of the United States, defines the powers of the federal government and leaves all residual powers to the states. In contrast, the Canadian Constitution (1867) enumerates the powers of the provinces and leaves the remainder to the Commonwealth (Holland 1996, 2-3). Historically, the resulting divisions of power have been similar; however, in recent times the gap between the two has grown in relation to the federal government’s role in environmental issues (ibid).  In Australia the states hold primary responsibility for water resources development and management as owners of the resource (Pigram 2007, 44), with the rights of the states to the “reasonable use of the waters of rivers for conservation or irrigation” expressly protected under section 100 of the Constitution (Saunders 1996, 55). Federal jurisdiction applies directly to water matters that impact defense or                                                             14 Table compiles statistics from the ‘Environmental Performance of Agriculture in OECD countries since 1996: water use and quality’ OECD data set (http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx). The most recent year for which both Canadian and Australian data sets on irrigation are available is 1996. With the exception of Australian irrigation withdrawal data that was only available for 1997, as indicated. Irrigation area and total agricultural land area data was also available for 2003; and the Australian irrigation application rate that was available for 2003 has also been included because it shows such a dramatic improvement in irrigation efficiency. Blank fields (--) indicate gaps in available data.  37  interstate trade and fisheries , and the federal government influences water indirectly through its corporations power (section 51 (20)), its external affairs power (section 51 (29)), and increasingly through its granting power to the states (section 96) (Pigram 2007, 45; Saunders 1996, 56). The Australian government has historically intervened in water management under “Sections 81 and 96 of the Constitution which gives the Commonwealth power to grant financial assistance to the States and impose Conditions” (McKay 2006, 116). Since the states gave up direct income taxation powers after World War II, the federal government is financially dominant (NWC, MN 39). Such “fiscal federalism” has been the foundation for a much stronger national water program in the past two decades (McKay 2005, 42); which creates an “interesting dynamic because constitutionally the Commonwealth does not have power, but they do have coercive and financial power to sway states” (IWC, MN 20). Canada’s provinces and territories are responsible for water resources and water supply (which is usually managed by municipal governments) as owners of resource on behalf on the public; they are also responsible for “property, municipal governments, local and private matters, and most Crown land within their boundaries”(Boyd 2003, 11; Bakker 2007, 4). The Canadian government’s jurisdiction in water extends to fisheries, navigation, and transboundary waters; and more broadly to international trade, nuclear power, criminal law, and matters of national and international concern (Bakker 2007, 4; Boyd 2003, 11, 45-46).   Canada is one of the few federations with stronger provincial powers than those of the Australian states (Bührs and Aplin 1999, 322), and this so-called ‘weak federalism’ explains some of the differences that emerged in discussions between the Canadian and Australian research participants regarding the political feasibility of federal interventions (NSWIC, MN 5; NWC, MN 39; fed rep, MN 53). One of the most significant differences discussed in terms of federal ability to influence provinces is that the Canadian government does not control the full income tax revenue stream, and therefore cannot practice the same fiscal federalism seen in Australia, which makes it unlikely that similar large-scale federal investment would occur in Canada (NSWIC, MN 7).  Interpretation of powers The consequences of the division of powers need to be considered in the context of the political and judicial interpretations of those powers. The tendency towards centralization in Australia (Pigram 2007, 45; Handmer, Ingle Smith, Dorcey 1991, 4) and the opposite tendency towards de-centralization in Canada (Ramin 2004, 9) are apparent in the attitude each takes towards water resources management and governance. 38  In Australia a broad interpretation of federal powers was upheld by the courts from an early stage in federation. In the 1920 Amalgamated Society of Engineers vs. Adelaide Steamship Co. Ltd (Engineers’ Case),  …the High Court rejected the notion that Commonwealth power should be interpreted with an eye to the possible content of powers “reserved” to the states. Instead, the court held that Commonwealth powers should be read literally and given plenary effect. The consequence of this approach has been progressively to widen the ambit of the Commonwealth heads of power otherwise so briefly described in Section 51. (Saunders 1996, 60) Supported by this expansive judicial interpretation of power and fiscal dominance, the Australian government has been able to undertake over 20 years of progressive water reform, making the nation an international leader in water policy development. Canberra has shown significant willingness to build a national vision of a sustainable water future, based on federally funded scientific research (CSIRO Flagship for a Healthy Country), backed by binding federal-state agreements (CoAG reforms, including the Agreement on a National Water Initiative), and supported through billions of dollars of investments in multiple levels of the water system.   In Canada, water governance takes place in a markedly different judicial and political context. Whereas the Australian government now has the power to “intervene in most environmental matters if it wishes to do so” (Saunders 1996, 56) (and has done so dramatically in the water sector); according to Kathryn Harrison, the Canadian government’s authority in environmental matters “remains uncertain largely because the federal government has not provoked constitutional challenges by exercising its powers” (1996, 163). Furthermore David Boyd argues that the Constitution’s ambiguity on environmental matters has been used by both the federal and provincial governments “to justify their reluctance to act, when the reality is that environmental authority overlaps”(2003, 260). Federal reluctance to act stems in part from the political history of Canada as a nation of strong provinces, many of which are largely dependent on natural resources for their economy and all of which are fiercely protective of control over their natural resources (Boyd 2003, 262). One result of this ambiguity is frustration at the ground level, as demonstrated by Warwick-Sears response to the following interview question: JB: Are you satisfied with the current division of responsibility over water between different levels of government – or would you like to see one level taking more or less power?  AW: I would like to see each level taking more power. Everyone is kind of shirking responsibility is what I see. You know, you look at the federal Fisheries Act and it’s the strongest act there is, but they only use it when they really have to. There’s not very much monitoring going on that would be a federal responsibility. There’s just not that much federal oversight. So I’d like to see them taking more power and control over those things that are currently on the books. Certainly the same is true with the Province – 39  they have a lot of authority, they have a lot of power that’s written into the Water Act and the Drinking Water Protection Act, they choose to not hire on conservation officers and water quality monitoring staff to actually get it done. They’re not using their power. And similarly, local government can do a lot more within their jurisdiction on things like allowing developments to happen on groundwater before they’ve ensured that the aquifers have enough water in them. And so I would say that at each level of government, more power needs to be taken. Warwick-Sears is giving voice to an endemic issue in Canadian water governance: a lack of adequate resources and government priority ‘to get it done’.  Water issues have not enjoyed the political priority that they have in Australia for a variety of reasons, the most obvious being a lack of ongoing crisis. Where there have been crises governments have launched into action. For example, in Ontario the Walkerton drinking water contamination incident that resulted in 7 deaths received widespread attention and motivated the Province to undertake water reforms that resulted in the Safe Drinking Water Act 2002 (Shrubsole and Draper 2007, 44; OMOE 2011). Similarly, drought and wild fires in the Okanagan in the summer of 2003 resulted in serious water conflict and prompted the restructuring of the Okanagan Basin Water Board (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 12).  Warwick-Sears was brought in as Executive Director and has since been building relationships to support collaborative Basin-wide decision-making (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 20; Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 13).  Crisis has been a significant driver of reform in the Australian context; however it needs to be understood within the wider international shift towards sustainable development. As we shall see, both nations took up the sustainable development shift of the early 1990s, but to differing degrees with respect to water.  (Ecologically) Sustainable Development – the Two Nations’ Paths Diverge While both Canada and Australia recognized the need to work towards sustainable development and more ecologically sustainable approaches to water management in the early 1990s, they diverged in terms of the political priority given to the environment and investment in change. International context Not surprisingly, these new goals emerged out of a greater shift in the construction of environmental issues internationally. After the Brundtland Commission’s seminal report Our Common Future introduced the world to the notion of sustainable development in 1987, the 1992 International Conference on Water and the Environment produced the “Dublin Principles”:  1. Fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource, essential to sustaining life, development and the environment.  2. Water development and management should be based on a participatory approach, involving users, planners, and policy makers at all levels. 40  3. Women play a central part in the provision, management, and safeguarding of water. 4. Water has an economic value in all its competing uses and should be recognized as an economic good. (Conca 2006, 141) Also in 1992, the Earth Summit in Rio generated Agenda 21, “a voluminous ‘action plan’ for global sustainable development” which devoted an entire chapter to water issues that included a more complex and holistic view of water problems and the emerging approach of integrated water resources management (IWRM) (ibid, 144-145).  Timing certainly plays a role in explaining why Canada and Australia took such different directions with regards to water and sustainable development. In 1990, Canada released the ambitious Green Plan for a Healthy Environment, which:  pledged $3 billion in new funding for initiatives targeting clean air, clean water,  endangered species, climate change, ozone depletion, new national parks, the Arctic, and better decision making.[...] Most Green Plan promises were never fulfilled, and the majority of the money never materialized. The minor recession of the early 1990s, the defeat of the federal Progressive Conservatives by the Liberals, and the renewed threat of Quebec separation swept environmentally priorities off the government’s radar.  (Boyd 2003, 296) In contrast, in Australia during the 1980s and early 1990s “the focus of water management increasingly turned from large-scale engineering projects to a focus on economic efficiency and environmental concerns” (Bell and Park 2006, 69). The formation of the Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) in 1992 marked a new era in terms of intergovernmental cooperation (or ‘cooperative federalism’) and ushered in what is known as “the ecologically sustainable development era”(Hussey and Dovers 2006, 38)15. Guided by the notion that a healthy environment is essential to supporting a prosperous economy, Australia embarked on a journey of water reform driven by global competiveness and a variety of emerging problems.  Prompted by crisis Australia races ahead with water reform In this section we deviate from the comparison of Canadian and Australian contexts to delve further into the Australian water reform era for two reasons: first, for the practical reason of presenting some of the information given to trip participants in the literature review prior to the trip16; and second, because it emerged in meetings with Australians that the Canadian and Australian water contexts appear to have                                                             15 Interestingly, while the rest of the world embraced sustainable development, Australia embarked on an era of water reforms under the banner of ecologically sustainable development. I have been unable to find any explanation for the difference in terminology; however I believe it may be related to the adoption of a complex systems approach as discussed in the Ecological Governance chapter.   16 A copy of the Literature Review for Trip Participants has been included as Appendix A.  41  had more in common in terms of water policy and management prior to this era (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 2; NWC, MN 37; MDBA, MN 42). Three main drivers pushed Australia to race ahead with water reforms: visible environmental degradation, drought, and national competition policy – all of which will be explored in detail later on. The information presented here provides a platform for understanding the current phase of water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin described in the following chapter. Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) reforms The Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) was formed in 1992 to move forward national reforms aimed at making the country more internationally competitive and economically efficient (Crase 2008, 7). Comprised of representatives from all the states and territories and from the Commonwealth, CoAG provides a forum for negotiation of cross-jurisdictional matters (Carrard 2004, 1). In 1994 governments signed the CoAG Agreement on Water Resource Policy, otherwise known as the Water Reform Framework. In 1995 the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council introduced a cap on extractions within the MDB, limiting them to 1993-1994 levels17; the Cap became permanent in 1997 (Connell 2007, 124- 125). These reforms were driven by visible signs of degradation (the most spectacular being a blue- green algal bloom millions of kilometers long along the Darling River in 1992) and a wider shift in economic policy towards improving economic efficiency and competiveness (NSWOW, MN 97; Hussey and Dovers 2006, 38). In this sense, Australia took the adoption of the fourth Dublin Principle, that “water is an economic good” very seriously. The Water Reform Framework required numerous outcomes: • “Markets for water entitlements to improve efficiency” • “Full cost recovery” for water infrastructure and management • “Two-part water tariffs (adopted in urban areas in 1998 and rural areas in 2001)” • “Separate identification and funding of community-service obligations”, in other words splitting the functions of water management, provision, and regulation between different organisations • “Allocation of water for environmental and social needs”  • Application of the “principle of subsidiarity” (“management of resources at the level closest to the user” (McKay 2006, 117).                                                             17 The Cap “does not refer to the actual volume of water used in 1993-1994. Rather, the limit in any year is the volume of water that would have been used with the infrastructure  (pumps, dams, channels, areas developed for irrigation, management rules, and so forth) that existed in 1993-1994, assuming climatic and hydrological conditions similar to those experienced in the year in question” (Haisman 2005, 128). This variability with climate serves the purpose of the Cap, which was to limit further water extractions, not to reduce water extractions (ibid, 129). 42  This ambitious reform agenda was back by a $16 billion Commonwealth pool of funds dedicated to implementation, which was distributed to states incrementally as they made progress on reforms (Crase 2008, 7).  Water markets and water rights In this first round of CoAG reforms, water was split into 6 portions – the first of which was considered ‘social water’ and the other 5/6ths of which was put onto the water market (NSWIC, MN 5-6). Water rights were separated from land and converted from volumes into shares in a common pool; Think of water as a perpetual lease. You don’t own a volume of water, you own a share in an available resource. The state determines the pool of resources available. A license is a property right and fully tradeable. (NSWIC, MN 6) Social functions of water were also maintained by a new system of priority for water rights. Water Sharing Plans (called Water Resource Plans at the Commonwealth level) govern the distribution of water across different needs (ibid). In New South Wales water is currently distributed according to the following list of priorities in times of water shortage: 1. Human needs (domestic water); 2. Environmental needs; 3. Commercial water use (urban) and high security licenses; and 4. Normal security licenses (irrigation).  (Haisman 2005, 135).  ‘Human needs’ include water for “critical human needs”, “stock and domestic water” and “basic landholder rights” (NSWIC, MN 6). Under the NSW Water Management Act 2000 (WMA) the balance of priority between the first two items is complex, as prioritization of human and environmental needs is guided by the “water management principles” set out in Section 5 of the WMA; in particular sub-section 5(3) spells out principles for water sharing as follows: (3)  In relation to water sharing: (a)  sharing of water from a water source must protect the water source and its           dependent ecosystems, and    (b)  sharing of water from a water source must protect basic landholder rights, and (c)  sharing or extraction of water under any other right must not prejudice the          principles set out in paragraphs (a) and (b). In this case “clauses (a) and (b) are equal, then (c) is internally shared in accordance with Section 58”, which lists “Priorities between different categories of licence” (NSWOW, data verification). Third and fourth priority water is the water “left over for economic needs in an average year”; uses such as “large agriculture, mining, and industry” – what Warwick-Sears calls “working water” (NSWIC, MN 6).   Despite the substantial progress made on the restructuring of the water sector in the 1990s, John Quiggins identified a number of the problems that emerged during the implementation of the CoAG 43  reforms in the Murray-Darling Basin where a 1995 Cap on water withdrawals was imposed: contingent entitlements – “sleeper” rights (allocations that had never been exercised) and “dozer” rights (allocation that had ceased to be used) – that had been issued under the old system amounted to an unsustainable total volume of allocations in the market; “failure to take into account the system as a whole” resulted in “free water”; limitations on trades (due to inter-basin transfer restrictions, lack of well-developed markets in many areas, and ambiguity around the reliability and security of water rights) raised questions about the long term viability of the Cap solution (2007, 8-9). The National Water Initiative was crafted in large part to deal with these issues and other problems that emerged during the implementation of the first round of CoAG reforms. National Water Initiative The Intergovernmental  Agreement on a National Water Initiative (NWI) was introduced in 2004 and provides a national vision and framework of action for water reforms in Australia (NWC, MN 38).The objectives of the NWI are laid out in Box 1 (which includes the text of Section 23 of Agreement).  Section 24 of the NWI sets out the following eight key elements linking the objectives with commitments and actions to be undertaken:  i)    Water Access Entitlements and Planning Framework;   ii)   Water Markets and Trading;   iii)  Best Practice Water Pricing;   iv)  Integrated Management of Water for Environmental and Other Public Benefit Outcomes;   v)   Water Resource Accounting;   vi)   Urban Water Reform;   vii)  Knowledge and Capacity Building; and   viii) Community Partnerships and Adjustment. (NWI 2004, 4) Briefly exploring aspects of the first element gives a sense of the wide range of changes policymakers are currently trying to implement.   44       23.  Full implementation of this Agreement will result in a nationally-compatible, market, regulatory and            planning based system of managing surface and groundwater resources for rural and urban use that             optimises economic, social and environmental outcomes by achieving the following:   i) clear and nationally-compatible characteristics for secure water access entitlements;   ii) transparent, statutory-based water planning;   iii) statutory provision for environmental and other public benefit outcomes, and improved                               environmental management practices;   iv) complete the return of all currently overallocated or overused systems to         environmentally-sustainable levels of extraction;   v) progressive removal of barriers to trade in water and meeting other requirements to                              facilitate the broadening and deepening of the water market, with an open trading                         market to be in place;  vi) clarity around the assignment of risk arising from future changes in the availability of                           water for the consumptive pool;  vii) water accounting which is able to meet the information needs of different water         systems in respect to planning, monitoring, trading, environmental management and        on-farm management;   viii) policy settings which facilitate water use efficiency and innovation in urban and rural                         areas;  ix) addressing future adjustment issues that may impact on water users and communities;        and recognition of the connectivity between surface and groundwater resources and        connected systems managed as a single resource.  (NWI 2004, 3-4)  Water access entitlements and planning framework Each state and territory agrees to build specific considerations into their allocation and planning frameworks including: • Clarifying water access entitlements to enhance certainty by defining them as “a perpetual or open-ended share of the consumptive pool”(Section 28). This acknowledges that changes in water availability will affect all users, the degree to which will be determined by the level of security assigned to their share. • Providing for environmental and other public outcomes to protect surface and groundwater sources. This is one of the biggest water reforms as it gives equal (or in some case senior) priority to environmental flows for the maintenance or rehabilitation of ecosystems. • Implementing “firm pathways and open processes for returning previously overallocated and/or overdrawn surface and groundwater systems to environmentally sustainable levels of extraction” (NWI, section 25.v.). The Murray-Darling Basin Plan described in the next chapter is an example of the next phase of water reforms that are aimed at this goal. Box 1.  Objectives of the National Water Initiative 45  • Clarifying the assignment of risks for future changes to the consumptive pool. The intention behind the Risk Framework (and the NWI generally) is “to give water access entitlement holders more planning and investment certainty about how changes in water availability will be dealt with, and so contribute to a robust, transparent and sustainable planning framework in the long term” (NWC 2009, xi). In Figure 6 I have depicted each of the risk framework clauses in the NWI as a bar representing the total risk divided into shares of responsibility, for instance in Clause 48 all of the risk for will be borne by Water Access Entitlement Holders (ie. water license holders).   46     Figure 6.  National Water Initiative Framework for Assignment of Risk (Section 49) Clause 48. Risks due to: i) “seasonal or long-term changes in climate” and ii) “periodic natural events such as bushfires and drought." (NWI, 8).     Clause 49. Risks “arising as a result of bona fide improvements in the knowledge of water systems’ capacity to sustain particular extraction levels” up to 2014.     Risks “arising under comprehensive water plans commencing or renewed after 2014 are to be shared over each 10 year period” (NWI, 8-9)            Case i Reduction <3% Case ii Reduction 3%-6% Case iii Reduction >6% Clause 50. Risks “of any reduction or less reliable water allocation that is not previously provided for, arising from changes in government policy (for example, new environmental objectives)”. (NWI, 9)                                           OR (risks born by government whose policy caused reduction)     Clause 51.  “Alternatively, the Parties agree that where affected parties, including water access entitlement holders, environmental stakeholders and the relevant governments agree, on a voluntary basis, to a different risk sharing formula to that proposed in paragraphs 48-50 above, that this will be an acceptable approach”(NWI, 9)        Water Access Entitlement Holders / Water Users    Water Access Entitlement Holders      State/Territory Government Commonwealth Government (Distribution to be determined by stakeholder agreement) 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 33.3% 66.6% 50% 50% 100% 47  Context and Values – Understanding Differences in Perspectives How do the different contexts affect what lessons can be learned by the Canadian experts from their Australian counterparts? Though trip participants often shared the same field of expertise with Australian research participants (Warwick-Sears is an ecologist, van der Gulik an engineer, and we spoke with a number of ecologists and engineers) differences in perspective on priorities and key values emerged along national lines between the Canadian and Australian research participants.  From what we heard in meeting with Australians, the argument can be made that with respect to water resource management there appears to have been a paradigm shift in Australia, from a Development paradigm to one of Ecologically Sustainable Development; a shift that began and has evolved over the past two decades of water reforms. However, it can also be argued that the Australian water reform to date is heavily weighted towards engineering and economy – the two dominant disciplines that shaped the preceding Development paradigm. Which raises the question: Has a paradigm shift occurred, or have the Australians simply added a further dimension (the environment) to their old decision-making model? The Murray-Darling Basin Plan for example (which is explored in detailed in the following chapter), proposes a redistribution of water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin to provide additional water to the environment to rehabilitate the Basin’s water resources and ensure the region’s future prosperity (MDBA Guide 2010). One could argue that the old equation for water management in the Basin has now been amended to take into account a variable (environmental flows) that was neglected in the past, but that the approach itself remains fundamentally unaltered – heavily engineered and focused on economic productivity. From my perspective, such an argument misses the important role of values in determining culturally appropriate courses of action in reaction to emerging problems. I argue that a shift in thinking has occurred with respect to water resource management and policy, and that this apparent dominance of control and engineering is due to a difference in values and perception – an effect that can be explained as a difference in cultural lens through which problems and solutions are being viewed.  Introducing the cultural lens concept (both Canadian and Australian experts have their own) allows us to understand how a paradigm shift has moved Australians from a development mindset to one of ecologically sustainable development, while maintaining a continuity of represented values in both the framing of problems and the forms of acceptable solutions. I have designed Figure 7 to show how the cultural lens affects the perception of social change. In this case, the cultural lens includes: assumptions about the proper relationship between humans and nature, social values placed on water and the 48  environment, cultural norms regarding the role of government, and degree of faith in science, engineering and economics. While a change in thinking (from ‘Old’ to ‘New’) has occurred, I propose that the cultural lens concept can help us to understand how this change will be realized by revealing the framing of problems and solutions in culturally acceptable terms, which results in new approaches to water management that are still consistent with key values and beliefs in the Australian worldview.                  Observed differences in cultural lenses  My analysis revealed divergence between Canadian and Australian perspectives on five themes in water management and policy: economic rationality, social engineering, pragmatism, trust in experts, and stakeholder engagement. While Canada and Australia share many cultural similarities, their water management and policy approaches have evolved in different geographic and political contexts.   Old Thinking (Development mindset) New Thinking (ESD mindset) New Approaches (Solutions focused on resilience & adaptive capacity) Old Approaches (Solutions focused on engineering & control) Cultural Lens Assumptions about Human – Nature relationship, and framing of water problems Assumptions about Human – Nature relationship, and range of socially acceptable solutions Figure 7.  Cultural Lens  In both old and new thinking scenarios, culturally held values help decision-makers to set priorities, define the framing of problems, and establish a range of acceptable solutions 49  Economic rationality vs. social engineering Canada and Australia alike, are western economies with strong economic mindsets, however in discussions with Australians tensions emerged over the ideal balance of economic values and social values – suggesting the two cultures lie at different points on a spectrum of belief in economic rationality when applied to water resources.  The Australian water reform process is about adopting an economic approach to water policy and management (NSWIC, MN 6). Under the national system for setting water prices state subsidies are prohibited, full cost recovery is expected for infrastructure, and prices are determined every four years (NSWIC, MN 7). Australian meeting participants lamented existing restrictions and lack of ‘true’ water markets:  Some states have different arrangements, like a 4% cap on trades from irrigation to urban water – it’s stupid to have the cap because it interferes with the market, irrigators who want to get out can’t because of the cap. (fed rep, MN 52) I don’t like the equity argument. The reform process is all about putting a value on water. Yet governments and utilities are running projects which restrict usage – don’t restrict any other commodity. (IA, MN 86)  We don’t have a market; we have a bloody barter trade, though government don’t like it when I say that. (NSWIC, MN 6)  It’s not a water market at all; it’s trading between users in a product, because there is no supply side information to the so-called market. (Snowy Hydro, MN 57)  Whereas Canadian trip participants felt there might be “too free of a market on water markets” in Australia (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 2; van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 3). They were more concerned about the social fall out of government decisions and felt greater social engineering would be seen as more responsible if similar reforms were undertaken in BC (post-RWGMB, MN 79; Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 1).  This difference may relate in part to geography – Australia as an island has a great degree of control over its economy, whereas Canada shares many waters with the United States and there are concerns over water sovereignty under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (NSWIC, MN 9; Boyd 2003, 259).  Canadian governments subsidized water provision and (as discussed later in the Lessons Chapter) applying economic principles to water is somewhat taboo in Canada.  50  Pragmatism, trust in experts and stakeholder engagement Overall the Australian approach to water governance appeared to the Canadian experts to be more pragmatic18, with very clearly defined roles and responsibilities (many relying on expert-based decision- making models), and with less emphasis placed on stakeholder engagement for participatory decision- making (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 3-5). Science-based decision-making and stakeholder engagement are discussed further in relation to the Basin Plan in the following chapters.  Cultural differences with regards to water are reflective of a number of phenomena related to context: they are shaped by the history of water use and development, by water values and awareness, and by the legal and political landscape in which waters are governed.  Why are different national value lenses important? Firstly, there is the question of fit between imported models and existing cultural norms and values, which has been raised in both sociology19 and business literatures, where it has been demonstrated that the greater the congruence between existing cultural models and imported ones, the higher the chances are of their successful adoption and integration (Cornell and Kalt 2000; Newman and Nollen 1996). Stephen Cornell and Joseph Kalt point out that culture is important because it “informs and legitimizes conceptions of self, of social and political organization, of how the world works, and of how the individual and group appropriately work in the world” (2000, 467).  Secondly, I argue that our values lens affects how we see the changes that have gone on elsewhere and therefore what we believe we can learn from those examples. For instance, if Canadian decision-makers are unwilling to become mired in the social debate over water commodification they may discount economic approaches to water altogether rather than considering what principles and techniques might be adapted and used in culturally appropriate ways to improve water management in Canada.                                                              18 John Handmer, David Ingle Smith, and Anthony Dorcey also point out “the strong emphasis on pragmatism across Australian society” in relation to the earlier development phase of Australian water management (1991, 6).  19 Through a survey of Native American nations who had transitioned to self-government and undertaken economic development projects, the Harvard Project on American Indian Development uncovered a pattern demonstrating the importance of institutions and “cultural match – that is, congruence between preconstitutional norms of legitimacy concerning the role of government power and the formal institutions of government”(Cornell and Kalt 2000, 466). Where pre-colonial forms of government aligned well with introduced forms of self- government (in other words cultural norms and values were reinforced), informal social controls came into play that helped to regulate free-riding and defection in economic development initiatives (ibid).   51  LEARNING TO LIVE WITHIN ECOLOGICAL LIMITS: THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN PLAN Introduction During the trip, the Canadian team met with various players undertaking what is currently the largest structural water reform process in the world. The outcome of this process will be the Murray-Darling Basin Plan (Basin Plan or Plan), the blueprint for a comprehensive restructuring of water management in Australia’s food bowl. Driven by significant ecosystem deterioration and water scarcity, the need to re- establish balance in the Basin is pressing. Developed according the requirements laid out in the Commonwealth’s Water Act 2007, the Basin Plan will determine environmental water requirements (EWRs) and sustainable diversion limits (SDLs)20, on a catchment by catchment basis for the entire Basin, to realign environmental and consumptive uses towards the goals of sustainable water management and continued agricultural productivity.   The Plan is a product of two wider trends in Australian water management: the shift towards systems thinking and triple bottom line decision-making. The Basin’s highly regulated river system is an artifact of an era of development in which control of water resources for economic returns and nation-building were the paramount objectives (Musgrave 2008, 39; Connell 2007, 15). With the shift to systems thinking an understanding of the importance of ecosystem health to support continued economic productivity has emerged (Pigram 2007, 151). A concomitant shift towards triple bottom line decision- making, which necessitates equal consideration of economic, social and environmental factors, has been legislatively incorporated into the Australian approach to water management (NWI 2004, 1). Both trends have grown within the wider context of Australia’s adoption of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD)21 that began with the Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) reforms of the 1990s22.                                                              20 “The Water Act 2007 (Cwlth) requires that long-term average sustainable diversion limits (SDLs) must reflect an ‘environmentally sustainable level of take’. This means that the amount diverted for human use leaves sufficient water for the Basin’s key environmental assets, key ecosystem functions, the productive base and key environmental outcomes — the Basin’s environmental water requirements.”(MDBA Guide 2010, 57)  21 ‘Ecologically Sustainable Development’ is the Australian equivalent of the Canadian term ‘Sustainable Development’. Both terms draw directly on the principles of Our Common Future, the Brundtland report released in 1987. “The fundamental premise of ESD is that economic development must be balanced against the protection of biological diversity, the promotion of equity within and between generations, and the maintenance of essential ecological processes”(Brundtland in McKay 2008, 50).  22 For more on the CoAG reforms see page 44. 52  My analysis suggests that these trends, together with a decade-long drought and significant visible degradation of the MDB ecosystem, led the Commonwealth (the Australian federal government) to embrace, from political perspective, a radical idea: that the environment is both the context of and the foundation for economy and society. Given that this idea mirrors the premise behind ecological governance (that resource management decisions need to be made within the context of ecologically defined limits) I argue that the Basin Plan, while not explicitly recognized as such, represents one of the first attempts at large-scale watershed management restructuring in line with principles of ecological governance. Chapter Summary Synthesizing information from the Commonwealth Water Act of 2007, the Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan (MDBA, 2010), and our meetings with various stakeholders during the drafting stage of the Basin Plan, I describe: (part 2) ecological governance, (part 3) the drivers behind the Plan, (part 4) Commonwealth Water Act of 2007, (part 5) details of the Plan and how it has been developed, and (part 6) perspectives on the Plan from a range of stakeholders – from those at the highest levels crafting the Basin Plan, to those on the ground who will have to live within the newly defined context of the Basin Plan. Throughout this description I highlight how principles of ecological governance have been applied, and questions or issues that have arisen from this application.  Ecological Governance Ecological governance is a term in relative infancy, associated to principles and ideas, but lacking a well- established definition. As with governance more broadly, ecological governance is about decision- making “how we make decisions, and who gets to decide” (Bakker 2007, 16). Ecological governance  incorporates the environment in all levels of decision-making, and treats the environment as central to our lives and our well-being. It recognizes biophysical limits and starts by recognizing the economy as a subset of the ecosystem. (Brandes 2009, 65). Ecological governance in this conceptualization is about transformative change towards the objective of “developing sustainably” with four guiding key concepts: 1. Prevention and precaution 2. Ecosystem-based management 3. Matching authority to jurisdiction 4. Adaptive management    (Brandes et al. 2005, iii; Brandes 2009, 66) 53  These concepts speak to an ideational history linking ecological governance to the field of ecological economics and to complex adaptive systems theory (Gunderson and Holling 2002; Berkes, Colding, and Folke 2003; Levin 1999). The first concept refers to the “precautionary principle”, the idea articulated in Principle 15 of the Earth Summit that: “[w]here there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation” (United Nations 1992). This principle places the onus of proof that an action is not harmful on the agent proposing the change, and assumes prevention of harm to ecosystem integrity is superior to remediation or compensation (Brandes et al 2005, iii). The second concept, ecosystem-based management “adapts economic, political and social processes to fit within the ecosystem, instead of the reverse” (ibid). The emphasis remains on preventing harm, on “controlling human activities and impacts within the limits of ecosystem sustainability, rather than attempting to manage the consequences of this activity after the damage is done” (M’Gonigle 1998, 112). The third concept, “matching authority to jurisdiction” relates to the governance concept of subsidiarity “management of resources at the level closest to the user” (McKay 2006, 117), wherein “local powers must be nested within higher level institutions” that provide accountability, coordination and broader vision (Brandes et al 2005, iii). The fourth concept, adaptive management acknowledges uncertainty in complex systems and turns “policy making into an iterative experiment”; one which requires decision makers “to continuously monitor and integrate appropriate ecological, social, and economic information into management” (Berkes, Colding, and Folke 2003, 187). At its heart ecological governance is about redefining the societal relationship between humanity and nature, about changing our vantage point from without to within, about accepting uncertainty and our lack of control over nature, and focusing instead on fostering societal resilience and adaptability.  Large-scale Structural Reform: How Did They Get Here? The dilemma: hurt now, or hurt more later? Why are the drastic measures in the Plan necessary? Significant environmental degradation coupled with what is considered by experts to be the early onset of climate change mean the Basin has already faced hard times due to lack of adequate water resources (fed rep, MN 51; MDBA, MN 42). Extensive irrigation development during a wet period has contributed to the severity of the current situation (McKay 2005, 36; NSWOW, MN 101).  In the past, human water use accounted for 48% of the total water in the Basin, by 2030 under a median climate, the proportion is expected to rise to 52% or under a 54  dry extreme scenario to 58%23 (MDBA Presentation, slide 4). The Plan is based on a concern that if water use continues along this path the Basin may cross a threshold, flipping into a worsened state (MDBA Guide 2010, xiv). Ecology and complex adaptive systems theory suggest that there are thresholds past which irreparable damage to an ecosystem will cause collapse of the ecosystem services that uphold agricultural production, and therefore pose a real threat to any further economic productivity once they are crossed.  Complex systems organize around one of several possible equilibrium states or attractors. When conditions change, the system’s feedback loops tend to maintain its current state – up to a point. At a certain level of change in conditions (threshold), the system can change very rapidly and even catastrophically (called a flip). Just when such a flip may occur, and the state into which the system will change, are rarely predictable.  (Berkes, Colding and Folke 2006, 5). The premise behind the Plan is that if the ecology of the Basin can be improved through an overall reduction in consumptive water uses and strategic watering of environmental assets, then the Basin will continue to be able to support environmental, social and economic activity over the long-term. It is believed that without the Basin Plan, all three of these functions would be in serious jeopardy (MDBA Guide 2010, xiv). The Plan is extremely costly – 10 Billion of the $12.6 Billion AUD in the federal Water for the Future program is earmarked for the MDB (NSWIC, MN 9) – and will involve significant economic and social hurt to the farmers and communities who live in the Basin. However, structural reformers believe the danger of maintaining the status quo is that the productivity of the Basin could collapse due to further environmental degradation causing considerably more hurt in the long-run.  Drivers of change Three phenomena were brought up in our meetings with stakeholders to explain why such dramatic reform has come about: • Dominance of urban voters • Food security and the changing economic role of agriculture in the Australian economy • Crisis (visible degradation and drought) All of these issues fit within a wider context of redefined government focus on Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) and a long history of water reforms in the Basin24.                                                              23 The numbers behind the percentages based on extensive climate modeling of the Basin:  • Historical Climate: Total water = 23,417 GL, Water use = 11,327 GL • 2030 Median Climate: Total water = 20,936 GL, Water use = 10,876 GL • 2030 Dry Extreme: Total water = 15,524 GL, Water use = 8,962 GL (MDBA Presentation, slide 4).  55  Urban dominance One of the social drivers of change brought up repeatedly in our meetings in Australia is the dominance of urban voters in Australia, a political asymmetry that is seen by some as driving the environmental agenda behind the Basin Plan.  Australia is one of the most urbanized nations in the world (NSWOW, MN 96; Snowy Hydro, MN 58). “Ninety-five percent of Australians live within a hundred miles of the coast, and eighty-five percent in cities” (IWC, MN 19). Since voting in federal, state and local elections is compulsory in Australia, and the voting system is preferential (meaning voters number candidates on their ballot in order of preference), the majority urban Australian voters have a stronger political sway than their rural counterparts (NSWIC, MN 8).  In recent decades, political observers have been “seeing a shift in policy, politicians driven by the majority urban base, a shift to environment” (fed rep, MN 51). The federal representative we spoke to said that since the early to mid-1990s, “awareness and concern about environmental issues in the MDB has grown enormously”(ibid). He was unsure exactly why this trend had come about, though he believed that growing interest was fueled in part by exposure to the MDB’s environmental issues, as highlighted by “NGOs, scientists, and newspaper interests” (ibid).  As discussed in the previous chapter, the Basin is separated geographically from most urban areas by a chain of mountains, with the exception of Adelaide, which sits at the end of the Murray River and is “profoundly reliant” on the river (fed rep, MN 51). This separation contributes to the Basin’s rural residents’ sentiments of frustration with urban voters because they are seen to be driving decisions that will affect the livelihoods of those in the Basin without having to live with the consequences. Interestingly, while we heard frustration with the perceived interference of urban interests in the rural communities of the Basin, there was no denial about the serious environmental issues in the Basin (anonymous; RWGMB, MN 74).  Both rural and urban voters have undergone changes in perceptions over the past two decades of reform, reflecting a broader societal change about embracing the environment (CSIRO, MN 29).  [T]he values that Australians (both urban and rural) ascribe to the natural environment have unequivocally changed since the most energetic phases of the development era. There is now widespread acceptance that one of the legacies of our early enthusiasm to harness resources exclusively for productive or extractive purposes has been widespread environmental degradation. (Crase 2008, 8)                                                                                                                                                                                                24 For more information on these trends see page 44.  56  The Australian meeting participants confirmed the perception that it is agreed upon by both rural and urban voters that there must be change to address environmental issues; from my analysis I conclude that how that change should happen is a far more contentious issue.  Food security and the changing role of agriculture in Australia Ultimately, once implemented, the Basin Plan will mean less water for irrigated agriculture and therefore a contraction of the agricultural sector. This contraction furthers a trend in Australian agriculture towards higher efficiency water uses and a reduction in overall farm land that began during the drought, and is characteristic of a mature water economy (IWC, MN 19; MI, MN 62; NSWIC, MN 10; Musgrave 2008, 39). “There have been serious questions raised by the drought that have shifted the focus from food production to environment”(CSIRO, MN 28).  From a national perspective this contraction appears necessary to ensure long-term sustainability of agriculture in the Basin, and acceptable because of the nation’s high degree of food security. Australia produces enough food to feed 70 to 80 million people (with a population of 22 million), and exports 80% of its agricultural production (CSIRO, MN 28; NSWIC, MN 9). A century of intensive agricultural development and irrigation expansion created a highly productive agricultural system in the Basin, which contributed to this national food security and played a dominant role in the economy until recently. “Where agriculture was once regarded as the foundation of national wealth, it now accounts for as little as 17 percent of export income and only 4.3 percent of Gross Domestic Product”(Crase 2008, 9).  With the new systems perspective has come a different view on agriculture: that Australian farmers are “mining their resource base, depleting nutritional reserves to produce food, then exporting it”(CSIRO, MN 28).  “The changes in watersheds in the Plan will likely decline water allocations by 30-40%, yet this change is expected to only reduce total production by an estimated 5%. While some irrigators will be disappointed, at a total production view” this is seen as reasonable since it will move water away from “low value production” and “relatively inefficient water users” (CSIRO, MN 29).  A move which is in line with the ecosystem-based management premise that “once the ecological limit of a […] watershed is reached, future water demands must be met through increased water ‘productivity’” (Brandes et al 2005, iii). The idea being that in taking a long view the serious environmental issues that jeopardize agricultural production in the Basin as a whole can be addressed, thereby moving the agricultural sector to a size that is workable within ecological limits.  57  Crisis Visible Degradation The high level of river regulation infrastructure across the Basin has allowed for both development of highly productive irrigated agriculture and successful implementation of water markets (NWC, MN 38; NSWIC, MN 4; fed rep, MN 52). However, the costs of river regulation to the Basin’s ecosystems have been high. An ecosystem adapted to an alternating climate of floods and droughts is necessarily maladapted to humanity’s water control and regulation systems. “What we’ve essentially done is take the medium flows out of the environment” (NSWIC, MN 15). The removal of peak flows over the past hundred years has also had a number of negative consequences on the Basin’s ecosystem, the most severe of which have become apparent since the early 1990s (fed rep, MN 51).  Salinity issues, habitat loss, and declining biodiversity in the Basin have been some of the most visible signs of degradation.  Agricultural irrigation has contributed to rising water tables, which are saline in many parts of Australia, mobilizing salts in the soil that can then be “carried by overland flow into surface waters, or leached directly to rivers through baseflows from groundwater”(Letcher and Powell 2008, 24). In terms of habitat and species degradation, key concerns include visible negative impacts on the “Murray Mouth, waterbirds, native fish and river red gums”(MDBA Guide 2010, 111). The complete loss of flow out the mouth of the iconic Murray River has been a particularly disturbing sign, as “rivers die from the mouth back”(MDBA, MN 48).  While “almost all rivers [in NSW] have had natural stoppage at some stage in [the history of] European settlement”, “river regulation without environmental flows [as done in the earlier part of the 20th century] increase[d] the low flows and reduce[d] stoppages, but at the expense of mid-range flows” (NSWOW, MN 100). River regulation has redistributed the flow duration curve, affecting the natural variability and flow regime of rivers (NSWOW, data verification). The lack of flood events (due to river regulation and drought) has had a detrimental effect on the Basin’s many ephemeral wetlands and forests, which are critical breeding habitat for a number of species (MI, MN 66). Since 1983 there has been an 80% decline in water bird populations across the Basin (MDBA Guide 2010, 118). Native fish populations currently stand at approximately 10% of their pre-European settlement levels (MDBA Guide 2010, 115). And, as for river red gums they are dying young25: “[w]hen we’re seeing 500 year old trees keel over, you know there’s a problem”(fed rep, MN 51).  Extraction levels on a number of river systems in the Basin “now exceed the maximum beyond which rivers cannot                                                             25 River red gum trees are reported to live between 500 and 1000 years, putting 500 years at the low end of their lifespan (CSIRO WFHC 2004, 1).  58  be maintained as healthy ecological systems” (Connell 2007, 17). These numerous signs of ecosystem degradation have been observed across the Basin, sparking national concern (Pigram 2007, 151).   Drought: 2006-2007, a year of uncharted scarcity Though visible degradation in the MDB has been occurring since the 1980s, the onset of over a decade of drought has been the more dominant crisis driving water reforms across Australia. Until the 2010-11 floods, there “had not been a truly wet year since 1993” and “the last four years ha[d] been the worst in history by a long way” (fed rep, MN 50). We were told that even though they were on the path to water reform in the 1990s, the real driver for change was the drought (e-Water, MN 26).   The period of crisis pushed change. Australia has always had tremendous variability in climate and water availability. [However] climate change has been hitting and the last 10 years have been the lowest on record or significantly reduced across Australia.  (NWC, MN 36) The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) did a multi-million dollar assessment, the Murray-Darling Basin Sustainable Yield Assessment (MDBSY), to determine whether or not the drought was a result of climate change impacting the Basin, and if so how26. They found that the latest drought was not unprecedented in terms of presence; however the “autumn rains were significantly lower than in past droughts, and the reduction in streamflow was much more severe than observed historically” (CSIRO, MN 33-34).  In particular, the 2006-2007 year of drought revealed serious inadequacies in past water management approaches for dealing with extreme water scarcity in the Basin.  The Snowy Hydro Scheme dams, “the banker of last resort” in the system that supplies the Basin’s irrigation water, reached a record low in 2006, with inflows “60% lower than previous minimum after a ten year dry period”(Snowy Hydro, MN 57-58). Irrigators that had been struggling for years with drought, hit new lows, as the “allocation to irrigation in 2006-2007 went to zero, and General Security licensees in many valleys went 3 years without water”(NSWIC, MN 15). That year the New South Wales Office of Water (NSWOW) didn’t have enough to give high security water. We suspended the standard accounting system and gave out individually just enough water to towns and horticulturalists to keep them alive. We                                                             26 They observed a dramatic reduction in fall rain across the Basin over the last 10 years, resulting in:  • a drier catchment in winter  • the landscape taking longer to wet up and then flow • fewer runoff events • event frequency remained the same, however the size of the events changed (in terms of volume) • higher evaporation losses, reduced streams via runoff. (CSIRO, MN 31).  59  were criticized for infringing on property rights and picking winners. We were under Ministerial rule at the time. We effectively suspended trade, then tried to be socialist and capitalist at the same time. We would give critical water27, set up drought committees locally, then meet to discuss prioritization. We went outside the prescribed provisions of the water sharing plans to make things work28. If you got some water you could trade it on the temporary market and choose to let everything die. 2006 was the first year we turned water sharing plans off. We had never been there before. (NSWOW, MN 103)   Reflecting the extreme scarcity, irrigation water prices in the Basin skyrocketed in 2006 to $1,200 per ML on the temporary market; by comparison in May 2010 they had dropped down to $60 per ML (RWGMB, MN 71).  An exceptionally dry year even by Australian standards, 2006-2007 injected an element of fear into the debates about water reform across the country as dam levels dropped to record lows.  In the words of then Premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie “We were facing a world without water” (Beattie Interview 2009, 2).When speaking to the National Water Commission we heard a similar story, of rapid change impelled by fear: “Everyone has been scared by the last five years and want to be rainfall independent”(NWC, MN 40). The very notion of being rainfall independent, regardless of the high costs of desalination and waste water recycling, demonstrates the extent to which Australian water managers have had to accept uncertainty.  Massive infrastructure projects were undertaken to “drought-proof” urban areas, a new category of water allocation was added to cover Critical Human Needs, and billions of dollars were injected into the water sector (NWC, MN 40; Beattie Interview 2009, 2-3). Despite being at the forefront of water innovation, despite all of the progress made with the best available science, Australian water professionals found themselves in that year beyond any scarcity scenario imagined by those who had designed existing water infrastructure. Climate change projections for the future became realized in the present (CSIRO, MN 34), and 108 years of historical data became largely irrelevant as it was drier than ever recorded (Swainson and de Loë 2011, 66). Such an experience breeds humility, evidenced by the fact that though it had begun to rain by May 2010 most of the experts we spoke to were unwilling to say the drought had broken (e-Water, MN 25; fed rep, MN 50; RWGMB, MN 79; Sydney Water, MN 91). At time of writing, the drought has broken across the Basin.                                                             27 “Critical water”, or what is now called in the water allocation system Critical Human Needs water, in this case was 140L/day/person – “just enough water to run sewerage system basically” (NSWOW, MN 102).   28 The severity of the drought called for special measures and clause 49A(1) of the NSW Water Management Act 2000 was invoked, which allows for “Suspension of management plans during severe water shortages” (NSWOW, data verification).  60  Taking the Leap: Commonwealth Water Act of 2007 That the Commonwealth Water Act of 2007 (Water Act 2007) was developed and passed after this year of scarcity is not surprising given the extremes faced across the country and the harsh prospect of running an industrialized nation without enough water. The economy took a hard hit and people across the nation changed their behaviors and modified their homes to conserve as much water as possible (NSWOW, MN 102; Sydney Water, MN 94). Based on my research findings, the Australian public and politicians alike appear to have been receptive to the transformative changes put forth in the Water Act 2007 precisely because of the scale of the problem and because the consequences of doing nothing were easily imagined by all. Crisis can be an opportunity for transformative change. In the case of the Water Act 2007 it appears from the wording of the act that the opportunity presented by the 2006-2007 year was seized to shed the trappings of the old development paradigm (which were widely perceived to be flawed) in favor of legislatively adopting the ecologically sustainable development paradigm.  The idea that economy and society exist within and are supported by their environment is far from radical in the sustainability field, where “sustainability implies the capacity of ecological systems to support social and economic systems” (Berkes, Colding, and Folke 2006, 2). What is radical in the Australian case is how far the Commonwealth has gone in acting on this idea with regards to their water resources in the Water Act 2007. In a rare show of partisan unity, the Water Act 2007 was passed to transform the way the Murray-Darling Basin is managed (fed rep, MN 49).   To address the mounting challenges in the Basin, the Commonwealth recognized the Basin as a national priority and took on a much stronger role with the consent of the states (NWC, MN 36-37; fed rep, MN 53; Water Act 2007). The objects of the act are listed verbatim in Box 2 (Water Act 2007, part 1, section 3) and demonstrate how the relationship to water resources in the Basin is being redefined to include consideration of a balance between human and ecosystem needs. I see two main implications that can flow from the idea above. The first is that past approaches to water management in the Basin are recognized as inadequate to support the long-term viability of the Basin’s economy because they do not prioritize ecosystem health as a necessary condition for continued productivity. The extreme drought experience of 2006-2007 exposed flaws in these past approaches, often rooted in a political system biased towards short-sighted economic and social interests to the detriment of the environment (MDBA Guide 2010, xiv; Connell 2007, 42). As a result, it was concluded that massive structural reforms were required to shift the Basin towards a future of sustainable water 61  management that integrates ecosystem rehabilitation with optimization of human water use (NWC, MN 38; DEWHA, MN 46). The second implication is that governments must take on greater water stewardship roles to protect the environment as a base for economy and society. Taking an integrative approach, the water reform process laid out in the Water Act 2007 targets the environmental, social and economic health of the Basin and is a collaboration between the Commonwealth and Basin states “to restore the environmental health of the Basin and redress past decisions”(MDBA Guide 2010, xi).          3 Objects The objects of this Act are: (a) to enable the Commonwealth, in conjunction with the Basin States, to manage the Basin water resources in the national interest; and (b) to give effect to relevant international agreements (to the extent to which those agreements are relevant to the use and management of the Basin water resources) and, in particular, to provide for special measures, in accordance with those agreements, to address the threats to the Basin water resources; and (c) in giving effect to those agreements, to promote the use and management of the Basin water resources in a way that optimises economic, social and environmental outcomes; and (d) without limiting paragraph (b) or (c): (i) to ensure the return to environmentally sustainable levels of extraction for water resources that are overallocated or overused; and (ii) to protect, restore and provide for the ecological values and ecosystem services of the Murray-Darling Basin (taking into account, in particular, the impact that the taking of water has on the watercourses, lakes, wetlands, ground water and water-dependent ecosystems that are part of the Basin water resources and on associated biodiversity); and (iii) subject to subparagraphs (i) and (ii)—to maximise the net economic returns to the Australian community from the use and management of the Basin water resources; and (e) to improve water security for all uses of Basin water resources; and (f) to ensure that the management of the Basin water resources takes into account the broader management of natural resources in the Murray-Darling Basin; and (g) to achieve efficient and cost effective water management and administrative practices in relation to Basin water resources; and (h) to provide for the collection, collation, analysis and dissemination of information            about: (i) Australia’s water resources; and (ii) the use and management of water in Australia.  Box 2.  Objects of Australia’s Water Act 2007 62  Changing course: redefining the relationship between society and environment in the Basin Plan The Basin Plan represents a fundamental shift in the nation’s understanding of the interaction between environment, economy and society. “States did what they did in the past to maximize outcomes” without understanding the long-term environmental consequences (MDBA, MN 42). In contrast, the Plan recognizes that the continued productivity of the Basin is dependent on a realignment of the consumptive uses of water within ecologically defined limits (MDBA, MN 44) – essentially, an ecological governance approach. The Plan “is about getting water back to the environment and giving security to people about their water reliability and risk assignment”(NWC, MN 37; Water Act 2007, Part 1, section 3 (e), (d)). The Basin Plan will cut percentages off of all water allocations29 across the Basin to reduce consumptive uses to sustainable diversion levels and allocate a larger share of water to the environment in an effort to restore ecosystem health and protect long-term economic viability. The gap between this new cap and existing licenses in overallocated regions30 is being addressed in two ways: environmental water buy-backs by the Commonwealth and efficiency improvements (MDBA, MN 43; MDBA Guide 2010, xii). By such an approach it is believed that the Basin will be able to continue to benefit from ecosystem services31 supported by its waters in the future; an pressing matter given the poor state of ecosystems across the Basin (20 out of 23 catchments in the Basin “are in ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ ecosystem health” (MDBA Guide 2010, xv)). In line with many of the principles of ecological governance and ‘developing sustainably’, the Water Act 2007 states that the Basin Plan must be developed in accordance with the following principles of ecologically sustainable development, as defined therein:   (2) The following principles are principles of ecologically sustainable development: (a) decision-making processes should effectively integrate both long-term and short-                                                                29 The percentage of cut is locally defined by sub-catchment regions based on their degree of overallocation and river health and ranges from 0 to 45% of current diversion levels; Paroo is the exception, as the one region which is not overallocated and will not have any cuts (MDBA, MN 43; MDBA Guide 2010, xxiv).   30According to the Water Act 2007 “there is an overallocation for a water resource plan area if, with full development of water access rights in relation to the water resources of the area, the total volume of water able to be extracted by the holders of water access rights at a given time exceeds the environmentally sustainable level of take for those water resources” (Part 1, section 4).  31 Ecosystem services are the “benefits people obtain from ecosystems. The rivers, floodplains and wetlands of the Murray-Darling Basin provide many important ecosystem services. These include clean water, food, timber, livestock production, flood control and mitigation, groundwater replenishment, sediment and nutrient retention and transport, reservoirs of biodiversity, cultural values, and recreation and tourism”(MDBA Guide 2010, 59). 63  term economic, environmental, social and equitable considerations; (b) if there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full  scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation; (c) the principle of inter-generational equity—that the present generation should ensure  that the health, biodiversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or  enhanced for the benefit of future generations; (d) the conservation of biodiversity and ecological integrity should be a fundamental  consideration in decision-making; (e) improved valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms should be promoted.    (Water Act 2007, Part 1, section 4) Spelled out in these principles are many of the concepts of ecological governance: the need for decision- making to integrate across time-scales and triple bottom line dimensions in 2(a), the precautionary principle in 2(b), the principle of intergeneration equity that involves protection of natural capital in 2(c),  the consideration of ecological integrity central to ecosystem-based management in 2(d), and the need for valuation mechanisms that promote accurate feedback (necessary for adaptive management) in 2(e).  To meet these ambitious objectives the Commonwealth took over the lead in the Basin’s water politics, a shift from historical leadership by the Basin states.  Commonwealth takes the lead: Murray-Darling Basin Authority Coordinating such a massive integrated water resource plan requires high level leadership, which is why the Commonwealth intervened and took the lead in the Basin’s water resources management by invoking its constitutional powers over external affairs and international treaty-making (CSIRO, MN 31; NSWIC, MN 10; NWC, MN 36-37; MDBA, MN 43; Water Act 2007, Part 1, sections 3(a), 3(b)).In our Australian meetings, the international obligation most often cited as a constitutional justification for the Commonwealth’s takeover of leadership was the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands32 (NSWIC, MN 10; CSIRO, MN 30; MDBA, MN 43; fed rep, MN 51). Thus, federal jurisdiction was expanded by the Water Act 2007, as the Commonwealth took control of Basin-wide water management, founded the Murray- Darling Basin Authority (MDBA or the Authority), and legislated the creation of the Basin Plan (Water Act 2007, Part 2, Div 1).                                                              32 A 40-year-old agreement, the Ramsar Convention calls upon signatory nations (including Australia and Canada) to recognize the critical roles that wetlands play in an ecosystem’s health, to protect and conserve these functions, and to promote “wise use”32 of wetlands (Ramsar Convention website). “Wise use” is defined as the “sustainable utilisation [of wetlands] for the benefit of humankind in a way compatible with the maintenance of the natural properties of the ecosystem”(ibid). 64  The Authority is the first body to be made responsible for integrated water management of the entire Basin and is charged with crafting the Basin Plan (MDBA website, 2008; IA, MN 84). While in the past water management in the Basin was controlled through agreements between the Basin states and the Commonwealth with the states holding primary powers, the important change that distinguishes the MDBA from previous inter-governmental agencies in the MDB, “is that powers were referred to the Commonwealth completely (not going through CoAG)” (NWC, MN 37).  According to MDBA’s Chief Executive Officer Rob Freeman, their first priority in this planning process is the environment, and their second priority is taking care of the triple bottom line (MDBA, MN 44). What this means is that ecosystem rehabilitation and restoration of the productive base comes before decision-making about trade-offs between economy, society, and environment. “Scientifically it makes a lot of sense to put environment first to ensure the health of the system, then optimize the social and economic outputs” (MDBA, MN 44). Behind the sensibility of the approach, lies a legal mandate to prioritize environmental water needs over consumptive uses, as the Water Act 2007 explicitly states the “environmentally sustainable level of take” (or the Sustainable Diversion Limit), “must not compromise: key ecosystem functions, key environmental assets, productive base of the water resource, [or] key environmental outcomes for the water resource” (MDBA Guide 2010, xvii). While in the past objections to such transformative change envisioned in the Plan would likely have been halted purely on the basis of short-term economic interests, the Water Act 2007 seeks to overcome the limitations of such partisan decision-making by pairing science-based decision-making with political judgments and compensation payable to affected parties.  Balancing act: science-based policy paired with political judgment One of the most interesting features of the Water Act 2007 is how it distributes decision-making power to deal with the more intractable difficulties that arise when complex socio-ecological problems are dealt with by democratic governments made up of elected representatives (many with an interest in being re-elected). In his book Water Politics in the Murray-Darling Basin, Daniel Connell identified three issues, raised as parallels in the MDB to the salinization of Western Australia’s wheat belt, to illustrate the need for a new approach to decision-making in the Basin: First is the capacity or lack of it, of the political system to take account of relevant research. Second are implications for the definition of sustainability. Social and economic factors need to be considered along with environmental ones but […] it is not simply a matter of balancing one against the other to get a result that is politically acceptable. If the biophysical dimension is not taken into account to the extent needed to achieve an acceptable level of sustainability, 65  continued environmental decline will eventually overwhelm the short-term benefits to be gained by focusing on social and economic concerns. Third is the difficulty involved in making decisions to provide long-term benefits to society in general and future generations at the expense of particular groups and individuals in the present. (italics mine, 2007, 21-22) To address these issues the decision-making process outlined in the Water Act 2007 is designed to provide a system of checks and balances to ensure that: a) the hard decision would be made (despite any political difficulties); b) scientific experts would set the acceptable range of cut needed to meet environmental objectives; and c) politicians would decide on whether or not the details of the Plan are socially and economically acceptable. The requirements of the Basin Plan are legislated by the Water Act 2007 (Water Act 2007, Part 2, Division 1, Section 22).  The boundaries for action are determined by the MDBA (MDBA, MN 43), whose task is primarily a technical one – integrating the “best available science” on environmental, social and economic variables into a plan of action equal to meeting the challenge of maintaining an ecologically viable and productive Basin (NSWOW, MN 98). Finally, the federal Minister for Water must decide on the acceptability of socio-economic consequences33 within the scientifically defined range of acceptable environmental outcomes. “On issues of fact or science in the Plan, governments cannot change the [Plan’s] aspect. If it’s an issue of judgment the minister can request a change (for example, they could vary the SDL, but would have to publish in both houses to do so)”(MDBA, MN 44). The one way to overcome this division of power would be for the Water Act 2007 to be thrown out; however, as we were told by Rob Freeman: “the government has been so bold, the world is interested now”, making that scenario unlikely (MDBA, MN 45).  The clear delineation of roles in this process is in keeping with the trust in experts discussed in the previous chapter – as the determination of what is ‘fact’ and what is ‘judgment’ are assumed to be obvious. To a certain degree there is clarity, given that the Basin Plan is being developed based on “the best available science” and science is being used to set boundaries (such as the range of water needed to protect environmental assets) within which politicians can make decisions about social and economic trade-offs (MDBA, MN 44; fed rep, MN 51). Significant investment has been made by the Commonwealth and states in research to support the Basin Plan, including CSIRO’s $30 million dollar Murray-Darling Sustainable Yield Assessment (MDBSY) project, whose “sole purpose was to provide the best available data and consistent data sets for policymakers to make decisions”(CSIRO, MN 30). Even with the extensive scientific base that has been used to create the Basin Plan, the MDBA acknowledges                                                             33 Note, “socio-economic related objectives are to be pursued to the extent they do not compromise other objects of the Act (such as ensuring a return to environmentally sustainable levels of extraction” (MDBA Presentation to Canadians, 12).  66  the limits of scientific knowledge and is careful to recognize where judgments are being made, and has built in provisions to allow for adaptive management based on new knowledge in the future (MDBA, MN 44; MDBA Guide 2010, xvi, 184). In keeping with the precautionary principle, the Authority is attempting to do the best they can with what information they have to redress the environmental degradation that resulted from previous understandings of the Basin (MDBA, MN 43; fed rep, MN 51). Rather than reacting “to uncertainty with denial” (Schwartz 1991, 3) and inaction, the Authority’s intention is to take a “long view”, using scenarios and the best available information to develop options for how to confront the uncertainties surrounding water management in the MDB (MDBA Guide 2010, xxii). Requirements for the Basin Plan The need to ‘restore balance’ in the Basin is paramount, therefore the Water Act 2007 sets out specific requirements for the Basin Plan, which I have summarized in Table 6 (Water Act 2007, Part 2, Div 1, Section 22). These requirements specify the various stages in the Basin planning process; from descriptions of existing resources and uses (item 1) through to compliance measures (item 13).  As the lead institution, the MDBA must decide on three broad issues:  1. Determine the environmental water requirement – “the amount of water needed for the environment […] to protect, restore and provide for the ecological values and ecosystem services of the Basin”(MDBA Guide 2010, xii)  2. Set the long-term average Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDLs) – on a regional basis.   3. Advise the Commonwealth on “appropriate transitional arrangements to SDLs” and its share of the costs for returning water to the environment based on the risk allocation framework in the National Water Initiative (see Figure 6) (ibid).    If, as I contend,  the Basin Plan is an example of ecological governance, then the requirements in Table 6 represent a ‘how-to’ of ecological governance – a road map of their attempt to restore balance. Recognizing that to create a truly integrated plan for the Basin would require extensive data gathering, analysis, planning and monitoring the requirements for the Plan have been laid out in the order in which they should be developed. Beginning with description of the water resources, uses, and social context (item 1), moving on to definition of planning parameters (appropriate planning units and timing) (item 2), identification of risks (item 3), establishment of management objectives (item 4), development of risk management strategies (item 5), definition of changes required (EWRs, SDLs) (items 6 and 7), measures to determine compliance (item 8), plans for implementation (items 9 and 10), criteria for regional plan accreditation (item 11), regulatory changes to enable trading (item 12), and finally evaluation and monitoring criteria (item 13).  67  Table 6. Summary of Murray-Darling Basin Plan Requirements in Section 22 of Water Act 2007      Item Matter to be included in Basin Plan Details  1 Description of Basin’s water resources and the context of their use.  (a) Water resources (size, extent, connectivity, variability, and condition) (b) Uses of water resources (c) Users of water resources (d) Social and economic circumstances of Basin communities dependent on water resources.     2 Definition of “water resource plan areas” and “water accounting periods” Planning areas and accounting periods which “must, far as possible, be aligned with the areas and accounting periods provided for in or under State water management law"       3 Identification of risks “to the condition, or continued availability of the Basin water resources” Including risks from: (a) “the taking and use of water” (b) “the effects of climate change” (c) “changes to land use” (d) “the limitations on the state of knowledge on the basis of which estimates about matters relating to Basin water resources are made”       4 Management objectives and outcomes Must address: (a) “environmental outcomes” (b) “water quality and salinity” (c) “long-term average sustainable diversion limits and temporary diversion limits” (d) “trading in water access rights”       5  Risk management strategies To address the risks identified in item 3 and related “to the management of Basin water resources.”       6 Determination of “long-term average sustainable diversion limits” (SDLs) “The maximum long-term annual average quantities of water that can be taken, on a sustainable basis, from: (a) The Basin water resources as a whole; and  (b) The water resources, or particular parts of the water resources, of each water resource plan area.”       7  Determination of “temporary diversion provisions” and “long-term annual average limit[s]” Temporary diversion provisions are “the long-term average quantities of water that may, on a temporary basis, be taken year by year form the water resources, or particular parts of the water resources, in addition to” SDLs. The long-term annual diversion limit is the sum of the SDL and temporary diversion provision for a given water resource.       8 A method for determining compliance with SDLs and “the extent of any failure to comply with that limit” “The method must include provision for accounting for any trading, or transfer, of tradeable water rights.”        9 An environmental watering plan “Must comply with section 28” of the Water Act.       10 A water quality and salinity management plan “Must comply with section 25” of the Water Act.       11 The requirements that a water resource plan must comply with to be accredited or adopted “The requirements must relate to matters that are relevant to the sustainable use and management of the water resources of the water resource area” and the Subsection (3) requirements must be included.       12 “Rules for trading or transfer of tradeable water rights” These must contribute “to achieving the Basin water market and trading objectives and principles” and deal with inter-state water rights trading.       13 “A program for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the Basin Plan”  The program “must include”: • “principles to be applied and the framework to be used to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the Basin Plan”  • “reporting requirements for the Commonwealth and Basin States” • “5 yearly reviews of: (a) the water quality and salinity targets in the water quality and salinity management plan; and (b) the environmental watering plan.” 68  The Murray-Darling Basin Plan: Realigning Human and Environmental Water Needs The goal of the Basin Plan Should the changes in the proposed Basin Plan be implemented, the expectation by the MDBA is that they would “result in a significant improvement in the environmental health of the Basin and provide a more predictable base for continued economic production, creating a foundation for stronger, more resilient communities”(MDBA Guide 2010, xxxi). From my perspective, the Basin Plan signifies a new way to define relationship between society, environment, and economy in the Basin – one that takes into account the inherent complexity and uncertainty that exist in the interactions between these components of the Basin system, and which recognizes the need for increased buffers and adaptive management.  Key outcomes The Plan lays out four key outcomes that speak to the nature of the transformation being aimed for: • Water dependent ecosystems would become more resilient, and “would be more able to withstand short- and long-term changes in watering regimes resulting from a more variable and changing climate”(MDBA Guide 2010, xxxii). • Further water quality degradation would be avoided, so that “use of Basin water resources would not be adversely affected by water quality, including salinity levels”(ibid).  • “There would be improved clarity in water management arrangements in the Basin, providing improved certainty of access to the available resource”(MDBA Guide 2010, xxxiii). • Societal resilience would be improved, as “Basin entitlement holders and communities would be better adapted to reduced available water”(ibid). How it works: details of the Basin Plan Environmental water requirements The Authority’s first question in developing the Plan was “How do we redefine sustainable taking”34(MDBA, MN 42)? Extensive monitoring, research and synthesis had to be undertaken in order to answer this question on a catchment-by-catchment basis for the entire Basin. Figure 8 shows the key                                                             34“environmentally sustainable level of take for a water resource means the level at which water can be taken from that water resource which, if exceeded, would compromise: (a) key environmental assets of the water resource; or (b) key ecosystem functions of the water resource; or (c) the productive base of the water resource; or (d) key environmental outcomes for the water resource.”(Water Act 2007, Part 1, Section 4) 69  elements of the Basin Plan, including two separate streams of research (one environmental, the other social and structural) used to inform the environmental watering plan, the sustainable diversion limits, and the water quality and salinity management plan. The following quote outlines the Authority’s process for determining environmental watering requirements: • [they] established the hydrologic characteristics of an environmentally healthy Basin • created a robust methodology to determine the water required for an environmentally healthy Basin • used this methodology to determine the Basin’s environmental watering requirements.  (MDBA Guide 2010, 58)  Using the assessment process35 laid out in their methodology, the Authority: • Identified and prioritized 2,442 key environmental assets36 across the Basin; and out of these designated 106 hydrologic indicator sites and assessed their water needs (MDBA Guide 2010, 57). • Identified 4 key ecosystem functions37 relevant to the entire Basin: o creation and maintenance of habitats for use by plants and animals o transportation and dilution of nutrients, organic matter and sediment o provision of connections along the river and downstream for migration and recolonisation by plants and animals o provision of connections across floodplains, adjacent wetlands and billabongs for foraging, migration and recolonisation by plants and animals. (MDBA Guide 2010, 62)  • Further defined the productive base38 (MDBA Guide 2010, 57) • Defined key environmental outcomes39 (ibid). Using this information, the MDBA applied the following method to determine environmental water requirements (EWRs). First, they identified a range of flow regimes for the indicator sites (such as                                                             35 The assessment process is described in more detail in Chapter 6 ‘Determining the environmental water requirements of the Basin’ of the Guide to the proposed Basin Plan (MDBA, 2010).   36Key environmental assets “these include the rivers, lakes, billabongs, wetlands, groundwater-system floodplains and their flood-dependent forest sand the estuary of the Basin. The term encompasses water-dependent ecosystems, ecosystem services and sites with ecological significance” (MDBA Guide 2010, 59).  37 Key ecosystem functions are defined as: “the fundamental physical, chemical and biological processes that support the Basin’s environmental assets; for example, the transport of nutrients, organic matter and sediment in rivers, wetting and drying cycles [etc]”(MDBA Guide 2010, 59).  38Productive base “the support offered by ecosystems to human economic and social production”(MDBA Guide 2010, 59)  39Key environmental outcomes “are defined in the Water Act to include ecosystem functions, biodiversity, water quality and water resource health”(MDBA Guide 2010, 59). 70  Chowilla and Banrock, which are RAMSAR indicator habitats) (MDBA, MN 43). Second, they converted these requirements to cover the catchment scale. Finally, they assessed the current distribution of water between environmental and consumptive uses in each catchment (MDBA Guide 2010, 71).   Figure 8.  Key Elements Used in the Development of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan   The resulting range of surface water needed to meet environmental requirements across the Basin is between 3,000 GL/y and 7,600 GL/y on a long-term average basis (MDBA Guide 2010, 73).   Table 7 shows the change in distribution between environmental and consumptive uses proposed by the Basin Plan as compared to current levels of use. When combined with the results of research on socio- economic impacts of the range of reductions, the Authority determined that “only with reductions in current diversion limits in the range of 3,000-4,000 GL/y can it optimise social, economic and environmental outcomes” while protecting, restoring and maintaining the ecological health of the Basin as required by the Water Act 2007 (MDBA Guide 2010, 100). In addition, the groundwater component ranges from 99GL/y to 227 GL/y (MDBA Guide 2010, xix).   Source:  Murray-Darling Basin Authority (May 2010 Presentation) 71  Table 7.  Changes to Distribution of Environmental and Consumptive Uses for Surface Water40  Sustainable diversion limits In the Plan, long-term average Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDLs) are defined as “the amount of water which can be used for consumption after the environmental requirements have been met” (MDBA Guide 2010, xxi). They are applied to all forms of water extraction, including watercourse diversions, interceptions, and groundwater (MDBA Guide 2010, 101). SDLs are one of the mandatory outcomes of the Basin Plan under section 22 of the Water Act, along with outcomes that address environmental, water quality and salinity issues (MDBA Guide 2010, 7).  The setting of SDLs is done on a regional basis (across 29 surface-water SDL areas), and focuses on the environmental assets in each region rather than on the individuals who will be impacted by the SDL (MDBA, MN 44; MDBA Guide 2010, xxii).  For instance, rivers in good health (such as the Paroo River) will not have to limit water takings (MDBA, MN 43). “A principle of equitable sharing of any reductions in water availability between consumptive and environmental uses has been adopted by the Authority to address the current situation in which most water resource plans are biased significantly towards allocation for consumption under drier future climates”(MDBA Guide 2010, 106). At the catchment level, SDLs must provide adequate water for the health of local water-dependent ecosystems, while ensuring that the region’s critical human water needs are met (MDBA Guide 2010, 106-107).   When we met with Rob Freeman at MDBA, he expressed to us that it was “important [that] the public understands that this is not the done thing, that there is leeway within the range of environmental water requirements”(MDBA MN 44).  Going into the consultation phase with SDLs based on “the best available science”, the final decision on which of these scenarios to propose in the Basin Plan will rest in part on what is heard from people across the Basin.                                                             40 Our water management tour took place in May 2010, prior to the release of the Basin Plan numbers; therefore the numbers in Table 1 (and the rest of the section) have been taken directly from the Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan (MDBA, 2010). Full elaboration on how EWRs and SDLs were determined is beyond the scope of this chapter, but can be found in Chapters 6 and 8 of the Guide.    Environmental Water  Consumptive Use Target range 22,100  – 26,700 GL/y n/a Current  19,100 GL/y 13,700 GL/y  Proposed Change 22,100 – 23,100 GL/y   (EWR) 9,700 GL/y – 10,700 GL/y  (SDL) 72  Closing the gap The gap between the cap and existing licenses in overallocated catchments is being addressed in two ways under the Commonwealth’s $12.6 billion Water for the Future program: environmental water buy- backs (Restoring the Balance in the Murray-Darling Basin program) and efficiency improvements (Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure program) (DEWHA, MN 46; MDBA Guide 2010, 99). The federal Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC)41 is responsible for the buyback of water entitlements; its objective is to reduce the gap and create a pool of environmental water licenses that can be used to further environmental watering objectives across the Basin (DEWHA, data verification).   A Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) was established under the Water Act 2007 to “manage the Commonwealth environmental water holdings” and “to administer the Environmental Water Holdings Special Account” for the purpose of “protecting or restoring the environmental assets of the Murray-Darling” and “other areas outside the [MDB] where the Commonwealth holds water” (Part 6, Div. 1, s. 106).  The CEWH works closely with DSEWPC, as they manage the entitlements purchased by the Department along with their other holdings (DEWHA, MN 45-46; DEWHA, data verification).  Putting environmental water to work In the terminology of the Plan, there are two different kinds of environmental water. The first is planned environmental water – unlicensed water dedicated, for example, to maintaining minimum flows for conveyance (DEWHA, MN 45). Planned water is always released first, and then allocation water is released in order of priority, typically with licenses for ‘critical human needs’ ahead of other categories of use (DEWHA, MN 47). The second kind is held environmental water, the Environmental Water Licenses which are bought and sold on the water market as either allocations or entitlements (DEWHA, MN 46). No distinction is made between environmental water entitlements and other water entitlements – they are all shares in the common pool of available water determined yearly by each state (NWC, MN 40)42 .  Held water can be used for different environmental watering actions, or simply to remove water entitlements from the system, which can help to balance the activation issue with sleeper and dozer water rights43 (NSWIC, MN 10).                                                              41Formerly, the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA).  42Though environmental water sometimes trades at lower rates than water for other uses (DEWHA, MN 47).  73   The collaboration between the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder and DSEWPC allows for a Basin-wide approach that “enables the development of multiple benefits”(DEWHA, MN 45). Through the $3.1 billion Restoring the Balance in the Basin program, DSEWPC can buy-back environmental water in different regions, helping the CEWH to orchestrate watering actions with potential synergistic effects. Additional water is obtained by the Commonwealth through the Sustainable Rural Water and Infrastructure program, as all water savings due to these efficiency improvements are split equally between the CEWH and irrigators (DEWHA, MN 46).   The CEWH determines how to use environmental water based on five main criteria: ecological significance (such as RAMSAR listed wetlands), expected ecological outcomes (such as the creation of drought refuges), the “potential risks of the proposed watering action”, “long-term sustainability of the asset(s) including appropriate management arrangements”, and “the cost-effectiveness and operational feasibility of undertaking the watering” (DEWHA, MN 46; DEWHA , data verification; CEWH website 2011)44. Basin states submit proposals to the CEWH on environmental watering actions, and then they go through an assessment process to determine where and when they will use the held water (ibid).  An example of a watering action that took place in early 2010 was an augmentation of 20,000ML to Lake Albert in South Australia, which took advantage of a big flood even in the North (ibid). The system is flexible enough that if the DSEWPC buys the wrong kind of water entitlement, the CEWH can sell it back and buy other kinds within the trading parameters set out in the Water Act 2007 (Part 6, Div. 1) to meet changing objectives (ibid).  Transitional arrangements and risk allocation The National Water Initiative (NWI) recognized that difficult reform decisions would have to be made and established a risk framework to define the distribution of harm across different stakeholders based                                                                                                                                                                                                43 “Sleeper” refers to landholders with water rights originally attached to their land that never used their licensed water (Quiggin 2008, 70). “Dozer” refers to landholders with water licenses who used their water at one point, but have since ceased to use it (ibid). When water became tradeable many of those who possessed licenses that were not being used began to use or trade their water creating an activation problem whereby supply shortages were aggravated by new users (RWGMB, MN 73; NSWIC, MN 8).   44 For more information on the decision-making framework for environmental watering actions see the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder’s website (http://www.environment.gov.au/water/policy- programs/cewh/criteria-2010-11.html) and A Framework for Determining Commonwealth Environmental Watering Actions (2009) (http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/action/pubs/cehw-framework.pdf).   74  on the assessment of a water risk’s origins. Figure 6 shows the total risk distribution across stakeholders according to the different types of risks identified in individual clauses of the NWI’s risk framework.  With regards to the Basin Plan, the MDBA is responsible for assigning the risk distribution based on scientific estimates of risk causation. We were told this essentially means the “MDBA gets to decide how much the Commonwealth will pay for within the Risk Assessment Framework”(MDBA, MN 45). Since our visit in May 2010, the following transition arrangements have been proposed in the Guide to the Basin Plan.  Realizing that this will be a difficult transition for the people of the Basin, the Commonwealth “has indicated it will buy the gap between the final SDLs and the current diversion limits for surface water”(MDBA Guide 2010, xxix).  By 2014, an estimated 2,000 GL/yr will have been acquired through Water for the Future buy-backs and efficiency improvements (ibid); meaning the gap will consist of roughly an additional 1,000 to 2,000 GL/y. The Commonwealth has taken the approach of buying from “willing sellers” (MDBA, MN 42), therefore this generous offer to buy back the remainder will only work if there are enough willing sellers taking up the opportunity. “Should there be any remaining gap when resource plans are implemented – for example from insufficient willing sellers – the proposed risk allocation provisions will be triggered”(MDBA Guide 2010, xxviii). If individual entitlement holders do not decide to sell enough entitlements back to the government, then they will collectively have to bear their portion of the risk created by water reductions, including the 3% attributed to climate change in the Guide to the proposed Basin Plan (MBDA Guide 2010, 34) and any risks created by improvement of knowledge up to 2014 (see Figure 6 in Context Chapter).   What is missing from this picture, in terms of compensation, are the knock-on or flow-on effects45 to the communities and industries in the Basin. Though the Commonwealth has stepped up and offered to buy back the gap, at considerable expense, most likely they will only be compensating water users (NSWOW, MN 98). How individual communities will bear the burden of an overall reduction in availability of irrigation water remains to be seen.                                                                45 So-called “knock-on effects” (or “flow-on effects” as they are called in Australia) are defined as “effects on other variables or sectors derived from changes in activity in one variable or sector” (OECD Glossary of Statistical Terms). In economics the term refers to indirect, or trickle-down economic impacts that result from a direct change to one sector.   75  On the Ground: Reactions to the Basin Plan In this section I explore some of the issues raised on the ground by those who will ultimately have to live with the consequences of this newly defined relationship in the Basin Plan. We met with stakeholders in the first two weeks of May 2010, during the “legal drafting” period in which the proposed Basin Plan was developed. Due to the timing of our visit, prior to the beginning of widespread consultation, many of the stakeholders we visited at lower levels felt in the dark as to what to expect from the Basin Plan and expressed a high degree of uncertainty as to its potential impacts (MI, MN 66, 64; RWGMB, MN 72, 81; IA, MN 87). Potential impacts The following issues with the Basin Plan were raised based on the idea that there would be some percentage cut across irrigation allocations, however with no knowledge of the magnitude of that cut.  Devaluation of assets may undermine irrigator credit One concern, raised by Brian Simpson, CEO of the Riverina Wine Grape Growers Marketing Board, is that the Basin Plan’s devaluation of water assets, may undermine the credit base established through past water market reforms (RWGMB, MN 74).  When water rights were separated from land in earlier reforms, “land crashed in value, so [Town] Councils kept value by making it about the infrastructure linkages” (MI, MN 61). Water was given a high value (by the creation of water markets), and became an irrigation farmer’s most valuable asset (NSWIC, MN 14). “Banks are now nervous because they gave credit [to irrigators] based on water entitlements, and are now realizing this asset is less secure than they thought” (RWGMB, MN 74). When the Basin Plan cuts come off the top of irrigators entitlements, their assets will be devalued, which could have the unintended consequence of forcing people to re- mortgage or even to exit farming. This concern has also been expressed in the Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan, where the differential impact of water asset devaluation was acknowledged (MDBA Guide 2010, 88); however, until the Basin Plan is implemented there is no way of knowing with certainty how the devaluation of assets will affect irrigators’ credit across the Basin, or what the cumulative effects of all irrigators’ assets being devalued will be. Pocketing effect While buying back the gap between existing entitlements and the new SDLs may be the best solution the Commonwealth can find for easing the transition, on the ground we heard frustration from irrigators over the lack of coordination between Commonwealth environmental water buy-backs ($3.1 Billion Restoring the Balance in the Basin program) and infrastructure investments ($5.8 Billion Sustainable 76  Rural Water and Infrastructure program) (NSWIC, MN 15; Irrigator, MN 77). The lack of coordination between these two investment programs under the Water for the Future initiative has created what irrigators are calling a ‘pocketing’ or ‘Swiss-cheese’ effect; as infrastructure in an area may be improved only to have less irrigators using water on that system, making pockets of inefficiency in the system where infrastructure is improved then goes unused.  Because they had a ‘no regrets policy’, the cost is that viable agricultural areas have now been ‘pocketed’ because other neighbouring irrigators have sold out – leaving a less efficient system. They could have structured it differently, for example by shutting down the least effective agricultural areas. (NSWIC, MN 15) At the supply management level, when asked by van der Gulik whether or not the government was “facilitating who shuts down and sells out”, Murrumbidgee Irrigation representatives replied: It’s hard to do (this social engineering) given their swiss cheese distribution of irrigators… [Though] given the high costs for keeping a farmer going at the end of a long line where everyone else had sold off, we might try to negotiate to get them off the system and shut it down. (MI, MN 62) To the Canadian trip participants it appeared as though “social engineering (in terms of deciding on optimal regions to save and who to buy out) was not happening because it is in conflict with their free market approach and individual choice”(post-MI, MN 66).   Stakeholder perceptions As evidenced by our discussions with stakeholders, the dialogue about balancing environmental and human water uses has been a sensitive issue, as demonstrated in the following response by the CEO of the NSW Irrigator’s Council (NSWIC) to Warwick-Sears question:   WS: What is their [(irrigators)] main problem with the Plan? AG: Their problem with the Plan is that it basically takes a ‘just add water’ approach to environmental issues. The problem is that it is more complicated than that (for example, in terms of land use)… The problem is that they [MDBA] are not balancing environmental, economic, and social needs – they are setting environmental needs then figuring out who should take the percentage hit in [water allocation] reductions based on environmental and social studies. The optimal solution would be considering the balance of all three at the get go.  This comment echoes the most frequently expressed and infuriating issue that was brought up in our meetings with those who will be impacted: the idea that the Commonwealth had mislead people by saying that they were going to balance environmental, economic and social needs.  The [Water] Act defines a balanced ‘front end’ approach (social, economic and environment), however the detail contained within it focuses on environment only. In key areas, this is not like 77  the version we all saw before being passed – it contains significant flaws. (MI MV Water Forum 21 April 2010, 15) If, as I suggest, the Australian government has adopted an ecological governance approach to water management in the MDB, then these frustrations point to a lack of acceptance (or even awareness) of this idea – that ecological limits define the context within which social and economic decisions must be made – on the part of these stakeholders.  Yet another point of tension may also help to explain this dominant frustration: the sense that the sacrifices that have already been made by those on the ground for the environment are unacknowledged by the urban voting base.  Major disconnect between country and city. It used to be everyone had a country cousin; nowadays people don’t even know oranges grow on trees. Sydney doesn’t realize the conservation that’s going on in the country. It’s just wrong to leave grapes on vines. (RWGMB, MN 74). The Basin Plan is putting a lot of investment decisions on hold. Farmers don’t want to lose a drop, feel they have already given enough to the environment. (RWGMB, MN 71) There are further concerns on the ground that the nuances of MDB irrigated agriculture and its relationship to the environment will be overlooked.  Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide – all have been exposed to the debate [over environment in the MDB]. There has also been some demonization of agriculture, in particular cotton and rice; yet in some regions they are the best uses of water when it’s there. (Fed rep, MN 51)  For example, the flexibility provided by flood irrigated crops, such as rice (which provides enough moisture to the soil to grow a second wheat crop after), and the widespread high efficiency forms of flood irrigation (using laser-leveling and double cropping techniques) often go unacknowledged in the press on the MDB water issues, to the annoyance of local irrigators (NSWIC, MN 9; MI, MN 64).   It’s a ridiculous comment to say ‘why do we grow rice?’ because the decision is up to the farmer. They get a set amount of water – the farmer can make that decision. (MI, MN 63) Questions of fairness Past government programs have encouraged the irrigation development that is now being considered unsustainable (MDBA Guide 2010, xiv). People made decisions about their businesses and livelihoods based on past government context and water reforms – in particular the shift to water markets that developed allocations as property rights. As a result, issues of fairness were raised in a number of our discussions at the community level (MI, MN 64; RWGMB, MN 74; Irrigator, MN 78).  78  That the allocation cuts will be across the board  (a form of equity in that harm is distributed across all license holders) was deemed to be vastly unfair to those that had already done the most in terms of efficiency improvements and made the best of the water they have.  It’s almost as though those who went to high efficiency systems early will be punished in a sense because the Basin Plan does not take into account the use of water. (MI, MN 64) The inefficient growers are going to win, whereas efficient ones – growers that have made the best of every drop – will lose because they are highly capitalized. (RWGMB, MN 72) Those irrigators that have invested heavily in improvements to diminish the amount of water they need face increased exposure on the financial end, as well as having less room to deal with a drop in water allocation. Whereas others that have not made efficiency improvements will be cut the same way and still have the opportunity to gain new water through conservation.  At a macro-economic level, the expendability of lower-efficiency irrigation (such as flood) in favor of higher efficiency irrigation (pivots and drip systems) appears to be supported by the Plan, as  [i]ndustries with high water usage but lower or more volatile value products such as broadacre cereals, rice and cotton will be more severely impacted than other industries with higher value products such as grapes, nuts and fruit. (MDBA Guide 2010, xx) Ironically, while general security water holders (more typically broadacre farmers) will face the bigger hit because they have larger water allocations to begin with, it is the high security water holders who have often made higher capital investments and have less flexibility that are likely to be more exposed to the credit risks identified earlier in relation to the devaluation of water assets. We spoke to one irrigator who captured the sense of unfairness effectively: We’re going to get done I’m sure. It’s wrong. The Labour government just pours money on everyone. Spending billions […] buying empty buckets. (Irrigator, MN 76) An accumulation of stresses create an unbearable burden Our meetings with stakeholders revealed that what may be necessary from a systems-wide perspective to ensure that there is a more sustainable future (socially and economically) in the Basin, may appear to be unbearable from the perspective of many individuals at the community level because of the cumulative weight of too many stresses over recent years. The Basin Plan will, according to Andrew Gregson CEO of the New South Wales Irrigators’ Council, create an artificial drought, which will reduce farmer profits and impact their financial resilience and ability to manage other stresses (NSWIC, MN 12). Coming after a decade of severe drought, which has already forced others off the land, in conjunction with commodity price declines in many agricultural goods, and 79  a locust outbreak earlier in 2010 in some regions – the cumulative weight of stress on the farming sector and rural communities of the Basin is great, and I argue this needs to be recognized and acknowledged. Those who are too close to the line – who have already used up their resources getting through other hits – will have to sell out (MDBA Guide 2010, 88). While Commonwealth compensation goes a long way towards helping irrigators adjust, non-monetary values (such as one’s identity as a farmer, family legacies, and a rural way of life) are not reflected in this compensation. Humans are tremendously adaptable, but continuous forced adaptation creates undue stress and dysfunction. Humans ‘adapt at a price’ that is evidenced by mental and emotional maladjustments, feelings of alienation, and physical illness. (Hester 2006, 255) While the government is spending billions to ‘close the gap’, representing a significant contribution by all Australians to the adjustment, ultimately the harm will likely be borne by individual irrigators and the communities that rely on them throughout the Basin.  We’ve engineered our own downfall in a sense, and we can’t go back. (RWGMB, MN 72)   80  LESSONS FROM OZ TO THE OKANAGAN: THROUGH THE EYES OF TRIP PARTICIPANTS As described in earlier chapters, Australia has arrived at where they are today in relation to water management as a result of two decades of water reforms involving significant commitment and investment by all levels of government (fed rep, MN 50; NWC, MN 37). Billions of dollars have been spent by governments on water infrastructure, research, modeling, environmental rehabilitation, management and governance (NWC, MN 40; NSWIC, MN 9; IWC, MN 21; CSIRO, MN 28). Their water sector has expanded rapidly and even finding adequate human resources has been a challenge in some cases, as there are not enough people with water training or experience to meet the demand created by policy reforms (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 7-8; IA, MN 88).  Because Australia is so far down their water reform path, one barrier to learning from their current reforms is that British Columbia does not have the systems or capacity in place to enable the application of similar solutions; as illustrated in the following quotes from post-trip interviews. If you’re solution is to increase your storage or your solution is to monitor the water use, or whatever, it takes money. And that’s where we keep falling down. That’s the pitfalls. We don’t have the data. We don’t have the money. And we don’t have the long term commitment. Those three things fail in our watershed plans. (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 20) BC is basically so behind, they kind of have to do everything. The need to regulate groundwater is, of course, BC’s biggest thing that they’re behind on. But just all the monitoring and modeling and getting anything happening at all – everything has kind of ground to a standstill from the BC government. Because there’s no capacity, there’s hardly anybody working in any of these agencies to do anything […] and their budgets have been slashed.  (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 8) While water sector expansion is the dominant trend in Australia, since 2008 the economic downturn in Canada has resulted in cuts to water management division budgets across BC government, despite the fact that they are currently engaged in Water Act Modernization (WAM) – one of the largest water reform processes in the Province’s history (van der Gulik 25 April 2010, 13; Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 8; BC MOE 2010).  I argue, however, that although there are barriers in terms of monitoring infrastructure, government capacity and financial resources to importing current reforms from Australia, there remain a number of opportunities to learn from the paths they have taken. We can learn from the evolution of their water reforms by looking at:  efforts to foster awareness and increase the social priority of water, water governance alternatives, benefits that have resulted from their economic approach to reform and 81  barriers to using a similar approach in Canada, and questions raised by changing understandings of sustainability in water reforms. Chapter Summary Of the three research chapters, this one best displays the exploratory nature of this research project – it is focused on what the Canadian trip participants learned from their Australian water management tour. By definition “social science exploration” results in “emergent generalizations [that] are many and varied” (Stebbins 2001, 3), and this is evidenced by the variety of lessons learned by trip participants. Exploratory research is intended to “provide illumination” on an issue and to “examine the feasibility of further study by indicating what might be relevant to study in more depth” (Hart 2006, 47).  Therefore, the objectives of this chapter are: first, to illuminate areas where Canadian water experts can learn from their Australian counterparts’ experiences; and second, to generate ideas for further research or alternative policy and management approaches. These objectives were accomplished through an analysis of pre-interviews, post-interviews and field notes aimed at generating a descriptive account of some key insights, barriers and opportunities that where identified through the eyes of Canadian trip participants.  Given the breadth of topics covered in the water management tour meetings, I have decided to synthesize these results into four categories of lessons – lessons on social change, lessons on water governance, lessons on water reforms, and lessons on process – each with a description of key topics, discussion of each issue drawing on trip participants’ perspectives, and ideas for further research and/or further applied experiments in Canada for the first three sections. Lessons on Social Change: Building the Social Value of Water in Canada The Canadian challenge Given that one of the biggest barriers to sustainable water management in Canada identified by trip participants and other Canadian water experts is Canadians’ (mis)perception of “unlimited abundance” (Bakker 2009, 17), my analysis suggests raising the profile of water issues and water literacy are important steps towards raising funds to manage the resource sustainably, supported, for example, by the statement by van der Gulik below: JB: What do you see as the main barriers to achieving sustainable water management in BC? TVG: The main barrier is that people don’t want to pay for a resource that’s valued quite high; we’re not collecting enough resources in dollars to manage the resource properly. So while we talk about wanting to have a good water resource, we’re not paying for it. We’re not paying for it at the local level, and we’re certainly not putting enough money into it at the provincial level to manage it properly. (van der Gulik 25 April 2010, 7). 82  Van der Gulik’s observation speaks to a societal paradox: Canadians value water, but are largely unaware of the costs associated with water management and are consequently unwilling to invest in the resource. This contradictionis also evident in recent attitude polls. The 2009 Nanos-Policy Options poll found that “by an overwhelming margin, Canadians consider fresh water to be the most important natural resource to Canada’s future” (Nanos 2009, 12). According to the latest Royal Bank of Canada and Unilever Canadian Water Attitudes Survey, 61% of Canadians polled admit “they do not know how much their household currently pays for water”; yet despite this lack of awareness “they actually have a strong opinion about its cost: seven in 10 (70 per cent) believe the unknown price is high enough to ensure water is treated as a valuable resource” (2011, 2).  This blind confidence betrays a lack of awareness of current water issues, including a national water infrastructure deficit estimated between $70 billion to $90 billion (Shrubsole and Draper 2007, 49), and demonstrates widespread ignorance among Canadians of the costs of water service provision and basic water management best practices, such as source water protection and matching water quality to water use.  As Bob Sandford, EPCOR Chair for the Canadian Partnership Initiative of the UN Water for Life Decade, points out:  Water is a real bargain in Canada, which is another reason Canadians have no concept of its value. […] Compared to other developed nations, Canadians pay very little to have water delivered to their homes. In France, water costs four times more, in Germany, almost seven times more. Not surprisingly, average daily domestic water use in these countries is less than half of what it is in Canada. Until Canadians make the connection between personal use of water and its true value, our water wasting habits will continue. (RBC 2011, 2) This is not surprising given Canada’s subsidized water services, a lack of universal metering, and water prices too low to meet the operating and capital costs of water suppliers let alone address ecological impacts (Renzetti 2007, 266-267). I argue that existing Canadian pricing structures disconnect users from their water supplies, which in a systematic way provides support for the widespread water ignorance. It seems likely that this disconnect has contributed to inadequate investment in water resource protection and infrastructure as it has allowed Canadians to build a strong identification with the possession of vast amounts of natural water resources as seen in the landscape, while maintaining internationally naïve expectations of water pricing. In stark contrast universal metering and full-cost pricing are the norm in Australia (fed rep, MN 51; Sydney Water, MN 90), where the relationship between personal water use and overall water supply is continually reinforced. 83  Water is one of Australia’s top priorities My research suggests that one opportunity to improve investment in water resources management in BC, and Canada more broadly, lies in the possibility of building linkages between water supply, water use and water value, and then leveraging these linkages to increase water issue awareness and possibly increase their political priority.  When asked “What impressed you on the trip?” both trip participants responded that they were most impressed by the high profile and social priority given to water. Warwick-Sears was struck by the ubiquitous presence of water conservation messaging and the degree of public dialogue around water. The top thing that impressed me was a different attitude and value about water. Everyone seemed to be very focused on it; it had a much higher profile. And I don’t think it was just because we were talking to water professionals, there was a lot of incredible signage, there were all sorts of water conservation messages out there, dual flush toilets everywhere – it was just much much higher profile. Like there’s a different cultural identity around water and a different recognition of water supply status. (Warwick Sears 4 June 2010, 1) Van der Gulik was struck by “the colossal amount of dollars that’s being spent” on water, which reflects the political priority given to water resources management: $12 Billion dollars and plus and minus whatever, it’s just a huge amount of money. Once I heard that number, I thought ‘Wow this is going to all make sense’, when there’s this kind of money floating around there’s a way of doing… so that to me was the most impressive.  (van der Gulik, post-interview June 2010, 1) From an Australian perspective, these massive investments in water are “seen as a political imperative. From a public policy point of view, no government wants to be in charge when a city or community runs out of water” (CSIRO, MN 31). Valuing water highly can be translated directly into funding for better resource management. One example of Australians paying directly to support a water value is the Save the River Murray Levy, which charges $40 per household and $160 per business annually, raising roughly $30 million every year towards ecological rehabilitation of the Murray River (MDBA, MN 48). Both van der Gulik and Warwick- Sears found this to be an excellent idea for raising funds to manage water better, but felt it would be “hard to get buy-in because people take their water for granted and don’t value it enough”(Post-MDBA and DEWHA, MN 48).  In contrast, water is simply not a top provincial priority, evidenced by the fact that BC’s water management budget is close to $7 million, despite the fact that water license revenues put hundreds of 84  millions of dollars in provincial coffers every year (fed rep, MN 53). In 2004, the government of BC earned nearly $400 million in revenue from water use permits (Renzetti 2007, 71). The obvious explanation for why water awareness, identification, and investment are high in Australia is crisis – they are aware because they have been forced to become aware by a severe shortage of water. However, water literacy does not flow automatically from the experience of water scarcity or degradation; Australian water professionals and policymakers have actively engaged the public, they have poured resources and ingenuity into strategies to get the public engaged with their water resources on a daily basis.  Changing values is a challenge, but possibly one of the most important projects for Canadian water professionals in the future; one recognized by Oliver Brandes: If governance and society are to become ‘ecological’, we must reconnect humans to their natural world. Changing institutions can only go so far in eliminating incentives and practices that embed unsustainability; for real change to occur, values must change as well.  (Brandes 2009, 70) The payoff for building connections between people and their waters is potentially high, as shown by Warwick-Sears response to the following question:   JB: What is your big takeaway message from this experience? AWS: That’s hard. I think the simplest big takeaway message is to build that change in cultural mindset or the value of water. It was quite remarkable to see a country where people are really thinking about water in a different way. (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 13) How to change: building awareness by connecting people to their waters everyday The sophistication and complexity of the Australian water discourse is the result of a long history of water reforms and public engagement on water issues (fed rep, MN 50; NSWOW, MN 98). The plethora of government websites about water and the daily news reports – indeed permanent sections of news websites that are devoted to water46 – emphasize the high degree of water literacy and information availability in Australia. One of the most tangible insights that emerged from the Australian water tour was the need to better connect people with their waters to foster awareness about water resources and about how individual and collective behaviors affect those resources. My research suggests that connecting people to their waters – through accessible water information, accurate pricing and the integration of water issues into daily life – is a powerful way to raise the profile of water issues and increase their social (and therefore political) priority.                                                             46 For example: Australian Broadcasting Corporation: http://www.abc.net.au/water/ and Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/water-issues (accessed 18 April 2011) 85  Creating feedback loops I argue that one way to do this is by creating feedback loops in people’s everyday lives that allow them to build awareness of things like water supply status, individual or collective usage, and the costs of water services. Feedback loops are a commonly used term in control and information systems, meaning the path along which information from an output is relayed back to the input; this information can then be used to alter subsequent events. Relating to water or energy, feedback loops can refer to any means (for example prices, smart meters, road signs, etc.) through which consumers of the resource receive information about their past consumption or resource status, which can then influence their future consumption choices. As Oliver Brandes advocates “feedback loops must be cultivated to promote change and adjustment in the face of new priorities and new information in an ever-changing world” (2009, 65). Feedback loops about water can help to show people how their lives are embedded within the changing patterns of the hydrological cycle; by connecting weather, water, and/or usage into daily life they allow people to better appreciate how their behavior impacts water supply status as a whole. While in Australia we encountered two excellent examples of communications strategies that create direct feedback loops about water to the Australian population. First, along with the weather forecast in many cities they broadcast dam levels, making a direct linkage between weather and water supply status (for example, see online weather at: http://weather.theaustralian.com.au/nsw/sydney/sydney). Second, they have electronic road signs (like the one we saw in Canberra shown in figure 9) that display dam level, target usage, and the previous day’s usage. The sign also shows the city’s current level of water restrictions (stage 3) in lower left-hand corner. Both van der Gulik and Warwick-Sears were impressed by such simple, yet effective ways of increasing water awareness, and believed doing something similar should be a priority, especially in future droughts: We need to do education, like they’re doing there with road signs. We need that in places to start raising awareness everywhere in BC, so that people start hearing on the news how much water Vancouver is using on a daily basis, how much is in their reservoir, so everyone is aware regardless of whether or not there is even a problem. Just so that people start to recognize ‘Oh, gee whiz, look at this year, we’re way up’ or ‘Our reservoir is going down, oh man.’ Those are the kinds of things I would be spending money on. Raising awareness, so people buy-in to where you’re going and start doing a better job. (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 19)  JB: After seeing what they’ve done, what things would you do here if there was drought here? AWS: Well, I would have some of those big flashing road signs… (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 12) 86  Figure 9.  A Road Sign in Canberra         Another important way that Australians have been connected to their water resources is through water metering and full-cost pricing (fed rep, MN 51; Sydney Water, MN 90). By charging prices that reflect the costs to supply water services, the important role of water suppliers is made obvious – forcing people to think when turning on the tap. Of course, the other benefit of charging accurate prices is to that revenue is generated to maintain water infrastructure. Ideas for creating feedback loops in the Okanagan Universal water metering and monitoring was at the top of Warwick-Sears’ list of ideas for changes in the Okanagan upon returning from Australia (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 5). A perceptual barrier noted by both trip participants to creating effective feedback loops is that even where water meters have been installed for agricultural water users in the Okanagan there is a lack of commitment to monitoring them except in times of drought (ibid; van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 15).  Showing dam level (53%), target usage (120 ML), and yesterday’s usage (105 ML) 87  A water purveyor in the Okanagan spent a $1 million on meters, and then they spent a bunch of money building a dam, and now they think they have lots of water, they’re not reading their meters. And I’m thinking ‘why wouldn’t you still be part of the Okanagan Strategy where you’re managing your water better and if there’s a shortage of water you dump water out of your dam and we can use it for others because you’ve done a good job of managing your water?’ But there isn’t this mentality right now; it’s all about ‘us over here got our water, we’re fine. You guys over there that’s your problem’. (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 14)47 Since there are no associated management or accountability measures in place to ensure meters are read in districts where they are installed or to regulate water based on water licenses, these are possible avenues for future improvement. Trip participants’ convictions that governments at both the provincial and municipal level need to increase metering and monitoring of water resources to improve water data were reconfirmed by their observations in Australia.  Based on my analysis I see two main benefits to the implementation of universal metering and monitoring of water resources in Canada. First, by raising awareness at the user level we may create new opportunities to improve Canadian water literacy and start to shift the Canadian relationship to water from one of possession to one of stewardship. Second, by monitoring water resource use at various levels we can provide better information to decision-makers about the state of Canada’s water resources to inform policy and management decisions. Similar to the Okanagan case described by trip participants, prior to the 1995 Water Audit of water uses in the Murray-Darling Basin, “except in times of drought, controlling or even monitoring diversions had not been a high priority”, and decision-makers were largely unaware of the extent of existing but inactive water licenses and the nature of constraints on future water use (Connell 2007, 124).  Gaining a better understanding of actual water use in the Basin led decision-makers to impose a temporary cap on extractions at 1993-1994 levels, which became permanent in 1997 (ibid).  Online meter data: Okanagan Irrigation Management tool (OKIM) A related idea “is ways for users to track meter readings on the web” (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 5). During the Council of Australian Government reforms of the 1990s water entitlements were developed as a property right of irrigators, and since that time water metering and online accounting systems have been put in place by irrigation districts to regulate the transfers of water (NSWIC, MN 6; MI, MN 60). In the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area when an irrigator wants to receive a portion of his allocation, he or she orders the water online two days in advance, and then a water bailiff from the irrigation district will come by to release the ordered amount to the farm (MI, MN 60). Irrigators have access to information                                                             47 Note this reference is somewhat dated as the water purveyor “may now be turning a corner and doing a better job” (van der Gulik, data verification).  88  about their allocations online, and can decide to either order their water for use or sell water on the market.  Van der Gulik and his team at the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (MoAL) have developed a similar online accounting tool: the Okanagan Irrigation Management (OKIM) tool. OKIM allows agricultural irrigators in the Okanagan to see what they have used (meter data), how this compares to their allocation (license data), and if the allocation has been cut back due to drought, as well as the Basin- wide Water Demand Model estimates for what they should have used to date (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 13). Having observed the effectiveness of direct online feedback to irrigators in Australia, Warwick-Sears has since become more supportive of OKIM (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 13): I think [OKIM] could certainly be expanded. They are using it right now as a drought management tool in the North Okanagan where they’ve had a hard time with their reservoir levels. So it’s easy and at hand. (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 5) With OKIM and meters in place I see an opportunity to test out actually monitoring irrigation water usage relative to irrigation licenses; one which would create a direct feedback loop to irrigators about their water usage and license. Other water management opportunities presented by improved water literacy In addition to increasing the presence of water information in Canadians’ daily lives through feedback loops, trip participants felt more education campaigns are needed to raise the general public’s understanding of water issues, including water management best practices and costs to society of neglecting water resources (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 19; Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 13).  Matching water quality to water use The matching of water quality to water use48 appeared to be a widely used best practice in Australia (MI, MN 64; NSWIC MN 6). In our meeting with Murrumbidgee Irrigation the Australians were shocked to learn that there are instances (such as blueberry growers selling to the certain chains in the United States) where irrigators in BC are required to irrigate with potable water. “That’s insane! Any purification here is done by choice of individuals” (MI, MN 64). Murrumbidgee Irrigation “is responsible for water quality in the system, but […] are not legally obligated to provide water of a certain quality” (ibid). Rather water quality in NSW is matched to water use, where even tail water flows have been                                                             48An approach that has been advocated in British Columbia by Hans Schreier (http://research.ires.ubc.ca/schreier/). 89  developed into a marketable resource, as agricultural runoff is not allowed to be returned to rivers (NSWIC, MN 6).  One of Warwick-Sears post-trip ideas for improved supply-side management in the Okanagan was “expanding our use of recycled water and irrigating with untreated surface water”, this would be made possible by “getting the drinking water out of the irrigation system” (3 June 2010, 6). Currently, because of the way the Okanagan has developed, many municipal and irrigation water systems are integrated. For example in Kelowna there are six water purveyors, the city of Kelowna (which supplies a small part of the city) and five irrigation districts (which provide water to both agricultural and domestic water users in their area) (van der Gulik 25 April 2011, 4). Here too there are social barriers to be overcome as Canadians are accustomed to using drinking water for everything and are mostly unfamiliar with the costs of treatment, so the benefits and safety of matching water quality to water use need to be publicized.  Source water protection and reservoir expansion The final item on Warwick-Sears’ supply-side ideas for the Okanagan was source water protection and reservoir expansion. Source water protection is widely recognized as a means to keep drinking water purification costs down and reservoir expansion is the traditional answer to increased drought protection (O’Connor 2002, 73; Handmer, Ingle Smith, Dorcey 1991, 10). In speaking to Sydney Water, we were told they have a policy of “total exclusion in source water area – you can’t even hike there” (MN 92).  And “science has stopped all discussions of new dams” in the Murray-Darling Basin, as this method for obtaining of new water has been largely exhausted and taken a severe toll on the environment (CSIRO, MN 32).  As pointed out by Snowy Hydro representatives, Australia has huge dams, so their problem is water shortage rather than storage capacity (Snowy Hydro, MN 56). Or as Rob O’Neill from the NSW Office of Water counters One could still argue our problem is ‘water variability’ not ‘water shortage’ per se. We still have huge flood events that cause dams to spill and replenish environmental assets. Some sectors believe bigger (rather than more) dams would resolve our ‘water shortage’ problems. (NSWOW,  data verification). In the Okanagan, climate projections predict increased rainfall and decreased snowpack and they lack the capacity in their existing storagesto deal with this change (Snowy Hydro, MN 56). Reservoirs may need to be expanded to meet growing demands as “we’re moving into our storages earlier and earlier every year” (van der Gulik 26 April 2010, 12).  We really need to continue the effort to protect and expand our reservoir storage. Coming back to the Okanagan, it’s on the table again, to allow the sale of recreation lots on drinking water 90  reservoirs. And, remember we asked that question to Sydney Water and they said ‘well of course we don’t allow access to our drinking water reservoirs, are you crazy?’ That’s just an ongoing battle here in BC for everywhere except for Greater Vancouver and Victoria; and it’s a stupid battle that takes too much time. (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 6) Until the Canadian public has a better understanding of how they are related to their water resources and how important water stewardship is to the maintenance of healthy watersheds, I fear these battles over source water protection are likely to continue.  Ideas for further exploration on social change To increase the social and political priority of water in Canada further research is needed on:  • How the myth of water abundance affects Canadians’ willingness to pay for improved water quality and environmental protection • Water issue awareness and literacy, and  • Programming alternatives for education and communications programs (including who should run them, pay for them, and monitor their impacts).  One advantage Canadians may have in comparison to their Australian counterparts in implementing water reforms is the luxury of time. Neither one of the trip participants felt there were insurmountable barriers to change – the primary challenge they identified being how to build a social value of water (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 15; Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 9), from which (they hope) will flow the resources and commitment needed to protect our waters and shift us onto a path of more sustainable water management. Lessons on Water Governance British Columbia has been rethinking water governance arrangements in the past few years, beginning with development of the Living Water Smart (LWS) policy, and currently in undertaking the Water Act Modernization (WAM) process (BC MOE 2008; BC MOE 2010). Both trip participants, in their professional roles, have been participating in these reforms and were curious to see what learning more about the Australian reform experience might reveal to inform this process (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 1; van der Gulik 26 April 2010, 1-2 ).  Warwick-Sears took the lead on governance issues as one of her learning goals was to understand which of the Australian water reforms would be most valuable to BC and the Okanagan and how they should be prioritized (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 5). In her pre-trip interview, she raised a number of key questions related to water governance, including: 91  • Who needs to drive change and lead water governance reform? • What responsibilities are appropriate for delegation to the local level? • Who should be making water management decisions to ensure democratic legitimacy and technical expertise are effectively balanced and accountability is maintained? • How much weight should be given to the results of stakeholder engagement? (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 3-4; Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 11) The first two questions relate to leadership and subsidiarity; the third question relates to governance models and the quality of decision-making; the fourth question relates to the degree of stakeholder involvement included in decision-making to ensure democratic principles are upheld and decision- makers can be held accountable. Delegated water governance and subsidiarity As Executive Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB), Warwick-Sears is continually working on understanding the role the Board should play in relation to local governments and the Province (29 April 2010, 10). This is particularly important at present since BC has expressed an interest in devolving certain water governance functions to lower levels and transferring some powers to the OBWB in keeping with the principle of subsidiarity.  Simply stated, subsidiarity can be defined as “management of resources at the level closest to the user” (McKay 2006, 117)49. David Benson and Andrew Jordan place subsidiarity within the wider landscape of “environmental federalism”, which “generally contends that tasks should be scaled to lower levels (‘decentralization’) except, for example, where scaling up to the federal level (‘centralization’) is more efficient” (2010, 10).  Similarly, in the Canadian water governance literature, subsidiarity has been defined in contrast to harmonization as: “the principle whereby a central authority does not take action (except in the areas which fall within its exclusive competence) unless it is more effective than action taken at lower scales” (Hill et al 2008, 317).  Arguments for the devolution of powers to lower levels are often made on the grounds of: democratic legitimacy and/or economic efficiency (Benson and Jordan 2010, 10), moral grounds  (such as convictions that imply “that a higher level of organization should refrain from undertaking tasks that could be performed just as well by a grouping closer to the individual”) (Marshall 2008, 80; Hoff 2009,145 ), or to better harness the power of local knowledge and                                                             49 Subsidiarity and delegation are central themes in the policy literature debates related to ‘scaling’ of policy powers. A more in-depth discussion of the scaling of water governance in Canada and Australia is beyond the scope of this thesis; for more information see Hill et al (2008), Marshall (2008), Benson and Jordan (2010) and Ryan et al (2010). 92  innovation by matching the level of decision-making to the scale of resource problems (Hill et al 2008, 317; Benson and Jordan 2010, 10).  Where to draw the line? Subsidiarity and leadership Throughout the trip Warwick-Sears raised questions about governance with Australians, probing for ideas and opinions on how delegation of powers could work.  For instance when speaking with Mark Pascoe, CEO of the International Water Centre, the following exchange took place:    A:  Does the national water policy act as enabling legislation? M: Yes, it allows local government to take more of a role. The Environmental Protection Act in   Queensland delegated environmental licensing (pollution permits, etc) to local government. A:  Is it working? The concern in BC is local politics. M: Yeah… A:  Did delegation to [water] license work? M: No, that would be an idea that might not work. (IWC, MN 21) The context for this comment is that local governments in many instances manage water and wastewater facilities and delegating to them the power to the license these facilities would not be appropriate (IWC, data verification).  In this instance and others, the Australian experts seemed to be working with clear conceptions of which powers should be delegated and which should be retained by higher levels of government.   Similarly, when speaking with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority about governance, Warwick-Sears asked “How do you deal with accountability and prevent capture of power?” After listing off provisions in the selection process for the Authority’s Board members (including a four year term), and their efforts to shift the state and ministers perspectives to the long-term (“we try to get ministers legacy planning”), Rob Freeman sketched out the following diagram (figure 10) and observed: “States do some things best. It’s good to get local. Subsidiarity will be key, but the important break point is where you set the line” (MDBA, MN 45).  93    My suspicion is that the Australian sense of the best way to “set the line” is rooted in experiences with past reforms. This is reinforced by the widespread use of subsidiarity in the wider domain of Australia’s natural resource management (NRM). In a recent review of NRM governance systems, Australian Regional NRM Chairs expressed their views on how best to apply the principle: For best engagement of people’s skills and effort, decision making needs to be devolved to the lowest capable level. However, because there is public benefit in looking after every piece of land well, governance design needs to recognise that governments have a legitimate interest in influencing local decisions. Their influence is better exerted through providing direction, standards, guidelines, incentives and sanctions, than through direct decision making at the local level. All devolved decision makers need to be accountable for their decisions.  (Ryan et al 2010, 54, italics mine) British Columbia, on the other hand, is relatively new to structural water reforms and is still in the process of working out how to delegate effectively, just as local governments are new to the process and looking for guidance on how to take up delegated powers (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 3-4).  The lesson from the Australian experience is that for subsidiarity to work roles need to be clearly defined and systems put in place to allow decisions to be made at different levels. Leadership is an essential component, as the body delegating authority is responsible for structuring exactly what powers are delegated and how. I was impressed with how important the top-down stuff was. The rules of the game were being set at a higher level, whether it was the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, or the willingness of the federal government to invest in these things. Having that top-down support made it possible – first, financially, then secondly, saying ‘these are the rules of the game, how are you going to adjust to it?’ The CoAG agreements, the National Water Initiative, they enabled the water markets and environmental transfer of water rights. That’s all top-down stuff that couldn’t have happened from the bottom – it couldn’t have been self-organized in anywhere near as effective a way – so I think that a large amount of it needs to be top-down. (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 3- 4) High / Government Local / Community The key is where you draw this line Figure 10.  The Key to Subsidiarity 94  To me, the Basin Plan provides an example of how structure and clarity of roles enables actors at all levels to fulfill their responsibilities, and effectively “play the game” of sustainable water management.  With the Basin Plan the Commonwealth sets the framework, supports research, and outlines the overarching goals and vision – in effect establishing the rules of the game. States are responsible for developing Water Sharing Plans in line with the Basin Plan requirements and for implementation – organizing the game. And irrigators are responsible for making business decisions within the newly established parameters – it is up to them to play the game or to decide to leave it completely. Clarity of roles and leadership are important, yet I argue that these need to be integrated into culturally acceptable decision-making processes, ones that take into consideration the character of the federation in question. In her pre-trip interview Warwick-Sears noted that “the [BC] government wants changes and decision-making to happen from the bottom-up” and that “there is not a strong appetite for heavy top-down control [as there is] in Australia” (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 3). This is in keeping with the distinction Roger Wilkins, former Director-General of the Australian Cabinet Office, makes between the characters of the Canadian and Australian federal systems. Wilkins uses Canada as an example of a system of “coordinate federalism”, one in which “the States [or Provinces] and Commonwealth have different and distinct responsibilities and go about their business more or less separately from one another” (2005, 2). In comparison, he classifies the Australian federal system as one of “cooperative federalism”, in which “the States and Commonwealth both have responsibility for a good many areas of government, and rather than being able to act separately and distinctly have to cooperate and come together to get things done” (Wilkins 2005, 3). As the owners of water resources, the Provinces are the dominant water power brokers in Canada therefore it falls to them to delegate powers; though some water governance observers lament the degree of interjurisdictional fragmentation50 and see a role for more national cooperation between governments (Hill et al 2008, 316-317; de Loë 2008; Saunders and Wenig 2007).  In speaking with an Australian federal representative Warwick-Sears raised the barrier to water reform of a disengaged Canadian federal government, to which he replied “If there is enough of a case on the benefits of water for reforms and a framework for how to roll it out, you might be able to engage them” (fed rep, MN 53). He laid out a formula for what he found to be the most effective approach to change in Australia: “water reform + financial incentives + penalties for implementing those reforms” (fed rep, MN 53). As this formula echoes the emphasis on leadership and structuring of                                                             50Fragmentation is defined as “the allocation of responsibility for water governance amongst multiple actors and/or agencies, with relatively little or no coordination” (Hill et al 2008, 316). 95  delegated responsibilities, I believe provinces could find it helpful for their own internal reforms whether or not they choose to engage the federal government in new ways.  Concerns on the ground While Warwick-Sears expressed a preference for “hard decisions” to be made at the local level (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 3), she also raised concerns about delegation including: the potential that subsidiarity will be given lip-service to mask downloading of responsibilities; the question of what will be devolved to whom; and the issue of capacity – what happens if they do not have the resources (human or financial) to fulfill the obligations associated with their new powers (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 3, 10)? All three of these questions speak to the very important issue of why government is choosing to devolve power – a question that should be answered before determining how to delegate. As Kathryn Furlong and Karen Bakker stress with regards to Alternative Service Delivery “it is important not to confuse delegation with a diminished need for regulation” (2010, 39-40). As observed in Australia, governments have an important role to play in protecting environmental and public interests (ibid).  Governance alternatives One of the things that impressed Warwick-Sears on the water management tour was “the very pragmatic attitude towards governance arrangements, […] so there’s not too much monkeying around by different political entities when you’re talking about water delivery” (3 June 2010, 1). Two examples of governance models observed in Australia that provide the direction and regulatory structure to effectively balance democratic legitimacy and technical expertise while maintaining accountability are corporatization and science-based decision-making.  Corporatization Beginning in the early 1990s the Australian water sector underwent a “huge corporatization process51”, in which utilities and other water providers were restructured as publically-owned corporations52 with skills-based boards, some reporting to state Ministers (IWC, MN 20). Three of the organizations we met with – Snowy Hydro, Murrumbidgee Irrigation, and Sydney Water – had been corporatized. A Sydney Water representative pointed out distance from politics as a benefit of this structure:  It’s nice because Sydney Water can say ‘no’ to some politicians if [the action they are pushing] is not commercially viable. We can still be directed to do something (like build a desal plant or recycle), but then we have to be compensated in price. (Sydney Water, MN 91)                                                             51 “No privatization in Australia – all publically owned” (IWC, MN 20).  52 Similar to “Crown corporations” in Canada, or in the case of irrigation districts (like MI) owned by irrigators. 96  This distance and clarity of roles enables Sydney Water to make decisions about water supply within a strong regulatory structure and yet in such a way as to promote proper maintenance of the system. The Sydney Water Corporation Act set “parameters around who can be on the board of directors”; and as a monopoly water supplier, Sydney Water’s prices are independently set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPRT) (ibid). As a result of being corporatized while “the Greens had the upper hand in the House”, Sydney Water is organized according to “demand governance” – they were given the objective to reduce the ratio of water consumption to population by 35% by June 2011. In 2009, they were under that ratio (at 309 litres per capita per day) (ibid). Box 3 showcases one of the lessons they learned about tailoring conservation programs in pursuit of this objective.  Setting demand- management as a corporate mandate is an interesting approach to governance, one which allows the innovation of the business sector to be fostered within a politically accountable framework.   Sydney Water purveys water to two markets – business and residential – and discovered during the latest drought that the most effective way to promote conservation was by matching the approach to the decision-making model used by consumers. In conservation programs for business customers they focused on fostering competitive interests – “get them to install [water saving fixtures or systems] then brag about it”.  An example of this is Best Practice Guidelines that turn water conservation into a “club” by giving businesses star ratings (1-5 stars) for implementation, then make the financial decision to join easy by giving them all the numbers. For residential users “you’ve got to use cash” and remove barriers because they do not use cost-benefit analysis to make decisions. A residential example using this approach was Sydney Water’s single-flush toilet conversion program. Sydney water provided dual-flush toilets free and hired plumbers to install them, then charged customers (approximately $340) for the service. The program ran for 2 years and they converted 300 toilets per day. They achieved almost full cost recovery by charging a $22 service fee in addition to the plumbers’ cost. The most expensive part of the program was marketing, and these costs increased over time because the last to adopt are the most difficult to convince. (Sydney Water, MN 91-93)  Science-based decision-making Both trip participants are strong believers in the value of scientific research as a foundation for water policy reform. On the whole, they were very impressed by the level of research and investment that has been made in Australia’s water sector, particularly in the Murray-Darling. They felt that the scale of research, data collection and modeling that stands behind the proposed Basin Plan was phenomenal and were awe inspired after meeting with e-Water and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), two research organizations involved in the Plan (post-CSIRO, MN 35). “They’ve got huge amounts of resources, tons of people employed” and  “looking at BC relative to Box 3.  Tailoring Urban Water Conservation Programs: Sydney Water 97  Australia, in terms of comparative population, we would need to be putting a thousand times the money currently spent on water” to do something comparable (van der Gulik post-CSIRO, MN 35). With “excellent data collection and data access mechanisms”, and the MDBA acting as an “independent expert-based rule making” body, the Basin Plan speaks to the power of developing water management strategies with the best available scientific information at an arms-length from political decision-makers (Warwick-Sears, post-interview June 2010, 2).  Improving water data The trip participants agreed with the Australian emphasis on research and data organization, and stated that improving water data remains one of their top priorities: First, we need to get a better handle on what water we have and where. We need better snowpack information, better water flow information; if we can get that, then we can start managing it correctly. (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 19) Definitely getting with our hydrometric monitoring, our streamflow monitoring, our lake evaporation studies, getting better weather data. This has been on our to do list for years; but, we just can’t let it fall off of our to do list. It’s certainly what needs to happen. (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 5-6) Recognizing that data gaps are a barrier to improved water management, Warwick-Sears notes that one way to manage these shortcomings in the interim is by increasing buffers (for ecological and human users):  There’s always an ongoing lack of data. If you want to have best water management you have to improve your data sources. But we can get by if we let ourselves have bigger buffers, then we can get by on patchy data for awhile while we get our systems in place. (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 8) The Murray-Darling Basin Plan is based on a wealth of data; however, their approach to the inherent uncertainty in water management is largely the same: to increase the buffers they have by increasing the proportion of flows dedicated to the environment (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 2, 8). Better data and increased buffers can help water managers and policymakers to deal with uncertainty.   Stakeholders and accountability How to effectively include the various stakeholders involved in water management in the governance of water while maintaining the quality of decision-making is a dilemma of particular importance when undertaking water reforms. Canadian and Australian approaches to water management display different tendencies in this regard, particularly in relation to the degree of emphasis placed on stakeholder engagement for reasons discussed earlier in the Cultural Lens section of the Context Chapter. In spite of 98  (or perhaps because of) these differences, trip participants identified aspects of stakeholder treatment and accountability that could expand the discussion around these issues in BC.  One difference was the expectation of accountability at the water user level for irrigators and the presence of strict enforcement measures53. In his post-trip interview, van der Gulik challenged the idea that water users should be free of accountability for their water, pointing to the Australian practice of metering and irrigation districts controlling releases so that allocations are distributed accurately:  And what we’re seeing down there is that this is a mandatory thing that we have to do. And I’m thinking ‘why can’t this just be a mandatory thing here either’? Farmers take responsibility for what they’re using, they know what they’re using, and they don’t go over – because you provide them with the data and the information. Rather than them getting a bill at the end of the year saying ‘oh you’re over’ here’s the extra money you have to pay. (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 15). There are obvious issues of fairness that would need to be dealt with to enforce water licenses in one part of the Province and not others, as not all regions have the same level of metering as the Okanagan.  For example, to enforce licensing by measured volumes and accounting in one region of the province while leaving other irrigators under the old unmetered regulation system could be deemed inequitable. However, what is important here is that the idea of making monitoring “mandatory” and creating an environment in which government exercises its powers and users take responsibility for their water consumption should be considered.  Another idea that Warwick-Sears supported is that of creating a risk framework as a mechanism for distributing the effects of climatic uncertainty and clarifying who bears what risks, as seen in the National Water Initiative54 (NSWIC, MN 13). The framework highlights the need to distribute risk across stakeholders, and is another way that Australians have clarified roles and responsibilities of users and governments. Iterative engagement: experimentation and the evolution of New South Wales’ water sharing plans The question of how to structure stakeholder participation in order to harness the power of local knowledge while ensuring that water management plans make sense scientifically and retain democratic legitimacy was raised in both Warwick-Sears’ pre- and post-trip interviews (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 10; Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 4-5). While meeting with representatives of the New South Wales                                                             53 “Subverting the metering process carries fines of $2 million” in NSW (NSWIC, MN 8).  54 See Figure 6 in the Context chapter. 99  (NSW) Office of Water they described to us their experiences with stakeholder engagement in Water Sharing Plan development and the evolution of their governance model as a result of problems in the initial round of plan development. In response the CoAG reforms, New South Wales (NSW) passed the Water Management Act 2000 (WMA), which aimed to improve water sharing by recognizing the needs of the environment and improving certainty for industry (NSWOW, MN 97). WMA separated water from land in licensing, enabling the sale of water licenses, and introduced Water Sharing Plans (WSP), which share water annually among users (ibid). Initially, the Water Sharing Plan development process was community- based, “an experiment in collaborative, catchment-based water planning and allocation” (NSWOW, MN 97; Bell and Park 2006, 69). In 2002, thirty-six water management committees (WMC) were formed primarily to advise on how to set rules for the allocation of water between competing users and the environment in WSPs (Bell and Parks 2006, 64, 70, 76)55.  As we were told by Office of Water representatives, the engagement process was found to be “not as good as it could be”; that due to lack of information and expertise in the Committees and the “confrontational” nature of the process which resulted in “negotiated trade-offs”, they “were not necessarily always getting reasonable well-informed outcomes” (MN 97). As such some of the WMCs recommendations were overridden by the state department (then the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources) leaving “stakeholders feeling frustrated and ignored” (Bell and Park 2006, 76). Stephan Bell and Alex Park analyzed the WSP governance process and identified problems with the metagovernance (or “governance of government”56 , in this case referring to the state’s role) of these committees related to: “the inclusion of relevant stakeholders, the specification of goals, the inadequate provision of resources and information, and the discounting of stakeholder input” (2006, 70). According to Bell and Parks, committees believed they were tasked with creating Water Sharing Plans, rather than advising on them (2006, 76).  Learning from these initial failures, the state moved to an iterative process of stakeholder engagement in order to maintain the quality of decision-making (for example, addressing issues of compatibility                                                             55To address issues of democratic legitimacy, committee members were selected to represent stakeholders from backgrounds specified in the WMA and appointed by the Minister (Bell and Park 2006, 71).  56 Bell and Park define metagovernance as the “governance of government”, and suggest that while “the role of the state may be changing… government and the wider state apparatus still have a crucial function: namely, supporting and governing new forms of governance via metagovernance”(2006, 64).    100  between neighboring catchment WSPs) and to reap the benefits of local knowledge and community education.  In the new process, initial planning debates are held within government at the “inter-agency level”, and “then plans go out and get consultation feedback, then later go to community for review, then back to the inter-agency huddle to consider and balance the differing views, and finally plans are recommended to the Minister for Water”  (NSWOW, MN 97). Consultation in this case is treated as an input to a more expert and science-based governance model; however the iterative nature of the process allows plans to be overhauled after two different levels of stakeholder engagement, first with a regional panel of stakeholders, and second with the wider community. “Before being gazetted, Plans require the concurrence of the Minister for the Environment, to ensure the environment has been given appropriate priority” (NSWOW, data verification). AWS:  Do you feel consultation is useful? RO:    Definitely, they have best information at their level. There is always some resistance to   more government. But since stakeholders took part in old process, they realize the pitfalls.  DE:  There is a distinct difference between Victoria and NSW in that NSW has made an active   engagement approach and community education. Victoria is working more top-down and  having more confrontational discussions. (NSWOW, MN 97)  The NSW experience demonstrates that the definition of stakeholder involvement in water governance is complicated and context-specific. In her pre-interview, Warwick-Sears described her reservations about some of the theoretically-based approaches to water governance reform in BC and raised the ideas of experimentation or stronger top-down leadership – both of which might avoid metagovernance problems similar to those in the NSW’s case.  Water governance in BC is just completely up in the air. I don’t think that anybody really has the answer. There are some people […] who have really strong opinions, but I don’t necessarily agree with them because they are based in theory about what has worked in the EU or something, but they’re not necessarily what will work here. I totally support the research, at least somebody’s going and looking at what the alternatives are, but I think that maybe we need to do some experiments here, or have some more top down leadership that says ‘you guys are going to do this and you’re going to make it work’. (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 11) A lesson to be learned from the WSP case is that water governance reform takes time and is in itself a learning process, and that new models may not succeed the first time out and that is okay. “If you accept that failures will sometimes occur in uncertain environments, it makes sense to plan for, manage, and learn from them – and in many cases to consider them as experiments rather than failures” (Gunther McGrath 2011, 79). 101  Watershed planning and water sharing plans As discussed in previous chapters, national positioning to improve global competitiveness and crisis (drought and environmental degradation) have been the two dominant drivers of water reform in Australia. Canada is unlikely to experience a water shortage on the scale of the decade long drought that has driven water reforms in Australia, therefore Canadian water experts will need to look for other drivers of change to support water reforms. One place where drought will potentially drive change in the future is in the Okanagan (as it did in 2003), in which case van der Gulik’s advice should be heeded: If you’re truly in a drought and you have no water anymore, you’ll get money to do things, so that what you need to make sure is you already know what things you’re going to do. (van der Gulik 25 April 2010, 6) Inspired by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and the Water Sharing Plans that states will use to implement it, both trip participants believed watershed planning should be a priority in BC. Warwick-Sears emphasized the need for “more local scale water demand studies – seeing how much water is needed in particular areas for water sharing planning” to support the development of “Water Sharing (Drought) Plans”(3 June 2010, 5). Similarly, van der Gulik emphasized the need to overcome existing barriers and engage in watershed planning for critical watersheds: I would invest quite a bit of money into doing watershed plans. […] In BC we have to start by looking at our critical watersheds. The problem is we don’t have capacity. […] We don’t have the money or the people to really do it properly. So when I say we’ve got to do a watershed plan, we’ve got to build the capacity, train people that know how to do this thing, get the right data (and we’re missing data), get the right people, and then help communities to come up with a plan to manage their water through a drought, flood or anything. (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 19) Ideas for further exploration on water governance Based on my analysis of trip participants’ reflections on water governance, I suggest further research and applied experimentation on the following issues: • Capacity development – What resources and regulatory frameworks should provincial governments provide to support effective delegation to lower levels of government? • Governance experiments – How can governance experiments be developed to test out different models of delegated governance and stakeholder engagement? • Alternative mechanisms for distributing risks and responsibilities in subsidiarity relationships – Who should bear the risks in different scenarios? 102  Lessons on Water Reform: Striving to Stand on the Three Pillars of Sustainability Taking an economic approach to water In Australia “the reform process is all about putting a value on water” (IA, MN 86). Their reforms demonstrate that it is possible to integrate economic and environmental sustainability, as “with water reform [they have] increased economic activity and reduced costs” (fed rep, MN 53). Box 3 describes an example of a win-win-win project that has been enabled by past reforms. It was interesting to see how sustainability has been integrated into an economically dominated worldview with regards to water, and how with that integration they have managed to weather an extreme decade long drought and come out economically strong. Striving to balance on all three pillars of sustainability – environment, economy and society – presents challenges as understandings of the meaning of sustainable water management change through the learning process of water reform. Water markets and discussion about reallocation As mentioned in the Context Chapter, a difference was noted by trip participants in Australians’ degree of faith in market and economic approaches; one which stands in stark contrast to the often vehement opposition to the commodification of water in Canada57 (van der Gulik, June 2010, 3).  Several studies have demonstrated that water markets – indeed the very association between water and a monetary value – are largely taboo in Canada (Horbulyk 2007; Muldoon and McClenaghan 2007; Boyd 2003). A variety of reasons are reported for Canadian opposition to the commodification of water resources: fears of bulk water exports and American exploitation (Horbulyk 2007, 210), concerns about profiteering upon on public resource (Muldoon and McClenaghan 2007, 246), or potentially expensive NAFTA compensation implications (Boyd 2003, 59, 259). This sensitivity of Canadians to economic arguments about water presents a barrier to policymakers considering the potential benefits of water markets. Nonetheless, after seeing how water markets have enabled farmers in Australia to make decisions about their futures and weather the drought, Warwick-Sears believes they should be at least be explored as a method for reallocation in the Okanagan: “We need to do more research on market-based allocation mechanisms, or we need to have the discussion about reallocation” (Warwick-Sears, post-interview 3 June 2010, 2).  I liked it that individuals are given some discretion to choose within the marketplace; I like market-based mechanisms for re-allocation. […] It’s hard to know what is a fair way of doing reallocation because somebody is always going to be a winner or a loser, and having people be                                                             57 This difference in attitudes towards water markets is explored further in Chapter 3 on Context.  103  able to change based on what they want to do with their farms or their lives, it seems like there’s some built in compensation there. (Warwick-Sears, post-interview June 2010, 2) When Warwick-Sears asked Andrew Gregson, CEO of the New South Wales Irrigators’ Council, why Australia was able to move ahead with water markets, he replied it was because they “split social and market water into two pools”, thereby treating water as “both a social and an economic good” (NSWIC, MN 13; NSWIC Presentation, 10-11).  In the first round of CoAG reforms, water was split into six portions; one sixth of water resources were considered ‘social water’, while the other five sixths were put onto the water market (NSWIC, MN 5-6).                 Murrumbidgee Irrigation’s (MI) Barren Box wetland divided storage is an example of a win-win-win for economy, society and environment. The MI system drains to the Barren Box storage and then water goes to reuse from there. MI made a significant investment to refurbish the storage into a divided wetland storage made up of three cells (as shown in the conceptual diagram above).  Prior to irrigation development the area was an ephemeral wetland that went 15 to 20 years between flooding. When the irrigation system was developed, turning the wetland into storage, many of the Black Box Eucalyptus trees drowned. The idea behind refurbishing the wetland was to create bird habitat and work with the local aboriginal community to protect sacred grounds. By dividing the 3,200 hectare swamp into three cells – an active cell (main storage), a smaller intermediate cell (to fill, empty, and turn water), and a wetland – they saved 20,000 ML in reduced evaporation loses and increased efficiency. Murrumbidgee Irrigation was then able to sell the entitlement for this saved water and to pay for the infrastructure changes. (MI, MN 65, 67-68)  While this approach appears to be a relatively pragmatic and straightforward one, this appearance may be due to the passage of time, as the “debate about water markets started in the 1980s and was a very painful process” (fed rep, MN 50). There was “huge resistance [to water markets] from irrigators in 1994”, but they have “since become the biggest supporters of water markets and trading of licenses” (NWC, MN 36). Water markets have “allowed Australia to make a relatively painless shift” by “moving water where needed” (fed rep, MN 52).  From a BC agriculture perspective, van der Gulik is less enthusiastic about water markets: Wetland Only gets water in wet years Active Cell  Majority of storage Inter- mediate cell  Small Storage   Box 4.  Sustainability Win-win-win – Murrumbidgee Irrigation’s Barren Box Storage 104  When I came back and people started talking about ‘Australia has water markets, they can do it there, we can do it here.’ The answer really is ‘no we can’t do it here’. Their water market is basically the government buying water at a fair value, and farmers trading with farmers. Our water market in the Okanagan would never be a farmer buying water from a farmer. It would always be a farmer selling water to a development or to a city or a golf course, because they would have the ability to pay. When I went to Australia, you could see right away that it works, in spite of all the things we just talked about it works – there’s a system that can work and farmers can get money and they can make decisions on a business case about buying water or selling water or what they want to grow. (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 4).  As discussed earlier in the Context Chapter, the integration of urban and agricultural water in the Okanagan presents a barrier to the implementation of water markets in the Okanagan58.  Whereas the concern in BC is loss of agricultural water to urban water, the opposite concern is present in NSW: “We have put rules in place to prevent cities and towns from selling their water because it could do social harm; while irrigators are left to make business decisions” (NSWOW, MN 100). While van der Gulik identified obstacles to water markets in BC, such as the splitting of land and water rights to enable trading becoming a loophole to move land out of the Agricultural Land Reserve, he believed they might work other parts of Canada:  Here, I’m just not in favour of it because we have small agriculture. It would work in the Peace River, it would work in the Prairies because you’ve got big land, lots of water, and farmers can make the decision – nobody else is going to buy the land, you’re not going to put a city, […] it’s still always going to be agricultural land. (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 5)  Although van der Gulik and Warwick-Sears had different comfort levels with the idea of water markets for the Okanagan, both believed temporary trading between agricultural users could be used as a drought measure (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 6; Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 12). They also agreed that the reallocation discussion should take place, including ideas from Australia such as a Critical Human Need water license to protect domestic users, the reassessment of agricultural water licenses to eliminate excess water allocations 59, and better management of environmental flows (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 21; Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 2). Social impacts and stakeholder engagement The balance of sustainability dimensions (economic, environmental, and social) in water reforms may evolve throughout a nation’s water reform history. From an outsider’s perspective it appears that there are competing definitions of sustainability at play in the latest phase of water reforms, particularly between those who believe all three dimensions should be given equal weight from the outset and                                                             58 See “Significance of Place” section in Context Chapter.   59 Van der Gulik used the example of the South Okanagan where 4 acre-feet of water is allocated and they only need 3 acre-feet to grow a maximum crop in their soils – so the license is not reflective of need (1 June 2010, 21).  105  those who understand economic and social decisions to be within the context of ecological limits. The tension that arises from different actors holding different perspectives on the framing of sustainability in water reform was evident in the different perspectives held by Canadian and various Australian research participants.  As Warwick-Sears observed: [T]here are definitely winners and losers, but [Australian water reformers] were certainly thinking about economic sustainability and about environmental sustainability. And the thing that seemed to be lacking was that third leg of the stool where they were thinking about the social fall-out of those decisions. But here in BC I don’t think that there’s been much of a willingness to jump into pragmatic economic arrangements or environmental protection. (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 1). Overall the Australian approach seemed to trip participants to be more pragmatic and less focused on the social impacts than would be expected if similar reforms were undertaken in BC (Warwick-Sears June 2010, 1). One issue that did not impress van der Gulik was that: That when we went around and talked to all these agencies you didn’t hear about the plight of farmers and the stress factor. It was only in one of our last meetings with the wine grape growers association that the issue became evident [through all of the materials on farmer depression and stress management techniques in their foyer]. When we asked a question about it, he answered ‘luckily, we haven’t lost anybody yet, but people are hurting out there’. They don’t want to talk about it very much. Farmers are the end guys, there’s going to be a lot of hurt there. And nobody is really talking about that, they keep thinking it’s all going to happen, it’s all going to be fine, people will get paid out, people will leave their farms. Just leaving your home, whether you get paid for it or not is stressful. […] There’s this sector of society that’s feeding Australia and the world, that they seem to be able to brush off and say ‘we can do all this and it’s just a few people in the hinterland that will get hurt’, that to me was not impressive. What are you doing to help those communities to manage that stress? (van der Gulik post-interview June 2010, 1-2) The Canadian experts observed a high degree of uncertainty over the Basin Plan at lower levels, and expressed concern over the relatively low level of public engagement – although this may have been a product of the timing of our travels, as extensive consultation has taken place since (post-RWGMB, MN 79; MDBA website).  Nonetheless, British Columbia has a history of multi-stakeholder engagement processes related to natural resources management60, and the lack of strong engagement at the community level and                                                             60 Such as the Water Use Planning (WUP) process undertaken by the Government of British Columbia in the 1990s “to re-examine water allocation at all major hydroelectric sites in the province, in light of changing public values and new information about the social and environmental impacts of dams”(Failing, Gregory and Harstone 2007, 52). British Columbia is also “the only jurisdiction in which CP [collaborative planning] has been implemented 106  transparency from the outset where noted as areas which could be improved (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 2). The state representatives we spoke to felt the “Basin Plan consultation has been poor because the Commonwealth is used to top-down decision-making” (NSWOW, MN 97). This may also reflect a learning curve for federal government agencies with regards to water management, as this has traditionally been solely a state responsibility (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 6). Whatever the reason, there has been significant push-back from communities who feel the consultation was lacking and a parliamentary inquiry61 into the regional impacts of the Basin Plan was launched on October 28, 2010.  Preliminary findings of the inquiry note one aspect of the Australian Commonwealth’s approach that had also surprised trip participants: lack of coordination between environmental water buy-backs and infrastructure investments (ibid). From the Canadian experts’ perspective, greater social engineering and planning would have been more acceptable in BC, if done to minimize harm and make government investments more effective (post-RWGMB, MN 79). From my perspective, this reaction speaks to the acceptance of market mechanisms in Australia and notions of the proper role of governments explored earlier in the cultural lens section62. Based on what we heard about only buying from willing sellers and “focus[ing] on the assets (key environmental system aspects) rather than on the individual” (MDBA, MN 42-43; MDBA Guide 2010?), I suggest that one possible explanation for this lack of coordination is that the Commonwealth needed to bound the complexity of their planning endeavor and wanted to create a level playing field with minimal coercion of individuals. By this reasoning, it is possible that they chose not to decide on who should sell out their entitlements based on their location in the system (which would be picking winners and losers) because they wanted to avoid a direct form of discrimination and state coercion. Instead they continued with the policy direction of treating irrigators as independent businesses (NWC, MN 36), allowing them the freedom to choose whether to sell out or upgrade their systems within the market – a system of distribution which appears to be considered fair by Australians.  To a certain extent this lack of coordination of buy-backs and infrastructure investments may have backfired – as what may appear equitable from a high-level system-wide perspective, may appear negligent or irresponsible from a ground level perspective where the distributed effects of the system                                                                                                                                                                                                systematically to develop land and resource management plans for almost the entire land base of the province” (Frame, Gunton, and Day 2004, 59-60).  61 For more information on the  ‘Inquiry into the impact of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in Regional Australia’ visit: http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/ra/murraydarling/index.htm  62See the Cultural lens section in the Context Chapter. 107  are well-known63.  A letter on the interim Parliamentary inquiry findings highlights community concerns about the “‘swiss cheese’ effect of water buy backs on irrigation districts” (Standing Committee on Regional Australia 2011, 1), to which the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (Hon Tony Burke) replied they have changed buy-back arrangements and are “considering further options for prioritizing strategic recovery of water and minimising ‘Swiss Cheese’ effects” (2011, 2).  Ideas for further exploration on water reform To me, the stakeholder engagement and social impact issues discussed by trip participants raise important questions about the definition of sustainability applied in water reforms. Is the emphasis on economy and the environment in Australian water a result of crisis? And if so, how can the social aspect be safeguarded in the face of crisis while still achieving objectives of economic and environmental sustainability? Or, in the absence of crisis, how can environmental aspects be given adequate consideration to protect them as the base for society and economy? There is a long-standing theoretical debate on definitions of sustainability in the academic literature (Holden and Linnerud 2007, 175-176; Hopwood, Mellor, and O’Brien 2005). Of significance to this discussion is a distinction between those who believe the definition of sustainability should emphasize an equal distribution of decision-making priority across environment, economy and society (what Gibson calls the “three pillars approach”),  and those who advocate an approach to decision-making that recognizes economy, society and environment are heavily integrated, and believe ecological limits set the context within which decision-making about the balancing of environmental, economic and social components should be made64 (Gibson 2006, 263; Flint 2004, 44). Tensions between stakeholder groups over changing governmental understandings of sustainability in relation to water policy were evident in discussions with various Australians as there appears to have been an evolution in the government’s treatment of these issues from the early reforms of the 1990s to the Water Act 2007 (NSWIC, MN 11; MI, MN 64; MDBA, MN 44). More research is needed to explore these issues if Canadian water experts are to effectively advocate the integration of environmental, economic, and social considerations to decision-makers in a way that                                                             63For example, during the worst years of drought Murrumbidgee Irrigation was unable to supply high security water to irrigators further out in the system because they did not have enough for conveyance flows to these properties (MI, MN 63). A more complex system was developed (taking into account general or high security license, pricing group, and where the property sits) to deal with the problems of local distribution realities (MI, MN 62).    64 Such as the ecological governance perspective described in Chapter 4, on page 59. 108  acknowledges the potential for future understandings of sustainability to change as water reforms evolve over time. Lessons on Water Management Tour Process: Context, Verification, and Inspiration For trip participants the Australian water management tour was about professional development, about expanding their knowledge of Australian water issues, and about verifying that we are on “the good path” with regards to water management in BC (van der Gulik 26 April 2010, 6; Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 3). In our interview prior to leaving for Australia Warwick-Sears talked about her desire to get a sense of what is possible:  A lot of times what you have to do is that you have to convince people that change is possible, and that they can do things; and I think that the longer you stay somewhere (especially in government) the more you slow down, you see all the risks, you start protecting yourself and you don’t think big and aggressively about what kind of changes need to happen. [In Australia] there are some major major changes that have happened really quickly, and they didn’t change because people were being cautious and protecting the status quo, they changed because people were comfortable with taking those risks and moving forward. So I hope that it will open my mind to those possibilities, and then I can bring that back to the Okanagan. (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 1-2). Having taken a similar tour on drip irrigation in Israel, van der Gulik set out to gain a better understanding of the Australian context and the empowerment that comes from firsthand knowledge.  [When] you see what’s going on first hand, you get a very different impression about Israel and the people, and what they’re trying to do and what’s going on, than when you read about it or when you see about it on television. […] By having been there you can see, ‘ok, we’re going down the good path’ – what we’re doing makes a lot of sense. And it probably does. But you just have more authority to say ‘we’re definitely going down the right path’. (van der Gulik 26 April 2010, 5-6) In their post-trip interviews both trip participants believed that the trip had verified they are on the right course (particularly with regards to science-based decision-making, OKIM, and communications efforts) and felt energized and empowered to continue striving for better water management in the Okanagan and BC (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 13-14, 22; Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 3, 5, 13).   What I found out when I went to Australia and Israel is that it wasn’t so much about learning as about coming back and verifying. Because when you’re saying we’d like to go down this path, people ask ‘why are we doing that?’ And then you can come back and say ‘well in Israel this is what they’re doing’, and then it’s much easier to say ‘this is where we need to go too’ because you’ve got the right story and you can verify that what you are doing is the right thing. (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 13) 109  You go through your life and you get acclimated to your perceived limits –  like ‘oh, we can’t do that here in the Okanagan’ or ‘that’s too political’ or ‘people will never go for that’ or whatever – and then you go somewhere else and you see that people have changed in this radical way and it’s not, it’s certainly not impossible.[…] I know now that these things are possible and that we can move forward, at least in exploring them and finding out what will work for the Okanagan. (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 3) An example of radical thinking that inspired Warwick-Sears was the Snowy Hydro business model developed during the drought, described in Box 5 (Warwick-Sears 3 June 2010, 3). The lesson here is that there are opportunities to redesign water systems on the business or service side even on large infrastructure systems that were designed with different climatic and economic parameters in mind.                     Eucumbene Dam – The largest storage in the Snowy Hydro-electric Scheme The Snowy Mountains Scheme (owned by Snowy Hydro Ltd.) was constructed between 1949 and 1974 to provide energy and water supply security to south-eastern Australia. The Scheme regulates some of the upper reaches of both the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers, two of the largest working rivers in the nation. After corporatization Snowy Hydro reviewed and changed its business model: with their fast start generation capability they decided to become peak generator insurers. Rather than using water to generate power continuously, they now generate only during times of peak energy demand and have the ability to pump water back up on off-peak times. They sell insurance to energy retailers enabling them to always buy energy at a fixed price. When prices go over the insured level on the spot market, Snowy compensates the retailer and generates power to make back the difference. In the past Snowy Hydro generated roughly 25% of national energy, under their current business model they generate 2-3% while still meeting their irrigation requirements and remaining profitable. The Snowy case is an excellent example of smart thinking under the duress of an extreme drought. They turned their problem of not being able to release water continuously, into their asset. The case also illustrates precisely how sophisticated their river regulation system is on the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers, the Scheme is a key structural component that enables the effective use of water markets in the Murray-Darling Basin.  (Snowy Hydro, MN 54-59) Box 5.  Innovation Under Duress: How Snowy Hydro Generates Profits with Limited Water 110  One of the most important contributions of this research project has been enabling trip participants’ professional development. Knowing more about the context of Australian innovations allows them to contextualize discussions about what lessons can be imported to BC from Australia. Bringing this perspective to their respective roles they have the opportunity to influence the customization of solutions and strategies to meet the needs of a particular place – the Okanagan.    111  CONCLUSION From a high level perspective there are a number of lessons identified by this research project that Canada can learn from the Australian water experience. We can learn from their willingness to take responsibility for their water resources; from their governments’ insistence on full cost accounting and transparency; from their leadership – filling out and exercising their powers. Perhaps the biggest lesson from Australia is that transforming a nation’s relationship to water is not easy. Water reforms (particularly those of the scale seen in Australia) require time, dedication, leadership, information, and resources; they also require experimentation – to learn what works best in a particular place.  Lessons on How to Change In seeking to take ideas, models, or principles on water management that we admire from elsewhere, I argue that such transfers can benefit from an examination of the values and systemic constraints behind them and a consideration of what our own values and systems constraints are. From there we can begin to develop approaches that draw on the best aspects from each country and are realistically designed to meet the recipient context’s needs.  Identifying key principles I suggest that one way to learn from international examples (like Australia) while attending to issues of cultural context and fit is by identifying principles or ideas that underlie their approaches and using these to develop similar solutions at home, as for example done by Wagner and White (2009). They identified one such principle in the Spanish water literature while they were seeking improved governance models for the Okanagan: “the incentive to participate in the planning process is present regardless of available supply of water, which may encourage the most efficient use of the resource under all climatic conditions”(2009, 386). In Valencia, Spain this was done by “establishing a set of regulations that will apply even in times of relative abundance” that are enforced in part by the organized irrigation communities themselves (ibid).  From the Australian perspective, we could say a similar incentive comes in the form of water markets in the Murray-Darling, whereby irrigators are encouraged to make the best use of their water resources by the fact that these are some of their most valuable financial assets (NSWIC, MN 14). In this context, managing one’s water assets wisely can be seen as good business practice in any given water supply scenario. What might a Canadian approach to incentivizing irrigation practices that support efficient use regardless of water supply status be? Further research is needed to answer this question and others like it, and to develop tools and processes for identifying relevant cultural lens(es) and contextual factors of significance. Different kinds of experts 112  need to be brought in who are well versed in these questions of values and worldviews. Anthropologists, sociologists, environmental psychologists, and those working in fields such as Society and Technology Studies (STS) would be useful members to have onside any such water management exchange project.  Developing questions for reformers Another way to learn from international examples is by analyzing the legal or planning documents that articulate a water reform’s ‘how to’ with an eye for what issues are being addressed and how, then developing questions about these for decision-makers looking to undertake similar reforms65. In the Ecological Governance chapter I analyzed the Water Act 2007 and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan using the Water Act 2007, the Guide to the Basin Plan and my field notes to show how Australia is attempting to realign human and environmental water uses in the Basin. Later, in the section on ‘Canadian reflections on the Basin Plan’ in the Lessons Chapter, I highlighted the Canadian team’s perspectives on the Basin Plan process and some of the issues that have resulted from choices reform planners have made to date.  Building on this analysis I have generated the following list of questions for governments to ask themselves when considering emulating such reforms:  • What are the ecological consequences of the current water management and governance regimes? Is the target system’s ecological health degraded or deteriorating? Is there adequate information to assess the condition of the ecosystem?  • Is the nation food secure? If yes, what role does agricultural production play in the economy? What, if any, are the long-term threats to agricultural production if water use continues along the same path? If not, what information is available to assess whether the current system of water use is sustainable over the long-term? If ecosystem health in agricultural regions is degrading, how long will the environment support the current level of agricultural production? Is there adequate information to accurately assess the costs of realigning agricultural production with improved ecological health versus increasing food imports? • If the choice is made to undertake serious structural reforms to rebalance ecological and human uses of water, is there a system in place (for example such as river regulation infrastructure and water markets in Australia) that provides a means to restructure while ensuring a degree of                                                             65 Anthony Dorcey used a similar technique of raising questions about the recipient context when discussing the potential for transferring North American lessons on negotiation and mediation around natural resources to Australia (1991). 113  individual freedom of choice? Is individual freedom a priority, or are other values considered more important? If so, what are these values and how can the reform process be designed to uphold them? • Are the reforms being undertaken as a result of crisis or during a crisis? Is this a moment of opportunity (what van der Gulik calls a “teachable moment”) when people are open to new ideas or willing to take drastic measures to change course? If so, is it possible to take advantage of this period to build political consensus on water reform goals and processes? Are the actions undertaken legally binding to ensure decisions can be made in line with reforms, even if the political focus shifts away from water issues later on? • How will the conflict between short-term political interests (for example those due to electoral cycles) and long-term sustainability targets be managed? How will the resources needed to implement reforms and maintain new systems be ensured over the mid- to long-term? • How will conflicts between scientific and local knowledge be managed? Will there be an iterative planning process to allow for inclusion of aspects of both? • What kind of communications and/or engagement strategy is appropriate to the reforms being undertaken? Are different communications approaches needed for different stakeholder audiences? Is there a way to tap into existing networks and relationships of trust to design a more effective outreach strategy?  How will stakeholder issues and feedback be integrated into an implementation and transition strategy? Driven to Change: Ecological Governance in the Murray-Darling Other important lessons may be learned by looking at how change has been spelled out in water law and policy. The Water Act 2007 and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, described in the Ecological Governance chapter, demonstrate that it is possible to shift the legal foundation for water management to better reflect the needs and complexities of the present and new understandings of the human relationship to water resources provided by complex adaptive systems theories.  The Basin Plan is an example of the kind of hard decision-making and consequences that come from a legacy of water use focused primarily on short-term production and economic returns under assumptions of relative climate stability (Connell 2007, 3; fed rep, MN 51). Prompted by serious ecological degradation and prolonged drought, the proposed Basin Plan reforms combine extensive water research and political restructuring (MDBA Guide 2010; CSIRO, MN 30-31; NSWOW, MN 101). From what we heard, Australians were forced by the drought (especially the 2006-2007 year) to 114  question their past assumptions, to take up the challenge of managing under conditions of uncertainty. By proposing a move to sustainable diversion limits the Murray-Darling Basin Authority hope to both rehabilitate the ecosystem and improve resilience in communities across the MDB (MDBA, MN 43; DEWHA, MN 45).  Increasing complexity in water management issues forces us to accept the inherent uncertainty in our water management endeavors, calling upon us to recognize that the certainty of the progress paradigm – with its faith in humanity’s ability to catalogue, engineer and control the natural world – is an idea (perhaps a luxury) that can no longer be afforded. If ecological governance is to be adopted uncertainty must be met with humility and flexibility. As I described earlier, the areas where the Australians hope to create greater certainty with the Basin Plan (including governance and management strategies) are those human-dominated spheres over which humans can hope to have a higher degree of control than over the environment we live in. Whereas within the progress paradigm the objective was to control nature, one could say, within the sustainability paradigm the objective is to improve resilience and humanity’s ability to deal with change. Yet there appears to be a tension, a battle of sorts being waged in the ideological arena around Australia’s latest phase of water reforms. There are those who have converted, who have taken up sustainability and systems thinking, and those who still believe in the old paradigm, in the ability to engineer our way out of everything. Accepting uncertainty and complexity is not necessarily a precursor to accepting the solutions that the MDBA and partners have developed in the Basin Plan. There are many paths to sustainability and those in agreement on the need to change course are not necessarily going to be in agreement on the best pathway to change.  This is another lesson of Australia’s water reforms: changing the underlying idea, the paradigmatic lens, may shift the parameters of the dialogue, but it remains very much a socially dynamic process – a continual negotiation on the best way forward. In terms of adaptation, I view this diversity of views and ideas as an asset. Just as biodiversity allows multiple avenues of change and enhances ecosystem resilience through flexibility, so too does socio-diversity, a diversity of ideas, contribute to innovation and responsive problem solving. This is a variation on a theme as many anthropologists have advocated that cultural diversity is critical in the same way as biodiversity – because it offers many alternative ways for humans to relate to their environment (Peterson et al 2010, 6; Turner, Davidson-Hunt, and O’Flaherty 2003, 442; Maffi 2005, 603).  115  Social Barriers and Opportunities: Canadian Crisis of Ignorance In contrast to Australia, our water crisis in Canada is not about whether or not there is enough water (though this can be a problem in some areas and times (Bakker 2009, 17; Brandes et al 2005, 24)); it is about our collective stewardship of water. Abundance can breed apathy, as water is taken for granted. And, unfortunately, apathy can lead to neglect or complacency – with symptoms such as high water consumption (Shrubsole and Draper 2007, 42), out-dated and deteriorating infrastructure (Morris et al 2007, 5), and a chronic shortage of water data (van der Gulik 1 June 2010, 19). These symptoms indicate that water is simply not a priority on the Canadian political agenda. As water experts in a meeting I attended in fall 2010 pointed out, many of the challenges with water in Canada (such as frequent boil water advisories in some First Nations’ communities and remote rural communities, and excessive consumption) would be relatively straightforward to fix if given adequate attention (CWN-Gordon Foundation 2010). The Australian example shows that overcoming apathy and resistance to change requires resources and effort. It requires creativity and engagement. It requires us to bring politicians onboard to campaign for safe and healthy waters in Canada’s future.  Recent polls show that Canadians care about water (Nanos 2009; RBC-Unilever 2011). What my research suggests is that we need to build feedback loops into the everyday lives of Canadians to increase their understanding of water and their active role in an integrated water system.  Perhaps Canadians are unaware of widespread ignorance concerning their water resources and infrastructure because for too long they have not had accurate signals reflected in their prices or other mechanisms.  Maybe we are too quick to blame apathy and the myth of water abundance when we do not look at how we are systematically supporting both. We need to question our own assumptions, and recognize that simply blaming the myth of water abundance for lack of Canadian engagement on water issues can disempower water professionals by removing agency, the power to change. We need to examine the myth more critically, searching for its roots and how to change it, or whether or not it really is a problem at all. I was unable to find any studies, aside from John Sprague’s article (‘Great Wet North? Canada’s Myth of Water Abundance’ (2007)), that investigate the myth systematically. This gap presents an opportunity for further research on the myth and on Canadian water values and perceptions. Another potential avenue for future research would be to investigate water literacy in Canada, and whether or not the ignorance about Canada’s water resources expressed in the myth of water abundance is a barrier to increasing the social value of water. 116  From feedback loops to accountability the lessons trip participants have brought back from Australia described in the previous chapter are largely about clarification, transparency, and definition. To better connect Canadians to their water resources we need to clarify the different relationships Canadians have with water. To motivate investment we need to make water services and their costs more visible and transparent. To govern effectively we need to define the roles and responsibilities of different levels of government, and governments need to take up their powers to protect and maintain Canada’s water resources.  Australia’s economic approach to sustainability Many of the changes that have occurred in Australia have been driven by the crisis of a severe drought, but the other driver – competitiveness – also needs to be recognized. There are economically strategic reasons for adopting water reforms and taking a more proactive approach to water resource issues, and the Canadian team’s observations support the claim that a sustainable water future can be a prosperous one. Australian water reforms have taken an economic approach to sustainability, and the lesson from this approach is that it is possible to make a strong economic case for sustainable water management; one that has the potential to put a nation in a strategically powerful position visa vi the global economy.  As discussed in the Lessons Chapter, there are several opportunities to connect Canadians to their waters, and one of the most powerful of these is being transparent about the costs of water service provision. In his keynote address to the 2010 International Water Association conference, John Carey (former Director General of Environment Canada’s Science and Technology Directorate) laid out his theory for why the three main arguments advanced for water efficiency in Canada do not work. He finds the first argument – that there is a world water crisis and Canadians need to do their part – to be too abstract and intangible, as it is difficult to link Canadian water use behaviors to effects on other continents. He challenges the second argument – that Canada is facing domestic water shortages – on the grounds that the percentage of Canadians facing domestic shortages is small, whereas many more Canadians live on the shores of the Great Lakes or other bodies of water and can see for themselves that there is abundant water in the landscape. “It doesn’t work to be counterintuitive in these kinds of appeals because people won’t believe you” (ibid). Lastly, he believes the third argument – Canadians heavy use of water makes them water wasters (the guilt approach) – to be unfair because the statistics on water use are poor (given the lack of household metering) and he asserts that all of the system losses should not be laid on the individual. When these main arguments do not resonate with people, how do we make an effective argument for increased efficiency? He argues, “in the end, an effective case for 117  volume-based pricing needs to focus on demonstrable net benefits to society and individuals” (ibid). This claim is supported by the Australian emphasis on economic valuation as a direct influencer of water consumer behavior.  Making the link between water resources and money is somewhat taboo in Canada, but the linkage is there nonetheless. Whether Canadians like it or not, there are dollar signs associated with water – it costs money to purify and distribute water – and I suggest that these costs have remained hidden from view for too long. Many of the lessons from Australia would require water experts to challenge this taboo and make an economic case for better water management. Reluctance by water managers to make financial arguments for water stewardship is understandable given the taboo. However, financial levers resonate with politicians, so by avoiding this discussion water experts in Canada may be setting aside one of their best weapons against Canadian water illiteracy and undervaluing of water.  What my anthropological perspective brings to this discussion is the importance of framing these arguments in culturally acceptable terms. The cultural lens concept introduced in the Context Chapter can help water experts to work through the process of importing lessons by identifying key principles for transfer and then customizing solutions to apply them within the particular constellation of values and systems at home.  For instance, making a clear distinction between the social values of water (tangible and intangible) and the real costs of water service provision could help water managers to navigate this water commodification taboo. Because language and presentation are important when dealing with social values associated with natural resources, further research is needed to map out the terrain of water values in Canada and to identify barriers and opportunities for shifting the Canadian relationship with water from one of possession to one of water stewardship.  Canadians do not share the same faith in experts or economics that the Australians appear to – particularly in relation to water, which they fear if commoditized will be vulnerable to American exploitation. For this reason, to leverage economic arguments Canadian water experts need to clearly define the boundaries of their discussions and develop strategies (and language) to specifically manage these fears and taboos. The boogie man of bulk water transfers should not be allowed to trump more immediate threats of water infrastructure failures or ecosystem degradation due to insufficient investment in water resources.  Given the taboo I do not recommend placing a price-tag on Canada’s water resources; however, I suggest a price-tag should be associated to the systems and strategies needed to maintain these waters in good standing for future generations.  118  Future Pathways to Sustainability: Changing the Canadian Relationship to Water Resources As discussed in the lessons chapter, the biggest challenges to improving water management in Canada identified by trip participants are social and perceptual. They require creativity, leadership, and persistence to change. As Warwick-Sears pointed out in her pre-trip interview: if people could view their environment differently they would be using less water and expecting a different kind of landscaping or environment around them. And that’s a very slow steady kind of social change that has to do with things like a combination of social marketing, education programs, water pricing increases, working in conjunction with other municipalities so that everybody is putting out the same messaging. We’re working with media people who are onboard; it’s a kind of a gradual whittling away at people. But what it is is it’s having a big long term vision – ‘we need to change things and let’s work on it’. That sort of slow creeping social movement I think can be energized by droughts or drought conditions or crises, but it’s maybe you can’t really have social change without both. Because if you don’t have that steady, consistent progress then there’s nothing to hang the social change of the crises on. It’s like having infrastructure. (Warwick-Sears 29 April 2010, 13-14) We need to build that infrastructure for social change by continuing to learn from other places and our own experiments; we need to define our own path to more sustainable water management. A Canadian water reform journey will by definition differ from that of Australia, but by understanding more about how these two contexts compare we can learn in a situated way from the paths they have taken. As anthropologist John Wagner points out there is “global variation of environmental ethics and behavior”, and this “reinforces the argument that communities with different histories and values will not reach sustainability by following a single formula” (Wagner 2010, 5). 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May 6. International Water Centre (IWC, MN). 2010. Author’s meeting notes. Sydney, NSW. May 4. www.watercentre.org Irrigation Australia (IA, MN). 2010. Author’s meeting notes. Sydney, NSW. May 13. www.irrigation.org.au Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA, MN). 2010. Author’s meeting notes. Canberra, ACT. May 6. (combined with DEWHA meeting). www.mdba.gov.au Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd (MI, MN). 2010. Author’s meeting notes. Griffith, NSW. May 10. www.mirrigation.com.au National Water Commission (NWC, MN). 2010. Author’s meeting notes. Canberra, ACT. May 6. www.nwc.gov.au New South Wales Irrigators’ Council (NSWIC, MN). 2010. Author’s meeting notes. Sydney, NSW. May 3. www.nswirrigators.org.au New South Wales Office of Water (NSWOW, MN). 2010. Author’s meeting notes. Sydney, NSW. May 14. www.water.nsw.gov.au Riverina Wine Grape Marketing Board (RWGMB, MN). 2010. Author’s meeting notes. Griffith, NSW. May 11.  www.wgmb.net.au Snowy Hydro (Snowy Hydro, MN). 2010. Author’s meeting notes. Cooma, NSW. May 7.  www.snowyhydro.com.au/ Sydney Water (Sydney Water, MN). 2010. Author’s meeting notes. Sydney, NSW. May 14. www.sydneywater.com.au   131  APPENDICES Appendix A: Literature Review for Trip Participants (April 2010) Introduction In the past two decades Australia has experienced dramatic changes across the entire spectrum of their water resources, from physical changes caused by increasing climatic variability and drought to a complete restructuring of the water sector. Institutional and policy reform in the water domain has been driven by visible signs of environmental degradation in freshwater ecosystems, salinity problems, water scarcity, shifting governmental priorities, and most significantly economic reforms. This literature review provides an overview of the history of water management in Australia, giving special attention to the water policy reforms since the 1990s. Australia has shifted from a development mindset to one of Environmentally Sustainable Development and embarked on a journey of water reform that is astounding in terms of its comprehensiveness and rapid pace of change. Information about the Canadian policy context has been provided throughout the literature review to facilitate comparisons between the two nations. The sheer volume of literature on water policy changes in Australia means that this overview is far from comprehensive; however my hope is that it will shed light on many of the issues we will encounter during the Australian Water Tour. To further this aim, a second section has been added after the literature review devoted to descriptions of the organisations we will be meeting on our site visits.  Australian water resources in context The island nation of Australia covers an area of roughly 7.7 million square kilometres with a population of roughly 19 million (McKay 2005, 35). Geopolitically, the country is divided into 6 states (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia) and 3 Territories (Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, and Jervis Bay Territory), as well as holding jurisdiction over a number of islands and a portion of Antarctica. Figure 1 is a political map of Australia, a notable hydrological feature of which is the border between New South Wales and Victoria which is formed by the iconic Murray River. Lin Crase provides a good description of the character of the landscape:  Millennia of geographic isolation have resulted in unique flora and fauna, all well-adapted to    withstand the vagaries of the Australian climate. The land mass itself is among the oldest and the   flattest, and around 20 percent is classified as desert whereas almost two-thirds is regarded as    either semi-arid or arid and unsuitable for settlement by modern standards. Most of the ancient    subsoils are also heavily invested with salt.  (2008, 3). This ancient soil combined with a climate that is characterized by acute variability in precipitation and high potential evaporation, result in Australia having “very low runoff in comparison with other continents” (Letcher and Powells 2008, 19). This context presented colonisers and later water developers with unique challenges, many of which have been solved through massive engineering projects. For example, to obtain a similar level of water security to that expected by European models of agriculture, water storage in the Australian context is higher than annual water use (McKay 2005, 36). In Australia’s food bowl, the Murray-Darling Basin, water storage is 2.8 times its annual flow “to ensure a 132  high degree of drought-proofing” (ibid).  Already drought-prone, Australia is predicted to experience increasingly extreme climatic variability in the future, presenting water managers and policymakers with a new host of unique challenges to adapt to. Thus, in water, climate change is a key driver of innovation and reform.  Figure 11.  Political Map of Australia Showing the Location of the Murray-Darling Basin                              Source:  © Murray-Darling Basin Authority, by permission.  Water management and water policy in Australia History of approaches to water in Australia Prior to the arrival of English colonizers in 1788, indigenous populations had resided on the continent for over 40,000 years and developed a “profound knowledge of water and a strong affinity with the environment”(Crase 2008, 3). The British brought with them social norms and land use practices adapted to European climate and soils, and their “exploitative approach radically altered the natural environment”(ibid, 4). While the British brought the same approaches to the Canadian context, including the dispossession of native peoples through the doctrine of Terra Nullius, more of the legal norms that were imported have remained than in Australia. Arguably this is because the landscape of the Canadian colonies bore a much closer resemblance to that of Northern Europe and these systems were workable in the Canadian context in a way they simply were not in Australia. For example, in 133  Canadian systems of water rights (shown in Table 1), four provinces still use the riparian rights systems rooted in English common law and Quebec uses the civil code which is based on French Napoleonic law.  Table 8.  Overview of Systems of Water Rights in Canada Province/Territory Prior Allocation Public Authority Management Riparian  Rights Civil Code Aboriginal  Water Rights British Columbia X    X Alberta X    X Saskatchewan X    X Manitoba X    X Ontario   X  X Quebec    X X Newfoundland & Labrador   X  X New Brunswick   X  X Nova Scotia X*    X Prince Edward Island   X  X Yukon   X   X Northwest Territories  X   X Nunavut  X   X                                                                                                                                                             Based on Belzile 2008 Within a hundred years of settlement, the doctrine of riparian rights had been abolished in Australia and replaced by locally developed systems more appropriate to the Australian environment. Interestingly, in both Canada and Australia the Terra Nullius doctrine that dispossessed native populations has been overturned in court decisions (respectively, Delgamuukw in 1997 and Mabo in 1988) that recognise the existence of native title, opening up the question of aboriginal water rights.  Jennifer McKay has identified four major phases of water law and policy since colonisation in 1788:   • Phase 1 (1788-1886): Common Law  • Phase 2 (1886-1994): Vesting the Use Power and Control in the States  • Phase 3 (1994-2004): Council of Australian Government (CoAG) Reforms  • Phase 4 (2004 to present): National Water Initiative (NWI) & Commonwealth Water Bill 2007 (McKay 2008, 44-53)  In Phase I, England applied the doctrine of Terra Nullius to Australia (essentially denying the existence of any indigenous laws) and the colony came under the governance of English Common Law. This involved riparian rule for surface water, which granted usage rights to landholders adjacent to bodies of water, and the unimpeded extraction of groundwater rule (McKay 2006, 115).  In Phase 2, common law was replaced by a diversity of state approaches. In terms of water rights, a variety of state allocation and licensing systems developed for both surface and groundwater with little 134  consideration for conjunctive uses (McKay 2008, 45). The riparian doctrine had proved insufficient in such an arid climate and experiments with prior appropriation proved too litigious (Musgrave 2008, 30).   More broadly, this phase was characterised by large state development projects and supply side solutions to scarcity, including the development of large storages to promote resource security. Further evidence of the mismatch between European models and the realities of the Australian water context is the fact that “for a given level of supply security, Australian dam storage capacities need to be twice that of the world mean and six times that of Europe”(Musgrave 2008, 30).  Riparian rule was set aside by the Irrigation Act 1886 largely to enable the development of state irrigation systems (Davis 1967, 649). Farmers originally wanted these systems to act as insurance against drought years and continued to practice the “land extensive methods of wheat/sheep farming that they knew best”(Musgrave 2008, 32). Intensive irrigation development did not begin until the 20th century. After World War I, Soldier Settlement schemes gave returning soldiers agricultural blocks (often <50 acres) with newly developed irrigation systems. While these schemes doubled the irrigated area in many states and shifted Australia from an importer to an exporter of food; they largely failed due to poor planning (resulting in salinity and waterlogging problems) and the new farmers’ inexperience (Davis 1967, 660). Despite these problems, state funded irrigation infrastructure expanded with the aims of more intensive irrigation and closer settlement, particularly in Victoria and NSW (Davis 1967, 663). Most big dam construction took place between 1960 and 1979, when a total of 50,000GL of storage capacity was constructed, bringing large dam storage from 9,509GL (1 GL=109 liters) to 78,919GL by 1990 (McKay 2005, 36). While European water rights systems went out of fashion fairly rapidly, the imported developmentalist paradigm of control was expanded to meet the extremes of the Australian context. Another key event in this second phase was federation in 1901 which established the respective roles of states, territories, and the Commonwealth in relation to water.  The states agreed to federate “but only on the condition that Section 100 of the Constitution preserved the rights of the States to control the conservation of water and its use for irrigation”(McKay 2006, 115). Thus responsibility for water resources remained with the states, much as the majority of responsibility over water resources resides with the provinces in Canada. Given the two nations’ similar colonial histories it is not surprising that the historical division of powers in each are quite similar. Federal jurisdiction in Canada includes fisheries, transboundary waters, and shipping and navigation (Government of Canada 2005, 2). Australia also has jurisdiction over navigation and fisheries, however its constitutional power over fisheries only applies to “fisheries in Australian waters beyond territorial limits”(Australian Constitution, section 51.x). The Australian government has historically intervened in water management under “Sections 81 and 96 of the Constitution which gives the Commonwealth power to grant financial assistance to the States and impose Conditions”(McKay 2006, 116). Such “fiscal federalism” has been the foundation for a much stronger national water program in the past two decades (McKay 2005, 42). One major difference in federal responsibilities stems from geography: Canada’s responsibility for international transboundary water management has no direct counterpart as Australia is an island nation. Close to “300 waterways and aquifers that cross or form the Canada-United States border” and “[t]he majority of the Canadian population lives within these watersheds”(Environment Canada, 2005: 3) making bilateral agreements between nations (and sometimes neighbouring provinces and states) a critical part of water 135  management in Canada. In contrast, internal intergovernmental relations play a much stronger role in Australia as demonstrated in Phases 3 and 4.  In Phase 3, the Council of Australian Governments reforms shifted the focus from water exploitation and development to sustainable water management under the wider shift towards Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD). The last shreds of riparian thinking were removed in this phase as water rights were split from land and water markets were formed. In Phase 4, the National Water Initiative (NWI) and the Commonwealth Water Bill 2007 further clarify and refine the CoAG reforms, and the NWI redefines water entitlements as shares in a consumptive pool of resources. During the two most recent phases, the intergovernmental relationships surrounding water resources have undergone dramatic reforms in Australia, as described in the following section. These reforms recognize the importance of a coordinated national strategy for sustainable water management and developed in an environment of increasing cooperation between state, territory and Commonwealth governments. For years, Rob de Loë and others have been calling for a national strategy for water management in Canada (2009), yet despite recent infusions of cash into infrastructure as part of Canada’s economic stimulus package following the 2008 economic crash, there remains little evidence of serious federal interest in engaging with Provinces on a comprehensive national strategy for water in Canada.  Water reform in Australia While both Canada and Australia recognised the need to work towards sustainable development and more ecologically sustainable approaches to water management in the early 1990s, they diverged in terms of the political priority given to the environment and investment in change.  International context Not surprisingly, these new goals emerged out of a greater shift in the construction of environmental issues internationally. After the Brundtland Commission’s seminal report Our Common Future introduced the world to the notion of sustainable development in 1987, the 1992 International Conference on Water and the Environment produced the “Dublin Principles”:  5. Fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource, essential to sustaining life, development and the environment.  6. Water development and management should be based on a participatory approach, involving users, planners, and policy makers at all levels. 7. Women play a central part in the provision, management, and safeguarding of water. 8. Water has an economic value in all its competing uses and should be recognized as an economic good. (Conca 2006, 141) Also in 1992, the Earth Summit in Rio generated Agenda 21, “a voluminous ‘action plan’ for global sustainable development” which devoted an entire chapter to water issues that included a more complex and holistic view of water problems and the emerging approach of integrated water resources management (IWRM) (ibid, 144-145).  136  Timing certainly plays a role in explaining why Canada and Australia took such different directions with regards to water and sustainable development. In 1990, Canada released the ambitious Green Plan for a Healthy Environment, which:    pledged $3 billion in new funding for initiatives targeting clean air, clean water,     endangered species, climate change, ozone depletion, new national parks, the Arctic,     and better decision making.[...] Most Green Plan promises were never fulfilled, and the     majority of the money never materialized. The minor recession of the early 1990s, the     defeat of the federal Progressive Conservatives by the Liberals, and the renewed threat     of Quebec separation swept environmentally priorities off the government’s      radar.  (Boyd 2003, 296). In contrast in Australia, the formation of the Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) in 1992 marked a new era in terms of intergovernmental cooperation and ushered in what is known as “the ecologically sustainable development era”(Hussey and Dovers 2006, 38). Guided by the notion that a healthy environment is essential to supporting a prosperous economy, Australia embarked on a journey of water reform driven by a variety of emerging problems.  Drivers of change Prior to 1970, institutional changes in Australia’s water sector were largely driven by external factors such as British settlement requirements and the politics of federation (McKay 2005, 40). Post-1970 change, on the other hand, has been driven by factors within the water sector such as “water scarcity, salinity, cost-recovery issues and droughts”(ibid). In the late 1980s very visible signs of environmental degradation, such as diminishing biodiversity and algal blooms along the Darling River, brought issues of diminishing water quality and quantity home to the Australian public (Crase 2009, 7). Water policymakers at the time also faced challenges due to: a legacy of decades of state development that had encouraged farmers to expand water use, a trend towards smaller government that corroded the economic rationale behind continued state sponsorship of irrigation, and a powerful water bureaucracy entrenched in engineering solutions that was no longer adequate for dealing with the range of emerging water problems (ibid, 7-8). Despite these pressing factors, the biggest driver for change in water management was one related to a wider shift in economic policy, as the Council of Australian Governments was formed largely to improve economic efficiency and competiveness (Hussey and Dovers 2006, 38). In this sense, Australia took the adoption of the fourth Dublin Principle, that “water is an economic good” very seriously.  Council of Australian Government reforms (CoAG reforms) The Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) was formed in 1992 to move forward national reforms aimed at making the country more internationally competitive and economically efficient (Crase 2008, 7). The broader aim was to reform Australia’s economy in line with the objective of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD), which involved a new ‘triple-bottom line’ approach that recognized the central role of the environment in supporting all aspects of the economy. Comprised of representatives from all the states and territories and from the Commonwealth, CoAG was formed to provide a forum for negotiation of cross-jurisdictional matters (Carrard 2004, 1). In 1994 137  governments signed the CoAG Agreement on Water Resource Policy, otherwise known as the Water Reform Framework. In 1995, the Competition Principles Agreement was signed, solidifying CoAG’s key role in water management. One important feature of this body is that it includes states with no interest in the Murray-Darling Basin, which allows for a national perspective on water issues (Crase 2008, 7).  The Water Reform Framework required numerous outcomes: • “Markets for water entitlements to improve efficiency” • “Full cost recovery” for water infrastructure and management • “Two-part water tariffs (adopted in urban areas in 1998 and rural areas in 2001)” • “Separate identification and funding of community-service obligations”, in other words splitting the functions of water management, provision, and regulation between different organisations • “Allocation of water for environmental and social needs”  • Application of the “principle of subsidiarity” (“management of resources at the level closest to the user” (McKay 2006, 117). This ambitious reform agenda was back by a $16 billion Commonwealth pool of funds dedicated to implementing CoAG reforms. Thus,   [a]t the core of CoAG’s influence is the financial might of the Commonwealth government    relative to the states. Progress against the agreed reform agenda is monitored and attracts    financial payments from the Commonwealth to the state and territory governments. Failure to    make adequate policy reform results in the withholding of transfer payments.  (Crase 2008, 7) Despite substantial progress being made on the restructuring of the water sector in the 1990s, John Quiggins identifies a number of the problems that emerged during the implementation of the CoAG reforms in the Murray-Darling Basin where a 1995 Cap on water withdrawals was imposed:  • Contingent entitlements – so called “sleeper” rights (allocations that had never been exercised) and “dozer” rights (allocation that had ceased to be used) – that had been issued under the old system amounted to an unsustainable total volume of allocations in the market.  • “The failure to take into account the system as a whole” – groundwater, farm dams, and rainfall collection all occurred ahead of the system, making them ‘free’ water.  • Limitations on permanent water trades (due to inter-basin transfer restrictions, lack of well developed markets in many areas, and ambiguity around the reliability and security of water rights) raised questions about the long term viability of the Cap solution. (2007, 8-9)  The National Water Initiative was crafted in large part to deal with these issues and other problems that emerged during the implementation of the first round of CoAG reforms.  National Water Initiative (NWI) The Intergovernmental  Agreement on a National Water Initiative (NWI) was introduced in 2004 to clarify CoAG reforms and to address problems that had arisen in the first round of reforms. The Agreement was signed by all parties in June 2004, except for Tasmania and Western Australia who 138  signed in 2005 and 2006 (McKay 2008, 52). The objectives of the NWI are laid out in Box 1 (which includes the text of Section 23 of Agreement).    23.  Full implementation of this Agreement will result in a nationally-compatible, market, regulatory and  planning based system of managing surface and groundwater resources for rural and urban use that  optimises economic, social and environmental outcomes by achieving the following:   i) clear and nationally-compatible characteristics for secure water access entitlements;   ii) transparent, statutory-based water planning;   iii) statutory provision for environmental and other public benefit outcomes, and improved    environmental management practices;   iv) complete the return of all currently overallocated or overused systems to    environmentally-sustainable levels of extraction;   v) progressive removal of barriers to trade in water and meeting other requirements to facilitate the              broadening and deepening of the water market, with an open trading market to be in place;   vi) clarity around the assignment of risk arising from future changes in the availability of    water for the consumptive pool;   vii) water accounting which is able to meet the information needs of different water systems in   respect to planning, monitoring, trading, environmental management and on-farm management;   viii) policy settings which facilitate water use efficiency and innovation in urban and rural areas;   ix) addressing future adjustment issues that may impact on water users and communities; and   recognition of the connectivity between surface and groundwater resources and connected   systems managed as a single resource.  (National Water Initiative, p. 3-4)    Box 6.  Objectives of the National Water Initiative 139  Section 24 of the NWI sets out the following eight key elements linking the objectives with commitments and actions to be undertaken:  i) Water Access Entitlements and Planning Framework;   ii) Water Markets and Trading;   iii) Best Practice Water Pricing;   iv) Integrated Management of Water for Environmental and Other Public Benefit Outcomes;   v) Water Resource Accounting;   vi) Urban Water Reform;   vii) Knowledge and Capacity Building; and   viii) Community Partnerships and Adjustment. (National Water Initiative, p. 4)  Briefly exploring aspects of the first element gives a sense of the wide range of changes policymakers are currently trying to implement. Water access entitlements and planning framework Each state and territory agrees to build specific considerations into their allocation and planning frameworks including: • Clarifying water access entitlements to enhance certainty by defining them as “a perpetual or open-ended share of the consumptive pool”(Section 28). By defining entitlements as shares in a common pool whose priority is determined by the relevant water plan, this clause removes both the land connection and the volumetric value of a license. This acknowledges that changes in water availability will affect all users, the degree to which will be determined by the level of security assigned to their share.  • Providing for environmental and other public outcomes to protect surface and groundwater sources. This is one of the biggest water reforms as it gives equal (or in some case senior) priority to environmental flows for the maintenance or rehabilitation of ecosystems. The visible issues of environmental degradation (declining water quality, increasing salinity, etc.) that prompted early CoAG reforms have made environmental water a top priority in the quest for sustainable water management in Australia. The Living Murray initiative is a great example of a program aimed at redressing the issues that resulted from a mismatch between the regulated flows of the development paradigm and the aquatic ecosystem adapted to the high natural variability of the Murray River system. Governments are actually buying back shares of water to address instream flow needs and allow rights holders to profitably diminish their shares while improving the overall quality of their local ecosystem.  • Implementing “firm pathways and open processes for returning previously overallocated and/or overdrawn surface and groundwater systems to environmentally sustainable levels of extraction”(NWI, section 25.v.). As mentioned earlier Murray-Darling Basin (shown in Figure 1) has been overallocated since the 1990s and a Cap was applied to extractions in 1995. In spite of the Cap, withdrawals continued to grow as allocations that had not been active came into the market. This  clause aims to address such “dozer” and “sleeper” rights across the country, which are particularly important in the MDB where “despite having only 6 percent of Australia’s total surface water runoff, more than 50 per cent of Australia’s water use occurs”(NWC 2005,8). 140   • Clarifying the assignment of risks for future changes to the consumptive pool. The intention behind the risk framework (and the NWI generally) is “to give water access entitlement holders more planning and investment certainty about how changes in water availability will be dealt with, and so contribute to a robust, transparent and sustainable planning framework in the long term” (NWC 2009, xi). One of the most contentious and least understood elements of the NWI by stakeholders is the framework for assigning risks (depicted in Box 2). One of the ideas behind earlier CoAG reforms was a recognition that farms are businesses and as such should bear reasonable risks as do other types of businesses. This makes farmers responsible for risk planning and management, a trend in line with the shift away from state-funded development towards market approaches to water. Confusion about which risks and how much of each risk should be borne by water users prompted the inclusion of this framework as a means to clarify responsibilities and facilitate water trade. In Figure 2, each of the risk framework sections in the NWI has a box which shows a bar representing the total risk divided into shares of responsibility. Clause 48, for instance, shows that risks associated with any reduction or less reliable water due to climate change or natural disasters (including drought) are entirely distributed over the shareholders (users) of consumptive pool of resources. Unfortunately, a recent assessment by the National Water Commission found that the framework “is not well understood by stakeholders” and urged further public awareness efforts (NWC 2009, xi).  • Water Planning is also a key factor in determining how future scenarios are dealt with. Under the NWI each state and territory is required to develop statutory water plans for “surface water and groundwater management units in which licenses are issued”(Section 36) in accordance with guidelines in Schedule E. These plans are to be based on the best available science and to promote adaptive management.  • Indigenous access is provided for through Sections 52-54, which ensure that: indigenous uses and representatives are included in water planning processes, the possibility of native water rights is acknowledged, and allocations for native title or cultural reasons should be provided when necessary.  • To address the problem of “free” (unaccounted for) water  that arose from CoAG reforms, the NWI clauses 55-57 on interception set out rules regarding the recording and licensing of land use change activities that intercept significant volumes of surface or groundwater.   These are just a fraction of the elements of change incorporated into the National Water Initiative. The big challenge for policymakers remains: how to implement them effectively?   141  Figure 12.  NWI Assignment of Risk Framework (Section 49)  Risk distribution of any reduction or less reliable water allocation under a water access entitlement Clause 48. Risks due to: i) “seasonal or long-term changes in climate” and ii) “periodic natural events such as bushfires and drought." (NWI, 8).     Clause 49. Risks “arising as a result of bona fide improvements in the knowledge of water systems’ capacity to sustain particular extraction levels” up to 2014.     Risks “arising under comprehensive water plans commencing or renewed after 2014 are to be shared over each 10 year period” (NWI, 8-9) Case i Reduction <3% Case ii Reduction 3%-6% Case iii Reduction >6%            Clause 50. Risks “of any reduction or less reliable water allocation that is not previously provided for, arising from changes in government policy (for example, new environmental objectives)”. (NWI, 9)                                           OR (risks born by government whose policy caused reduction)     Clause 51.  “Alternatively, the Parties agree that where affected parties, including water access entitlement holders, environmental stakeholders and the relevant governments agree, on a voluntary basis, to a different risk sharing formula to that proposed in paragraphs 48-50 above, that this will be an acceptable approach”(NWI, 9)        Water Access Entitlement Holders / Water Users    Water Access Entitlement Holders    Water Access Entitlement Holders     State/Territory  Commonwealth State/Territory Government Commonwealth Government (Distribution to be determined by stakeholder agreement) 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 33.3% 66.6% 50% 50% 100%   State/Territory  Commonwealth 142  Information management One of the keys to effective implementation is accurate and up to date information on which to base planning and implementation decisions. Under the NWI, the National Water Commission (the body formed to monitor and advise on the NWI) is building a baseline of scientific data about the range of issues related to Australian water resources, called the Australian Water Resources 2005 (AWR 2005). The AWR “aims to define water resource knowledge gaps that are critical to the success of NWI measures” and “is being structured to provide a repeatable framework and to work towards the establishment of an ongoing water data information infrastructure: the Australian Water Resources Information System”(NWC 2007). The Water Resources Observation Network (WRON) Alliance has been contracted to assist in the development of  the AWR 2005; participating institutions include: “Sinclair Knight Merz (Project Manager), CSIRO, Bureau of Rural Sciences, Australian Bureau of Statistics, eWater Co-operative Research Centre, and National Land and Water Resources Audit”(ibid).  The AWR 2005 pulls together information on three main areas: water availability, water use, and river and wetland health; then integrates data from all three to support strategic decision making (NWC 2007b).  Compiling a strong scientific baseline will allow Australia to both evaluate the effectiveness of the NWI implementation and to support comparative evaluations of the nation’s water resources in the future. While adaptive management approaches recognize that there will never be complete information on which to base water management decisions, the AWR 2005 and similar attempts to catalogue the best scientific data available at any given time in a consistently structured format enable water managers and policymakers to: develop approaches based on current data, evaluate the impacts of those management actions, and to engage in the iterative reworking of approaches as more data becomes available.  The last two phases of the history of water policy in Australia have dramatically altered their society’s relationship to water. The paradigm shift to Ecologically Sustainable Development combined with the challenges of a decade of extreme drought has created an entirely new policymaking landscape. The breakneck pace of policy reform and the unusually harsh drought have undoubtedly made the lives of water policymakers interesting. They appear to be on the “back-loop” of an adaptive cycle – in the phase characterized by innovation, trial and error, and steep learning curves.  Conclusion As the implementation of the National Water Initiative has continued, new challenges have arisen: “changing and less predictable rainfall and runoff patterns, uncertainty about climate change, community demands for sustainable water supply solutions, and increases in water prices to pay for new water infrastructure”(NWC 2009, xii). While significant progress has been made towards better integrating ecological and economic systems in government decision-making and social perception, the pressure imposed by over a decade of extreme drought across most parts of Australia should not be underestimated. As the National Water Commission points out in their most recent biennial assessment: “it has become increasingly clear that adaptation to the potential impacts of climate change needs to be embedded in all aspects of water planning and management”(ibid, xiii). The suite of innovations in water policy, infrastructure, and social programming needs to be continually expanded, refined and improved upon to meet the host of emerging challenges. The new norm needs to be resilient, including clear pathways for dealing with variable water resources and the social challenges created by water 143  uncertainty. The lessons learned along the way can help other nations (including Canada) to find their own paths to adaptive and sustainable water management.  Water management tour – site visits New South Wales Irrigators Council www.nswirrigators.org.au NSW Irrigators Council is the peak body representing irrigators in the state of New South Wales. Their mission is: “To contribute to efficient, responsible and profitable water use by objectively analysing the issues and serving as the peak body representing all irrigators in all the strategic decisions concerning the use of water in NSW” (website). The Board supports its mission through encouraging the adoption of policies, laws and regulations that relate to working rivers and irrigation, coordinating irrigation industry policy, and providing authoritative information to the irrigation community in NSW. New South Wales Office of Water www.water.nsw.gov.au Responsible for the management of New South Wales’ surface and groundwater resources, the Office of Water:  determines volumes of water available for allocation on a yearly basis, negotiates inter-state and international agreements, approves water extractions, and monitors water quantity, quality and health. The NSW Office of Water was until recently a separate office within the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water – they are currently undergoing some reorganisation to become a separate entity (due to this we may or may not be able to meet with them). Sydney Water www.sydneywater.com.au As Australia’s largest water utility, Sydney water provides drinking water, recycled water, wastewater services and some stormwater services to over four million customers in Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains. A statutory corporation owned by the New South Wales government, Sydney Water has three “principal objectives: to protect public health, to protect the environment, and to be a successful business”(Sydney Water website, ‘Who We Are’). Sydney Water sources its drinking water from a network of dams managed by the Sydney Catchment Authority, an organisation set up to deal with source water protection and water quality monitoring after a major water quality scare in Sydney in the early stages of corporatisation.  Irrigation Australia www.irrigation.org.au Irrigation Australia represents the “breadth of the Australian irrigation industry” with membership ranging “from water users, consultants, designers and installers through to educational institutions, government, manufacturers and retailers”(IA website, ‘About IAL’). IA is the Australian representative of 144  the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, is active in education and certification, advocates irrigation interests at the federal level, organises a biennial national trad expo on irrigation products and technologies, and publishes the journal Irrigation Australia.  (We will be speaking to Chris mainly about their urban water conservation programs.) National Water Commission www.nwc.gov.au As part of the National Water Initiative (NWI) the National Water Commission (NWC) was established under the National Water Commission Act 2004. The role of the NWC is “[t]o provide advice on national water issues and, in particular, to assist with the effective implementation of the National Water Initiative (NWI) Agreement”(NWI, Schedule C, 33). The Commission was created to provide advice to the Council of Australian Governments on a range of water issues, including: a baseline assessment of national water resources and governance, accreditation of State and Territory water plans, biennial assessments of progress on NWI and water plans, benchmarking water industry performance, and compliance on outstanding commitments under 1994 CoAG reforms (ibid). The NWC assesses national performance in both rural and urban water utilities and publishes position statements on many water reform issues (NWC website, ‘Water Reforms’).  Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) www.mdba.gov.au Established in December 2008, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority is the first single agency to have responsibility for planning integrated management of the water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin. The iconic Murray River and the Murray-Darling Basin, Australian’s food bowl, have a long history of intergovernmental management bodies. The MDBA replaces the former Murray-Darling Basin Commission (MDBC), which had in 1987 replaced the original River Murray Commission established in 1917. With each iteration the organisation governing the Basin has increased in power, so that now the MDBA is empowered through a 2008 amendment to the Commonwealth’s Water Act 2007 to prepare a comprehensive Basin Plan. The Basin Plan will be a strategic plan for integrating water resource management in the Basin that will: limit annual withdrawals from all sources, identify risks and develop strategies to manage them, set requirements that state water plans shall need to comply with, develop an environmental watering plan, a water quality and salinity management plan, and define trading rules in the Basin (http://www.mdba.gov.au/basin_plan). Once prepared, the Basin Plan will be adopted by the Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water. Additional functions of the MDBA include: advising the Minister on accreditation of state water plans, developing a water rights information service, measure and monitor water resources, data collection and research, and community engagement (MDBA website, ‘About the MDBA). The Authority will also play a key role in the federal ‘Water for the Future’ program, which includes $3.1 billion to buy back water in the Restoring the Balance in the Murray-Darling Basin program, and setting a new cap on withdrawals (DEWHA, Water for the Future fact sheet, www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/action/water-for-the-future.html).  145  Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) www.csiro.au “CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia's national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world”(CSIRO website, ‘About CSIRO’, 2009). Created under the Science and Industry Research Act 1949, CSIRO is tasked with providing “scientific research to benefit Australian industry and the community, and to contribute to the achievement of national objectives”(ibid).  In 2003, CSIRO launched the National Research Flagship program; each Flagship is a large-scale multidisciplinary partnership focused on tackling a national priority. The Water for a Healthy Country Flagship is the nation’s largest research partnership focused on water, with an aim “to achieve a tenfold increase in the economic, social and environmental benefits from water by 2025”(ibid) backed by an annual budget of $86 million. Project research falls under four main themes: regional water research, healthy water ecosystems, urban water, and integrating water information systems. This research supports the implementation of policies and strategies including: the National Water Initiative, the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan, and the Living Murray Initiative. eWater Cooperative Research Centre www.ewatercrc.com.au Linking researchers across over 47 partner organisations from governments to universities, e-Water’s mission is to provide “technologies and knowledge [that] will enhance the ability of industry to make water management decisions that are cost-effective, transparent, and scientifically defendable”(e- Water website,  ‘About eWater’, 2010).  eWater Cooperative Research Centre was established in 2005 out of a merger between the Cooperative Research Centre for Catchment Hydrology and the Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology, as well as numerous other water organisations. With an aim towards applied research,  eWater is currently developing or upgrading tools (such as decision-software, guidelines, forecasting models, and databases) in relation four focal areas: ecological management, catchment water yield and quality, urban water, and rural river systems and water supplies. Many of the tools are freeware available online at: http://www.toolkit.net.au/.  Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd. www.mirrigation.com.au Murrumbidgee Irrigation Limited (MI) is a privately owned irrigation company that provides irrigation water and drainage services to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA).  One of five such companies in New South Wales, MI was established in 1999 as a part of the water reform shift towards privatization. Entirely owned by the irrigators it supplies, MI “manages $500 million of infrastructure assets, has an annual turnover of $40 million and services over $2.5 billion in water entitlements”(Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd 2010, 1). MIA covers an area of” 660,000 hectares of which an average of 120,000 ha is irrigated”(ibid, 2).  The company relies on innovation and has an asset renewal program of over $12 million per annum, including the Integrated Horticulture Supply (IHS) program which is replacing open channels with a pressurized pipe system to improve water use efficiency.   146  Riverina Wine Grape Marketing Board (RWGMB) www.wgmb.net.au The Riverina Wine Grape Marketing Board is a Statutory Authority that serves and represents the interests of winegrape growers in the Riverina region of New South Wales. The Board was recently reconstituted under the Wine Grapes Marketing Board Act 2003. In accordance with the Act the Board provides agricultural industry services including: development of a common code of conduct for the negotiations between wine grape growers and wineries, setting prices and conditions of sale for the crop, promoting private contracts, collection and distribution of market and industry information, research and development on plant health, education and training, promotion of regional wines, and representation of the industry.  Originally founded in 1933 to represent the interests of winegrape growers in what is now the City of Griffith, and the Shires of Leeton, Carrathool and Murrumbidgee, the Board continues to serve these communities. International Water Centre www.internationalwatercentre.org IWC was formed in 2005 as Joint-Venture between a number of Australian Universities, the Moreton Bay Catchment Partnership and the International River Foundation, and is supported by the Queensland Government. 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Crase, L. “Water policy in Australia: the impact of change and uncertainty”. Available at: admin.cita_aragon.es 147  Davis, P. 1967. “Australian and American water allocation systems compared”. Boston College Industrial and Commercial Law Review. 647-710. De Loë, R. 2009. “A Canadian vision and strategy for water in the 21st century” . Policy Options 30 (7).21- 25. Dovers, Steve. 2008. “Chapter 5: Urban water: Policy, institutions and government” in Troubled Waters: Confronting the Water Crisis in Australia's Cities. Ed. Patrick Troy. Canberra: Australian National University E Press. 81-98. Environment Canada. 2005. Water and Canada: integrated water resources management: an overview of perspectives, progress, and prospects for the future at home and abroad. Available online at: www.ec.gc.ca/water Hatfield-Dodds, S. 2006. “The catchment care principle: a new equity principle for environmental policy, with advantages for efficiency and adaptive governance”. Ecological Economics 56. 373-385. Hussey, K, and S. Dovers. 2006. “Trajectories in Australian water policy”. Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education 135. 36-50.  Letcher, R. & S. Powell. 2008. “The Hydrological Setting”. In Water Policy in Australia, Ed. Lin Crase. Washington: Resources for the Future. 17-27. McKay, J. 2005. “Water institutional reforms in Australia”. Water Policy 7. 35-52. McKay, J. 2006. “Issues for CEOs of water utilities with the implementation of Australian water laws’. Australian Water Policy 135. 115-130. McKay, J. 2008. “The Legal Frameworks of Australian Water: Progression from Common Law Rights to Sustainable Shares”. In Water Policy in Australia, Ed. Lin Crase. Washington: Resources for the Future. 44-60. Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd. 2010. Company Overview. Available online at:  http://www.mirrigation.com.au/AboutUs/fact%20sheets/1_Fact_Sheet_Company_Overview.pdf (accessed April 21, 2010) Musgrave, W. 2008. “Historical Development of Water Resources in Australia”.In Water Policy in Australia, Ed. Lin Crase. Washington: Resources for the Future. 28-43. National Water Initiative (NWI).2004.  Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Water Initiative. Available at: http://www.nwc.gov.au/resources/documents/Intergovernmental-Agreement-on-a- national-water-initiative.pdf National Water Commission. 2005. “A baseline assessment of water resources for the National Water Initiative - Key Findings of the Level 2 Assessment: Summary Brochure”, 8; download from: http://www.water.gov.au/Keymessages/index.aspx?Menu=Level1_1 (accessed April 20)) 148  National Water Commission. 2007. “Introduction to Australian Water Resources 2005”. Available at www.water.gov.au/IntroductiontoAWR2005/index.aspx?Menu=Level1_2 (accessed April 18, 2010) National Water Commission. 2007b. “What does AWR 2005 report?”. Available at www.water.gov.au/IntroductiontoAWR2005/WhatDoesAWR2005Report/index.aspx?Menu=Level1_2_1 (accessed April 18, 2010) National Water Commission. 2009. Australian water reform 2009: Second biennial assessment of progress in implementation of the National Water Initiative. Available at: http://www.nwc.gov.au/www/html/147-introduction---2009-biennial-assessments.asp Quiggin, J. 2007. “Key issues in Australian Water Policy”. Fenner Conference on the Environment. Available at: johnquiggin.com Tisdell, J.G., J.R. Ward. 2003. “Attitudes toward water markets: an Australian Case Study”. Society and Natural Resources 16.61-75.   149  Appendix B: Interview Guides Pre-trip interview guide: Ted van der Gulik Interview Questions: [Introduction, confirm they have received and returned consent form] 1. Identification:  1.1. Please tell me your name, what organization you work for, and your official position.  1.2. What is your role in the design and/or implementation of water policy?  2. Moving on to the Australia trip: These key questions are fairly broad, so please take your time.   2.1. What do you hope to get out of this water management tour?  2.2. What do you propose to give back or share with Australians (in other words, do you have anything to ‘show and tell’ in mind)?  2.3. After reading more about Australian water management and policy, what key questions do you have for the Australians?  2.4. If you were to set yourself goals for what you would like to learn on this trip, what would they be?  3. Exploration of participant’s views:  My next set of questions will explore your views on a number of key issues related to water in Canada. There are quite a few of these so you can keep your answers to a couple of minutes each.  3.1. Sustainable water management questions  3.1.1.  First off, how would you define ‘sustainable water management’?  3.1.2.  Based on your professional experience, how well do you think BC is doing on sustainable water management compared to other provinces?   3.1.3.  How does this compare to the performance of other levels of government on sustainable water management?  3.1.4.  What are the main opportunities and barriers you see to achieving sustainable water management in BC?   150  3.2. IWRM – [Intro] Canada was a leader in Integrated Water Resources Management when it was first developed and Australia looked to us then for inspiration, now that we are going to see them can you describe:   3.2.1.  What role, if any, does Integrated Water Resources Management play in your work?  3.2.2.  Do you see IWRM more as a process or a goal?  3.3. Water Policy  3.3.1.  On a scale of one to ten (with one being ineffective and ten being very effective), how would you rate your organization’s current water policy and why?  3.3.2. What do you struggle with most in crafting and/or implementing water policy?  3.3.3.  If you were granted one water policy wish, what would it be?  3.4. Water Governance  3.4.1.  In terms of water governance, what challenges, if any, are you facing right now?  3.4.2.  Are you satisfied with the current division of responsibilities over water between different levels of government, or would you like to see one level taking on more or less power?  3.5. Climate change impacts and adaptation strategies  3.5.1.  What, if any, are your main concerns about climate change within your jurisdiction?  [If no concerns, skip 3.5.2 & 3.5.3]  3.5.2.  Do you have any adaptation strategies in place or under development to help confront these challenges?  3.5.3.  In your opinion, is climate change adaptation enough of a priority on your government’s agenda? (Why or why not?)  3.6. Drought management, crisis and drivers of social change  3.6.1.  Is drought a major concern for you? And if so, in what way?  3.6.2.  Do you think you have the resources you would need to manage an extreme multi-year drought?  3.6.3.  Do you view crisis (for example a severe drought) as a major driver of social change in water behaviour? Can you think of other drivers? 151   3.7. Irrigation & water conservation programs  3.7.1.  Is there a need to balance rural and urban water demands?  3.7.2. What benefits or risks do you believe would result if there was some trade between irrigation and urban water?  3.7.3.  What role, if any, do you think water conservation programs should play in balancing the needs of agricultural and urban water users?  4. Do you have anything you would like to add or ask me about?  5. Confidentiality Just in case you have changed your mind through the course of the interview, I would like to give you the opportunity to revisit the confidentiality question on your consent form.  [Present them with the form if in person, or ask on the phone in the following format:] Listen to the following options, and then please tell me which statement of confidentiality you want associated to your data.   I would like to have my statements attributed to myself and to my organization.  I would like my name to remain anonymous, but my organization to be public.   I would like both my name and my organization to be kept anonymous. All data associated to you will be kept at the level of confidentiality you have selected. 6. Thank you very much for your time and sharing your insights.     152  Pre-trip interview guide: Anna Warwick-Sears Interview Questions: [Introduction, confirm they have received and returned consent form] 1. Identification:  1.1. Please tell me your name, what organization you work for, and your official position.  1.2. What is your role in the design and/or implementation of water policy?  2. Moving on to the Australia trip: These key questions are fairly broad, so please take your time.   2.1. What do you hope to get out of this water management tour?  2.2. What do you propose to give back or share with Australians (in other words, do you have anything to ‘show and tell’ in mind)?  2.3. After reading more about Australian water management and policy, what key questions do you have for the Australians?  2.4. If you were to set yourself goals for what you would like to learn on this trip, what would they be?  3. Exploration of participant’s views:  My next set of questions will explore your views on a number of key issues related to water in Canada. There are quite a few of these so you can keep your answers to a couple of minutes each.  3.1. Sustainable water management questions  3.1.1.  First off, how would you define ‘sustainable water management’?  3.1.2.  Based on your professional experience, how well do you think the Water Board is doing on sustainable water management compared to other local governments?   3.1.3.  How does this compare to the performance of other levels of government on sustainable water management?  3.1.4.  What are the main opportunities and barriers you see to achieving sustainable water management in the Okanagan?   3.2. IWRM – [Intro] Canada was a leader in Integrated Water Resources Management when it was first developed and Australia looked to us then for inspiration, now that we are going to see them can you describe:   153  3.2.1.  What role, if any, does Integrated Water Resources Management play in your work?  3.2.2.  Do you see IWRM more as a process or a goal?  3.3. Water Policy  3.3.1.  On a scale of one to ten (with one being ineffective and ten being very effective), how would you rate your organization’s current water policy and why?  3.3.2. What do you struggle with most in crafting and/or implementing water policy?  3.3.3.  If you were granted one water policy wish, what would it be?  3.4. Water Governance  3.4.1.  In terms of water governance, what challenges, if any, are you facing right now?  3.4.2.  Are you satisfied with the current division of responsibilities over water between different levels of government, or would you like to see one level taking on more or less power?  3.5. Climate change impacts and adaptation strategies  3.5.1.  What, if any, are your main concerns about climate change within your jurisdiction?  [If no concerns, skip 3.5.2 & 3.5.3]  3.5.2.  Do you have any adaptation strategies in place or under development to help confront these challenges?  3.5.3.  In your opinion, is climate change adaptation enough of a priority on your local governments’ agendas? (Why or why not?)  3.6. Drought management, crisis and drivers of social change  3.6.1.  Is drought a major concern for you? And if so, in what way?  3.6.2.  Do you think you have the resources you would need to manage an extreme multi-year drought?  3.6.3.  Do you view crisis (for example a severe drought) as a major driver of social change in water behavior? Can you think of other drivers?  3.7. Irrigation & water conservation programs  3.7.1.  Is there a need to balance rural and urban water demands? 154   3.7.2. What benefits or risks do you believe would result if there was some trade between irrigation and urban water?  3.7.3.  What role, if any, do you think water conservation programs should play in balancing the needs of agricultural and urban water users?  4. Do you have anything you would like to add or ask me about?  5. Confidentiality Just in case you have changed your mind through the course of the interview, I would like to give you the opportunity to revisit the confidentiality question on your consent form.  [Present them with the form if in person, or ask on the phone in the following format:] Listen to the following options, and then please tell me which statement of confidentiality you want associated to your data.   I would like to have my statements attributed to myself and to my organization.  I would like my name to remain anonymous, but my organization to be public.   I would like both my name and my organization to be kept anonymous. All data associated to you will be kept at the level of confidentiality you have selected. 6. Thank you very much for your time and sharing your insights.    155  Post-trip interview guide: Ted van der Gulik Interview Goals: 1. Find out what participant learned from the trip 2. Evaluate how their key questions were addressed 3. Through their eyes, define what opportunities for strategic learning, collaboration and/or replication they see 4. Identify potential barriers to the transfer of lessons, techniques or water policy models to Canada 5. Explore any insights they gained into: a. Climate change adaptation b. Water policy reform c. Social and political impacts of extreme drought and rapid policy change 6. How did their learning goals play out  Interview Questions: 1. Identification:  Please state your name and organization.  Introduction:  In contrast to the last interview, I am going to ask you fewer broader questions and give you the floor to share your views on the Australian experience, so please take the time you need with each question. 2. What impressed you on the trip?   3. What did not impress you?   4. What was unexpected?  5. What did you learn from the trip?  6. (Key questions ) Next I’d like to go back to some of the key questions you wanted to answer while we were in Australia and go over with you if and how they were addressed.  6.1. How Australian Water Law works? More specifically in terms of:  6.1.1. Licensing systems?  6.1.2. Priority of water use?  6.1.3. What are the federal and state roles with regards to water policy and management?  6.2. How things have changed because of the drought?  6.2.1. Impacts on farmers? What are their views on the process of policy reform? 156   6.3.  In the Murray-Darling, how have they changed water management and policy? And, in particular, how have they implemented these changes? Have they been effective?  7. Coming out of the trip, do you see any opportunities for Strategic learning, collaboration, or replication of ideas, policies, programs, etc.?  8. Do you see any potential barriers to the transfer of lessons, techniques, or water policy models to Canada?  9. Did you gain any insights into:  9.1. Climate change adaptation (challenges/strategies)?  9.2.  Sustainable water management approaches? Particularly, in the Murray-Darling?  9.3. Water policy reform (reconfiguring of governance structures, increased cooperation, etc)?  9.4. The social and political impacts of extreme drought and rapid policy change?  9.5.  Food security?  9.6. What did you think of the splitting of land and water rights?  9.7. In our last interview, you had talked about the difference between BC and Australia in terms of resources for water and said: “if you’re truly in a drought and you have no water anymore, you’ll get money to do things, so that what you need to make sure is you already know what things you’re going to do.” After seeing what they have done, what things would you do if there was a drought here?  10. Also relating back to our first interview, and what you wanted to learn from this trip, you had talked about getting  first hand insight into what’s going on in water in Australia and about then being able to provide context to discussions about “what they’re doing in Australia” so you can begin “to direct policy here in BC”. Do you think you achieved this learning goal on the trip?   11. What is your big take away message from this experience?   12. Has the trip had any impact on how you see your work or what you think needs to be done?  13. Confidentiality [Give them the opportunity to change their confidentiality level response by asking the following question from the consent form again] Just in case you have changed your mind through the course of the interview, I would like to give you the opportunity to revisit the confidentiality question on your consent form.  157  [Present them with the form if in person, or ask on the phone in the following format:] Listen to the following options, and then please tell me which statement of confidentiality you want associated to your data.   I would like to have my statements attributed to myself and to my organization.  I would like my name to remain anonymous, but my organization to be public.   I would like both my name and my organization to be kept anonymous. All data associated to you will be kept at the level of confidentiality you have selected. 14. Thank you very much for your time and sharing your insights.    158  Post-trip interview guide: Anna Warwick-Sears Interview Goals: 1. Find out what participant learned from the trip 2. Evaluate how their key questions were addressed 3. Through their eyes, define what opportunities for strategic learning, collaboration and/or replication they see 4. Identify potential barriers to the transfer of lessons, techniques or water policy models to Canada 5. Explore any insights they gained into: a. Climate change adaptation b. Water policy reform c. Social and political impacts of extreme drought and rapid policy change 6. How did their learning goals play out  Interview Questions: 1. Identification:  [I state their name and organization].  Introduction:  In contrast to the last interview, I am going to ask you fewer broader questions and give you the floor to share your views on the Australian experience, so please take the time you need with each question. 2. What impressed you on the trip?   3. What did not impress you?   4. What was unexpected?  5. What did you learn from the trip?  6. (Key questions ) Next I’d like to go back to some of the key questions you wanted to answer while we were in Australia and go over with you if and how they were addressed.  6.1. (About dynamics of top-down, bottom-up.) How much of the water policy change needs to happen from the top down, and what kinds of things are the most important to have from the bottom up?   6.1.1. What is appropriate for water board to take on?   6.1.2. What doesn’t work well?  6.2. How do you really motivate social change from the point of view of changing the value of water and bringing people along? How did the Australian governments work to get a real shift in public perception? 159   6.2.1. What does having to shift mean (ex. drought)?   6.2.2. What kind of push back did they get? And how did they manage it (ex. messaging)?  6.3. In terms of water markets – what works and what doesn’t?  6.4. How environmental was the shift to Environmentally Sustainable Development? And what is the balance between environmentalism and pro-business?  6.5. A crash course in Australian Water Policy? More specifically in terms of:  6.5.1. What worked and what didn’t?  6.5.2. Unintended consequences?  6.5.3. What things would work in BC and what should be the critical priorities? (Do you feel you gained a clear sense of the connection between here and there?)  6.6. How things have changed because of the drought?  6.6.1. Impacts on farmers? What are their views on the process of policy reform?  6.7. In the Murray-Darling, how have they changed water management and policy? And, in particular, how have they implemented these changes? Have they been effective?  7. Coming out of the trip, do you see any opportunities for Strategic learning, collaboration, or replication of ideas, policies, programs, etc.?  8. Do you see any potential barriers to the transfer of lessons, techniques, or water policy models to Canada?  9. Did you gain any insights into:  9.1. Climate change adaptation (challenges/strategies)?  9.2.  Sustainable water management approaches? Particularly, in the Murray-Darling?  9.3. Water policy reform and water governance (reconfiguring of governance structures, increased cooperation, moving from theory to practice/experimentation in new models, etc)?  9.4. The social and political impacts of extreme drought and rapid policy change?  9.5.  Food security?  160  9.6. What did you think of the splitting of land and water rights?  9.7.  After seeing what they have done, what things would you do if there was a drought here?  10. You had mentioned wanting to get a renewed sense of what is possible in terms of change, and finding the motivation and courage to push for change in the examples set by the Australians. Do you think you achieved this learning goal on the trip?   11. What is your big take away message from this experience?   12. Has the trip had any impact on how you see your work or what you think needs to be done?  13. Confidentiality [Give them the opportunity to change their confidentiality level response by asking the following question from the consent form again] Just in case you have changed your mind through the course of the interview, I would like to give you the opportunity to revisit the confidentiality question on your consent form.  [Present them with the form if in person, or ask on the phone in the following format:] Listen to the following options, and then please tell me which statement of confidentiality you want associated to your data.   I would like to have my statements attributed to myself and to my organization.  I would like my name to remain anonymous, but my organization to be public.   I would like both my name and my organization to be kept anonymous. All data associated to you will be kept at the level of confidentiality you have selected. 14. Thank you very much for your time and sharing your insights.    

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