As California struggles to cope with ongoing water shortages, Will Sarni, Deloitte director and practice leader of water strategy thinks that the solution lies in a fundamental paradigm shift. Critical to this shift is the need to think about long-term water resource availability, water demand, and appropriately valuing water.
Victoria's recently released Water for Victoria Water Plan shows major declines in streamflows across the state in the past two decades. This will place increased pressure on all water dependent values; environmental, social, cultural and economic.
Key to successful resource management in a drying climate is the need to understand supply and demand scenarios, as well as attaching a value to water in all its uses. Aither's recent Valuing Water piece for the UN/World Bank states that good valuation practices will equip governments, communities and other decision-makers to use the best information available to optimise the allocation of water and weigh the trade-offs inherent in various pathways to greater efficiency, equity and sustainability in the use of the world’s water.
California is over-allocated with respect to water, and that’s not a short-term problem. “How do you move the public sector to think strategically about a resource no one can live without?” Will Sarni, Deloitte At the crux of the issue—we don’t value water, or at least there is a disconnect between its price and value.