Programme  OS6g Public-private partnership  abstract 615

Aquifer Storage and Recovery:

Author(s): a framework to compare opportunities for market based policy approaches in Australia and France
Author(s): John Ward, Peter Dillon, Agnes Grandgirard Policy & Economic Research Unit CSIRO Land and Water PMB 2, Glen Osmond SA 5064, Australia Ph: +61-8-8303 8774 Fax: +61-8-8303 8582

Keyword(s): governance, groundwater, water allocation

Article: abs615_article.pdf
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Session: OS6g Public-private partnership
AbstractMany cities are experiencing mature urban water economies, characterised by limited opportunities for

future water impoundments, rising incremental supply and impoundment costs, intensified competition and increased

interdependencies between diverse water uses. Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) is currently promoted as one

management strategy to augment existing supplies and in many jurisdictions is assuming increasing importance in the

portfolio of urban water management strategies. Consistent with trends in international water policy development,

Australian water reform has emphasised institutional and governance approaches promoting voluntary transfers of

water through market exchange. The reform process has made substantial advances in addressing the constraints and

tensions associated with mature rural water economies, with limited influence in urban water systems. Transferable

water storage and extraction entitlements vested with water bankers warrant exploration due to their potential to

induce private investment to secure water supplies and improve catchment water use efficiency. What remains

unclear is the degree of alignment of new water management technologies such as ASR operations with explicit

water reform directives of market development and the capacity of subsequent urban water legislation to provide

consistent and coherent ASR guidelines. The paper describes a systematic approach to align the hydrological

characteristics of an aquifer with economic and policy interpretations central to the development and management of

ASR. The paper introduces a schema to identify the elements of the urban terrestrial water cycle specific to ASR,

the development of a typology to characterise the aquifer potential for ASR, and determine the nature of property

rights for each system element according to the principles of robust separation of water rights. We implement the

schema to ascertain the opportunities for market based approaches in ASR subject to French and Australian water


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