Directory : Water Directory 2013
PAGE 50 Water Directory 2013 AUSTRALIAN WATER INFORMATION AND STATISTICS The issue of community concern over rising prices has arisen almost from nowhere over the past two years. The 2010 Survey asked only about water prices rather than community concern over price increases, with the issue not rating highly. In 2012, the issue was divided into 'Community Concern' and 'Setting Prices at Levels that Fully Cover Costs'. The latter is still seen as a minor concern, possibly because respondents feel it is being addressed effectively. However, respondents feel that community concern about prices is being addressed with only moderate effectiveness -- for now. It appears, however, that respondents believe this issue may be transient, and rank it as one of the least important issues in five years' time. Respondents may feel that the pain of cost pass-through associated with new infrastructure, notably desalination plants, will have passed by that time. With sector leaders expecting a significant reduction in capital expenditure over the next three years, there may also be an expectation among industry figures that future water price rises will be more moderate. Figures 3 and 4, respectively, show the issues respondents believe are being addressed most and least effectively. There appears to be little direct correlation between respondents' views of program effectiveness and the priority they give the issue today or in five years' time. Thus, water security is viewed as a high-priority issue, but one that is being addressed effectively, whereas skills shortage is a high-priority issue that is seen as being ineffectively handled. Other issues considered poorly addressed included 'Responding to Community Concern Over Rising Prices', 'Improving Governance' and 'Maintaining and Augmenting Infrastructure', perspectives that will be of interest to sector managers. Other Key Issues Explored Meeting supply requirements The 2012 survey also asked respondents what they thought were the most important Figure 3. Issues dealt with most effectively. Figure 4. Issues dealt with least effectively.
Water Directory 2014