Achieving sustainability and fairness in water reform
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Business and Law-Deans Office
As with other states in Australia, Western Australia is currently undergoing a process of water reform. The purpose of this reform has been to create environmental sustainability and provide economic improvements through the introduction of markets. To ensure that these reforms also have long term social viability, local Water Resource Management Committees (WRMCs) will be formed to provide ongoing advice to government on water resource and allocation issues. Given that over-allocation is not as much of an issue as in other states in Australia, the WRMCs will have an important contribution on water issues relating to fairness and the public interest. Fortunately, there has been a significant amount of research in WA and elsewhere on how these basic concepts can be operationalized in community-based decision making. This paper describes ways this knowledge can be incorporated in ongoing decision making in the context of water reform and issues associated with procedural and distributive justice.