Hot Topics: Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of IWCM

Clearwater / Clearwater


On Friday 25 October 2013, Clearwater in partnership with Melbourne Water delivered Hot Topics: Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of IWCM.

The workshop provided participants with an opportunity to hear from industry peers and experts around the many difficulties faced when costing intangible benefits during the implementation of IWCM and WSUD projects.

The event attracted around 60 people from a range of industry sectors including state and local government, water authorities, water retailers and consultancies. With a slightly different setup to previous Hot Topic events, the day featured a number of interactive network building activities and discussion sessions providing attendees with the opportunity to network and share experiences throughout the day.

Presentations included:

Dr. Paul Raschky, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities presented two parts: The first part gave a brief introduction about the basic idea behind monetary valuation of environmental goods as well as an overview of the available evaluation methods. The second part presented an actual application of one of these valuation methods (conjoint analysis) and preliminary results from a study using survey data from 4 councils from VIC and NSW.

Steve Bumpstead, Yarra Valley Water presented on the recent work done by YVW on their community benefit/cost framework model. This included a brief description of the evolution of the YVW community cost assessment and how the new framework is different from previous models. It also looked at some cost analysis and quantifying different non-monetary benefits using a worked example of bottled water.

Chris Olszac,  Aither illustrated the practical application of economic valuation techniques in informing decision making. It began with the rationale for why economic evaluation should be used and outlined where it can be most useful. It then delved into practical application of economic evaluation and its challenges, using examples from Aither's recent work in the stormwater industry in Victoria and New South Wales. The presentation highlighted knowledge gaps, requirements and pitfalls for those procuring this work, and potential future applications.

Justin Lewis, Melbourne Water presented on Melbourne Water's recent work with councils to develop indicative costings associated with all stages of a WSUD asset's lifecycle i.e. design, construction, maintenance and renewal. This presentation highlighted the importance of this data and how better asset management processes can improve maintenance procedures.