related weblinks

Planning for uncertain water futures


Using strategic thinking to rehearse uncertain futures in the water sector

Cities, their citizens and service providers are being challenged from multiple fronts – population growth, technology, societal and environmental challenges.

We are also faced with an intersection of two groups of thought – future or strategic thinking to create awareness and preparedness for future challenges, and data-driven actions and decisions. Although not contradictory, combining these perspectives poses challenges to those wanting to improve long-term infrastructure and service planning and strategies.

Sydney Water has been working with the CSIRO to develop a set of possible future scenarios for Sydney and a framework to integrate them into our planning and improve our resilience in an uncertain future.

The scenario development process creates an environment for ongoing dialogue about inherent uncertainties and the assumptions behind strategies, policies and plans. Scenarios enable water utilities to engage actively with government agencies, the community and the private sector to consider long-term outcomes and resilience of their strategies, plans and decisions on the long-term resilience of a city. The scenarios provides a common language and framework for collaboration with all stakeholders to discuss future challenges, as well as to identify and to challenge current assumptions embedded in strategies and plans.

Download the Water e-journal from the AWA website.