Market News

 October 18, 2009
Australia Water Industry

 GLOBE-Net - The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) has produced an excellent Market Report that describes how water in Australia is regulated and the changes being undertaken to better manage water in that country.The report lists local capabilities to meet emerging demands and provides a useful guide for overseas investors.

The challenge associated with finding new ways to provide and manage water, brings opportunities for participating in research, infrastructure planning and development, and investment activity within Australia. These challenges also bring opportunities for exporting goods and services capabilities that have developed to meet the changing needs and climatic conditions of Australia.

Opportunities exist on a global scale in knowledge, technologies and infrastructure that result in more efficient use of water resources as well as recycling and reclamation technologies and infrastructure to turn stormwater, wastewater and contaminated water into a safe, usable resource.

Australian Capabilities

Australian capabilities have developed in accordance with the natural conditions found here, namely:

  • Variation in irrigated agricultural production systems - in each of the Tropical, Sub-tropical, Temperate, Pastoral and Arid/ desert zones. Each zone has challenges in terms of using water efficiently; drainage conditions, soil types, through to rising water tables and dryland salinity. 
  • Urban centres separated by large distances; encourages development of tools that enable self sufficiency and cost effectiveness on smaller scale projects. 
  • Substantial SME industry structure. SMEs are generally more flexible and adaptive in their approach, enabling unique / niche application market entry strategies (avoiding direct head to head competition with the core businesses of large scale multinational enterprises); although Australian companies benefit from competition as well as cooperation with multinationals.

Capabilities include:

In Agriculture - irrigation technology such as underground drip, in-ground hydroponics, moisture meters, telemetry for automatic control of water infrastructure; soil additives which help prevent loss through evaporation or seepage beyond the root zone, use of recycled water for some types of irrigated agricultural production; plant science technology that can help plants utilise water more efficiently; farming equipment that maintains ground cover when planting crops; channel and pipeline transportation solutions. 

Industrial, Resources and Energy - industrial effluent recycling systems, water analysis and instruments, modification of industrial processes that utilise water, membrane separation processes, general water purification services, incentives for upgrading of water saving technologies, manufacture and supply of tanks to catch and utilise rainfall from industrial shedding; pipeline transportation solutions.

Urban and Domestic - small scale municipal and household water purification systems, water saving household devices and domestic usage monitoring equipment; programs to encourage installation of water tanks in urban areas; large scale water desalination plants;

Environmental - capabilities include installation of fish ladders to aid native fish migration in their breeding season; reallocation of water amongst users, timing of release for environmental flooding for native forests and wetlands;

At the Government level, innovative policy development; whole of catchment planning and management; industry structural adjustment; water restrictions to manage larger public supply; adjustment of allocation to agricultural users; compensation mechanisms for adversely affected users; funding of research and development; extension services to water users.

In addition to the comprehensive summary of government policies, programs and subsidies, the report also provides contact details for major departments and agencies, as well as key industry associations and companies.

The report is free to download from GLOBE-Net.

Source: Australian AP