SYSTEMATICENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT IN THE WATER INDUSTRY:
OccasionalPaper WSAA No 2
Theoverarching aim of this research project was to develop environmentalmanagement guidelines for the Australian water industry. The scope and extentof these guidelines that were developed were determined through a widelyconsultative research process. Following a literature review, a detailedquestionnaire was developed and distributed to the major urban Australian waterutilities. The survey was also sent to a number of other water utilitiesinternationally and a few non-metropolitan utilities in Victoria. The surveywas designed to explore the existence and extent of environmental managementpractices and processes in the respondent organisation, the results of which,in turn, assisted in determining the scope of the guidelines themselves.
Thesurvey results showed that all organisations undertook some, generally limited,environmental management activities in a range of the targeted areas, forexample, environmental policy, audit and management planning. However, it isclear that within the water industry, environmental management is rapidlyevolving from ad hoc, reactive activity based measures to systematic andproactive consideration of the environmental aspects and impacts of thebusiness.
Theoutcome of this project has been the development of a set of environmentalmanagement guidelines for the water industry. These guidelines have beenendorsed by the Water Services Association of Australia, an industryassociation that provides leadership to the major urban water businesses in thedelivery of cost effective quality services within national objectives forsustainable water resource management.
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