Who turns the tap off? Introducing social flow to the Australian water debate.

Margaret Alston, Robyn Mason

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    16 Citations (Scopus)
    40 Downloads (Pure)


    Water has become a critical issue in Australia. Who has it and who determines priorities have become highly politicised. Yet the basis on which priorities are set and stakeholder views incorporated is less well defined. The commodification of water through the introduction of a water trading policy and the use of market principles suggest a prioritising of the economic over environmental and social concerns. In this paper we discuss the way water decisions are determined, outlining the myriad bodies through which the decisions about water priorities are determined and noting an inherent economic bias in the rationale behind water decisions. We introduce the notion of social flow to indicate a largely overlooked aspect of water use ' the social good resulting from water use by community members - to argue that this factor should be given greater priority in the way water allocations are determined, priorities set and stakeholder views incorporated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)131-139
    Number of pages9
    JournalRural Society
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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