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Title: A Critique of Water Security in Australia, China and Japan
Contributor(s): Crawford, Peter John (author); Von Strokirch, Karin  (supervisor)orcid ; Walsh, Adrian  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 2021-03-02
Copyright Date: 2020
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: This thesis provides a critique of how Australia, China and Japan are addressing water security through their policies, programs, major projects and legal measures. An assessment framework assures consistency in analysis, facilitates comparisons and builds a comprehensive picture of water security in each country by examination of primary and secondary sources. Major river systems and other water sources have been greatly modified in each country to meet the needs of cities, industries and agriculture as well as opportunities for water-based economic development. This has often seriously diminished the health of these vital systems, their ability to continue to meet current and future water demands and to deliver water services. It is widely recognised that water security is critical for human and environmental health, food, industrial and energy production, but official documentation seldom explores these linkages in any of the states. While public statements and policy documents in all three countries refer to sustainable development and integrated water management, the analysis shows that there is little if any understanding in the current governing regimes that ecological and environmental health are critical ingredients of water security. In fact, this research has found situations where deterioration in national water security not only threatens human and environmental welfare but could if unchecked undermine future national prosperity and stability. This situation is most acute in large heavily populated regions of China and in the Murray-Darling Basin, food bowl of Australia.
Analysis of the contrasting ways the three nations are handling current water management problems reveals the ways that national financial, administrative, institutional and political factors have constrained and limited national approaches to water resources management and water security. A common theme is that each state lacks sufficient focus on those patterns of leadership, governance, management and reform needed to deliver water security in complex water-based, socio-economic systems. Political decision-making and influence shape water management and water security outcomes in unexpected or unwanted ways, often as a result of the failure to accept independent, expert advice. As well, financial and administrative arrangements are too complex, involving too many government actors, to focus on water security goals. The detailed country critiques and comparative assessments make distinct contributions to the literature by demonstrating the extent to which each nation is positioned to ensure present and future water security for human and environmental welfare and for critical users. National water security is in turn vital for the security of the state.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research (FoR) 2008: 160603 Comparative Government and Politics
160605 Environmental Politics
160606 Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
Field of Research (FoR) 2020: 440803 Comparative government and politics
440805 Environmental politics
440807 Government and politics of Asia and the Pacific
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 920107 Hearing, Vision, Speech and Their Disorders
960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified
960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
Appears in Collections:School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Thesis Doctoral

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