Recently, I was reminded of the UN-Water’s definition of water security:
“The capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development, for ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and for preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability.”
What comes to mind on reading this definition is the centrality of water to our society. It invokes full attention to the Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) responsibilities that we as a sector have to our communities. And it brings to light the pursuit to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” (Sustainable Development Goal 6).
Reminding ourselves of the definition is important. It reinforces the challenges that we face across myriad factors. It reinforces the complexity of the industry’s work. And it reinforces the criticality of services that our industry provides.
While our industry’s relative inconspicuousness is commendable because of its commitment and ability to provide excellent services, it also stimulates consideration to where we should shine the light. No doubt, our members have excelled in maintaining services and productive workforces through COVID-19. They have also continued to look forward in fulfilling the elements that constitute the UN-Water definition.
While our current circumstances are difficult and distract, we are well placed to maintain our ambition for water security. My task is to find better ways for VicWater to support you in doing that. I look forward to continuing that conversation.