The Federal Government has announced the first major reform to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EBPC) Act since its creation in 1999. The reform forms the Federal Government’s response to the independent review of the Act by Allan Hawke AC.

The reforms will be aimed at better outlining environmental protection focusing on whole regions and ecosystems as well as including faster environmental assessments.

The reforms will also outline a national approach to the environmental impact assessments that will remove duplication and aim to reduce red tape and include better upfront guidance on legislation requirements.

The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) has released a report that outlines a series of recommendations to help the industry identify opportunities and challenges in the future.

The New South Wales Government has announced its intentions to shift hundreds of millions of dollars from Sydney Water in an attempt to stop the cash haemorrhaging from the embattled state-owned electricity suppliers.

A number of senior water researchers have warned of the possible effects of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry on water and salinity.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has concluded a three-year investigative study into levels of acid sulfate soils in the Basin, finding extensive levels of the potentially damaging soils in the southern part of the Murray-Darling Basin.

A suburb of Melton, in Victoria’s south, is set to become the first water neutral built up area in the country after construction is completed.

The Queensland State Government will spend a total of $76 million over five years to improve disaster response and flood infrastructure management.

The Federal Government has released a draft marine bioregional plan that proposes to establish marine reserves networks to protect marine environment in Australia’s north and north-east.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal in Sydney has been told that private water retail competition is an inevitability.

Independent MP for New England Tony Windsor has announced a Private Members Bill, which will be seconded by fellow independent Rob Oakeshott, that will see greater controls over the mining industry’s use of water.

A new research partnership between Hunter Water and the University of Newcastle's Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) has been established to expand the University’s technical, social and environmental expertise in water management alongside Hunter Water.

Tasmanian groundwater users will find it easier to access groundwater information and plan bores following the introduction of a new web-based tool funded by the National Water Commission. 

The University of Newcastle and Hunter Water have announced a series of wastewater research initiatives under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Dr John Radcliffe, who currently chairs the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering (ATSE) Water Forum, has been appointed chairperson of the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence Research Advisory Committee.

Radcliffe said he was delighted to be asked to take up the role.

"I believe that the Centre of Excellence has an important part to play in progressing water recycling research and development in Australia," he said. "The centre can help the nation both prepare for its own growth, and potentially contribute to greater international adoption of water recycling, including among other things, to meeting an expanding world food demand."

Radcliffe is a council member of the University of Adelaide and chairman of the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry Eminent Scientists Group

Previously a commissioner with the National Water Commission, deputy chief executive of the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation and South Australian director-general of agriculture, Radcliffe was chair of the board of the South Australian Research & Development Institute from 1993 to 1998.

He is author of Water Recycling in Australia published by ATSE in 2004, as well as an update on water recycling in Australia published in Water Science and Technology in 2010.

The Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum has affirmed support for the sustainable management of the Lake Eyre Basin based on science and local knowledge at its recent meeting.

A water quality improvement plan for the Leschenault Estuary will be released by the Department of Water for public comment on 16 August 2011.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has announced its plans to use extensive community consultations with local fishers to further scientific understanding of fish species in the Basin.

Australia is leading a $16 million international research project into why and when buried water pipes burst.

A scientific study that brought data from major coal seam gas companies together for the first time has opened the doors for more research to be undertaken into the exploration and production methods for the Surat Basin in southwest Queensland.

The latest cost projections issued by the Gold Coast City Council show that the cost of divorcing from its water retailer has soared from an initial estimate of $60 million to around $200 million.

Global project management specialist Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) has continued to build its South American presence after merging with Chilean water engineering consultancy firm IRH.

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