Applying Technology for Sustainable Water Management

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INTRODUCTION: THE EVOLUTION OF SUSTAINABILITY

This paper addresses sustainability in water management— from a business perspective. It focuses on water, which is in many respects the last frontier of the natural resources puzzle. It catalogues some of the early fruit of one man’s vision to do much more with Australia’s water resources.

To begin, however, some thoughts on how we have arrived at this topic, in an engineering context in the early 21st century.

The pursuit of sustainability is a pragmatic human response to external threats. It has been a common feature of all civilizations. While the technical term itself is quite recent,2 the various dimensions of sustainability have evolved through a number of distinct stages or eras. The particular times at which each era prevailed has varied across continents and within cultures. However, the progression is clear. Let me attempt to briefly sketch how we have arrived at today’s sustainability imperative.

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