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Urban & Rural Water

Fluctuating environmental conditions, with droughts and floods impacting both regional and urban areas, highlight the increasing intricacies of managing water resources. Our economic analysis and modelling capabilities address the complexities of the water industry and deliver innovative solutions to businesses, policymakers, and regulators.

The economics of protecting our water resources for resilient futures

The context of water has shifted - from a utility supply, and input to production, to a valuable natural resource with economic, social, environmental and cultural importance.

But across urban and rural settings, concerns around water resources are multi-faceted. Covering climate variability and change, growing populations, a growing appreciation of the health of our rivers and wetlands, and the affordability of water services.

Our water resources must be managed in the context of a drying climate, and where alternative or manufactured – albeit more costly - sources can be drawn upon.  

Shaping the future of water: specialist economic advisory for policy, regulation and market design

At Frontier Economics, we have a track record in shaping water policies and regulatory frameworks globally, that honour the essential environmental and societal values connected to our water resource. We're at the forefront of market design and operations; on urban and rural water reform, and the interplay between climate and water policies, both nationally and internationally, for both the public and private sectors.

One of our key priorities is to apply economics to understand the value of water, beyond the financial costs. Whether this is for price setting, business cases and cost-benefit-analysis, funding and distribution analysis, or to understand future investments and planning. 

Partnering with hydrologists, engineers, environmental scientists and many others, we ensure our clients get comprehensive solutions including: 

  • Industry reform and institutional design: Crafting strategies to reshape the industry for optimum functionality, resilience, and supporting the market response for private sector firms. 
  • Pricing and regulation: We advise regulated businesses, but also the regulators, on a range of issues including developing balanced and effective pricing and regulatory frameworks.  
  • Competition and third-party access: Advancing competition in the provision of water and wastewater services and facilitating effective third-party access. 
  • Market design, operation and trading: Integrating best practices and in-depth knowledge of the water sector to establish efficient water markets. Leveraging our extensive knowledge and network to design and refine effective water trading markets. 
  • Investment and resource planning: Applying economic frameworks to assess long-term planning issues and developing business cases for public-sector project funding. 
  • Water supply & investment models: We offer powerful tools for optimising long-term augmentation plans and operational decisions in water systems including supply / demand models, system-based Long Running Margin Costs (LRMCs), cost benefit analysis and real option analysis modelling. 

Using economic analysis and data to inform policy and regulation for more than 20 years, policymakers and industry leaders have trusted us to find data-backed solutions, with projects such as: 

Public SectorPrivate Sector
Determining the social and economic impacts of the the Basin Plan water recovery in Victoria.Advising on water price determinations - submissions to economic regulators.
Reviewing the economic and regulatory barriers to cost-effective water recycling.Analysing the role of water in facilitating the liveability of cities for the Water Services Association of Australia.
Assessment of the benefits from collective action to reduce salinity levels in the Murray River

Our expertise in Urban & Rural Water

Let us help you with your Economics needs