The Water Services Association of Australia says wastewater and stormwater infrastructure investment could provide flow-on benefits for Covid-19 recovery.
In recent months, several regional urban water utilities have supplied more water to support local businesses increase production to replace imports, the WSAA said in a recent submission to the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission.
“During the recovery phase, water utilities will naturally re-prioritise their capital expenditure to assist with recovery, including bringing forward ‘shovel ready’ infrastructure projects, modernisation and digital transformation, and community-focused investments.
“Further investment by government in additional water industry projects can provide effective stimulus resulting in economic impact as well as broader positive societal benefits.”
The WSAA said the industry invests around $5 billion annually in capital expenditure to provide for resilient water, wastewater and stormwater systems to cater for growing populations while protecting public health and the environment.
“Investing in resilience in regional Australia and in liveability outcomes across metropolitan and regional communities will deliver lasting benefits to community and environment while maximising the short-term economic recovery,” the WSAA submission adds.