Water is valuable in many ways - some of them surprising.
Whatever its role, water plays an important part in all our lives.
Water's availability has dictated the location and survival of civilisations through the ages. It is impossible to maintain public health and provide food without water.
Water is also essential for the community's qualify of life. Relaxing in a quiet garden or park would not be possible without a reliable water supply. People all over the world flock to dams, lakes and rivers for recreation. This demonstrates water's intangible social value.
The tangible economic value of water is demonstrated by industry's need for water. Economic stability for all sectors of industry depends on access to reliable, good quality water. A nation's economy is seriously affected by water shortages through drought or mismanagement. Our water resources must therefore be managed appropriately to maximise the social and economic potential of the land, both for the public interest and the economic future of the nation.
The provision of reticulated water supply and sewerage services in Australia has halved the death rate and reduced the rates of infectious disease by a factor of ten. Even now, there are significantly higher rates of infectious illness in Australian communities which do not have reticulated services.