There remains an urgent need to develop an effective and workable long-term water and catchment policy to safeguard Australia’s freshwater water security and ensure sustainable management of these critical resources. In 2020, Colonial Foundation joined a greenfields initiative seeking to address this by creating a new national and fully independent water and catchment policy centre, known as WaterTrust Australia.

WaterTrust Australia’s operations are being funded by a collaboration of more than fifteen philanthropic organisations, collectively committing more than $30 million over ten years.

The initiative acknowledges that there are a wide range of stakeholders affected by Australia’s water policy and their Vision is to convene the development of water and catchment policy and management decisions that citizens and decision-makers see as fairer, more reasonable, more consistent with the available evidence, and more legitimate.

The Centre is engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, including policymakers, politicians, government agencies, academic experts, farmers, First Peoples, land and water managers, corporations, financiers and regional and urban communities in the collaborative design of water and catchment policy.