Many of the most significant, and complex, irrigation scheme projects being considered under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund are based in Queensland. Several of the these required expert external assessment for the Queensland Government.
The focus of this engagement was an analysis of regional bulk water projects proposed by non-government entities. These projects were peer reviewed by a consortium of expert consultants for the Government.
The projects ranged from relatively localised rural Queensland irrigation projects to major regional and State economic development proposals to service the agriculture, urban and industrial sectors.
NineSquared was engaged to assess the economic and water sector risks within each project’s business cases. This entailed an assessment of the economics of each proposal and required NineSquared to apply its deep understanding of water sector challenges and opportunities to present recommendations for the projects’ proponents to consider in finalising their business cases. The peer reviews also provided important assessments of each project’s risks and opportunities to the Queensland Government.
The economic assessment tested the assumptions, methodologies and conclusions of the economic assessments, including cost-benefit analyses, input-output studies and other measures of economic impact. The water sector risk assessments considered each program against a backdrop of challenges and opportunities associated with comparable water infrastructure projects throughout Australia, with a particular emphasis on Queensland experiences.
Results & Relevance
The various projects were based on new or expanded irrigation farming developments and a range of water pricing and demand risks, along with several project-specific risks which were identified. Whilst proposed by private proponents, the projects had differing levels of associated risks to the client, the Queensland Government, which were raised and assessed in NineSquared’s reviews.