Leadership in sustainable urban water management


This report has two objectives. First, it aims to communicate the main findings of a research project that investigated the nature of emergent leaders (‘champions’) in Australian publicly-managed water agencies who play a key role in promoting sustainable urban water management (SUWM). Second, it aims to communicate a suite of management strategies that can be used within water agencies to: create a supportive leadership context for champions and other leaders involved with the SUWM leadership process; foster effective champions at an executive level (‘executive champions’); attract, recruit, supervise and develop the leadership abilities of champions at a middle management level (‘project champions’); and encourage distributed (group-based) leadership1 throughout water agencies to assist the SUWM leadership process.

This report represents a resource to water managers who are seeking evidence-based strategies to help accelerate the transition to ‘water sensitive cities’ (see Brown et al., 2008). It also provides an opportunity for SUWM leaders to learn more about leadership, reflect on their own leadership performance, and identify strategies for improvement.


André Taylor (2008) Report No. 08/01 – August 2008. Leadership in Sustainable Urban Water Management: An investigation of the champion phenomenon within Australian water agencies.

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