Australian Partners

Aither Pty Ltd

Aither is an economics, policy and strategic advisory firm. Aither has specialist expertise and experience that extends across multiple disciplines and sectors – with primary expertise in water policy and reform, water infrastructure, natural hazards (floods), natural resource management and the environment. Aither applies this expertise to provide government and private sector clients, as well as research and community-based organisations, with services related to policy and strategy development, appraisal and optimisation, performance and reporting, and review.

Aither brings together a professional team with government, industry and consulting experience in water policy and management across Australia. We combine leading expertise in economics, policy and strategy with deep experience in urban, rural and environmental water planning, and markets. Our team members have had intimate involvement in the major federal, state and utility level water reforms of the past decade, and are policy experts.

We have extensive experience working with government and the private sector in the design, implementation and analysis of Australia’s water markets and rural water challenges. However, we are independent with no direct stake in the market. Aither also delivers a range of solutions across the urban water sector from high-level analysis and advice, to site-specific economic appraisals of infrastructure investments.

Aither commit senior staff to every project, drawing on an extensive range of experts to provide the best team for the specific brief. We pride ourselves on knowledge, and understanding of our client’s needs, which enables us to deliver the highest quality results in a timely and cost effective manner.

  1. Policy and program design, implementation and review.
  2. Economic evaluation (cost benefit analysis, cost effectiveness analysis).
  3. Strategic planning, consultation and facilitation.
  4. Adaptive management including monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
  5. Investment framework and business case development.
  6. Stakeholder issues analysis.
  7. Governance and institutional design and analysis.
  8. Socio-economic impact assessments of major reform and policy change.
  9. Property rights and market based instruments for environmental management. 10. Industrial structural adjustment in agricultural and rural water sectors.
  • Melbourne Water – Various projects, 2012- 2015
    Aither has undertaken a range of projects for Melbourne Water; these include; completing an analysis of the services that sit within the Waterways and Drainage Strategy investment area, development of a series of criteria and undertake a best practice review of delivery mechanisms for Melbourne Water’s waterway and drainage services, and assistance in the development of the Flood strategy – Port Phillip and Westernport.
  • Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet – Northern Australia White Paper, 2015
    Aither was engaged by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to review water related components of the Northern Australia White Paper. Based on our recognised position in national high level strategic water policy to ensure the white paper initiative was consistent with national water initiative commitments and best practice water policy and reform in the context of the economic regional and development strategy.
  • Infrastructure Australia – National Infrastructure Plan (Water), 2015
    Infrastructure Australia has an ongoing engagement with Aither on a range of matters related to the development of the National Infrastructure Plan (Water). Advice includes; framing the challenges identified in infrastructure audits, identifying challenges facing the water sector in rural, regional and metropolitan areas, identifying economical solutions to these challenges, evaluating solutions and identifying pathways on delivery and implementation. Including analysis around why proposed solutions are likely to work.
  • BMT WBM – Pricing implications of Papua New Guinea (PNG) water supply project, 2014
    Aither was engaged on behalf of PNG Water to assess the water pricing implications, and the economic feasibility of a new regional water supply system in Papua New Guinea. The assessment looked at a range of feasible tariff structures. The assessment also examined price implications based on the life cycle costs of the systems, and the estimated demand. The economic assessment examined the range of non-market benefits associated with improved public health, and increased convenience.
  • Asian Development Bank – Water markets and improved water management in Asia, 2012
    Aither developed a report on options for utilising water markets in developing countries in Asia. This report included development of an assessment framework for identifying water market opportunities. The report investigated the performance of irrigated agriculture in the region, and the potential for water markets to help meet future irrigation and food production challenges, including food security.
  • Consultancy Service, Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) – Hanoi, Vietnam, 2006
    Aither Director Chris Olszak, was responsible for the preparation of a background paper for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) draft National Water Resources Strategy. The paper titled ‘Investment planning and economic appraisal: methods and tools for Integrated Water Resource Management’, involved an internal review of donor funded proposals on major river and hydro power projects, preparation of successful proposals for funding an action plan for environmental sustainability, and internal capacity building, policy development and economic advice to the Vietnamese government. In addition, Chris developed and delivered training courses in water resources economics (under a DANIDA funded project).
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