This two-page note captures our emerging thoughts on four aspects of the planning process where we think change is needed. We are publishing this note with the aim of promoting discussion in this important area. The 2010-2012 drought event was remarkable in its severity and duration; and in its conclusion, as a result of the unprecedented hydrological transformation that occurred at the end of April 2012. Water companies, government, regulators and other stakeholders recognise this event was a ‘near miss’ for the industry.  Many practitioners also recognise that none of the critical droughts in the historic record last for more than two winters. A three-winter drought would severely test the resilience of many water resource systems.  There is increasing recognition that future hydrological events could be more extreme than historic observations.  In this context the behavioural modelling approach, that has worked well enough up until now, is no longer the best way to address the water resource management challenges we now face. We believe that the data and tools exist now to implement a more appropriate approach, using stochastic methods.

The review of WRMP19 methods, and the future challenges associated with competition and abstraction reform means that now is the right time to investigate these new methods.

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