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Water theft maleficence in Australia


Baird, A and Walters, R and White, R, Water theft maleficence in Australia, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 9, (3) pp. 1-15. ISSN 2202-7998 (2020) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.5204/ijcjsd.v10i1.1604


The United Nations has repeatedly identified that freshwater security is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, and that water theft is a global problem exacerbating human conflict, denying human rights and accelerating environmental despoliation (UN 2019; UN Water 2020). Australia is the world’s driest inhabited continent where water security is seriously threatened and constantly monitored by federal, state and local authorities. The devastating 2019-2020 bushfires across Australia serve as a stark reminder of the nation’s vulnerabilities to drought and the imperatives of water security and sustainability. Whilst some threats are undoubtedly climate induced, it is widely reported the ‘theft’ of water is playing an increasingly significant role in compromising Australia’s water security. This article provides a critical overview of the contemporary significance of water theft and its governance. It interrogates official documents of government inquiries, examines court proceedings, and provides a green criminological perspective on future policy, practice and prevention.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:water theft, Australia, water security, water regulation, Murray–Darling Basin
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Criminology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:White, R (Professor Rob White)
ID Code:143041
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-02-23
Last Modified:2021-10-29
Downloads:10 View Download Statistics

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