Dr Walter Reinhardt

BSc., BCom., BAg.Sc., (Hons), Grad. Cert. (Innovation and Entrepreneurship)
Visiting Fellow

Dr Walter Reinhardt provides specialist economic, strategy and policy advice to develop lasting solutions to sustainability challenges.

Walter is a Visiting Fellow at the Fenner School of Environment and Society, where he undertook his doctoral research between 2011 and 2015. Walter's doctoral research investigated demand management policy for residential water and electricity use. Walter's doctoral research extended earlier research into urban water demand management at the University of Melbourne in 2009, undertaken towards a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours).  Walter was awarded dual Bachelor of Science and Commerce degrees from the University of Queensland in (2006). 

Concurrent with his position as a Visiting Fellow, Walter is a Senior Economist with the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (ICRC). His prior professional expereince includes consulting for Arup and the United Nations Environmen Programme. Walter's recent project experience includes making a price determination for ACT water and sewerage services, working with the Australian water industry to develop a position paper on the Sustainable Development Goals, promoting resource efficiency and eco-innovation in the Asia Pacific region through the UN Environment Programme, and conducting economic appraisals of transport and utilities infrastructure. He has successfully delivered projects at board, management and operational levels. Walter was the Australian Water Association ACT Branch's Young Water Professional of the year in 2015. 

    Research interests

    • Policy studies
    • Demand management
    • Urban water
    • Energy policy
    • Behavioural science
    • Urban metabolism
    • Natural resource management
    • Risk management


    Demand Management in Residential Water and Electricity

    Thesis description

    At a high level, my doctoral research investigated the demand management policy for residential water and energy use. My research uses a novel policy framework to analyse the complex array of government activities at various levels, targets and scales of policy action and policy instrument selection. 

    My focus has been the demand management policy in the Australian cities and regions of Sydney, Melbourne and the Australian Capital Territory. In the course of this research I have developed and applied a policy framework which incorporates behavioural science and policy studies through interdisciplinary methods.

    This research enables greater conceptual clarity for policy makers and policy scholars. It enables further exploration of efficiency and effectiveness of demand management policy, policy tools for adaptation, cross-sectoral learning and sustainable resource management. This research informs urban water and energy governance and management, economics and climate change adaptation.


    • ActewAGL/ANU Research Endowment Funding Grant 2012
    • AWA Postgraduate Student Research Award 2011 and 2012
    • ANU Commercialisation Training Scheme & Scholarship 2011
    • Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) PhD Scholarship 2011
    • CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences Postgraduate Studentship 2011
    • Grafton, R.Q, & Reinhardt, W, 2016, An assessment framework for resilient public policy, in Young, M. & Essau, C., Transforming Change in Environmental and Natural Resource Management, New York: Routledge.
    • Reinhardt, W. & Guerin-Schneider, L., 2015, Governance and regulation of the urban water sector: Quoi de neuf? In: Grafton, R.Q., Daniell, K., Nauges, C., Rinaudo, J.-D. & Chan, W. (eds.) Understanding and Managing Urban Water in Transition, New York: Springer.
    • Reinhardt, W., 2013, Comparative policy analysis in Australian water and electricity demand management, State of Australian Cities Conference, Sydney, 26-29 November 2013
    • Is demand management a no-regrets adaptation action?, Climate Adaptation Futures Conference, Tucson AZ, June 2012
    • Policy Instruments for Demand Management, IWA Water Climate Energy World Congress, Dublin Ireland, May 2012
    • Three things the water security community needs to know about the energy sector, Oxford International Water Security, Risk and Society Conference, Oxford University, April 2012, co-authored with Dr Karen Hussey and Dr Nicole Carter
    • Water Smart in the Garden State, AWA Water Efficiency Conference, Melbourne, February 2011

    During his doctoral research at ANU, Walter co-convened or tutored the following subjects:

    • Australia’s environment (ENVS1004 / ENVS6104)
    • Environmental policy (ENVS3028 / ENVS6028)
    • Applied Economics: Cost Benefit Analysis  (IDEC8088)
    • Leadership and Influence (VCUG2000)
    • Unravelling Complexity (VCUG3001)

    Walter received the Vice-Chancellors Award for Excellence in Education in 2013.