Fields of service
We are Australia’s leading water sector advisors.
Our water team have backgrounds working as water regulators, or working in senior roles in regulated businesses or Government. We have been instrumental in some of Australia’s most significant regulation, policy and market reforms across the rural and urban water sectors. We work across multiple scales, catchments, basins, precincts, irrigation schemes, communities, water business and legislative boundaries.
If you are looking to do something involving water economics, regulation, policy, pricing, markets or strategy, then let’s talk. We’re likely to have the real expertise that can help you, and have probably done what you are looking to do before.
Energy and renewables
The energy team offers 40+ years of collective expertise in local and global energy markets, policy and regulation, including the NEM, WEM and national gas market. We can help you understand the market impacts, manage risks and seize opportunities associated with the net-zero energy transition.
View our energy and renewables capability statement here.
Over the past four years alone, our consultants have delivered more than 200 energy projects across:
- renewables markets and investments
- economic regulation and policy
- energy market models
- market trends and transitions
- climate change mitigation and adaptation.
We are trusted advisors to the agriculture, aquaculture and earth resources sectors.
We advise boards and Ministers, we chair ministerial committees, and we work with all levels of industry and government. Our team includes people with diverse backgrounds: in agricultural, aquaculture and earth resources value chains, in senior Government positions, and in running family farms. We specialise in important, complex issues: drought, cost recovery, program design, structural reforms, and reforms of the agricultural market and of governance performance.
Our expertise in matters of the economy, policy, market and strategy, when combined with our real-world experience, means that we engage quickly and credibly. We maintain sophisticated in-house models including bioeconomic and the agriculture and aquaculture value chains.
Our experience spans multiple sectors and issues.
We are recognised leaders in the economics, regulation, policy and markets of both ‘brown’ and ‘green’ environmental issues. ‘Brown’ issues include – waste and recycling, air pollution, contaminated land, and persistent organic pollutants. While ‘green’ environmental issues, centre around delivering healthier rural and urban catchments, waterways, coasts, landscapes, and oceans.
Our innovative modelling includes material flow models and integrated bioeconomic models, to support our work and deliver insights into the deeper issues at hand. We work with a wide range of scientists and other specialists to deliver you the best possible outcomes.
We work at the forefront of national road, rail and ports transport issues across policy, regulation, governance, and pricing.
Our team have leading roles in some of Australia’s most significant transport reforms, particularly heavy-vehicle road reform, electric vehicles, and rail. We have extensive experience in regulatory pricing in road and rail transport.
Most of our work involves public policy of some form.
If you don’t see what you’re looking for in the categories above, then call us. We’ve probably got the experience you need, or we will know the best people to speak with.
Our team works across a wide range of public and social policy issues. In the past two years this has included:
- Supporting national healthcare reforms through pricing of attendance care and group home capital infrastructure;
- Establishing pricing for the National Disability Insurance Scheme;
- Delivering regulatory impact statements for matters like work health and safety;
- Developing and supporting implementation of asbestos compensation frameworks;
- The economics and optimal taxation of alcohol.
We’re proud to call ourselves applied economists.
Over the last five years we have delivered more than 300 investment appraisals and business cases for private and public clients.
Since 2017 alone we’ve appraised over $20 billion in Australian investments across the sectors of rural and urban water, energy and clean energy, agriculture and aquaculture, earth resources, the environment, and transport, as well as a range of other sectors. Our investment cases are compelling, clear, and evidence-based and they comply with State and Commonwealth investment guidelines.
We are leaders in designing and implementing regulatory, pricing and cost recovery arrangements for the sectors we specialise in.
Many of our team started their careers working as regulators or working in regulated businesses. Our work is successful because we blend good applied regulatory, pricing and cost-recovery first principles with real-world understanding of how regulatory, pricing and cost-recovery works in practice in the sectors we specialise in.
Our team includes some of Australia’s leading experts in non-market valuation.
We are the go-to non-market valuation advisors to many State and Commonwealth Government Departments. This work supports nationally and internationally significant natural resource and environmental decisions. Our proven, practical approach focuses on bringing key stakeholders on the valuation journey to build confidence and understanding in the results.
Our modelling work has informed some of Australia’s most influential regulatory, policy and market-structure decisions of the last decade.
Good modelling lets us track the evidence for lines of reasoning, test hypotheses, and uncover the unexpected. We specialise in developing bespoke quantitative methods and models to support regulatory, pricing, demand, and investment assessments (among others). We also maintain sophisticated in-house models for water, energy, agriculture, and aquaculture.
Policy-making matters because it shapes our lived experience.
Our team are preferred policy advisors to senior levels of government, industry and not-for-profit organisations. Our policy capability is grounded in decades of designing, implementing, evaluating and reforming public policy. Our experience and expertise allows us to engage quickly and credibly.
We have helped design and implement some of Australia’s most innovative and influential policies in our sectors of speciality.
Our design approach is based on a practical understanding of policy implementation in the real world, combined with first principles’ expertise. Our policy design approach is outcome-focused and collaborative.
Many of our team have held senior executive and non-executive roles in government and industry.
We have designed and reformed statutory and non-statutory governance and institutional arrangements in the water, energy, biodiversity, waste, agriculture, earth resources, public health and transport sectors.
We work regularly with Government, industries and regulators to evaluate the performance of energy, water and environmental policies.
Our approach to evaluation builds on the proven approaches of Australian Commonwealth and State Governments. We extend these to provide additional evaluation insights, leading to clear and actionable recommendations.
We are widely recognised as leaders in the design, implementation, governance and performance assessment of Australian and international water, energy, agriculture, and environmental markets.
We helped establish the Victoria, Western Australia and National Electricity Markets and the Victorian gas market. We have supported growth and reform of Australia’s rural water and salinity markets. We’ve designed and implemented innovative and award-winning environmental markets.
Good market design encourages people and businesses to change for the better.
Our expert team design markets that will drive change: supporting better regulation and improving outcomes for policy, procurement and resource allocation. We do this by creating paths (and providing incentives) for individuals, businesses, and market and industry structures, to change their behaviours for the better. We are leaders in designing innovative markets for water, energy, waste, agriculture, aquaculture and the environment.
We monitor and evaluate the performance of markets in the energy, water and environmental sectors, for governments, industry sectors and regulators.
We are leading advisors to State and Commonwealth Governments on Australia’s water and energy markets. And we help our private clients get the best investment outcomes in these markets.
Our approach to strategy advice is grounded in our expertise in economics, financial, risk, market and policy.
We only work in sectors and industries where we are experts and many of us have commercial backgrounds in these areas too.
This means when you work with us we bring real insight into the sectors and industries and we know about the current and emerging challenges and opportunities, which will affect your operations and investments. Our experience and know-how means we can help you position best for the future.
Our approach to strategy design aligns with our approach to policy-making.
We’ve helped design and implement some of Australia’s most innovative and influential strategies within our specialist sectors. Our design approach combines practical, real-world understanding of strategy implementation and first-principles’ expertise. This is both outcome-focused and collaborative.
Over the past five years our due diligence has supported over $20 billion of public and private sector investment.
This investment has primarily been in Australia, ranging across the energy, clean energy, water and agriculture sectors.
Our due diligence work provides investors with the confidence and understanding needed to act. This work varies across clients, but always focuses on the key issues critical to your investment decisions.
We work regularly with Government, industries and regulators in our specialist sectors to evaluate how well their strategies’ perform.
We focus our strategic evaluation work in sectors and industries that we have expertise in. This means when we work with you we come with real insight into the sectors and industries you’re in, and the current and emerging challenges and opportunities that will impact strategy. Our experience and know-how means we can do informed strategic evaluation, and develop practical recommendations for reform.
Work with us
We strive to build long-lasting, trust-based relationships with our clients and partner firms.
We are a highly collegiate consulting practice, prioritising the merit of ideas, arguments, and evidence. We value open, regular and constructive communication and knowledge-sharing between our teams, clients and partner firms.
Our work helps our clients make well-informed decisions, supported by strong evidence. We use robust and transparent economic frameworks and evaluation approaches. Our work combines intellectual discipline, technical rigour, creative thinking, real-world experience, and common sense. Our advice is pragmatic, workable, and importantly, it’s always in plain English.
We specialise in solving practical and real-world problems.
Established in 1996, we have grown to be a leading Australian economics, policy, markets and strategy advisory, and Australia’s leading natural resources economic advisors. We employ talented economists, policy and other specialists.
We are passionate about what we do and are dedicated to getting you the best outcomes.
When we work together we build our project teams around your needs and objectives.
That means we normally deliver our work within cross-disciplinary teams. We work with a wide network of like-minded, strategic partner firms. We are also happy to partner with firms that you trust and want us to work with to deliver your project.
We run independent consultations to support project work being conducted for our clients.
This includes providing consultation information on our website and being responsible for the receipt and publication of submissions made via the consultation process.
Insights & innovations
Our modelling work has informed some of Australia’s most influential regulatory, policy and market-structure decisions of the last decade.
Good modelling allows us to evidence lines of reasoning, test hypotheses, and uncover the unexpected. We specialise in developing bespoke quantitative methods and models to support regulatory, pricing, demand and investment assessments – among others. We also maintain sophisticated, in-house water, energy, agriculture, and aquaculture models.
Read more about some of our in-house models below, or call us to discuss.
Marsden Jacob Associates Allocation Water Market Model
Our allocation water market model supports our work with Government, commercial and infrastructure operator clients.
Our model helps Governments understand the impacts of trading strategies on markets in the southern Murray-Darling Basin. It also helps our commercial clients identify opportunities and make more informed trading decisions.
Our model uses daily water-trade data observations and other relevant market data from five inter-connected trading zones: SA Murray, Victorian Murray, Victorian Goulburn, NSW Murray and NSW Murrumbidgee. And it estimates how temporary trades within a trading zone impact that zone’s prices and trade volumes and those of the four connected trading zones. The model also estimates short-run and long-run price and trade volume impacts within and across zones.
Marsden Jacob Associates Pacific Islands Water-Supply Demand Model
We have worked with water utilities across the Pacific region. Our Excel-based water supply/demand model accurately reflects conditions in the rainfall-dependent Pacific Island countries that we’ve worked. It assesses shortfalls in water supply relative to demand under different drought scenarios and drives urban water planning at national, island, and village levels. The model can integrate water supply from multiple sources, including household rainwater tanks, government and community cisterns, desalination plants, and groundwater.
MJA-AWRCOE Water Recycling Economic Assessment Tool
In partnership with the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, we’ve developed this free, Excel-based tool.
You can do a cost-benefit analysis to quantify a range of benefits and costs – economic, social, and environmental – for recycled water schemes.
You can access the model here.
Electricity Market Simulation Model – PROPHET
We’re licensed for all modules of the PROPHET energy market simulation model, and we maintain it in-house. Lots of parties in Australia use this advanced electricity market simulation model (NEM and WA WEM). This includes AEMO, TNSP’s government, portfolio generators and retailers.
PROPHET simulates the physical and market operations of the NEM and WA WEM in significant detail. It simulates competition reform impacts and how these reflect the competitive structure of industry.
We use PROPHET to project future wholesale energy prices, the impacts of environmental schemes like carbon pricing and the RET, transmission congestion and economics, competitive impacts of industry consolidation, and the impact of market rule changes.
We also use PROPHET to quantify the operational and economic impacts of technology changes such as smart grid, high wind penetration, geothermal and nuclear power.
Long-Term “Least Cost” – PROPHET Planning
Our model provides for the long-term development of electricity markets in terms of generator entry and retirement, locations of plant entry and exit, plant type and operating regimes.
We can also establish flows on transmission lines and additional transmission requirements.
We use PROPHET Planning to quantify things like the long-term impact of pricing carbon and renewable energy targets, new interconnector economics, long-term economics and impacts of new technologies like batteries and hydro-power, and to understand the benefits of introducing firm access on transmission.
East-Coast Gas Market Model
We’ve developed this model in-house to project the development of gas reserves by basin and owner, gas pipeline flows and constraints, the availability of gas to the export and domestic markets, and the locational price of wholesale gas.
It can model the impact of policies on domestic gas supply availability, new gas pipeline requirements, large-customer gas supply options and risks, and gas prices.
Retail Pricing Model – ReElCost
We use this in-house model on various assignments to build up retail energy prices based on the components to such prices – retail market, distribution, transmission, energy, risk, and statutory obligations.
Australian Aquaculture Model
We use this in-house model of Australian aquaculture supply chains to estimate the distribution of profit through Australian aquaculture supply chains. We also use it to assess the potential supply-chain impacts of changes to a range of fishery management and policy arrangements.
Australian Beef Model
This in-house, multi-regional model represents the farm, processing and retail sectors in the beef industry. It estimates the supply-chain impacts of market shocks and key changes to market settings. We also use this model to estimate the benefits and costs of the product integrity programs, and to evaluate structural and market reforms.
Australian Dairy Model
This in-house, multi-regional model represents the farm, processing and retail sectors in the dairy industry. It estimates supply-chain impacts of changes in key market and institutional settings. We use this model to estimate the distribution of the benefits and costs of dairy-sector research, development and extension programs, and to evaluate structural and pricing reforms.
Australian Lamb & Wool Model
This multi-regional model estimates the impacts of farm extension services in the Australian lamb and wool industry, at the farm gate.
This is an in-house, multi-subregional model of the horticulture industry in the VIC and NSW Pest-Free Area. It includes detailed representation of biosecurity risks and treatments for Queensland Fruit Fly and flow-on market impacts. It helps us understand the dynamics of sub-regional biosecurity outbreaks and how they affect regions and different parts of the horticulture value chain.
Air Pollution and Health Cost Modelling
This is an integrated modelling framework for evaluating the health costs of air pollutants from industry, motor vehicles and other sources. The model applies regionally defined damage costs for a range of pollutants including particulates, NOx, VOCs and Sox. The modelling framework can be adapted for differences in pollution sources and exposure levels between metropolitan areas and between metropolitan, regional and rural areas across Australia.
Climate Risk Assessment Model
This Excel-based model undertakes qualitative/semi-quantitative risk assessments of climate change. We developed this model for climate change risk assessments consistent with the Australian Greenhouse Office / Department of Environment publication, Climate Change Impacts and Risk Management: A Guide for Business and Government (co-authored by Marsden Jacob and Broadleaf). This model has been adapted to undertake any risk assessment consistent with the AS/NZS IS 31000:2009 Standard for Risk Management.
Waste Material Flow and Financial Model
This is an integrated waste material flow and financial modelling framework. We have adapted this modelling framework to a range of material and waste streams at state and national levels. We have used the models to evaluate economic, market and policy issues in the areas of beverage containers and associated litter, packaging waste, metals, e-waste and hazardous wastes.
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Designed from the ground up, Waterflow™ brings all, up-to-date water market information together, into a single free app. It’s quick, intuitive, and simple. No more wading through complex water market reports.
Waterflow™ was developed by Marsden Jacob Associates with funding by the Commonwealth Government’s Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) to bring a new level of transparency and reliability to water market information. Learn more about BRII.