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Environmental well-being is about meeting the needs of today’s generation, without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Under the WRS Community Outcomes the area of environmental well-being is represented by a single community outcome - healthy environment (therefore both the well-being aspect and the community outcome share the same index).
As a region we need to find a balance between human influences, land use activities and sustaining the natural ecosystems, not only relating to our water systems but also across other aspects of the environment. Good air quality is fundamental to our well-being and prevents damage to our ecosystems, our health, and our economy.
The environmental well-being aspect of the WR-GPI increased by 8.1% between 2001 and 2016. As can be seen in the graph below, the index exhibits a flat trend between 2001 and 2007 then lifts significantly between 2008 and 2016 except for a sharp temporary drop in 2011.
We have clean water, fresh air and healthy soils. Well-functioning and diverse ecosystems make up an environment that can support our needs. Resources are used efficiently. There is minimal waste and pollution.
The GPI counts crime, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, natural resource depletion and soil loss, as costs, not gains, to the economy.