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Critical Times Need Practical Measures: Water Resource Planning in Australia (Presentation to NWC)

TitleCritical Times Need Practical Measures: Water Resource Planning in Australia (Presentation to NWC)
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsTan, PL
Keywords1: Scenario Evaluation

The National Water Commission in their 2009 assessment of the implementation of the NWI recommended the immediate acceleration of water plans, identification of information gaps, actions that explicitly address climate change, development of SMART water planning objectives and the monitoring of these objectives. These with other recommendations mean that water planners in all jurisdictions face a huge task, which they cannot do alone. Collaborative and adaptive governance, based on inter-agency integration and stakeholder participation is the paradigm adopted in international water policy and academic circles. This seminar will give insights into trials of collaborative measures taken in two research projects. From case-studies in Northern Australia (the Ord, WA, the Gulf catchments, Queensland and the Howard East area around Darwin, NT) the first project has for the first time mapped community, agency and Indigenous expectations of water planning, and thereby identifying effective ways to engage communities in water planning; and made legal and policy recommendations for reform.

The second research project has a national focus, and is trialling a number of practical measures in surface and groundwater water planning. These include those aimed at supporting transparent trade-offs in decision-making and integrated assessment tools that are built together with representatives from a wide section of the community. Feedback and evaluation form a critical part of the research methodology, and this together with practical limitations of water planning will be discussed.