TRaCK: Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge

Science and knowledge that governments, communities, industries for sustainable use of Australia's tropical rivers and estuaries

Research Themes

Making decisions about water

People in this Theme

Francis Pantus
Theme Leader, Project Leader
Owen Stanley
Project Leader
Poh-Ling Tan
Project Leader

Making decisions about water

One of the primary goals of TRaCK’s research is to inform decision making about tropical rivers and coasts.

To manage and preserve our natural resources effectively, we need to have a level of understanding of how they will respond to (combinations of) various management actions. The large uncertainties involved in managing these complex systems are one of the major challenges of natural resource management. The causes of these uncertainties include our ignorance, their natural variability, and the often large number of connected processes involved.

These uncertainties often limit our predictive abilities, making long-term planning unfeasible unless we create some level of feedback to inform how we're tracking towards our objectives. Adaptive management is an approach that helps us to deal with these challenges.

In the first phase of research, projects in this theme sought to bring together information from the other themes to develop predictions based on realistic scenarios.

During the synthesis and adoption year (2011-2012), the project team built on work started in the first phase of research, to develop a framework supported by a software package that integrates the knowledge of researchers and natural resource management organisations in the Daly River catchment.

The software has been specifically configured to evaluate management strategies for the Daly, which the Northern Territory Government plans to use in the review of its water allocation plans.

Find out how the Management Strategy Evaluation approach is being used to evaluate different management scenarios for tropical rivers in the Northern Territory or click on the links below to find out more about the earlier projects undertaken in this theme.


Book Chapter
2009 Using models for landscape planning: scale, complexity and utility
Conference Paper
2009 Indigenous livelihoods and the global environment: Understanding relationships
Corporate Publication
2010 Water Planning in Australia's Tropical North. Collaborative Water Planning: Summary Report.
2010 Daly River Catchment Water Model: Progress Report
2010 TRaCK Metadata Online Technical Summary
2009 Collaborative Water Planning: Phase 1 Report
Fact Sheet
2010 Integrating knowledge to support adaptive management
2009 Participatory modelling of the Howard East aquifer
2008 River Futures in Australia's Tropical North
2008 Collaborative Water Planning in Australia's Tropical North
2008 Building better Indigenous Participation
Journal Article
2012 The Value and Limitations of Participatory Action Research Methodology
2012 Continued challenges in the policy and legal framework for collaborative water planning
2012 Deliberative Tools for Meeting the Challenges of Water Planning in Australia
2012 How Scientific Knowledge Informs Community's Understanding of Groundwater
2012 Tools to enhance public participation and confidence in the development of the Howard East aquifer water plan, Northern Territory
2012 Transparency and Trade-offs in Water Planning
2012 Principles and Guidelines for Good Practice in Indigenous Engagement in Water Planning
2012 Methods and Approaches to support Indigenous water planning: An example from Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory, Australia
2010 REDD payments as incentive for reducing forest loss
Literature Review
2008 Collaborative Water Planning: Context and Practice, Literature Review, Volume 1
2008 Collaborative Water Planning: Context and Practice, Literature Review, Volume 2
Magazine Article
2008 Working together for a change: collaborative planning for water reform
2008 The future of tropical rivers: which vision is the most sustainable?
2009 Participatory modelling of the Howard East aquifer - Project News
2010 Critical Times Need Practical Measures: Water Resource Planning in Australia (Presentation to NWC)
2009 Law, policy and practice: considerations for water planning in Northern Australia, Riversymposium Conference, Brisbane 2009
2008 Visions of Tropical River Futures for Northern Australia, Coast 2 Coast Conference, Darwin 2008
2008 Exploring scenarios for a tropical river catchment using systems dynamics modelling: Riversymposium Conference, Brisbane 2008
2008 Bringing Aboriginal people into water planning - lessons from the Daly River: Riversymposium Conference, Brisbane 2008
2011 Integrated Science Support for Managing Australia's Tropical Rivers: A Case Study in the Daly River Catchment
2010 Collaborative Water Planning: Groundwater Visualisation Tool Guide
2010 Collaborative Water Planning: Howard East Water Planning Project Final Report
2009 Collaborative Water Planning: Guide to Monitoring and Evaluating Public Participation. Volume 5
2008 Collaborative Water Planning: Legal and Policy Analysis, Volume 3
2008 Collaborative Water Planning: Retrospective Case Studies, Volume 4.2
2008 Collaborative Water Planning: Retrospective Case Studies, Volume 4.1
2011 Water resource development must be based on good science