To what extent do they sway Australian water management decision making?

Maureen Papas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review

Abstract

At a time when the reliability of freshwater resources has become highly unpredictable, as a result of climate change and increased droughts frequency, the role of scientific evidence in forecasting the availability of seasonal water has become more critical. Australia is one of the driest inhabited continents. Its freshwater availability is highly variable, which poses unique problems for the management of the nation's water resources. Under Australia's federal system, water management challenges have been progressively dealt with through political institutions that rely on best available science to inform policy development. However, it could be argued that evidenced-based policy making is an impossible aim in a highly complex and uncertain political environment: that such a rational approach would be defeated by competing values and vested interests across stakeholders. This article demonstrates that, while science has a fundamental role to play in effective water resource management, the reality on the ground often diverges from the intended aim and does not always reflect efforts at reform. This article briefly reviews the Water Act 2007 (Cth) and comments on why policy makers need to manage rather than try to eliminate uncertainty to promote change.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)
EditorsW Grabs, S Demuth
PublisherCopernicus Gesellschaft mbH
Pages23-28
Number of pages6
Volume374
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2016
EventInternational Conference on Water Resources Assessment and Seasonal Prediction - Koblenz, Germany
Duration: 13 Oct 201516 Oct 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)
PublisherCOPERNICUS GESELLSCHAFT MBH
Volume374

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Water Resources Assessment and Seasonal Prediction
CountryGermany
CityKoblenz
Period13/10/1516/10/15

Keywords

  • RESOURCES

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