Presenter/Author Information

S. M. Cuddy
C. A. Pollino

Keywords

risk management, water resource planning, water allocation planning

Start Date

1-7-2012 12:00 AM

Description

Impacts from overallocation and drought have caused a widespread decline in the ecological health of river systems within Australia and elsewhere. Within the Murray-Darling Basin of Australia, a whole-of-Basin Plan, as described in the Australian Government’s Water Act 2007, is being developed to redress issues of overallocation of water resources. The Act requires an identification of the risks to the condition, or continued availability, of the water resources within the Basin; and strategies to be adopted to manage, or address, these risks. This legal requirement to consider risk, while adding another dimension to what is already a very complex multi-layered process, provides us with the opportunity to explore its use as an overarching framework for water resource planning itself, and for the development and delivery of modelling and other decision support tools to support the planning process. Aspects that are of particular interest are – how does risk ‘scale up‘; how does risk fit with public policy processes?; how do we quantify and communicate risk such that it improves, rather than confuses, decision processes? how do we measure different levels of risk? how do we develop tools that incorporate risk (and associated uncertainty) that are relevant to water resource planners? This paper explores some of these issues in its investigation of the utility of risk management frameworks to provide cohesion within the water planning sphere. While much of this exploration is theoretical in nature, the paper includes a case study of a set of Bayesian network tools developed to assess risks to water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin, as defined in the Act.

Share

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Exploring the utility of risk management as an integrating framework for the development and application of water resource planning tools

Impacts from overallocation and drought have caused a widespread decline in the ecological health of river systems within Australia and elsewhere. Within the Murray-Darling Basin of Australia, a whole-of-Basin Plan, as described in the Australian Government’s Water Act 2007, is being developed to redress issues of overallocation of water resources. The Act requires an identification of the risks to the condition, or continued availability, of the water resources within the Basin; and strategies to be adopted to manage, or address, these risks. This legal requirement to consider risk, while adding another dimension to what is already a very complex multi-layered process, provides us with the opportunity to explore its use as an overarching framework for water resource planning itself, and for the development and delivery of modelling and other decision support tools to support the planning process. Aspects that are of particular interest are – how does risk ‘scale up‘; how does risk fit with public policy processes?; how do we quantify and communicate risk such that it improves, rather than confuses, decision processes? how do we measure different levels of risk? how do we develop tools that incorporate risk (and associated uncertainty) that are relevant to water resource planners? This paper explores some of these issues in its investigation of the utility of risk management frameworks to provide cohesion within the water planning sphere. While much of this exploration is theoretical in nature, the paper includes a case study of a set of Bayesian network tools developed to assess risks to water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin, as defined in the Act.