Decision Making in Water Resources Policy and Management 1st Edition An Australian Perspective



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Decision-Making in Water Resource Policy and Management: An Australian Perspective presents the latest information in developing new decision-making processes. Topics covered include key aspects of water resources planning, recent water resource policy changes in irrigation, urban, and environmental considerations, the evolution of a water market, a number of case studies that provide real examples of improved decision-making, transfer of the Australian experience overseas, and challenges for the future.

Many countries are experiencing major water scarcity problems which will likely intensify with the continued impacts of climate change. In response to this challenge, there is increased worldwide focus on the development of more sustainable and integrated water resource policies. The Australian experience over the past three decades has led to major improvements in the decision-making processes in water resources policy and management, particularly in response to drought and climate change, providing a great model on which other nations can use and adapt. This information is essential to early to mid-career practitioners engaged in policy, planning and operational roles in all fields of water resource policy and management, and catchment management.

Key Features

  • Summarizes key results from three decades of changes in Australian water resource policy
  • Illustrates how Australian knowledge is being used in other countries and how this might be expanded
  • Provides international practitioners with real examples of where and how the Australian knowledge is assisting in other situations


Early to mid-career practitioners engaged in policy, planning and operational roles in all fields of water resource policy and management and in catchment management

Table of Contents

1. Characterisation of water resources policy and management
2. Australia, including recent reforms (Chris Guest)
3. Decision-making leading to policy changes, (Jane Doolan, John Thwaites)

Recent water resources policy and management changes in Australia
4. Planning and entitlement frameworks & evolution of the water market - (Campbell Fitzpatrick)
5. Agriculture (Irrigation) – major changes in Victoria over the past 20 years – (Robert Rendell)
6. Urban – major reforms in urban water policy and management in major Australian cities (Tony Wong, Rebekah Brown)
7. Environment – degradation of water-related assets, National Water Initiative, Water Act (Jane Doolan) 

Water resources decision-making tools
Environmental aspects
8. Environmental flows and eco-hydrological assessments, including new models (e.g. SOURCE) (Gary Jones, Nick Bond)
Social and economic aspects
9. Social and economic assessments (cost-benefit assessment including assessment of non-market values) (David James, Quentin Grafton or James Horne)
10. Social-ecological models for environmental decision-making (Sarah Bekessy)
11. Social assessments – assessment of human ‘well-being’ in agricultural areas (Jackie Schirmer)
Stakeholder aspects
12. Stakeholder engagement in decision-making, including indigenous involvement (Kate Auty, Poh-ling Tan)
13. Monitoring, assessment and reporting (author - to be decided)
14. Integrated modelling (including eco-hydrological modelling, (Carmel Pollino, Tony Jakeman)

Case studies
15. The Murray-Darling Basin Plan (Barry Hart, Rhondda Dickson)
16. The Victorian Waterways Management Strategy (Sarina Loo, Amber Clark)
17. The Great Barrier Reef Plan (author - to be decided – obtain advice from Michele Barson)

Transfer of the knowledge overseas
[Chapters to illustrate how the Australian experience being used to assist water reforms in overseas countries]
18. Possible examples include: Mekong, India (or subcontinent to include Pakastan and Bangladesh), China, USA

Challenges for the future
19. Future water resources knowledge needs, including climate change challenges (Stuart Bunn, Ralph MacNally & Mike Stewardson)
20. Recommendations for the future (Barry Hart, Jane Doolan)