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Institute for Water Futures Collaboration

What if our past knowledge about trends in water and riverine ecosystems isn’t reliable for predicting change? What do plausible futures look like and what actions can we take to move towards our preferred future?

The Queensland Water Modelling Network has partnered with the Australian National University’s Institute for Water Futures (IWF) to better explore future scenarios for water and natural resource management in Queensland. The research project aims to develop participatory foresighting approaches for considering multiple plausible futures, and test methods for translating this information into water models to better inform management decisions.

In more detail, the project’s objectives are to:

  1. Envision medium-long term multiple plausible scenarios for Queensland catchments’ water quantity and quality, and ecosystem outcomes.
  2. Identify opportunities and intervention pathways to achieve desirable outcomes in water and associated resources for the Queensland catchments.
  3. Test methods of translating scenario and intervention pathway information into water models.

Anticipated project outcomes include capacity building of QWMN water and other relevant sectoral modellers, practitioners, managers and policy makers in:

  • Considering significant landscape scale deviations from current model outputs, and methods of incorporating them into model development.
  • Communicating uncertainty in models and in the value of foresighting exercises for more sustainable futures.
  • Broadening participants’ views beyond the operational environment into the broader integrated biophysical-social-economic modelling space, and challenging them to explore future and novel opportunities for desirable system outcomes at landscape and larger catchment scales.
  • Building trust and encouraging collaboration among participants across a wide range of backgrounds/responsibilities from paddock to catchment to receiving water bodies.

More information can be gained from the IWF project leads Prof. Tony Jakeman or Dr. Baihua Fu.

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