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Argent R.M.,Bureau of Meteorology | Sojda R.S.,Montana State University | Guipponi C.,University of Venice | McIntosh B.,International Water Center | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2016

Conceptual modelling is used in many fields with a varying degree of formality. In environmental applications, conceptual models are used to express relationships, explore and test ideas, check inference and causality, identify knowledge and data gaps, synchronize mental models and build consensus, and to highlight key or dominant processes. Due to their sometimes apparent simplicity, development and use of a conceptual model is often an attractive option when tackling an environmental problem situation. However, we have experienced many examples where conceptual modelling has failed to effectively assist in the resolution of environmental problems. This paper explores development and application of conceptual modelling to environmental problems, and identifies a range of best practices for environmental scientists and managers that include considerations of stakeholder participation and trust, model development and representation, integration of different and disparate conceptual models, model maturation, testing, and transition to application within the problem situation. © 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Argent R.M.,Bureau of Meteorology | Sojda R.S.,Montana State University | Guipponi C.,University of Venice | McIntosh B.,International Water Center | Voinov A.A.,University of Twente
Proceedings - 7th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software: Bold Visions for Environmental Modeling, iEMSs 2014 | Year: 2014

Conceptual modelling is used in many fields with a varying degree of formality. In environmental applications, conceptual models are used to express relationships, explore and test ideas, check inference and causality, identify knowledge and data gaps, synchronize mental models and build consensus, and to highlight key or dominant processes. Conceptual model representations range from simple box and line interaction diagrams, through interaction representations and causal models, to complicated formal representations of the relationships between actors or entities, or between states and processes. Due to their sometimes apparent simplicity, the development and use of a conceptual model is often an attractive option when tackling an environmental problem where the system is either not well understood, or where the understanding of the system is not shared amongst stakeholders. However, we have experienced many examples where conceptual modelling has failed to live up to the promises of managing complexity and aiding decision making. This paper explores the development and application of conceptual modelling to environmental problems, and identifies a range of best practices for environmental scientists and managers that include considerations of stakeholder participation, model development and representation, integration of different and disparate conceptual models, model maturation, testing, and transition to application within the problem situation.


Spiller M.,Wageningen University | Mcintosh B.S.,International Water Center | Mcintosh B.S.,Griffith University | Jeffrey P.,Cranfield University
Water and Environment Journal | Year: 2013

The treatment of agriculturally polluted water to potable standards is costly for water companies. Changes in agricultural practice can reduce these costs while also meeting the objectives of European Union (EU) environmental legislation. In this paper, the uptake of source control interventions (SCIs) by water and sewage companies in England and Wales as a means of controlling agricultural pollution is investigated. Data were gathered using semistructured interviews with water and sewage company representatives. Interview data were processed using thematic and content analysis. Results showed that SCIs are increasingly being adopted in England and Wales. Of the four types of SCI identified, the so-called 'Liaison' type dominated. This type of intervention requires intermediary organisations with local expertise in water catchments. Differences in pollution source control between EU countries, and England and Wales are examined. Evidence indicated that 'Liaison' SCI s types may be more prevalent in countries where water supplies are privatised. © 2012 CIWEM.


Roux D.J.,International Water Center | Murray K.,Insight Modelling Services | Nel J.L.,South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research | Hill L.,South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research | And 2 more authors.
Ecology and Society | Year: 2011

The responsibility for managing and conserving freshwater ecosystems is typically shared by multiple organizations with sometimes conflicting policy mandates. However, scorecard-based approaches for measuring management effectiveness in natural resource management are usually confined to single organizations. This paper describes a social learning approach which acknowledges cooperation as an essential precondition for effective management and that encourages reflective coassessment of cooperative relationships. The approach was pilot tested with eight participating organizations in one water management area in South Africa. It specifically aimed to allow for a multiagency reflective assessment of issues determining cooperative behavior, allow context-specific adaptations, and be embedded in adaptive management. It involved development of a spreadsheet-based scorecard-type tool that can be used to facilitate a multiagency workshop. This workshop serves to bring parties face-to-face and helps them codiscover their interdependence, shortcomings, and strengths. The spreadsheet structures reflection on their respective roles and effectiveness while the reflective coassessment motivates participants to address shortcomings. Overall, insights that emerged included: cooperation should be an explicit component of each organization's operational strategy; facilitation of appropriate cooperative behavior could be very effectively achieved by external "bridging organizations"; the reflective assessment process must be followed by purposefully adaptive interventions; the ability of the scorecard to be contextually adaptive was important; and institutional readiness requires investigation as the approach does sit somewhat uncomfortably with much current practice. © 2011 by the author(s).


Spiller M.,Wageningen University | McIntosh B.S.,International Water Center | Seaton R.A.F.,Cranfield University | Jeffrey P.J.,Cranfield University
Water Resources Management | Year: 2015

Innovations in technology and organisations are central to enabling the water sector to adapt to major environmental changes such as climate change, land degradation or drinking water pollution. While there are literatures on innovation as a process and on the factors that influence it, there is little research that integrates these. Development of such an integrated understanding of innovation is central to understanding how policy makers and organisations can stimulate and direct environmental innovation. In the research reported here a framework is developed that enables such an integrated analysis of innovation process and factors. From research interviews and the literature twenty factors were identified that affect the five stages of the environmental innovation process in English and Welsh water utilities. The environmental innovations investigated are measures taken by water utilities to reduce or prevent pollution in drinking water catchments rather than technical measures to treat water. These Source Control Interventions are similar to other environmental innovations, such as ecosystem and species conservation, in that they emphasise the mix of technology, management and engagement with multiple actors. Results show that in water utilities direct performance regulation and regulation that raises awareness of a ‘performance’ gap as a ‘problem’ can stimulate innovation, but only under particular organisational, natural physical and regulatory conditions. The integrated framework also suggests that while flexible or framework legislation (e.g. Water Framework Directive) does not stimulate innovation in itself, it has shaped the option spaces and characteristics of innovations selected towards source control instead of technical end-of-pipe solutions. © 2015, The Author(s).

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