International Water Center

Brisbane, Australia

International Water Center

Brisbane, Australia
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MacDonald M.C.,Griffith University | Elliott M.,University of Alabama | Chan T.,Monash University | Kearton A.,International Water Center | And 3 more authors.
Water (Switzerland) | Year: 2016

The investigation of multiple sources in household water management is considered overly complicated and time consuming using paper and pen interviewing (PAPI).We assess the advantages of computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) in Pacific Island Countries (PICs). We adapted an existing PAPI survey on multiple water sources and expanded it to incorporate location of water use and the impacts of extreme weather events using SurveyCTO on Android tablets. We then compared the efficiency and accuracy of data collection using the PAPI version (n = 44) with the CAPI version (n = 291), including interview duration, error rate and trends in interview duration with enumerator experience. CAPI surveys facilitated high-quality data collection and were an average of 15.2 min faster than PAPI. CAPI survey duration decreased by 0.55% per survey delivered (p < 0.0001), whilst embedded skip patterns and answer lists lowered data entry error rates, relative to PAPI (p < 0.0001). Large-scale household surveys commonly used in global monitoring and evaluation do not differentiate multiple water sources and uses. CAPI equips water researchers with a quick and reliable tool to address these knowledge gaps and advance our understanding of development research priorities. © 2016 by the authors.


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.


McIntosh B.S.,International Water Center | McIntosh B.S.,Griffith University | Ascough J.C.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Twery M.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | And 25 more authors.
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2011

Despite the perceived value of DSS in informing environmental and natural resource management, DSS tools often fail to be adopted by intended end users. By drawing together the experience of a global group of EDSS developers, we have identified and assessed key challenges in EDSS development and offer recommendations to resolve them. Challenges related to engaging end users in EDSS development emphasise the need for a participatory process that embraces end users and stakeholders throughout the design and development process. Adoption challenges concerned with individual and organisational capacities to use EDSS and the match between EDSS and organisational goals can be overcome through the use of an internal champion to promote the EDSS at different levels of a target organisation; co-ordinate and build capacity within the organisation, and; ensure that developers maintain focus on developing EDSS which are relatively easy and inexpensive to use and update (and which are perceived as such by the target users). Significant challenges exist in relation to ensuring EDSS longevity and financial sustainability. Such business challenges may be met through planning and design that considers the long-term costs of training, support, and maintenance; revenue generation and licensing by instituting processes which support communication and interactions; and by employing software technology which enables easy model expansion and re use to gain an economy of scale and reduce development costs. A final group of perhaps more problematic challenges relate to how the success of EDSS ought to be evaluated. Whilst success can be framed relatively easily in terms of interactions with end users, difficulties of definition and measurability emerge in relation to the extent to which EDSS achieve intended outcomes. To tackle the challenges described, the authors provide a set of best practice recommendations concerned with promoting design for ease of use, design for usefulness, establishing trust and credibility, promoting EDSS acceptance, and starting simple and small in functionality terms. Following these recommendations should enhance the achievement of successful EDSS adoption, but more importantly, help facilitate the achievement of desirable social and environmental outcomes. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Taylor A.,Monash University | Taylor A.,International Water Center | Cocklin C.,Monash University | Cocklin C.,James Cook University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2012

This paper describes a six-step process to build the leadership capacity of environmental champions. This process was developed during research involving champions in Australian water agencies. The process, like leadership, is sensitive to context. It includes gathering local information on the factors that assist particular types of champion to exert influence, and using this information to build customized capacity building tools, such as leadership development programs. The paper explains each step in the process and provides illustrative examples from research on water agency champions. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed, including the hypothesis that the process should be transferable to other work environments under certain circumstances. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Chan T.,Monash University | Ross H.,University of Queensland | Hoverman S.,University of Queensland | Powell B.,International Water Center
Water Resources Research | Year: 2010

A participatory approach was used to develop a Bayesian network model for assisting integration of water resource management in the Kongulai catchment in the Solomon Islands. This catchment provides 40-60% of the water for Honiara, the capital, and management is complex, with sparse data and many competing uses including drinking, domestic, agricultural, and industrial uses for both water and land in the catchment, as well as a range of threats from pollution, increasing population, changing land use, and variable hydrogeology. There are socioeconomic considerations including customary landownership and overlapping institutional responsibilities. A participatory process involving representative stakeholders of three main groups, the customary landowners, the government, and nongovernmental organizations, was central to analyzing the system and building trust in the model development process and model outcomes, and additionally facilitated relationship building between the different groups affecting, and affected by, the catchment. A conceptual model of the Kongulai system with respect to water was developed with all stakeholders. Further elicitation of quantitative aspects took place with a subset of water management professionals for development into a working Bayesian network model. Stakeholder representatives were then presented with the model, some analysis, and scenarios for discussion and feedback. The model provided a number of recommendations that support local management decision making, which were accepted by the wider stakeholder group. The process demonstrates the worth of a well-designed participatory approach to enhance stakeholder contributions and confirms the appropriateness of Bayesian networks for use in developing country contexts where capacity and data may be scarce. © 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.


Roux D.J.,Monash South Africa | Roux D.J.,International Water Center | Murray K.,Insight Modelling Services | Nel J.L.,South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research | And 3 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).


Ashbolt S.,CSIRO | Aryal S.,CSIRO | Petrone K.,CSIRO | McIntosh B.S.,International Water Center | And 3 more authors.
Water Science and Technology | Year: 2013

Increases in the impervious area due to urbanisation have been shown to have negative impacts on the physical and ecological condition of streams, primarily through increased volume and frequency of runoff. The harvesting and detention of runoff has a potential to decrease this impact. This paper describes the effects of urbanisation on catchment flow and of stormwater harvesting on reducing those adverse impacts on a stream in South East Queensland (SEQ), Australia. A largely undeveloped catchment located southeast of Brisbane city was calibrated and validated using the Stormwater Management Model (SWMM). This model was used to investigate the effect of a range of future increases in urbanisation (represented by impervious area) on stream hydrology as well as the potential of stormwater harvesting to return the catchments to predevelopment flow conditions. Stormwater harvesting was modelled according to flow frequency measures specified in current SEQ development guidelines. These guidelines stipulate the capture of the first 10 mm of runoff from impervious areas of 0-40% and the first 15 mm from impervious areas of 40% or greater for urban developments. We found that increases in the impervious area resulted in increases in the mean, frequency and duration of high flows, and an increase in the mean rate of rise and fall for storm events in the catchment. However, the predevelopment (non-urbanised) flow distribution was very flashy in comparison with all urbanised scenarios; i.e. it had the quickest response to rainfall indicated by a high rate of rise to and fall from peak flow volume, followed by a return to zero flow conditions. Capturing the runoff according to the development guidelines resulted in a reduction in flow towards the flow distribution of a lower impervious area, however this was insufficient to meet predevelopment conditions. This suggests a stronger influence of impervious areas in this catchment on the volume of runoff than flow frequency measures are able to ameliorate. © IWA Publishing 2013.


Spiller M.,Wageningen University | Mcintosh B.S.,International Water Center | Mcintosh B.S.,Griffith University | Seaton R.A.F.,Seaton Associates | 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.


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 | 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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