Application of an Adaptive Method for Integrated Assessment of Water Allocation Issues in the Namoi River Catchment, Australia
Keywords:Integrated Assessment, agricultural production modelling, hydrology, stakeholder participation.
AbstractIntegrated Assessment is increasingly being applied to manage natural resource problems internationally. The development of Integrated Assessment models requires application of an adaptive process of model development, incorporating both stakeholder and scientific knowledge in model development. Such a process should allow the development of trust between stakeholders and scientists to help overcome conflicts arising from model application. This paper outlines one such adaptive approach to Integrated Assessment modelling. It examines an integrated assessment model which has been developed using this process to assess long term outcomes of management options for water allocation in the Namoi River catchment, Australia. The development of this tool has been undertaken using an iterative approach with key stakeholders. The approach embraces collaboration with relevant stakeholder groups on the issues to be addressed by the model (conceptualisation, regional discretisation, system knowledge, scenario framing and results) and preferred future directions of model development. A key aspect of the model framework is that it has been developed to be sufficiently general for reapplication and extension to a wide range of water allocation issues in other catchments. Lessons are drawn from this experience in framework development for the field of integrated assessment.