Programme  OS5e Multiple and multisector uses  abstract 387

Participatory risk management approaches for water planning and management: insights from Australia and Bulgaria

Author(s): Katherine A. Daniell, Peter Coad, Irina Ribarova, Ian White, Nils Ferrand, Jean-Emmanuel Rougier, Alexis Tsoukiàs, Philip Haines, Natalie Jones, Albena Popova, Stewart Burn, Pascal Perez
Corresponding Author’s Address Katherine A. Daniell Cemagref UMR G-EAU 361, rue J.F. Breton BP 5095 - 34196 Montpellier Cedex 5 FRANCE +33 4 6704 6300 (tel) +33 4 67 16 6440 (fax) +61 419 848 256 (mobile) E-mail:

Keyword(s): Water planning, risk management, participatory, values, Australia, Bulgaria

Article: abs387_article.pdf
Get Adobe Reader

Session: OS5e Multiple and multisector uses
AbstractMultiple decision makers and managers, competing

interests and values, scarcity of resources, complex legislative requirements, and vast uncertainties about the future

due to a more connected and rapidly changing world and the impacts of climate change, are just some of the issues

that impact upon the capacity to carry out effective water planning and management. Throughout the world these

issues are becoming increasingly difficult to handle, and there have been calls for more adapted approaches to aid

the decision making processes required for water planning and management. Participatory risk management

approaches appear appropriate to such situations as they can be designed to increase collaboration and manage

conflict, explicit uncertainties, and structure complexity in more understandable forms. This paper will outline some

insights and lessons learnt from the design and implementation of two different participatory risk management

processes for water planning and management: a values-based method based on the Australian and New Zealand

Standard for Risk Management for the development of the Lower Hawkesbury Estuary Management Plan in

Australia; and a participatory modelling approach to manage the risks of living with floods and droughts in the Iskar

basin in Bulgaria. Both processes were designed and implemented with the aid of researchers, local managers,

government representatives at various levels of jurisdiction, community stakeholders and external legislative, scientific

or engineering experts. The Australian process was an initiative driven and funded by the Hornsby Shire Council, a

peri-urban municipality of Sydney. It consisted of three interactive stakeholder workshops with an average of 20

participants, held over a period of four months, as well as an external scientific and legislative review. The

workshops focussed on establishing estuarine values, issues and current management practices; performing a risk

assessment based on the stakeholder defined values (assets) and issues (risks); and formulating strategies to treat the

highest prioritised risks as input to the estuary management “risk response” plan. The Bulgarian process in the region

of Sofia formed part of the European Project “AquaStress”, funded by the European Union, and was primarily

driven from a research perspective. The participatory process was more elaborate in design than the Australian

process with around 60 stakeholders divided into 6 groups taking part in a series of 15 workshops, individual

interviews and evaluation exercises over a one year period. The process included cognitive mapping of the current

management context and physical system, values, visions and preference elicitation for actions, strategy development

and evaluation. Both cases provided rich insights into the value and constraints of participatory risk management

approaches in different regulatory and political environments, as well as some important recurrent issues that

organising teams of participatory approaches need to appreciate including: impacts of last minute process changes;

how to deal with divergent objectives in a multi-institutional organising team; and the unintended ethical issues that

can arise when working in “real-world” management situations. Increasing awareness of the value and potential

issues associated with participatory risk management approaches should aid their adoption and the subsequent

improvement of water planning and management around the world.

  Revenir en haut