Journal article

Negotiating the turbulent boundary: the challenges of building a science-management collaboration for landscape-scale monitoring of environmental flows

J Angus Webb, Michael J Stewardson, Yung En Chee, E Sabine G Schreiber, Andrew K Sharpe, Michael C Jensz



With drought and climate change leading to increased water scarcity at a time of increasing consumptive demand, the provision of environmental flows is a potentially divisive issue. Demonstrating the ecological effects of environmental flows is thus important for supporting policy and management decisions. We describe the development of a multi-basin monitoring and assessment program for environmental flows in Victoria, Australia. We examine the challenges associated with negotiating the turbulent boundary between water science and water management when building a partnership between multiple partners with differing priorities, expectations and responsibilities. We describe the mistakes made..

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Funding Acknowledgements

VEFMAP could never have got off the ground without the strategic leadership of Jane Doolan and Paul Bennett from DSE. Peter Cottingham also played an integral role in the early stages of the program. We thank the scientific panel (Gerry Quinn, Angela Arthington, Mark Kennard, Barbara Downes, Alison King, Wayne Tennant) and other experts (Leon Metzeling, Terry Hillman, Jane Roberts, Paul Boon, Geoff Earl) for their careful oversight; and the EWR officers, without whom VEFMAP would just be a plan. VEFMAP is funded through a variety of channels, including DSE (Our Water Our Future), the CMAs and the eWater CRC. Y.E.C. was also supported by ARC Linkage grant LP0667891. Finally, we thank Moya Tomlinson, Darren Ryder, Andrew Boulton and an anonymous reviewer for their careful review of this manuscript, and Beth Wallis for producing Fig. 4.