Community perceptions of water quality and current institutional arrangements in the Great Barrier Reef Region of Australia

Larson, Silva, and Stone-Jovicich, Samantha (2011) Community perceptions of water quality and current institutional arrangements in the Great Barrier Reef Region of Australia. Water Policy, 13 (3). pp. 411-424.

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Abstract

This paper traces the perceived linkages between sources of water quality deterioration, impact on human wellbeing and the institutions responsible for dealing with the sources and impacts. The DPSIR (Driving forces-Pressure-State-Impact-Response) framework is used as a guide for data collection and to structure responses and the emerging themes. The web of linkages, as perceived by residents, is then compared with current institutional arrangements across different relevant sectors.

Taking a case study and exploratory research approach, eleven residents of Whitsunday shire, Queensland, Australia were interviewed about their perceptions of water related issues. This was followed by an analysis of current water management institutions for the region. Significant gaps were found between community concerns regarding water quality and actual institutional arrangements responsible for managing water use and quality. Residents perceived their local government body (Shire Council) as accountable for responding to water-related pressures and impacts in their Shire, whereas the responsibility falls primarily on government agencies and organisations at a regional, state and national level. Improved communication between the council and residents is needed to close these gaps in understanding. Moreover, incorporation of local perceptions and values regarding water pressure, impacts and preferred use into the development of institutional arrangements for water management is suggested.

Item ID: 20672
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: DPSIR, institutional analysis, Great Barrier Reef, perceptions of water, integrated catchment management
ISSN: 1366-7017
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2012 04:56
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160507 Environment Policy @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 20%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9102 Microeconomics > 910209 Preference, Behaviour and Welfare @ 50%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9402 Government and Politics > 940204 Public Services Policy Advice and Analysis @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960706 Rural Water Policy @ 20%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
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