Making management decisions in the face of uncertainty: a case study using the Burdekin catchment in the Great Barrier Reef

Kuhnert, P.M., Pagendam, D.E., Bartley, R., Gladish, D.W., Lewis, S.E., and Bainbridge, Z.T. (2018) Making management decisions in the face of uncertainty: a case study using the Burdekin catchment in the Great Barrier Reef. Marine and Freshwater Research, 69 (8). pp. 1187-1200.

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Abstract

Modelling and monitoring pollutants entering into the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon remain important priorities for the Australian and Queensland governments. Uncertainty analysis of pollutant load delivery to the GBR would: (1) inform decision makers on their ability to meet environmental targets; (2) identify whether additional measurements are required to make confident decisions; and (3) determine whether investments into remediation activities are actually making a difference to water quality and the health of the GBR. Using a case study from the Upper Burdekin catchment where sediment concentrations are the focus, herein we explore and demonstrate different ways of communicating uncertainty to a decision maker. In particular, we show how exceedance probabilities can identify hot spots for future monitoring or remediation activities and how they can be used to inform target setting activities. We provide recommendations for water quality specialists that allow them to make more informed and scientifically defensible decisions that consider uncertainty in both the monitoring and modelling data, as well as allowing the calculation of exceedances from a threshold.

Item ID: 56535
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Copyright Information: Copyright © CSIRO 2018
Funders: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Tropical Water Quality (TWQ) Hub
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2018 03:04
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 35%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 35%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960608 Rural Water Evaluation (incl. Water Quality) @ 35%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960902 Coastal and Estuarine Land Management @ 35%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 30%
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