L8. Water planning and management: Issues, challenges, and solutions

The quantity of freshwater available per person in Australia and around the world is decreasing due to a combination of factors, including population increase, water pollution, inadequate planning and management of water resources (especially shared river basins), and inefficient operation of water supply and distribution systems. It is widely believed that continuation of the current trend in water consumption and management practices will certainly increase the potential for water scarcity, crisis, and conflicts in the future, especially in the face of climate change impacts on water resources. The challenges in dealing with these issues are very many, and may broadly be grouped into two categories: (1) biophysical-science (or ‘hard science’) challenges; and (2) human-science (or ‘soft science’) challenges. The biophysical-science challenges include the ones associated with climate, water, environment and ecosystem, including sub-components and their physical, chemical and biological properties, spatio-temporal dynamics and different types of data. The human-science challenges include those associated with social, political, economic, cultural, legal, and many other facets of the society. Therefore, any effort to effectively address water scarcity and related issues requires a clear vision of the future water availability and demand as well as new ways of thinking, developing, and implementing water planning and management practices.

This session is intended to discuss the issues, challenges, and solutions related to all aspects of water planning and management. Abstracts that attempt to connect/integrate biophysical-science and human-science aspects of water research are particularly encouraged. Studies that deal with water education and training as well as communication of water issues/studies to various stakeholders are also welcome.