University of Canberra
Research Projects
Predicting water quality responses to a changing climate: A pilot study
State/Territory: ACT

The objective of this pilot study is to develop a prototype modelling framework for linking hydrologic, water quality models and ecological models. The pilot study focuses on the Murrumbidgee River and two of its tributaries: the Molonglo and Yass Rivers. The framework aims to predict ecological responses (i.e. abundance and diversity of macroinvertebrates, fish and macrophytes) in effect to changes in flows regimes and water quality attributes. It enables decision makers to foresee the combined impacts of changes in controllable (e.g. management policies) and uncontrollable system drivers (e.g. climate change) on relevant ecological values.

Towards this end, a participatory Bayesian Networks (BN) modelling approach was used to integrate stakeholder's values, scientific knowledge and available data into a quantitative risk assessment framework. Through a series of workshops, a group of experts and decision makers were involved in model scoping and conceptualization. Output from these workshops was used to build a suite of BN-based conceptual models to define the key system elements (i.e. nodes, causal links, and thresholds). The next phase of the project involves using available data to construct the conditional probability tables and populate the BN structure. Validation and verification tests will be carried out to increase confidence in the output of the models before the framework is used for running and analysing scenarios.

Geographic location:
Australian Capital Region (ACR) including the ACT
Research theme:
Climate Change and Sustainability
Integrated Catchment Assessment and Management (iCAM)
University of Canberra
Funding agency:
ACTEW Corporation Department of Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water (DECCEW)
Main researchers:
Dr Fiona Dyer, Dr Tony Jakeman, Dr Richard Norris, Dr Barry Croke, Dr Evan Harrison, Dr Shane Board, Dr Sondoss El Sawah
01 Jul 2010 - 28 Feb 2011