This presentation explores how regulators/policy makers, scientists and water users/community have worked together to trial new approaches to identify and address current and emerging water management issues in a rapidly evolving and increasingly complex water management environment in Tasmania.
Sustainable resource use and agricultural production systems underpin Tasmania’s “clean green” market advantage. To support this, 12 statutory water management plans have been adopted in Tasmania between 2003 and 2016. Rapid changes in the water management environment occurred concurrently with water planning, and were driven by expansion of irrigated agriculture, increased demand for water and new water markets. Strategic evaluations of the effectiveness of water planning (2003-2016) and identification of emerging risks and new opportunities (looking towards the future) have initiated a rethink of approaches to water management and planning in Tasmania. More collaborative water management and planning focusing on inputs from planners, managers, stakeholders and scientists is now being undertaken.
The Ringarooma River catchment is a useful case study that demonstrates how Tasmania’s water management environment is changing and how policy makers have responded to stakeholder concerns that policy was not effectively utilising local knowledge and capability. In response to this feedback, the Ringarooma River Catchment Water Management Plan enables novel approaches to planning and management that are providing new collaborative opportunities that are supporting greater community participation in implementing water management strategies.