Role of hydrology and economics in water management policy under increasing uncertainty

Loch, A., Adamson, D. and Mallawaarachchi, T. (2014) Role of hydrology and economics in water management policy under increasing uncertainty. Journal of Hydrology, 518 PA: 5-16. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.10.049

Author Loch, A.
Adamson, D.
Mallawaarachchi, T.
Title Role of hydrology and economics in water management policy under increasing uncertainty
Journal name Journal of Hydrology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-1694
Publication date 2014
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.10.049
Open Access Status
Volume 518
Issue PA
Start page 5
End page 16
Total pages 12
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Well-designed public policy stimulates social progress. However, when governments translate political vision into programmes for social change, the complexity of issues can overwhelm the policy-making process, creating disappointment and suboptimal outcomes. In this paper we examine why evidence-based policy-making approaches often fail to provide policy-makers with credible, consistent and clear outcomes matching broad social interest. The need for public policy primarily arises from a lack of perfect knowledge, which causes individuals and agencies to behave in ways that counter social interest. We therefore suggest that effective public policy formulation involves: determining what evidence is available, relevant and useful; as well as identifying critical gaps to making public policy necessary and meaningful. Murray-Darling Basin case examples highlight key stages in effective natural resource policy formulation, and sources of difficulties that need to be managed to maximize scientific contributions. These examples show that effective public policy decisions can still be made and information asymmetry managed via strong evidence, expert analysis to verify that evidence, and an understanding of knowledge gaps such that critical interventions can be agreed upon and objectives achieved in view of how they will be managed and resourced. Finally, we draw attention to the opportunities available and challenges that exist for hydrologists, economists and other social scientists to work together in assisting the policy process, and in particular to minimize the burden of information constraints in making effective water resource policy.
Keyword Economics
Public policy
Uncertainty Murray-Darling Basin
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Economics Publications
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Created: Thu, 03 Jul 2014, 12:46:22 EST by Mr David Adamson on behalf of School of Economics