Active management of environmental water to improve ecological outcomes

Our paper “Active management of environmental water to improve ecological outcomes” has been published at the¬†Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management.

[doi] [cited by] [preprint] Active management of environmental water to improve ecological outcomes.  Horne, A., Kaur S., Szemis, J., Costa, A.M., Nathan, R., Angus Webb, J., Stewardson, M., Boland, N. , Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 144 (2018)

Abstract:

Environmental water is being embraced by governments around the world as a means to partly restore rivers impacted by excessive river regulation and to protect those that are not yet overregulated. In cases where environmental water is provided as a water right, managers can make ongoing active management decisions regarding the timing and magnitude of environmental flows in response to changing conditions and understanding of environmental demands. Such active management should lead to improved environmental outcomes but also comes with a significant ongoing management cost when compared to rules-based environmental water releases. This study uses an optimization tool to examine the environmental gain achievable with the active management of environmental water compared to rules-based releases. A case study of the Yarra River, Victoria, Australia, demonstrates the potential for substantial environmental gains achieved through active management of environmental water.