Published by Wiley-Blackwell, the journal presents a collection of papers highlighting the spatial challenges of water management – providing an opportunity for the reconsideration of social and cultural dimensions around water and river management.
“The Australian drought of the early twenty-first century threw long-standing chasms between use and realities of water supply into relief. The issue of water scarcity in Australia has always existed, but as a nation, we have always managed to ignore it. However, these present conditions have created increasing pressure for water users and managers to ensure adequate supplies for consumption”, says guest editor and author, Kathleen Broderick, from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Queensland, Australia.
The five papers in this special edition look into the risks associated with changing environmental conditions, the evaluation and improvement of water resource governance at the regional scale, and water sustainability in cities and homes.
The paper “Screening Climatic and Non-Climatic Risks to Australian Catchments” by B.L. Preston and R.N. Jones addresses the issues of climate change and provides a first-order scheme for prioritizing the risks to which catchments are exposed.
“The information gained through risk screening exercises can aid in providing a national snapshot of risk, prioritizing regions or individual catchments and identifying key drivers of risk for a more focused management effort”, says author B.L. Preston from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research.
Another paper in this issue, “The Future of the Murray River Amenity Re-Considered?” explores the changing values, interests and complexities associated with river and water resources. The study shows that river management is not only about balancing environment and agricultural demands, but that economic and social values associated with amenity uses are also significant.
Author J.L Howard from the Institute of Land, Water and Society, Charles Stuart University, NSW says, “Debate about water use in the Murray is not simply one between environment and production but also on involving lifestyles. Given the increasing pressure on Australia’s water resources, it is essential that institutions appreciate and incorporate the value of amenities when making water resource management decisions.”
These papers are published in the August 2008 issue of Geographical Research.
About Geographical Research
Geographical Research, formerly Australian Geographical Studies, is the international journal of the Institute of Australian Geographers. The journal publishes high quality papers that advance geographical research across the breadth of the discipline. In addition to major research articles, the journal publishes shorter contributions, including Commentaries, Research Notes and Teaching Notes. Geographical Research is published four times per year.