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murray darling river

Full Project Title: Integrating water communities and environment

Theme 4 : Synthesis - integrating water, communities and environment

This project was led by Professor Barbara Norman

People enjoying a swim - Swimmers near Bright, Victoria in 2010. Photo courtesy of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.There are two interconnected parts to this project - integration and synthesis.

Integration within the CRN will be through the collaborative identification and resolution of contested issues - ideas, terms, models. These issues are contested because researchers and stakeholders come from different world views, drivers, disciplines, etc. This approach builds on best practice in integration work for sustainability (see Clark et al., 2012; Mollinga, 2010). An evaluation of the effectiveness of this process will occur, where effective is 'providing knowledge which is; salient, credible, legitimate' and contextualised (White, 2010). Currently identified contested issues include; models in CRN, data, spatial location of CRN work, terms such as: adaptive management, resilience, sustainable development, effective and optimal, values, integration and localism. These issues will be resolved differently (e.g. workshops, protocols, interviews) and involve different stakeholders.

Synthesis of the CRN outputs with value-added research will be used to address the broader research question 'how can the MDB achieve sustainable development?' This will be done through:

  1. Create a 'pathways for achieving sustainable development' framework
  2. Collaborative development of 2-4 Murray-Darling Basin Future scenarios
  3. Collation of CRN research within the MDB scenarios and framework to identify benefits / dis-benefits, uncertainties and knowledge gaps
  4. Identification of the multiple and competing values within MDB futures
  5. Comparison of MDB with other case studies


Photo courtesy of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. People enjoying a swim - Swimmers near Bright, Victoria in 2010.

MDBfutures is supported by the Australian Government's Collaborative Research Networks program.