Principles for monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management of environmental water regimes

J.A. Webb, R. J. Watts, C Allan, A. T. Warner

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Environmental water is often a contentious investment in the environment that must be delivered under uncertainty regarding the ecological and social benefits they deliver. Adaptive management can be used to facilitate decision making under uncertainty, and use new knowledge and understanding to improve management decisions and outcomes over time. However, there is a perception that adaptive management has failed to deliver improvements in decision making and learning. Monitoring and evaluation are an essential feature of adaptive management. However, past monitoring for river protection and restoration has too often been of insufficient quality to facilitate adaptive learning. Moreover, environmental water represents a class of protection and restoration that is inherently difficult to monitor, and some of the learnings are not evident in part because fragmented assessment, documentation, and reporting of adaptive management can obscure successes. We outline a set of general principles for improving monitoring, evaluation, and adaptive management of environmental water regimes, and provide several examples from Australia and North America. Successful adaptive management depends upon the formation and maintenance of strong partnerships and an appreciation of the importance of individuals in teams. Through such partnerships, it is possible to coordinate monitoring programs over large scales, create programs of requisite simplicity, and use innovative approaches to evaluation. Finally, we note that although adaptive management has occurred in the past, too often it has been poorly documented and reported. The inclusion of reflectors in monitoring and evaluation teams will better capture the lessons learned by individual programs, improving adaptive management into the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWater for the environment
Subtitle of host publicationFrom policy and science to implementation and management
EditorsA.C. Horne, J.A. Webb, M.J. Stewardson, B.D. Richter, Mike Acreman
Place of PublicationCambridge MA
PublisherElsevier
Chapter25
Pages599-624
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9780128039076
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint

adaptive management
monitoring
water
learning
decision making
evaluation
river

Cite this

Webb, J. A., Watts, R. J., Allan, C., & Warner, A. T. (2017). Principles for monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management of environmental water regimes. In A. C. Horne, J. A. Webb, M. J. Stewardson, B. D. Richter, & M. Acreman (Eds.), Water for the environment: From policy and science to implementation and management (pp. 599-624). Cambridge MA: Elsevier.
Webb, J.A. ; Watts, R. J. ; Allan, C ; Warner, A. T. / Principles for monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management of environmental water regimes. Water for the environment: From policy and science to implementation and management. editor / A.C. Horne ; J.A. Webb ; M.J. Stewardson ; B.D. Richter ; Mike Acreman. Cambridge MA : Elsevier, 2017. pp. 599-624
@inbook{76e134fc180a495d8b0eea65e9434543,
title = "Principles for monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management of environmental water regimes",
abstract = "Environmental water is often a contentious investment in the environment that must be delivered under uncertainty regarding the ecological and social benefits they deliver. Adaptive management can be used to facilitate decision making under uncertainty, and use new knowledge and understanding to improve management decisions and outcomes over time. However, there is a perception that adaptive management has failed to deliver improvements in decision making and learning. Monitoring and evaluation are an essential feature of adaptive management. However, past monitoring for river protection and restoration has too often been of insufficient quality to facilitate adaptive learning. Moreover, environmental water represents a class of protection and restoration that is inherently difficult to monitor, and some of the learnings are not evident in part because fragmented assessment, documentation, and reporting of adaptive management can obscure successes. We outline a set of general principles for improving monitoring, evaluation, and adaptive management of environmental water regimes, and provide several examples from Australia and North America. Successful adaptive management depends upon the formation and maintenance of strong partnerships and an appreciation of the importance of individuals in teams. Through such partnerships, it is possible to coordinate monitoring programs over large scales, create programs of requisite simplicity, and use innovative approaches to evaluation. Finally, we note that although adaptive management has occurred in the past, too often it has been poorly documented and reported. The inclusion of reflectors in monitoring and evaluation teams will better capture the lessons learned by individual programs, improving adaptive management into the future.",
author = "J.A. Webb and Watts, {R. J.} and C Allan and Warner, {A. T.}",
note = "Includes bibliographical references.",
year = "2017",
language = "English",
isbn = "9780128039076",
pages = "599--624",
editor = "A.C. Horne and J.A. Webb and M.J. Stewardson and B.D. Richter and Mike Acreman",
booktitle = "Water for the environment",
publisher = "Elsevier",
address = "Netherlands",

}

Webb, JA, Watts, RJ, Allan, C & Warner, AT 2017, Principles for monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management of environmental water regimes. in AC Horne, JA Webb, MJ Stewardson, BD Richter & M Acreman (eds), Water for the environment: From policy and science to implementation and management. Elsevier, Cambridge MA, pp. 599-624.

Principles for monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management of environmental water regimes. / Webb, J.A.; Watts, R. J.; Allan, C; Warner, A. T.

Water for the environment: From policy and science to implementation and management. ed. / A.C. Horne; J.A. Webb; M.J. Stewardson; B.D. Richter; Mike Acreman. Cambridge MA : Elsevier, 2017. p. 599-624.

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)

TY - CHAP

T1 - Principles for monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management of environmental water regimes

AU - Webb, J.A.

AU - Watts, R. J.

AU - Allan, C

AU - Warner, A. T.

N1 - Includes bibliographical references.

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Environmental water is often a contentious investment in the environment that must be delivered under uncertainty regarding the ecological and social benefits they deliver. Adaptive management can be used to facilitate decision making under uncertainty, and use new knowledge and understanding to improve management decisions and outcomes over time. However, there is a perception that adaptive management has failed to deliver improvements in decision making and learning. Monitoring and evaluation are an essential feature of adaptive management. However, past monitoring for river protection and restoration has too often been of insufficient quality to facilitate adaptive learning. Moreover, environmental water represents a class of protection and restoration that is inherently difficult to monitor, and some of the learnings are not evident in part because fragmented assessment, documentation, and reporting of adaptive management can obscure successes. We outline a set of general principles for improving monitoring, evaluation, and adaptive management of environmental water regimes, and provide several examples from Australia and North America. Successful adaptive management depends upon the formation and maintenance of strong partnerships and an appreciation of the importance of individuals in teams. Through such partnerships, it is possible to coordinate monitoring programs over large scales, create programs of requisite simplicity, and use innovative approaches to evaluation. Finally, we note that although adaptive management has occurred in the past, too often it has been poorly documented and reported. The inclusion of reflectors in monitoring and evaluation teams will better capture the lessons learned by individual programs, improving adaptive management into the future.

AB - Environmental water is often a contentious investment in the environment that must be delivered under uncertainty regarding the ecological and social benefits they deliver. Adaptive management can be used to facilitate decision making under uncertainty, and use new knowledge and understanding to improve management decisions and outcomes over time. However, there is a perception that adaptive management has failed to deliver improvements in decision making and learning. Monitoring and evaluation are an essential feature of adaptive management. However, past monitoring for river protection and restoration has too often been of insufficient quality to facilitate adaptive learning. Moreover, environmental water represents a class of protection and restoration that is inherently difficult to monitor, and some of the learnings are not evident in part because fragmented assessment, documentation, and reporting of adaptive management can obscure successes. We outline a set of general principles for improving monitoring, evaluation, and adaptive management of environmental water regimes, and provide several examples from Australia and North America. Successful adaptive management depends upon the formation and maintenance of strong partnerships and an appreciation of the importance of individuals in teams. Through such partnerships, it is possible to coordinate monitoring programs over large scales, create programs of requisite simplicity, and use innovative approaches to evaluation. Finally, we note that although adaptive management has occurred in the past, too often it has been poorly documented and reported. The inclusion of reflectors in monitoring and evaluation teams will better capture the lessons learned by individual programs, improving adaptive management into the future.

M3 - Chapter (peer-reviewed)

SN - 9780128039076

SP - 599

EP - 624

BT - Water for the environment

A2 - Horne, A.C.

A2 - Webb, J.A.

A2 - Stewardson, M.J.

A2 - Richter, B.D.

A2 - Acreman, Mike

PB - Elsevier

CY - Cambridge MA

ER -

Webb JA, Watts RJ, Allan C, Warner AT. Principles for monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management of environmental water regimes. In Horne AC, Webb JA, Stewardson MJ, Richter BD, Acreman M, editors, Water for the environment: From policy and science to implementation and management. Cambridge MA: Elsevier. 2017. p. 599-624