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Title: A Tale of Success in Improving Coastal Floodplain Water Quality: A Case Study from Northern New South Wales, Australia
Contributor(s): Greenway, Robert John  (author); Bartel, Robyn  (supervisor)orcid ; Williams, Jacqueline  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 2019-10-02
Copyright Date: 2019-07
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Water security is a global challenge and faces significant threats from the impacts of human activities. Urban and rural demands for water are putting pressure on the quantity and quality of freshwater resources. Agriculture and land developments risk impacting the water quality of coastal floodplains and freshwater sources, particularly as much of the population in Australia resides on the coast. Attaining improved water security outcomes will require effective collaborative water governance strategies that can balance rural and urban uses, and importantly, balance those demands with maintaining healthy environments and ecosystems. A significant aspect for collaborative water governance to underpin water security outcomes will be the maintenance of appropriate levels of floodplain water quality and the quality of freshwater sources. Effective collaborative water governance outcomes in this regard will require good decisions to be made. Good decisions will require the utilisation and integration of different scientific and non-scientific knowledge types. However, collaborative water governance may exist in diverse arrangements including, top-down hierarchical, network, and as self-organised bottom-up initiatives. Each may face multiple and different challenges to achieve effective water security and quality outcomes due to diverse interconnected relationships between water and people within place-based contexts. Furthermore, there is limited understanding of the conditions and characteristics which may underpin the success of collaborative water governance in achieving effective outcomes. In response to this gap in understanding, this thesis conducted a case study into a community collaborative water governance initiative which successfully achieved improvements to water quality on a coastal floodplain in northern New South Wales, Australia. The research focus was to identify the factors, conditions and characteristics underpinning the success. It was found that successful outcomes of a community collaborative water governance initiative stem from effective collaboration, knowledge extension and utilisation, and recognition of the agency of place. Effective collaboration relies on a collaborative style of leadership which facilitates inclusive and open communication involving knowledge sharing and discussions. Knowledge extension and utilisation involved active engagement in research collaborations between landholders and researchers, and implementation of trial and error experimentation. From these processes scientific and local knowledges are shared and exchange leading to the co-production of placebased knowledge. Place-based knowledge provided a holistic understanding of the floodplain processes and a greater recognition of influence of place agency on management strategies and approaches. Lessons from this case study highlight the importance of place-based approaches to successful collaborative water governance in achieving effective water quality outcomes through a better understanding of place agency.

Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 160403 Social and Cultural Geography
160507 Environment Policy
160509 Public Administration
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 440704 Environment policy
440708 Public administration
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 949999 Law, Politics and Community Services not elsewhere classified
959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified
960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
Description: Please contact if you require access to this thesis for the purpose of research or study.
Appears in Collections:School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Thesis Doctoral

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