Abstract for: Communication about Water Management in the Australian Capital Territory: A System Dynamics Modelling Approach

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is increasingly threatened by risks to its water security driven by climate change effects, growing population and water-intensive lifestyle. As an inland territory, the ACT has few supply options which are economically and ecologically expensive. Demand management strategies seek to deliver sustainable consumption patterns. Effective communication is an essential part for achieving resilient reductions in consumption by raising public understanding of the problem in order to inform decision making, stimulate public dialogue and ultimately promote behavioural changes. Whereas System Dynamics is a promising approach for learning and communication about water management, its potential for communicating systemic risks to the public has not been fully exploited yet. This ongoing research aims to build a SD Interactive Learning Environment (ILE) to help residents in the ACT to develop a systemic perspective about water management inherent complexity and uncertainty. This paper describes a structured modelling process adopted to build the model through a series of knowledge elicitation cycles, including interviews with stakeholders and electronic workbooks. A key lesson can be taken from our experience through this modelling effort that the modelling process must be flexible and adaptable with several research and real world trade-offs.