(KSA 1) Water Resource Management
THRUST 3: Water Quality Management
This thrust acknowledges the
significant water quality problems in our natural water resources.
Water quality is generally reflected in concentrations of
substances and microorganisms, physico-chemical attributes,
radioactivity, as well as biological responses to these.
Within each of the programmes in this thrust, research will focus
on two broad fronts, namely, (1) consolidation and knowledge transfer
and (2) alertness to emerging issues.
Consolidation is necessary of the vast amount of existing water
quality-related research outputs in priority domains. The primary aim
will be to distil effective decision support for management of our water
quality problems. Emphasis
will be more on formulating solutions than on formulating problems.
By actively sharing knowledge with decision makers, and working
closely with them, the decision support must explicitly address their
absorptive capacity in its broadest sense.
On the one hand, solutions need to be based on a thorough
holistic and realistic examination of likely consequences of
implementation of those solutions.
This must create confidence that risks of unintended consequences
will be minimised. However,
on the other hand, solutions must cater for the inherent complexity (and
hence uncertainty) of both the institutional and natural environment.
Research will also be encouraged that heightens awareness, and/or
recommends management approaches, specifically to important emerging
issues, i.e., those potential or recognised concerns that are either not
addressed, or are only partly addressed, in current water quality
management practice and research.
High priority issues include those of national concern, those for
which the frequency or probability of adverse conditions occurring is
high, and the consequences are severe, and so on. Water quality
necessarily cuts across various KSAs as well as thrusts within this KSA.
The scope of this particular thrust focuses primarily on water
quality of inland surface waters and its management.
Programme 1: Water
Sound water quality monitoring data are crucial to sustainable
management because they provide information on the current status and
trends. Creative yet
soundly-scientific approaches to monitoring are required that optimise
information and minimise costs.
All phases of monitoring design need careful consideration, from data
acquisition, data storage and management, information generation and
dissemination, through to realistic implementation strategies.
Programme 2: Water Quality Modelling
The programme will encourage a move to open-source modelling platforms
that benefit individual model developers, while allowing effective
interfacing with other modelling modules in a way that provides
integrated, scientifically-defensible water quality information.
Business models of such platforms must be as much in the
interests of users of such information (e.g. catchment management
agencies) as the service providers and modellers.
Programme 3: Impacts on and
of water quality
This programme will focus on identifying, characterising, and
understanding (1) the changes in the state of water quality in our water
resources associated with either point or non-point pollution sources,
and (2) the associated impacts of such compromised water quality.