Sustainability assessment in water management: the application and development of the index of sustainable functionality on various water resources

Ria Kristiana

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    603 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    The Index of Sustainable Functionality (ISF) is a robust index, with ability to reflect the level of complexity of different domains, and flexibility to consider more than social, environmental, and economic issues, depending on data availability. It overcomes subjectivity in defining 'need' in conventional approaches by focusing on the present level of functioning of the system(s) under considerations to indicate longevity, instead of sustainability as a state or a future point of reality. The ISF has been applied to assess functionality at a state level (Western Australia), regional level, local level, and served as an assessment tool for a World Bank project. In this study, we demonstrate further capability of ISF, by applying it to three water-related domains: Marina Bay (urban) development surrounding the construction of a major water infrastructure, the Marina Barrage, in Singapore; the management of a large reservoir, Lake Burragorang, in Sydney over time and over different organizations; and the health and management of an iconic estuary, the Swan River estuary, in Perth. Through the use of the ISF and correlations with events and issues within each domain, we improved our understanding on the characteristics of the systems, identified issues affecting its functionality, and provided a focus for management actions. In our first geographical domain of Singapore, based on 41 different indicators, the functionality of Singapore decreased over 7 years before and during the Marina Bay development project(s), despite claims to enhance the country's environmental sustainability. We suggest that further monitoring should be carried out to prevent the persistence of this negative trend after the completion of the development. In Lake Burragorang, changes in climate expressed in a much lower water level and more frequent extreme events created the challenge of increasing risk of (severe) algal bloom occurrences for water managers, giving further significance (a
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2009

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