Are we making the best use of water? How do we judge this? Are there trade-offs between upstream and downstream water use? What are these and how are they resolved? Disputes over water allocations are, second to climate change, the dominant environmental and public policy issues of the present era. We are called upon to resolve such controversies using the principles of sustainable development, which integrates ecology, economics and ethics. This timely book establishes a template for all types of resource allocation disputes, whether in Australia or overseas.
An expert team of ecologists, economists and sustainability experts spent three years interviewing people in the Little Swanport catchment, seeking answers to the optimal allocation of water on the Tasmanian East Coast. The hinterland of this area produces some of the most valuable merino wool in the world, the estuary grows mouth-watering oysters, and much of the land is in near-pristine condition, providing very valuable biodiversity resources.
The book is written in an easy-to-read style and gradually evolves to become the story of everyday life of one small Australian catchment. It is about people living in rural settings in the upper catchment with soils and rainfall suitable for farming; people residing in coastal settlements in the lower catchment; people working and relaxing in the estuary where fishing and aquaculture occur; and people and their business in adjacent towns.
- Introduction to sustainability
- The principles of sustainability and economics
- Economic values of nature
- Practical measurements: water as an ecosystem good
- The world’s great river basins
- Accounting for water
- An introduction to the Little Swanport catchment
- The river system and water management
- The Little Swanport estuary
- Estuarine responses to environmental flows
- A short history of the catchment settlement
- The people and use of natural resources
- Communities and values
- The catchment regional economy
- The Little Swanport water accounts
- The value of water
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Tor Hundloe is a pioneer of environmental economics and science. In 2003, he was appointed to the Order of Australia (AM) for his contribution to environmental economics, coastal zone management, fisheries, ecotourism and management of protected areas. In the same year he was awarded a Centenary Medal for his contribution to environmental education.
Christine Crawford has worked in marine ecology for over 30 years and has progressively moved upstream, linking estuarine and coastal health with activities in the catchment. She is actively involved in R&D and on a number of boards and committees related to natural resource management.