Water Resources Management

, 24:363

A Sustainable Decision Support Framework for Urban Water Management

  • Leonie J. Pearson
  • Anthea Coggan
  • Wendy Proctor
  • Timothy F. Smith

DOI: 10.1007/s11269-009-9450-1

Cite this article as:
Pearson, L.J., Coggan, A., Proctor, W. et al. Water Resour Manage (2010) 24: 363. doi:10.1007/s11269-009-9450-1


This paper develops a decision support framework that assists managers in the urban water industry to analyse a mix of water service options, at the whole-of-city scale. The decision support framework moves decision-making in urban water systems from traditional command and control approaches that tend to focus on an outcome at a point in time to a more sustainable, inclusive and dynamic decision-making process driven by social learning and engagement. While available models and evaluation techniques provide valuable input to decision-making, the complex nature of urban water systems requires more than just social and economic criteria to be considered as part of decision support frameworks. The authors believe that current decision support frameworks need to be presented in a way that incorporates adaptive management and integrated urban water management strengths at the strategic and operational level. The inclusion of social learning and engagement is necessary to achieving this end.


Social learningSustainable decision-makingUrban water

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonie J. Pearson
    • 1
  • Anthea Coggan
    • 2
  • Wendy Proctor
    • 3
  • Timothy F. Smith
    • 4
  1. 1.CSIRO Sustainable EcosystemsHighettAustralia
  2. 2.CSIRO Sustainable EcosystemsSt LuciaAustralia
  3. 3.CSIRO Sustainable EcosystemsGungahlinAustralia
  4. 4.University of the Sunshine CoastMaroochydoreAustralia