Opportunities and challenges in WATER SYSTEMS

Water Operations for Uncertain Futures 2023

7-9 June 2023, Canberra, ACT

An interdisciplinary, futures-focused workshop on water management for researchers and practitioners from Australia and beyond.

Between the 7th and 9th of June, the Water Operations for Uncertain Future Workshop was held at The Australian National University. The interdisciplinary, futures-focused workshop brought together researchers, government employees, and industry professionals for three days of discussion and networking. Participants from Australia and overseas attended.

The first day consisted of a panel comprised of domestic and international members who pondered the question, “What water operations future could we build together?” This was followed by an evening networking event.

The main workshop day, facilitated by Nils Ferrand from INRAE, used the CoOPLAGE participatory toolkit — specifically the PREPARE framework for designing a process for operational management in the Murray Darling Basin. The day centred around several concept pitches that were explored using the Open Space Workshop concept. Developed concepts were tested for practicality in a simulation session facilitated by an international guest. The workshop concluded with a debrief, ensuring that every participant left with knowledge about all the pitches.

On the final day of the workshop, participants visited the Snowy Hydro headquarters in Cooma. The morning was spent at the Discovery Centre, followed by a guided tour of the control room and a talk by a Snowy Hydro water operations employee.

The workshop was co-organized by the Institute for Water Futures at The Australian National University as part of the Water on the Horizon series and the One Basin CRC, in support of productive, resilient, and sustainable irrigation regions. Support for the workshop was provided by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union as the third workshop of the Algorithmic Futures Policy Lab.

Workshop agenda

  • 7 June [The Gallery – Kambri]
    • Panel discussion [3-5 pm]: What water operations future could we build together? (David Kennewell, Karen Hutchinson, Nícola Ulibarrí, Julie Quinn, Jasmin Zatarain Salazar, Katherine Daniell – bios of all speakers are in the summary document below)
    • Cocktail evening [5:30-7:30 pm]
  • 8 June [Check-in from 8:30 am – The Gallery, Kambri]
    • Introductions and concept pitches [9-10:30 am]:
      • What part of the future am I working on?
      • Concept pitches: selected water operations concepts to be explored today.
    • Concept Pitch Open Space Workshop [11 am-12:45 pm]
      • Meet your team, vote with your feet
      • How could this concept be prototyped today?
    • Water operations participatory simulation: from intended policy to practical outcomes [1:45-3:45 pm]
      • Cooperative exploration and testing of the concept pitch
    • Concept pitch debrief [4:15 – 5 pm]
      • What did you learn?
      • What could you tell others about this concept? To whom?
      • What might a next step look like?
  • 9 June: Field trip to Snowy Hydro [Meet at D.A. Brown Building (Building 47), Daley Road, Acton ACT – Bus departs 8:30 am and returns to ANU at 5 pm]
    • Morning at the Discovery Centre
    • Afternoon tour of the Control room

The workshop was co-organised by the Institute for Water Futures at the Australian National University and the One Basin CRC in support of productive, resilient and sustainable irrigation regions. A full report on the workshop outcomes can be found here:

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union as the third workshop of the Algorithmic Futures Policy Lab (https://algorithmicfutures.org/policy-lab/).

If you have questions, feel free to contact us at algorithmic.futures@anu.edu.au.

With the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union

The Algorithmic Futures Policy Lab is made possible with the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. The content on this website and any material herein reflects only the author’s view. The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency and the European Commission are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.