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Delivering Sustainability through Risk Management

This project was designed to achieve an improved level of adoption of ecological risk assessment and risk management methods in the Australian irrigation industry and in regulatory agencies. Adoption of risk-based approaches is considered to be vital if the industry is to achieve its goal of long-term sustainability.

The project consisted of two activities:

  • a series of regional awareness workshops aimed at explaining what is involved in ecological risk assessment and how risk management approaches might assist the irrigation industry in achieving the ultimate aim of long-term sustainability
  • two case study partnership projects involving the irrigation industry and appropriate State irrigation regulators, aimed at developing capacity within the individual organizations to use risk-based procedures.


  • To extend the development and knowledge management of the Irrigation Ecological Risk Assessment project to allow the protocols to be adopted nationally
  • To trial in 4 irrigation regions and provide training courses to foster adoption.
  • To engage with planning authorities and regulators at regional, state and Commonwealth levels as an input into policy development and application.


The National Program for Sustainable Irrigation established an Ecological Risk Assessment framework for assessing the ecological risks associated with Australian irrigation systems. This new decision support tool should assist the Australian irrigation industry in quantifying and prioritising the ecological risks from their activities, and also to better focus their management actions to minimize these risks.


The adoption of risk-based approaches is considered to be vital if the industry is to achieve its goal of long-term sustainability. This project is a logical extension of an earlier NPSI project (UMO40) that developed an Ecological Risk Assessment framework for the Australian irrigation industry (Hart et al., 2005).

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State & NRM Region(s)

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id: 2228 / created: 17 June, 2008 / last updated: 08 March, 2010