Better Information Can Help the Environment

Better Information Can Help the Environment.
by Henry McCann and Alvar Escriva-Bou This blog was originally posted on the Public Policy Institute’s Viewpoints blog.
Yet there are significant gaps in our understanding of key factors affecting ecosystem health that make it difficult to effectively manage water for the natural environment.
Good practices from other dry places offer lessons for protecting our struggling species and improving conditions in troubled ecosystems.
Other states have improved their water information systems and reduced environmental problems.
This makes active management of environmental water during droughts very difficult, if not impossible, in many parts of the state.
Better accounting can also help us prepare for drought, rather than just respond to it.
This inventory informs Victoria’s short- and long-term decision making about where and when water will be most beneficial to ecosystems and thus helps build drought resilience.
Examples from other arid regions suggest that this social process is improved by having access to accurate and timely information.
Before the next drought pushes more freshwater species to the brink, we would be wise to follow the lead of other semi-arid regions and invest in accounting systems that improve our understanding and management of our rivers and streams.

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