Using Post Normal Science How Can We Control the Drainage System of a Basin

Using Post Normal Science How Can We Control the Drainage System of a Basin

Reshaping Exam

Essay Question B2

Water is the essence of humanity. It is the source of life. We need to it live, and our environment needs it to survive. The amount of our fresh water supply is limited, for this reason it is vital for us to manage the amounts of water we have left, and distribute it fairly amongst ourselves. Living in Victoria, we rely on the Murray Darling Basin as a source of fresh water, and it’s not only humans which contribute to the decline of water levels in the Basin. Climate change is a big factor since any changes in precipitation will have a significant decrease on the water levels. However, base on these facts, how do we begin to try solving this problem of managing the Murray Darling Basin?

Post Normal Science[1] is a contemporary approach to attempt to put into terms a methodology of inquiry which is applied to issues where “facts are uncertain, values are being disputed, stakes are high and the decision is urgent. A diagram is used to convey the idea of recognising Post Normal Science. On it we see two axes, “systems uncertainties” and “decision stakes”. When both are small, we are in the area of “normal”, safe science, where expertise is fully effective. When either is medium, then the application of routine techniques is not enough; skills, judgement, and sometimes courage are required. We call this “professional consultancy”. When both situations are extreme, then we are in the realm of “post normal science”, when normal science is no longer appropriate and professional and views of an extended peer community is necessary. At the moment, due to the heavy droughts, the Murray Darling Basin falls under the characteristics of the post normal science approach, since the stakes are high, values are being disputed (in terms of water allocation), and there are uncertainties as to what will happen in the near future.

Keeping this in mind, I feel that it is important to discuss the issue at hand with the community, to get...

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