Are We Objective? A Study into the Effectiveness of Risk Measurement in the Water Industry

Anna Kosovac, Brian Davidson, Hector Malano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


A survey of 77 water practitioners within Melbourne, Australia, highlighted the lack of objectiveness within current risk scoring processes. Each water authority adopted similar processes, all of which adhere to the ISO31000 standard on Risk Management, and these were tested within this study to determine the “objective” nature of technical risk assessments such as these. The outcome of the study indicated that current risk measurement approaches cannot be seen as objective. This is due to the high variation in risk scores between individuals, which indicates a level of subjectivity. The study confirms previous research that has been undertaken in assessing the effectiveness of risk matrices. This research is novel in its testing of the water sector’s risk measuring practices and may be of value to other industries that utilize similar risk approaches. This research posits whether this subjectivity is due to inherent bias of either a psychological or cultural risk nature that could produce the varied scores.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1279
Number of pages13
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • risk assessment
  • water
  • decision-making

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