Use and utility: exploring the diversity and design of water models at the science-policy interface

Natalie Chong, Peter M. Bach, Régis Moilleron, Céline Bonhomme, José Frédéric Deroubaix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Effort to narrow the gap between the production and use of scientific knowledge for environmental decision-making is gaining traction, yet in practice, supply and demand remains largely unbalanced. A qualitative study based on empirical analysis offers a novel approach to exploring key factors, focussing on seven water models in the context of two organisations at the science-policy interface: the PIREN-Seine in France and the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities in Australia. Tentative linkages drawn from these examples identify: (1) objective and expertise; (2) knowledge and tools; and (3) support structures as main drivers influencing the production of scientific knowledge which, in turn, affect the use and utility of modelling tools. Further insight is gained by highlighting the wide spectrum of uses and utilities existing in practice, suggesting that such 'boundary organisations' facilitate interactions and exchanges that give added value to scientific knowledge. Coordinated strategies that integrate inter-, extra-, and intra-boundary activities, framed through collaborative scenario building and the use of interactive modelling platforms, may offer ways to enhance the use and utility of scientific knowledge (and its tools) to better support water resources management, policy and planning decisions, thus promoting a more cohesive relationship between science and policy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number983
Number of pages28
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2017


  • Boundary organisation
  • Environmental decision-making
  • Integrated modelling
  • Knowledge brokering
  • Model usability
  • Strategic planning

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