Ryan Davis

Ryan Davis

An applied scientist and environmental manager, Ryan works in Brisbane City Council’s Waterway Health Integration team. The team is responsible for overseeing the implementation of Brisbane’s Total Water Cycle Management Plan and ‘WaterSmart’ agenda. Ryan’s role is in the collection and application of practical science to increase systems resilience in urban waterways and maximise associated triple-bottom line outcomes.

Development Of A Resilience Focused Decision Support Tool For Managing Brisbane’s Waterways – Utilising Multiple Data Sets To Inform Management Objectives For Urban Catchment Resilience

Like most cities, Brisbane’s relationship with its waterways is complex. Brisbane has been built alongside the river and its floodplains. Our river has shaped the city’s urban landscape, economy and culture and at the same time, the city reshapes the river and waterways.

Brisbane City Council has a city-wide vision of a resilient community, economy and environment. Council acknowledges the city’s natural environment is vital for its ongoing economic prosperity and that there is a need to build resilience into our waterways to cope with droughts and floods and the added stressors urbanisation brings. Increasing the resilience of our waterways will be key to future-proofing the lifestyle our residents value and visitors enjoy.

Council has a responsibility to manage nearly 4,000 kilometres of urban, peri-urban, rural and natural waterways that flow into the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay, a Ramsar listed bay, shared by 5 local governments. Brisbane is home to a growing population of 1.2 million people, located in one of Australia’s fastest growing regions, with an expanding urban footprint and higher density development.

Building resilience into our waterways requires strategic investment to ensure value for residents. Council has taken advantage of advances in GIS interoperability technology to create a GIS platform that integrates our evidence-base of fourteen years of waterway condition data, knowledge of risks to the waterways, and catchment management principles to support investment decisions tailored to our large local government area (1,350km2).

Council is well on the way to developing a tool that is able to optimise investments in waterway management by focussing on creating resilient waterways, able to bounce back from multiple pressures, including urbanisation and extreme weather patterns.

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