07 Nov Sharyn Rossrakesh
Sharyn has a masters degree in fluvial geomorphology and spent several years at the Cooperative Centre for Catchment Hydrology in the late 1990s, collecting and analyzing waterway and stormwater data. At Melbourne Water Sharyn has had different roles relating to waterway management from condition monitoring, planning on-ground works and developing new strategies and policies. She was instrumental in setting up a Nitrogen Offsets program and an Environmental Significance Overlay (part of an innovative stormwater disconnection research project). Sharyn has been heavily involved in the recent Healthy Waterways Strategy refresh and the subsequent Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Plan.
A Comprehensive Monitoring and Evaluation Plan for a Region-Wide 10 Year Healthy Waterways Strategy
Monitoring, evaluating, reporting and improving (MERI) waterway management strategies is a relatively new discipline and while incredibly important is actually very challenging to develop and implement well. A new Healthy Waterways Strategy for the catchments around Melbourne which was co-designed by many different stakeholders has called for a MERI plan. This is the first time that a MERI plan with public reporting has been developed for the region. In the spirit of co-design the MERI plan was developed in a collaborative manner and for success will need to be co-delivered. The plan outlines how the various social, environmental, cultural and economic targets will be monitored, evaluated, reported and improved over the life of the 10 year strategy. Due to the diversity of the strategy from managing stormwater through to pest plants and animals and climate change adaptation, obtaining data from multiple sources in a consistent manner will be an on-going challenge. There were many other challenges faced during the development of the MERI including spatial and temporal scales of output and outcome monitoring and in particular processes and governance around reporting and how continuous improvement actually happens. However the result is a very robust MERI plan which provides the foundation for a resilient and adaptable strategy.