Tony Weber

Tony Weber

Tony Weber, Australia

Tony Weber is one of Australia’s leading practitioners in the catchment modelling and water quality field. Prior to joining Alluvium he worked at BMT WBM for 13 years where he led the water quality discipline across their Australian operations. Tony has over 27 years’ experience in the water industry delivering a range of catchment modelling, water sensitive urban design, integrated water management, water quality and stormwater management projects.
In 2009, Tony was invited to become a Visiting Fellow at the iCAM unit, part of the Fenner School in Australian National University and is a member of the Urban Water and Catchment Source Scientific Expert Panels for Healthy Waterways. He was also nominated as one of the top 10 Water Leaders in Australia by WME Magazine in 2013.

Presentation Title: The cost of saving an icon from pollution: integrating science & economics to estimate the cost of meeting targets to help save the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is arguably Australia’s most iconic natural asset.  It is the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem, stretching 2300 kilometres. It was declared a World Heritage Area in 1981 and added to the National Heritage List in 2007. Excessive loads of pollutants particularly sediment, nitrogen and phosphorous, are probably the most manageable major threat to the Reef, and the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments have established end-of-catchment targets and programs for reducing loads. But what is the most efficient approach and cost to achieve those load reduction targets? A project was conceived to inform changes to the long-term management of the GBR and in particular water quality of catchment runoff.  A key component of the project was the recognition that we needed to better understand the broad magnitude of investment required and the actions and approaches that are most likely to be cost effective, relevant and achievable. The importance, complexity and magnitude of this project was immense and required a collaboration between the best water quality experts, catchment planners, modellers, economists and science communicators in Australia. This presentation will summarise the approach and results from our major integrated scientific and economic modeling project. We merged our understanding of river systems, behaviors and processes with  models of changing land use practice, catchment processes and economic models to establish marginal abatement cost curves and total abatement cost curves for achieving different levels of loads reductions across the Reef. The outcomes from this project are now informing target setting, policy, and investment in enhancing the condition of waterways and the Reef.

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