Spatial (GIS-based) decision support system for the Westernport regionCreated by Claudia Pelizaro & David McDonald
This paper presents the conceptual design of a spatial decision support system (SDSS) proposed for Victoria’s Westernport region that aims for the sustainable and integrated (whole-of-catchment) management of regional natural resources. It is a solution integrating a range of approaches including, GIS technology, a scenario management tool, state-of-art terrestrial and marine models, environmental management strategy evaluation and multi-criteria techniques. Traditionally, GIS are key to (spatial) data management, but lack problem domain modelling capability. This means additional processing or analytical capabilities are needed to extend functionality for decision making. The Westernport SDSS builds upon a GIS but draws on models and data processing systems and interacts with other parts of an overall information system to support decision-making. This system utilises a number of models that are interlinked through a cascade of their results. Put simply, one set of model results input into the next in a modelling chain. The system will derive a set of socio-economic-environmental measures (performance indicators), such as land use, nutrient and sediment concentration in water (water quality measures), and other relevant indicators for coastal and bay ecosystems. Users will then be able to systematically compare alternative natural resource management plans and strategies in light of multiple and possibly conflicting criteria. By integrating relevant models within a structured framework, the system will promote transparency of policy development and natural resources management.