Using Ontologies to Relate Resource Management Actions to Environmental Monitoring Data in South East Queensland

Using Ontologies to Relate Resource Management Actions to Environmental Monitoring Data in South East Queensland

Jane Hunter, Peter Becker, Abdulmonem Alabri, Catharine van Ingen, Eva Abal
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0333-2.ch005
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The Health-e-Waterways Project is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between the University of Queensland, Microsoft Research and the South East Queensland Healthy Waterways Partnership (SEQ-HWP). This project develops the underlying technological framework and set of services to enable streamlined access to the expanding collection of real-time, near-real-time and static datasets related to water resource management in South East Queensland. More specifically, the system enables water resource managers to access the datasets being captured by the various agencies participating in the SEQ HWP Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program (EHMP). It also provides online access to the statistical data processing tools that enable users to analyse the data and generate online ecosystem report cards dynamically via a Web mapping interface. The authors examine the development of ontologies and semantic querying tools to integrate disparate datasets and relate management actions to water quality indicators for specific regions and periods. This semantic data integration approach enables scientists and resource managers to identify which actions are having an impact on which parameters and adapt the management strategies accordingly. This paper provides an overview of the semantic technologies developed to underpin the adaptive management framework that is the central philosophy behind the SEQ HWP.
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The South East Queensland Healthy Waterways Partnership

South East Queensland Healthy Waterways Partnership (SEQ HWP) was established in 2002 by government, industry and community stakeholders working in close cooperation to develop a whole-of-government, whole-of-community approach to understanding and managing the region’s waterways. The key elements of the SEQ HWP strategy include: the implementation of targeted management actions (ranging from upgrades of sewage treatment plants to rehabilitation of riparian vegetation); a multi-disciplinary science, research and monitoring program that underpins the management action program and monitors its effectiveness; and the Healthy Waterways promotional and educational program (Bunn et al., 2007). Moreover the SEQ HWP is underpinned by an “Adaptive Management” approach as illustrated in Figure 1. “This approach recognizes that management intervention can’t be postponed until all of the information required to fully understand the situation is available” (Bunn et al., 2007). As a result, monitoring data is continually acquired through a comprehensive Ecosystem Health Monitoring Programme (EHMP) (EHMP, 2010), analysed and assessed to monitor the effectiveness of management actions, that are then adapted as required. The EHMP comprises two sub-programmes – the Estuarine and Marine EHMP and the FreshWater EHMP.

Figure 1.

The adaptive management framework adopted by Healthy Waterways Partnership


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