NSW Environmental Water Program

Evaluating the NSW EWMP


Cobalt59, with ARTD, were commissioned by The Department of Planning and Environment,  Environment, Energy and Science to evaluate the NSW Government’s Environmental Water Management Program from 2014-2019.

Cobalt59 provided the systems analysis and extensive water programs evaluation experience.

The Task

Water worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually is used to provide  for wetlands, fish-breeding and birdlife across tens of thousands of kilometres of NSW  river systems.  How does anyone know if these programs are doing any good in both the short and long term?

The essence of the evaluation approach was to work through the program systematically to understand the successes and challenges. The successes were highlighted, and the challenges were worked through to create learning and future opportunities.    

The evaluation used a systems evaluation approach to create an overall framework for the evaluation.  Critical system heuristics provided the stakeholder framework, and the subsequent interviews and surveys illuminated the successes and the constraints. Constraints identified were then mapped to a granular level to determine the root cause and potential solutions.

The evaluation reviewed 145 documents, conducted 43 interviews, and surveyed 125 stakeholders.  

The Result

The final report is provided at the following website below:

Water for the Environment Evaluation Report

The interaction with all parties was very positive. Environmental scientists are totally committed to their work and welcome the opportunity to review. They embraced the process.The report was accepted without major adjustments, and was successfully used for the following year budget bids.  

If you have a particular situation you would like to discuss, please get in touch.

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