Study shows that risk perception in water industry reduces innovation

Melbourne University

A new University of Melbourne study has shown that water-planning experts have vastly differing risk perceptions, which may reduce the chance of innovative practices being implemented. Dread was found to be an important psychological factor increasing risk scores for unfamiliar and new water projects and may influence many water practitioners to continue a 'business as usual' approach to planning. The research found biases in experience, values and psychological make-ups, and risk perceptions are arguably the driving force behind decision-making.

Alternative water projects that are not considered ‘business-as-usual’ are consistently not pursued. Water public sector experts are often touted as objective – above emotions – and therefore are afforded the power to make decisions needed on behalf of many.

More information in Melbourne University's Pursuit publication

Full research results can be accessed via Science direct in the Journal of Environmental Management