Juan is a transdisciplinary systems modeller working at the interface of natural resource management and computational social science. He combines numerical modelling, systems thinking and complexity science to better understand the dynamic interactions between people, water, infrastructure, and the environment. Juan is pioneering the use of interactive agent-based policy simulators to engage stakeholders in the exploration of future trajectories and improve policy decisions in groundwater- and other environmental-related dilemmas. His research has earned several keynote presentations, best early-career oral presentation award at the Australasian Groundwater Conference in 2015, the inaugural 2017 CSIRO Land & Water early-career award, and the cover of Nature Human Behaviour. His work on the Groundwater Commons Game was also recently featured and presented at the Research Institute of Humanity and Nature in Kyoto, Japan. His scientic and leadership skills have been recognised internationally, as a recipient of an AusAid Australian Leadership Award in 2010. Prior to pursuing a research career, Juan worked for six years in the Atacama Desert for the Chilean Water Authority, water utilities and also as consultant, dealing with complex groundwater issues in one of driest regions in the world.
Can supervise: YES
Castilla-Rho, JC, Rojas, R, Andersen, MS, Holley, C & Mariethoz, G 2019, 'Sustainable groundwater management: How long and what will it take?', Global Environmental Change, vol. 58.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Groundwater depletion is arguably one of humanity's greatest sustainability challenges of the 21st century. With Sustainable Development Goals only a decade away, water authorities around the world are in the urgent need for concrete and targeted measures to ensure that communities adhere to groundwater management policies as rapidly and as effectively as possible. In this paper, we combine computational social science, groundwater modelling and empirical data from the World Values Survey to generate future ensembles of hydro-social trajectories under alternative courses of management and social action or inaction. Our simulations shed new light on the role that cultural values can play in shaping the societal trajectories and norms that emerge when resources are either allocated or not sufficiently allocated to monitor compliance, issue fines, engage community leaders, and deter rule-breakers. This study presents a new approach to explore and evaluate the capacity of existing and future management actions to steer groundwater systems towards sustainable trajectories, to forecast the celerity and timing of social transformations at the inter-decadal scale, and to help nations identify the most pertinent management options under institutional, political, social, and/or cultural constraints. The methods presented here are broadly applicable to support strategic decisions that rely on the monitoring, enforcement, and compliance of environmental regulations.
Castilla-Rho, JC, Rojas, R, Andersen, MS, Holley, C & Mariethoz, G 2017, 'Social tipping points in global groundwater management', NATURE HUMAN BEHAVIOUR, vol. 1, no. 9, pp. 640-649.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Castilla-Rho, JC, Mariethoz, G, Rojas, R, Andersen, MS & Kelly, BFJ 2015, 'An agent-based platform for simulating complex human-aquifer interactions in managed groundwater systems', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 73, pp. 305-323.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Holley, C, Mutongwizo, T, Pucci, S, Castilla-Rho, J & Sinclair, D 2020, 'Groundwater Regulation, Compliance and Enforcement: Insights on Regulators, Regulated Actors and Frameworks in New South Wales, Australia' in Global Issues in Water Policy, pp. 411-433.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Compliance and enforcement is a major issue for groundwater management. Yet it remains untheorised and underexamined. This chapter drills down into Australian compliance and enforcement efforts, which have been on a significant reform journey over the last two decades, oscillating between being an under resourced, low priority water reform task, to taking primacy within national and state water reform frameworks. The chapter begins by developing an analytical framework for studying groundwater compliance and enforcement. Using a case study of the state of New South Wales, the chapter examines the experiences of a government regulator and the compliance and enforcement experiences of water users. It concludes with a summary of challenges and policy implications for groundwater compliance and enforcement regimes.
Castilla Rho, J, Holley, C & Castilla, JC 2020, 'Groundwater as a Common Pool Resource: Modelling, Management and the Complicity Ethic in a Non-Collective World' in Global Changes: Ethics, Politics and Environment in the Contemporary Technological World, Springer, Switzerland, pp. 89-109.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Sustainable development of the natural resources that support our current standards of living is arguably one the biggest challenges of the Anthropocene. Institutions and policies alone however cannot guarantee that the right decisions are made. In this chapter, we argue that sound decisions must overcome the ethical dilemmas that experts face when encapsulating hypotheses of the real-world into numerical models. Using groundwater as an example, we show how the so-called complicity ethic may unfold during the process of designing management and policy interventions, and subsequently recommend eight guiding principles (a charter) that can be followed to reduce the likelihood that this complicity ethic takes place. We then introduce The Collaborative Pathway—a mediated modelling activity that synergistically blends the eight guiding principles of our ethics charter into a practical decision-making process. This approach is designed to foster community engagement, to improve the way sectoral risks and trade-offs are evaluated, and to help stakeholders understand what might drive a particular sector towards best- and worst-case outcomes. If done right and with the right tools and strategies, The Collaborative Pathway can become a useful framework to encode ethics, resilience, and sustainability in our decisions relating to the development and protection of any common-pool resource that maintains our humanity.
Holley, C, Mutongwizo, T, Pucci, S & Castilla Rho, J 2020, 'Groundwater regulation, compliance and enforcement: insights on regulators, regulated actors and frameworks in New South Wales, Australia' in Rinaudo, JD, Holley, C, Barnett, S & Montginoul, M (eds), Sustainable Groundwater Management: A Comparative Analysis of French and Australian Policies and Implications to Other Countries, Springer, pp. 411-431.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Compliance and enforcement is a major issue for groundwater management. Yet it remains untheorised and underexamined. This chapter drills down into Australian compliance and enforcement efforts, which have been on a significant reform journey over the last two decades, oscillating between being an under resourced, low priority water reform task, to taking primacy within national and state water reform frameworks. The chapter begins by developing an analytical framework for studying groundwater compliance and enforcement. Using a case study of the state of New South Wales, the chapter examines the experiences of a government regulator and the compliance and enforcement experiences of water users. It concludes with a summary of challenges and policy implications for groundwater compliance and enforcement regimes.
Voinov, A, Castilla Rho, J, Perez, P & Kenny, D 2020, 'Integrated Ecological Economic Modeling: What is it good for?' in Sustainable Wellbeing Futures: A Research and Action Agenda for Ecological Economics.
Climate disruption, overpopulation, biodiversity loss, the threats of financial collapse, large-scale damage to our natural and social environments and eroding democracy are all becoming critically important concerns. The editors of this timely book assert that these problems are not separate, but all stem from our overreliance on an out-dated approach to economics that puts growth of production and consumption above all else.
Ecological economics can help create the future that most people want – a future that is prosperous, just, equitable and sustainable. This forward-thinking book lays out an alternative approach that places the sustainable wellbeing of humans and the rest of nature as the overarching goal. Each of the book's chapters, written by a diverse collection of scholars and practitioners, outlines a research and action agenda for how this future can look and possible actions for its realization.
Sustainable Wellbeing Futures will be of value to academics and students researching environmental and ecological economics, as well as individuals interested in gaining a greater understanding of the concept of a wellbeing future and how we might act to achieve it.
Ogie, RI, Castilla Rho, J & Clarke, RJ 2018, 'Artificial Intelligence in Disaster Risk Communication: A Systematic Literature Review', https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/conhome/8634895/proceeding, 2018 5th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Disaster Management, IEEE, Sendai, Japan.
Effective communication of disaster risks is crucial to provoking appropriate responses from citizens and emergency operators. With recent advancement in Artificial Intelligence (AI), several researchers have begun exploring machine learning techniques in improving disaster risk communication. This paper adopts a systematic literature approach to report on the various research activities involving the application of AI in disaster risk communication. The study found that research activities focus on two broad areas: (1) prediction and monitoring for early warning, and (2) information extraction and classification for situational awareness. These broad areas are discussed, including background information to help establish future applications of AI in disaster risk communication. The paper concludes with recommendations of several ways in which AI applications can have a broader role in disaster risk communication.
Anjum, M, Voinov, A, Castilla Rho, J & Pileggi, SF 2019, 'Understanding mental models through a moderated framework for serious discussion', 23rd International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Canberra.
Dupen, P, Castilla Rho, J & Voinov, A 2019, 'Model-enabled community engagement in a mining approval process', 23rd International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, Canberra.
Participatory Modelling (PM) can help regulators and communities move toward more positive futures by making stakeholder engagement more meaningful, efficient, and informative (Sterling et al, 2019). We are partnering with industry and agency groups to drive two major innovations in this space: (1) developing a standardised, web-enabled reporting structure for PM processes, and (2) using "management flight simulators". We are developing these tools to provide an objective, transparent and flexible process where a diverse group of stakeholders can rapidly understand and meaningfully contribute their local knowledge to an early-stage mining or energy development proposals. There are many types and variations of PM, and their value has been amply demonstrated in natural resource management and protection contexts (Voinov et al, 2018). One of the difficulties limiting a wider adoption of PM is the lack of consistent reporting about the engagement processes to enable others to avoid pitfalls and replicate successes (Glynn et al, 2017). This issue led Glynn et al (2018) to call for a new type of record to document PM processes and outcomes, which they term Records of Engagement (RoE). We are responding to this challenge within an important real-world application, through which we explore how tools such as discourse analysis, mental model maps and data visualisation can be combined to create RoEs that capture and communicate the complex information and relationships uncovered during a given PM case-study. Using the experience gathered in this application, we will develop an adaptable RoE template and guidelines to encourage the adoption of RoEs in future collaborative modelling projects. Effective and useful RoE's require an electronic and highly adaptable format, and creatively apply information visualisation tools to communicate complex information, trends and ideas. Fundamental beliefs of the stakeholders and engagement leaders such as their world view, knowledge abo...
Kenny, D, Voinov, A & Castilla Rho, J 2019, 'Persuasion, influence, and participatory modelling in socio-ecological systems: A framework for action', 23rd International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Canberra.
Ogie, R, Castilla Rho, J, Clarke, R & Moore, A 2018, 'Disaster Risk Communication in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities: The Role of Technology', 12thInternationalConferenceonUbiquitousComputingandAmbientIntelligence, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.