Vulnerability - Pressure - State - Impact - Risk and Response (VPSIRR) Assessment Tool
Description and method logic
The Vulnerability - Pressure - State - Impact - Risk and Response (VPSIRR) assessment tool is an integrated indicator framework designed to address the health of estuarine and coastal environments, for a range of stakeholders including government agencies and regional natural resource management (NRM) groups (Rockloff et al. 2006).
The VPSIRR assessment tool was developed for the specific purpose of assisting stakeholders and decision-makers to assess the condition of coastal waterways. The VPSIRR software enables users to select appropriate indicators for their system and to assess the risk of their system to those particular pressures, and enables prioritisation of management responses. It produces numerical scores (1-5) for indicators of vulnerability, pressure and condition, to inform the risk and response (Rissik et al. 2005).
The VPSIRR approach is an adaptation from the Pressure-State-Response (PSR) and its other derivatives such as Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) (Rockloff et al. 2006 and references contained within). It is an issues- and values-driven approach, in that the issues and values of stakeholders and community can be defined and used to determine stressors (Rissik et al. 2005).
Stressors are defined as the variables which lead to the issues of concern to the community. Stressors in turn can be used to identify pressures which are the variables that can be measured to assess the level of the stressor. The extent that a pressure can affect the waterbody being considered can be determined by the vulnerability of that particular system to the pressure. Ultimately the pressure (modified by the vulnerability) results in the waterbody having a particular condition (Rissik et al. 2005).
There are a variety of indicators of pressure, vulnerability and condition and these can be quantified. Pressure and vulnerability can be used to determine risk and risk is generally what ultimately defines condition, and management responses can then be prioritised according to the level of risk associated with each attribute (Rissik et al. 2005).
A key feature of this framework is that the causal links between indicators of pressure, state and impact are clearly identified, typically through conceptual models. This allows for only indicators relevant to the local situation to be assessed (Rissik et al 2005).
Criteria groupings of the method
Almost any parameter can be accommodated by the VSPIRR framework and process, and it can accommodate quantitative and qualitative data. Condition (state), pressure (stressor) and vulnerability criteria are Included:
High level expert knowledge, expert panels, estuarine flora, fauna and ecology, spatial and non-spatial data, and the VSPIRR software.
A database platform for data storage, manipulation and values assessment, a Geographic Information System (GIS) platform for result presentation and interpretation, and VPSIRR software.
The VPSIRR tool produces numerical scores (1-5) for indicators of vulnerability, pressure and condition, to inform the risk and response.
Criteria by category
Physical and chemical
The VPSIRR tool can be used by state and local government agencies, non-government organisations (NGOs), regional natural resource management (NRM) groups, landcare groups and catchment managers.
Last updated: 10 September 2020
This page should be cited as:
Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2020) Vulnerability - Pressure - State - Impact - Risk and Response (VPSIRR) Assessment Tool, WetlandInfo website, accessed 1 February 2024. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/resources/tools/assessment-search-tool/vulnerability-pressure-state-impact-risk-and-response-vpsirr-assessment-tool/