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Challenges in developing an integrated catchment management model

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • David Lerner
  • Vikas Kumar
  • Annelie Holzkaemper
  • Ben Surridge
  • Bob Harris
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2011
<mark>Journal</mark>Water and Environment Journal
Issue number3
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)345-354
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Directives and policies increasingly call for more integrated management of land and water. Frameworks such as integrated catchment management may address these calls, and yet their implementation requires decisions to be taken under conditions of extreme complexity and uncertainty. This paper summarises a participatory framework through which decision-makers, experts and system modellers can collaboratively develop an integrated model to support such decisions. A feasibility study showed the potential of the framework. An operational version of the model, able to analyse the effects of 50 management options on 20 indicators, is estimated to require in the order of 225 man-months from system modellers, alongside substantial inputs from stakeholders. The significant technical challenges confronting such an exercise may be overshadowed by the institutional challenges, including the fundamental question of whether organisations are truly committed. However, the reward for overcoming such challenges is the opportunity to achieve genuine improvements in the social, economic and environmental quality of our catchments.