What is catchment management?
Catchment management can broadly be defined as the process of setting a vision, goals, indicators and measurable targets for change to achieve a healthy catchment area, and ensuring that there is an accompanying monitoring program in place. In addition, managing a catchment includes the coordination of stakeholders and their relationships, as they engage with the goals and actions that, collectively, should promote positive change as reflected in both the measured indicators and in the quality of catchment-related services for urban communities. There are numerous tools that support catchment management planning but there is no one size fits all and each municipality will define their objectives differently, depending on the local context and priorities. Thus, one urban catchment management plan might focus on local community river health initiatives while another might be more focused on improved stormwater management or the need for water security through groundwater recharge. The scale of a CMP can also vary, based on the scale at which action is effective, the scale most appropriate for hydrological modeling and/or the municipal boundary.
What is integrated catchment management?
As mentioned above, effective catchment management requires an integrated approach that considers the impacts on both upstream and downstream communities of a specific catchment.
ICM can be defined as a system-based approach, which aims to combine the objectives of environmental protection, sustainable agriculture, and natural resource management within catchments, with the principles of ecologically sustainable development. ICM acknowledges that because the flows and stocks of water, sediment and contaminants are usually contained within topographical boundaries, the river basin or catchment is the appropriate organizing unit for understanding and managing ecosystem processes in a context that includes social, economic and political considerations, and guides communities towards an agreed vision of sustainable natural resource management in their catchment. Accordingly, ICM comprises not just the outcome of sustainable levels of resource exploitation, but the ongoing process to achieve and improve sustainability.
Synonyms used in catchment management approaches
Integrated river basin management
integrated water resource management (IWRM)
natural resource management (NRM)