Water Journal : Water Journal April 2013
WATER APRIL 2013 80 Feature Article CONCLUSIONS The eld of catchment management has been developing for over two decades, and has a central role in our collective ongoing efforts to manage water and natural resources. The key message of this article is that the eld continues to evolve and is currently maturing in a range of ways, including: • Institutional arrangements for aligning related sectors (Trend 1); • Conceptually, in terms of the way we understand and manage catchments under uncertainty, complexity and change (Trends 2, 3 and 6); and • Available technical capacity for understanding management outcomes and prioritising investment (Trends 4 and 5.) Catchment management-related activities are often pursued under a range of different guises and focal issues; however, we nevertheless see such diverse approaches as contributing to a broader catchment management agenda. Some of the trends identi ed, while relatively new in their application, are not necessarily new ideas per se, but have required extended timeframes to mature (e.g. technical, institutional and interdisciplinary capacities). Notwithstanding, there are, of course, likely to be many particular examples in different places of initiatives where these types of thinking have been occurring 'ahead of their time'. Overall, the ongoing evolution described in this paper points to the future role of catchment management as a vibrant and cross-cutting eld of activity that is vital to the sustainable management of water and natural resources, and enhancing human wellbeing. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Authors would like to acknowledge the generous feedback on this article by David Sheehan, Team Leader -- Water Regulation, Department of Health, Victoria and Pat Feehan, Director -- Feehan Consulting Pty Ltd, Victoria. THE AUTHORS James Patterson (email: james.patterson@ uqconnect.edu.au) is a PhD Candidate at the University of Queensland, investigating collaborative management action for the complex issue of non-point source waterway pollution, focusing on a case study of South-East Queensland. Prior to his PhD, James worked in urban water planning, and has quali cations in civil and environmental engineering from the University of New South Wales. He is a member of the AWA Catchment Management Specialist Network Committee. Karla Billington (email: karla@naturallogic. org) has worked across a number of water-resource related agencies and as a consultant over the last 17 years. Karla has substantial expertise in the application of the National Water Quality Management Strategy and the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines to catchment and water resource management, and has been called upon to lead or provide critical review for many projects which require practical solutions to complex multi- disciplinary issues. She is a member of the AWA Catchment Management Specialist Network Committee. WJ REFERENCES Australian Government (2011): Caring for our Country Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement Strategy. BCC & MJ (2011): Case Study: Integrated Resource Planning for Urban Water -- Cabbage Tree Creek, Waterlines Report, National Water Commission, March 2011. Bellamy J, Ross H, Ewing S & Meppem T (2002): Integrated Catchment Management: Learning from the Australian Experience for the Murray- Darling Basin, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, January 2002. 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