From river to ridge: local governance and the implementation of improved water management


  • J. Nimmo


Current water management problems include management by a multiplicity of remote agencies resulting in fragmented management and a failure to incorporate local government into water management solutions. Based on the literature review and review of North-American natural-resource planning agencies a survey of diverse catchment stakeholders was conducted within the Georges River catchment (Sydney, Australia). The survey aims to examine the credibility and transferability of the four sustainability preconditions identified through the North-American review at a catchment scale within the Georges River catchment. The survey asked stakeholders their views on water-agency jurisdiction, conflict, the priority given to the protection of riparian lands and waterways, and stakeholder participation. The survey results support the position that stakeholders perceive a greater involvement of local government in water management than other agencies and levels of government and that the sustainability preconditions are credible with diverse catchment stakeholders. Respondents reported a need for improvement to methods for resolving conflicting environmental priorities between agencies and that the respondents (as individuals) see themselves as giving a higher priority to the protection of waterways and riparian land than any other stakeholders within the catchment. In the future these preconditions could provide the basis for a more detailed model to ensure not only that sustainability is on the organizational agenda but also that programmes and projects have greater capacity to implement sustainability programmes and projects on the ground