Catchment and River Basin Management: Integrating Science and Governance, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Catchment and River Basin Management

Integrating Science and Governance, 1st Edition

Edited by Laurence Smith, Keith Porter, Kevin Hiscock, Mary Jane Porter, David Benson


310 pages | 7 Color Illus. | 8 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138304543
pub: 2017-06-14
Hardback: 9781849713047
pub: 2015-04-23
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The central focus of this volume is a critical comparative analysis of the key drivers for water resource management and the provision of clean water – governance systems and institutional and legal arrangements. The authors present a systematic analysis of case study river systems drawn from Australia, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, UK and USA to provide an integrated global assessment of the scale and key features of catchment management.

A key premise explored is that despite the diversity of jurisdictions and catchments there are commonalities to a successful approach. The authors show that environmental and public health water quality criteria must be integrated with the economic and social goals of those affected, necessitating a 'twin-track' and holistic (cross-sector and discipline) approach of stakeholder engagement and sound scientific research.

A final synthesis presents a set of principles for adaptive catchment management. These principles demonstrate how to integrate the best scientific and technical knowledge with policy, governance and legal provisions. It is shown how decision-making and implementation at the appropriate geographic and governmental scales can resolve conflicts and share best sustainable practices.


"The authors correctly note that, while people will generally want higher water quality, there are numerous trade-offs that would diminish their willingness to change behaviours that negatively affect water quality and quantity. Water pollution could thus be regarded as a ‘market failure’, requiring intervention by policymakers such as regulation, incentives and voluntary agreements with land users, self-regulation, education campaigns, etc."African Journal of Aquatic Science, John P Simaika, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

"The book will be particularly useful to those engaged in Catchment Partnerships through Defra's Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) programme, whether in pointing out ways forward or giving confidence that persistence with building communites of practice will gain success in the longer term - anyone strarting in catchment management will soon realise that developments do not happen overnight!" - Bob Harris, Costal Futures

Table of Contents


Philip Lowe, Director, Rural Economy and Land Use Programme

Part 1: Overview

1. The Challenge of Protecting Water Resources: an Introduction and the Purposes of this Book

Laurence Smith, Keith Porter, Kevin Hiscock, David Benson and Mary Jane Porter

2.Key Questions about Catchment Management

Laurence Smith, David Benson and Keith Porter

Part 2: Case Studies

3. The Upper Susquehanna River Basin: Headwaters of a National Treasure – The Chesapeake Bay

Mary Jane Porter, Keith Porter, James Curatolo, Mike Lovegreen and Laurence Smith

4. New York City Watershed Program: A National Paradigm?

Keith Porter and Laurence Smith

5. The Hudson River Watershed, New York State, USA

Mary Jane Porter, Keith Porter and Laurence Smith

6. Healthy Waterways, South East Queensland, Australia

Laurence Smith, David Benson and Diane Tarte

7. Groundwater Protection Programmes in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands

Laurence Smith, David Benson and Kevin Hiscock

8. The WWF RIPPLE Project (Rivers Involving People, Places and Leading by Example), Ulster, Northern Ireland

Alex Inman and Mark Horton

9. Opening up Catchment Science: an Experiment in Loweswater, Cumbria, England

Claire Waterton, Stephen C. Maberly, Lisa Norton, Judith Tsouvalis, Nigel Watson, and Ian J. Winfield

Part 3: Lessons for Catchment and River Basin Management

10. Getting Started: Partnerships, Collaboration, Participation and the Role of Law

Laurence Smith, Keith Porter and David Benson

11. Getting Informed: Tools and Approaches for Assessment, Planning and Management

Laurence Smith, Kevin Hiscock, Keith Porter, Tobias Krueger and David Benson

12. Getting Things Done and Getting Results

Laurence Smith, Keith Porter and David Benson

13. Conclusions and Future Challenges

Laurence Smith, Keith Porter, David Benson and Kevin Hiscock

About the Editors

Laurence Smith is Professor of Environmental Policy and Development in the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy, SOAS, University of London, UK.

Keith Porter is Adjunct Professor at Cornell Law School and the former Director of the New York State Water Resources Institute, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA.

Kevin Hiscock is Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, UK.

Mary Jane Porter is recently retired from the New York State Water Resources Institute, Cornell University, USA.

David Benson is Lecturer in Politics at the University of Exeter, UK, based at the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) in Penryn, Cornwall.

About the Series

Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management

Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management
This series includes a wide range of inter-disciplinary approaches to water resource management, integrating perspectives from both social and natural sciences. It includes research monographs and titles aimed at professionals, NGOs and policy-makers. Authors or editors of potential new titles should contact Hannah Ferguson, Editor ([email protected]).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Limnology