The Use of Systems Techniques in Integrated Catchment Management (ICM)

Its Promise and Limitations
  • W. E. Hutchinson


Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) has all the characteristics of a ‘messy’ problem. It involves numerous interests all with a different perception as to what ICM actually means. It involves technical, social, economic and environmental aspects as well as numerous government, industrial, agricultural and civic groups. Water itself is a multipurpose resource and has time, place and quality characteristics (Watson & Johnson, 1993). ICM is a ‘complex’ problem situation as classified by Flood & Jackson (1991). The other axis to their classification regards the problem situation as either unitary, pluralist, or, coercive. The sheer number of interests in ICM tends to make some aspects of power play appear, so it is legitimate to call the situation coercive. Whatever classification is used for management purposes, the problem is definitely a systemic one. It is surprising to find, however, that explicit systems techniques are rarely used when designing ICM systems and organisational structures although some attempts have been made on the periphery by academics, e.g. Levy & Synnott (1993).


System Technique Western AUSTRALIA Soft System Methodology Viable System Model Civic Group 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. E. Hutchinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Churchlands CampusEdith Cowan UniversityPerthAustralia

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