Strategic Basin Planning

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Strategic basin planning can be defined as a coherent multi-disciplinary approach to managing basin water resources and its users in order to identify and satisfy social, economic and environmental priorities. This approach is characterised by:

  • Trade-offs between alternative economic, social and environmental objectives. These trade-offs are not simply technical issues, but require broader societal, economic and biodiversity considerations.
  • Sophisticated understanding of environmental requirements: planning that recognises the importance of aquatic ecosystem functioning in providing goods and services for social and economic development. This considers issues such as flow regulation, flood attenuation, sediment-geomorphology maintenance and water quality assimilation services.
  • Understanding basin interactions, including a range of hydrological, ecological, social and economic systems and activities at work within a basin.
  • Robust scenario-based analysis: planning that addresses uncertainty in future development and climate by assessing the challenges and opportunities associated with alternative hydro-economic scenarios.
  • Prioritisation: planning that identifies the key priorities within the basin, whether in terms of the needs for economic development, social justice or environmental protection. This prioritisation is inherently a social and political decision.