Skip to main content

Unit information: Integrated Catchment Management in 2020/21

Unit name Integrated Catchment Management
Unit code CENGM0025
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Claire Gronow
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


In this unit students will develop a thorough understanding of the concepts underpinning integrated catchment management, and will examine how environmental, social and economic objectives can be met through an appropriate policy and planning framework. The unit will be broadly structured around the stages of planning, implementing and reviewing catchment management plans. Implications of both water quality and quantity issues will be discussed in terms of water security and sustainability.

A key focus for this unit will be the role of science in informing policy decisions and underpinning formulation and monitoring and review of management plans. The importance of robust planning processes to resolving conflict between economic, environmental and social objectives, and providing for inter- and intra- generational equity will also be emphasised. Case studies will include the Water Framework Directive, the UK River Basin Management Plan process and Australia's Murray-Darling basin plan.

This unit will be taught by leading practitioners in the area of catchment management with support from Environment Agency staff. The teaching content will also include guest speakers representing a range of technical and community stakeholders.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of this unit, the successful student will be able to:

O3.1 describe the issues affecting water security, and understand the range of regulatory and other controls available to both water quality and quantity issues;

O3.2 evaluate the complex socio-cultural, geo-political and socio-economic factors affecting management of catchments and water resources;

O3.3 critically evaluate existing plans and processes for water resources management and water pollution prevention and control and formulate improvements;

O3.4 contextualise the sustainable management of water resources within the wider aims of catchment management;

O3.5 understand the potential conflicts that arise from trying to meet economic, social and environmental objectives, and between existing and potential future demands for water resources and how tools such as catchment planning and management can contribute to resolving these conflicts.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, which may include lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Details

The Unit will be assessed by 100% coursework consisting of a 5000-7000 word report covering key concepts taught in the unit, but also requiring further reading and research. Opportunities for formative feedback on some components of the assessment will be provided.

Reading and References

Quevauviller, P, P. Borchers, U. and Thompson, C. (2008). The Water Framework Directive: ecological and chemical status monitoring, Wiley: Chichester, 0470518367

Woodhouse, P. and Muller, M. (2017), Water Governance-An Historical Perspective on Current Debates, World Development, Vol. 92 pp 225-241

Jenkins, B. (2018), Water Management in New Zealand’s Canterbury Region, Springer

Pegram, G., Yuanyuan, L., Quesne, T.Le, Speed, R., Jianqiang, L., & Fuxin, S. (2013). River Basin Planning: Principles, Procedures and Approaches for Strategic Basin Planning. Paris