‘Integrated’ approaches to water and natural resources management in South Australia

William Mitchell, Kathryn Bellette, Stacey Richardson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    In the context of criticism that the definition and scope of integrated water resources management have not been clearly defined, experience in South Australia from the early 1970s to 2014 related to a holistic and integrated approach to water and natural resources management is examined. Three different approaches have been used in South Australia, each striving to be more holistic and integrated than its predecessor. A key challenge for managers is to achieve efficient and effective implementation of related policies, programmes and plans as more aspects become incorporated into a holistic and integrated approach. A main conclusion is that to successfully implement a holistic and integrated approach it is essential to be clear what ‘integrated’ and ‘holistic’ mean, because they are not the same or interchangeable. Furthermore, integrated and focused approaches are not mutually exclusive, and can be pursued simultaneously. This conclusion questions the argument that an integrated approach inevitably leads to so many variables being considered that it becomes so complex, unwieldy and cumbersome that it leads to non-actionable initiatives.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)718-731
    Number of pages14
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2015


    • integrated natural resources management
    • IWRM
    • resilience
    • South Australia


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