Application of sustainability appraisal to the Canterbury Water Management Strategy

B.R. Jenkins, Shona Louise Russell, B Sadler, M Ward

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    8 Citations (Scopus)


    In Canterbury, water management presents a particular challenge with regard to resource availability and quality, and the impact of intensification of land use and changing forms of agriculture. These issues have led to the development of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, which identifies a number of options to resolve them. A sustainability appraisal of the options with respect to their contribution to sustainability outcomes illustrates the potential of taking a strategic approach to problem solving in the context of complexity and uncertainty. This article describes the application of a method of sustainability appraisal that is based on international developments but adapted to the New Zealand resource management framework. The approach defined a sustainability bottom line and desired sustainability outcomes, and demonstrated that: (1) the status quo was not sustainable; (2) a strategy based on new infrastructure projects met economic criteria but not environmental criteria; (3) advancing environmental protection with a moratorium on new development met environmental criteria but not economic criteria; and (4) for a sustainable outcome across all criteria, existing water and land use needed to be improved and parallel development of new infrastructure and proactive programs for environmental restoration needed to be implemented.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAustralasian Journal of Environmental Management
    Issue number1
    Early online date18 Feb 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2014


    • sustainable resource management
    • evaluation of strategies
    • sustainability outcomes


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