Integrated Catchment Management


 Research Status: Ongoing
Google Earth visualisation of IDEAS scenario

Google Earth visualisation of IDEAS scenario


The purpose of IDEAS is to provide an Integrated Dynamic Environmental Assessment System within which modelling tools provide answers to real catchment questions about cumulative causes and effects of a mosaic of catchment developments. IDEAS is a strategic planning tool for testing “futures scenarios” involving a triple bottom-line approach, a collaborative learning development process, and assessment of cumulative effects in land and water management.

Research Approach

IDEAS needs to feed information into the dialogue between stakeholders so that a shared vision of the catchment can be generated. Stakeholders will need to know the present status of the catchment, in terms of environmental, economic, and social performance, and will also need to know how this changes with various catchment management scenarios.

A challenge in the development of tools for ICM is ensuring they are fully utilised beyond the development phase by stakeholders. To meet this challenge IDEAS has both a social and technical stream of work associated with development. The technical stream is concerned with the linking of models to come up with a technical package. The social stream uses a participatory approach to ensure stakeholder knowledge is incorporated into the technical stream, to set parameter thresholds and design scenarios, and to ensure users understand the inherent assumptions within the models used. The technical and social aspects together are called IDEAS.

Within the technical stream of work the biophysical models predict the flow of water, and associated sediment, carbon, nutrients, and pollutants, through the catchment and into the marine environment. Inputs to the models will be spatial data (land use is time dependent). Outputs from the models will be time-dependent digital maps of mass flows (water, carbon, nutrients, and pollutants). No one model is able to handle all of the processes of interest in the catchment, so we plan to use several models of what we judge to be the important processes and to link them.

The mass flows from biophysical models are linked into socio-economic models through biophysical coefficients. The socio-economic models comprise aspatial and spatial components. The aspatial component is called the Catchment Futures Model and is an economic input-output model coupled with a population growth model. It may be used in a temporal mode where yearly environmental and economic outcomes influence sector drivers for following years. The spatial component is Evoland. It models individual agents on the landscape and how policy, and environmental and economic outcomes influence individual land use and management decisions. It may be used to assess the influence of policy and education of actors on future land use patterns. Within IDEAS Evoland is predominantly used as a possible land-use scenario generator; allowing evaluation of policy and agent values on possible catchment futures. These are then used as the basis for biophysical model simulations within the catchment (e.g. SWAT) and in the coastal marine area which evaluate the environmental fluxes within possible land-use scenarios.

Research Results

A variety of catchment scenarios have been evaluated for socio-economic and environmental outcomes. These include (1) pre-human (2) present land use (3) present land use with best management practice (4) very intensive agriculture (5) very intensive agriculture with best management practice, and (6) continued present growth until 2020. While the socio-economic measures of scenario (4) may be satisfactory, the environmental measures indicate problems with high nitrogen concentration in river water and lack of water for irrigation. Indeed, the indicator of low flow (low flow minus maximum allowable water take) implies that in times of drought the river could actually dry up. IDEAS does not provide a framework for conflict resolution, but through its integration it identifies focussed points of disagreement, on which further research and more detailed models, outside of the integrative framework, are often required. In future, climate change will be incorporated into catchment planning deliberation by modifying explicit climate variables in the bio-physical models.

These results are summarised in the IDEAS presentations below.

The IDEAS data link (2.25 MB) - a spreadsheet that links the biophysical models with the socio-economic models to provide scenarios. Note: this will be continuously updated as modelling outputs are refined.

Added: 30 June2009. This version includes Garth Harmsworth's "Cultural Score".

Added: 23 March 2009. This version includes Roger Young's trout modelling and revised E.coli analysis. There is also an explanation of the assumed erosion cover factors for exotic forest in the sheet "present".

Recent Publications

Year Title File Size
2012 A Summary of Outcomes and selected formal publications from the Integrated Catchment Management (ICM)research programme:2000 – 2011
pdf       1.08MB
2009 The Use of an Agent–Based Model to Represent Māori cultural Values pdf       365KB
2008 Collaboration and Modelling for Building Resilience – Tools for Integration in the Motueka HELP Catchment pdf       1.73MB
2008 Representing cultural values in IDEAS pdf       783KB
2007 IDEAS: Integrated framework (NZHS Nov 2007) pdf       82KB
More publications on this topic »
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Recent Presentations

Year Title File Size
2008 Modelling catchment indicators in the coastal environment pdf       2806KB
2007 IDEAS: an Integrated Dynamic Environmental Assessment System ppt       350KB
2007 Meetings of the Community Reference Group (CRG) doc       67KB
2007 Sustainable behaviour modelling pdf       302KB
2007 IDEAS: Stakeholder presentation ppt       1471KB
More presentations on this topic »
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Primary Contacts:

Image - Will Allen Will Allen  EmailSend email to AllenW
Phone: 03 321 9600
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Landcare Research
participation, multi–stakeholder processes, participatory evaluation, networking
Image - Chris  Batstone Chris  Batstone  EmailSend email to chris.batstone
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Cawthron Institute
resource economics
Image - John Dymond John Dymond  EmailSend email to dymondj
Phone: 06 353 4955
Landcare Research
land and water models, GIS, remote sensing
Image - Ben Knight Ben Knight  EmailSend email to dymondj
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Cawthron Institute
Biophysical systems specialist
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Page last updated Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Related areas

Futures modelling IDEAS