Environmental Management Framework

The Environmental Management Framwork has six components. Each component constitutes a logical step in the framework, and comprises a focused activity with clear outputs. Brief descriptions of the different components can be viewed by rolling you mouse over the icons in the image below.

People and processes

Good communication between scientists, managers and the people who use waterways helps build the knowledge of all stakeholders, and allows options for management solutions to be scoped, agreed and more easily implemented.

Community involvement

Capacity building

Different water quality frameworks

Critical success factors

Current understanding

Documenting the current knowledge and understanding of your catchment and waterways is fundamental to all components of the water quality management framework. Information from stakeholders is pooled with on-going research. This helps define the broader context of the water quality issues. Understanding of the natural and social systems is refined and knowledge gaps are identified. This knowledge is continually updated by new information (adaptive management). For example, the detailed quantitative assessments in the ‘planning’, ‘implementation’ and ‘monitoring and review’ components of the framework will eventually become part of current understanding.

A simple approach to water quality issues

The scope of your water quality management strategy

Information for your waterway

Conceptualise your waterway

  • Create a conceptual diagram of your waterway


This step focuses on identifying the stakeholders’ vision and aspirations for the catchment and its waterways. This then allows more specific environmental management goals and water quality objectives/targets to be specified based on the aspirational values and uses of the waterways.

Environmental values

Environmental management goals



Water quality objectives


Planning is where management actions to protect waterways and address the ’causes’ of water pollution are devised, and social, economic and ecological impacts are evaluated to negotiate and define a preferred strategy. A range of techniques are used to assess impacts and prioritise solutions.

Alternative management strategies

Impacts of your management strategies


Are the impacts of your strategy acceptable

YES – Continue to Implementation

No – Revise your  vision and re-evaluate


This step focuses on the implementation of the agreed necessary actions with the assignment of agreed roles and responsibilities.

Implementing your strategy

Monitoring and review

Following the decision to implement a water quality management strategy, it is essential to monitor and review all component of the strategy, including checking the effects of the strategy against the agreed environmental values, management goals and water quality objectives.


Designing a monitoring program