A framework of indicators to assess the sustainability of freshwater systems

A.A.R. Ioris, S. Walker, C. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In response to the challenges of sustainable development, this paper describes the formulation and application of a framework of catchment-level water resource use and management indicators designed to integrate environmental, economic, and social aspects of sustainability. The framework of nine indicators was applied to the River Clyde catchment in Scotland, using existing secondary data and in a manner that recognized local thresholds and standards, where appropriate. Findings suggested a mixed and relatively complex situation, with encouraging results for water quality and supply, but much room for improvement regarding the preparedness of management systems and opportunities for public participation. The availability of adequate data in a suitable, catchment-level format was a significant problem, although this situation may improve with the advent of new legislation. Discussion of findings also addresses the inherently subjective nature of indicator selection and the opportunities provided by research in this area for greater cooperation and collaboration between natural and social scientists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-410
Number of pages15
JournalGeografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006


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