We can define a management goal as a measure or statement used to assess whether
community values for water quality are being attained or maintained.
The management goal should reflect the
desired level of protection and provide precise and detailed descriptions of which aspects of the community values are to be protected.
Management of any waterway requires the setting of unambiguous management goals that represent specific outcomes for the community values. The management goals should be achievable and measurable. They form the basis for setting appropriate water/sediment quality objectives, and determining management strategies for achieving them.
Check with relevant local authorities in your jurisdiction who might already have established management goals.
How to set management goals for water/sediment quality
You should identify management goals concurrently with the community values through appropriate
stakeholder involvement. This should occur at Step 2 of the Water Quality Management Framework.
Management goals should reflect:
- specific problems or threats to established community values
- key attributes of community values that must be protected (e.g. key ecosystem assemblages and processes, species of importance, a particular stock or crop)
- desired levels of protection (for aquatic ecosystems).
Articulate management goals so that identifying success is unambiguous.
For a particular waterway, multiple management goals often span a number of community values. They cannot be considered in isolation. The management goals you adopt will need to be consistent with the aims of other related management planning processes for the waterway, such as water resource plans or regional natural resource management plans.
You may refine management goals after assessing the cultural, economic, environmental and social implications of alternative management strategies (at Step 8 of the Water Quality Management Framework).
In the spirit of
adaptive management, the goals may need to be modified (strengthened or weakened) as implementation progresses. This will be informed by a rigorous and targeted monitoring and evaluation program.