Environmental planning for sustainable water uses : a case study on the development of catchment management plans in Malaysia
The thesis explores the role of Catchment Management Planning [CMP] in promoting sustainable water uses within a river catchment and develops a framework and procedures whereby CMP could be implemented in Malaysia. The study links the concepts of sustainable development and the principles underlying the sustainability of water uses, which are explicit throughout the thesis, with land use, water resources, environmental planning and management controls, using the river catchment or basin as the basis of the framework for water resource management. The mismatch between the intended uses of river water and the prevailing water quality condition of rivers arises from conflicts of interest and can be attributed to the lack of land use and water resource management and control. The thesis emphasises the essential elements of integrating the concept of sustainable development into planning and management activities, while advocating the need for a multidisciplinary and integrative approach to catchment water quality management. The thesis describes the research framework and methodologies, and analyses the concept of sustainable development, the environmental policy for Malaysia, and the land use, water resource and environmental planning and management systems within the Malaysian context. The use of GIS in this area of spatial planning has been very promising, and the thesis demonstrates the functional capabilities of GIS in the identification of pollution problems and problematic areas through water quality modelling and approaches to decision making; this forms the basis for recommended actions in the proposed plan. The plan proposals, which are based on a holistic approach towards sustainability, contain: strategies for improving river water quality through source control and minimising impacts of land use development, while sustaining beneficial river uses; components of planning decision making and implementation; the functions, recommended format and framework for the Malaysian CMP; and opportunities and needs for further research.