ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

The social drivers of catchment management in the North Central Catchment Management Authority (NCCMA) region, 2013-2014.

ILWS Strategic Research Area  

Social Research for Regional Natural Resource Management  


NCGRT (Dr Mendham's Post Doc and survey implementation), NCCMA $77,000.

Investigators/ Researchers

Professor Allan Curtis, Dr Emily Mendham, Ms Theresa Groth (PhD candidate), Mr Simon McDonald, Mr Royce Sample.


It is essential for catchment groups to have access to information about the social and farming context in which they operate. This project will employ a mail survey to collect baseline socio-economic data to underpin investment in natural resource management by landholders and government through the North Central Regional Catchment Strategy.

The survey will gather information that will enable the research team and the North Central CMA to:

  1. Assess progress in the achievement of NRM program intermediate objectives that are consistent with objectives in the North Central Regional Catchment Strategy. These assessments will be undertaken for each of the key environmental assets in the region. 
  2. Describe the social and farming structure of the region (property size, property turnover, property subdivision/amalgamation, occupational identity of landholders, extent of absentee ownership) for the region and for each LGA or environmental asset. 
  3. Provide a coherent explanation of landholder adoption of recommended practices identified in the North Central Regional Catchment Strategy. 
  4. Provide advice about how to engage rural landholders (or specific cohorts) in NRM, at both the regional and environmental asset scale.

Information will be collected for the following topics:

  1. Concern about a range of social, economic and environmental issues.
  2. Values attached to the natural environment.
  3. Knowledge of natural resource management.
  4. Land use and the adoption of current recommended best-practices.
  5. Long-term plans of land owners.
  6. Social structure (e.g. absentee ownership; multiple property ownership; family succession).


The survey will underpin the implementation of the NCCMA Regional Catchment Strategy (2013-2019) by providing baseline data for the strategy. Follow up surveys will enable the CMA to monitor progress and evaluate investments. This project forms part of a more extensive relationship between the CMA and Professor Allan Curtis' team at CSU.


Professor Allan Curtis,

July 2014