003 - Integrated drainage basin management

Geographic Knowledge and Understanding

The growing importance of integrated drainage basin management (IDBM) plans, and the costs and benefits they bring.


Integrated drainage basin management creates the possibility of sustainable development for different stakeholders.


  • To be able to discuss the growing importance of integrated drainage basin management plans.

  • To be able to discuss the costs and benefits of integrated drainage basin management plans.

  • To be able to use the Murray-Darling Plan as a case study of a recent integrated drainage basin management plan.

Key Terminology

            • Integrated drainage basin management

            • Wetland

Define the words above by using the useful links below:

Useful Links

Activity One - Watch

Before you begin to investigate what the management is like in the Murray-Darling basin it would be good to find out who uses the water and why it has created tension. Watch the youtube clip below and collect a blank A4 piece of paper and a set of coloured pens to make notes on the changes that have occurred in this named drainage basin and why the river system is experiencing stress.

  • Red for the users.

  • Blue for the changes.

  • Green for the causes of the stress.

Activity Two - Infographic

Infographics are now assessed in Paper Two so it is a good idea to start looking at some of the strengths and benefits of using them. The infographic below discusses the issues of water use within our focus basin - The Murray-Darling.

      1. Write down why the Murray-Darling Basin is currently facing a life or death situation.

      2. What are the benefits of using an infographic in dispersing information?

      3. What are the problems of using an infographic when trying to rais the awareness of a situation?

The Murray-Darling Basin

From Visually.

Activity Three - Description

Now you know the issues of the depletion of water within the Murray-Darling you need to develop an understanding of the integrated drainage basin action plan. We are again to use old school note taking techniques to collate the information by watching three youtube clips. Write the information on the back of the A4 sheet you started in Activity One.

Activity Four - Analysis

There are always going to be winners and losers when rivers are managed as we have seen in Ethiopia. One of the command terms that are used in the examinations are analyse. This syllabus point gives the perfect opportunity to analysize the success and failures of the plan. How beneficial has this action plan been? Who is benefiting and who is losing out?

      • Divide your page into two and on one side write the advantages and the other side write the disadvantages. Use the two articles in the 'Useful Resources' box to do this. Remember to use examples. If you don't want to read I have also included a youtube clip for you to watch below.

Exam Style Question

Using a named drainage basin, examine the importance of creating an integrated management plan to balance the needs of stakeholders. [10 marks]

This lesson was development in collaboration with Richard Allaway from geographyalltheway. For more resources please visit www.geographyalltheway.com