Another link in achieving aquifer protection is with the urban planning framework. The importance of land use planning to the delivery of sustainable development is stressed. More integrated environmental management of groundwater is required in urban areas. In an urban aquifer context this means integration of:
• groundwater protection policies;
• solid and liquid waste management policies;
• pollution prevention policies;
• land use planning.
The practical difficulties of achieving such integration are immense, and they have not been adequately overcome yet in much of the developed world, but the integrated environmental management principle is worth defining as an ultimate goal.
The purpose of identifying and developing environmental capacity is to establish standards and objectives for policy on the basis of social, economic and cultural realities. Like stakeholder consultation to determine the key groundwater issues and policies to resolve problems, it is a participatory process through which policy makers decide what environmental factors are most valued by a community and how much those factors are valued against other factors.
To do this some assessment of the risks posed by competing factors will be required.
A planning review tool, comprising a simple checklist and matrix tool to focus data collection needed for a suitable-for-use risk assessment, was developed but could not be tested in this project because it would typically be required at a later stage in the Groundwater Management Action Plan, once land-use policies had been agreed and implemented through municipal ordinances or other regulations. The checklist and matrix tool are described here