The central focus of this volume is a critical comparative analysis of the key drivers for water resource management and the provision of clean water - governance systems and institutional and legal arrangements. The authors present a systematic analysis of case study river systems drawn from Australia, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, UK and USA to provide an integrated global assessment of the scale and key features of catchment management. A key premise explored is that despite the diversity of jurisdictions and catchments there are commonalities to a successful approach. The authors show that environmental and public health water quality criteria must be integrated with the economic and social goals of those affected, necessitating a 'twin-track' and holistic (cross-sector and discipline) approach of stakeholder engagement and sound scientific research. A final synthesis presents a set of principles for adaptive catchment management. These principles demonstrate how to integrate the best scientific and technical knowledge with policy, governance and legal provisions. It is shown how decision-making and implementation at the appropriate geographic and governmental scales can resolve conflicts and share best sustainable practices.