CSU launches $6.9m Murray-Darling water monitoring projects

16 FEBRUARY 2015

CSU will launch two water monitoring projects on Wednesday 18 February 2015 as part of the Australian Government's $30 million Long-Term Intervention Monitoring Project.

Wakool RiverCharles Sturt University (CSU) will launch two water monitoring projects on Wednesday 18 February 2015 as part of the Australian Government's $30 million Long-Term Intervention Monitoring Project.

CSU is one of a number of universities and research institutions involved in the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder's long-term monitoring programme, designed to provide all Murray-Darling water managers with greater insights and knowledge into the effectiveness of environmental watering.

The University's Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS) secured $6.9 million in funding to lead two of the seven projects.

The Institute will officially launch the two projects at a reception on the Albury-Wodonga campus, attended by Vice Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann, Branch Head of the Environmental Water Use Branch, Commonwealth Environmental Water Office Dr Ben Docker and Director of the Institute for Land, Water and Society Professor Max Finlayson.

"These projects address a vital part of the national program to restore the river systems of the Murray-Darling and provide a basis for a sustainable future for our communities in unison with the wider environment," Professor Finlayson said.

"We are proud to be part of the current initiative and to be able to launch the projects alongside our collaborators."

The Long-Term Intervention Monitoring Project for the Edward-Wakool River System ($3.36 million) is led by the Institute's Associate Professor Robyn Watts with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries), Monash University, Griffith University, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW OEH), and Murray Local Land Services.

"The main focus of the Edward-Wakool project is the fish community, movement, breeding, and recruitment responses to Commonwealth environmental watering," Associate Professor Watts said.

"In addition we are examining water quality, primary productivity, vegetation, and reproduction and recruitment of other organisms. The long-term data we collect through this project will enable us to undertake statistical modelling to predict and evaluate responses to Commonwealth environmental watering"

The project for the Murrumbidgee River System ($3.5 million) is led by the Institute's Dr Skye Wassens with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries), University of NSW, Riverina Local Land Services and the NSW OEH.

"The Murrumbidgee Selected Area contains three nationally significant freshwater systems; the Murrumbidgee River, the mid-Murrumbidgee wetlands and the Lowbidgee floodplain," Dr Wassens said.

"In order to evaluate ecological responses across these three areas we have included a mix of broad and fine scale indicators and have developed a highly integrated design."

More information on the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder's Long-Term Intervention Monitoring Project is available from the Department of the Environment.

Media contact:

Hannah Guilfoyle, 0417 125 795


Media Note:

Media are invited to attend the launch between 10.45am and 12.30pm. Please contact Hannah Guilfoyle for more information and to arrange interviews.

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