Making a difference

1 JANUARY 2003

A major water conference that will look at the challenge of managing our streams and rivers for the future will be held in Albury, May 21 to 25.

A major water conference that will look at the challenge of managing our streams and rivers for the future will be held in Albury, May 21 to 25.
 
About 250 people are expected to attend the 5th Australian Stream Management Conference which will feature over 100 speakers including keynote speakers who will address the ‘big picture’ issues of water reform and climate change.
 
“Our conference is being held at one of the most challenging and exciting times for river/stream management practitioners,” said Prof Allan Curtis, director of Charles Sturt University’s Institute for Land, Water and Society, which is hosting the event.
 
“Almost all of the rivers in southern Australia are severely stressed. In the Murray-Darling Basin, the combined effects of diversions for irrigation and drought have brought these issues into the national spotlight. At the same time, there has been increased awareness of climate change and considerable discussion of the implications for river inflows and ecosystem health.”
 
The conference, with the theme Australian Rivers: making a difference, will be held at the Albury Convention Centre with field trips on the Wednesday afternoon to sites including the Murray, Mitta Mitta and Ovens Rivers, and the Wonga Wetlands.
 
Prof Curtis said the Federal Government has responded to the current water crisis with a proposal that radically restructures water governance in the Murray-Darling Basin. “This is to be accompanied by a massive public investment in irrigation infrastructure, both at the district and farm scales,” he said.
 
Prof Curtis said as well as Government assistance, improvements in stream and floodplain management required the cooperation of private landholders, natural resource management agency staff, and researchers and educators.
 
“Many of the different practitioners will be represented at this conference,” he said. “While we have invited outstanding keynote speakers to address the ‘big picture’ issues of water reform and climate change, the focus of the conference is reflecting on practitioner experience so we can learn from our own and each other’s experience.”
 
Full details of the conference can be found at http://www.csu.edu.au/research/ilws/news/conference.html
Media contact:

Margrit Beemster, 02 6051 9653

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