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South-East Queensland report on monitoring river flows launched today

Management and monitoring of flow regimes and river ecosystems in South-East Queensland should take into account regional hydrologic variation, according to a National Water Commission publication launched today (Thursday, 22 March 2012).

The outcomes of a four-year project administered by the National Water Commission and conducted with the International WaterCentre and Griffith University are now available in the commission’s Waterlines report No 75.

The project trialled certain elements of the ecological limits of hydrologic alteration (ELOHA) framework- an internationally recognised model for regional environmental flow assessment. This report provides information on how to apply the ELOHA framework, collected flow and ecological data, and a classification of rivers and streams based on these flow/ecology relationships to help managers and water planners in south-east Queensland.

The key findings of the report are as follows:

•    Management and monitoring of flow regimes and river ecosystems should take into account regional hydrologic variation. The hydrologic classifications developed can assist this process.
•    Management and monitoring of flow regimes should take landscape and climatic factors into account.
•    Local habitat characteristics are important factors and should be taken into account for management and monitoring of flow regimes.
•    Hydrologic alteration needs to be maintained at low levels to maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems.
•    Flow regimes in the study region should be managed with emphasis on the characteristics identified as most influencing the health of aquatic and riparian vegetation and fish.
•    Different management approaches are required for each dam.
•    Hydrologic alteration should be considered a probability to the current and future risk to river ecosystem health.
•    Priority for revision of environmental flow arrangements should be given to dams that have stronger impacts on flow regimes, therefore having an ecological impact.

Download the Waterlines report. For further scientific and technical insights into this project please download the International Water Centre’s Hydro-ecological relationships and thresholds to inform environmental flow management publication.


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