Alluvial gully erosion has been one of the dominant contemporary sediment sources in many of the large rivers draining into the Gulf of Carpentaria, yet, fundamental questions persist concerning the phenomenon both in terms of causal mechanisms and extent. In this project a baseline assessment of alluvial gully erosion in four tropical savannah rivers was undertaken resulting in both the development of a gully erosion conceptual model and an assessment of the spatial extent of gully erosion.
Water allocation processes across tropical Australia are struggling with the question of how to acknowledge and protect Aboriginal values and interests in water-dependent ecosystems. Indigenous interests in environmental flows research and water resource policy have tended to be neglected; consequently Aboriginal people have rarely participated equitably in water management decision-making. This project examined international sociological approaches to environmental flow assessment and water management (more)...
This project involved a preliminary’ assessment of the social and economic values associated with Australia’s tropical rivers undertaken for subsequent Land & Water Australia investment in its Tropical Rivers Program.
Associate Professor George Ganff, from the University of Adelaide studied the rivers of northern Australia and particularly those in the Top End of the Northern Territory which are subject to major seasonal changes in flow and inter-annual variability. During the dry season, spring water maintains flow with different water chemistry from the rainfall run-off that constitutes wet season flow.
In response to the need to better understand Australia’s tropical river systems, this project aimed collating available datasets relating to Australia’s Tropical Rivers; and to then produce a set of relevant information suitable for upload to the Australian Natural Resources Atlas.
Freshwater fish diversity for the King Edward River is higher than any previously studied WA river. Twenty-six species were recorded included a likely unidentified species of glassfish. Range extensions were recorded for a number of species. Working with local indigenous communities, aboriginal names were recorded for most species.
Assessment of water development proposals to date has been hampered by the lack of information that can be used to reasonably estimate the volume of water currently available to the environment and the proportion of that water potentially available for consumptive users.
The primary focus of this study was to establish the riparian condition baseline against which future condition trends could be measured; and the development of a robust, repeatable method of analysis.
However, during the course of the study, researchers found that the dramatic changes in woody vegetation in both the channel zone and across floodplains warranted much more detailed investigation to establish:
Ian Halliday of the Southern Fisheries Centre identified that this project will provide greater knowledge of the role of freshwater flow in estuarine-dependent fisheries production across northern Australia. This knowledge will allow for informed sustainable development of tropical water resources, with minimal impacts on fisheries resources.
View this project on the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge website.