Lake Eyre Basin Rivers Assessment
Environment Australia, Queensland Government and
Government of South Australia, 2002
About the Assessment
The Lake Eyre Basin Agreement establishes a cooperative framework for the Commonwealth, Queensland and South Australian Governments to jointly address issues about the management of water and related natural resources of the cross-border rivers within the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area. The Agreement recognises the ecological importance of the Lake Eyre Basin as well as its social and economic values.
Under the Agreement, the Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum is required to review the condition of all watercourses and catchments within the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area.
The rivers in the Lake Eyre Basin are generally considered by governments and the community to be in relatively good condition, and are amongst the last unaltered dryland river systems in the world. However, our knowledge of the ecology of these arid rivers and their catchments is limited and not uniform across the Basin.
Methodologies and techniques used to assess other river systems are not necessarily applicable or appropriate for the Lake Eyre Basin rivers and catchments. The vastness and extreme flow variability of arid rivers means that a broad-scale and long-term approach is required to understand how these systems work.
Recent scientific projects such as ARIDFLO, Floodplain Grazing, Dryland River Refugia, Western Streams Water Quality Monitoring and the Fish, Habitat and Wetlands surveys are providing a vital contribution towards our understanding of the ecology of these arid river systems. These projects have also identified many gaps in our knowledge of the dynamics of arid rivers and the kinds of information required to assess and maintain their health.