Australia's tropical rivers - an integrated data assessment and analysis

Land & Water Australia / National Heritage Trust, 2006

LWA/NHT Project DET18 - Milestone report 4

Project summary

Sustainable management of Australia's tropical rivers and wetlands requires an integrated information base for assessment of their ecological character (including benchmarking their status) and the development of policy, especially for environmental flows and potential uses of water. This project is establishing an information base for assessing status and change of Land and Water Australia's tropical rivers study area, and, using the information base, is undertaking several case studies of ecological risk assessments of major pressures for various focus catchments.

The information base is being built on consultation, analysis of existing information, and, in the future, will include specific investigations to provide further data. It is anticipated that the final integrated information base will be used as a reference for assessing change to the river/wetland habitats and their species, and the ecosystem services they provide. As reference conditions for assessing change and environmental flows cannot be provided for all localities or species, it is expected that surrogates will be determined and responses to key pressures assessed through structured and quantitative frameworks and linked with the provision of ecosystem services. These analyses will extend analyses being done through other initiatives in tropical Australia.