E. Turak and N. Waddell
NSW, Environment Protection Authority
Monitoring River Health Initiative Technical Report Number 13
Environment Australia, 2002
ISBN 0 642 54880 3
About the manual
The development of AusRivAS has been a national effort under the National River Health Program (NRHP) with a very large number of people from each Australian State and Territory taking part in the process. The size of Australia has required this effort to be compartmentalised into separate programs for each of the states and territories. This has lead to some differences both in the general approach and in specific methodology used among states. It is important, therefore, that the appropriate sampling manual is used. It may also be useful to refer to other manuals regarding aspects of the protocol that are compatible. In particular the ACT manual (Nichols et al 2000) contains considerable detail and should be referred to if necessary.
Australian River Assessment Scheme (AusRivAS) is a software package containing predictive models for assessing river health using macroinvertebrates. It contains a number of models from each Australian State and Territory. The NSW models include 7 large-scale models developed by staff at the NSW EPA which utilise data collected during the Monitoring River Health Initiative (MRHI) and the Australia-Wide Assessment of River Health (AWARH) between 1994 and 1999. In addition regional models for the South Coast have been developed by the Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology (CRCFE). The information covered in this document pertains only to the 7 large-scale models developed at the EPA.
The purpose of this document is to provide enough information to enable the collection of biological and environmental data required for obtaining AusRivAS assessments in NSW using the large-scale models. It should be possible to get an AusRivAS assessment for almost any NSW river site just by following this manual provided that there is access to expertise in macroinvertebrate identification at the family level. However, AusRivAS outputs obtained without experience and training in using the protocols provided in this document may not be reliable. If AusRivAS outputs are to be used for formal assessments of river condition it is important that a certain level of proficiency in using the appropriate protocols is attained.
NSW EPA NSW AusRivAS Sampling and Processing Manual Information about training requirements and accreditation procedures for AusRivAS can be found in the training section of the AusRivAS web site . It is desirable also that users of AusRivAS in NSW become familiar with the philosophy and methodology adopted in the development of the predictive models. Details of the model development procedures in NSW are outlined by Turak and Waddell (2001). It is also important that in undertaking sampling for AusRivAS, particularly when large-scale monitoring programs are concerned, appropriate quality control and quality assurance procedures are followed. Details of quality control and quality assurance programs followed during the MRHI and AWARH in NSW can be found in Waddell (2001). It may also be useful to refer to the sampling protocols prepared for the other states regarding aspects of the protocol that are compatible. In particular the ACT manual (Nichols et al., 2000) contains considerable detail and should be referred to if necessary.