Challenges for improving the science underpinning river restoration practices.

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Throughout the world there is a growing interest in river restoration and billions of dollars are being spent to address the problems that have arisen from our misuse of river ecosystems. The field of restoration science has much to contribute to the practice and assessment of river restoration projects. However, the development of this discipline is being impeded by several factors including: the lack of long term scientific experiments and testing of hypotheses that underpin river restoration practices; a lack of consensus as to what constitutes successful restoration; aversion to risk; entrenched practices; and limited integration among disciplines. Several recent developments that are providing direction for the future of restoration science are discussed. Some of the challenges in the field of restoration science are: to improve the planning of scientific studies; secure funding for long term trials; to adopt new approaches; improve communication between all stakeholders; and deliver innovative education and training programs. If these challenges are embraced we are more likely to achieve better restoration outcomes. In particular, if we undertake integrative river science incorporating biophysical, social and economic aspects we will advance the development of a ‘whole of system’ approach to river management.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication5th Australian Stream Management Conference. Australian rivers
Subtitle of host publicationmaking a difference
EditorsCurtis Allan Curtis Allan
Place of PublicationThurgoona, Australia
PublisherCharles Sturt University
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780646474793
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventAustralian Stream Management Conference - Albury, New South Wales, Australia, Australia
Duration: 21 May 200725 May 2007


ConferenceAustralian Stream Management Conference

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    Watts, R. (2007). Challenges for improving the science underpinning river restoration practices. In C. A. C. Allan (Ed.), 5th Australian Stream Management Conference. Australian rivers: making a difference (pp. 437-442). Charles Sturt University.