Commonwealth Environmental Water Office Long Term Intervention Monitoring Project: Edward-Wakool Selected Area Technical Report, 2014-15

Robyn Watts, Nicole McCasker, Jason Thiem, Julia Howitt, Mike Grace, Keller Kopf, Sascha Healy, Nicholas R. Bond

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report (public)

Abstract

This report is the product of the first year of monitoring and evaluation in the Edward-Wakool River system under the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office’s Long Term Intervention Monitoring (LTIM) Project. The reports evaluate the contribution of Commonwealth environmental water to environmental outcomes in 2014-15, complementing previous short term monitoring and evaluation work undertaken in previous years.

The Edward-Wakool Selected Area LTIM Project identified a number of key environmental outcomes achieved through the use of environmental water in 2014-15, including:

Increased variation in flows,
Maintained dissolved oxygen levels and ecosystem respiration
Increased in-channel longitudinal connectivity,
Increased lateral connectivity areas of the Wakool River downstream of the confluence with Yallakool Creek,
Increased cover and diversity of in-stream aquatic vegetation, particularly in areas of the Wakool River downstream of the confluence with Yallakool Creek,
Increased the diversity of native fish with one new species, Galaxias oliros (obscure galaxias) recorded in Yallakool Creek.

The Technical Report, which provides a comprehensive assessment of ecological outcomes to environmental flows in the Edward-Wakool Selected Area in 2014-15, including details on data analysis techniques and statistical outputs, is expected to be published by late February 2016.

These reports are the first of five to be produced for the Edward-Wakool Selected Area under the LTIM Project, with monitoring and evaluation being undertaken from 2014-15 to 2018-19. The data and evaluation report from this project are being combined with those from six other LTIM Project Selected Areas within the Basin, as part of a Basin-scale evaluation of the contribution of Commonwealth environmental water to the environmental objectives of the Basin Plan being led by the Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre.

In addition to assisting the Office to demonstrate environmental outcomes, the LTIM Project is designed to allow adaptive management of the water holdings. As such, identified outcomes and limitations are used to inform environmental watering in future years leveraging the best available, contemporary scientific knowledge.

Redressing environmental decline that has occurred over decades is going to take us some time – it will be at least ten years before we can show lasting change and improvements to the health of the rivers, floodplains and wetlands, consistent with the long-term targets of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s Basin-wide environmental watering strategy.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCommonwealth Environmental Water Office
Commissioning bodyCommonwealth Environmental Water Office
Number of pages184
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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