Flow-MER Fridays: Series 2

This webinar series is an opportunity to hear firsthand the activities taking place in the Flow-MER Program. Each video is presented by one of our team members who provide an insight into the latest findings and progress being made in their area of expertise.

Webinar 1: Using environmental water to manage for resilience – the why, the how and the what and habitat use

Presenters: Prof Ross Thompson (University of Canberra), Dr Emily Barbour (CSIRO) and Nerida Sloane (CEWH)

Resilience is the ability of a system to ‘bounce back’ after it has been affected by disturbance. Murray Darling Basin rivers are constantly subject to disturbance from blackwater events, algal blooms, fire, drought, land-use change and water abstraction. One of the objectives of the Murray Darling Basin Plan is to manage for “Ecosystems resilient to climate change and other risks”.

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Webinar 2: What can reptiles and frogs tell us about environmental flow delivery

Presenters: Assoc Prof Skye Wassens (CSU), Dr Damian Michael (CSU) & Erin Lenon (CEWH)

The Murray-Darling Basin supports over 300 frogs and reptiles, many of which are restricted to floodplain environments. Monitoring the ecological responses of frogs to environmental flows is a key objective of the Flow-MER Program’s Murrumbidgee Selected Area. The benefits of flow delivery and environmental water are likely to aid many other wetland dependant vertebrates – including frog-eating snakes – so what can they tell us about water management?

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Webinar 3: Characterising environmental flows using hydrology

Presenters: Dr. Kris Taniguchi-Quan and Dr. Eric Stein, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project

The talk provides an overview of the functional flows approach for the establishment of environmental flow requirements aimed at protecting multiple ecological endpoints, and evaluating catchment conditions. It further discusses the integration of this approach in the Basin-wide modelling being undertaken in the Flow-MER project.

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Goulburn River Drone

Webinar 4: Assessing soil and plants from the sky: A new era in waterway monitoring using drones

Presenters: Dr Geoff Vietz (Streamology), Neil Sutton (Streamology), Daniel Lovell (GBCMA) & David Straccione (CEWH)

Monitoring of waterway ecology and geomorphology have for a long time involved arduous days in the field with lots of time on hands and knees. While at the moment some of you may be missing the inevitable dirt under the fingernails, the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or ‘drones’ are changing our approaches and options. Beyond their more common use for pretty aerial pictures, drones have dramatically increased our ability to spatially assess waterway condition as it relates to specific characteristics of river flows. Geoff and Neil will provide an overview of techniques, analysis and opportunities, including relationships to hydraulics, with particular reference to current Flow-MER monitoring in the Goulburn River, Victoria, and Edward-Wakool, NSW.  Daniel and David will reflect on how important this work is proving to be for on-ground environmental water management decisions.

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Galen and Ashley modelling

Webinar 5: Why modelling matters

Presenters: Dr Danial Stratford (CSIRO), Dr Ashley MacQueen (Deakin University) and Bruce Campbell (CEWH)

This seminar will overview the modelling work being undertaken by the CSIRO and Deakin University team to develop methods to understand how improvements in hydrology translate into improvements in ecology. Danial and Ashley will discuss the tools and frameworks being developed to support extrapolation to unmonitored areas and the understanding of watering outcomes at basin-scales. Bruce will provide a CEWH perspective on how this modelling work will assist in their on-ground environmental water delivery.

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