The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office (CEWO) manages a portfolio of environmental water distributed across approximately 20,000 km of streams and rivers, as well as floodplains and wetlands, and benefiting over 200 native species. The CEWO currently monitor and track the environmental outcomes of this water across seven Selected Areas to inform and report on the outcomes and benefits of environmental water delivery. A monitoring program such Flow-MER provides many benefits, but alone it has limitations in understanding outcomes in unmonitored locations, or at basin scales. It is also hard to quantify the relative contribution provided by environmental water in achieving the observed outcomes.
Modelling complements and builds upon monitoring by providing a means to understand outcomes in locations beyond the monitored areas, as well as the relative benefit provided by environmental water compared to what would have occurred without Commonwealth environmental water (i.e. the ‘counterfactual’). This webinar shares an overview of 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 discuss the tools and frameworks being developed to support extrapolation to unmonitored areas and the understanding of watering outcomes at basin-scales. Bruce provides a CEWO perspective on how this modelling work will assist in their on-ground environmental water delivery.
Dr Ashley Macqueen
Ashley is an aquatic ecologist and a postdoctoral research fellow at Deakin University. His work focusses on drawing together diverse datasets and models in novel ways to create tools that are underpinned by core ecological principles and inform the management of aquatic systems in Australia and abroad.
Feature image: Ashley and Galen doing some ‘modelling’. Photo: Rebecca Lester