Sra best practice model aecdp feb 2011 fin


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Sra best practice model aecdp feb 2011 fin

  1. 1. Monitoring and evaluating Murray-Darling river healthconditions across many state jurisdictions: TheSustainable Rivers Audit (SRA) best practice model Michael Wilson, Mathew Maliel and Frederick Bouckaert,
  2. 2. What is Sustainable Rivers Audit (SRA)?•  Long term, repeatable, transparent•  Reports on themes SRA1: fish, macros, hydrology SRA2: + physical form, vegetation•  Surveillance monitoring and assessment of health of MDB’s riverine ecosystems•  Doesn’t track specific interventions or projects•  Doesn’t identify cause of degradation
  3. 3. The SRA partnership1. Sampling 2. Data 3. Analysis 4. Reporting Vic Expert advice Technical SRA Independent Independent (inc external Taskforces program Audit Group Audit Group NSW experts) team (ISRAG) (ecologists) & ACT & in MDBA SA Annual reporting to Independent reports to Inter-jurisdictional Multi -jurisdictional TheCouncil of the MDBA and Working Group Working Group MDB Ministerial Government Qld Council Ministers Australian Australian Government Government Public release of of Public release data and audit reports data and audit reports
  4. 4. SRA Report 1First report on ‘status’•  Ecosystem health assessment for all valleys - fish, macros and hydrology•  Limited to river channels•  Sampling 2004–2007•  Report released June 2008•  Technical report (396pp)•  Summary report (70pp – including valley report cards)
  5. 5. Where does SRA work? •  Whole of the MDB –  23 valleys –  1 to 4 zones per valley •  Random sampling sites –  25% fixed, 75% new •  Reporting for Valley and Zone but NOT sites •  SRA1 - riverine zone •  SRA2 - will include floodplains
  6. 6. Data, integration and audiences
  7. 7. Data, integration and audiences
  8. 8. Data, integration and audiences Expert rules
  9. 9. Rankings and referenceSRA assessescondition relative to = near referenceReference Condition condition(no significant human = moderate differenceintervention) from reference•  benchmark for comparison = large difference from•  accounts for natural reference regional and temporal differences(dry/ = very large differencewet) from reference•  not a management target = extreme difference from reference
  10. 10. Ecosystem health •  Themes are combined using expert rules to give rating for ecosystem health •  Qualitative but repeatable •  Not a simple addition (the indices have different weightings)
  11. 11. What does Report 1 say?
  12. 12. Fish Theme•  487 sites were sampled•  60,600 fish caught (and released) –  38 species; 28 native, 10 alien•  Many native species missing•  Aliens dominate: –  two-thirds biomass is alien species –  in every 10 kg of fish, 6 kg is carp –  carp, gambusia, goldfish in all rivers NSW Fisheries•  Most fish communities in Poor, Very Poor or Extremely Poor Condition•  Northern rivers generally better condition than southern rivers
  13. 13. Fish Theme: valley condition
  14. 14. Fish Theme: valley rankValleys ranked by Fish Condition Index. Red lines indicate medians;vertical bars indicate 95% confidence limits.
  15. 15. Macroinvertebrate Theme•  209,000 animals in 124 families at 773 sites•  23 common, tolerant families in all valleys•  14 families at one site only•  Most communities in Poor condition•  Generally low diversity esp. Avoca, Lower Murray, Warrego Valleys• North-south distinction
  16. 16. Macroinvertebrate Theme Macroinvertebrate Theme
  17. 17. Macro Theme: valley rankValleys ranked by Macroinvertebrate Condition Index. Red linesindicate medians; vertical bars indicate 95% confidence limits.
  18. 18. Macroinvertebrate Theme: catch Number ofRank Scientific name Common name Valleys sites 1 Chironominae Midges 737 23 (all) 2 Corixidae Water boatmen (bugs) 699 23 (all) 3 Leptoceridae Longhorn caddisfly 662 23 (all) 4 Tanypodinae Midges 620 23 (all) 5 Dytiscidae Predaceous diving beetles 574 23 (all) 6 Veliidae Riffle bugs; Broad-shouldered water striders 532 23 (all) 7 Notonectidae Backswimmers (bugs) 530 23 (all) 8 Oligochaeta Freshwater worms 525 23 (all) 9 Acarina Aquatic mites 522 23 (all)10 Baetidae Mayflies 521 23 (all) 11 Orthocladiinae Midges 517 23 (all)12 Ceratopogonidae Midges 490 23 (all)13 Hydrophilidae Water scavenger beetles 483 23 (all)14 Caenidae Mayflies 481 23 (all)15 Atyidae Freshwater shrimp 415 23 (all)
  19. 19. Hydrology Theme• Ecological aspects of flow regime - volumes and temporal patterns•  Designed to show effects of resource development, not drought (30 – 100 year record)•  Problems with data availability –  qualitative assessment - poor spatial representation –  based on modelled data (calibrated using gauges)•  33% Valleys in Good Condition,•  33% Moderate to Good –  rating for whole valley including tributaries – not end-of-valley
  20. 20. Hydrology Theme
  21. 21. Valley Report Cards
  22. 22. Goulburn
  23. 23. SRA Report 2 (to be published June 2011)•  Data analysis of fish and macroinvertebrate data 2004-2010 (six years): 2 cycles of fish data and 3 for macroinvertebrates across all 23 valleys of the basin: condition assessments and preliminary trend analysis•  Additional assessments on vegetation and physical form•  Similar sampling design: random site selection but data collected by LIDAR and RBG imagery rather than field data•  Additional hydrology assessments
  24. 24. Vegetation assessment•  Vegetation assessment at Basin scale (using NVIS mapping data) and at reach scale (using LIDAR)•  Structural, not floristic•  Domains of interest: –  Near riparian (200 m channel buffer) –  Valley floor –  Valley boundary
  25. 25. Vegetation indicators•  Condition: –  Nativeness (NVIS) –  Fragmentation (NVIS) –  Structure (LIDAR) –  Total cover (LIDAR)•  Abundance and diversity: –  Abundance (NVIS) –  Richness (NVIS) –  Evenness (NVIS) –  Stability (NVIS)
  26. 26. Physical form assessment•  Using 19 transects at each ‘site’•  Contouring at 25 cm height intervals•  Automatic extraction of a range of measurements that will be used to derive variables, metrics and indicators•  Reference condition modelled by including human disturbance variables, and re-setting these to zero
  27. 27. Physical form indicators•  Channel form: –  Planform –  Channel slope –  Cross section mean width and depth –  Cross section variability of width and depth•  Bank dynamics: –  Channel bank complexity –  reach variability•  River bed dynamics•  Floodplain dynamics
  28. 28. Hydrology•  Additional assessments: –  Impacts of farm dams (unregulated areas) –  Impacts of land use change (unregulated areas) –  Integration with impacts on regulated areas –  Using Flow Stress Ranking metrics –  ‘time slices’ analysis most recent 15 years in 3 year time slices (trend)
  29. 29. SRA and Basin plan1.  SRA information used to develop Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDL) to achieve Key Environmental Functions (KEF)2.  SRA provides baseline data for comparison against future condition monitoring3.  SRA fulfils some key monitoring requirements under the Water Act 2007
  30. 30. Reports and more information •  MDB Rivers: Ecosystem Health Check 2004-2007 (summary and valley ‘report cards’) •  SRA Report 1 – full technical report, 396pp Available on internet at and in hard copy from MDBA office Contact: Dr Michael Wilson Thank youMurray River near Tintaldra, Vic