Australia’s approach to developing anational river health monitoringframeworkRobert SpeedBeijing, 22 February 2012
Background• Federal system – state governments with primary  responsibility for water management• Existing state- and basi...
Victoria – Index of Stream Condition
Murray Darling Basin – Sustainable Rivers Audit                          Border Rivers                     Fish        Mac...
• Expanding role of federal government in water      • Major investments (>AUD$10 billion) to improve river        health ...
FARWH - National Framework forAssessment of River and Wetland Health• Designed to provide the information necessary to:   ...
General approach to pilot studies• Use existing data/monitoring programs to greatest  possible extent• Assessment at river...
Indicators• Total of 6 themes: hydrology, physical form, catchment  disturbance, fringing zone, aquatic biota, water quali...
Reference conditionSet through a combination of:   – Minimally disturbed sites   – Historical data   – Modelled data   – P...
Standardising scores Scores standardized such that it doesn’t matter which themes or which sub-indicators are used. E.g. 0...
Figure 1: The initial FARWH assessment approach A s s e s s m e n ts                                           D a t a a n...
Pilot sites
nts (coloured dashed borders) for each index under each of the four FAR
Integration of sub-index and theme scores
Scores from Queensland FARWH trial                                   Burdekin          Moreton                       Coope...
5. Overall results for the 2008–09 assessment of th
Findings of the trialReporting of condition scores2.The trials successfully applied the six key indices andsupported their...
Findings of trial (cont)Reference conditionThe trials supported the use of reference condition as away to identify and rep...
Figure 4: The proposed two-tiered FARWH assessment approach    Phase 1 – Desktop assessment
Phase 2 – Detailed condition assessment
Phase 3 – Output and validation
What next?Five options presented to government:•Continue with jurisdictional reporting (current practice)•National reporti...
Further informationwww.nwc.gov.auwww.water.gov.au                                                          Alignment of st...
Thank you!
1.2 developing a national river health program in australia en
1.2 developing a national river health program in australia en
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  • Up to $4 million/assessment
  • 1.2 developing a national river health program in australia en

    1. 1. Australia’s approach to developing anational river health monitoringframeworkRobert SpeedBeijing, 22 February 2012
    2. 2. Background• Federal system – state governments with primary responsibility for water management• Existing state- and basin-level river health monitoring
    3. 3. Victoria – Index of Stream Condition
    4. 4. Murray Darling Basin – Sustainable Rivers Audit Border Rivers Fish Macroinvertebrates
    5. 5. • Expanding role of federal government in water • Major investments (>AUD$10 billion) to improve river health • 2005 Report from National Water Commission identified need for national-level reporting.Presentation Heading
    6. 6. FARWH - National Framework forAssessment of River and Wetland Health• Designed to provide the information necessary to: – establish ‘environmental and other public benefit outcomes’ – ‘address currently over allocated and/or overused systems’ – support ‘integrated management of environmental water’ (water policy priorities under the 2004 National Water Initiative)• Series of trials between 2005 – 2011• Final report in September 2011
    7. 7. General approach to pilot studies• Use existing data/monitoring programs to greatest possible extent• Assessment at river reach/wetland scale , with at least 5% of river reaches or wetlands to be represented• Develop methods for weighting of sites – e.g. based on reach length represented by the site – to allow for reporting at a regional level
    8. 8. Indicators• Total of 6 themes: hydrology, physical form, catchment disturbance, fringing zone, aquatic biota, water quality• A minimum of 3 of the 6 to be assessed before a regional score is given• Flexibility in which (sub)indicators
    9. 9. Reference conditionSet through a combination of: – Minimally disturbed sites – Historical data – Modelled data – Professional opinionGuiding principle that reference should be as close aspossible to natural (pre-European)
    10. 10. Standardising scores Scores standardized such that it doesn’t matter which themes or which sub-indicators are used. E.g. 0.8 for salinity = 0.8 for nutrients | (site value – reference value) |Score = 1.0 - | (worst case value – reference value) |
    11. 11. Figure 1: The initial FARWH assessment approach A s s e s s m e n ts D a t a a n a ly s is F A R W H c o n d it io n a n d d a ta A p p lic a tio n s ( fo r e a c h s u b - in d e x a n d in d e x ) ( f o r e a c h in d e x ) c o lle c tio n S u b - in d e x A C a tc h m e n t C a tc h m e n t S u b - in d e x B D is tu r b a n c e s c o r e D is tu r b a n c e S u b - in d e x C 0 – 1 S u b - in d e x A H y d r o lo g ic a l H y d r o lo g ic a l S u b - in d e x B D is tu r b a n c e s c o r e D is tu r b a n c e S u b - in d e x C 0 – 1 S u b - in d e x A F r in g in g F r in g in g Z o n e s c o r e P r io r it is a t io n o f S u b - in d e x B Zone 0 – 1 a c tio n s P r e - e x is tin g S u b - in d e x C ju r is d ic t io n a l p ro g ra m s S u b - in d e x A W a te r Q u a lity a n d W a te r Q u a lity J u r is d ic t io n a l S u b - in d e x B S o ils s c o r e a n d S o ils r e p o r t in g S u b - in d e x C 0 – 1 S u b - in d e x A P h y s ic a l P h y s ic a l F o r m s c o r e S u b - in d e x B F o rm 0 – 1 S u b - in d e x C S u b - in d e x A S u b - in d e x B A q u a tic B io t a s c o r e A q u a t ic B io t a 0 - 1 S u b - in d e x C C o m p le t e d fo r a s m a n y in d ic e s a s p o s s ib le C u s to m is e a n d a d o p t lo c a lly r e le v a n t s u b - in d ic e s W ill n o t a lw a y s b e t h r e e s u b - in d ic e s f o r e a c h in d e x
    12. 12. Pilot sites
    13. 13. nts (coloured dashed borders) for each index under each of the four FAR
    14. 14. Integration of sub-index and theme scores
    15. 15. Scores from Queensland FARWH trial Burdekin Moreton Cooper Creek Pioneer SWMA Tully SWMA SWMA SWMA SWMAFringing Zone 0.61 0.56 0.41 0.86 0.90Catchment 0.62 0.56 0.66 0.82 0.47DisturbanceAquatic Biota 0.82 0.89 0.72 0.83 0.67Water Quality 0.84 0.86 0.75 0.85 0.86and SoilsHydrological 0.33 0.48 0.58 N/A N/ADisturbancePhysical Form 0.96 0.86 0.97 0.90 0.70Overall score 0.63 0.66 0.64 0.85 0.68Table 21. Current era (2008–09) assessment for Qld FARWH trial SWMA
    16. 16. 5. Overall results for the 2008–09 assessment of th
    17. 17. Findings of the trialReporting of condition scores2.The trials successfully applied the six key indices andsupported their use in future.3.The trials found that the 0 to 1 condition rating wasachievable and (mostly) meaningful.4.The trials identified the need to include an additionalmeasure of wetland extent.
    18. 18. Findings of trial (cont)Reference conditionThe trials supported the use of reference condition as away to identify and report on condition.However, all trials found that further work was required toimprove the understanding of reference condition.Two-tiered approachA two-tiered approach would be useful to identify specificareas for greater field sampling effort, based on an overallbroadscale assessment – used as basis for targetingareas for more costly field-based assessments.
    19. 19. Figure 4: The proposed two-tiered FARWH assessment approach Phase 1 – Desktop assessment
    20. 20. Phase 2 – Detailed condition assessment
    21. 21. Phase 3 – Output and validation
    22. 22. What next?Five options presented to government:•Continue with jurisdictional reporting (current practice)•National reporting every 10 years•National reporting every 5 years (broadscale assessment)•National reporting every 5 years (broadscale + limited fieldassessment)•National reporting every 5 years (broadscale + detailed fieldassessment)
    23. 23. Further informationwww.nwc.gov.auwww.water.gov.au Alignment of state and national river and wetland health assessment needs Framework for the assessment of river and wetland health: findings from September 2011 the trials and options for uptake Alluvium Consulting Waterlines Report Series No 58, September 2011 1 NATIONAL WATER COMMISSION — WATERLINES i
    24. 24. Thank you!

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