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The Sustainable Rivers Audit (SRA): River Health Check. Report 1, May 2008. Prepared by the Independent Sustainable Rivers Audit Group for the Murray– Darling Basin Ministerial Council.

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Davies, PE and Hillman, T and Harris, J and Walker, K (2008) The Sustainable Rivers Audit (SRA): River Health Check. Report 1, May 2008. Prepared by the Independent Sustainable Rivers Audit Group for the Murray– Darling Basin Ministerial Council. Technical Report. Murray–Darling Basin Commission, ACT.

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PDF (SRA FactSheet)
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PDF (Summary Report)
summary_june08.pdf | Download (17MB)
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PDF (Full Report)
SRA_Report_1_June2008_small.pdf | Download (13MB)
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Abstract

The Sustainable Rivers Audit (SRA) is an initiative of the Murray–Darling Basin Commission, supported by the governments of the five Basin states and territory and the Australian Government. Its first report, released in June 2008, presents “report cards” on river ecosystem health for each of the 23 valleys in the Basin. The reports are based on observations of fish, macroinvertebrates and hydrology from 2004 to 2007. The audit is overseen and the report written by an independent group of river ecologists, the Independent Sustainable Rivers Audit Group (ISRAG). The group comprises Dr Peter Davies (Chairman), Dr John Harris, Dr Terry Hillman, Associate Professor Keith Walker. It presents the main findings from SRA Report 1: A Report on the Ecological Health of Rivers in the Murray–Darling Basin, 2004–2007. It also outlines the nature of the Audit and the ways that environmental data is used to assess ecosystem health. How the audit works: The audit gathers quantitative information on environmental indicators in valleys throughout the Basin. The indicators provide ‘windows’ on particular components of the river eco­systems, and are grouped in the following themes: fish; macroinvertebrates; and hydrology. Two more themes, vegetation and physical form, will be added to the next report, due in 2011. Future reports will also describe trends, showing how river ecosystem health changes from one Audit to the next, and over longer periods of time. The data is gathered systematically using agreed protocols, with quality assurance. Within each Valley there are one to four zones, defined in most cases by altitude. Sampling sites are located randomly within zones, to enable unbiased statistical analyses and representative reporting. The indicators are combined to form quantitative measures of ‘condition’ for each theme, and theme condition ratings are combined to assess ecosystem health. Condition assessments for each valley are related to a benchmark called ‘reference condition’. This estimates the status of a component (for example, the fish community) as it would be if there had not been any significant human intervention in the landscape. Reference condition is a benchmark representing the river ecosystem in good health, but is not a target for management. Condition is rated on a five-point scale from good to moderate, poor, very poor to extremely poor, depending on how different the theme components are from their respective benchmarks. The same scale is applied to ecosystem health.

Item Type: Report (Technical Report)
Journal or Publication Title: New Phytologist
Publisher: Murray–Darling Basin Commission, ACT
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2008 05:25
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:39
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/6293
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