Goulburn River research continues to flow

Monday 8 July, 2024
Scientific monitoring and research on how the Goulburn River responds to water for the environment will continue following expansion and extension of the Flow-MER program

Flow-MER is the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder’s on-ground monitoring, evaluation and research program, working with scientists, water managers, communities and First Nations across the Murray-Darling Basin to help understand how fish, birds, vegetation and river connectivity respond to water for the environment.

The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, as the local partner in the program, will work with river scientists and researchers to design and implement the program.

Goulburn Broken CMA Environmental Water Manager, Simon Casanelia, said water used to keep rivers and wetlands healthy was known as water for the environment.

“Water set aside by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder for this purpose is released locally from Lake Eildon at relevant times of the year,” Mr Casanelia said.

“This water is used to keep native plants healthy and support feeding and breeding of native animals such as platypus, fish and birds.

“Releases of water for the environment are designed to mimic natural flows that would have occurred before the river was dammed and regulated. By providing this water we do our bit to help replicate natural flows.”

The new phase of the Flow-MER program, which the Goulburn Broken CMA is involved in, is expanded to include responsive monitoring and research in the Broken Creek and the Broken, Loddon and Campaspe rivers, as well as continued monitoring in the Goulburn River, in an area dubbed the Goulburn River and Northern Victorian Tributaries (GRANT). There are a total of 10 areas included in the expanded Flow-MER program across the Murray-Darling Basin.

Local activities to be undertaken as part of the program will include monitoring fish abundance and diversity and the condition of riverbanks and riverbank vegetation.

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, Dr Simon Banks, said partnerships were critical to achieving the best environmental outcomes with Commonwealth environmental water.

“I’m honoured to partner with such reputable, passionate and knowledgeable people who will continue to capture and translate what’s happening to the environment with the water we deliver and how best to keep using it,” Dr Banks said.

Research and monitoring of environmental water under the Flow-MER program has been conducted on the Goulburn River since 2014. This expanded phase of the program runs from mid 2024-2029 and will include a strong focus on active First Nations’ participation.

Other partners in the GRANT Area Flow-MER project are North Central CMA, Melbourne, Monash and RMIT universities, the Arthur Rylah Institute, Streamology and Jacobs.

More details: Selected Area: Lower Goulburn River | Flow-MER Program and CEWH science programs - DCCEEW

Scientific monitoring and research will continue on the Goulburn River.

The Goulburn Broken CMA acknowledges and respects First Nations people and the deep connection they have with their land and waters.

We acknowledge the Yorta Yorta and Taungurung people and their ancestors/forbears as Traditional Owners of the land and waters in the Goulburn Broken Catchment (and beyond). We value our ongoing partnerships with Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation and Taungurung Land and Waters Council for the health of Country and its people.

We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge and recognise the primacy of Traditional Owners obligations, rights and responsibilities to use and care for their traditional lands and waters.

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