River check seeks damage from dry times
University of Canberra will embark on a $2.8 million research project to monitor the effects of water delivery in the Murray Darling Basin.
In an interview this week, researcher Fiona Dyer said one team would look at freshwater effects in the lower Lachlan River system, which dried-up earlier this year after continuous heatwaves.
“The channel and wetland network in this area includes numerous nationally and regionally significant wetlands,” Dr Dyer told the ABC.
“What we are hoping to develop is an understanding of the relationship between the amount of what that we have, that we put into the rivers and the environmental response.
“How does the vegetation respond to a particular amount of water that is put into the rivers?"
She says findings from the study will help irrigators, farmers, businesses, governments and other water users.
“What we learn from this project will help us to deliver water for the environment more effectively, with better outcomes for all water users,” she said.
“In terms of investing... that the Government understands how their investment in buying water and releasing it for environmental outcomes.
“Receiving funding of such longevity is rare, but it will provide a very real opportunity to build a far deeper understanding of ecological responses to environmental water.”
The project is part of a larger $30 million Murray monitoring scheme unveiled last week.