ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Research on River Murray Southern Spring Flow 2019

ILWS researchers are involved in two projects examining the effects of environmental water delivered to the River Murray system in spring 2019.

The environmental water was delivered along the River Murray, from Yarrawonga to the Coorong, in an effort to provide food and shelter for a range of animals, support native fish spawning and water for wetland plants in light of the continuing dry conditions across the Murray-Darling Basin. Southern Spring Flow 2019

The River Murray flows which coincided with environmental flows from the Goulburn River were a joint action by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, Victorian Environmental Water Holder, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and South Australian Government with the MDBA as manager of The Living Murray.

The flows were managed through some of the creeks in the Barmah Millewa Forest before flowing further downstream in the River Murray, and to the Lower Lakes and Coorong. Research and monitoring is being done along 2000 km of the Murray River. ILWS researchers are involved in two projects from which they will make recommendations about future water management in the Murray River system.

The projects are:

Monitoring productivity outcomes of the 2019 River Murray Channel multi-site water for the environment event (2019-2020)

Funding

MDBA through CSIRO, ILWS-sub contract, $39,196

Researchers/investigators

Professor Robyn Watts & Dr Xiaoying (Sha sha) Liu

Research theme

Environmental Water

Description

This project, led by CSIRO Land and Water’s Managing Water Ecosystems group, is in partnership with Charles Sturt University- ILWS, South Australian Research & Development Institute, and the University of Adelaide. The project is studying study how the spring flow of environmental water to the River Murray system in 2019 influences carbon and nutrient loads and productivity along the Murray River system from Torrumbarry weir to Murray Bridge in South Australia.

The research team began collecting weekly water samples from 21 sites in September and will continue until the end of December 2019. As part of the project the team will also be testing new technology of HydraSpectra cameras for continuous monitoring of dissolved organic matter and chlorophyll-a by spectral reflectance, and the reflectance-based estimates will be calibrated with field results.

Outputs

Contribution of Koondrook-Perricoota floodplain runoff to the productivity of the Wakool River(2019-2020)

Funding

Forestry Corporation NSW, $39,610

Researchers/investigators

Professor Robyn Watts & Dr Xiaoying (Sha sha) Liu

Research theme

Environmental Water

Description

This project will examine the outcomes of environmental water from the southern spring flow in the Murray River delivered through the Koondrook-Perricoota Forest and into the Wakool River via Thule Creek. It is predicted that the flows will increase nutrient and carbon concentrations and make a contribution to instream productivity in the mid-Wakool River. The researchers will also determine how far downstream in the Wakool River any increase in primary productivity is detectable. More information on the flows to the Koondrook-Perricoota Forest

Outputs

Outcomes

The knowledge gained from both projects will help inform future water management in the Murray River system.

Contact:

Professor Robyn Watts Email

Albury-Wodonga Campus

October 2019