ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

River Murray channel monitoring

River Murray Channel productivity monitoring 2020-2021 (2020-2021)


MDBA. Project led by CSIRO, $48,051


Professor Robyn Watts and Dr Xiaoying (Sha sha)  Liu

Research theme

Environmental Water


Following on from monitoring done for the CSIRO-led Monitoring productivity outcomes of the 2019 River Murray Channel multi-site water for the environment event project in 2019-2020,  ILWS researchers were again engaged to carry out productivity monitoring for a section of the Murray River for another CSIRO-led project funded by the Murray Darling Basin Authority measuring ecological responses to a pulse of water that occurred in spring 2020.

The project, for which Institute Adjunct Dr Gavin Rees from CSIRO's Aquatic team is the overall leader, is in collaboration with ILWS, the University of Adelaide and SARDI (South Australian Research and Development Institute) and is looking at the effect of one spring flow over the length of the Murray, from just upstream of the Barmah-Millewa forest to the lower end of the Murray in South Australia. (The spring flow is an environmental water event additional to natural flows that is sometimes bolstered with additional flows from other parts of the river.)

Field work for the project began in October 2020 and finished in January 2021. During that time data loggers at the monitoring sites measured oxygen levels in the water and light every 10 minutes. The data collected from the loggers has been packaged and is being analysed to determine the amount of primary production that has occurred.

ILWS researchers  undertook the field work for the Victorian section of the river, from Tocumwal to Boundary Bend, while University of Adelaide and SARDI did the monitoring for the lower end of the river, the South Australian sites.



The knowledge gained from this research will help water managers make more informed choices to better manage water for multiple purposes.


Robyn Watts email

Albury-Wodonga Campus

February 2021