River Symposium 2011

River Symposium 2011

7.10.2011 - Posted by Matt Francey
A few of us attended River Symposium in Brisbane last week. As in past years the presentations were a bit of a mix of science, strategic approaches and case studies. One thing that is always interesting is the international flavour. This year there were excellent presentations about the Dutch program 'Room for the River' which involves large scale buybacks, engineering works and other mechanisms of managing flood risk. Another presentation by Dr. Guangchun Lei about the Yangtze River in China was staggering in its scope. The huge human impacts, geographic scale and costs of infrastructure all put into perspective some of the issues we face here in Australia. They even had data sets stretching back to the 1300s to provide context.

On an Australian note the NWC ran a session on the 'Framework for Assessment of River and Wetland Health'. The session presented results of various trials from across the country, and launched the synthesis and further recommendations for the framework. Despite wide acceptance and enthusiasm at a practitioner level there is still no definite (funded) future for a comprehensive national approach to monitoring wetland and river health. Hopefully the success of the program to date provides enough momentum for implementation in the near future.