New website reveals science behind environmental flows

By Country News

A new website aimed at giving Murray-Darling Basin communities an insight into the science behind environmental flows has been launched by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder.

The Flow-Monitoring Evaluation Research, or Flow-MER, website brings together the work of independent scientists from across Australia to collect evidence on the outcomes of environmental flows to the basin’s rivers, wetlands and floodplains.

Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder Jody Swirepik said the website was a step towards improving transparency of the water holder's decision making.

“It offers people a way to engage with the scientists and see for themselves the thinking behind when and where we deliver water for the environment,” she said.

The website brings together data from across the basin including the Goulburn River, Edward-Wakool river systems and Lower Murray.

CSIRO principal research scientist Carmel Pollino said the website builds on past research.

“Flow-MER builds on 10 years of robust scientific monitoring and research that underpins our understanding of how plants and animals respond to water for the environment,” Dr Pollino said.

“By keeping decision makers abreast of the latest scientific findings, we can ensure that water for the environment is used in the best way possible to support fish, waterbirds, river habitat and wetlands.”

More than 120 scientists are working on Flow-MER at sites across the Murray-Darling Basin, often with the involvement of traditional owners, local water managers and landholders.

For information, visit: www.flow-mer.org.au