Short Virtual Presentation & Digital Poster 10th Australian Stream Management Conference 2021

Identifying corridors of river recovery in coastal NSW for use in decision support and prioritisation systems. (#11)

Danelle Agnew 1 , Kirstie Fryirs 1
  1. Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia
  1. This project addresses the challenges of river management associated with climate change and landuse pressures, and provides scientific evidence to feed decision-support systems to prioritise future river management. The Open Source NSW River Styles database contains comprehensive information on geomorphic river characteristics, condition and recovery potential, enabling analysis to identify corridors of river recovery. Cost: benefit analysis (CBA) can prioritise these corridors of recovery for future river management, an approach not yet attempted in Australia. CBA, utilising both quantitative and qualitative factors, will assist decision makers to shape their investment strategy for river management and set realistic targets for river health improvements.
  1. Analysis of the database will systematically identify within NSW coastal valleys where corridors of river recovery exist, and potential for new corridor establishment, based on recovery potential, geomorphic characteristics and relative catchment position. Selected corridors will then be prioritised for rehabilitation based on CBA using a decision-making tool in collaboration with industry partners - Landcare Australia and Hunter Local Land Services.
  1. Corridor analysis can identify where hotspots of geomorphic river recovery occur, and where opportunities exist to establish and connect new corridors at the landscape scale.
  1. Systematic analysis of river condition and recovery potential should provide the scientific evidence to inform cost: benefit decision-making. If successful, this process can be undertaken at scale, providing practitioners with tools for sustainable, resilient river management. Working with recovery, by identifying and prioritising the most suitable reaches for rehabilitation, will help future-proof river systems against climate extremes and landuse pressures.
Download Full Paper