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Water - more precious than gold.
Waste water can have many meanings and Australians have been wasting it for a long time. Finally in this driest inhabited continent, Australians are beginning to appreciate the value of this life-giving resource.
While water issues are hotly debated by politicians, increasingly it is initiatives and innovations of ordinary community members and businesses that are leading the way to more sustainable use of water. Although the environment and agriculture often seem poles apart when it comes to managing water resources, there can be no argument that if the rivers die it will also be the death of agriculture.

Photo by Tally Palmer

 

  Rivers, rainfall and run off
Like death and taxes, two other certainties that go together are floods and flood plains. In Australia, most human settlement is close to rivers or lakes and major cities including Brisbane are certain to experience repeated flooding. It is management of such floods that is the basis of a ten year long national Australian Rainfall and Run-off research project that Associate Professor James Ball discusses today. Floods may well be rare events but they disrupt the community and the economic activity within it. They are, therefore, quite significant events and their consequences need to be better managed. The whole project, which is near completion, is managed by Engineers Australia and is geared to produce a document that provides guidance on design flood estimation across Australia. These design flood estimates cross borders and do not change when moving from one political jurisdiction to another, something that does not happen now.

  Bonding with water (series)
A series that looks at the peculiarities of this exceptional molecule that we take for granted even though it makes up about most of our bodies and covers most of our planet.

  Poor polluted Cooks River
Gayle Adams, Water Quality Coordinator from the Cooks River Valley Association dives into the murky waters of the Cooks River, explaining why a recent non-swimming carnival was held.

  A sensitive approach
Rebecca Wood, from the School of the Environment at the University of Technology Sydney, explains new ecotoxicology research on herbicides and its effects on rivers flowing into the Great Barrier Reef.

  Pesticide residues in rivers
What is a 'safe' level of pesticides in freshwater ecosystems? Dr Ben Kefford, from the School of the Environment at the University of Technology Sydney reports some unexpected findings from research examining pesticide levels in a range of European, Scandinavian and Australian streams and freshwater rivers, aimed at identifying safe levels for healthy invertebrate ecosystems

  The Great Artesian Basin and other sedimentary sagas
The Great Artesian Basin is vast - both in extent and time (over 100 million years) and its geology and groundwater is incredibly diverse. The rocks, water and sediments of the GAB originated in many different eons and geological contexts.

  The Murray Darling Basin
All Australians are beginning to realise the enormity of the problems for the Murray Darling basin. It is really uncharted territory in that there is not a lot of data about such degradation, given that there is no history for the environmental impacts we are witnessing. What is clear, however, is that major wetland systems have been severely affected by drought, with associated impacts all along the river system.

  More dam water problems in NSW
Case studies in poor water management AND determined community action

  Adelaide: Water of a City
Chris Daniels introduces the latest publication from the Barbara Hardy Centre for Sustainable Urban Environments.

  Water infrastructure investments

  Advances in desalination technology
More efficient technologies reduce the energy costs of desalination

  Protecting our river systems
Richard Kingsford presents a Heritage River System Plan to help our rivers, wetlands and national parks back to health. The model is effective and in operation in Canada

  Wild Idea – Queensland’s Rivers Protection
Richard Kingsford, Director of the Australian Wetlands and Rivers Centre at the University of New South Wales, investigates Queensland’s Wild Rivers legislation.

  Lake Eyre and the renewal of floods
The waters of four massive floods stimulate the production of an abundance of wildlife as they roll towards Lake Eyre.

  Different kinds of rivers
Eren Turak, Senior Environmental Scientist with the Department of the Environment and Climate Change, talks about a new method of looking at river characteristics and health that will alter how we view river ecosystems.

  Water allocations and river regulation

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