Science

Environmental water needs for the Mitchell River

Image supplied by Griffith University

How might future development impact the important ecosystem linkages between rivers, floodplains and estuaries in north Queensland’s Mitchell River catchment?

The answers to that question will be crucial to inform water allocation decisions that facilitate environmentally sustainable development in the region.

Flowing into the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Mitchell River catchment supports many assets that are of great importance to local communities and have national significance, including commercial and recreational fisheries, threatened species and wetlands.

With considerable interest in agricultural expansion and water resource development in the catchment, there’s concern these assets may be impacted.

To help protect them, we need a greater understanding of the critical water linkages, as well as the environmental flow requirements within the catchment.

A Northern Hub project, led by Professor Stuart Bunn, Director of Griffith University’s Australian Rivers Institute, will generate information to help inform the sustainable management of freshwater ecosystems in the catchment.

“In particular, our project aims to aims to predict the impacts of future development on important ecosystem linkages between the river and its floodplain wetlands, and to better understand other potential risks associated with changes to flow regimes,” Professor Bunn said.

“This information will increase confidence in water planning for river catchments in the Gulf.”

Source: Griffith University

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