Water Science

The Water Science Program seeks to develop the knowledge to inform development of management and policy for freshwaters in Australia and internationally. Of particular interest to us is generating the knowledge and fundamental understanding of how ecological communities and ecosystems function to deliver the services and values that society considers important. We work to refine evidence-based approaches for incorporating ‘best available science’ in management and policy development.


Highlighted Projects

Diagnosing river health using invertebrate traits and DNA barcodes

The health of Australian waterways will be closely monitored through a better understanding of the organisms living in them, thanks to an IAE research project led by Assistant Professor in water science, Dr Ben Kefford. The project was awarded funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage program, and also includes IAE researchers Dr Sue


Aquatic insects want the weekend off: Changing dam release strategies to restore river health

Hydropower is often seen as a green energy solution, but dams cause substantial environmental damage that is not part of the ‘green’ labelling. The conundrum of meeting both human and river health needs in a cost effective manner was highlighted in the Perspective piece written by the IAE’s Professor LeRoy Poff, and his colleague, Professor John Schmidt


The ecological effects of reservoir enlargement on threatened fish populations in the Cotter River

The enlargement of Cotter reservoir will impact the sole remaining self-sustaining population of the nationally endangered Macquarie perch in the ACT, along with the locally threatened two-spined blackfish. A range of potential impacts have been idenified, and a variety of management mitigations employed, including the largest deployment of contructed fish habitat for a threatened freshwater


An integrated hydro-ecological and socio-economic model of environmental flow delivery to wetlands

Water is a major limiting resource in the Murray Darling Basin, and providing sufficient water to meet the various needs is a major challenge. To do this in an equitable and transparent manner requires an understanding of the goods and services delivered by water, the values of those services, the water required to ensure delivery