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Australia China Environment Development Partnership: River Health and Environmental Flow in China Project

The River Health and Environmental Flow in China Project (the Project) is a two-year, AUD$3.3 million project and the largest of the projects under the ACEDP. The project will be managed by the Brisbane-based International WaterCentre.
Australia China Environment Development Partnership:  River Health and Environmental Flow in China Project

Photo courtesy of Fiona Chandler, IWC

ACEDP logoAustralia China Environment Development Partnership

River Health and Environmental Flow in China Project

The River Health and Environmental Flow in China Project (the Project) is a two-year, AUD$3.3 million project and the largest of the projects under the ACEDP. The project will be managed by the Brisbane-based International WaterCentre.    

 

Australia China Environment Development Partnership

The ACEDP is a five-year Australian Government AusAID and People’s Republic of China initiative which aims to provide practical assistance that complements some of China’s immediate water management challenges with Australia’s world recognised knowledge and expertise.
More information is available at www.acedp-partnership.org/


The River Health and Environmental Flow in China Project

The River Health and Environmental Flow Project aims to develop frameworks and methodologies for measuring river health and calculating environmental flow requirements.
The Chinese partner organisations include: 


Ministry of Water Resources, PR China, including:

  • Yellow River Conservancy Commission,
  •  Pearl River Water Resources Commission
  •  General Institute for Water Resources and Hydropower Planning

Ministry of Environmental Protection, China, including the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Science.


River health assessments provide valuable scientific understanding of the problems and threats to sustainable river function and importantly can support the design of targeted management actions.  River health is commonly measured by monitoring and assessing specifically identified indicators that are linked to the river’s values and assets such as fish and bird habitat.


Environmental Flows are also essential for building and maintaining a healthy river.  Environmental Flows are the amount of water that is kept in a river to maintain or reach a particular environmental condition.  An environmental flow regime needs to support all of the different flows – wet season, dry season, flood and drought – to ensure the river and the systems dependent on them continue to function in the best possible condition.  Environmental flow assessments involve both a social and a scientific process.  There is no one correct environmental flow regime for rivers.  The most appropriate flow regime for Chinese rivers will depend on the individual values and assets that people want to maintain in each river.

The IWC is drawing on multi-disciplinary water experts from its four world-class member universities – The University of Queensland, Monash University, The University of Western Australia and Griffith University – and partners the South East Queensland (SEQ) Healthy Waterways Partnership, the Queensland Government, and various independent experts to undertake the Project and to build long term partnerships and ongoing sustainable water policy dialogue between China and Australia.


This project will use a range of tools and frameworks used in Australia and internationally for assessing and reporting river health, and determining environmental flow requirements. This will include the Environmental Health Monitoring and Report Card Program developed by the Australian award winning SEQ Healthy Waterways Partnership, a founding IWC partner, along with work recently completed in China with technical expertise from the Queensland Government on water entitlements and trading.

Key activities:

Over the project’s two-year time frame, key project activities will:
  • trialing international approaches to river health monitoring and environmental flow determination in the Pearl, Yellow and Liao Rivers to determine wider application in China;
  • developing a draft national framework for Environmental Flows and Ecological Restoration which includes policy mechanisms; 
  • building the capacity of a group of technicians in China who could independently conduct and further develop river health and environmental flow assessments and train further technicians.


The IWC undertakes education, training, research and consulting activities to promote whole-of-water cycle approaches to water management. IWC is a joint venture of The University of Queensland, Monash University, Griffith University and The University of Western Australia.

To find out more please visit:
The International WaterCentre: www.watercentre.org
ACEDP: www.acedp-partnership.org


 

 

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