IWC Masters students visit 'green' engineering works on Collaborative Planning field trip
The students, from nine countries including Bangladesh, Honduras, Indonesia and America, visited sites that had suffered significant flood damage, and others that are implementing sustainable grazing practices.
IWC Lecturer Dr Dana Kelly led the field trip, while guest lecturer Chris Rinehart from The University of Queensland provided the students with an overview of the history of the area.
Nat Parker from SEQ Catchments, which works with landholders to reduce sediment loss into creeks and waterways as part of the State Government's Healthy Country program, discussed community engagement and working in partnership with the community.
Mr Parker gave the students an overview of the project and the role of SEQ Catchments in working with Government and landholders to protect andenhance the region’s natural resource assets.
"Much of South East Queensland is privately owned, and as a community organisation, working together with the community is central to everything we do," he said.
"It means that we can really understand the issues people are facing on their land and work with them to provide sustainable solutions."
The students met with Laurie Wolder, a fifth generation farmer who suffered significant damage from the 2011 and 2013 floods along Bible Creek, a tributary of the Upper Warrill Creek, where some of his cultivation land was lost to the widened stream.
Mr Wolder discussed the 'green' engineering works that have restored a section of the creek to make his property more resilient to floods and minimise further loss of land.
The students experienced a hay ride on the property of Neville Bell and Kay Zanow, where they inspected fencing installed as part of landholders' introduction of a rotational grazing management practice.
The fencing allows cattle to be moved from paddock to paddock more easily and it lessens the incidence of over-grazing. This management practice allows the natural grasses (particularly the more palatable grasses that the cattle eat first) to reseed, thereby reducing management costs associated with pasture reseeding. It also reduces the incidence of cattle tracks, which are prone to erosion during high rainfall or when pasture grasses are suffering through drought conditions.
This project is being overseen by Nat Parker as part of the State Government funded Healthy Country Upper Warrill project.
The students also visited Council-owned infrastructure at Villis Bridge, an area that was subjected to major flood damage, where a series of piles have been installed on the upside of the bridge to control high velocity streambank runoff.
Collaborative planning module
The Collaborative planning module is part of the IWC Master of Integrated Water Management specialisation stream Water, land and people. This stream explores integrating assessment and planning of water resources with effective stakeholder engagement to promote sustainable water management.
The Collaborative planning module introduces participants to participatory methods and evaluation frameworks and extends their knowledge of social science concepts and the application of social theories to real life scenarios, especially at a regional scale.
IWC Master of Integrated Water Management
The IWC Masters program creates water leaders by drawing on international teaching and research from many fields to provide a transdisciplinary, whole-of-water-cycle approach to water management.
Scholarships for the next intake of the IWC Master of Integrated Water Management remain open until 1 October for domestic candidates (however applications are now closed for international candidates).
Photos courtesy Chris Rinehart