Assessing the health of Pearl River
When researchers from China’s Pearl River Water Resources Conservancy came to Brisbane in May this year, they worked with Australia’s leading river health experts and met some Australian icons along the way. Dr Liu Wei explains.
In May this year, staff from China’s Pearl River Water Resources Conservancy came to Brisbane to work and study with Australia’s leading river health experts. The visit was organised by Griffith University’s Australian Rivers Institute (ARI) and ACEDP’s River Health and Environmental Flow in China Project.
Local fisherman on Li River
Monash University’s Dr Nick Bond and Dr Jane Catford also travelled from Melbourne to attend the workshops at Griffith University on river health assessment in the Pearl River. Dr Robert Rolls from ARI discussed applying software to river health indicator assessment.
“We were introduced to principles, methodologies and techniques of river health assessment in Australia,” said Dr Lui Wei.
“During these productive workshops, we finalised a detailed work plan for the Pearl River. We also took part in collecting fish and invertebrates samples during field trips.”
Before coming to Brisbane, the Pearl River team collected data for water quality, invertebrates and diatoms, and identified fish. In Brisbane, the team used GIS analysis to obtain information on soil, land use and other factors.
Dr Liu Wei then collaborated with Dr Nick Bond and Dr Jane Catford to analyse data on environment, soil, water quality, biology, and other data collected from Gui River. Dr Liu Wei made good progress, using the data for river classification and to calculate the relationship between human disturbance and river health indicators.
Work allocation for further data collection and analysis was clarified, and the work plan for the next steps was agreed and finalised.
During the team’s visit, Mr Weng and Ms Zhu met with the Queensland Department of Environment and Resources Management. “In-depth discussions with policy makers and scientists on river health assessment and water allocation are an important part of our visits,” said Dr Lui Wei.
While excellent progress was made, the team took time out to catch up with some Australian icons.
“On our visit to Australia Zoo, we were welcomed by lovely koalas and gentleman-like kangaroos. We also enjoyed eating at Australia’s ‘worst vegetarian restaurant’ – the 100 year old Norman Hotel and steak restaurant,” said Dr Lui Wei.
“We have enjoyed Brisbane’s fresh air and blue sky. We are impressed with the technical guidance from the Australians, and the good sense of humour and hospitality we’ve been shown.”