Special Lecture tackles river health

The Australian Rivers Institute Special Lecture 2012 will be on the topic “River Health and Environmental Flows in China”.

The event will mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and China.

Each year the Special Lecture series brings together scientists and policy makers to discuss issues related to the sustainable management of water resources.

The 2012 Special Lecture will explore issues and key achievements of the River Health and Environmental Flows in China Project, which is part of the Australian‐Chinese Environment Development Partnership. An expert panel will take part in the Special Lecture being held at the Queensland College of Art on 31 October, 2012.

Dr Chris Gippel Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with the Australian Rivers Institute will focus on how the natural flows of most rivers of the world have been altered by dams and water diversions.

“This provides one of the main stressors on ecological health, and while adjusting the water flow conditions may improve river health, it will never return the river to a pristine condition,” Dr Gippel said.

“The process of deciding just how much water should be allocated to a river for ecological benefit is a social one that must be based on science,” he said.

Dr Nick Bond, Senior Research Fellow with the Australian Rivers Institute will address issues related to how river health is assessed.

“River health is vital for providing water which is safe for drinking, agriculture, industry and recreation,” Dr Bond said.

“Healthy rivers also support biodiversity and other less tangible values, therefore, assessment of river health is an essential step in identifying regions where these various values are being compromised.”

Independent Consultant, Mr Robert Speed’s presentation will provide an overview of China’s water challenges in light of the country’s rapid economic development and the measures being taken by the Chinese government in response to those challenges.

A reservation will be necessary to attend this event on 31 October, 2012.

To register, and for more information, please go toAustralian Rivers Institute Special Lecture 2012.