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State of the Basin 2016

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The on-line consultation for the draft Lake Eyre Basin State of the Basin Condition Assessment 2016 report is now open and will close at 5.00pm AEST 30 June 2017.

The draft report describes the current status of the hydrology, water quality, fish and waterbirds of the Lake Eyre Basin and identifies current and emerging threats and pressures to the basin.  Lake Eyre Basin communities are encouraged to provide their thoughts on the basin’s key values, and what will threaten the basin’s rivers and catchments until 2026.

The draft report and information on how to provide your feedback is available on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website. Your feedback will be considered in finalising the draft State of the Basin Condition Assessment 2016 report.

Should you have any enquiries regarding the draft report, please contact the Lake Eyre Basin Secretariat at LEB Secretariat.

State of the Basin Condition Assessment report 2016

The Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement Act (2001) was signed by Ministers of the Australian, Queensland, South Australian and Northern Territory governments. The purpose of this Agreement is to provide for the development or adoption, and implementation of Policies and Strategies concerning water and related natural resources in the Lake Eyre Basin Agreement Area to avoid or eliminate so far as reasonably practicable adverse cross-border impacts. Under the Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement, the condition of all watercourses and catchments within the Lake Eyre Basin is to be reviewed every 10 years.

The first condition assessment was the State of the Basin 2008: Rivers Assessment. This report was a desk top analysis of limited data available from government agencies, natural resource management boards and research reports. It used the available data on the basin’s hydrology, water quality, fish and waterbirds as condition indicators and found that the rivers and catchments were in generally good condition.

The State of the Basin Condition Assessment 2016 will report on the current status of the hydrology, water quality, and fish and water birds populations of the Lake Eyre Basin and on the current and emerging threats to the Basin. Information will be sourced from monitoring activities performed under the Lake Eyre Basin Rivers Assessment programme, government agencies, natural resource management boards and other research available. The report is due to be completed in 2017 and will be used to inform the review of the Intergovernmental Agreement in 2017. 

The State of the Basin Condition Assessment 2016 report will be developed in consultation with Australian, State and Territory governments, natural resource management bodies, research institutions, the Lake Eyre Basin Community Advisory Committee, the Lake Eyre Basin Scientific Advisory Panel, communities and landholders.

Lake Eyre Basin State of the Basin Condition Assessment 2016 Factsheet

Lake Eyre Basin Rivers Assessment

In 2011 the Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum established the Lake Eyre Basin Rivers Assessment programme in response to limited data available for the 2008 State of the Basin report. The programme has collected data annually from more than 50 waterholes across the basin on hydrology, water quality and fish since 2011.  The data from this programme will be used as part of the 2016 State of the Basin condition assessment.

State of the Basin 2008: Rivers Assessment

State of the Basin 2008: Rivers Assessment publication cover

The State of the Basin 2008: Rivers Assessment was an assessment of the condition of the Lake Eyre Basin performed in 2008 and focussed on the health of the Lake Eyre Basin Rivers system, including their catchments, floodplains, lakes, wetlands and overflow channels.  The assessment covered the entire basin, some of which is outside the Agreement Area. 

Key findings from the 2008 condition report are:

  • The rivers and catchments of the basin are in generally good condition.  In particular, the low level of hydrological modification means critical aquatic ecosystems processes remain in-tact.
  • Intact aquatic ecosystems make the rivers unique compared with other arid river systems in Australia and around the world.  The Lake Eyre Basin may thus provide critical aquatic habitat, especially for migratory waterbirds, given the great impacts seen in other river systems.
  • Of the five main catchments in the basin, the Cooper Creek catchment is the most studied.  However, even for Cooper Creek, our knowledge is still far behind that for many coastal catchments in Australia.  Additional knowledge, especially for hydrology and the “boom and bust” cycles of the aquatic ecosystems, are priorities for research to guide future river assessments.
  • Potential threats to the condition of the rivers and catchments include inappropriate water resource development, invasive pests and land use intensification – all of which could severely impact aquatic ecosystem conditions.

Further information

State of the Basin 2008 – Rivers Assessment summary

More information will be published as it becomes available.

State of the Basin Condition Assessment 2016 report. ​

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