Thirlmere Lakes inquiry
Thirlmere Lakes, in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, is a group of waterways that include Lake Gandangarra, Lake Werri Berri, Lake Couridjah, Lake Baraba and Lake Nerrigorang.
The lakes are believed to be about 15 million years old.
Water levels in Thirlmere Lakes have fluctuated over time, but the current decline in levels is of significant concern to the local community.
In response to these concerns, the NSW Government appointed a group of four independent scientists and a community representative to evaluate possible causes for the low water levels in the lakes.
Their overall finding was that there is still much unknown about the lakes and their geomorphology and hydrology, and without this information the exact cause of decreasing water levels in Thirlmere Lakes remains a mystery.
The Thirlmere Lakes Inquiry committee members are experts in the fields of hydrology, geology, geomorphology, climatology, paleogeography, freshwater ecology and mining.
Dr Steven Riley show more
Dr Steven Riley is a fellow of Engineers Australia and a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, with training, research, professional experience and more than 200 published papers in the areas of Geomorphology, Hydrology, Mining, Modelling and Sustainable systems. He has worked in Africa, India, Philippines, South America, and Australia. He has published a number of papers and facilitated several conferences on the Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment system. Dr Riley recently retired as head of Engineering at the University of Western Sydney after a 33 year career in Universities and the Commonwealth Public Service. He continues to work in the area of environmental engineering, primarily on appropriate energy, water and sewage systems for people at the bottom of the pyramid in SE Asia, India and Africa.
Max Finlayson show more
Max Finlayson is the Director of the Institute for Land, Water and Society at Charles Sturt University. He has spent 30 years in wetland research and conservation in temperate and tropical regions, and has over 200 publications on the ecology, assessment, conservation and wise use of coastal and inland wetlands, the ecology of aquatic plants, and water pollution. He has been involved in many international projects in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America, as well as global assessments covering environmental change, water management, biodiversity and ecosystem services, and climate change. He is an advocate of the transfer of environmental science into policy, and the involvement of local people in science, and has a distinguished record in the governance of conservation and science-based organisations.
Dr Wendy McLean show more
Dr Wendy McLean is a Principal Hydrogeologist with an international consulting firm and member of the International Association of Hydrogeologists. She has a background in Earth Science and over 10 years’ experience in Hydrogeology, with a particular focus on the use of hydrogeochemical, environmental isotope and applied tracer techniques in hydrogeology. Dr McLean has undertaken groundwater and surface water investigations in a range of hydrogeological environments throughout Australia and has extensive experience in the Sydney Basin investigating groundwater contamination, salinity, coal seam gas development, longwall mining, and water resource supply. She is currently involved in an ARC Linkage Project, trialling novel isotopic methods for assessing aquifer and surface water linkages. Dr Mclean is also currently involved in a number of projects investigating groundwater and surface systems, and groundwater dependent ecosystems in catchments in the Southern Coalfields where longwall mining is occurring.
Dr Damian Gore show more
Dr Damian Gore is Associate Professor in Environmental Science at Macquarie University, Sydney. He is a geologist and geomorphologist with initial research in soil erosion, hydrology and sedimentology followed by extensive experience in the management of contaminants and remediation of mine sites or landfills, from Antarctica to the Arctic. He manages the "Environmental Quality laboratory", an analytical facility specialising in X-ray techniques, based at Macquarie University. A career highlight has been the initiation of a $5M remediation of a contaminated site at Australia's Casey Station in Antarctica. Recent mine-related research encompasses sites in NSW near Braidwood, Broken Hill, Gloucester, Inverell and Sunny Corner.
Kevin Thomasshow more
Kevin Thomas has lived and worked in the local area for over 30 years. As a geography teacher he has a background in physical, human and environmental geography. He has extensive travel experience both in Australia and around the world. He has received awards from the Department of Education and the New South Wales Teachers Federation for his work with students, staff and community members. His work as a teacher saw him initiate, develop and attend school trips to Japan and Bali. He also organised reciprocal visits to his school, by students from Japan and South Korea. As a Head Teacher he was responsible for running the Social Science Department at his local high school. He lives within 200 metres of Thirlmere Lakes National Park and is a regular visitor to it. He has watched with dismay as the lakes have gradually disappeared. So, it is not surprising that when he was asked to be the community's representative on the committee investigating the disappearance of the Lakes, he was quick to accept the position.
Page last updated: 13 May 2013