Science and research
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment is committed to a scientific approach to the management of water for the environment. The following scientific activities are undertaken:
- plant and animal surveys in wetlands, rivers and floodplains
- development of decision support tools to manage water for the environment
- water-bird and fish habitat studies
- researching ecological wetland functions and process
- modelling of water for the environment.
Monitoring and evaluation
All watering targets and events include monitoring to assess the effectiveness of environmental flows.
The Department undertakes the following monitoring activities across all major valleys:
- Inundation mapping which maps the timing and extent of flows
- Wetland vegetation condition and extent mapping to assess the response of vegetation to managed flows
- Animal surveys to assess the response of selected animal species to watering events.
Monitoring information and research is summarised and integrated into an adaptive decision making approach to water for the environment.
The Department trades a small proportion of available water each year to partially recover water use fees associated with water licenses. Trading will continue to occur in future years to manage the portfolio for the maximum environmental benefit.