Partnership update : June 2019

The WERG descends on Novatech Conference
Eight members of the Waterways Ecosystem Research Group (WERG) are travelling to Lyon (France) to participate in the 10th edition of the Novatech Conference (1-5 July). Novatech is an internationally recognised event that promotes strategies and solutions for integrated and sustainable water management in the city. Members of the WERG will deliver (or co-present) 5 oral and 3 poster presentations relating to the research projects of the Waterways Research Partnership. WERG researchers will also lead the one day workshop: Urban Water Monitoring, where they will share their experience (and seek advice) on topics like: the use of thermal cameras for looking at groundwater fluxes; building weirs to measure flows in small open waterways and the best ways to measure flow in steeply graded pipes.

Wetland Monitoring site selection complete
Project B3: Constructed Wetlands has completed a critical foundation step. After a huge effort to review and assess the ‘as-constructed’ drawings for 77 wetlands, 26 sites have now been chosen for this monitoring study. The next phase of the project is to purchase and deploy water level sensors at all 26 sites. The project involves a strong collaboration with A3P, who are currently preparing a literature review: “Stormwater wetland performance indicators: a review of current and emerging methods and techniques”. At its conclusion, Project B3: Constructed Wetlands hopes to develop indicators of wetland treatment performance. Further details on this projects can be found under Research Projects/Active. Any Melbourne Water employee interested in participating in this project is encouraged to contact either Rachael Bathgate or Rhys Coleman.

Researchers from the WERG investigate an outlet pit at the Fulton Road Wetland, discussing the best location for logging equipment.

Long term protection for Little Stringybark Creek.
The Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO) for the catchment of Little Stringybark Creek is now a permanent planning control, with the corresponding planning scheme amendment gazetted in May. The process to have this protection made permanant has been a long and involved, starting with a pilot program in 2013. The ESO ensures that any new development in the catchment, greater than 10m2, meets a minimum standard of stormwater control. Congratulations to all those involved in achieving this goal.

Partnership update : January 2019

Waterway Physical Form Training
Staff from Melbourne Water recently participated in a two day training event to learn more about the physical form of waterways, and how to protect, manage and restore for stream health. The two-day program was coordinated by the MWRPP and included a mix of theory, practical exercises and a full day in the field. The course was well received, with over 20 participants, all of whom reported they learnt a lot that was directly applicable to their roles in Melbourne Water. It is likely that the course will be run again soon, so contact Rachael Bathgate or Darren Bos to register your interest.

New Research Program
What are the critical assumptions between Melbourne Water interventions and environmental condition? How do sediments move within a catchment? How well are privately owned rainwater tanks managed? These questions, along with many others, will form the basis for a suite of new research projects for the waterway-research partnership. Melbourne Water and The University of Melbourne have agreed to a collaborative research program for 2018/19, with 17 projects receiving joint funding from both organisations (approx. $4m). The full list of projects can be found under Research Projects/Active, along with a summary of their research directions and proposed outcomes. Any Melbourne Water employee interested in participating in a research project(s) are encouraged to contact either Rachael Bathgate or Rhys Coleman.

New Research Note
How does the local community in Sunbury interact with and perceive local waterways in the present and potential form? This was a principal question of research in the latest Research Note produced by the partnership. This two-page summary (found here) highlights the wide range of value attributes identified by the community and possible discrepancies between their perceptions and those of management agencies.

Partnership update : June 2018

Pumping works @ Yellingbo
Following successful trials early this year, a full season of environmental pumping is now planned at Yellingbo Nature Reserve in Jan-Apr 2019. The pumping will help researchers deduce how changes in the local hydrology have impacted on Threatened EVCs. More details on the project can be found in the project summary or the latest project update.

Partnership renewed
We are excited to report that the The University of Melbourne and Melbourne Water have signed another five-year Partnership agreement. This will see our collaborative research continue until June 2023. Work is well underway to develop a new suite of research projects to be delivered over the next five years. Feedback is now being sought on a shortlist of 23 research ideas that respond to Melbourne Water’s Key Research Areas. Contact Rhys Coleman or Rachael Bathgate if you’d like to see and/or comment on the list.

Engagement awards for the MWRPP and Little Stringybark Creek Project
The MWRPP has been acknowledged for its collaboration with industry, winning the University of Melbourne’s “Award for Excellence in Industry-Engaged Research”. The Little Stringybark Creek Project was also acknowledged, winning the “Award for Excellence in Engagement – Research”. The prize money from both awards will be used to support additional research through the partnership.