Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Points to ponder (2)

"In NSW, floodplains equate to about 88% of a rivers area and more than 95% of this is owned by landholders who will be affected by changes in river flows." [Kingsford,Richard,Professor of Environmental Science,UNSW,November 2005]

The Clarence River floodplain is extensive. It covers at least 800km2 of the catchment area.

"Importance of freshwater flows
Freshwater inflows from the upper catchment
influence estuaries and coastal waters in many
ways. They are a major determinant of the
environmental conditions in estuaries due to their
impact on salinity gradients, estuarine circulation
patterns, water quality, flushing, productivity and
the distribution and abundance of many species of
plants and animals.
Considering the scope of its effects, freshwater
inflow is one of the more important factors
influencing estuary health today.
Freshwater flows also affect the availability of
food for organisms at the base of an estuary's
food web. They do this in at least two ways:
(1) by influencing the abundance and distribution
of primary organisms within an estuary's
waters, and
(2) by affecting the influx of organic carbon and
freshwater to the estuary and coastal waters
from outside sources.
As a result, estuaries are diverse, dynamic,
productive and highly valued ecosystems."
[NSW Government,"Advice to Water Management Committees: Freshwater flows to estuaries",October 2001]

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