Australia's inland water ecosystems vary widely across the continent and support a rich diversity of life. This chapter looks at how science can help inform management of these ecosystems and the water they contain to support biodiversity and human uses of water.
Australia’s inland waters support a rich diversity of life, impacted by boom-and-bust extremes in water availability and vulnerable to extraction of water for human uses.
Solutions to declining freshwater biodiversity in Australia include:
- striking a more sustainable balance between water allocated to the environment versus water allocated to other uses
- restoring habitats in rivers and streams
- controlling invasive species
- conserving endemic species that are unique to particular catchments.
Australia is one of only a few countries in the world with a strong policy framework for effectively managing river systems. Promoting individual and community participation in decision-making for water resource management is also an effective way of achieving conservation, rehabilitation and sustainable management of inland waters.
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Carmel Pollino and Carol Couch
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